When Was The Last Time They Attended Their “the Republican Party” Local Committee Meeting?
Ken Cuccinelli’s loss in the Virginia gubernatorial race brought out a whole lot of criticism, by a whole lot of conservatives, of “the Republican Party.” But with voter turnout in the race at only 47% of active registered voters, there’s no place to look for blame other than the conservative Virginia voters. And the self-proclaimed conservative “political activists” in Virginia who think just blogging makes them a “political activist” and that they are somehow changing the tide of history. The only thing that matters is which candidate gets the most votes. And actually getting those votes cast takes more than blogging.
Bottom line: When you complain about “the Republican Party,” are you complaining about your local Republican Party committee? You know, the Party committee of which you are a voting member? Or your county committee, of which you are a member – or at which you cast a vote for those who represent you on that Republican Party committee? Or your state Party committee, of which you are a member or those members of the committee for which you voted? Are you a Party precinct committeeman where you live?
Oh, you’re not a member of your local Party committee? And if not, would you be willing to become a voting member of your local committee – to change it? Because the only reason “the Republican Party” is not “conservative enough” for some complaining conservatives is because not enough of those same complaining conservatives are “in” the Party – as voting members of it on their own local committee: Precinct committeemen.
According to the VA Elections Board web site, on election day Virginia had 4,794,073 active registered voters. But, with 100% of the precincts reporting, only 2,240,118 of those voters
bothered to go vote. That’s a “whopping” 46.7% turnout. (By contrast, turnout of active voters in Virginia in the 2012 general election was over 80%.)
Lots of money was spent by Cuccinelli and his supporters on ads. Print ads. Radio ads. TV ads. Signs. Email blasts. Robo calls.
How much money, time and effort were spent at the precinct level? You know, that boring stuff like neighbor-to-neighbor Get Out The Vote (GOTV)? Or personal phone calls by one Republican to another? Or personal door knocks? Or personal email or text messages? A better question: How much time and effort of those Republicans supporting Cuccinelli was spent on precinct-level GOTV? In their own precincts? With their fellow precinct committeemen? When conservatives unite and organize in their own precinct, they can achieve remarkable results – in the 2012 general election, in my precinct, my fellow conservative precinct committeemen got almost 87% of the Republicans in our precinct to the polls – and, if conservatives had done this in every precinct in America, Mitt Romney would now be our president, despite his refusal to build an army of conservative Republican precinct committeemen to get out the vote for him in every precinct.
I wonder how many of the complainers who blame “the Republican Party” are even “in” the Republican Party? Or even know what that means? Do you? Don’t feel bad if you do not. It is not exactly like the Republican National Committee has been imploring conservatives to become “voting members” of the Party; that is, precinct committeemen. Have you ever received a mailer from the RNC, or the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or the National Republican Congressional Committee, imploring you to get involved “inside” the Republican Party where you live and explaining that of the approximately 400,000 Republican precinct committeeman slots nationwide over half of them are vacant? Go to GOP.com and search on “precinct” and “precinct committeeman.” You’ll be surprised by what you will not find. The RNC’s dirty little secret is that they really do not want conservatives to become voting members of the Party in droves – because then they might be booted out in the next round of internal Party officer elections.
If you have been complaining about “the Republican Party,” are you “in” it where you live? Because “the Republican Party” starts at the precinct level and at the lowest level Party committees. In some rural areas, the “lowest level” is the county committee. In more densely populated counties, “lower level” committees exist, and may be organized, as in Arizona, based upon state legislative district boundaries.
Do you know the name of your Republican Party local district or county committee chairman? Do you know the names of your precinct’s Republican Party precinct committeemen? Or even if they exist? They may not exist – sadly, it is estimated about 40% of precincts in America have not even a single Republican precinct committeeman. Whose fault is that? If you’re a conservative and you are not a precinct committeeman, go to the nearest mirror for the answer.
Want to change “the Republican Party?” Then you have to get “inside” it – by becoming a precinct committeeman. And act fast, because deadlines for what you need to do may be fast approaching in your state.
How much time was spent by Virginia Republicans in their own precincts on door-to-door, neighbor-to-neighbor GOTV? Not
enough, apparently, to get more than about 47% of Republicans to the polls. If just an additional 10% of Republicans had been “nudged” to the polls by a personal, neighborly phone call, or a personalized flyer from a neighbor, by one of their Republican precinct committeemen, Cuccinelli would be celebrating victory.
I would bet that if you called the Virginia GOP HQ and asked, “How many precinct committeeman slots exist in the Virginia GOP and how many and what percentage of those slots are filled,” you’d get a “Why would we want to know that” response.
If you called the “leaders” of the largest tea party and other conservative groups in Virginia (and inside the Beltway) the same question, I think you’d get the same response.
I hope someone does a county-by-county review of voter turnout percentages in the Cuccinelli race and then gets in contact with the Republican Party county committee chairmen with the highest turnout percentages and asks them why turnout was so great in their respective counties. And drill down even further and do the same with the local district committees and even the individual precincts.
In other words, find out from those who orchestrated Republican voter turnout success stories why they had such success.
You might find that it has something to do with that old maxim, “All politics are local.”
So when we hear someone complain that “the Republican Party” failed Cuccinelli, let’s ask what we mean when we say, “the Republican Party.”
“The Republican Party” begins at the precinct level. In every precinct in America, there’s at least one slot for a Republican Party representative providing a link between the Republicans in that precinct and their political party.
Those precinct committeemen are members of a local Republican Party committee. And some or all of them may be voting members of their county Republican Party committee.
Another way to look at it is from the “top” down. The Rules of the Republican Party set forth how Republicans can become members of the Republican National Committee.
Then one needs to “drill down” to their state committee bylaws, their county committee bylaws, and their local legislative district committee bylaws. To figure out “how it works” where they live. Some state committees and county committees even provide great “how to become a precinct committeeman” guides on their web sites. Here’s an example from my legislative district committee.
Now get to it!
Cold Warrior served as an Army Human Intelligence Officer and now practices law. He has been a Republican Party precinct committeeman since 2007 and this year was a co-winner of the Conservative HQ Liberty Prize. State-specific and other information relating to The Neighborhood Precinct Committeeman Strategy can be found at https://precinctproject.us. He can be reached at email@example.com.