Most of the Republican Party caucus meetings I have attended over the past 45 years have been loaded with pep-rally rhetoric but lacked in specifics, leaving our grass-roots members not knowing who or what we were voting for. This week, I saw something different and delightful.
Our caucus meeting had 34 attendees. We had discussion of a few specific issues in an atmosphere accepting of differing opinions. We discussed three litmus questions and asked each candidate for delegate positions to express their opinions: First, how do you feel about the current dual-track avenue to the ballot? Second, how do you feel about an increased gas tax to indirectly support education? Third, do you support Mitt Romney for Senate? Before selecting delegates, we discussed these issues as a group. Other questions could have been used equally well, but these questions generated positive discussion and helped us to make informed decisions regarding the delegates we then selected. By the way, our attendees appeared to be unanimous in support of the dual-track nomination system. Regarding education funding, we had a majority in support and a respected minority against gas tax increase. Regarding the open Senate seat, all discussion and statements supported Mitt. I doubt that our results would be a perfect mirror for all Republican precincts, but I suspect our results are similar to majority grass-roots Republican sentiment. In our precinct, the caucus system is alive and working.
I commend this use of a few specific questions to generate healthy discussion and to vet candidates. It worked for us this week. Perhaps in the future, the agenda format given to each precinct by the party should recommend such enrichment.
Kerry V. Soelberg