Archive for the ‘Political Standard’ Category

Political Personalities and Male Stereotypes

Posted by Terri McCormick On January - 8 - 2014

NapoleonThere are several theories and stereotypes of men in politics, just as there are with their women counterparts. Consider the following:

THE NAPOLEON COMPLEX

One could argue that the Napoleon complex, an insecurity born out of being “vertically challenged,” is a relevant political archetype that affects men—and perhaps some women—who serve in government. Napoleon, who was reported to have been five foot seven, was of average height in France in his day, but he was short when compared to his bodyguards, who towered over him.

The current research (2008) conducted in the Netherlands reveals that there is a correlation between short-statured individuals and the need to control and dominate others with aggressive behaviors. The Napoleon complex, or “short-man syndrome” as it is also called, reveals a historical archetype for leaders throughout history that includes Napoleon, Mussolini and Attila the Hun, all of whom are reported to have been shorter than average height.

LESSONS FROM MACHIAVELLI

Machiavelli (1496–1527), rightfully or wrongfully, has been given the dubious honor of being called the founder of modern political and social thought. Up until Machiavelli there was no double meaning in terms like virtue, social goodness and the heavens. Machiavelli is attributed with inventing the concept of propaganda, stating that power needs but two tools: the pen and the sword. As propaganda goes, Machiavelli invented the term hypocrisy as well. He believed that fear and control of others was always justified to hold onto power. Power at any cost was virtuous. Machiavelli abolished moral standards—he didn’t believe in them, nor did he believe in the moral essence of leadership. He did not believe in looking to the heavens for guidance; rather, he believed in what he could control—the greed and selfishness of man.

BEYOND THE STEREOTYPES AND ARCHETYPES OF GENDER

The notion of women as leaders has long been misrepresented by the use of stereotypes and classic gender-based archetypes. Incompetence, emotionalism, instability and vindictiveness are genderless personality traits that have no place in any professional office, let alone a seat in government. I will admit that my patience was tested by individuals who were more focused on self-service than public service, each and every day when I walked into my legislative office.

It was not my intention to go into politics as a “woman”; I simply ran for politics to make a difference and get things done. I did what I always did—worked harder and (hopefully) smarter than those legislators who couldn’t see their way to the solutions needed. For this reason, I was considered a problem. Surrounding myself with journalists and other talented and capable staff became not only a good idea but a savvy one. In addition to a professional staff from outside politics, we drew on key private-sector policy advisors, who became a part of my team and who focused on solving problems through key policies ,which soon became national models. Among the major reforms recognized nationally by the Small Business Administration in Washington was the small-business regulation reform, competitive prescription drug purchasing pools and the capital investment corporation model, which created transparency in government tax credits.

We simply wanted to work on policy that would help the people I represented. Some would call that leadership; others would call that something else. If I broke stereotypes, personally and professionally, that was not my intent. The fact was, I was an elected official who simply happened to be a woman. My advice to all women is to not take on other people’s labels. The femme fatale who is always breaking a nail and crying out for help; the woman who takes an office poll before every decision; the woman who wears inappropriate clothing into a business meeting and is not prepared to conduct the business of the organization—all these are stereotypes of women who aren’t ready for leadership or public office. The greater challenge for many women serving in politics is this: we must learn to trust our own core values, as well as our own personal sense of purpose.

GENDER BLOCKING IN 2006? YOU DECIDE!

Admittedly, political blocking has been and is currently a part of the landscape. Competition knows no gender or ethnicity, but a series of campaigns and a pattern of White House interference with federal campaigns seem to have focused on women. I was one, as were two others, which begs the question, what sex is a Republican? As Brian Tumulty of the Gannett Washington bureau reported in August 2006, “Party officials traditionally stay neutral when there is an open seat or multiple challengers seeking the right to run against an incumbent.” But Hastings Wyman, editor of the Southern Political Report, admitted, “McCormick was not alone in the GOP primary snub. What happened to McCormick happened also to Republican candidates in Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Vermont. They were just pulling out the stops to make sure their guy wins.”

On January 11, 2006, in Washington DC’s The Hill, two related stories broke within days of my being blocked by the GOP machine from running for U.S. Congress. Interestingly, these are only two of several stories in which women happened to have been the candidates blocked. The first story broke on Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), the only woman leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her colleagues accused her of “not being aggressive enough in supporting Majority Leader DeLay when his indictments were brought down.” As the conference chairwoman, Rep. Deborah Pryce was in the mix for a chairmanship of the Rules Committee. This was due, in large part, to the reshuffling of GOP leaders as they were ousted or demoted during the Jack Abramoff bribery indictments. GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Tex.) made this statement as his staff and he himself were under investigation at the time: “Pryce did not respond forcefully enough to ethics charges Democrats leveled against me.”

As proof that Rep. Pryce had the ability to win leadership seats, she trounced two Republican men to gain her current leadership position as conference chairwoman. But several lawmakers, including Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), now a candidate for Majority Whip, and her vice chairman, Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), as well as her conference secretary, John Doolittle (R-Calif.), were considering challenging Pryce.

Another interesting example is the Florida primary for U.S. Senate. Rep. Katherine Harris’s 2006 bid for U.S. Senate came about after Harris came on the political scene as the darling of the George W. Bush 2000 chad ballot-counting controversy. Harris had drawn understandable attention from the Democratic base in the state as a political hot potato. She was viewed as capable, yet incapable of ridding herself of the 2000 presidential election baggage, meaning that as Florida’s Secretary of State, she helped George W Bush. Harris became the target of media reports as to her inability to win the Senate race, despite her decided victory two years earlier in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This was puzzling, in that she not only was a member of the House of Representatives as a member of the GOP, but she also had proven that she could win elections. In fact, the polling showed that Harris was the clear front runner in the Republican primary. A different set of “facts” were circulated to the press, however, by her fellow Republicans. Reports indicated that she was funding her own campaign. “So what?” you might say. What’s more, GOP veterans were speaking out anonymously against her supposed “dwindling” supply of campaign cash and alleged staff problems.

The GOP reaction to Harris’s report on using inheritance money for her campaign provided more inner-party sabotage when staffers gave anonymous “expert” advice that they wanted an alternative GOP candidate.10 No such contender surfaced, as polling continued to show that Rep. Harris was the stronger GOP candidate. Perhaps the most flagrant attempt to block Rep. Harris, despite her polling and despite her own money used to fund the race, came at a campaign rally for Florida candidates held by then-governor Jeb Bush and President George W Bush. Not only was Rep. Katherine Harris not recognized as being in the room as a party snub, but she was not allowed to participate as a candidate for U.S. Senate. Gender blocking? Possibly.

The point is this: whether or not it was gender-based, a party snub smacks of election engineering and collusion at the highest levels of GOP leadership. It violates the United States Constitution and our most basic right to vote as American citizens.

To continue reading this book, get your copy of “What Sex is a Republican” in paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon.

About the Author:

Terri McCormick is an author, policy expert, educator, and former state representative to the Wisconsin State Legislature. Today, she offers her expertise in public and government relations through McCormick Dawson CPG Ltd., a trusted consultancy of independent contractors.

Ms. McCormick serves as president and CEO of the company, drawing from more than two decades of professional experience, a strong educational foundation, a host of industry-related publications, and a multitude of accolades, awards and formal recognitions. Holding a Master of Arts in administrative leadership from Marian University, and a Bachelor of Science in political science and public administration from the University of Wisconsin, Ms. McCormick received both degrees with high honors.

“What Sex is a Republican?” is sold on Amazon in both the paperback edition as well as Kindle edition.  Read reviews on Amazon here.

A Comprehensive Review: What Sex Is A Republican?

Posted by Terri McCormick On October - 26 - 2011

What is the truth about politics in the United States? What can you do to make it better? Read this book and find out.

Terri McCormick did what few politicians do. She wrote this a book to tell the truth and offer positive fixes for a broken system. There are many politician-written books on the market. Hers is different. She does not glorify her service, make excuses for mistakes, or promote a one-sided ideology. She gives you the true inside picture of state and federal legislative politics. This book will speak to Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and true independents. Terri shares the unadorned truth with her readers.

Her writing is fair and balanced, but her most significant contribution is that she takes you from ‘ain’t it awful’ to telling you what you can do to fix the system. Terri’s subtitle is an excellent and honest summary of the contents of her book. It is; Stories from the Front Lines in American Politics and How You Can Change the Way Things Are. Terri’s credentials, experience, and track record makes her writing resonate with the truths she spells out.

She went into state and federal elected politics with a pure heart and didn’t sell out. This book is not an investigative reporter’s viewpoint, but is based on her deep immersion in the heart of the American political system. Most clear thinkers recognize our system is suffering from corruption, narcissism, selling out to special interests, ideology-at-all-costs, and loss of integrity that is rampant.

Yet Terri maintained her integrity, honesty, and shares the truth with us in What Sex Is A Republican? This book is a rare, important, and valuable addition to the national conversation about saving the United States—or losing it as we know it.

Here is what she wrote in her introductory Purpose:

“Do not be bamboozled into thinking that there is any difference between the elites in one political party and the elites in the other; they are all a part of the same club.

What Sex is a Republican? takes on the political class and provides
us with the tools to change the way things are. Just when you thought
it was all about elephants and donkeys, in walks the political class. Will
the political class continue to con America? Or won’t they?
It is all up to you!”

This book is different. There are many books about politics and by politicians. Bur, few are as honest and hard-hitting. Fewer yet that offer answers to fixing the problem.
Terri is a Republican, but she takes on all comers…no matter what party. She is not your typical politician; Terri is an American first. She tells you what is wrong with the system, what happens to most politicians when they are immersed in the system, and she tells you why.

Terri tells her story in three parts. In “Part One: A Call to Service for Each of Us,” she tells of the personal events in her life that led her to public service. She shares stories from her life that lead to supporting quality candidates, becoming an informed citizen, and getting involved in public service.

As a state legislator, she learned quickly, became successful, and faced hostility from her own political party leaders. Machiavellian antics lead to tensions between her and the GOP leadership. She saw how out of touch party bosses were with the people they were sent to serve. She confirms what you probably suspect.

To make sense of the political system, she takes readers beyond political party and ideology and reveals a political Ponzi scheme. She exposes the culture of the needy and the greedy in politics for what they are—an eco-system filled with political animals. If you are an insider and are willing to pay, you are allowed to play. She shows how the elite in both political parties act against their own back rows.
Terry moves beyond the stereotypes of ethnicity and gender and defines dysfunctional leadership in a flawed pay-for-play system. She exposes cronyism and political favors that monopolize the legislative agenda of the people’s house. You’ll learn that the only way out of institutional corruption is to start over. She proposes a new “We the People” that calls for new leadership willing put the people’s house right again. Changing political parties only changes the team’s jerseys. Without real change the same institutional games will go on.

In “Part Two: The Art of Political Power Games in a Vertical Silo,” she takes us inside the belly of the political beast. You get a front row seat that few get to see. You learn how seating assignments are used to control behavior by front-row elites. Then she shows how political reform can be done. Did you know the phrase “tipping the front row” was coined to show how to put front-row politicians into the backseat at the will of the people? It’s a powerful tool we can use. Terri used the Veterans Property Tax Bill to create a competitive prescription cost pool to prove her point. The “We the People” tool doesn’t sit in the front row of state and federal legislatures. Their power is used when they walk into the voting booths back home.

Terri shows you what public service for the people versus political self-service look like when you compare them with modern-day politics and medieval Machiavellian fear techniques.
She asks, “What are today’s results and impact of the do-nothing Congress that has prevailed over the last ten years?”

Her answer, “An economy in distress, needing a trillion-dollar bailout; Wall Street greed and corruption fueled by an ineffective Federal Election Commission; and job loss that rivals the Great Depression.”

She teaches you techniques that address the answers and they are just the start of fixing the system. Her answers show citizen leaders and legislators alike what an effective government office should look like.
Terri tells of the dark side of politics with a humorous twist in an unrelenting unveiling of dirty tricks and election engineering schemes. She tells of negative campaign smears to elitist tricks for controlling the vote. You’ll see the tricks of the trade in American politics.

She compares old-style politics to change leaders’ tools for you so you can make a more informed choice in the voting booth. She explains how to become an active citizen leader.
The power and difference in Terri’s book is in “Part Three: Changing the Way Things Are.” She explains how the greatest measure of how a public servant will act in office is shown in how he or she runs a political campaign. She tells you how much money a candidate may need in public office and relates that to the strategies and techniques used to run a political campaign.

As her reader, you get the tools you need to assist in building a framework for supporting a political candidate—or being one. No matter what your political or governmental desires are, she teaches that as an active citizen and educated voter, you can be an essential part of fixing our republican form of government. You can become a critical voice with influence.

Terri gives you public policy outlines that offer voters and candidates with integrity a reliable map to chart your course in public service. She’ll show you successful strategies have proven to be effective.
She makes the case that anyone can serve in public office, if only he or she has a plan and the heart to do so.

This book concludes with the “mask of virtue.” It is Senate Bill 1—and it promises a more effective and ethical government. It has stalled once more with immediate tragic consequences. Terri appeals to her readers, the American voter, and citizen leaders who, collectively, have the power to do so to bring political virtue through active citizenship. She encourages voters, as campaign volunteers and educated consumers of good government, to realize that there is no other option.

Active involvement in the political process is our only path to integrity, principled representation, and honest self-government.

Terri concludes with these admonitions: Integrity in leadership requires that the American public awakes up and gets involved. Deception and corruption occurs in political parties so courageous leaders need courageous individuals to stand with them.

She asks us all to get involved in our local political process and government. The current crowd is made up mostly of those who mastered dirty tricks and retail politics. It is up to all of us to change the way things are.
Terri sums it up with a founding father’s quote:

The Danger that political factions and political interests pose to the American people is so grave that it requires the passage of the United States Constitution to protect them.
—James Madison, The Federalist Papers: No. 10

If you care about the future of the United States of America you will buy this book, learn from Terri, and act on what you learn.

Review by Vern Westgate

Terri McCormick Appears on “The 4th Street Forum” MPTV Show

Posted by Terri McCormick On November - 1 - 2010

“Money Madness vs. Democracy” taped by the Public Broadcast System

DEMOCRACY vs. MONEY MADNESS Big money – mysterious money – fuels expensive election campaigns.

Do you like what you’ve been seeing and hearing? Who is behind the flood of cash and what does it mean for Wisconsin?

With host ENRIQUE FIGUEROA, PhD, Director, Roberto Hernández Center, UW-Milwaukee. And with guests, in order of appearance: MIKE McCABE, Executive Director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign; JULIA AZARI, PhD, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Marquette University; SPENCER COGGS, Wisconsin State Senator; and TERRI McCORMICK, former Wisconsin State Representative.

Watch the video here:  http://www.mptv.org/video/watch/?id=532

Preface: Falling Off the Horse is Not An Option

Posted by Terri McCormick On October - 25 - 2010

state_floor_cap“Why do we fall?… So that we may learn how to pick ourselves up and stand on our own two feet.”  – Jessie Boyle, 1944, Irish American businesswoman

“Power is distancing … Politicians must know two languages and cultures-here and home. However, home soon becomes lost, forgotten by those who reach the seats of power.” Wall Street Journal contributing editor Peggy Noonan writes that the GOP is losing confidence because of what she calls “detachment from the ground.” It is clear to Noonan, a former President Reagan speech writer and confidant, that career politicians soon forget who sent them into office and why they are there.

Noonan points to what is obvious to me: that the theatre of public office, seldom resembles the reality of public office. Despite the talk of decreasing spending, it’s skyrocketed under Republican rule. Promises of smaller government have long been forgotten, just as securing our nation’s borders is a spoken priority, with little action backing it up.

The Democrats offer little more. Democrats are tagged as big spenders-big on ideas, short on delivery. Noonan contends-and I agree-that both parties are missing the boat. Party leadership has led both parties into dark, shadowy places with no light to see by.

The stories of American politics told in this book are based on fact. It is with the painstaking research and support of my former chief of staff, Jared Guzman, that specific dates and testimony have been cited. My home state will surprisingly resemble most states across this nation. The need for leadership and government reform is not a vacuous one. I have used personality types, rather than individuals in most of the stories from the front lines of politics, so that you may recognize the characters as your own.

Direct observations and empirical research was conducted for upwards of six years, so that the facts, actual events and testimony could provide a factual basis for this book. It is my aim to make an appeal to all Americans to become active and engaged in the political process, so that we may change the way things are.

The audience for this book is the American people-citizen, candidate and media alike-who represent the foundational trilogy needed to put our country right. I will take you behind the curtain of elective office into the belly of the best of American politics for one purpose: to give you the tools to recognize the games of the political class. With this knowledge, it is possible to finally peel off the masks of virtuous deception and become better citizens and leaders. To the courageous idealists among us, it is time for a new “we the people” to step forward and change the way things are.

The political gender referred to in What Sex Is a Republican? has no biological or anatomical designation. Rather, it refers to a silent coup-a class warfare unlike any others. We may be familiar with the notion of class warfare between the upper class and the middle/lower class, Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals. I can assure you that there is a class that transcends all of these boundaries in American politics. It is the political class made up of young and old, men and women, who believe they are entitled to their positions and endowed with an elite arrogance of self-service at the expense of the American people.

What Sex Is a Republican? could just as easily be written as What Sex Is a Democrat? Both major political parties have in them a political animus endemic to the political class. So embedded and institutionalized are these political animals that they have built around them political silos (extreme partisanship), paid for by unwitting fat cats fed on the emotional sound bites of well-trained political lackeys. So entrenched is the political class in the pursuit of self-preservation in public office that they would strangle the dreams and hopes of American ingenuity and innovation in its crib.

The political class’ stronghold on my grassroots race for the United States Congress brought the revolution of class warfare to my door and to the doors of my constituents in northeast Wisconsin. It was during my primary race in 2006, within my own political party, that all of us-voters and candidates alike-realized that our free elections were not as free as we had once thought.


Preface:

[i] Noonan, Peggy. 2006. “Baseless Confidence,” Wall Street Journal [www.wsj.com], May 11.

U.S. Senate: “Naughty or Nice” This Season?

Posted by Terri McCormick On December - 23 - 2009

terri

APPLETON, Wis., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following statement was issued today by Terri McCormick:

In the rush to pass the so-called “healthcare reform bill,” U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) stomped his feet and held his breath until he extracted his presents from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. One such gift exempts Nebraska from paying the $45 million increase in Medicaid imbursement costs. Nelson was the 60th Democrat to get his stocking stuffed.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091223/DC30345)

Smart parents know not to give in to spoiled children trying these shenanigans. If we gave kids everything they demanded, our family budget would be as busted as last year’s toy under the couch. You know, the one with batteries that are only made in China.

Each of us will soon pay for the Senate’s extravagant spending. In Senator Nelson’s case, his Nebraska voters will be exempted from the substantial cost increases generated by new Medicare patients mandated by this plan. Wisconsin taxpayers will foot the bill not only for the additional costs for Wisconsinites, but for Nebraskans, too.

Senator Reid is like the parents that give their screaming kids everything they ask for. Here is what the Wall Street Journal reported:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Mr. Nelson didn’t get special treatment. “I worked with every Democratic senator” to make changes to the bill,” Mr. Reid said. “Ben Nelson was just like the rest of them.”

The majority leader added, “If you read the bill … you’ll find a number of states are treated differently from other states. That’s what legislation’s all about: compromise.”

So giving a present to every one of the 60 Senate Democrats is the way that healthcare funding decisions are being handled in Washington. It is not the way that we did true healthcare reform in Wisconsin; at least not when I was in charge.

In 2002, I led the Speaker’s Taskforce for Local Government Healthcare Partnerships. We used a business model to address runaway healthcare costs to state and local government. We held a dozen hearings around the State, listening to the people as they identified the reasons for cost spikes. With the help of private-sector talent, we crafted and passed the Competitive Prescription Drug Purchasing Pool, which saved $25 million for non-represented state employees alone, in the first year. We recommended the use of Internet transparency for healthcare cost bidding, as well as a quality control system of standards where communities can view provider ratings online.

This approach put free market mechanisms in place to ensure a level playing field for health care competition. Contrast this pork-free plan with the U.S. Senate Christmas-tree bill, and you can see that government can, and must, do better.

So I have a simple solution for all sensible voters this Holiday season. Think about the permissive parents you see that give in to their spoiled children. Compare them to the incumbent politicians in your district and state. Vote out every one of them that can’t say no to more spending. In these economic hard times, that is the only way for our family budgets – and our nation — to survive.

We need to stop giving a “Tickle Me Nelson” to every U.S. Senator.

Terri McCormick is the author of the book “What Sex is a Republican?” She was a Wisconsin State Representative from 2001-2007, and Chaired the House Economic Development committee and Chaired the House subcommittee on Healthcare Cost Reform from 2002-2007. She is a Republican candidate in Wisconsin’s 8th Congressional District. www.themccormickstandard.com

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