Archive for August, 2012

Apologies to my readers (both of you) for not posting a follow-up to the election sooner. Apparently, at least one huge fan of this blog (especially the name!) really missed me last week, and unfortunately has been left to make guesses without informed guidance about the outcome of the PCO race as a result. I am happy to provide him and anyone else who is interested with a more accurate picture of the results and what they mean for the CCRP.

In a large, collective effort to run for PCO, it is very difficult to track how many of the 210 precinct officers who were elected are actually sympathetic with the movement. The PCO Liberty Alliance website ran into some negative feedback while trying to endorse known conservatives because in many cases, the opposite candidate was also with us ideologically. This was unfortunate, but in some ways, unavoidable in a volunteer-run effort to get more conservative people elected. We look forward to getting to know those people better in the future as we work to steer the Republican Party in Clark County in a more conservative direction.

As a consequence of this uncertainty, reporting numbers of victories is also difficult, but here is what can be said with a fair level of confidence. Of the candidates that were endorsed by the PCO Liberty Alliance in 210 races, 50 were among the 100 or so uncontested, and were therefore already going to win regardless. Those 50 were the first blow in the campaign and the reason why the collective scrambling by the Establishment began in May. Fifty motivated PCOs can have a strong influence on the party in a number of ways, and they certainly erode at the heretofore unchallenged dominance by the left wing of the Republican party, the ‘moderates’ who have had total control for years of the local candidate selection process. To get 50 on the first try was a credit to the organization that sprang up after the convention in April.

In addition to those 50 out of 100 or so automatic PCOs however, there were also 110 races in which at least two people in a precinct were vying for the suddenly-coveted PCO spot. Of the 110 candidates who were able to achieve the highest vote totals in their respective precincts, at least 44 were PCOLA-endorsed candidates (PCOLA did not have endorsements in every race). Many of these candidates did not run under the PCOLA banner, but were endorsed because they had, on some level, identified themselves as having similar objectives.

Adding both contested and uncontested PCOLA victories yields a number somewhere north of 90 out of 210 elected PCOs. The belief here is that there will be others that will also vote with us, but they may not even be necessary in order to influence Executive Board elections. I have spoken to quite a few sitting PCOs who tell me that the Organization meetings in December have never included a full complement of the PCO body. The question then becomes which side is more motivated to show up and make a difference, the side that ran of their own accord and paid for their own races, or the side that was begged to run by party leaders who ran their campaigns in many cases, and sought donor and even party money in order to fund them. The consensus in most quarters (with the possible exception of 144th St, Brush Prairie) is that the self-directed, self-funded group has the greater chance to show up and prevail in December.

Is this a ‘Ron Paul Takeover’?

There are many in the county who are concerned about the number of Ron Paul supporters who were able to win PCO races. I have never counted this number personally, because in many ways, it isn’t relevant to this effort, since the fate of Ron Paul’s candidacy will have been long-decided by the time these PCOs take office in December. Presumably, those people, like myself, will have to find local candidates to get behind, and those candidates will not always share every plank in Ron Paul’s national platform; they will have their own platforms based more on state and county issues. I have, for instance, chosen to support David Madore for county commissioner. As far as I know, David did not support Ron Paul last March, and I have never asked him how he feels about our presence in Afghanistan because a County Commissioner has no authority to send troops there or bring them home. A County Commissioner does have a lot to say about local government’s presence in our daily lives, and I think David understands the concept of personal liberty and property rights more than the big-government fellow he is running against. David has also demonstrated to my own satisfaction that he is not running for his own personal gain and that in his own personal life, his philosophy is to help the population at large rather than just rich business people who donate to his campaign. If the goal is to elect people with moral and ethical conviction that is independent of their own political/business career, I think David Madore is a step in that direction.

There will be efforts made by many in the PCO Liberty Alliance to support Liberty/Tea Party candidates when they should surface, and hopefully, those candidates will not have to fight their own party’s money and resources in order to win. That is what having a presence on the Central Committee and Executive Board can do, and that is why our grass roots organization has worked hard to gain these seats. We did not win every seat, but we did win enough that it will be impossible to steamroll the conservative voice in Clark County moving forward.

Meanwhile, this blog is going to be covering the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week, so hopefully those who have expressed disappointment at the lack of posts will be satiated.

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Updates from County Auditor Greg Kimsey’s office are in, and what was a 38-vote lead in Kimsey’s race against Trevor Winton has now been reduced to 23. Kimsey’s 188 votes so far is the highest total in the county, and Trevor’s 165 is second-highest, just ahead of James Randall’s 164 in a neighboring precinct. It is interesting that the guy counting the votes happened to receive the most votes in the entire county in his PCO race. It is also interesting that despite this vote total outlier, this one is still a contest. There are reportedly upwards of 12-15,000 ballots yet to be counted, and Trevor got 40 votes on the 8000 that were counted on Wednesday. A race that was considered ‘over’ has now been moved to the ‘in play’ category.

Another interesting development is in the Commissioner race between Madore, Battan, and Boldt. Boldt has now moved into the top two, ahead of the Democrat Roman Battan. If this result should hold and Boldt is able to advance to the general election, the Democrats and Republican Moderates are likely to coalesce around him, and he will have a very good chance of being elected. Jamie Herrera has reportedly endorsed Boldt and their signs can be seen hung together in my area. Several members of the Establishment machine have also endorsed Boldt.

I have identified this as the most important single race in Clark County, because in many ways, it embodies the battle for the soul of the party that the PCO Liberty Alliance has been waging. If the Moderates, with all of their rhetoric about ‘getting behind the nominee’ and ‘working to elect Republicans at all costs’ end up joining Democrats to elect Boldt, it will finally reveal to some of the thicker heads in the CCRP rank-and-file that these people really are not ‘on the team’ – that they have their own agenda, and they are perfectly willing to throw the rest of the party under the bus if they don’t achieve that agenda.  Consider Brent Boger and his comments about the CCRP on his way out the door. The Establishment playbook is being set up nicely in this case, but these things always have a way of coming back to bite them.

While the complete results of the primary elections are not tabulated yet (further results will be released at 5 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night), there are some interesting trends that can be observed:

1. Barring a change of heart from Adrian Cortes, LD 18 is stuck with Vick for the time being.

The write-in campaign for Peter Silliman garnered over 1000 votes, which is incredible, but not enough to overcome the two political insiders whose names were actually on the ballot. I saw Pete speak at several events over the course of his campaign, getting progressively more confident with each appearance, and I believe he will make a good candidate with some seasoning over the next two years. To his tremendous integrity, wisdom, and life experience, he will need to add a honing of his message and his ability to communicate it. In my experience, most voters simply check a box with very little information. 1000 people actually took the time to find out about Pete and write his name out. That is something tangible to build on. Don’t play on that new backhoe too long, Pete. Your district still has need of you.

2. The race for District 2 County Commissioner is the most significant single race in Clark County.

The totals so far have David Madore holding a slim 250-vote margin over Roman Battan and incumbent, Marc Boldt. This race pits a Democrat (Battan) against a moderate Republican (Boldt), and a conservative (Madore). Madore appears to have hit the sweet spot between business-loving conservatives, values voters, and small-government libertarians. The support among these factions is so far carrying him to the lead. Definitely a contest to watch, both in terms of the orientation of the Commissioner Board, and as a template for running coalition candidates in the future.

3. The PCO Liberty Alliance is going toe-to-toe with the Establishment in their very first election cycle.

It looks like many of the leaders and strong activists from both camps are being elected, and that overt attempts to unseat Ron Paul PCOs with mailers have been less successful than in the past. Known mailer campaign targets include Laney Maxwell (winning +35) and Katja Delavar (winning +7). There are a few significant casualties on each side, but a lot of PCO Liberty Alliance candidates (possibly over 90) are being elected, which sets up a very interesting reorganization meeting in December.

This Precinct Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us!

The biggest PCO race in the county may be in precinct 460, where PCO incumbent and sitting County Auditor Greg Kimsey is getting a strong challenge from recent Clark County Ron Paul campaign coordinator and 3rd Congressional District RNC Delegate Trevor Winton. The vote total in that precinct is off the charts, with Kimsey leading 163 to 125 for Trevor as of last night’s numbers. No precinct vote total in the county even comes close to this. File this race under ‘situations to watch in the future’. Even if Trevor loses this time, he is not yet 30 years old, and will be a political force to be reckoned with in years to come. One wonders how the vote would go if Kimsey’s name wasn’t on every single ballot envelope in the county.

More results at 5 p.m. Stay tuned.

PCO Election Tonight

Posted: August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

Today is the primary election deadline in Washington. There is a lot of speculation about how the votes will break today for the PCOs (and those other, less important races).  Four years ago, the Ron Paul campaign apparently ran about 90 candidates for PCO, and they failed to get more than a dozen or so elected. This time, more than just Ron Paul supporters have come to the realization that the moderate minority is controlling the direction of the party, and the grass roots movement currently underway more closely resembles the ‘Fusionism’ of the Reagan era, with Tea Party/Liberty forces laying aside their foreign policy differences and realizing that locally they share many of the same goals for the Republican Party and for their government. Together, these two factions make up the majority of the activists and voters in the party, but they still have a tremendous disadvantage to overcome in terms of communication with likely voters. The Establishment has the funds, both within the party and with large private donors (there are reports that such a donor was tapped to send out mailers in several precincts). They also have the advantage of name recognition, and they have access to the G.O.P. Voter Vault that they have kept away from most of the PCO Liberty Alliance candidates. The Establishment knows how to win…that is why they are ‘the Establishment’. There are also reports that voter turnout for this primary is very low, which may favor the old guard.

On the PCOLA side of the ledger is strong conviction about their cause, momentum from the county convention, and it’s probably safe to say that they have worked harder in their precincts. Whether this will be enough to win is anyone’s guess. My own prediction is that the final PCO distribution will far more closely resemble the caucus straw poll, which had 37% Romney, 28.5% Paul and 22.5% Santorum. Obviously, the presidential candidates are not as relevant now, but the factions of moderate, conservative, and libertarian still exist in some form, as they have in the Republican party for many decades.

If the conservative/libertarian coalition holds together, I think we will see a new CCRP Executive board, but a board that will  eventually be welcomed by most in the party as being far more representative of the party at large than has been the case in the past. Under Brandon Vick, the board was made up almost entirely of Romney supporters, and all three automatic delegates from Clark County went to Romney, despite the fact that almost two-thirds of the caucus voters voted for a candidate other than Romney. I view the possible change as the inevitable correction to that inequitable situation, and I think it will be very interesting to see what the Moderate wing does when they are forced to work with others, rather than just dictating their will to the rest of the party.

As a harbinger of things to come, Brent Boger, former party chair and recent rules chair at the most poorly-run convention anyone can remember, has decided to quit the Republican Party entirely and to use the media to take a few parting shots at conservatives on the way out. There are many among the Romney camp (including a certain reader of this blog) who have expressed a willingness to work and participate among the new faces that will inevitably be ascending to leadership roles, but apparently Boger wasn’t one of them.

Results are supposed to be reported tonight around 9 p.m. Let the fun begin!