WS>>How to become 500 times more powerful politically...than the

carl william spitzer iv cwsiv_2nd at JUNO.COM
Thu Sep 14 17:02:05 MDT 2000

WS>>How to become 500 times more  powerful politically...than the average

          The  Most Powerful  Office in the World is Not the Pre-
     sidency of the United States!!! (note: I have the "Most pow-
     erful  Office" rules for all 50 states---Grant Noble)

          "I  was  a  Precinct Committeeman for 16  years  and  I
     eagerly encourage others to do likewise." Phyllis  Schlafly,
     President, Eagle Forum

          "I hope this (essay) gets wide distribution."
          Hon.  U.S.  Rep.  Phillip M.  Crane

          Yes,  I admit it.  The title of this essay is a  little
     misleading.  Bill Clinton (alas) is the most powerful man in
     the world, so I guess, technically, the U.S.  Presidency  is
     the "Most Powerful Office in the World." But what if I  told
     you there is another public office that (ultimately) chooses
     who  will  be President plus virtually every  other  elected
     official  in the United States? If that were true,  wouldn't
     that office (ultimately) be the "Most Powerful Office in the

          Conservatives  take  pride in their  knowledge  of  the
     Constitution  and the outward forms of American  Government.
     Many can quote the Found Fathers "The least governed are the
     best  governed"  (Jefferson), "Government is  like  fire,  a
     useful  servant  but a deadly master"  (George  Washington),
     etc.  We work hard electing a few tokens (like Reagan).  But
     the  bottom line is, we know next to nothing about the  real
     system  of American government, which isn't the  fairy  tale
     we're taught in school.

          That's why, years after the "Reagan Revolution",  taxes
     (and  tax  funded abortions) are up, the Federal  debt  (and
     crime)  continues to skyrocket, government  regulations  and
     mandates multiply like rabbits.  Public schools, the  Second
     Amendment,  "gay  rights"---I dare you to  find  one  public
     policy  issue that isn't worse from a conservative  perspec-

          If  you are tired of seeing things continue to go  down
     the  drain,  you must understand how liberals  dominate  our
     government.  You must understand the seven laws of  American

      1.  If you want to change things, change the laws.   Remem-
          ber  all the nonsense we learned in school about  "Coe-
          qual  Branches of Government"? Actually the  Found  Fa-
          thers  made  Congress far and away  the  most  powerful
          branch because it was "closest to the people."

          The  President can't spend a dime unless  Congress  au-
          thorizes  it.  Congress can reject treaties and  Presi-
          dential  appointments, mandate programs  the  President
          doesn't want (by overriding vetoes) and even  determine
          if  the Supreme Court can rule on a case (Article  III,
          section  2, "...the Supreme Court shall  have  original
          Jurisdiction...with  such  exceptions  and  under  such
          Regulations as the Congress shall make.")!

          Because  our state constitutions are modeled after  the
          Federal Constitution, it's the same story at the  local
          level.  Governors and State Supreme Court Justices have
          some  influence,  but ultimate power lies in  the  same
          legislature  that passes the laws and  determines  what
          happen in our society.      Unfortunately, most  legis-
          latures are dominated by liberals.

      2.  To  change laws, change the lawmakers.  No citizens  or
          group  can possibly keep up with the thousands of  laws
          passed  each year by U.S.   legislatures.  Sure  a  big
          campaign (like the recent one against the  anti-private
          school provisions of H.R.  6) can change a vote or two.
          But  after all the shouting is over, sometime down  the
          road  liberal  legislators quietly pass  whatever  they
          wanted  in the first place.  There's really no  substi-
          tute  for legislators we can count on whether our  eyes
          are on them or not.

      3.  Our  people  have to be on the ballot to  get  elected.
          When  was  the last time you were  really  enthusiastic
          about  a  candidate?  How often do  you  vote  for  the
          "lesser  of two evils"?  Ever wonder why,  despite  the
          rhetoric, both major parties promote  anti-conservative
          policies after they are elected?

      4.  To  get on the ballot, our people have to win  a  major
          party primary.   Except in very rare cases, everyone we
          elect in the fall won a major party primary.  In 90% of
          elections, winning a major party primary is  tantamount
          to winning the fall election.  Usually no more than 20%
          of  the registered voters bother to vote in  these  all
          important  primaries.  In primaries that have  multiple
          candidates  (very common in "open seat" dominant  party
          primaries), often less than 7% of the registered voters
          determine who goes to the legislature.  Since only half
          of  the  eligible population registers to vote,  I  es-
          timate about 4% of the voters are telling all the  rest
          of us what to do!

          As  this  point,  I should say  something  about  third
          parties.  Some naive conservatives are falling for  the
          third party appeals of "conservative" leaders (who  are
          more interested in fundraising than results).  The fact
          is  our  "winner  take all" system  (like  England  and
          Canada)  does not provide for proportional  representa-
          tion.   10%  of the voters in a general  election  gets
          nothing.  10% of the voters in the primary of the party
          that  dominates  an electoral district usually  wins  a
          legislative seat.

      5.  Party  endorsed  candidates  the  primary.    Sometimes
          candidates endorsed by their party lose primaries,  but
          it's rare.  Endorsements mean you get party money  plus
          party  workers  who will pass out sample  ballots  with
          your name prominently endorsed.  Primary voters are  no
          different  than anyone else.  They don't have a lot  of
          time to study the qualifications of primary  candidates
          and  their stands on the issues.  Usually they see  the
          party  endorsements, assume "the Party knows best"  and
          punch the appropriate holes.

          There are state, ward and township party organizations,
          but  the basic unit of U.S.  government is the  county.
          In nearly every case, the party endorsements the  prim-
          ary  voter sees are made by a county executive  commit-
          tee.   This executive committee is usually  elected  by
          the county's precinct committeemen.  These committeemen
          are  elected in the party primary from  every  precinct
          (normally about 500 voters) in the county.

          In some states the office of precinct committeeman goes
          under  another name (in Michigan, they are called  pre-
          cinct  delegates; in Ohio, it is  precinct  executive).
          Sometimes  (as  in Illinois' Cook County),  the  county
          executive  committee is elected by primary voters  from
          an  entire  ward, township or county.  But  such  wide-
          spread  voting  for a major  party's  county  executive
          committee, is the exception, not the rule.  Normally it
          is  the locally elected precinct committeemen  who  ul-
          timately control endorsements.

          Each state has slightly different rules for getting  on
          the  primary ballot as a committeeman  candidate.   For
          example,  in  Illinois (outside Cook County)  you  must
          file the signatures of any 10 registered voters in your
          precinct 90 days before the primary.  In Ohio, you must
          file  5  signatures  75 days before  the  primary  from
          voters  who  either  voted in you  party's  primary  or
          didn't vote in any primary in the last two years.   The
          rules (and the name of the office) may differ  slightly
          from  state to state, but it's usually easy to  get  on
          the ballot to run as a committeeman.

      6.  It's  not  necessary to have a majority of  the  county
          committeemen  to  influence  the  endorsement  process.
          Here's  how  it works in my home county,  Lake  County,
          Illinois.   Lake  is  overwhelmingly  Republican.    To
          advance their agenda, liberals get elected as  Republi-
          can committeemen.

          There are roughly 400 precincts in Lake County.   About
          100  are  "vacant",  i.e., nobody  ran  for  Republican
          committeeman  in  the last primary.  Of the 300  or  so
          committeeman elected, about 10% are conservatives,  15%
          are liberals and the rest are "regulars" who are mainly
          interested  in  patronage and power and  usually  could
          care less about issues like abortion, "gay rights", gun
          control, etc.

          Say  X  and Y are running for Lake  County's  executive
          committee.  Each has half of the "regulars".  Where are
          they going to get the necessary voters to get a majori-
          ty?  From  45 liberals or 30  conservatives?  And  once
          elected,  who  do you think the  winning  candidate  is
          going to endorse in the next primary---a liberal Repub-
          lican or a conservative? That's why most of Lake  Coun-
          ty's  officials vote liberal, despite  an  overwhelming
          Republican  vote.  That's how 45 people in a county  of
          520,000 control the endorsement process.  In my county,
          it's  not 4% telling all the rest us what to  do,  it's
          less than one hundredth of 1%!!

          Occasionally, some rich amateur will dump millions into
          a campaign and become a senator or governor  overnight.
          But for the vast majority of politicians, it's a  long,
          slow  grind to the top.  Each step of the ladder,  they
          need  a party endorsement---endorsements which in  both
          parties  are dominated by liberals.  Is it  any  wonder
          why we get the government we do?

          In summary, to change things, we must change the  laws.
          To  change the laws, we must change the  people  making
          them.   To  get elected , our people must  get  on  the
          ballot.   To get on the ballot, they must win  a  major
          party  primary.   To win the primary, they  should  get
          endorsed by their party.  To get a party  endorsements,
          we must find, train and elect precinct committeemen who
          will  in turn elect the people who make party  endorse-
          ments.      Precinct committeeman is the most  powerful
          office  in  the world because  committeemen  ultimately
          determine who goes to Washington and the state capitol.

      7.  The Powerful Office in the World is Easy to get!!  Lake
          is typical among U.S.  counties.  25% of the committee-
          man spots of the dominant party are normally  "vacant".
          In  these precincts, if you get on the  primary  ballot
          with no primary opponent, the only way you can lose  is
          through an almost impossible write-in campaign.

          In  the other 75% of precincts, you will probably  have
          to  oust  an  incumbent  committeeman  (sometimes  they
          withdraw  rather than fight).  But most incumbent  com-
          mitteemen  are  patronage hacks who do  little  besides
          drop off party literature and endorsements.  (When  was
          the  last  time any committeeman came to  your  door?).
          $50 for literature, a few weekends visiting the hundred
          or so homes that might vote in your party's primary and
          any dedicated conservative can win.

          In  my  experience in Illinois, it's very  rare  for  a
          conservative who follows the formula above to lose to a
          "Regular"  Republican committeeman---even  a  "regular"
          who has had the office for decades.  I've even seen one
          issue  zealots who insisted on converting  everyone  to
          their cause (pro-life, gun rights, etc.) eke out  wins.
          Those who follow our advice and say "I'd like to repre-
          sent  your views to the Republican Party.  What do  you
          think are the most important issues?" usually win 2  to

          Of course, being a conservative is harder in the  Demo-
          cratic  party.   But there are many  "Reagan  Democrat"
          areas  where  conservatives can win  and  the  Democrat
          party is the only game in town.  As the 1992  Presiden-
          tial  election  proved, it's a mistake to put  all  our
          conservative  eggs  in  one  party's  rickety   basket.
          Believe  me,  liberals never make that  mistake.   They
          always join the dominant party of their area, no matter
          which it is.

          Voting for the Executive Committee and critical primary
          endorsement  is  by  far the most  important  power  of
          precinct committeeman.  But there are others:

       1.  Access  to Neighbors.  The media  makes  conservatives
           look like kooks.   No wonder conservative  politicians
           have problems.  As the dominant party's  committeeman,
           you  can  reach people who would never  come  to  your
           church, social club or home.  Most voters are eager to
           know about their government and the people they elect.
           Even  the  most  apathetic have some  interest  in  an
           institution that is taking about half their income  in
           taxes, mandates and fees.

       2.  Respect from Politicians---Committeemen represent  500
           voters and those key party endorsements.  Any call  or
           letter  from a committeeman is going to get a  lot  of
           attention form elected officials of their own party.

       3.  Launching  point for other offices---running for  com-
           mitteeman  is  the best place to learn  how  to  build
           winning  coalitions.   One of the big  problems  among
           conservatives is the notion that running for office is
           like running a business.  Levelheaded businessmen, who
           wouldn't  dream  of being their own lawyer  in  court,
           somehow  think they can win against  experienced,  en-
           trenched liberals without any prior political  experi-

       4.  Control of party leaders and platforms----Committeemen
           influence  or  control  most party  matters.   If  the
           Republicans  dump  pro-life  and  other   conservative
           positions  from  their  party platform,  it  won't  be
           because of election results.  It will be due to  hand-
           ful of liberals who have patiently wormed their way to
           high  party positions, starting as a precinct  commit-

          Now  you know how our Government actually  works,  just
     like the average liberal does.  You can continue to  picket,
     write letters to the editor and your Congressman or work  in
     another  losing,  non endorsed  primary  campaign---all  the
     things  that have gotten conservatives nowhere the  last  60
     years.  Or you can stop wasting time, run for precinct  com-
     mitteeman  and  start  using  the  liberals'  secret  weapon
     against them!

          Permission  is  granted to reprint or  even  sell  this
     essay  as  long as nothing is altered without  the  author's
     permission.   Grant D.  Noble, P.O.  Box 146,  Lake  Forest,
     Il.  60045 847-234-3520 Fax: 615-0281 gnoble at

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