Taking It Back, One Precinct At A Time
I just love Coldwarrior’s AP News spoof of what the future could be:
Republican Party and Democrat Party leaders, and incumbent U.S. House and Senate incumbents, as well as state legislators and governors, have expressed serious concern regarding the surge in attendance by grass roots “tea partiers” and “9.12-er’s” and other members of grass roots conservative organizations at their respective local Republican Party committee meetings. “It seems our worst fears have become realized,” said one long-time incumbent Republican U.S. House member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “It looks like these wing nuts have figured out what we’ve been neglecting to say to them: that the people can take over the Republican Party if they just spend a little bit of time and effort, united, participating in party politics.”
And this is a real story outlining the fear of the Tea Party within the Republican Party in the present:
“They can exist as long as activists control the Republican party nominating process,” says Larry Sabato, professor of politics at the University of Virginia. “Under our system many districts are controlled by one party. All you need to do is elect your candidate in the nominating primary and you’ve got the seat.”
In the past, we have had far too many empty precincts within the GOP across the country.
But that can change….
At 3pm on August 5th, I picked up my new precinct maps (which also double as County Board maps via districts consisting of various precincts). I called a week after our County Board voted on the remap of the county to request they print up maps for me – at little cost to me. It took some time for the County Clerk to fulfill my request as our county hadn’t redistricted in 20 years. Yes, they got away with it 10 years ago because nobody objected to the maps unredistricted 10 years ago. As a result, the county was left with some precincts having 1300 voters and others with just 358 voters.
Why would I need the maps? Did the County Clerk and the County Board draw something wrong? Was there politics at play with the county redistricting? Keep reading…
With the census, there has been a certain fixation on the redrawing of state and federal election districts and rightfully so. The Democratic Party in Illinois redrew the lines to reverse the 2010 elections while in Texas, the GOP redrew districts to marginalize the Democratic Party. But almost no focus has been present on the redrawing of County Board and Precinct Committeeman districts.
I know. Local politics is soooooo boring. Sure, local politics doesn’t have the pizazz of someone tweeting their junk or the gravity of raising a debt ceiling, but both County Board and Precincts are vitally important for two different reasons but yet the same two reasons – getting conservatives elected.
Many County Boards are a partisan affair. Republican and Democrat. If your County Board is like ours, there are times when I can’t tell where a Republican starts and a Democrat ends. With the census, your county board districts should have been redrawn. If they weren’t, file an objection or your county’s precincts will look like my county’s has the last 10 years. The County Board is an often overlooked governmental body that has the power to tax your property amongst other powers depending on your state. You should be recruiting County Board candidates to challenge those who do not practice conservative values at the local government level. For whatever reason, political party and ideological allegiances tend to diminish the further down the government scale you go. Conservatives in positions of local government power are vitally important to you as tax payers and many times, those same local government positions are spring boards into higher office – so you are not only recruiting conservative office holders now, but also for the future!
Back to my 37 freshly minted precinct maps. As you well know, taking back the party (either one) is one of the most important jobs we have going into the next election and the precinct committeeman position is the easiest way to taking back our party.
With my 37 precinct maps, I plan on taking my old Voter Vault lists consisting of GOP primary voters addresses and superimposing the addresses relative to the new precincts to find out where my GOP primary voters are in the new districts. In some precincts, we – our Tea Party – have already recruited prospective precinct committeemen. In other precincts, we must find people to run for precinct committeemen, which our Voter Vault list will also help us locate. See how being involved in the party can work for you??
The fear that our respected politicos and elected officials have will become reality, but it won’t happen unless YOU do it. In some precincts, we will have challengers to long time local GOP people who have connections with the party seemingly going back to the beginning of time. In others, we will have challengers to friends. Because of the redistricting of precincts, I myself may have to run against a friend to maintain claim to my elected precinct committeeman status. It won’t be pretty, but it is necessary.
But don’t recruit just any conservative as a warm body to hold a position with the party. It goes deeper than that. We have too many of those type of conservatives and regular precinct committeemen now who get elected (or appointed) and do nothing more than show up to a monthly meeting to say they “did something” like some the local GOP meetings are some kind of “Democrat-haters Club” where they tell anti-Obama jokes, then go home.
We need to recruit those that are willing, – no, anxious – to walk precincts on behalf of candidates. We need people who will man phone banks. We need people who will walk in parades, man county fair booths, volunteer to help fundraise for the local party, and just be there when the party needs someone to help.
Recruit local candidates for local government. Recruit conservatives who will work as precinct committeemen. There are Tea Parties in your county or city who are willing to help you recruit people and put their own people up to take over the local parties. Once you have elected conservative precinct committeemen, they then can vote who the Chairman of the county party will be. Is your county chairman a yes-man or yes-woman for the party establishment? You can help sever those ties. When the establishment’s minions are gone, who is left for them to listen to? You.