March 7, 2008

In the 1980’s I belonged to the Reardan Town Ladies Softball Team, nicknamed the JG’s (for Jay’s Girls, since Jay Garber graciously sponsored the team every year). We were more enthusiastic than talented, but it was a great opportunity for a group of young mothers to play outdoors and cement friendships. I filled in a variety of positions, including first base, right field, and an occasional inning at pitcher when we were truly desperate. My favorite was the year I played catcher, because both of our regular catchers were pregnant. It was all about teamwork.

Last week I sat in the Gallery at the House session on Tuesday and watched the Republican caucus execute a debate on E2SSB 5278 with great teamwork. The subject of the bill was removing the prohibition on using public funds to finance political campaigns for local office, as imposed by Initiative I-134 in 1992. The Republican team offered 8 amendments, attempting to make a bad bill better by providing guidance to local districts on appropriate rules for such a use of public funds. Here’s an example that was voted down – to require that materials printed with public funds say “Printed with Taxpayer Funds.” Republican members rose to speak, each making a different part of the argument, to no avail. Most interesting was the Democratic response to all arguments, which was that the Legislature shouldn’t micromanage local affairs, and should trust local government to use good judgment. What a great argument for abolishing Growth Management Hearing Boards and letting local government use their own good judgment!

But I digress, today’s subject is team work. Now that we have a clear winner and a gracious second place finisher in the Presidential primary, Republicans have another great opportunity to show our teamwork. We need to pull together for the good of the country as well as the good of the GOP. Whether you supported McCain, Romney, Huckabee or Paul, now is the time for all good Republicans to come to the aid of their party. Many of the Paul supporters are new to the team. We need their idealism and enthusiasm to help us stay on track with our principles regarding the proper role of limited government in American life. On to Minneapolis and success in November!