By Mike Thayer
Why do people in Johnson County give money to the Johnson County Republican Central Committee?
Does the committee find candidates for office? A core mission of the central committee, they haven’t successfully recruited anyone for several elections. People who have run for office under the Republican banner have done so via their own personal decision to run.
Does the committee get candidates elected? No. Look at its track record; check the county auditor’s office website, http://www.johnson-county.com/auditor/voter/voter.htm.
Does the committee grow the party? No. Party activist numbers at the local level have been stagnant for years. The local party should always see at least some growth post-election and the Johnson County Republican Central Committee does not. The same core group will remain, new growth will be virtually non-existent.
So in three primary functions of a party central committee, Johnson County’s Republicans fail, election after election. Election year after election year, Johnson County Democrats are elected to office overwhelmingly, not Republicans.
Granted, registered Republicans are outnumbered nearly 3-1 in this county, but not just because Iowa City is a liberal college town. In large part it’s because the Johnson County Republican Central Committee fails to achieve.
I contend that some in the central committee leadership circle are content with continuing to fail; to them the monthly meetings are just a social gathering.
So what are the solutions?
l Stop listening to core members who make up the executive committee.
l Stop giving money to the central committee as long as current leadership remains in power. If you want to donate money, give it to individual candidates for office directly — there really is no need for a middle man here. Another outstanding alternative is to consider giving to the College Republicans. They actually gets things done; they are fresh minds with ideas and they outwork the central committee. They do more to promote Republican ideals around here than the central committee does.
l Insist on having events throughout the county, not just at Clear Creek/Amana High School.
l Insist on having more events other than an annual spring spaghetti dinner and fall BBQ. Two dinners a year sprinkled with some candidate appearances in an election year doesn’t cut it.
As long as the current party “leadership” wants to treat politics as a social club gathering, they don’t deserve money from outside their circle.
Mike Thayer of Coralville is publisher of the Coralville Courier, a conservative blog. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org