Reagan Repubs analyze election - Coeur d'Alene Press: Political

Reagan Repubs analyze election

Ward: Campaign message not conservative enough

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013 12:00 am

Editor's note: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Jeff Ward didn't contact The Press with his complaint about a campaign letter from Scott and Mary Lou Reed. Ward did contact Press editor Mike Patrick on Oct. 21. A full correction will appear in tomorrow's Press.

COEUR d'ALENE - Jeff Ward, a founding board member of the Kootenai County Reagan Republicans, provided his initial analysis of the city council elections during a luncheon Thursday at Fedora Pub and Grille.

Essentially, he said, the Reagan Republicans lost last week because the campaign message was not conservative enough, and the media was biased against them.

Ward said the initial reaction after losing an election is to assume that the message needed to be more moderate, but he disagrees with that notion.

"They try and say the reason we lost was because we were too conservative, or too strong, too negative," he said. "I think that is exactly wrong and I will tell you why."

Ward pointed out that every successful Republican presidential campaign since the 1980s was more conservative than the failed Republican attempts at that seat. He said Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney were considered moderates and they lost.

"We didn't sufficiently promote the conservative agenda, where people got off their butts and actually voted," Ward said, adding that was the case with Romney's loss against President Obama in 2012.

"This is my initial feeling, we need to be strong and we need to stand for what we stand for," he said.

Balance North Idaho political action committee heralded the big money projects like the Salvation Army Kroc Center and the Coeur d'Alene City Library, he said, and they told the voters that the Reagan Republican candidates would not have supported those projects.

"We didn't address those issues," Ward said. "Why do we have a multi-, multi-, multi-million dollar library built in the late 2000s when printed books - and this is from a guy who's been in publishing for most of my professional life - is going the way of the dinosaur?

"Why are we spending huge, huge amounts?" he continued. "We are conservatives and we need to address the fact that this stuff doesn't make sense.

"The Kroc Center to a lot of people is a great thing, but to the gym owner who is trying to make a living competing against someone who has public money behind them, or if you own retail space and you are competing against public money that went into Riverstone, this doesn't help the economy. It hurts your economy."

Ward also said those projects don't expand the number of jobs in the community, but actually contract jobs in the private sector and expands jobs in the public sector.

"We need to stop hiding behind the fact that, yeah, we can say that we don't support the library, that it was a bad idea, and it was a waste of public money," he explained. "I think conservatives can say things like that."

However, he said, the media is likely to attack that message.

"Now, we're going be hit by Dave Oliveria (Spokesman Review) and the media, but the fact is the majority of the conservatives in this community didn't see a lot of difference," he said. "We didn't present them with a difference."

Overall, he said, the Reagan Republicans need to find a way to get people who agree with them to get out and vote in the elections.

"If we are going to run as conservatives, let's not be afraid that this is a conservative community, and we are going to express those conservative views," he said. "We need to stand by it and not worry in this Obama world that we are going to offend somebody by being conservative."

Former state legislator Gary Ingram spoke up after Ward's speech to offer his assessment.

"I don't think there was anything wrong with the message, it was the style in which it was delivered," he said. "Think about what that means ... too much anger."

Ward disagreed, saying the most nasty and negative campaigning came from their opponents. He pointed to a letter that was written by Mary Lou and Scott Reed, which he said misquoted him in several places, and he blamed the media for not reporting on that.

Ingram responded, saying "people don't like to be around angry people."

Reagan Republican member Mary Smith agreed with Ingram. She told Ward that she felt the opposition out-strategized them, their side didn't have enough letters to the editor and they need to quit being negative about the Kroc Center and library.

"We better stop saying I don't like the library. The library is a beautiful place," she said, adding a better approach would be to offer other suggestions on where it should go for instance. "And the Kroc Center is a beautiful place, and I think being negative like that really hurts our image."


More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.


  • Why Not posted at 5:42 am on Sun, Nov 17, 2013.

    Why Not Posts: 4619

    I detest LOL, so I shall LTOAO over your assumption there Sticky

    An early morning fumble of fingers in a far away airport lounge, nothing cheeky

    Not even close pal

  • Fly in the ointment posted at 10:00 pm on Sat, Nov 16, 2013.

    Fly in the ointment Posts: 606

    Why Not be 1inIdaho?

    Maybe Jennifer Drake is postulating for a future council seat?




  • Why Not posted at 2:59 am on Sat, Nov 16, 2013.

    Why Not Posts: 4619

    "Essentially, he said, the Reagan Republicans lost last week because the campaign message was not conservative enough, and the media was biased against them." HohOHoHohoohohoooooooolaughlaugh-kaf kaf

    Jeffie and his brand are the real dino's. Idaho may have a Loud and Angry fringe element of Separatist Republicans, but the real majority of Idahoians are not tuned to your doomsday message and we are not leftist activist Democrats asyur message implies. That message and injecting religion into the campaign is why your gang lost, we don't want to live in a country controlled by religious police.

  • Randy_Myers posted at 9:05 pm on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Randy_Myers Posts: 136


  • Randy_Myers posted at 9:04 pm on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Randy_Myers Posts: 136

    One more guy comparing apples and oranges. Ward could only hope to strategize as well as President Obama .

  • Unapologeticdemocrat posted at 3:48 pm on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Unapologeticdemocrat Posts: 9

    I enjoyed these comments particularly "1inidaho" who I thought nailed it. People in the city of Coeur d'Alene have woken up to the far right nonsense and voted for a slate of of very moderate candidates who had a positive message. The BNI people worked hard to get out the vote as did the folks in the school board election but the negativity of the RR's and of Mary Souza in particular had a lot to do with the win of the moderates. If one reviews the mailings of the last week the RR's just attacked their opponents and said nothing positive about what they would do for the city. People I talked to were just tired of their angry negative attitude. Hopefully the day of the old angry white guy in Northern Idaho complaining about the government while living off of social security and veterans benefits is coming to an end. Their selfishness and hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

  • jmowreader posted at 3:05 pm on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    jmowreader Posts: 1313

    This should be entertaining: Jeff Ward's hard-right politics has managed to blow two elections in a row, so the solution is to go even harder-right. With leadership such as this, the City Council and board of county commissioners will be free of Reagan Republican-backed members in two more elections.

  • Mahiun posted at 1:45 pm on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Mahiun Posts: 5236

    This series of statements seems incredibly myopic, on Mr. Ward's part. It completely ignores the multiple ultra-conservative policies that were also repudiated by voters, across the country.

    It's easy to develop a somewhat skewed point of view about election results elsewhere, when your vantage point is Kootenai County, Idaho, where there really is no such thing as far enough to the right.

  • benfranklin posted at 11:15 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    benfranklin Posts: 45

    Ignore the naysayers, Jeff! Not conservative enough for sure. You're the right guy to lead the RRs into the future! Don't let these last several races take you off point or make you change your message. Compromise is for suckers. You're so right...take the message even farther out to the extreme, it's bound to work! Just because it hasn't worked yet, doesn't mean it won't someday, right? How could it not?? Seems like common sense to me! ;-)
    Seriously, please keep leading your group, we're ALL counting on you.

  • Justthree posted at 11:13 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Justthree Posts: 68

    In Coeur d'Alene, maybe a candidate who had the support of United Conservatives of Idaho, Rally Right, a member of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee, a past board member of the North Idaho Pachyderms and a past board member of the Reagan Republicans could have unified all of the right leaning groups with a true conservative message, but we will never know. Your group endorsed candidates before the filing period even ended and it appeared that the Reagan Republican endorsements were bought and paid for. Any future candidate will be wise to distance themselves from your group. It is my understanding that when the Reagan Republican Group was formed it was to facilitate grass roots activism to support conservative candidates. It now appears that this grass roots activism has taken a back seat to the almighty dollar.

  • Ziggy posted at 10:14 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Ziggy Posts: 1191

    Wow these people always get it wrong. They didn't lose because they weren't conservative enough; they lost because they went off the deep end of sanity. They are viewed, and rightfully so, as nut cases.
    They have no appeal to anyone beyond rural white guys who are absolutely terrified of everything and angry about everything. Murdock and Fox News are laughing all the way to the bank about the fact that they have fired up these malcontents.
    The people of Kootenai County have awakened from a long sleep. Next we get rid of Nonini and the rest of the anti-education, anti-environment, anti-everything group.

  • Flash Gordon posted at 9:29 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1378

    Like the mayor of Toronto, Jeff Ward and the KCRR's are in need of an intervention. I'd suggest a twelve step program but Jeff can't even get to step one.

    Ward and the KCRR's are very attached to "betrayal" theory of why they lost this election. The Press betrayed us, we betrayed our own principles, the voters betrayed us, there were malevolent forces in the community that betrayed us.......No wonder these people can't be trusted to evaluate themselves accurately at all......and.....THANK GOODNESS for that:).

    Wait a minute, this "betrayal" theory may point to a mental health issue for Ward and the KCRR's.....and well, boy howdy, does that ever complicate their post election analysis:)

  • Miketeague posted at 9:27 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Miketeague Posts: 2180

    Not far right enough and the media doesn’t like me, whoa Jeff, expert analysis. A quick run through the sunshine reports that have been filed so far (more to come) show that Jeff Ward’s Reagan Republicans (an extreme right organization) and their RR candidates paid Jeff Ward’s Strategery Group about $16,600 with Jeff Ward apparently signing one check from his RR’s for about $2400 himself. I’d say Jeff Ward’s campaign went just as he planned it.
    The “analysis” is simple, people are fed up with extremes from either side and want people the have, can, and will work together, the RR candidates showed just the opposite and Ward’s statements continue to validate that.

  • 1inIdaho posted at 8:57 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    1inIdaho Posts: 252

    I don't think "not being conservative enough" was the problem.
    I think the election results showed that this community has repudiated the Reagan Republican platform.
    Mr. Ward is incorrect in his assertion that they failed to rally people to the polls. Voter turn-out was almost 25%. And while that is embarrassingly low; it is still HIGHER than previous local election voter turn-out. If ultra-conservative voters (whom Ward assumes would have voted for the other candidates) did not turn out to the polls; it was either because they were so deluded that they believed this election was going to fall overwhelmingly in their favor (not likely), OR it was because, even they don't fully buy-into the RR platform. Rather than vote against conservatives; they just stayed home.
    Either way... it does not speak well for the RR ideology.
    Virtually everything Mr. Ward states in the article, is indicative of the ignorance, paranoia, and regressive nature of ultra-conservatives.
    (I keep saying "ultra-conservatives" because I think that some of the election winners, despite being backed by a "Progressive" machine, are truly Conservative individuals.)
    The library?
    The fact that Mr. Ward thinks that libraries are so one-dimensional (serving merely as repositories for printed literature), shows his ignorance of the matter. Has he given any investigation into how well-used that expensive library is? Obviously not. People may not be wearing a path to the doors to check-out books... but it is a very busy place nonetheless.
    The KROC center?
    Since the KROC opened, at-least 3 successful privately-owned local gyms have opened or expanded their operations. Countless other specialty fitness businesses have flourished (from Cross-fit gyms, to Yoga studios, to specialty Competitive Athletic training businesses).
    Mr. Ward is dead-wrong on the employment numbers. If you look at the number of jobs created (even just in the Retail sector) in the 5-years prior to the opening of Riverstone, and compare them to the number of retail jobs created SINCE the completion of that project; you will see that there is a significant increase. And that is DESPITE enduring an economic recession in that latter period. Not to mention; Retail jobs only account for about 50% of the jobs created within Riverstone. The city has managed to GROW retail employment outside of that "publicly backed" center, in addition TO the jobs created within it.
    Mr. Ward seems bent on adjusting facts to fit his narrative... He wants to make our city look like a grim place, on the verge of collapse... so that he can blame progressive politics for the carnage.
    In reality; our progressive city is growing and thriving. The only thing that is in decay, is are the minds of the people who share a fictitious vision of some past era when everything was shirts-ties-cardigan sweaters - and tobacco pipes. He conveniently ignores that the namesake of his organization, was FAR to the left in his ideology, of these so-called Reagan Republicans.
    The proper name for the organization SHOULD be the "McCarthy Republicans." They are more profoundly aligned with THAT American "Icon" than they are with any other.
    The Media isn't biased against you, Mr. Ward.
    The facts are.

  • Big Bear posted at 8:37 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Big Bear Posts: 246

    They lost, or more appropriately, the status quo won, because the economy is up here. New park, new facilities, growth, towers, etc.

    Ward is silly to criticize expenditures which benefit the community as a whole. Stick to issues the little guy can understand (employee salaries, maybe?) and the RRs could gain some traction. Of course, if the national economy tanks and we're in it for the ride, the status quo will lose.

  • Born in Bonners posted at 8:28 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Born in Bonners Posts: 69

    Wow Jeff. Your candidates weren't conservative enough and the red rag CDA Press was biased towards you. Your delusion is flabbergasting. But I'm all for it because perhaps it means that more of you will go away. You people refuse to see what is right in front of your face. It's like some form of mental illness. But like I said, keep rooting for losers and make the rest of us happy.

  • Cody Wiench posted at 8:27 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Cody Wiench Posts: 353

    It would almost seem as if they are *trying* to get people to not vote for them.

  • Ron_Burgundy1988 posted at 7:58 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Ron_Burgundy1988 Posts: 40

    Oscar is right. Keep up the good work, Jeff Ward. You really shouldn't change a thing, but if you feel you must then by all means go with your gut and don't listen to the naysayers. You're making good progress.

  • ancientemplar posted at 7:53 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    ancientemplar Posts: 1226

    I think they, the losers, all contracted with Stragetery as a slate to direct their campaigns and if I'm not mistaken Jeff Ward owns and runs Stragetery. Sounds a little disingenuous, like Obama, blaming everyone and everything else.

  • Randy_Myers posted at 7:34 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Randy_Myers Posts: 136

    Why, oh why, why can't an elephant fly ?

    Jeff Ward as a pilot sure doesn't work.

  • oscar posted at 7:31 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    oscar Posts: 1284

    I like your style Jeff, keep working it and our cities will be safe.

  • Tim Herzog posted at 7:11 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Tim Herzog Posts: 371

    The term conservative is getting worn out. Several groups, the RR's and Rally Right/United Conservatives are battling for the top spot of being more conservative that the other!

    What we really need is elected officials that possess good old common sense and are truly fiscally conservative without spouting out what's wrong with everyone else and just do what's best for the taxpayers.

    Tim Herzog
    Striving for "Common Sense" in 2014

  • Flash Gordon posted at 7:09 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Flash Gordon Posts: 1378

    Jeff Ward..........Your candidates, as group, every last one of them, lost because they failed to appeal to a broader coalition of constituencies than your own cloistered myopic homogeneous RR's. Your candidates had all the advantage and momentum going into this election. The Souza slate was able to wrestle defeat from the clutches of victory. Remarkable......

    You can rationalize and blame the "we weren't conservative enough" or the "media bias". I personally hope you continue that "path" of analysis'll continue to lose the mayor and council positions for years to come, in spite of the fact that this city and our county is thoroughly and completely republican republican.

    The Souza campaign made mistake after mistake after mistake.....and it had nothing to do with "we weren't conservative enough".....not inviting Mike Patrick to the Pachyderm post election analysis after years of doing so, even before the election results, suggests your group has moved from shooting yourselves in the foot to shooting yourselves in the brain.

  • Shocked posted at 6:56 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Shocked Posts: 98

    Yep! Things look bright for our community! The next step will be to remove Goedde, Nonini, and the their colleagues in future elections. I hope Jeff Ward gives them his full support... He seems to have a knack for backing losing candidates.

  • Peter posted at 6:26 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    Peter Posts: 656

    "We didn't address those issues," Ward said. "Why do we have a multi-, multi-, multi-million dollar library built in the late 2000s when printed books - and this is from a guy who's been in publishing for most of my professional life - is going the way of the dinosaur?"

    It is that quote amongst many other messages that the ironically named Regan Republicans spits out is the reason why they were rejected. Ironic since the Regan platform from the 80's would be labeled as too liberal by todays standards by the RR. It is not about the delivery of the message as it is the message itself. The people do not want the extreme fringe candidates that RR continually endorses. They are not "Regan Republicans". They are teabaggers (they coined the phrase before properly vetting the name therefore they own it).

  • huntersthompson posted at 5:28 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    huntersthompson Posts: 61

    Why do we have a multi-, multi-, multi-million dollar library built in the late 2000s when printed books - and this is from a guy who's been in publishing for most of my professional life - is going the way of the dinosaur?

    If Jeff Ward thinks libraries are simply repositories for printed books it is quite obvious he has not been in one for some time. Who is the real dinosaur?

  • palousian posted at 4:48 am on Fri, Nov 15, 2013.

    palousian Posts: 8

    "Analysis" usually involves facts.

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Not you?||
Logout|My Dashboard