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Tuesday, September 04, 2012
All Politics is Local : Guest Writer- Mark Mnich
Every two years in early-mid January of even-numbered years (which means our next opportunity will be in 2014), a caucus is held to elect the membership of every Town Committee in the state of CT (both Republican AND Democrat BTW). A few towns actually require you to obtain signatures to be on the ballot but in almost every case all you need to do is show up on caucus night as a registered Republican and say you want to be on the ballot. Check with your local registrar or town clerk to find out what the local rules are as well as the maximum number of members your local RTC can have.
That figure is important to know because if there are more people at the caucus asking to be members than there are positions to be filled (for example, only 36 can be members but 48 show up), an election is held AT THE CAUCUS by the registered Republicans IN ATTENDANCE. In order to guarantee yourself a membership slot on the RTC, you will need to have at least enough votes in the room to overcome the possible objection of the incumbent members of your RTC. But if you can actually get enough like-minded Republican conservatives in your town to show up at the caucus and agree to be members by nominating each other, you can literally “throw ALL the bums out” so to speak!
If you doubt how quickly this can happen, take what occurred in Meriden starting in the late 1990s. Back then, a GOP City Councilor who didn’t like the direction in which the party was heading decided he needed to become the chairman in order to make his vision come true. How did he do it? First, he got a few friends on the RTC. They then created a straw argument to convince the rest of the RTC to change the by-laws and INCREASE the authorized membership from 40 to 80. This allowed him to get 40 more people friendly to HIM and he easily became Chairman. But for the most part, these new “members” were inactive and unwilling to donate annually to replace the party’s campaign coffers. By the end of this Chairman’s tenure in 2006, the Mayor (who waspreviously elected as an Independent but on the GOP line) and all 12 City Councilors were DEMOCRATS.
Why do we need to reclaim the RTCs? Why is this mission SO important? Because THEY are the ones who nominate our local candidates at almost every level, THEY decide who is sent to represent their local (state senate) district at CTGOP (two people for each of the 36 districts = 72 total “State Central Reps”), and THEY choose who goes to the state convention as delegates to choose our candidates for Congress, the U.S. Senate and every statewide office.
Former U.S. Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.” His fellow Democrats heeded his wise words and began “community organizing” in the late 1980s to counter the “Reagan Revolution. “ My friends, if we do NOT change how politics is handled locally, how can we EVER hope to have an impact on how politics is handled nationally?
I wish everyone the best of luck in the work that lies ahead. I'm looking forward to being of service to everyone here. Thank you and God bless!
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Welcome Mark!! Nice job!ReplyDelete