Tuesday, March 25, 2008
I Came, I Saw, I Caucused
Will they have square donuts and left-leaning water at the Utah County Republican Convention again this year? I'll let you know.
I didn't move, but my precinct boundaries did, so I caucused with a new precinct tonight, AF04. Our meeting was ably run by an experienced precinct chair. About twelve adults attended, which is more than one sometimes sees at precinct caucuses, even among Utah Republicans. Several of us were veterans of past caucuses; several others were attending a caucus for the first time -- and not the last, we may hope.
The most crucial and interesting thing one can be chosen to do at a precinct caucus is to represent the precinct as a delegate to the county or state convention. As a precinct vice chair last term, I was a delegate to the county Republican conventions in 2006 and 2007. I had hoped to be a state delegate this time, but will be a county delegate once again, and that's okay.
Here's why delegates matter: Delegates choose the party's candidates. If a candidate wins 60 percent or more of the delegate vote, there is no primary election at all. And the Republican candidate often runs unopposed, or at least wins by a sizable majority. In other words, often the only people whose vote really matters in a given race are the delegates who vote in convention, and who, by choosing their party's candidate, essentially choose November's winner.
Will I see you at the next caucus? Put it on your calendar, approximately two years from today.
Thomas W. Clayton comments (3/26/08):
You will never see me at your caucus. I'll be at mine in Layton :) Our precinct had 6 adults (and my son) show up. This was down from about 30 last year. Probably because of a combination of boundary change and a change in venue (from a home to a high school). Good meeting, though. Good people.
Tiffany Scherbel comments (3/26/08):
My husband and I went last night as well. We caucused with AF05; there were 23 of us in attendance there. I agree that the only votes that matter are often those of the delegates. The low attendance at caucus meetings is quite disappointing.
Mark Steele comments (3/31/08):
Our reconstituted AF08 met with about 30 people, roughly the same as in past years. I've yet to see concentrated efforts by special interest groups to pack our precinct votes.
I was also elected as a county delegate, unfortunately having to beat out my daughter in the process. In my introduction speech, I probably went on too long about my desire to get legislators to address gift-giving and ethics measures, but won anyway.
A good friend attended the the Democratic caucus at the library -- all of AF precincts represented by 30 people.
Copyright 2008 by David Rodeback.