The Precinct Project

because all politics is local

Hijacking the Primary Elections

The Hijacking of Primary Elections (Jan. 2010)

By Lois Kaneshiki (Lois@nb.net)

            I used to say that if you wait until the General Election in November, you are too late.  The real contest is in the Primary, where the political parties, which are similar to private clubs, elect their candidates.    Now I am going to assert that if you wait until the Primary Election, you may be too late already.

            The Primary Election is where the party voters select their candidates by secret ballot.  That’s democracy, right?  In reality our Primaries, the most important of all elections, are being hijacked as we speak by party leaders and other deal-makers before the party voters even get a chance to hear the candidates and learn what they stand for.

            Candidates are quietly traveling around Pennsylvania, meeting with party leaders, asking for endorsements.   Do you think they are asking the party leaders to endorse them based on the fact they, the candidates, are going to do the best job to protect our freedoms and promote principles of justice?  If only we could be the little bugs on the wall that our party leaders seem to think we are to hear what was said during those meetings….

            In February, the Republican State Committee will vote whether or not to endorse our statewide candidates. Before that, county leaders will meet in regional caucuses and do the same.  After they vote Yes to endorse, then they will vote and endorse the Annointed Ones for whom we, the party soldiers, are expected to fall in line and get busy putting out yard signs, passing out literature, and do other assorted grub work.

 

So What’s the Problem?

            The problem is that the Primary process is being manipulated and hijacked before the party voters get to vote.  By endorsing candidates, they are unnecessarily influencing the outcome of an election that is supposed to be decided by the voters.  Do we really need to be told who to vote for?  What happened to good old-fashioned political debate and discourse and freedom of choice? 

            In fact, why have a Primary Election at all?  If the party leaders “know best,’ why not skip the Primary Election altogether and save the taxpayers a truckload of money?  I mean, they already told us who to vote for, right?

            Do you get the feeling that someone out there doesn’t want you to choose your elected officials?  Do you get the feeling that the process is corrupted from top to bottom?  Well, I do.

                                                How We Change It

            In May, all the state party committee members and most of the county committee members will be up for election.  The county committees will elect their Chairmen shortly after the election.  So this is what you do:

  1. Concerned voters should run for a spot for their county committee seats.  You can obtain a nomination petition on Feb. 16 at the county Elections Office.
  2. Before you vote for your Chair,  ask him if he will pledge to vote NO on any questions regarding endorsing candidates.  If he does not pledge NO, you vote for someone who will pledge YES.
  3. Before you vote for any state committee members, ask them how they will vote on endorsements.  If you cannot reach them or can’t get an answer, don’t vote for them.

If we can’t take back our Primary Elections and let the electorate choose their candidates, we will never get the candidates we want in the General Election.  Period.

4 Responses to “Hijacking the Primary Elections”

  • Debbie Maritato says:

    I agree, the committees are handpicking our candidates and TELLING us who is going to be our elected officials. It is time for us to take back our election process and let the PEOPLE speak, I don’t want to pick between the two candidates that the good ol’ boys clubs have chosen.

  • Christopher Fromme says:

    Petitions start on Jan 25th this year for all offices. State Committee will be voting for endorsing one of the 5-7 candidates that may be on the ballot on April 24 The other thing that is important is having conservatives elected to delegates to the convention, especially if no one candidate get 1200 delegate. A 3-4 way tie is possible with the primary going until June.

  • Lou Aliota says:

    Lois, you are so right….
    If you don’t participate then you are lead by the “establishment” …
    Challenge the Party leaders… ask about the compliance to the By-Laws… this should raise some eyebrows… especially when the By-Laws haven’t been updated in 10-20-30 years… WHY?
    The reason is the staus-quo of the group…. if you allow the “SQ” to continue then you are enabling the “behavior” to continue wiothout correction.
    “We” the people must get involved in our government by participating in our party on a local level…
    There is so much a voter/resident can do to provide transparency in our local government…
    I, for one, have utilized the Right-to-Knw Law to get expenses and revenues from our Millcreek Township in Erie, PA….
    The more information you have the more power you have …. people will start to listen to you if you have the information….
    I am personally running for a non-paid Commissioners position for the Millcreek Township Study Commission to determine whether we should change the form of government for a Second Class Township…
    We must demand that our elected officials are Responsible – Accountable and Transparent …
    The more you ask questions the more “they” have to respond….
    The primary is the ideal time to start the process of getting your neighbors involved…

  • Pier says:

    Lois, you are so right….
    If you don’t participate then you are lead by the “establishment” …
    Challenge the Party leaders… ask about the compliance to the By-Laws… this should raise some eyebrows… especially when the By-Laws haven’t been updated in 10-20-30 years… WHY?
    The reason is the staus-quo of the group…. if you allow the “SQ” to continue then you are enabling the “behavior” to continue wiothout correction.
    “We” the people must get involved in our government by participating in our party on a local level…
    There is so much a voter/resident can do to provide transparency in our local government…
    I, for one, have utilized the Right-to-Knw Law to get expenses and revenues from our Millcreek Township in Erie, PA….
    The more information you have the more power you have …. people will start to listen to you if you have the information….
    I am personally running for a non-paid Commissioners position for the Millcreek Township Study Commission to determine whether we should change the form of government for a Second Class Township…
    We must demand that our elected officials are Responsible – Accountable and Transparent …
    The more you ask questions the more “they” have to respond….
    The primary is the ideal time to start the process of getting your neighbors involved…

    +1


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