I am a 61-year-old grandma, and on Saturday, March 15, I attended my first political caucus ever. In a previous issue of your newspaper, you printed a story about someone who had attended a Democratic caucus, so I thought you would like to print a letter from someone on the other side of the political spectrum.
Our Boone County Republican caucus was held at the American Legion Hall this year, and there were around 90 people there. I don’t know why I hadn’t participated before, but I’m really glad I did this time. It was democracy in action, and the votes on the proposed amendments to the 2008 Missouri Republican Party platform were so close that we literally had to “stand up and be counted.” We voted on 13 proposals, which dealt with traditional Republican issues, including immigration, education, health care, and social security. Nine of the amendments passed, and four failed. We even had time to hear a few words from the candidates who were there: Ed Robb, Blaine Luetkemeyer and a representative for Brock Olivo. Missouri has the fifth largest number of delegates, 58, of all the states to send to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., because of a bonus allotment because of the number of Republicans in office, and Boone County is allotted 55 delegates and 55 alternates to send to the district and state conventions. At the end of the day, we had exactly 55 delegates with no alternates who will attend the 9th District Convention in Mexico, Missouri on April 19, and the State Convention in Branson on May 30 and 31 and June 1.
Just to give you a feel for the excitement in the air, a proposed rule change, which was narrowly defeated 29-27, submitted by William Samuels, would have changed the Missouri Republican Party’s delegate allotment from the present “winner take all” method to a proportional one. One of the proposed amendments, which also did not pass, would have prevented our Missouri delegates from voting for any candidate who had ever voted for amnesty for illegal immigrants. That would have pretty much left McCain out. I’m not a McCain fan, but he did win a plurality of the votes in Missouri’s primary. Speaker after speaker stood up and prefaced their remarks by saying they had not voted for McCain, “but . . . ,” and then they proceeded to give their arguments against the proposal. There was only one brave soul who stood up and asked if he was the only person in the room who had voted for McCain. That added some comic relief to a sometimes intense atmosphere.
Although I was concerned about the intentions of the Ron Paul supporters in the room, everyone was very polite and civil to one another, and I am convinced that those young supporters of Ron Paul would be the first ones to step up and volunteer to defend this country if we were threatened in any way. I hope this peek inside our Republican caucus will encourage all of you to take part in this uniquely American process.