In the next several posts, there will be a list of state GOP websites. On the state websites, you’re going to want to start by reading the BY LAWS. This may seem dull, but it is very important to learn the rules before you play. Then:
- Your next step is to read the Party Organization chart/information. This will give you a good visualization of how the party is structured.
- Then, you’ll want to look for the a link that leads to either TRAINING or GET ACTIVE. These are the most common labels. If, along the way, you see links to COUNTY CHAIRS, look up who runs your county. The chances are good they have a website, and you’ll want to book mark that.
- Under the training or get active link, you will probably see a variety of options–phone banking, block walking, voter registration, are common options. Training meeting information is also a common option–and that is what you’re looking for.
- IF, after going through the entire site you haven’t found a training or “newbie” meeting, then you want to check the calendar for your next local meeting. In some states, this is tough to find. If you don’t find it on the main state site, then it’s time to go to your county chair’s website and look there.
What To Expect At A Meeting:
This varies from place to place, but as a rule, if you’re going to a newbie or training meeting, you’ll be signing in and probably getting a name tag. You might be asked what made you decide to volunteer.
The best answer is something like this:
Well, this election has me worried/excited/interested. And since I have been a Republican (or Independent, whatever) for years and have voted for the Republicans the last (X) elections, I decided to get involved. The Republican party has done a lot for me the last 8 years, fighting in DC (in this election, mention Cruz’s green eggs and ham filibuster, or Rand Paul’s), and I think it’s time I paid the party back.
This gives the impression that you’re a Cruz supporter, that you are motivated, and that there might be money as well as time involved in your case. Setting this narrative is crucial, because the GOPers may be distracted, but they are not total idiots.
Then there will be a short period of people milling around and introducing themselves, and the leadership greeting everyone and spending a minute or two finding out about you. When you tell them you want to get involved, be sure to ask (if they don’t introduce you right away) who your precinct captain/chair/committee person/officer is. The title varies from place to place, but the job is the same, and the one you want to get.
So if you have one, this is the person whose job you’re planning to steal after the general election.
If you DON’T have one, just say ohhh and look a little confused.
After the meet and greet part of things, there will be an over view of the party, blah blah, discussion about time commitments, more blah, blah. etc. blah blah. Take notes, or ask if you can audio tape it so you can study it later. Audio is the preferred choice, unless you are a practiced stenographer, because you miss little cues otherwise.
This is easily done if you look old, or look/are, disabled. It’s rare for the GOPers to not allow taping, but asking is very important, and having a ready excuse (especially one that is legally actionable if they say NO) is the best bet.
This is the time to ask general questions of any type, but don’t bring the subject around to candidates. You don’t want to lead the conversation towards the candidates, because there are too many ways you can trip yourself if you’re going as a Trump supporter in the open. And considering how well the Cruz team and the GOPers are shutting out Trumpers, advertising you are one will get you nowhere.
Setting Up For The Goals: The Delegate Position Plan
There are two different goals, depending on where you are. If your state has already chosen delegates to the convention at state level, then you don’t have to deal with that. If your state HASN’T chosen delegates yet, and that wasn’t discussed in the talk, then ask when that happens, and how you can run for a slot.
If you have connected with your local Trumpers, and connected with the local Trump team, make sure everyone going to the delegate selection meeting is on the same page. Plan this like a military operation, in advance. This model allows you to present yourself as a Trumper, a Cruz Supporter, or a Fence Sitter. If you have a big enough group, split yourself up into those three camps, to allay GOPer suspicion.
By going in like this, the GOPers can push the people they think serve their interests. Watch who the leadership responds favorably to, closely. This will let you know which members of the party in your area are potentially on your side, and which are not, so you can adjust your behavior after you confirm your impressions. Splitting like this also greatly increases the odds that all the delegates will come from the Trump team, as most places the GOPers are choosing Cruz people 1st, fence sitters 2nd, and Trump people only if they have no choice.
If your local Trump team is sending an observer, make sure that person has been a part of advance planning, so they can object strenuously to the Cruz candidates for the seats, and accept grudgingly our Trojan candidates posing as Cruz supporters or fence sitters, to maintain for the GOPers the fiction they are cheating Trump (when they aren’t)..
This is where you face the next hurdle–the closer scrutiny to see if you’re for Trump or Cruz. The basic formula is below, and stick with the answers below or something very close, unless you are a really good liar. You might have to change the actual TERMS you use so you feel you are being truthful–IF SO, DO SO.
If they ask you what your views are:
I am a conservative (or libertarian, or moderate).
If they ask who you support:
I support the only real conservative in the race, of course. That’s what brought me here. Or–I’m on the fence, but I’m a conservative. Or–The guy I voted for in the primary is out, but I’m a conservative….Option 3 is the “safest”, since they can assume you voted for Paul/Jeb/Christie, whoever.
If they ask you if you will vote for the candidate the people chose at the convention, you say:
Yes. I am supposed to be representing the people, whether I agree with them or not.
THIS IS THE BIG QUESTION, THE IMPORTANT ONE:
If they ask What you would do at a contested convention, you say:
As far as I know, I only have to vote as the people do on the first ballot. Beyond that, I will be voting for my candidate.
They might be rude enough to ask who you voted for–if they do, look pissed off, and re-iterate you voted for THE CONSERVATIVE, or the “only real candidate left in the race”, or something else along those lines. It also doesn’t hurt to point out that who you voted for has nothing to do with whether or not you’ll do the job you volunteer for, and it’s kind of offensive to imply you wouldn’t do your appointed DUTY on the first ballot….
BE ADVISED: when you go to the delegate selection meeting and put in for a slot, you’ll get these questions and perhaps more. Always frame your answers using their labels for their chosen candidate–so if they refer to their chosen one as the “common sense conservative”, USE THAT TERM. You might also be asked when running for a delegate nomination to say a few words as to why you want and should have the job–in that case, stick with the answers above or variants USING THEIR TERMS.
Going For A Precinct Slot:
Basically, the model is the same as above–it’s always smart to gather all the Trump supporters you can, plus a Trump team member, and game out the operation BEFORE you go to a meeting. Remember, a “precinct”, politically speaking, usually has between 1000 and 2000-2500 total registered voters. The only ones you need to worry about first are of course the Republicans. You are also expected to try and sign up new Republicans in your precinct. So at ANY meeting, there is an opportunity to get people into quite a few empty seats.
In my area alone, there are 108 empty seats. And at the monthly meeting, the leadership usually ASKS if anyone wants to fill a seat, when you sign in. So, if one or two people take seats through a MONTHLY meeting, and they bring along 20 “friends” each (Trumpers) to the NEXT monthly meeting from different areas of the city–with the excuse, if needed, that they are members of your book club, or yoga class, or dog walking group, whatever sounds plausible, you can snatch up larger groups of seats at one time.
The plan with precincts is simple–get into a seat, and coordinate with other Trumpers once you are IN a seat (or have found Trump supporters already hiding in the local GOP), find out where other empty seats are. At that point, it’s simple coordination with the Trump team to find dedicated reformers/Trumpers willing to drift into the next meeting for training or general meeting, and pick up a handful of seats.
The key here is FLOW CONTROL. If 200 people show up out of the blue at one training meeting, or general meeting, all saying essentially the same thing and asking for seats, alarm bells will ring. If, on the other hand, 10 people or so every few weeks contact the party by phone or through a website, asking about it and are directed to a meeting, it looks more natural.
If 10 or 15 people in 2 weeks call and say “well, my friend (X) started doing this and she’s really excited about it, she talks about it all the time at our Yoga class, so I thought…” It looks amazing, for your “friend” (who is another Trumper from the initial planning meeting LOL), as the party notices people who try to talk others into donating time.
The basic goal is to have 60% or more of all the seats filled with reformers/Trumpers before the general election, with another 15% of the seats already targeted for a challenge, which we’ll cover in the next tip post.
So, if you need to fill 100 seats between May and November, that comes out to about 16 seats a month. Getting a number like that to naturally wander in isn’t hard. Using the “common interest/friend/family member” dodge works well with larger numbers at monthly meetings. Delegate positions are top priority, for the nomination. But precinct seats are nearly tied–because if Trump DOESN’T have the party behind him to bully Congress with, he won’t be able to really fix things.