My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Report from the Jefferson County Assembly 

I spent the morning with several (SEVERAL) hundred of my closest friends today at my County Republican Assembly/Convention. If you'v never been to one, I recommend it--sure, it's an anachronism from our caucus process history, but it does give the party a chance to bring activists and candidates and workers together to get some direction and, hopefully, some motivation.

And, as far as that goes, I thought it was a pretty successful morning. Bob Schaffer gave a very good, if slightly truncated, speech (I think he had a few other assemblies to get to); he comes off as very personable, very smart, and good on his feet--all of which will come in handy when he has to go against Mark Udall (who is none of those things). And several of the other andidates gave good speeches, though it was mostly standard, red-meat Republican schtick. One candidate did stick out for his humor and his immediate connection to the crowd, and that was John Bodnar, candidate for House 27.

(Full disclosure: this writer is working with the Bodnar campaign; nonetheless, he got up to the microphone and improvised a whole two-minute speech, extolling the virtues of other candidates while poking fun at himself for his nerves, with a nifty segue to hitting his opponent).

But one of his lines became the theme for the day. He said "Four weeks ago I attended my first caucus; in fact, I wasn't even worthy of being a full delegate (as he held up his "alternate" name badge); today, I'm a candidate."

One candidate for a state house race was recruited just this morning; there is still at least one state house district without a Republican candidate; one state Senate district is without a candidate; and the candidate for the 7th Congressional seat (currently held by Ed Perlmutter) described himself as a "sacrificial lamb."

For the record, DC7 was drawn by a judge specifically to be a competitive seat and Perlmutter is a one-term incumbent who is startlingly weak--THERE SHOULD BE NO REPUBLICAN SACRIFICIAL LAMBS!!!

The point is, the Republican party has an odd situation on their hands: it is wonderful to see new faces, get new perspectives and new energy, and it feels like a period of renewal; on the other hand, the lack of candidates, much less experienced candidates, can only be described as disturbing. I'm not sure what to make of this, or if there's anything at all to be gained by trying to figure out WHY we're in this situation right now.

But, more importantly, we need to figure out where to go from here. I don't know if Dick Wadhams has "Build the Bench" high on his list of priorities, but it seems like that's something that's been too neglected for too many years, and I certainly hope the entire GOP establishment recognizes this and gets to work on it.

Then there needs to be a concerted effort to communicate the message more effectively. This blog, and the other Alliance blogs (see blogroll over to the right), certainly attempt to communicate those arguments, but I'm afraid the message isn't quite breaking through.

At any rate, I want to encourage everybody out there to find the name of your local candidates and GET INVOLVED. This election will turn on the energy and the enthusiasm of the people who want it more. The other side has the money--we're gonna need something more.

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