Wayne Woodman Knows How to Run a Political Party

It’s always a treat when Chris Casey takes to the blog to stoke the rumor mill, and this new post is full of goodies. No Ryan Conrad or Scott Ott campaign for GOP Lehigh County Executive? Lisa Scheller didn’t really want the leadership spot?

As horrible as the Lehigh Tea People are, and they are so horrible, you really have to admire how skillful Wayne Woodman is at running a County political party.

Strong party discipline is an ugly thing to watch, but this is the stuff competitive politics is made of. Arguably most of the politician behaviors people like to complain about most stem from insufficiently competitive party politics. Competitive politics requires clear contrasts – we want to do this, they want to do that – and creating clear contrasts requires parties to hold all their members together on key votes.

But members don’t always want to vote as a bloc, and drive the clear message to the voters, so a party needs to apply pressure to hold everybody together. In municipal-level politics, there’s one rudimentary tool for doing that – primaries. You replace people who disagree with the party’s core issues with people who will help drive the clear message.

There are two versions to the story of what’s gone wrong in Lehigh County.

In one version, Wayne Woodman is a mean ideologue who’s purging people from the party who don’t agree with him, and the lesson is that there’s something wrong with party discipline and having strong political beliefs.

In the other version, Wayne Woodman is a guy whose policy views are mistaken, in particular his nutty views on tax and budget politics, but he happens to be very skilled at the mechanics of winning elections – candidate selection, fundraising, policy formation and coalition management. The lesson is that you should try to elect people who are more right about the issues.

There’d be nothing wrong with running a very competitive party organization if your policy views would actually make people better off.What’s wrong with Wayne Woodman and the Lehigh County Republicans is that they truly believe their preferred policies will make most people better off and they won’t.

Comments

  1. John says:

    It makes sense you like Woodman, you and he are similar – your politics are full of hate, personal attacks, lies and distortions. Of course 80% of the country recognizes the two of you for what you’re doing, destroying the country.

    I do have to correct myself on one point though – I’ve said often that you’ll mature as you grow older. Woodman is proof that age doesn’t equal maturity.

  2. Chris Casey says:

    Tell you what. You want to know about Wayne Woodman? Google him with Sept 28 1986, Los Angeles Times, Beverly Hill Ninja Murders. The Woodman family ran a plastics company. kinda like the one Lisa Scheller runs now. They even made a Lifetime movie about it. Elliot Gould played Wayne’s brother, and Mimi Rogers the sister in law. Truth is stranger than fiction kids

  3. Chris Casey says:
  4. Chris Casey says:

    I posted the wrong date earlier, it all went down in 1985, I talked to detective and reporters from the case a few months back. It gave me a great deal of insight into what makes Wayne Woodman tick. And after reviewing my notes, the TV movie was originally on NBC, and later on Cable

  5. Ann Marie says:

    I have been involved in LV politics for quite a long time. I think I just realized something. If you ever sit around, wondering why there is a lack of good, decent people running for public office or getting involved in politics, look no further gentlemen, you all are the reason. Self-Righteous comes to mind. If you are confused by the word, you can research it, I think it is in that book called “The Bible” several times. Hypocrit is also in there. You might want to start reading it, it might help for some direction in life. It has helped me tremendously.

    • Chris Casey says:

      Ann Marie, You are free to offer your highly judgemental opinion. But understand that politics is a full contact sport.
      I have learned that just about everyone who quotes the Bible is themseves a hypocrite.
      Mr Woodman has marched into Lehigh Valley politics and taken no prisoners. I have no plan to surrender. I don’t consider him an enemy, but a worthy adversary, and as such I make it a point to know what makes him tick. Your approval or condemnation is irrelevant to me. one, ten, a hundred years from now, no one will remember or give a damn what we discussed today.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      Actually I would think more competitive politics would tend to improve the quality of candidates for public office. Parties who want to win seats in a competitive political market need to recruit high quality politicians who can speak to the concerns of the voters. That’s how democracy produces political accountability.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Commonwealth Foundation: Averting the “Lottery Cliff” for Seniors and Taxpayers Jon Geeting: Wayne Woodman Knows How to Run a Political [...]

  2. [...] when they come from an opponent. This week liberal blogger and Lehigh Valley native Jon Geeting wrote of Woodman, the Lehigh Valley GOP chairman, “he happens to be very skilled at the mechanics of [...]

  3. [...] need to do to pass the party platform into law once you win the majority. Lehigh County GOP head Wayne Woodman does this right, using the primary process to strategically police legislator ideology, and enact the Lehigh [...]

  4. [...] tells you everything you need to know about the state of the Lehigh County Republican Party. I like Wayne Woodman’s approach to running a County political party, but he’s badly overreaching ideologically, to the point [...]

  5. [...] post from the other blog is a good summary of my views on the importance of strong political parties: Strong party [...]

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