Thursday, April 12, 2012

My County Central Committee Experience, part 2

This is a sequel to a post I wrote two years ago about precinct committeemen. Last week we had our biennial meeting of my county Republican's Central Committee. This was the second such meeting that I have attended since being elected to the committee in 2010.  The precinct committeemen are supposed to be able to vote on who the chairman of the county party will be for the next two years as well as many other important offices.  Like the last time, they had it at some fancy downtown hotel, there was only one slate of candidates for all of the offices and the whole thing was orchestrated to keep the establishment in power.

But unlike last time, one committeeman at least spoke up against the some of the corruption that goes on in the party at the county level.  (No, it was not me.)  A representative from a rural precinct, after having voted "no" on some of the candidates including the chairman, was able to get a word in about how his ward chair was not properly elected and had been making decisions on behalf of his ward without informing the other precinct committeemen in the ward (as is proper).  The man went on to complain that the questionably elected ward chair, after having lost an election in the Republican primary (to a more conservative candidate) for a local public office, campaigned for a less conservative non-Republican instead of handing out the GOP "pink sheets" at the polls in the general election.  (The pink sheets have all of the Republican endorsed candidates listed on them.)  This may well have cost that conservative candidate the election.  He went on to say that he had to go all the way downtown himself to get the pink sheets and faithfully handed them out at the polls.

I have had similar experiences, which I cannot elaborate on because I don't know all of the facts.  But suffice it to say that my ward chair has not been diligent in his duties either. They try to keep us lowly precinct executives in the dark as much as possible so that they can hold on to their power.

But all of the motions he made concerning this issue were denied despite the fact that he had complained about this for months.  They dismissed his complaints on the basis that he did not follow proper procedures.  The parliamentarian explained to us that a motion to change the rules must be formally filed previous to the meeting and that basically the chairman has the sole authority to enforce the rules.  He also said that there would probably never be enough members present in order to even have a vote on such a motion.  It seems to me that you can't win without running someone against the chairman, and even if you did, he might use his power to stop any challengers.  Its a tough way to go if you want to root out this corruption.  Our chairman clearly has no intention of disciplining any of the corrupt ward chairs (or those claiming to be ward chairs who really aren't).  The system is set up so that he and the executive committee have all the power.  After two years, I still have never had an opportunity to vote on something that where the was actually choice.

There were other motions made concerning the committee's support for certain other issues which would involve acts of congress and/or the state legislature.  But I think that this was not the time for these issues to be discussed because we need to clean up our own backyard first.  Who are we to tell congress what to do when we have all of this corruption in the midst of our ranks?  But the fact that some non-establishment committeemen are at least speaking up at these meetings is somewhat heartening.

I talked with the man who spoke out and he gave me a copy of the constitution of the county Central Committee.  After having read part of it, I am considering resigning my seat because it says something about a requirement that committeemen vote for and support candidates endorsed by the committee.  Depending on exactly how it is worded, I may resign because I certainly cannot support many of the candidates which they have endorsed or will endorse in the upcoming election.  I will never vote for or support candidates who vote for certain things, most especially taxpayer funded abortions.  I don't care how much worse their opponents are or what their party affiliation is.  I will not remain in the committee if I am not in compliance with the rules even though no one would likely ever find out.  Unlike them, I believe in following rules.

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