- The precinct caucuses, are political party affairs – each registered political party in caucus states organize and conduct their own caucuses under their own auspices
- Conservative attendance is crucial to determining party organization, direction and success for conservative candidates and issues
- If conservatives want to effect or sustain change they have to show up
- Platform plank idea generator included
The Iowa political party caucuses held every two years are a grand institution of citizen involvement. The precinct caucuses are the initial step in determining party leadership, which is key to representative policy advocacy, and the widespread success of the party’s chosen candidates. The precinct caucuses are where grassroots conservatives can lock in their influence over party affairs and have a salutary effect on legislative policy implementation (assuming assertive followthrough).
The caucus system is in conjunction with party primaries
In Iowa, primary elections in June are an official government sponsored election held to determine which candidate for each party will be listed on the final general election ballot in November, (ostensibly to represent the party as to policy pursuits).
For both the precinct caucuses and the primary election one must declare one’s party affiliation. Because they are held at the same time but separately one cannot be at two precinct caucuses at once and similarly at the primary election one must declare party affiliation, be issued the ballot for that party and therefor can mark the ballot for only one party.
Declared affiliation is changeable at any time after either election and while “affiliation” is a rather sketchy determination, spontaneous and organized authentic conservative turnout can, and in recent years does carry the day.
The November general election is where voters pick between political party nominees or any inclusions by petition and write-in candidates. The latter categories are rarely elected.
Every state should be a caucus state.
While primary elections are the general mechanism for candidate selection by the party in most states (other than the bastardization seen in open primary and ranked order states) political parties in states that do not hold precinct caucuses have rather closeted mechanisms for determining party leadership, policy (platforms and administration) and the true temperature and will of party activists. Attendees of a well-established, well-advertised, well-organized broad-based precinct caucus systems such as in Iowa are provided with party bylaw and even limited statutory authority to determine party affairs.
It all starts at the precinct caucuses
All of Iowa’s Republican precinct caucus will convene at 7:00 PM Monday evening, February 7th (arrive early to get checked in). The locations of the caucuses in Iowa are now, or will shortly be, available at county party websites/social media or by phone or email to the county headquarters.
For Scott County Iowa the caucuses will be held at 7:00 PM at seven school locations scattered around the county. Each precinct usually meets in a separate classroom of the building but that depends on building circumstances.
You can quickly and easily find your precinct (some boundaries have changed) by visiting the Scott County Auditor’s website at the following link:
http://www.scottcountyiowa.com/auditor/precinct-finder. Enter your address and your precinct will be displayed on the screen. Then simply go to the Scott County Republican website: https://scottcountyrepublicans.org/voter-information/2022-caucus-sites/.
There you will find where your precinct will caucus. Any questions can be answered by contacting Republican headquarters via email — [email protected] or by phone: 563-823-5854 . In person office hours are maintained at 2322 E Kimberly Rd, Suite #230W Davenport, IA 52807. The posted office hours are: Wednesday: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. The home page for the Scott County Republicans is: https://scottcountyrepublicans.org/
At the precinct caucuses remember — personnel to a large extent is policy
There are two personnel related elections at the precinct caucuses. It is important to understand that the individuals selected are not mere party functionaries or grunt workers, while important, others are recruited for such roles. The positions described below should not be understood as having that as their only or necessarily even their main responsibility. The positions are a board of directors of a sort, with respective responsibilities (albeit the more working the board the better).
It is also crucial for conservatives to understand that these positions are for two years and comprise the decision making cadre through the 2022 Midterm elections and will set the stage for the 2024 Presidential year precinct caucuses. Past cycles have experienced charges of manipulation. To avoid that conservatives of integrity need to become involved now in party affairs. Those elected are often in a good position to be reelected to carry through for the general election that year.
The first carry-through position to be elected (after the housekeeping appointments to run the meeting) is that of County Central Committee member (normally two from each precinct in the county comprise the County Central Committee). None of the positions are paid. We encourage conservatives to volunteer (listen to the job description read at the meeting but which in reality is very much a matter of what you want to put into it). Either way attendees should ask each candidate to hold forth as to their political philosophy and intentions because policy matters can and do come up in Central Committee meetings. Positions that are not filled by those attending the precinct caucus for lack of two volunteers can be filled later through Central Committee processes (as also regards any resignations).
THESE ARE NOT MERE FUNCTIONARY RUBBER-STAMP, DO WHAT YOU ARE TOLD ROLES. HOWEVER PARTY LOYALTY IS CRITICAL TO COLLEGIALITY AND ELECTORAL SUCCESS.
The Central Committee will meet regularly, at least quarterly. Probably the first meeting will be to elect county party officers including an executive committee which will meet more often and be closer to day-to-day necessary functions. The Chairman is a very important position as that person will serve as primary spokesperson, the face of the local party. Depending on the bylaws of the county party the Chairman perhaps with the approval of the Executive Committee appoints the county platform committee. The platform process is largely what brings people into the party but also is what should give the party criterion for judging candidates.
General governance, prioritization of resources and developing of those resources are some of the matters that the Central Committee deals with but there are also issues that can arise determined by circumstances that require collective input and authorization and prodding. The Central Committee collectively has the power to authorize instruct or de-authorize any matter under party purview undertaken by the officers and or executive committee.
Delegates to the County Convention are the other positions to be filled.
Each precinct has an assigned number of positions determined by formula roughly derived from the Republican vote in that precinct in the last general election. The number might range from one or two to nine or more. They will meet at the county convention to be held in March within the county but are expected to stay informed about and pass judgement on the proposed county platform. The platform will contain planks, the various boards so-to-speak of the platform, which are issue positions the delegates endorse by majority vote on behalf of the party. The platform might also contain admonishments or praise for various officials.
The county party platform is sent to the district convention where elements might be incorporated into that body’s platform which in turn is sent to the state convention for possible incorporation or absorption into the official state platform.
Delegates (and alternates) to the district and state convention are determined usually by a slate proposed by a nominating committee which is appointed by county leadership. The positions not filled can be appointed later by the Central Committee. In presidential caucus years that process can be manipulative, the nuances and impact of which are beyond this brief presentation. However assuming collegiality the slate with any alterations from the floor is largely decided then. The individuals chosen serve as delegates to both the congressional district convention held in April and to the state convention held in June. Delegate are charged fees to cover direct expenses of holding the conventions. For most they are not burdensome given the responsibility. Positions not filled can be filled by Central Committee processes.
Platform plank idea generator
Here are some matters to consider to bring to the precinct caucuses which can then be voted on and passed on to the county platform committee. That body is charged with considering them for incorporation into a proposed platform for the county convention delegates to endorse.
Because there is enough to do at the precinct caucuses, as conservatives we are thinking a general plank, one voicing general support for continued inclusion of past planks dealing with pro-life, national defense, second amendment and other staples but without necessarily detailing them at the precinct caucus, will serve to allow time for consideration of others (it is the responsibility of those interested in republican affairs to be aware of the current platform). Because so many are unfulfilled they are still current and should be endorsed but it is useful to allow time for new issues that ought to be dealt with.
Republicans need to stress key current items such as opposing vaccination and mask mandates, opposition to private money in elections (Zuckerberg) ), support for election audits, a statement about the corruption of the 2020 election, so-called Critical race theory, parental rights, crud in school libraries — We think these would have wide support from people who attend the caucuses and conventions.
Then some perhaps more controversial ones that might get passed in some precincts and various counties depending on attendees — including decrying the treatment of Jan 6 protestors and more.
We would like to see an independent audit of the efficacy, truthfulness, etc. of wind energy claims — and to end all subsidies and mandates for wind solar and ethanol along with study to do support for what the state can do to remove any impediments cost effective energy sources including nuclear and fossil fuels.
Anther topic — iIf we are going to temporarily subsidize or support farmers, do so for their creation of feed stores to help bring down the cost of meat, not to burn ethanol in cars. Feed is a byproduct of ethanol production but very inefficient as to cost benefit. Better to shame the mandate and content requirement mentality to better help independent meat producers. It is populist and more of a winner than devotion to ethanol for cars or windmills.
We also think we should call to task those politicians including Republicans in this state who engage in/engaged in overwrought rhetoric regarding events of Jan 6 including any portrayal of it as an insurrection, parroting lies about the number of deaths (Grassley and others were doing this weeks after the truth was known and with no apology later that we am aware of). It was quite pathetic pandering to political correctness especially given the failure to emphasize the far more egregious property damage, injuries and actual death toll s from various actual riots including intentional destruction of government offices, looting sprees, and real plotted insurrections / takeovers (Portland) and elsewhere.
We would like to see a statement against Grassley’s (or anonymously “those Republican politicians as the shoe fits”) for their reasoning and support for the first infrastructure bill as it is too expensive and set up threats to the republic under procedures the Democrats telegraphed to everyone. Joni Ernst did not support that. HOWEVER she was OK with authorizing an exception to the filibuster. We cannot decry Democrats when we have people facilitating their designs on overturning the republic.
People are tired of excuses and vagaries from people running as Republicans. Something calling on national, state and district and county central committee members to develop strategies for identifying platform support and adherence to Republican principles, prior to primaries, perhaps initiating and insisting on signed surveys regarding the platform and Republican principles, is useful to head off the “my vote does not count, they are all alike” mindset. The matter should be posted to county sponsored web sites and the like. Such has been tried before and received some but the idea needs more emphasis.
Of course the more strength a resolution garners the more the usual state poobahs will want to water down platforms. Some conservative multi-issue groups try to get responses to candidates surveys with varying success. Politicians sign surveys from/make promises to special interest groups all the time in order to get their money/support. Why should Republican Party entities be any different?
The above are just a quick sketch, idea generators that need to be added to and fleshed out. So much could be included to deal with these momentous past two years. Readers are encouraged to send in ideas that might be proposed. We will be more specific with proposals readers might carry to their precinct caucuses in coming days.