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Getting Involved in Your Party

Glenn Reynolds, the famed Instapundit, wants people to know that they can make a difference nationally by getting involved locally. As linked by Ed Morrissey at HotAir, Reynolds notes:

You might join a political party — many small-government activists are trying to take over the Republican (and some even the Democratic) Party at the grassroots level and work from the bottom up, from the precinct to the state level.

It’s surprisingly easy to get involved in politics locally, and you can acquire responsibility and influence quite rapidly if you’re good with people and willing to put in the work.

The parties have a similar structure, mostly dictated by state law at this point. State chairs, district and county chairs, sometimes are separated by more layers from the grass roots level. But the grass roots is almost always something called a Precinct Committeeman.

The PCs are usually elected by the primary voters in a party. They in turn vote on the higher offices in a given party.  But here’s the big secret: nationwide, about half of these slots are empty. When empty, either fewer people vote for the higher offices, giving those who do vote more power, or the incumbent (e.g., county chairman) gets to vote for himself by proxy.

We at the Precinct Project have been trying to get principle-driven, constitutional conservatives to join the major pary of their choice by becoming Precinct Committeemen. Really, we don’t care which one you choose: both parties need to be more influenced by conservatives.

Browse about the site and you’ll see instructions for contacting your county chairman and offering to help.  Probably the chairman is overworked and underpaid, because he’s a volunteer, and will welcome the help. But if you get stonewalled, you can contact me (@lheal) or the Project main account (@PrecinctProject) on Twitter, and we’ll get to the bottom of things.

Despite what you may have heard, the parties are not the same. They are just weak, and controlled by incumbents who make the laws circumscribing what the parties can do. What is needed is for ordinary citizens to get off their couches and spend a couple of hours a month regenerating the party structures.  If we do that, the politicians will sit up and take notice, because we will engage the people in their government once again.

Originally published July 4, 2011.

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What IF Your Local TEA Party Were to Run your Political Party?

Is the Party in your local area listening to input from the Grassroots? What if We the INFORMED People were to gather our power and influence in such a way that those at the top in the party would have to listen to us?

All across the state of Arizona, TEA Parties and Constitutional Conservatives worked to get conservatives into the ranks of our Precinct Committees. From there in many legislative districts and counties, we worked to get our Conservative Constitutionalists elected as delegates to our Arizona State Republican Convention.

We had our Arizona State GOP convention in Phoenix on January 22, 2011. The national GOP leadership and our powerful and established GOP Senators Kyl and McCain and Congressmen picked who they wanted to serve as our Arizona State GOP Chairman. They put on an elaborate campaign including the mailing of glossy postcards and speaking tours across the state.

The TEA parties learned of what was happening and rallied to communicate our desire to have leadership that represents the true grassroots and who would not seek to COMPROMISE at the earliest stage in the conflicts that are to come. We rallied our delegates to support this plan and we elected an entire slate of TEA Party picks to lead our Arizona State GOP Committee. Our man, Tom Morrissey, won the election on the third ballot by just one vote.

We won in spite of having a write-in candidate (Tom Morrissey) for state Chairman who was not known to be a candidate 72 hours before the election.

In Arizona, the TEA Party movement WILL RUN THE GOP!

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