Republicans Gather to Support Aylward, Build New Mass. GOP

Former School Committee member Steve Aylward is one of many running for Republican State Committee in an effort to change the direction of the party in the Bay State.

The numbers of registered Republicans has dropped to 11 percent, but a group of GOP faithful met at Conley’s Pub Tuesday night to rebuild the party from the ground up.

The gathering marked the kickoff of Watertown’s Steve Aylward’s campaign for State Committeeman from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District. The Republican State Committee has a man and a woman from each state senate district, and it sets the strategy for getting GOP candidates elected to offices from the town boards to statewide offices.

For many at Conley’s the last straw was the 2010 election, when the Massachusetts Republicans spent most of the money to help Charlie Baker’s campaign for governor, while largely ignoring the legislative races and other statewide races.

“The (Republican Committee) consistently abandons us to support one person, like Mitt Romney, Scott Brown and Charlie Baker,” said Aylward, who is the Chairman of the Watertown Republican Town Committee. “I don’t begrudge them, but we need to grow as a party.”

The Mass. GOP spent about $3 million on Baker, recalls Alex Veras, a candidate for State Committeeman from Haverhill, while spending $98,000 on all the other races in the state in 2010.

“We spent $3 million to help Baker, who in no poll ever led (the governor’s race),” Veras said. “Baker had no infrastructure, no local level support. He thought he would pull a Scott Brown.”

Rob Aufiero of Melrose, who is running for State Committeeman, said he believes Mary Z. Connaughton or Karen Polito could have won their 2010 races for Auditor and Treasure, respectively, had the state Republicans thrown more support behind them.

Establishing Grassroots

Jon DiMascio, a member of the Watertown Republican Town Committee, said the Mass. GOP needs to be more like a pro baseball organization with a farm system to build young prospects.

“It’s less of an ideological thing. It is about having grass roots for the party,” DiMascio said. “We need to get people elected to other offices, not just the glamour ones (like governor).”

Aylward is one of 43 newcomers running for state committeeman or committeewoman, this year. He is facing incumbent and fellow Watertown resident Robert Semonian.

The gathering drew candidates from as near as Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge and Newton, and as far as Bristol County, and the North Shore.

Also in attendance were Gerry Dembrwoski, who is running against Ed Markey for the Fourth Congressional District (which includes Watertown) and Bill Hudak, a Republican running in the Sixth Congressional District against incumbent Democrat John Tierney.

Maintaining GOP Values

Hudak said Republicans in the Bay State must stop trying to be like the Democrats and stick to the conservative values of the GOP.

“The (state) Republican party has abandoned a lot of the values of the Republican Party, conservative Republicans,” Hudak said. “I am very proud to stand up and say I am pro-life, pro family. We should teach children the values of hard work, honesty and integrity.”

Watertown remains more Democratic that Republican, which makes it hard to elect a GOP candidate State Representative, or even as a Town Councilor, said Russ Arico, a Watertown Republican. He hopes a grass-roots push statewide will help get more Republicans elected to the State House.

“The State House is all Democrats,” Arico said. “Like anything else, with one party rule things become slanted in one direction.”

The State Committeeman election will be held March 6, during the Massachusetts Presidential Primary.

Along with his race for State Committeeman, Aylward will be running the Scott Brown for Senate group in Watertown.

John DiMascio January 20, 2012 at 06:29 AM
For the record WallSmart, Mr. Aylward has been contributing directly to the campaigns of candidates as have other members of the RTC. When the party provides a real accounting of how it spends the money instead of the Enron type ciphering they've been known to put out, then they can complain about how much funding they get from the rank and file. When they stop billing out phone calls from party officials as in kind contributions to candidates (as they did in 20102), then they can claim some semblance of moral authority to speak on subject.
John DiMascio January 20, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Mr. Wallsmart the primary was in March thus Mr. Aylward was campaigning for him, getting signatures for him, and knocking on doors with him in February. Secondly Sir, you are either clueless or lying. Since you aren't man or woman enough to put your real name to you post, the public has no way of verifying your story. The fact is sir, that campaign itself was advised by others to not to "rock the boat" in Watertown so as not to cause Mr. Lawn's base of friend to get concerned and come out to vote. Both Mr. Aylward, myself, and others argued vehemently against this strategy. So the readers can decide who to believe a spineless critic who hides behind a screen name. Or they can look at the facts see that Dixon and his manager have endorsed Aylward and were in attendance at the fund raiser. And they can believe someone who is doesn't need to hide behind screen name in order to spew baseless venom.
WallSmart January 20, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Mr. DiMascio whom exactly was Mr. Dixon running against in March? Please provide clueless me the names of his Republican opponents in the primary election. Remember John you said "...in the cold, holding signs..." As for the "rock the boat" strategy, I can think of nothing that would "cause Mr. Lawn's base of friend to get concerned" more than to have Mr. Aylward going door to door in Watertown. Remember John, Mr. Aylward was overwhelmingly rejected by his own neighbors when he ran for the Watertown Town Council. As for the readers coming to a conclusion, in my mind their choice is between someone telling the truth anonymously and someone with an agenda who historically puts a spin on the facts to promote themselves. Finally John, what has been the amount of financial support provided by your local organization to support Republican candidates in the Commonwealth and nationally over the past three years? In my conversations with party officials at the state level it has been said that the Watertown Republican organization is "all mouth and no money".
John DiMascio January 20, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Mr. Wallsmart, I owe you no financial accounting. Nor do I have any reason to believe you know anyone in the State Party or Mr. Dixon for that matter. And yes Dixon did hold visibilities March. Just as he had poll workers on primary day holding signs irrespective of not having a primary contestant. It's called getting name recognition. But if you know so many people in the State GOP, perhaps you could ask them to explain their complete lack of support for Mr. Dixon. And while you're at it you might ask the incumbent State Committee man why in he's never once recruited a Republican to run for State Senate. When Mr. Semonian first took office gasoline was 40 cents per gallon and Nixon was in office. In that same time period he's only once found a Republican Candidate to run for State Rep. That was in 2006 in Belmont. That same year he refused to publicly campaign for the Republican candidate. And on election night 2006, he was seen partying at the Deval Patrick victory celebration. And the record shows that I've consistently promoted issues not myself. I put my name to what I write, because I'm not gutless, or perhaps a public employee on the clock. I put out facts and yes I express my opinion, but it the facts are facts and not spin. That's why I've never had a problem putting my name to my posts. As for you sir, I've already wasted enough time. Your lack of intestinal fortitude speaks for it self. The readers can judge for themselves.
WallSmart January 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Poor John, literally and figuratively. You owe no financial accounting because you have contributed nothing the the state Republican Party coffers for years, nor has your candidate . The record is public John so why attempt to spin the truth. As for my acquaintances at the state level ask your colleague "The Velvet Hammer" for verification. She was at the event where the comment was made. She hovered just within earshot with her back to our group most of the evening. We thought that she would choke on her drink when she heard it stated that that "the Watertown Republican organization is all mouth and no money". It was quite humorous actually. Finally John the voters have already judged for themselves. That is why your candidate have been out of office for nearly a decade. By now you both should have come to the realization that your negative campaign tactics are counterproductive, for you and for the Party.


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