Get ready for the Freeborn County caucuses

Published 7:55 am Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The last time I wrote, I wrote about why I am a Republican. I challenged people to get involved in the party of their choice. I understand why people are apathetic about politics and government. Wherever people gather the discussions eventually arrive at the many problems, complaints, the failures we see in government, at all levels, to deal with the many and varied special interests.

The date for Minnesota caucuses is set for Feb. 2. What is a caucus? It is the beginning of the political process at the grass-roots level. It is a gathering of people with a similar political philosophy. The Republican Party caucus will be held at the Albert Lea High School. The DFL caucus will be held at the Moose Club in Albert Lea. By law registration begins at 6:30 p.m. with convening of the caucus at 7 p.m.

The word “caucus,” according to Webster’s means “a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction to select candidates or to decide on policy; a group of people united to promote an agreed-upon cause.” Caucus is not to put pressure on anyone but to listen to and share the thoughts and feelings in regard to our government.

Email newsletter signup

The caucus is broken down into precincts and wards. We will begin by meeting together for a short introduction to the evening. From there you will be directed to your precinct meeting place where you will meet with people in your precinct.

There will be a convener in each precinct and a secretary will be selected to keep a record of your meeting. Your main purpose will be:

1. To elect, from your precinct, delegates and alternates to the county convention. The number of delegates and alternates vary by precinct and you will be given that information.

2. To present any resolutions you may want presented to the county convention. Bring your thoughts on various issues, or write them up in some manner. They do not have to be in any formal language. You will discuss whatever issues are brought forward. Following discussion they will be voted on. If passed they will go to a resolution committee which will meet prior to the county convention. The purpose of the resolution committee is to review and consolidate these issues and present them to the county convention.

If you cannot attend your precinct caucus but would like to be a delegate or alternate to the county convention, let some one in your precinct know so that you can be nominated or send a letter to that affect to Alan Arends, 1645 Massee, Albert Lea, MN 56007 or to Ms. Sybil Broskoff, 204 Willamor Road, Albert Lea, MN 56007.

The next level of party politics will be the county convention. Here the purpose is to:

1. Elect county officers, every two years.

2. Elect delegates to State Central, the committee with representation from all the BPOU’s (basic political organizational units) in the state.

3. Elect delegates to district and state conventions.

At the county convention we may hear from some of the candidates running for the various offices. This could be county as well as state or national office. Also, we will discuss and vote on resolutions to be passed on to the next level.

It takes a good amount of time and effort to organize these events. We all get very tired of the candidate calls and the calls requesting financial support.

But think about it. Without those calls where would our influence be? The less participation we exhibit the less effect or influence we have within our government.

The Constitution of the United States begins with:

“We, the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Thomas Jefferson is quoted, “Say … whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government, or information to the people. This last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is in their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

If you have never attended a caucus I invite you to come this year. Put Feb. 2 on your calendar. If you are called to help in some way, say, “Yes!” Meet some new people, listen to some good discussions, meet some candidates in person. Let your views be heard. You will be surprised how many people share YOUR view. Come!

Maureen Ruble is a member of the Freeborn County Republican Party.