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Republican State Committee Preview — Winter 2012

By Keegan Gibson, Managing Editor and Ben Hulac, Contributing Writer

Republicans are headed to Hershey and things are heating up. The already intriguing Senate primary will be the main event, but it’s getting a serious challenge from the late-breaking redistricting news.

The PAGOP is aiming its fire at the Pa. Supreme Court – specifically Justice Max Baer – after its decision to remand the redistricting plan back to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

But the story line that everyone will be watching is U.S. Senate. Are the rumors true? Will Governor Tim Corbett whip enough votes to hand Steve Welch the endorsement? Our sources say yes. But that won’t keep the other candidates from their full court press for an endorsement for themselves (Tim Burns, Tom Smith) or an open primary (Sam Rohrer).

Burns released another anti-Welch web video on Thursday, while Rohrer has been petitioning Chairman Rob Gleason against an endorsement.

We wonder, how many committee members will have the nerve to stand up on Saturday morning, in front of Governor Corbett and his political team, and vote against their candidate? It will be an important test for the Governor’s political clout.

An endorsement requires 50 percent plus 1 on the question of whether to endorse, and 50 percent plus one for the winning candidate. The lowest vote-getter is dropped from each successive round of balloting until they have a candidate.

But perhaps the real question is, if the endorsement is a hard push by the Governor, how much will these committee members go to bat for Welch when they get back home?

Here are the planned events for this weekend, with Friday night’s cocktails right on top:

Cocktails with Steve Welch
After Dinner -11:00 p.m.
Location: Crystal A Ball Room

Republicans can meet the man they’re likely to endorse on Saturday, as well as enjoy the full service open bar and the desserts and snacks that will be served. Will they stay angry at the system, or will the endorsed Senate candidate earn their ire?

Reception with Tim Burns
After Dinner – 11:00 p.m.
Location: Empire Room C

Will hospitality woo state committee members? Relax after dinner with beer and wine courtesy of Tim Burns and find out. Enjoy desserts, too.

Cocktails with Tom Smith
9:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Location: Wild Rose Room

Let’s see what kind of party a self-funder can throw! Smith doesn’t need an endorsement, but he’d prefer to have the open primary. In any case, the first time candidate will continue to do his due diligence and try to show he’s a team player.

Reception with Sam Rohrer
9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Location: Empire Room D

Rohrer has spent much of his past two weeks petitioning the state committee to forgo an endorsement, but he’s still putting on a friendly face for the weekend.

“No Endorsement” Celebration with Frank Pinto
9 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Location: Empire B Room

Pinto is running hard against the state committee, and has told PoliticsPA that he would turn down the endorsement even if it was offered (it won’t be). Come have your picture taken with Elvis, who is back in the building to support Pinto for Auditor General.

Regular events:

Friday, January 27th:

Congressional Redistricting Meetings
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Location: Tower Suite 1

The PA GOP will be hosting meetings throughout the afternoon with County Chairs and State Party members to discuss the new congressional districts and give committee members the chance to meet their new congressmen.

Attorney General Forum
1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Location: Aztec Room

It should be fairly lonely with just Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed speaking.

Auditor General Forum
2:20 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Aztec Room

There should be some fairly entertaining fireworks at this one. State Rep. John Maher (R-Allegheny) has the endorsement all but sewn up, but so far at the various caucus meetings he and former Pa. Community Bankers President and CEO Frank Pinto have exchanged sharp barbs.

Treasurer Forum
3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m.
Location: Aztec Room

It should be fairly lonely with just Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughn speaking.

Resolutions Committee Meeting
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Cocoa Suite 2 & 3

The Resolutions Committee will meet to discuss and vote on any and all proposed resolutions that are submitted.

AG Republicans
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Tower Suite 3

The AG Republicans will have a meeting to discuss Republican outreach efforts.

2011 Wrap-Up and 2012 Preview
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Cocoa Suite 4 & 5

The PA GOP will be discussing the 2011 statewide and countywide elections and what they tell us about 2012. In-depth analysis of PA GOP activities and strategies will provide insight into how best to capitalize on our momentum heading into the Presidential cycle.

New Majority Council Meeting
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Location: Tower Suite 2

The New Majority Council will have a meeting discussing Republican outreach efforts.

PA GOP Leadership Committee Meeting
4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Cocoa 1/Terrace

The PA GOP Leadership Committee will meet to discuss important issues facing the GOP.

“The Proud Americans”
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Cocoa Suite 4 & 5

The PA GOP invites you to meet the “The Proud Americans” group, a national membership organization devoted to providing benefits, savings and services to promote better health, protect the wealth and provide a unifying voice for members ages 50 and
over who share the same traditional values.

General Reception
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Red Room

A general reception will be held in the Red Room for guests to mingle.  A cash bar will be set up for guests before the dinner begins.

V.I.P. Photo Reception with Governor Tim Pawlenty
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Cocoa Suite 2 & 3

Come and experience the infamous T-Paw charm.

PA GOP Annual Lincoln Day Dinner
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: White Room
Keynote Speaker: Governor Tim Pawlenty

U.S. Senate Debate
8:30 p.m.
Location: The White Room

Right after dinner, PCN will host a forum for the Senate candidates. It will be their final chance to show off their stage presence to wavering committee members. Expect Burns to pull out the stops and go full bore against Welch – unless other rumors pan out.

Saturday, January 28th:

7:30 a.m.  Caucus Breakfast Meetings

The caucuses will again hold meetings and straw polls, and this time they’ll be a much stronger indicator of where the votes will go at the general meeting.

Southwest Caucus
Location: Cocoa Suite 4 & 5

Central Caucus
Location: Trinidad Room

Northwest Caucus
Location: Cocoa Suite 3

Northeast Caucus
Location: Magnolia C

Northeast Central Caucus
Location: Cocoa Suite 2

Southeast Caucus
8:00 a.m.
Location: Aztec Room

General Meeting of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania
9:30 a.m.
Location: Red Room

This is the main event.

Endorsement Protest Press Conference
9:30 a.m.
Location: Empire Room D

A collection of Tea Party groups will hold a counter-event Saturday morning to protest State Committee’s practice of making endorsements.

3 Responses

  1. BS, so instead it is the state gops money being used to steam roll other gop candidates..

  2. Ugh. I hate this anti-endorsement sentiment. Do these people realize that no endorsement will just result in Tom Smith’s money steamrolling the other candidates? It won’t be the “open primary” you are all dreaming about.

  3. Regarding the Endorsement Protest Press Conference at 9:30 a.m. in Empire Room D, the following groups & individuals have cosigned a letter to Rob Gleason, Chairman, Republican Party of Pennsylvania that says in part:
    Endorsing any candidate at this point is premature. We would urge the Republican State Committee and our elected leaders to let the process play out and see who emerges as the strongest candidate after the primary. According to the National GOP Section “Who We Are”:
    “Republicans believe individuals . . . can make the best decisions.”
    It is long past time that the Pennsylvania GOP embraced that idea when selecting candidates.

    James Billman-Chairman, Berks County Patriots
    Ron Boltz-Schuylkill County
    Larry Borland- Monroeville 912/TEA Party Group
    Scott Burkholder-York 9-12 Patriots
    Peggy Cassidy – Co-Coordinator, Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots Northwest
    Janet Cook – Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement/ Pittsburgh 9/12 Project
    Phil Duffy- West Chester Tea Party
    Andy Edmonds-Co-Founder Hanover Tea Party Patriots
    Jaime Faucette – Citizens for Constitutional Government
    Roberta Gick-Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement
    Jeffery Griffith-Vice Chairman, COOL
    Matt Grodski – Patriots of Lower Bucks
    Bob Guzzardi – The Liberty Blog
    Everette Hamilton- Dauphin County
    Pat Haraburda – Co-Coordinator, Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots Northwest
    Michael Harrison-Luzerne County, Campaign for Liberty
    Andrew Katz-Blair County
    Lois Kaneshiki-The Precinct Project
    Leo Knepper-Schuylkill County
    Mike Lacey-NEPA Tea Party
    Adam McGahee- NEPA Tea Party
    Rod Miller-Vice-Chair, Berks County Patriots
    Lisa Nancollas-Mifflin County Tea Party Patriots
    Bob Orbin-NEPA Tea Party
    Larry Padora-Schuylkill County
    Anastasia Pryzbylski – FreedomWorks PA and Kitchen Table Patriots
    Ana Puig – FreedomWorks PA and Kitchen Table Patriots
    Betsy Radcliffe-Allegheny County
    Glen Simmonds-Coalition for Advancing Freedom
    Jennifer Stefano-Loyal Opposition
    Joe Tatela-Co-Founder Hanover Tea Party Patriots
    Patti Weaver Founder Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement/ Pennsylvania State Committee

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