“Sheridan Blvd” is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.
So as I fired up the ‘ol Google machine, I started to think about what makes a good Chairman.
First I think a good chairman needs to be a “party Guy”, someone who can approach it with the simple view of “Is the candidate the Republican nominee?” and “What can I do to get them elected?” Second they need to have at least a basic relationship with political activists from around the state. Third they need to be able to fundraise. In today’s world of Super PACs, politics is an expensive business and you need to be able to have the money to play the game.
I originally assumed Governor Pete Ricketts would tap a former statewide candidate like Bryan Slone or Shane Osborn, or possibly a former elected official like Scott Lautenbaugh. Or surely a party stalwart like Bob Evnen or John Orr. But the unknown Dan Welch left me searching for background.
According to Google, Welch is a 44 year-old former City Councilman and former Omaha Mayoral candidate. He has been a practicing attorney since 1998 when he graduated from Creighton. He seems to be an okay fundraiser and his donor rolls included Governor Ricketts.
That’s all fine and good, I thought, but this is a statewide Chairmanship with a lot on the table in 2016, not the head of the oft dysfunctional DCRP.
I then decided to ask around political circles outside of Omaha where I was greeted with the familiar Rand-ian refrain “Who is Dan Welch?”.
Which left me with the question of why Dan Welch?
If having an Omaha candidate is a necessity to try and reclaim CD 2 why not Osborn or even Dave Nabity, who also ran for Omaha Mayor with Welch but also has attended a Central Committee meeting? What is so special about Dan Welch?
The only thing this Lincolnite can come up with is “control.”. Is this a attempt to get someone who Governor Ricketts and the M&Ms (Moenning & Miltenberger) can control? Slone and Osborn obviously have plenty of their own ideas. Lautenbaugh and Nabity have been around long enough to be willing to take a stand when they feel strongly. Party faithful like Evnen and Orr, who supported Governor Ricketts tooth and nail from the beginning, also have strong personal compasses, and takes on what’s best for the party. They are well versed in party politics and have many relationships built over decades of involvement, not to mention a close personal relationship with a certain former Governor.
The only reason I can come up with for Dan Welch, is that he is a person who has no real institutional knowledge and who would lean almost exclusively on the Governor and his kitchen cabinet for marching orders.
As near as I can tell, that is the greatest case for the Nebraska Republican Chairmanship to go to Dan Welch