The Road to CPAC (The Casale Group Making the Rounds)

You’ve heard the criticisms. You’ve heard people complaining about (solve for x). Still in all, CPAC is both fun and informative, and The Casale Group will be there in full force…which includes our own Shoshana Weissman speaking!

Here are the main things each of us is looking forward to…

Vince Casale (CSO: Chief Strategery Officer)
Jeb Bush. He’s the only candidate speaking who has a shot of winning anything in 2016. I’m also looking forward to seeing and catching up with my brother who lives in town.

Lynn Krogh (The Political Architect)
We’ll be attending Scotch & Cigars on Friday Night and Roger Stone will be speaking to this fun crowd. It’ll be interesting to hear his strategy on his rumored FL Gubernatorial run. I’m also excited to see all the great friends we can catch up with this week.

John Brodigan (Social Media Ambassador)
Speech wise…meh. I’m excited for Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (about f’n time a NY conservative is speaking) and am curious to see the response to Rand Paul. Otherwise, it’s like seeing the same band playing the same song the same way, live, one too many times. I’m mainly looking forward to reconnecting with friends and colleagues I haven’t seen since the “Brodigan Surreal American Hero Tour” wrapped up in Chicago last year. Them, and networking with anyone who may want to pay me money to ambassador their social media for them.


Brodigan will be a guest on “The Snark Factor: Live fromFreedomWorks HQ” 3/13 at 8:00PM.

Brodigan’s also co-Hosting FTR Radio’s LIVE CPAC coverage 3/14 & 3/15 12:30PM-2:00PM.

Our friends from Brooklyn GOP Radio, Gene and Russ, will be broadcasting LIVE on 3/14 & 3/15 form 9:30AM-10:30AM.

All of the TCG Team will be available for onsite interviews. Email for info.


FRIENDLY FIRE: Who isn’t banned from CPAC at this point, and why you should go anyway…

With CPAC a little over a week away, most of the coverage of it is either about who hasn’t been invited, or complaints about…really, complaints about just about everything. So what’s the deal with Gov. Christie and GOProud anyway? And what’s the point of even going to the event at this point? Our inside outsiders Lynn Krogh and Vince Casale throw in their five cents…

(Marked up from two cents, because they’re consultants)

Thoughts on Chris Christie not being invited to CPAC?
Lynn Krogh: This is such crap. A Republican Governor in a Northeast Blue State with a 70%+ approval rating isn’t invited? It’s such nonsense. This kinda of behavior is why the Republican Party is fractured.

Vince Casale: Whatever. Romney won the straw poll last year, so that alone should question CPAC’s cred. I think they did Christie a favor. He should still show up and walk through and give a scrum that will get more play than any of their invited speakers.

Thoughts on GOProud not being invited to CPAC?
LK: Again, instead of being inclusive and welcoming, we have to divide and argue. We have to proactively create drama where it doesn’t need to be. Why can’t we focus on the things that unite us instead of the social issues that typically divide us? If we don’t grow as a party, we will die. It’s that simple.

VC: Has anyone asked GOProud if they want to be there?

Everyone seems to have something to complain about, what’s the point of going to CPAC in the first place?
LK: CPAC is a great place to catch up with political friends who you haven’t seen in a year or sometimes more. CPAC is a great place to pitch potential business. It’s also a great opportunity to hear conservative speakers from across the nation at a reasonable price. Lastly, it’s a wonderful opportunity to visit Washington, D.C. and check in on some of our friends working down there. Oh yeah, and the parties…

VC: Go there to network, meet new friends and have a good time with people who, for the most part, share your values. If you’re going to seem important, tell everyone how you could do this better, find the next great Ronald Reagan or save the world….just stay home.

Advice for someone going for the first time?
LK: Use your time wisely, keep a decent schedule and party like a rockstar! Some call CPAC the Conservative Spring Break…

VC: People think Conservatives are nerdy dorks who are always over dressed in a stuffy 3-piece suit or v-neck sweater, sporting oversized anti-Obama buttons while engaged in a dry conversation about world economics or comic books – don’t perpetuate the myth…

Se•ques•ter: So many definitions; so little time…

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard this much talk about the word “sequester” since season 5 of “The Simpsons” when Homer purposely deadlocked the jury to be “sequestered” in the “Springfield Palace Hotel” to “get a free room, free food, free swimming pool, free HBO!”

While all the media talk centers around the definition of the legal procedure of automatic spending cuts triggered by the passing of the Budget Control Act of 2011, I thought we could take a look at some of the other meanings of the word in the context of Republicans looking for their own definition in the most recent political showdown.

#1 – Se•ques•ter: to remove or separate

In what might be the most difficult challenge of this current economic battle, Republicans need to separate themselves from being seen as responsible for the impending cuts which will occur after the March 1 deadline. While there is much talk of who is to blame for the original idea of the sequester, I don’t find it wise for the Republicans to sit back and assume that the President and the Democrats will be held responsible for the cuts and subsequent government shutdown.

Although the 2011 legislation was proposed by the President, it received bipartisan support in both houses of Congress. Also, Republicans have been hawkish on the overspending and recklessness of Obama and the democrats. When the cuts kick in, it will be hard for Republicans not to be stuck with the outweighing bad effects. Let’s not forget we have a President with complete control over a mainstream media that will be complicit in his attempts to paint the Republicans as obstructionists and unwilling to compromise.

This isn’t the Fiscal Cliff, which Republicans poorly separated themselves from. I and others felt the best strategy would have been to go over the cliff and make the Democrats own the problems in the long term. Unfortunately, Republicans couldn’t find the intestinal fortitude to take the plunge. The sequester is different in that Republicans will have no choice but to be blamed if it is not resolved. This is also an opportunity for Republicans to be bold and turn the tables.

#2 – Se•ques•ter: to take possession or control of

Ok, so I’m taking a little liberty with this definition, but the point is still the same – take control and own the issue and make the Democrats the bad guys, for once.

My initial reaction on how to pull this off seemed a little unorthodox – give control of spending over to the Democrats to make the bad decisions and then make them take the blame. As the idea was rattling around in my head, I then read a Wall Street Journal article by the Architect himself, Karl Rove, who was giving similar advice (not sooo crazy after all, I guess).

So with influence from Mr. Rove, here’s the plan:
Pass a continuing resolution to fund the government for the remainder of the year at the level of the sequester. Add language in the resolution which (1) defines the level of Defense Appropriations and (2) gives flexibility to the President to move funds to more vital government programs.

Republicans may need to concede cuts to some of their favored programs, but it will also allow the opportunity to make the President and the Democrats the bad guys, while Republicans keep their promise to lower government spending.

Additionally, if Obama chooses his more liberal programs to fund, it is sure to keep the Republican base as well as many moderates and independents together against the choices made by the President. Either way, it becomes their problem to work out who to keep happy, not ours.

Now, Republicans will still need to stay vigilant on their message, but at the very least, there is a much craved for message to present to the American people – a message steeped in a unifying idea that government spends too much and is out of control.

#3 – Se•ques•ter: to retire into seclusion

Which is where message-less Republicans are headed if we run the risk of losing many more economic battles…