Thursday, June 10, 2010

My County Central Committee Experience

I was recently elected to the Central Committee of my county's Republican Party for the first time. And I just attended my first county committee meeting two nights ago.

The meeting was held in the “Hall of Mirrors”, a large room in a fancy downtown hotel. Everyone except the Tea Party types was dressed up in their suits and ties. Every GOP precinct committeeman in the county was invited and a lot of big wig politicians also attended. There are about 800 precincts in my county, most of which were filled this year, and it seemed like most of those elected attended the meeting, a big crowd.

I brought petitions for the Healthcare Freedom Amendment, the Estate Tax Repeal, and the Ohio Sovereignty Amendment, but did not make much of an effort to get any signatures, since a lot of other people were already doing it. I sat with four other members of our neighborhood 912 group.

When the meeting started, they hurriedly read through the necessary legal jargon to make it official. Then they elected the officers. It was all choreographed. The chairman would recognize someone to make a motion and then they moved to nominate the candidate. “If there is no discussion”, he said, “We’ll now vote on [so and so]”. No one raised any objections or nominated anyone else. A couple of times they made motions to nominate a whole slew of candidates to certain special positions. Each time, about ¾ of the people stood up (voting yes) and no one that I could see voted no. I didn’t even know most of the people they listed off. Why did they all just rubberstamp these guys?

Then they started patting themselves on the back. They threw in some words of apology for their recent shenanigans and pleaded with us to support their corrupt candidates because of the impending census redistricting. (The auditor, secretary of state, and the Governor make up three of the five members of the apportionment Board in Ohio.) Enough to make you sick!

Afterwards, they served brie and fancy roasted vegetable slices and lots of alcoholic drinks. Some of the big wig politicians were drinking like a fish!

Next time, we need to come up with a plan to organize an opposing slate of officers. But have to know what were doing, convince the liberty groups and social conservatives that these guys don’t really stand for what we believe in, and we have to overcome the intimidation factor.

4 comments:

gregjaye said...

Matt -

Thanks for the insight into the working of the GOP at the precinct level. I attended a few GOP meet the candidate events in more rural Sandusky County, where Sam was running for office, and I did see a bit of what you described, but there was more of a conservative tone than what you expressed in your meeting ...

Was your position contested? I understand a lot of precincts go unrepresented ... Do you know if rural areas are divided into precincts? Or is that just in cities?

Matt said...

I did have an opponent, but he was just a 22 year old kid. I won 95-67 in a precinct of about 900 registered voters. I do live in a rural portion of my county. I think that the entire United States is divided up into precincts, but the name may be different in some areas. (I am not sure what a ward is.) The precincts are the same as voting precincts, i.e. if a voter can vote in the exact same voting booth that you do (without taking a provisional ballot), then that voter is in your precinct. I live in a township which is divided into about 10 precincts.

gregjaye said...

Matt -

Congratulations for pursuing and taking on that challenge!

Thanks for the info - I will check out further who the person is in my precinct, if any.

I am originally from Cleveland and at one time it was divided into 32 wards or sections. Now it has about 18 or so. Those were relative large areas ... I would guess each ward had several precincts ...

Matt said...

If your precinct is empty, you can contact your county chairman and ask if you can be appointed to the seat.