STAUFF: Changing the Republican Party from withinPosted by Will Stauff on June 16, 2015
“The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.” (President George Washington’s Farewell Address to the Nation, 1796)
I’ve had a chance to have Daniel Schultz on my radio show several times. Daniel Schultz has an organization called the Precinct Project. He’s a republican precinct committeeman in the state of Arizona. He has impressed upon me the importance of the “how” when it comes to changing the GOP. In the last couple of years we’ve seen many national tea party and grassroots groups emerge from Tea Party Express, FreedomWorks and countless others. Have these groups moved the needle? They’ve definitely changed the debate, but how successful have they’ve been able to “throw the bums out”?
Daniel Schultz joined me at about 1 hour and 25 minutes in.
I decided it was high time I figure out how to join my local Republican party and work to change it. Locally here in Appling County Georgia, Pat Tippett who’s been an active conservative political player here in Georgia for the past 20 years let me know she was running for the chairman of her Republican Party. I decided to figure out how to become a part of it. I found out where the County GOP was having their convention in Appling County. I attended and expressed interest in becoming a part of it. I signed up to become a delegate for Georgia’s 12th District convention that is held in April every year and I signed up to become a delegate for the State Convention which is held in Athens in May. They also gave me the role of secretary which officially makes me an officer for my county GOP.
You have heard many times that there is a war for the heart and soul for the GOP. Sometimes you hear that so many times it kind of glazes over you. After attending the District and State convention I felt I lived it. When I attended the District convention in Springfield, Ga. we spent the majority of the time passing resolutions dealing with stopping Common Core, the need for a Religious Liberty Bill in Georgia and a strong message to the Governor that he can’t appoint the School Board and the State Superintendent; they must be elected. During this process at the district convention, it’s very easy to detect who the liberals in our district are. There’s a sizeable group that were mostly opposed to all these resolutions. We had enough conservative votes to pass it. I noticed there’s several empty slots at this convention. There are whole counties not present. There are several open seats everywhere that could be filled. It tells me that whoever decides to organize to fill these seats has the ability to win. If conservatives organize they win. If the liberals organize they win. It really is potentially up in the air. When it gets close to presidential election time you will see a concerted effort from the Establishment to stack the deck for what they want. Nobody knows the Republican Party with all their rules and procedures better then the GOP establishment. You know who doesn’t know the party rules as well? The grassroots conservatives.
Attending the state convention was very eye opening. There’s growing tension between the party leadership and the grassroots. The grassroots are tired of the GOP not being held accountable on taxes, standing up for religious liberty, and shoving Common Core down are throats. The party leadership always quickly shifts the conversation to “beating the democrats”. If we are going to beat the democrats how do we do that with weak Republican policies and the same policies that democrats support? There was a huge vote for the position of State Chairman. Sitting State Chair John Padgett was challenged by Alex Johnson. Alex Johnson lost.
Padgett, an Athens businessman, defeated Atlanta attorney Alex Johnson by a 807-612 vote in a bid for another two-year term as state GOP chairman. That’s a 57 percent tally for Padgett, just slightly less than the 60 percent total he earned against Johnson in the final ballot in 2013.
The vote came after an aborted attempt to tap the nominating committee’s slate of leaders – led by Padgett and other establishment types – without a debate. That was shot down after an outburst of criticism from grassroots organizers who called it parliamentary trickery.
Padgett helped direct last year’s 2014 GOP sweep but faces criticism over his fundraising ability and two pending lawsuits. The 69-year-old had the support of most of the party’s establishment, including former Rep. Jack Kingston, who hailed him as an ace fundraiser.
There are seats to be filled. There is work to be done to change the GOP. How many Tea Party rallies will make that happen by the way?
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