Grassroots Radio Colorado, Steve House, June 3, 2015

Station:   KLZ, 560 AM

Show:      Grassroots Radio Colorado

Guests:    House


Date:       June 3, 2015


Click Here for Audio



[having compared Ken with Cher, and Ghandi, and Churchill] We have Steve on the phone.  Steve, welcome to Grassroots Radio.


So, let me get this straight.  We’ve got—

GUEST CO-HOST KEN CLARK:  Don’t start with me, Steve!

HOUSE:  The President of the United States is the closest thing to a Jewish President, Ken Clark is Ghandi

COOK: It’s an upside-down kind of world, Steve!


COOK:  We want to talk to you about the RNC’s “Victory 2015 Plan” which I had seen started seeing circulated after the spring meeting, and the more I’ve gotten to look at this, the more disturbed I am, Steve.  This is a – it’s a plan that lays out how the RNC is planning to implement in the state of Colorado.  Is that a fairly accurate description of what we’re looking at?

HOUSE:  Well, I mean, yeah, I’m sure there’s some aspect of it that is implementation related, but it isn’t that the RNC is implementing something separate from us.  I mean, we sat through the meetings, went through the maps, talked about the strategies.  We did it in Phoenix.  We’ve done it in Denver.  So, nothing about what that whole structure is is something that I’m surprised by, or that I don’t have belief in.  I absolutely do, because we’re a big part of that.  Now, some of the mechanics of rolling it out or implementing it has met a few bumps because this is the first time we’ve actually done it this way.  And I think, you know, some people are interpreting those bumps as a lack of respect.  I get that. I understand where they’re at, but I don’t subscribe to the theory this is not going to be good when we’re done with it, and it’s not going to be a joint strategy, because that’s what it is.

COOK:  […] It’s already being put into place right now.  It’s not something that has been proposed.  It’s actually happening.

HOUSE:  It’s actually not, if you think about it.  I mean, I’m a person who believes in actual impact.  So, for this to be put in place, a field director would have had to been hired, and/or there would have had to be the beginnings of training that goes with this implementation.  It is simply being shown to counties in one-on-one meetings today.  But until we get the data stuff sorted out, which we’re not done with—we’ve got a big meeting a week from Friday—um, and until we get the first interviews done with field directors, nothing has actually been implemented.  It’s just being talked about.

CLARK:  Steve, I’ve got to take exception to what you just said, simply because I’ve got a meeting with a national Party member who is hired in the state of Colorado.  I’ve got a meeting with this guy on Friday.  So, the national Party does have people in place that are on the payroll in Colorado right now.

HOUSE:  Who is that? Who is that you’re meeting with?

CLARK:  Jordan!

HOUSE:  Oh, yeah!  But he’s a carry over from last year. So, [inaudible]

CLARK:  Well, my point being, we have members of the Colorado National Party on the payroll in Colorado right now.  They’re hiring them in Pueblo. I’m seeing on Facebook that they’re actively hiring people, asking for resumes, they’re starting to do interviews.  That, to me, is not ‘going to be implemented’, that is happening now.  Steve?

HOUSE:  Well, yeah, you have to put it in context though, Ken.  I hear what you’re saying.  Let’s talk about the people that are in place.  There are six people on the team that I work with.  All six – all right, five of the six, actually, were here during the last election cycle.  They’re not new. They haven’t been hired.  They weren’t interviewed, because they were here in the last cycle.  The one person that’s been added to that team is a guy named Jose, who’s actually in Pueblo.  And I actually interviewed him. It was the very first week that I became Chariman.  And he’s part of the minority outreach group, and he’s been great.  Now, you’re probably meeting with Jordan to go over this same plan that you’ve seen on Facebook because they want to explain it to all county officers and understand.  And I’ve asked them to make sure of two things.  One is, that they include in the discussion how the role of the state and county Party play in the whole strategy, because we’re a major part of it.  And the second thing is, if anybody has any issues or questions about it, that they call me, because I helped in this PowerPoint process. I’ve been a part of it.  And I said to them, “Guys, there’s just not enough state party representation or county party [representation] on the PowerPoint, and they’re trying to narrow it down to just help people understand how the field directors, the nine people that are going to be around the field directors, and the volunteers knit together.  It doesn’t explain well, and we’ve got to tune it up. But that’s really where the problem is. Nobody else has been hired.

COOK:  It doesn’t explain well, Steve, because there is no place for the county Parties or the state Party anywhere in the organizational chart that they lay out in the Victory 2015 PowerPoint […] You’ve got field directors who report to state directors who report to national. And at no point, whatsoever, within this org chart is there any direct reporting to the county Party, is there any direct coordination, is there even a dotted line to the County or the state Parties.

HOUSE:  Yes, so — .

COOK:  The state Parties are not part of this PowerPoint. They spent how long putting this thing together, putting this strategy together—which by the way, is basically a duplication of the Obama campaign, 2008 – ‘Snowflake’ strategy.  It’s pretty much the same thing.  It took us seven years to actually quote-unquote develop it.  But at no point in this PowerPoint is there any reference to how there is going to be reporting to the county Parties or to the state Party. […].  How does that work?

HOUSE: Well, yeah. I mean, we literally as a group sit down already and look at a particular house district or senate district or county.  And there are a number of counties coming up where the meeting between the county officers and the field – or the state director for the RNC, which in this case is Ian, where I will actually be in attendance as well, to be able to lay it out.  We’ve had some separate meetings.  We’ve met with Jeffco.  I went down to El Paso today.  […]  We need to tighten up the PowerPoint. I don’t particularly care for it, either.  But it’s not an intention to weed out or remove the county Party’s responsibility, or the state Party.  It’s absolutely not that at all.  It’s just poorly done, as far as I’m concerned, on the PowerPoint.

CLARK: […]  [Ken recounts a late bill in the 2015 legislative session, to redesign the caucus system and replace it with a primary.  It was defeated. The PowerPoint looks like they’re setting up their own organization – a shadow Party which mimics our own, not go through our structure, and simply set up their own,  so that they can overwhelm and drive the caucus process.]

COOK:  What do you think about that, Steve?

HOUSE:  I think it’s absolutely not going to happen that way.  […] If you think about what happened in ‘14, in ’14 there were 31 field offices created in the state […] called Victory Offices, etc.  This time, the decision was made that it was actually more important to have people than offices.  So, we may see two, three, four offices in the state. But it’s mostly about the field organization to get out the vote.  And, you know, Chariman Priebus and I, and we’ve had conversations along with Matt Pinnel who is the Chair of Chairs, along with Peter Grace who is the APD for our area from RNC, you know, the strategy is, look, you have to execute on the ground so much better than we have in the past to win in a Presidential year.  So the strategy in a presidential year is different than it is in the midterm year.  And it really involves all these people because the belief is if we don’t enable minority voters, if we don’t get out the vote at a much higher rate, we’re not going to get there.  And offices are not going to do that.  So, I think it’s coincidence on the primary, Ken.  I’ve talked to these guys five times, six times, in the last two days about strategy.  I’ve asked the hard questions all along. I don’t believe we’re going to see –.  I wouldn’t let it happen!  I mean, I really wouldn’t.  I mean, we – there’s no reason in the world, and there’s no way the RNC really can run their strategy without involving county Parties in what’s going on, because there’s not enough with 43 or 45 people on the ground to do that.  They have to integrate into our volunteer structure and our counties, or there won’t be enough people.

COOK: […]  It’s not the people who were elected to fill those positions by the people who live in those districts, who are part of the party structure.

HOUSE:  They’ll be standing alongside them, Kris.

COOK: They’ll be standing alongside them, but there’s no –.

HOUSE:  I guarantee it.  They’ll be working with them.

COOK: There’s no dotted lines! [chuckling in frustration]

HOUSE: I know that, and that’s why the PowerPoint is being fixed.

COOK: […] It’s more than dotted lines, and it’s more than the PowerPoint, though, Steve! It’s a fact of where the money is flowing and who is in charge, and who reports to whom.

CLARK:  [states opinion that “supporting counties” for the RNC means hiring their own people in that county.]

HOUSE:  [In 2014, there were more than 700 people on the CO GOP payroll. And it was transferred money from the RNC to then pay paid walkers, the staff, the field directors, the people that were out there.  So it all flows through the Colorado GOP

But I would be screaming loudly if I saw anything in their actions, or our strategy sessions, or conversation, that they’re going to go to Adams County and cut out Anil Mathai.  They’re not going to do that.  I’m going with them to Adams County […].

[…] But we also have to hire people who are smart enough and capable enough to execute a strategy that gets us to victory without Jeff [El Paso County GOP staffer] having to hold their hand.  The most important part is we’ve committed to the fact that all of these employees that are hired are going to be interviewed by the county leadership, as well.  That is absolutely going to happen.  And myself

COOK:  Yeah, we’ve got some conflicting reports about that, but let me ask you this, Steve.  [Calls out House on his statements while running for State Chair about empowering the county parties, and minority and millennial outreach, and plans to implement on these levels.]  why are we now […] adopting whatever it is that the RNC wants to shove down our throats?  Why are we taking – having these discussions with all these — whoever it was […]?  Why are we taking that strategy?  Why are we not using the ideas that you ran on?

HOUSE:  We are. We are.

COOK:  [laughs incredulously, suspicious]


CLARK  [@20:45]:  When the national Party comes into a state, they’re not doing it because they care about the state House or the state Senate.  They’re not coming in here because they want to get control over the Colorado state House of Representatives.  The down ticket races are always sacrificed.  In 2014 it was really bad.  I mean, how long did Ryan Call run around, going, “We won! We won! We won!”  When all we did was put Cory Gardner in and take out Mark Udall.  […] My worry, my fear – and I share this with a lot of other folks that I talk to every single day–  Their fear is, these people from the RNC […] are being brought into Colorado because of Jeb Jeb Jeb Jeb Jeb.  Maybe they’ll concentrate on the Senate, maybe they won’t.  […]  that is one of the problems with the national Party having such a major influence inside a state.

COOK:  [says there’s no “why”—it’s an empty shell waiting to be filled by the national Party.  And that is the problem I have with this.

[…]  We’ve been beating you up pretty good.  But, this is a very worrisome thing to us.  Because this is how the RNC comes in, takes over.  This is how they push their establishment candidates down our throats.  They pay people.  They bypass the county Parties. They duplicate efforts, or worse – take over efforts. And completely ignore the down ticket races.