Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Second Chances: Good Mommy, Bad Mommy

Dr. Laura says that we have two chances in life for a loving parent-child relationship, meaning that if your parents screwed it up, you can get it right with your own child. I grew up in fear, and one fear was the terror involved in asking my mother for things which needed to be purchased. This included everything from popsicle sticks for a Girl Scout project to shoes because I had outgrown my only pair. Such a request would invariably be met with a bitching diatribe about how "I'm not made of money!", etc., at which I would cower and hide.

One result for me was that when it came time to work on school or Girl Scout projects, I'd procrastinate and also do a terrible job. I never had the materials I needed to complete the projects like the other kids, I had no confidence, and no matter how much effort I made, my mother would, in the end, insult my final result, even if I received an "A" on the project.

Skip to the year 2010. My youngest daughter is super-industrious. If she has a school project to complete which is due in three weeks, she finishes it with two weeks to spare, often asking for no help other than spell-check and asking me to buy posterboard.

Last night, I was blown away when my middle daughter Olivia came home in alarm, announcing that there was a book project due on October 5, which she had apparently not known about. I know she's a fast reader, so I calmed her down and told her she had plenty of time to read the book.

She replied, "Oh, I've already read the book." Then she walked around, gathered a Corn Flakes box, scissors, wrapping paper, tape, and proceeded to work on and complete the three-dimensional book report over the course of the next two hours. Nowadays, kids don't necessarily "write" book reports like we did in the 60's and 70's. They turn them into marketing projects with both writing and artwork.

This morning, Olivia brought the project to school, six days before it was due. On the way home from dropping her off at school, I cried. All the terror from my childhood came flooding back, and I was comparing it to the ease with which Olivia approached her school project, knowing that Mommy would help her with any part of the project that she couldn't complete alone. "Where do we keep the wrapping paper?" "How do I wrap a box?" Etc.

I want to tell Dr. Laura that I've checked another box on the list of "Second Chances: Getting Things Right With Your Own Kids." What a relief.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Douglas County GOP By-Laws and the Governor's Race

by John Ransom, former Chairman of Douglas County Republicans

There has been quite a bit of controversy regarding what the bylaws say about support of the GOP nominee, Dan Maes.

Let's first look at what the bylaws don't say.

While the language is very general, a plain reading of the bylaws does not say that precinct people and district captains must resign if they support another candidate besides the GOP nominee. And they certainly contain no provision for officers or other members to demand that members of the central committee or executive committee resign if they refuse to support the GOP nominee. It's no more proper for others to demand resignations than it is to demand that Maes drop out of the race.

I would argue, quite the opposite. Officers who demand that others resign are violating the bylaws in fact. They have no authority anywhere in the bylaws to demand resignations. The only authority to remove members of the GOP from positions as Officers, PCP or DC is vested in the executive committee and the central committee under the bylaws. There are clearly prescribed procedures for such removals and those procedures don't include the chairman of the county party demanding resignations.

So what exactly do the bylaws say about supporting a Republican candidate?

The bylaws say that the central committee "acting as an entity" may not oppose the GOP nominee in a general election. The words "acting as an entity" defines what may not be done (that is, oppose a GOP nominee as an entity) and by implication defines what may be done. Because it excludes all other cases, such as individual endorsements, one could reasonably argue that a PCP or a district captain then can individually endorse candidates.

In other words, precinct people, district captains can individually endorse whoever they wish as long as they are not "acting as an entity" as the central committee.

The bylaws were written this way on purpose in order to take into account unique situations where healthy public opinion prohibits members of the GOP from supporting a nominee, as in the case of Maes. Instead of tying the hands of members, the bylaws leave the definition of what is permissible by individuals to the executive committee and the central committee to define on a case by case basis. There is nothing hypothetical about the vesting of the authority to define on a case by case basis by the executive committee and the central committee how to act in these cases . It is an accomplished fact in the way the bylaws define the role of executive committee and the central committee.

What about removing members?

The word in the bylaws "may" regarding removal (as in: "Any elected officer (PCP, DC) of the DCR may be removed for good cause which shall include the following,") does not mean that an officer, precinct person or DC must resign, should resign or will be asked to resign or be removed. In fact, it is up to the executive committee to vote to remove a PCP, district captain or officer. A two-thirds vote is required to remove someone via executive committee and a majority vote via central committee.

Then even if the person is removed, there is no provision preventing precinct people from re-electing officers, district captains or re-appointing those removed.

I would strongly urge everyone to please read the bylaws before demanding what clearly violates the procedures, spirit and intent of the bylaws. Remember please that Officers, PCP and District Captains all are elected by peers to represent us. We should respect that, and let everyone be animated by the desire to do what their conscience dictates is in the best interest of the party.

Then they can explain what they did at election time, as is proper.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why Would I Campaign for Tom Tancredo?

A GOP friend of mine asked me if I will step down as GOP District Captain if I were to campaign for the non-GOP candidate for Governor of Colorado, former Congressman Tom Tancredo. Here was my response:

"If I were to campaign for Tancredo and also a variety of Republicans....well, I would just do it. If somebody wanted to bring me up on charges of breaking by-laws, then they would just do it. Then the Central Committee would vote for or against me. Most of them would make a personal assessment as to whether I brought much value to the Party or not. Some of them would vote along the lines of whether they liked me or didn't like me. Others would vote based on which candidate they had preferred, e.g., was I helping their guy win. For me, it would be a crapshoot.

I'm trying to help save our country by electing people who can pull it back from the brink of socialism. I need to elect people who seem capable of doing that, and avoid the others. My country's future is more important than this local issue. I'm not wavering at all from my original intention when I got into politics, after the illegal alien attack. I realized that nobody was going to do anything about illegal immigration until we elected Presidents and Governors who were adamantly against it. I have achieved much toward that goal. I helped launch the entire Tea Party movement in CO....I helped put enough pressure on Ritter to step down....I helped teach the masses how to have their voices be heard...and if I campaign for Tancredo, I will be campaigning for the very man who gave me hope in the first place.

If I campaign for Tancredo, I will be doing exactly what I've been doing since becoming a District Captain in October 2007. If I campaign for Maes, who the hell would I be? My children would be ashamed of me. They know what happened to me. One of them saw it. (No, it wasn't rape.) All of them lost me for two years. I need to stick to my plan.

I respect everybody else's choice(s) on this, but they've got to respect mine, too."