Guest blog by John Supino.
It’s time to give the people a voice in the Republican primaries.
In my previous article, you have seen my disgust with the nominating system used by some the Republican party’s county commissions. A system built by insiders, for insiders. Anyone can complain, but it’s incumbent upon those who do, to also offer solutions. So I’ve stated the problem, now let’s discuss the actions that should be taken, and the resulting resolutions.
- Eliminate County lines. This alone would put an end to most of the corruption. Without lines, the counties have nothing to sell, so candidates have nothing to buy. End the perception of corruption right there. There is no reason why there has to be a line, plenty of counties run wonderfully without it. This doesn’t stop a county from endorsing a candidate. Those who lose power as a result are going to really hate this.
- Standardized Convention Framework: arcane, arbitrary rules from county to county. Establish statewide minimum guidelines that each county must follow such as candidate outreach, a direct public link to the rules, dates and times, and a no-conflict calendar.
- Hold debates. Right now there is no scheduled debate for Senatorial candidates, no county wants to have one.
- Eliminate Sscreening Meetings. This is a joke anyway. It’s more of a shakedown than an investigation of policy. 10-20 minutes with a candidate isn’t enough time to figure anything out anyway. It’s a formality to portray an image of fairness, when, we all know it’s anything but fair, with back room dealings ruling the day.
- Hold Public Question and Answer Sessions: Let the people see ahead of time, BEFORE A CONVENTION the candidates so they can see for themselves if their County Commission actually represents them. Require a min time to talk for each candidate. 15 minutes, with 15 minute question/answer.
- Do Not Limit Voting: Allow any registered republican who shows up to vote in the convention. These people are usually better informed than the delegates anyway.
- Commission Outreach. There is a small number of candidates in a primary. 2-6 maybe? Candidates have no rules. However, there’s 21 counties, and they all have different rules. So before a candidate can run an effective campaign, they need to get a law degree in county rules to go anywhere. The attitude from many is “you want our vote; you figure it out.” This is a piss poor attitude. The outreach needs to go in the other direction, from the COUNTY to the CANDIDATE! Anything less represents laziness and apathy from the county committee. They’ll just wait it out until they just take the easy way out.
There are bright spots in this process, some counties are actually well run. Bergen, Morris, and Glouster stand out in this respect. Their people reach out to candidates, make sure they have all the information they need, and have public question and answer sessions. Special shout out to and Salem County, even though they don’t have a line. Some counties, such as Ocean and Cumberland remain to be seen I’m optimistic so far. The rest, the more corrupt ones, have no interest in helping candidates navigate the process. It’s a means of elimination of candidates they want to black ball.
Candidates spend an inordinate amount of time, money, and energy kissing the ass of 100 people, and trying to figure out the rules of each county. This is time and energy that candidates can be out talking to constituents, which, at the end of the day wins elections right? Constituents votes. Not kissing up to 100 king makers sitting on their new sofas in freshly painted surroundings.
By the time this ridiculous process is done, there’s 60 days left to focus on the people of the state. For months prior their attention was diverted to navigating this obscure process, in an arcane system. That’s where votes should come from, not with a bunch of unelected bureaucrats. The best candidates are the ones with the best platforms. If we want to get the best candidates, not the best bureaucrats, the counties need to be more accommodating, and less arrogant. Stringent adherence to arbitrary rules doesn’t produce the best products. We can only win with better candidates.
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