A Message from Muskogee County State Committeeman Jamison Faught
The issue of how Oklahoma Republicans choose their nominee for president is very important, and should not be taken lightly. Whether we have a caucus system or a primary affects the ability of hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans to participate in the process of selecting our next president.
That’s why I am calling for a moratorium on the caucus vs. primary issue.
Do we want the Republican party to be the Party of the Oligarchy, where the elite few make the decisions for the whole? That is what we would be, if we consider voting on our presidential nominee selection system at the 2009 State Convention.
Such a small percentage of registered Republicans will be present at the State Convention, making decisions that will affect not only the long-time party activist, but also the average Republican who is not even aware that the Party is considering changing how they can vote.
Currently, the state of Oklahoma has over 860,000 registered Republicans. 335,000 Republicans voted in the Presidential Primary that took place in February of 2008. How many will be attending the 2009 State Convention? 1,000? 1,500? 2,000? Whatever the actual attendance is, it is an extremely small percentage of the overall Republican population in Oklahoma, many of whom are unaware of the convention, or the fact that how they vote for President may be changing due to actions taken at this convention, without their input
Some of the 'Caucus OK!' proponents speak of the Republican Party being a private organization (in the context of the state paying for the primaries). I ask, what private organization would dramatically change how they operate without notifying all of their members? That's what is happening right now with the caucus/primary discussion.
Yes, let’s have a healthy debate on whether to keep the primary, or move to a caucus, but let’s make sure that that decision is what the party as a whole wants. That is why I call for a moratorium.
Here is what I propose. The Oklahoma Republican Party should vote on whether to keep the primary, or to move to a caucus. However, we postpone that decision until every registered Republican in the state is contacted (or contact is attempted) about the possible change, and given an opportunity to attend a special convention scheduled for that very purpose. I call on the state party to establish a fund dedicated solely to financing such a contact operation. If such a course of action is taken, I will give the first donation.
This is much too important an issue to be decided without input from the members of the Republican Party as a whole, not just a select few.
So again, this is my proposal:
- The State Party dedicate a fund to be used specifically to contact via mail (or other form of contact, if available, balancing cost and effectiveness) every registered Republican in the state. I will donate the first $50. Republicans on the state email list, and county email lists, would not have to have a postcard mailed to them, and activists could gather names of other people who do not need notification, saving more money.
- Schedule a special convention to deal exclusively with the caucus vs. primary issue, once enough money is raised.
- Vote to either keep the current primary, or move to a caucus, after all registered Republicans have been given the opportunity to attend if they so wish.
Thank you for considering my proposal. Whatever is decided, we should unite as a party, in order to accomplish greater things in the future.
State Committeeman, Muskogee County