Chairperson Caucus Review

To Our Concerned Eagle County Republicans,

As a follow up to the Tuesday night caucuses, this my first response to all of you who were justifiably upset about your inability to cast a preference vote for the presidential race.

The majority of you- 25 precincts- who attended the caucus did so at Battle Mountain High School. Four other precincts met in the Roaring Fork Valley while one gathered at a private home in Burns. I might add that we had a lower turnout than at the past caucus and my guess would be that many of you stayed home simply because of the lack of a voting option.

I gave a very detailed explanation as to why the decision was made to eliminate the voting option. And whether you agree or not, my personal opinion is that the correct decision was made given the very complicated circumstance that put the Colorado Republican Party at risk of losing their full delegate allocation to the RNC convention in Ohio.

One element that figured in to the decision is the fact that even in the years that we did have a vote; it was not binding to our delegates. The risk of losing delegates to Ohio weighed heavily against taking a vote that for all practical purposes was just an exercise with no binding consequences.

But that’s now behind us. For those of you who did not attend caucus or were not there when I offered the explanation, it is important to remember that the decision in 2000 to move Colorado from a primary state to a caucus state was made by the state legislature.  And it’s also important to note that it was a financial decision. Our elected officials decided that the cost or holding a primary was too great and abolished that practice.

With that information in mind, it’s also critical to know that the state legislature is the ONLY entity that can reverse that decision. Not Eagle County Republicans. Not the Colorado Republican Party. Not the RNC. Nope. It’s your elected officials. And it’s to those legislators that you should address your frustrations.

The good news is that, according to a Denver Post article, an organization called Let Colorado Vote has already proposed a ballot measure for this fall. Actually, two.

The first one would restore the primary system which I fully agree with. The second is where I have a problem as it proposes allowing an open primary which means that unaffiliateds would be allowed to vote in a Republican primary.

I personally find this 2nd proposal to be unacceptable. If people choose to be unaffiliated, that is certainly their choice. But by doing so they have also said that they really aren’t willing to be counted and do not want to be “bothered’ by becoming informed, participating in the full process, taking calls, volunteering to move the party forward etc.

It implies to me at least that they just want to run in for a brief moment, tell us all what direction we should take and leave us to do the work. In my mind you are either in or you’re out and if you’re out you have no right to weigh in on how we do things. But that’s just me.

Someone was quoted in the DP article saying: “it’s not fair to require voters who want to be independent to join a political party to have their voices heard”. Rubbish. The price you pay for the privilege of having a seat at the table is commitment- something missing from those who insist on being “independent”. But again, that’s just me.

So the ball is rolling. If Let Colorado Vote has to petition on, they will need money and lots of signatures. The easiest things would be to pressure the state legislature to do the right thing and move us back to a primary state. At the very least, the caucus vote should be binding and not simply an exercise in making us feel better.

In the absence of a preferential poll on Tuesday night, we took a hand count (which every one did not participate in)  with the following results: Rubio 48, Trump 39, Cruz  32, Kasich 23, Carson 2.

By the way, I tried to find the web site for Let Colorado Vote but it is apparently still under construction. And if you want to start contacting your legislators, you can do so by going to www.leg.state.co.us. Good Luck!!!

 

Kaye Ferry

Chairperson

Eagle County Republican Central Committee

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