Saturday morning, January 12, 2013, the elected Republican precinct committeemen in Maricopa County, Arizona met to elect their officers, vote on proposed resolutions, and vote on proposed bylaws changes.
Maricopa County ("MC") has 686,156 registered Republican voters. But only 0.32% of them had any say in who represented them inside the county Party committee. 0.32%.
By statute, the MC Republican Party is allotted 6,364 precinct committeeman slots. Each precinct has one precinct committeeman slot and then one more for each additional 125 registered Republican voters or majority portion thereof. MC has 724 precincts. 289 of them have not even one Republican precinct committeeman. So, 40% of the precincts in MC have zero Republican precinct committeemen.
Those precinct committeeman slots are filled by those registered Republicans willing to run for the office of precinct committeeman in their precinct. No more than ten signatures on a nomination petition, from registered Republicans or independents in their precinct, is needed for a candidate for precinct committeeman to get onto the ballot. And the Party will give you a walking sheet of your precinct to make it every easy to get your signatures -- the walking sheet will tell you which residences in your precinct have registered Republican or independent voters. Took me about 45 minutes to get my 10 signatures.
3,326 registered Republicans were elected to the office of precinct committeeman in the August, 2012 primary election. That's 52.2% of the allotted slots and only 0.48% of all registered Republican voters in the county. O.48%.
2,216 of the 3,326 elected precinct committeemen showed up, in person or by proxy, to vote on Saturday. Just 66.6% of the elected precinct committeeman made sure they could vote. If they couldn't make it in person, they could have given their proxy to any other Republican in their precinct willing to attend the meeting. A whopping four or five hour sacrifice.
And those 2,216 who showed up, in person or by proxy, were just 0.32% of all registered Republicans in the county. In other words, less than one-third of one percent of all registered Republicans in MC decided who would be the officers on the MC Republican county committee.
How important was it to be so involved? Isn't it obvious? Well, there were two slates of candidates running for the officer positions. One slate consisted of five Republicans who have pledged to support all of the planks of the Party Platform. The other slate consisted of Republicans who would not so pledge -- they don't particularly like the "no amnesty for illegal aliens" and the "public employee unions should not be allowed to strike, etc." planks of our Party Platform.
So, what happened?
You can read about it here:
Is it important for the individual conservative Republican to get involved in party politics as a precinct committeeman? Is it important for conservatives to unite and organize where they live in the obvious political organization that allows them to defeat Democrats at the polls? Here are some numbers that probably are analogous to most counties in the country.
Maricopa County, Arizona ("MC"):
Registered Republicans: 686,156
Number of allotted precinct committeeman slots: 6,364
Number of filled precinct committeeman slots: 3,326
Number of PCs who showed up to vote for the county committee officers: 2,216
Percentage of registered Republicans who determined who would represent them inside the Party: 0.32%.
Are you a "voting member" of the Republican Party where you live?
By the way, despite living in Maricopa County, John McCain didn't attend. Neither did Jon Kyl or Jeff Flake. But Congressmen David Schweikert and Matt Salmon attended. And, after the vote, it turned out that the "Party Platform" slate won, and quite handily. Besides being heavily outspent by the not-quite-fully-in-support-of-the-Party-Platform slate of candidates.
Here's what Matt Salmon had to say, in part (I was unable to film the first part of his remarks):
Here's what the crowd looked like while they were voting:
Are you a "voting member" of the Party where you live?