Local Throwdown!

I learned on the night I became a precinct delegate that an opportunity was soon to come for me to have a vote on local politics. April 7 found me yet again in a big hall of other precinct delegates preparing to hear speeches from candidates and their supporters for local GOP offices. So I researched as thoroughly as I could in the short time what local offices were, who held those offices, and what had they done. I read as much as I could find, mostly blogs with VERY strong opinions, a few YouTube incidents, and local newspaper articles. But it was enough so that I understood there was a clear “us” v. “them” attitude, with the incumbent GOP County Chairman, Rick Beltram obviously a very polarizing figure. Among other allegations:

calling Fred Thompson’s wife Jeri a trophy wife

a YouTube of him denying future support to Jim DeMint

unevenly distributing voter info to candidates

It was an evening full of info overload as I tried to keep up with the personalities, the procedural votes, who was supporting who. I sat with the folks I had met at the precinct reorganization and discovered that two of them were running for these local offices! I learned that there was a “slate” of candidates, mostly incumbents, proposed with Rick Beltram at the top of the ticket (chairman, treasurer, secretary, executive committeemen) which had been selected by a nominating committee which Rick Beltram formed and whose chairman Rick Beltram appointed. Hmmm … really? Some fireworks ensued as this method of nominating was challenged under Robert’s Rules. Some new candidates were nominated and seconded from the floor to oppose the slate. There were many speeches and many votes and at the end of the evening the entire slate was defeated and new officials installed in my county with a 77% vote. Both of my precinct members won their elections, and I hope that gives me the opportunity to learn more quickly through our association.

I hope that this new batch of county officials leads to finding, vetting, and promoting some “plain as folks” constitutional conservatives. Without any of the drama, and by just listening to their speeches I would have voted for each of them over the incumbents.

And one funny thing … I ran into a friend of mine and his wife at the event from my spay/neuter work and he stared and did a double take and asked “What are YOU doing here?” He never pictured me for a conservative! Perhaps it is the 35 hours of tattoos, the “animal people” associations, my being a vegetarian, traits usually associated I guess with more liberal folks. I can’t wait to invite my liberal friends to some meet and greets and introduce them to candidates I will be supporting in 2010!

(from my blog Ordinary Sway http://bourque77.blogivists.com/)