Colorado Republican Party Structure and Organization
To Take Back the Party you Must Know How It Works
To take back the Party you must know how it is structured and how it works. OGRE eXposed is dedicated to educating registered Republicans who believe in the Constitution and their fundamental liberties about the current state of the Republican Party, how its leaders are elected, and how you can change it using the process and procedures that already exist within the Party.
The Old Guard Republican Establishment has imposed a “top down”, as opposed to a “bottom up,” approach on the structure of the Republican Party. They have accomplished this through control and manipulation of the rules and procedures within the Republican Party. As a result, the grassroots Republicans have very little influence over the direction of the Party, including Party leadership and Party candidates.
The good news is that these same rules and procedures can be used to take back control of the Republican Party. In order to do this, you must know how these rules and procedures work. The following steps summarize the basic structure and levels of the Party and how grassroots Republicans can affect the state and nation Party leadership.
Table of Contents:
How Does the Party Work? (Intro)
The Short Version
The Long Version
Step 1: Register as a Republican
Step 2: Attend Caucus
Step 3: Vote for Precinct Committee People
Step 4: Elect Delegates
Step 5: Precinct People Vote for Bonus Members
Step 6: Bonus Members Vote for State Party Chairman
Step 7: County Delegates vote for State Assembly Delegates
Step 8: State Delegates vote for RNC National Committee Representatives
Step 9: State Party Chairman and RNC Reps vote for RNC Chairman
Party Structure Diagram
Delegate/Precinct People Election Recommendations
So How does the Colorado Republican Party Work?
Yes, I know it doesn't work. But putting aside the sarcasm, the real issue here is: How does the Colorado Republican Party structure and organization operate? In order to make real changes in the Republican Party and to change the direction of the GOP from one of irrelevance to a defender of liberty once again, you must understand the Party structure and organization so you can change it!
The best way to understand the Colorado Republican Party structure is to think of it as a ladder. At the bottom of the ladder (the grassroots) are registered Republicans. At the top is the RNC Chairman. To get from the bottom (the grassroots) to the top (RNC Chairman) there are multiple steps in between. Regular Republican voters do not get to pick their national party chairman, state party chairman, representatives to the governing bodies at the state or national level. This disconnect between those who actually register as Republicans and those who run the Republican Party is the source of much discontent and mistrust.
The good news is that there is a way regular Republican voters who love liberty and believe in the Constitution can succeed in electing good, (real) conservative candidates using the Republican Party structure that already exists. But you have to do more than just register as Republican and vote at a polling place.
In plain English, here is how it works:
The Short Version:
Precinct Committee People are elected at caucus. They form the grassroots base of the party and are responsible for electing their Party leadership at the county level. They also elect Bonus Members to the State Party level who in turn elect the State Party Chairman. County party chairmen, county party vice-chairs, county party secretaries, and state Republican elected officials also get to vote for State Party Chairman.
On a different track (or ladder if you prefer), which also has its starting point at the caucus, delegates are elected to county assemblies. Some delegates at the county level then are elected to other "higher" assemblies, including the State Assembly. The State Assembly elects two National Committee members, who with the State Party Chairman (see track one), are members of the Republican National Committee (RNC). The RNC then elects its own chairman, the RNC Chairman. See a visual diagram
The Long Version with important details:
In order to participate in this process of electing Colorado Republican Party officers and leaders, you obviously need to be a registered Republican. You must be registered to vote at least 60 days before the caucus date and live in the precinct at least 30 days prior to caucus or you can't participate. You can register with the Division of Motor Vehicles (motor voter), through your county clerk's office, or through the Colorado Secretary of State Office.[Tip: The easiest way to register to vote is through the Colorado Secretary of State's Office HERE.]
Every even-numbered year, usually in March-except in presidential years when the state party can vote to move it to February, and has chosen to do so in the last two presidential elections-each party will hold its caucus. Each county is divided up into precincts and each precinct holds its own caucus. To make this process a lot easier, figure out what number precinct you live in-write it down and better yet-memorize it! You can find this out from your local county clerk (elections division) website or you can call them to find out. All they should need is your street address to figure this out.
Precincts are actually pretty small, usually the size of a neighborhood or two. The location of the caucus will vary, but it is common to hold them in schools, churches, or some-place where you can have several people gather. It will be close to you. Your local Republican Party will usually inform you o f the location of your caucus. Go to your local, county Republican Party website or the Republican State Party website to get contact information if you are having trouble finding out where you are supposed to go. If your local Party is ran well, you shouldn't have a problem figuring out where to go. But it may take a little effort to determine where and when to show up to caucus.[TIP: the County clerk's office may NOT know where your caucus location is being held since it is the local Party's job to handle this.]
Once you know where to go, show up and show up on time. Caucus will usually take place in the evening during the week. This is not like going to vote at a poll when you have a huge window to show up. Often the important stuff will happen at the beginning and no one is going to wait for you. Having ran caucuses myself, these should start right on time so everyone gets home at a reasonable hour.
At caucus, as a registered Republican, you have several things to vote on. For purposes of taking back control of the Republican Party, the most important elections you need to worry about are the election of delegates and election of precinct committee persons. These will be people that live in your precinct and you may even know them. This is as grassroots AS it can get.[Tip: Many voters blow off election of delegates and precinct people because they don't really understand what they do and the people running for these slots may seem like nice people. This is the root problem.]
Normally, your caucus will be ran by someone from your county party. Keep in mind these are not professional election people and are not employed by the clerk's office to run these. It is solely a function of the local county Republican Party.[Tip: Most people who volunteer for this job mean well, often times they are already precinct leaders who want to be reelected, which is normal. Just remember there really is no supervision of this process and is only overseen by the people who choose to show up and participate.]
As a registered Republican who shows up for caucus, your first important job is to choose who will be Precinct Committee People. (FYI-this is the term used in Colorado statutes). Your individual precinct will get to elect TWO precinct leaders. Precinct people are important for purposes of Party structure because they will have a vote in your local, Republican Party activties. There tends to be several hundred county wide in the most populous counties but there may be only a few in rural counties. Elected Precinct Committee People get to vote for their officers and executives at the county party level (like the Board of Directors) and on the big decisions when it comes to County Party issues (such as bylaws).[Tip: The best way to think of Precinct People is to compare them to shareholders in a corporation. They usually don't have daily responsibilities, but they get to vote for the big stuff like the county Party chairman, county party executive committee (like a board of directors), and other important issues like bylaws.]
You may have several people running for these two positions. You get to vote for the two you prefer. This will usually happen by literally giving you a piece of paper and you check off their names or write someone in. Then you turn it in to whoever is running your caucus. They should count the votes in front of everyone. Make sure you insist on this.
Those persons who want to be a Precinct Committee Person often will tout how hard they work at getting out the vote, volunteering time raising money, etc. These things are important. BUT, just because you can bake cookies does not mean you understand the Constitution or the underlying problems with the Republican Party. You need to find out their political philosophies and how they view the role of the Republican Party. THIS IS KEY. To find out my suggestions for how to vote for Precinct Committee People and assembly delegates, click here.
After precinct people are elected, you will have a chance to vote for assembly delegates. Okay, this is where it can get a little confusing. There are a number of assemblies (big meetings of elected delegates) for different elected office districts. For example, they have judicial districts assemblies, congressional district assemblies, state legislative district assemblies, and county assemblies. In some counties you get to vote to elect delegates only to a county assembly (who in turn will vote for delegates to higher assemblies), and in some counties you may be able to vote directly for delegates to those other higher assemblies. You should find out how this works beforehand from your county Republican Party beforehand so you know exactly what delegate positions you will be voting for.
Unlike Precinct People who may have get out the vote responsibilities and technically serve a two year term (until the next caucus), delegates have only one important job, and that is to show up at the assembly that they were elected to and vote for potential Republican candidates and delegates to higher assemblies. As a registered Republican voter, what this means in plain English is that you are voting for the people who will get to choose who the Republicans will be on several primary election ballots for local public office (like County Sheriff), and who will get to choose delegates to the State Assembly and other assemblies as mentioned.[Tip: If this sounds like you are voting for people, who get to vote for more people, who will ultimately get to choose State Party and RNC leadership, you are right.]
Just remember this through all this confusion: like precinct committee people, your neighbors who want to be delegates will often tout how hard they work at getting out the vote, volunteering time raising money, bake sales, etc. Just because you can bake cookies does not mean you understand the Constitution or the underlying problems with the Republican Party. You need to find out their political philosophies and how they view the role of the Republican Party. THIS IS KEY. To find out my suggestions for how to vote for precinct committeeperson and assembly delegates, click here.
Once you have finished voting at caucus your ability to directly affect Party leadership and rules has been completed. The Precinct People you voted for will go to a county party organizational meeting and central committee meetings and vote for county Party officers and bonus members. Bonus members are members of the State Central Committee.[Tip: Keep in mind that county party chairmen, county party vice-chairs, county party secretaries, and state Republican elected officials are also voting members of the State Central Committee. Therefore, a strong showing by bonus members statewide is all the more important because they have to be the counterweight to the installed establishment who continue to vote for each other and their friends year-after-year.]
Just as each county holds is own organizational meeting, the State GOP will hold one as well in odd-numbered years. Finally, at THIS meeting, the bonus members, along with various elected officials, get to vote for the State Party Chairman and other state Party officers. They also get to vote on State Party Bylaws.
Our current Colorado Republican State Chairman is Ryan Call.[Tip: the best way to think about Bonus Members is that they are to the State Party what Precinct Committee People are to the county party. Just like shareholders in a corporation. UNLIKE most county Republican parties, however, the bonus members do not get to vote for executive committee members. This needs to change.]
In even numbered years, the delegates you voted for at caucus meet at a county assembly. If there are local county elections, those delegates get to choose who the Republican primary candidates for a local office will be (for example, county sheriff). The county delegates (in most counties) also get to vote for delegates to State Assembly and other assemblies (such as Congressional or state legislative assemblies). Again, this may be different depending on which county you live in.
The State Party Chairman runs the State Assembly. All kinds of interesting things happen at State Assembly, although there are a lot of speeches. The delegates to State Assembly get to vote on who will be on the Republican primary ballot for state-wide offices (such as Governor or State Treasurer). In presidential election years, they get to vote for delegates to the Republican National Convention (the big RNC event you see every four years on TV). But they also get to vote for two representatives (one man and one woman) to the Republican National Committee. These elections are often overlooked and not given primary importance at the State Assembly. But elections to the RNC national committee are vitally important!
The current National Committeewoman from Colorado is Lily Nunez. The current National Committeeman from Colorado is Mike Kopp.
The RNC holds an organizational meeting in odd-numbered years where the RNC, including the State Party Chairmen from each state, elect the RNC Chairman. Therefore, the only three that get to vote for the RNC Chairman is (1) the State Party Chairman, (2) the Colorado National Committeewoman, and (3) the National Committeeman.
The current RNC Chairman is Reince Prebius.