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Tales of the McCabe: Mass. GOP Hopeful Rick Green Spotted at RGA Offices in Washington

Massachusetts businessman and former Republican congressional candidate was seen visiting the offices of the Republican Governors Association Tuesday, a signal that the MAGA conservatives are not giving up the fight to align the commonwealth’s GOP with the rest of the party.

Rick Green, the owner of 1A Auto, told RedState he has not decided whether or not to run for governor in 2026. 

“It was really just a relationship-building, get-to-know-you meeting,” the Pepperell native said.

Green said he wants to be more active with national Republicans so that the state and national parties can better understand each other.

In addition to his run for Congress, the businessman has run for state party chairman and founded the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance. In 2022, Green funded the ballot referendum to repeal driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.

If Green does not run for governor in the 2026 cycle, he could challenge Democratic Sen. Edward J. Markey.

Green said crime and immigration are now roiling Massachusetts, like in other parts of the country.

“Look, you have the story out of Rockland,” he said. Police charged Cory B. Alvarez, 26, a Haitian “newcomer,” with raping a 15-year-old girl in that South Shore town, where they were both housed in a migrant shelter.

My RedState colleague Mike Miller coverage this tragedy in his piece: “REPORT: Haitian Arrested for Raping 15-Year-Old Disabled Girl Flew to NYC Via Biden ‘Humanitarian Parole.'”

“We have to draw the line at our children. We have to protect our children,” he said. We have to know who these people are who are coming into our country, our state, and these programs.”

The son of an Air Force pilot said things are going the wrong way.

“We can’t have a blank check for the prisons of the Third World,” he said.

“I think in Massachusetts, the critical issue right now is we need to make our communities fair and secure,” he said. “These things don’t happen when you have politicians who care about the people and protect our citizens, protect our children.”

“We can’t have people who are coming to our country illegally giving them paying for their housing free, housing free meals, free room and board, and displacing lower income folks, lower-income families in the inner cities, longtime Massachusetts residents,” he continued. “Folks who’ve paid into the system, folks who’ve played by the rules, and they’re getting the shaft.”

Green said in Massachusetts the priorities are all out of order. 

“We need to be giving preference to veterans in housing,” he explained.

Mass. MAGA conservatives challenging Kaufman’s dominance

A member of the party’s state committee told RedState that a goal of MAGA conservatives is to dislodge National State Committeeman Ronald Kaufman. Kaufman is a legendary figure in the Massachusetts Republican Party, who worked as the White House political director for President George H.W. Bush, a job he got partly because he worked for the 1988 Bush campaign and helped craft the attacks on his Democratic rival, Massachusetts Gov. Michael S. Dukakis.

Kaufman, an ally of former Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, developed the attacks on Dukakis’ botched Boston Harbor cleanup, his program that led to the release of Willie Horton from prison, and engineered the endorsement of Bush by the Boston police union. 

The committeeman said Kaufman, who was a senior advisor to W. Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, has used his position as the senior national Republican to undermine MAGA conservatives in Washington so that they are not included in discussions or planning. 

One of the reasons Green went to Washington to meet with the RGA and other committees and leaders was to end run Kaufman and his blockade. 

The committeeman said MAGA conservatives hope Green is serious about running for governor because they believe he can build out the party’s infrastructure and reverse the party’s obsession with the governor’s office to the detriment of all other statewide and local offices.

Bay State GOP won, lost with ‘Vote the Man’

The Massachusetts Republican Party has been in decline for at least three generations, and one of the reasons was the campaigns of Republican Gov. John A. Volpe, who held the statehouse’s corner office for six years, 1961-1963 and 1965-1969. 

Volpe, an active Italian-American Catholic, acknowledged the bond between Catholics and the Bay State’s Democratic Party, which strengthened with the rise of John F. Kennedy to the White House, so he told voters: “Vote the Man, Not the Party.”

This pitch worked for Volpe, and five Republicans elected governor after him, so that from 1961 to 2023, Massachusetts governor for 36 out of 62 years, including Romney, who served as governor from 2003 to 2007.

The success of vote-the-man campaigning also meant that as the GOP held its own in the gubernatorial contests, it has been virtually boxed out of all other statewide offices and has not controlled a chamber in the General Court since 1959.

Just in recent history, Republican Gov. Charles D. Baker came into office in 2015 with 35 GOP state representatives out of 160 seats and six state senators out of 40 seats. When Baker left office in 2023, Republicans held only 24 House seats and three Senate seats.

In the construction business, this is called “demolition by neglect.”

Baker publicly supported both of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump and was committed to the Volpe campaign model that when the RGA gave him more than $6 million for his 2018 campaign, Baker cut the “I’m For Charlie” TV commercials featuring Democrats endorsing him. 

In the ad, advertising magnate Jack Connors said: “My fellow Democrats, don’t worry about party affiliation. Worry about quality. Worry about leadership.”

These ads may have helped Baker, but they also drove Democratic turnout, Democrats who showed up to vote for Baker, and then against every other Republican.

Baker declined to seek a third term in the 2022 cycle, and now he is the president of the NCAA.

Once again, a Republican governor moved on and left the party worse than he had found it.

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