Who is the most important person in the Republican Party of San Diego County?
If you said “The Chairman,” you don’t understand grass roots politics. Our Chairman is a “super-volunteer” and he works his butt off, but a Committee Chairman isn’t the most important person in a Republican organization. The Chairman leads the Committee; the Committee governs the Party organization.
If you think it might be the donors, you’d also be wrong. While money is an important commodity to run an effective Party organization, it can sometimes dissuade grass roots volunteers. When grass roots volunteers think that candidates are being recruited, vetted and endorsed as a way to please donors rather than serve the will of the voters, they retreat. America, for all of its wealth, still preserves our founding egalitarian roots. Each volunteer wants to think his or her work is making a difference for civil society.
If you think the elected Central Committee members are, you’re still wrong. Elected Committee members should be serving on the organizational committees of the Party structure and be making decisions for the organization, through open and democratic votes. They are tasked with getting candidates elected. Each Committee member should be recruiting, vetting and endorsing candidates. Those functions can’t be delegated to the Chairman or to an “Executive Committee” if we want to win elections. Rather, Central Committee members should be taking guidance on recruiting, vetting and endorsing candidates from THE most important member of the Republican Party of San Diego County…
The Neighborhood Volunteer Precinct Captain (PC). What’s that you ask? The PC is a local volunteer, who agrees to be THE representative of the Republican Party of San Diego County (RPSDC), to the registered Republicans in his or her election precinct. Most County Committees rely on the PC to make the decisions we task to the Central Committee members in California. Strong red states have a robust PC network, and committees in strong red states rely on that network to recruit, vet and endorse candidates. More importantly, the PC is a liaison between the legislative districts and the neighborhood voter. He or she knows the staff at party headquarters, knows staff in elected officials’ offices, from the City Council to the statewide offices, and (most importantly) knows his or her precinct voters.
The PC is THE “super volunteer” in his town. He or she is the “delegate” for registered Republicans. In a perfect world, the PC will communicate with local Republicans consistently. The PC will visit each of them and secure permission to email them throughout the year about local issues, party events, and legislation. The PC is part “watchdog,” part community organizer, part cheerleader, and most importantly…the GOTV representative for the Republican Party.
Next week, I’ll discuss why the RPSDC efforts shifted from the Neighborhood Volunteer Precinct Captain model to a paid-political director model. I’ll also discuss how we can restore the PC network and start winning more elections.
Read Part One of “A Case for Changing the Republican Party of San Diego County” — Getting Back To “The San Diego Model”
Read Part Three of “A Case for Changing the Republican Part of San Diego County” — Where did our voters go?