Sunday, November 3, 2013
A Proven Local Method for Conservatives to Take Back the Republican Party
Want to do something about it?
If I provided you with a strategy and plan that only took a couple of hours of your time every month and then three or four hours at primary and general election times, and that guaranteed increased voter turnout for the best conservative candidates, would you at least consider investing that amount of time for that desired outcome? If so, please read on.
Using this strategy, and investing a couple of hours a month, and three or four at the time of the primary and general elections, I’ve been able to, in my precinct, with my conservative cohorts, double Republican turnout in a local mayoral race, as compared to the city-wide average turnout for all voters, and achieve an 86+% Republican voter turnout in the 2012 general election. If conservative Republicans had done what we did in every precinct in America, Mitt Romney would have been handed a landslide victory by conservatives in spite of his campaign’s failure to spend money on a “boots on the ground” Get Out The Vote (GOTV) strategy and plan.
Additionally, using this strategy, we conservatives have completely changed the Republican Party in terms of who has been elected to the Party local district, county, and state committee officer positions. More on that below, but let’s get back to how to win the elections.
So what’s the key for changing the outcome of elections? And, at the same time, transforming the Republican Party into a conservative election-winning powerhouse? The key is YOU. Where you live. With other conservatives.
The key is you and your fellow conservatives attending your local Republican Party committee meeting every month (that takes about two hours a month) where you can learn how to become a voting member of the Party--a precinct committeeman. Then, in the weeks leading up to the primary and general elections, you will be in a position, using the GOP Data Center software provided by the Republican National Committee to the state parties, to target the “low information, low propensity” Republican voters and gently nudge them to the polls with a quick, personal phone call followed up by a literature drop consisting of a filled out sample ballot and literature provided by the Republican candidates.
In the 2012 mayoral race in my city, Tempe, Arizona, using this strategy, my fellow conservative precinct committeemen and I, investing just three to four hours of time, doubled Republican turnout in our precinct as compared to the city-wide turnout of all voters. City elections, by statute, in Arizona, are “non-partisan;” that is, candidates cannot inform voters as to which political party they are affiliated. Thus, many “low information” Republican voters do not know which candidates to vote for. That’s where the precinct committeemen can fill the gap. Using the GOP Data Center software, those who vote 50% or less of the time in past elections, can be identified and targeted. That’s about 35% of the Republican voters. We did not bother contacting those who voted 75% or 100% of the time because they were very likely to vote without a “nudge” from us.
Using this same strategy and plan, in the 2012 general election, as I already mentioned, we achieved a Republican turnout of 86+% in my precinct as compared to a state-wide average of 74% turnout. Again, if we conservatives had organized and united for real political action where we live, “inside” the Republican Party as precinct committeemen, and then carried out our own GOTV efforts, we would have won the election for Mitt Romney in spite of his reluctance to recruit conservatives into the precinct committeeman ranks (as I had advised him and his campaign to do).
By conservatives becoming Republican Party precinct committeemen, not only will we start down the path to winning elections for our conservative Republican candidates in the all-important, traditionally-very-low-turnout primary elections, and then the general elections, but we’ll also be in a position to elect greater numbers of conservatives to the officer slots of the Party. Currently, it’s estimated about 400,000 Republican Party precinct committeeman slots exist nationwide. Only about 200,000 of these slots are filled. And they’re split, approximately 50-50, between conservatives and moderates. We see that split manifested every two years when the RNC Chairman is elected by the RNC members (consisting of the state chairman and one national committeeman and one national committeewoman from each state).
Who elects the RNC members? Indirectly, the precinct committeemen elect them. Precinct committeemen ARE the Party.
For example, in Arizona the precinct committeemen in each of the thirty legislative district committees elect, every two years, one state committeeman for every three precinct committeemen in their district (which is an incentive for the conservative precinct committeemen in each district to recruit more conservatives into the vacant precinct committeeman ranks). These state committeemen attend an annual state committee meeting where they elect the state chairman and the other officers. Every four years, the precinct committeemen in each legislative district elect delegates to the state presidential nominating convention. Those delegates elect the national committeeman and the national committeewoman. So, the greater number of elected conservative precinct committeemen the Party has, the greater likelihood the state chairman and the national committeeman and national committeewoman will be conservatives.
Majority rules. Create a conservative majority of precinct committeeman in your local Party committee, and you’ll be able to elect conservative committee officers.
Here in Arizona, after the 2008 primary election, less than one-third of the allotted Republican Party precinct committeeman slots were filled and were split about 50-50 between conservatives and moderates. That ideological split was reflected in the elected officer ranks of the legislative district committees, the county committees, and the state committee. Because I and other conservatives began recruiting conservative Republicans at tea party gatherings, 9.12 group meetings, etc., we’ve swelled the PC ranks in Maricopa County to about 55% strength and have almost completely “changed out” the moderates in the Party committee officer ranks. This strategy works.
Here in Arizona, each party gets one precinct committeeman for each precinct and then an additional one for every 125 registered voters of the party residing in the precinct--or majority portion thereof. My current precinct has twelve precinct committeeman slots, and all twelve are filled with conservatives. We’ve divided the precinct into 12 sectors, and we are each responsible for a sector. Because we only target the 35% of the voters who fall into the “low propensity to vote” category, it only takes us a few hours at the time of the primary and general election to call them and provide them with a sample ballot and candidate literature. Our GOTV strategy works. It’s just common sense.
And how does one become a precinct committeeman? The requirements vary in each state, but none are onerous. Here in Arizona, the registered voters of each party elect their precinct committeemen in the even-numbered year primary elections. To get on the ballot, a precinct committeeman candidate has to gather just ten signatures or fewer from registered voters of his party or non-affiliated voters. The Party will supply the candidate with the nominating petition and a walking sheet for his precinct identifying those houses containing registered members of his party and the non-affiliated voters. It takes me about 45 minutes to gather the ten signatures. I’ve compiled what I’ve been able to find on the internet regarding each state’s requirements here.
There’s a reason precinct committeeman has been called “The Most Powerful Political Office in the World”--because it really is. And if conservatives would organize and unite where they live, inside the Republican Party, by becoming voting members of the Republican Party--precinct committeemen--we’d begin the process of restoring our Republic as envisioned by our Founding Fathers. Because about half of these precinct committeeman slots are vacant, on average, in every locale, the Party is there for the taking by conservatives if conservatives will fill up all of the vacant precinct committeeman slots.
So why haven’t you heard about this? Because most incumbents, even the conservative incumbents, have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo inside the Party. If everything stays the same, they’ll probably win their next primary election and then the general election. If they recruit more conservatives into the vacant precinct committeeman slots, they might sow the seeds of their own primary election destruction if someone “more conservative” than they are runs against them. All politics truly are local, and, therefore, most “national” advocacy groups would prefer you not discover this fact. Your time and money is best spent where you live, increasing voter turnout through the best, most effective method: neighbor-to-neighbor by calling your fellow Republicans in your precinct and then dropping off a sample ballot and candidate literature to help them make informed votes. And changing the Party from within--making it “more conservative” by increasing the number of conservatives “inside it.”
Simply put, the reason the Republican Party is not “conservative enough” for some complaining conservatives is because not enough of those same complaining conservatives are “inside” the Republican Party where they live--as precinct committeemen.
You can carve out a couple of hours a month to do this, no? And three or four hours at the time of the primary and general elections, no? For your future and your kids’ and grandkids’ futures?
And I hope and pray you will. (Plus, it’s fun and interesting. Really. And personally rewarding in many ways as you’ll find out.)
So now you know what to do.
Daniel J. Schultz 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 http://precinctproject.us. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.