Republican leaders are worried about the increased grass roots activism of conservatives, especially those in the Tea Party, and the party is maneuvering to block it.
Wilmore, Kentucky (PRWEB) September 30, 2011
As reported by AP, http://www.kentucky.com/2011/09/17/1885894/gop-leaders-to-meet-saturday-on.html, leaders of the Kentucky Republican Party gathered on September 17th to approve new rules for the operation of the party and some Republicans are fighting mad about the results.
Bob Barney, founder of http://www.takeovergop.com, contends that the rules have been tailored to protect incumbent leaders. Barney claims that Republican leaders are worried about the increased grass roots activism of conservatives, especially those in the Tea Party, and the party is maneuvering to block it.
As background, Republicans allow each voting precinct, in each county of Kentucky, the right to elect 3 party officers to represent that precinct at the County level. In turn each County elects officers to represent the County at the District and State levels. Barney reasons that if enough conservative Republicans become precinct officers, then they can change the face of the party by first changing the face of the Counties. Barney contends that the party is being run by too many political hacks and insiders.
Barney said, "Republican conservatives wonder why the moderates in the party have so much control over Republican politics. The moderates have established themselves as the leaders and no one understands how they do it. They are working to keep the average member ignorant and out of the process."
The rule changes on September 17th have made sweeping changes to the way that precinct officers are elected.
Prior to September 17th, precinct elections were to be held in Presidential voting years at 10:00am, on the second Saturday in March. The voting was to have taken place at the regular precinct voting location.
Barney argues, "No one had to guess when or where those elections were going to take place, they were the same for everyone. We even had a countdown clock at http://www.takeovergop.com/KYcountdown.php, letting Republicans know exactly where and when to show up for those elections. Apparently that scared the party and they have now undermined it with these new rules."
The September 17th rules now give each County in Kentucky the ability to set their own date, time and location for precinct officers elections. Counties are allowed to pick any date and time in March. They are even allowed to have different elections, on different days, for the same County. Barney says that the lack of uniformity is intended to make it confusing and to keep voters from the polls.
Regardless of the dates, incumbent County leaders are also allowed to hold the election at any location that they want. They can require every person in the County to travel to a single location, no matter how far the trip might be. Barney says the purpose is obvious, to keep Republicans from voting. Barney added, "It would be no different than if you required everyone to travel to one County location to vote for their member of the House or Senate. After all, there is a reason why we have voting precincts."
While the new rules provide for notification, Barney scoffs at the requirement. He points out that a county can fulfill the election notification requirement by running a one time 1/4 page ad in the local newspaper, as long as that ad is posted 14 days or more before the election. There is no incentive for counties to do more than the minimum, as the requirement to notify comes with no money from the state party; each county must pay for it's own ad. Barney says, "If you are the happy leader of the County Party, and you want to keep your position, you just keep it quiet about where and when the elections are held. Surprise, you are re-elected with a handful of your friends showing up."
Barney argues that the changes to precinct elections aren't the only ones that will let Party insiders secure their positions to continue control of the party.
In order to make it easy for everyone to compare the old and new rules, Barney has prepared a web page that allows a direct comparison of the old and new rules. The comparison can be viewed at:
Barney said, "The Kentucky Republicans were so excited about their new rules, they were quietly posted on their website with no notice or discussion of the changes or the reasons for those changes. It's all a big secret and they hope that no one will notice. If conservatives care about the direction of the Republican party, they will get involved and throw these bums out."