There is a major ongoing divide in the local Republican party—just like that which exists in nearly all states and at the federal level. Details of the local divide were fully explained in a ClarkCounty.info article from Feb. 15th, 2016.
The two Republican sides are described as:
- Political moderates and establishment Republicans whose primary interest is protecting establishment power.
- Conservatives who have had their fill of Republican establishment incompetence, corruption, and weakness against aggressive and corrupt liberals.
The Clark County Republican Convention is being held this coming Saturday (March 12th). Those attending were elected at the recent Republican caucuses. The primary purpose of the convention is to elect delegates to the Republican Party state convention being held in Pasco.
Today ClarkCounty.info became aware of a few establishment Republican activists attempting to rally attendance to a meeting to discuss what is described in the graphic below.
The group behind this meeting is called ‘Republicans of Clark County’. The following is a description of this group and their activities from a recent ClarkCounty.info article:
“This entity, named ‘Republicans of Clark County,’ has a long record of direct assaults on the local party, including overtly trying to fool the public into thinking they were the real Republican Party when they were promoting a liberal and incompetent independent for the Clark County Council Chairman position. They also actively encouraged local Republicans to boycott the main party fundraiser dinner, leaked Party information to the local old media, and repeatedly confronted party leadership—including presenting resolutions and initiating petition drives to remove board members under false pretenses.”
The timing of the meeting and the agenda clearly appears to be an effort by moderates and establishment Republicans to have their influence be more profound at the March 12th Clark County Republican convention. That is fine. If, however, they’re planning a slate of candidate delegates to promote for the Washington state Republican convention, then this is where problems arise and the divide widens. Recall the 2012 Republican convention in Clark County where establishment Republicans orchestrated a slate of candidates. Anti-establishment conservative participants reacted with another slate and based on better promotion won the day. This set off a chain of events that created quite the divide between the two factions. A divide that exists to today.
So how should the conservative Republican majority react? They could presume another establishment Republican delegate slate is coming their way and create a slate of their own. A much better outcome would be that the renegade Republicans of Clark County PAC deescalate matters, and acknowledge they are not creating a slate, but just organizing to better project and achieve their agenda, which is understandable. The biggest reason to not use candidate delegate slates would be to protect the interests of convention participants that are not part of these two battling groups. These participants could show up with a potential interest to go to the State Convention and if the two groups are battling with slates, then these new participants would be shut out. That would be a real shame.
ClarkCounty.info has reported on the ongoing and serious misinformation pushed out by the ‘Republicans of Clark County’ PAC. Please review the timeline below of what has actually occurred with the conservative reset since the 2012 Clark County Republican Convention.
Timeline of the Conservative Reset of the Clark County Republican Party
Republican Clark County Convention: The Republican Party divide began in earnest at this convention. A few days before the convention Mitt Romney supporters attempted to collaborate with Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum supporters to have sufficient numbers to elect a proportional slate of Romney/Gingrich/Santorum delegates to the state convention with the key objective of blocking any Ron Paul delegates. The national Rick Santorum campaign did not endorse this alliance, and the national campaign asked the local Rick Santorum volunteers to ally with Ron Paul supporters with the goal of a brokered convention – a request which resulted in the resignation of Santorum’s Clark County campaign chair. The Ron Paul supporters coordinated with a subset of the Santorum and Gingrich supporters to create a slate of delegates. By virtue of this coalition’s superior numbers, they won the day. Many establishment participants were very upset, which is ironic as they were attempting the same maneuver on the Ron Paul delegates. The establishment, sensing they were losing control, stalled the conservative upsurge by using parliamentary tactics and calculated incompetence to run out the clock, causing the credentials of many State delegates to be questioned. Legislative District 17 was not allowed to continue their voting which resulted in 17 state delegate positions going unfilled. This, combined with the strident reaction of many establishment participants, was the catalyst for many conservatives to stand and start the process to fix problems as they saw them.
Conservatives win a majority of the Precinct Committee Officer positions: Clark County had about 220 precincts in 2012, which are geographic areas with up to about 1000-1200 voters each. Each precinct can have a Republican and Democrat precinct committee officer or PCO. The PCOs elect the party leadership. So the activist conservatives got to work recruiting candidate PCOs for the August 2012 PCOs election. The conservative candidates became coordinated to leverage planning and work that could be done more efficiently as a team. The establishment Republicans realized what was happening, and attempted to recruit their own PCOs to run against the conservative movement, but lacked the tactical understanding of the huge number of newly activated citizens to be effective. The conservative movement won over 90 positions and reached a conservative majority. The term of these new PCOs would begin Dec. 1, 2012. Although existing party leadership recognized changes were likely coming, they refused to respectfully work with the newly elected PCOs during the 2012 election cycle. They culminated their poor form by conducting an ‘end of election’ party that would cost over $7000 of donor money, which left the operational bank account nearly dry for the new leaders.
Election of new Clark County Republican Leadership: The election for new party leadership occurred in early December 2012. Because of the successful PCO elections, the new conservatives successfully recruited and elected candidates for all board positions save one, which was narrowly lost. The others were decisively won with 60-68% of the vote in a room of 163 PCOs. Reformed party bylaws were adopted to make the CCRP a grassroots-led bottom-up organization. The common narrative among the Republican establishment and local old media at this time was that disruptive Ron Paul Libertarians had taken over the party, but in fact, none of the newly elected members in the key positions of chairman, Vice chairman, secretary, and Treasurer were from the prior Ron Paul supporters.
Record-breaking fundraising: The local party put on its yearly Lincoln Day Dinner event, which resulted in record-breaking fund raising – more than doubling the prior all-time record. The events in 2014 and 2015 were similarly successful, exceeding prior records although they didn’t outdo the fund-raising performance of the 2013 event.
General election: The local Republican Party greatly improved the use of technology in citizen outreach. This, combined with the record breaking fundraising and active volunteers, resulted in many Republican victories. The result was more Republicans elected in Clark County in decades. Notwithstanding this success, stories of dysfunction and incompetence were regularly spread by the local old media and disaffected establishment Republicans.
Special election for new Chairman and vice chairman: Lynda Wilson was the chairman elected in December 2012, however she decided in late 2013, to run for a state legislative position and resigned her position as the party chairman. The vice-chair also resigned, as he was to be very involved with candidate Wilson’s campaign. The party elected a new Chairman and Vice-chair from the ranks of the conservative activists in a special election.
General election: The local party continued to improve the use of technology for citizen outreach and in the coordination and execution of volunteer duties. Again, more Republicans were elected, creating more reasons to acknowledge and celebrate the success. The party also vigorously opposed the new County Charter, but did not prevail on that matter. Left-of-center politicians and special interest handlers mainly influenced the final Charter language—that was designed help them regain political control in Clark County.
Election of new Clark County Republican Leadership: The chairman was reelected and most of the other officers elected were from the group that had started the conservative reset back in 2012.
January to March 2015
Discussion of possible censure of Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Butler (JHB): Because of the new bylaws, any PCO may now introduce resolutions. At the organizing meeting in January 2015, one PCO made a motion to put the subject of censure of JHB on the agenda of the March PCO meeting based on her continued promotion of the policies and actions of the corrupt and self-interested Republican establishment at the national level. The central committee (which are the PCOs and local party officers). At the March 2015 meeting, the central committee discussed the censure and related topics, and a majority of the PCOs voted to not pursue the matter further. This was an orderly, reasonable process with a very pragmatic and measured outcome, since no politician should be exempt from critical review. However, by reading the local old media and the comments from the local Republican moderates, one would have thought a murder had occurred.
March to June 2015
Establish new committees to review selected legislation and monitor performance of politicians: The JHB censure event catalyzed further discussions on a more orderly way for the PCOs to monitor legislation and public servant performance. A few PCOs invested considerable time to develop objective and fair processes for the PCOs to be more involved with reviewing and influencing legislation and the performance of public servants. The objectives were imminently reasonable. However, the culture and emotions of the establishment Republicans were heavily against such processes. It appeared the top-down style of the Republican establishment was disinterested in PCOs having such power and to be critiquing the public servants in any way.
Rejection of County Councilor Candidate Marc Boldt: Politician Marc Boldt has a long history in local politics. He served as a rather conservative state legislator in the mid-1990s and spent 8 years (2004 to 2012) as a Clark County commissioner. As a commissioner, Marc Boldt became increasingly liberal to the point the prior leadership of the local Republican Party felt the need to censure him in November 2011. Boldt lost his Commissioner seat in 2012. When he ran for the top Clark County Councilor position in 2015, he filed as an Independent. The rogue “Republicans of Clark County” (described earlier in this article) heavily supported Boldt. This, plus Boldt’s overall unsuitability, caused the Clark County Republican PCOs to overwhelming reject any formal support for Mr. Boldt.