70, 1452, 7, 824
And none of these numbers are winners

Yup. More information on the proposed bylaw change from the South Dakota GOP. I've started writing e-mails and making calls to party leadership to plead my case. Hopefully, it might work.

You know, the more I look at this proposal, the more I believe it's authors are not considering the ramifications. I don't think they actually took pencil to paper and figured it out. Because the more I read it, the more I believe it is an attempt to derail the positive progress the GOP has made over the last 15 years.

I dont' recall that the GOP has ever been stronger. We hold all but 1 constitutional office. We kicked the Senate minority leader out of office. We hold massive majorities in either house of the legislature. Yet there's a few who want to go back to the "good old days."

I might be paying way too much attention to this issue, but its for good reason. It might abuse me. It might toss me aside. It likes to chew me up, and spit me out like used gum. But, I have invested so much time and energy and myself into working with candidates of the State GOP, I can't help myself. The party's well being matters to me. I care about the South Dakota GOP. Maybe I shouldn't, but I do.

I believe that the party, in bringing new people into the process by having them be convention delegates as precinct committeemen and women, is incredibly strong. It's end up being this melding of institutional knowledge, dynamic personalities, and the boundless energy and optimism of youth.

But for some reason, there are people who long for the days of arm twisting, and backroom deals. And the worst part is that they don't get it. I think their memory is fading, because I don't know when it's ever been this good. So what are the cold hard facts on this proposal? Just a few quick facts:
  • Under the current system (based on 2004 numbers), we could possibly have had 2103 people participating at convention. Under the proposed changes, it's a maximum of 651 - that's cutting 70% of delegates from the convention.
  • This measure eliminates 1452 possible Republican volunteers from participating in the process!
  • Under the new system, 47 counties would only have the minimum number of delegates (7). That's over 70% who will only have the minimum possible participating.
  • At-large delegate positions are selected at the county level in a primary election. One question that should be asked is "how many primaries for at-large delegate were there, before and after the change was made in 1990." And at what cost?
  • Also worthwhile to note, At-large delegate elections are just like any other election. The people who win often have the greatest name ID. This is going to mean these positions are most likely going to go to people already elected and holding office, further shutting out Mr. and Mrs. Everyman who want a voice in the Republican party. There will be no new blood injected into the Republican party to sustain it.
  • YR's, CR's and Republican women are going to be impacted the hardest with this measure. Many aren't county chairman, and there are only selected slots for Vice Chair, County Committeemen and Committeewomen. But they make up huge numbers of the precinct committeemen and precinct committeewomen. Those are the people who are going to be shut out from the process if this bylaw change passes.
  • Here's the statistic that should make the Republican Women furious - Under the current system, 954 spots are guaranteed to be available for Republican women (2 per county, plus 1 each per precinct). This proposal eliminates 824 of the positions that the current system guarantees for Republican women. This leaves only 130 spots guaranteed for Republican women.
I believe this measure is unbelievably bad. The only purpose it serves is to make the process more closed, and to shut good workers out in favor of centralizing authority with just a few.

Again, please read the other posts regarding this measure below. And get ahold of the state GOP at 224-7347, or e-mail the chair at Randy@southdakotagop.com . Better yet, call your county GOP Chairman. And don't let the people who want to turn the turn back the clock of progress win!

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