Dee from the Desk: Republican Regroup - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Dee from the Desk: Republican Regroup

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The losing graphics The losing graphics

The Rhode Island GOP is working on rebranding and regrouping after a tumultuous election for a new party chair.

At a meeting on Thursday night the party tried to get back to business introducing several new initiatives and even a new logo.

In March the party came under scrutiny when the number of delegates voting in the election for party chair did not match the number of votes cast. After examining the vote the party declared Mark Smiley chairman over Dan Harrop by just one vote.

Since then the party is trying to move on and make some changes so that they are better equip for the 2014 election.

The changes/improvements include:

Entering the digital age: The GOP has finally decided to update its website and streamline all its different websites into one, easy to use domain. Up until last month the party's site still had Barry Hinckley for Senate event as a top post.

The vision as outlined by the party's new First Vice Chair, Giovanni Calise, also includes integrating all the city and town websites onto the main site. One idea mentioned suggested including a debt clock for every city and town in Rhode Island, to make it easier for candidates who are running for office.

An Internship Program:  A cash strapped party has discovered what every other business already knew about getting free help: Interns. They are great, the want to learn, the usually are pretty capable and best of all they come at no cost. It's a win-win let some conservative young people get their feed wet in the political field and benefit from their energy and ideas.

The party has introduced a new intership and graduate fellowship program reaching out to all the state's unversity. So far they have 6 applicants.

A New Party Logo: The party decided to choose a new logo last night and had an interesting way of doing it. The party set up a board with 8 suggested logos and one "try again." Each image had a corresponding donation bin. The logo that collected the most money would become the new logo. Interestingly the new logo has a stark resemblance to the logo of the "Rhode Island Republican Assembly," the group known as the conservative-wing of the Republican party, although the new logo is a bit jazzier.

New By-Laws, Maybe: At the meeting a copy of amended by-laws was floating around. The bylaws propose cutting the number of delegates at the State Central Committee to help prevent future voting issues and it proposes awarding committees that get people elected to office with more delegate seats. The matter did not make it to the floor says Chairman Mark Smiley because they are currently trying to get reaction from local delegates to the changes. It may appear on a future agenda.

In addition to the new initiatives a new secretary, Sarah De La Cerda, a URI sophomore was elected, interim Executive Director Matthew Fabisch was officially announced, and Smiley rolled out his at large delegates and committee appointments, all were approved.


Dee DeQuattro is the assignment desk manager and digital news coordinator for ABC6. She studied politics and communications and holds a master's degree from Providence College. Follow her on twitter @deedequattro and log on to ABC6 .com for her latest in depth coverage of politics and news.

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