As you know the current Oklahoma Republican Party system of selecting a presidential candidate resulted in the selection of a candidate that the majority of Oklahomans had a very hard time supporting. Prior to 1988, the Oklahoma Republican Party used a caucus system to select a presidential candidate.
That system resulted in choosing Ronald Reagan in 1976, 1980 and 1984. Virtually all of us would agree that was a much better selection than what was made in 2008. By taking action now, we can have a system in place by 2012 that has the capability to make a much better choice.
As a result, we are kicking off a state-wide effort to convert the Oklahoma Republican Party back to a caucus system instead of the current presidential preference primary system used for selecting a presidential candidate. This fits in well with the bill that State Representative Charles Key has submitted in the Oklahoma House that requires the political parties to pay their own election expenses.
Some of the more significant reasons for this change are listed below. Three versions of the Precinct Meeting Motion are also listed below. Please select one of them and present it for discussion at your precinct meeting to ensure that the motion will be passed on to your County Convention.
At the County Conventions we will have a Resolution to present to the County Convention that details the change back to a caucus system. Once this resolution is approved by the County Conventions, it will then be considered at the State Convention. Once approved at the State Convention, the change to a caucus system for choosing a Presidential candidate would occur for the 2012 election.
Reasons for changing to a caucus system:
1. Informed voters attend the caucus meeting and are energized and engaged in the presidential selection process.
2. National media is no longer the driving force for a candidate to get votes in a primary.
3. Caucus system encourages grassroots activists to get involved in campaigns and helps recruit volunteers and donors.
4. State and local party organizations can raise money through the caucus system:
Candidates appears at an event, party raises money through tickets, etc.
State party can charge a fee for the candidates to be on caucus ballot.
5. Caucus system increases participation in local and state party; helps to organize precincts and train volunteers for local, county and statewide campaigns.
6. Presidential candidates would come to the state for events and to personally meet Oklahoma Republicans in order to gain our vote at the caucus.
7. Number of donors and donations increase to the state and local party.
8. Money is no longer siphoned from our state to go toward candidate expenditures in other caucus states by the campaigns. It stays in our state to benefit our party.
9. Volunteers are no longer taken from our state to work in other caucus states.
10. Presidential candidates would send volunteers, campaign staff, and money into the state.
Here are three versions of the Precinct/County Meeting Motion (adapt them and make them your own and present one at your precinct meeting):
To increase involvement in the Oklahoma Republican Party and to re-energize our base, I make a motion that Oklahoma Republicans return to the precinct caucus system to select National Convention Delegates which was used prior to 1988 and chose Ronald Reagan in 1976, 1980 and 1984. Furthermore, I move that this resolution be approved by the ________PCT _______________ County as a change to the Rules of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
Prior to 1988, the Oklahoma Republican Party used a precinct caucus system to select Delegates to the National Convention. In 1976, 1980 and 1984, Ronald Reagan was Oklahoma Republicans choice for President. Therefore, I make a motion that Oklahoma Republicans return to this precinct caucus system to select National Convention Delegates. Furthermore, I move that this resolution be approved by the _________PCT __________________ County as a change to the Rules of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
In 1976, 1980 and 1984, Ronald Reagan was Oklahoma Republicans choice for President as a result of the precinct caucus system to select Delegates to the National Convention. In order to re-energize the base of our party and to get more people involved in their local precinct, I make a motion that Oklahoma Republicans return to this precinct caucus system to select National Convention Delegates. Furthermore, I move that this resolution be approved by the _______PCT _______________ County as a change to the Rules of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
For more information see the box link and download the piece by Richard Engle on the Case for Caucuses.
Information about the Caucus System above was provided by Thomas Kiene with input from Richard Engle and Cheryl Williams and many others too numerous to mention but all very much appreciated! We welcome your comments below.