The impetus behind the PCO battle

Posted: May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

In case you missed it, there is something of a war being waged in Clark County for seats on the Republican Party Central Committee. Each precinct elects a Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) who is supposed to represent his or her precinct at the quarterly meetings of the central committee (this is all theoretical, since the leadership only calls about one meeting per year). Once every two years, the PCOs vote on the Executive Board members, who then oversee areas such as candidate development, allocation of funds, caucus/convention/event planning, rules and credentials, etc.

I have interviewed several current Clark County PCOs, and the drift I get is that they really have very little involvement in the party beyond the bi-yearly voting in the board reorganization meeting. They may help their favorite candidates canvass their precinct, and they also lead the caucus meeting for their precinct every two years. Most have little or no training in the rules of the caucus vote, which was painfully evident this year for most who attended on March 3rd. The PCOs have no discernible role at the county convention, save as an automatic delegate from their precinct. To be sure, there are a few very active PCOs who help at each level and are very involved in the party, but most had less to do with running the convention than I myself did as a volunteer off the street.

Given the debacle that was the 2012 Clark County Republican Convention, the total lack of organization, the ridiculously long and inefficient lines that everyone was forced to wait in, and the mystifying alternate seating process that wasn’t completed until around 5 p.m. (some six hours after the time we broke off into our legislative districts to vote), it seems natural to wonder if the PCOs might be utilized more in the future. It also seems natural to wonder if the current leadership will survive the next reorganization meeting. The high percentage of septuagenarians among those running the convention suggests that perhaps there hasn’t been an influx of new ideas in awhile.

It’s as if the party is crying out for a group of younger, highly energetic, highly organized folks to take charge of these processes and bring them into the 21st century. If only such a group existed in the Republican Party! Oh, how we would embrace their coming like a returning faith; like a Northwest July after a nine-month rainy season!

It just so happens, there is such a group, and even more exciting, they have agreed to become more active in the party. No doubt the establishment will roll out the red carpet for them, making haste to open up board positions and welcome them in with open arms…right?

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