Monday, February 27, 2012

Grassroots Rules (click here) documents the effect of the caucus system for nominating to the primary ballot. Big money and big power hate the system, this book makes clear why.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

 A Powerful Tool for Advancing Your Political Agenda

There are many reasons to participate in your neighborhood caucus aside from participating in the selection of your party's candidate for President.

Most important is the selection of delegates who will select local candidates.

Another reason to attend your caucus, one that is almost never discussed in the media, is to put forward resolutions that can be adopted at county, state, and even the national convention for one of the major political parties.

The caucus resolution is sort of a suggestion box on steroids. What the caucus passes is reviewed by the county resolutions committee. Resolutions that have broad support as demonstrated by being adopted by many of the caucuses, or for any other reason that the committee sees as sufficient, are put before the delegates at the county assembly. Those adopted by the counties are then considered by the state resolutions committee, and may be put before the voters at the state assembly. The process is then repeated at the national level. At each level there can be discussion, debate, and promotion of the idea in various ways such at advertising, distribution of fliers to delegates, workshops, etc.

I've never seen this resolution process discussed in-depth in the popular media, just one of the reasons caucus attendance is so low.

Here's an explanation by one special interest group you may find useful:  http://archive.fairvote.org/index.php?page=2191

What resolutions do you think will come up in the March 6 Colorado Caucus? (Yes, it will be mostly Democrats that gather since they are the only ones that vote, but by Colorado Law these are open public meetings, and anyone could put forward a resolution.)

Have you ever put forward a resolution? Do you think it made a difference? Your comment here would be very much appreciated. And please forward this along to any of your friends who you know have had experience using this tool to achieve their political purpose.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Yesterday I was asked what I was advocating beyond caucus attendance, when I ask for response to the Washington Post article about the Republican National Committee considering elimination of the neighborhood caucus in the selection of Presidential delegates in the few states that still use the system. (See my previous post, hope you'll comment as requested in yellow highlight.)


Here is the answer I just sent her:

I just woke with your question on my mind, Andrea,

Seems to me our representative system of self government works best when there is friendly competition between neighbors, both major political parties trying to outdo the other in community building, and from that there is the best chance that everything else will get worked out to the benefit of all.

I just read this, and it sums up what I'm advocating for from my friends in both major parties, as together we all build our community: "There are obstacles in the path of community life, and they have to be fought against. For example, that sort of "gossip" that creates bewilderment and prejudices, that extinguishes trust, that does not "speak well" (bene dicere) about others. Before speaking or criticizing, we must ask ourselves about the basis, the usefulness and worth of our words. All murmuring, all harmful speech must be avoided. We have to insist on what unites us, on the work of our group, on our aims, on mutual trust. ...It is in community that we live united, of one heart and mind." Prior General, Fra Ángel M. Ruiz Garnica

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Washington Post reports that the caucus-assembly system for nominating to the primary ballot is under attack by the Republican National Committee.

Not surprising.

The rich and powerful hate the system. They are who was behind the 2002 Amendment 29 here in Colorado that would have killed it for us.

But this attack can be stopped.

Back in 2002 a few of us banded together and formed Save the Caucus. Despite being outspend 1400 to 1, it was defeated 60% to 40%

You can help NOW. Post a comment here supporting our Colorado Caucus and/or the caucus system in general. Then share this page with your friends and encourage them to come here and do the same thing.

If enough show there support here, maybe we can stop this misguided effort in it's tracks.

Thanks for your help!

John Wren
Publisher, COCaucus.org and Facebook.com/Colorado.Caucus.News
Questions? Call me at (303)861-1447

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Colorado State Bill today mentions me as caucus cheerleader, see link I've just posted on Colorado Caucus News Facebook Page. It right under post of Tina Griego's very interesting recount of her rural caucus experience Tuesday night.

I keep thinking there is no further need of a independent group to support our wonderful Colorado Caucus, the best chance for the common person to serve in elected public office, and then the system is slammed by Colorado State Bill and others. Maybe our work here is not finished.

You may have noticed there are no advertisements here on this site. It's not because I didn't try. Google AdSense just never worked, we missed out on some fairly serious money, I'd guess, we've been getting a couple of thousand hits a day here on COCaucus.com for the last few days.

I'm probably going to fold this site and other activities to promote the Colorado Caucus into the Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc that I'm in the process of organizing. Right now the virtual group is offering to help local chambers of commerce organize startup workshops and low cost/ no cost peer advisory groups for startups and small businesses. We don't plan on taking positions on political issues, we'll leave that up to the local chambers. But the one exception might be the Colorado Caucus, maybe one or two others that will be determined by the board of directors that will be formed in the next few weeks.

Our next big project will be to organize the 2nd Colorado Conference at the Capitol. The first was held 10 years ago, right after the defeat of Amendment 29.  It will be sponsored by PioneerHQ.com, the new Colorado Almanac and Small Business Directory.

If you'd be willing to help this effort in any way, or if you'd like more information about what's coming next, please contact me anytime at John@JohnWren.com or (303)861-1447

John Wren
Publisher, COCaucus.org

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"OK, compiling Tweets just didn't work last night, my computer was way, way too slow. But I'm still going to try and bring together another Colorado Caucus Conference at the Capitol after the elections in November. Would you be willing to share your experience from last night? I'll be asking the same question of the Democrats after their Colorado Caucus in March. If you'd be willing to share send me an email at John@JohnWren.com"


This is the post I just made on our Colorado Caucus News Facebook Page, where I also just posted two VERY interesting articles, one on the effect of social media on last night's outcome, and another from NPR that looks at why putting on a caucus is worth it for the political parties involved.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

We almost lost our wonderful neighbor to neighbor Colorado system for nominating to the primary ballot in 2002 when misguided Amendment 29 got on the ballot by paying petition passers to gather signatures.

The Colorado Caucus is taking place across the state for the 50th time since it was started 100 years ago as part of the Teddy Roosevelt progressive reforms. I believe it is the full flowering of the representative system the  founders of our country had in mind.

Tonight Republicans gathered in 3000+ meetings across the state, in March Democrats.

Some complain that only 10 or 20 neighbors represent the 300+ registered voters of their party in their neighborhood. As long as the meetings are fair and open and well publicized, I just don't see this as a problem. Would a jury of 12 be any more fair?

What I know for sure is that the system is a breeding ground for bright new leaders, as is easily seen by any who pays attention. It is the best chance the common person has for serving in elected public office.

And for now our way is safe from those powerful forces that would kill it if they could.

John Wren




I'm just back from South High School Denver District 2 meeting, I sat with Precinct 206, which is where I live, had a voice, no vote. I Twitted @JohnSWren as events unfolded.

My major impressions: It was very, very orderly. Almost no electioneering. Speakers for candidates seemed to be volunteers putting themselves forward at the last moment, for the most part. No signs or buttons.

I brought up idea of getting together an open neighborhood meeting, the young man elected precinct committee person liked the idea and said he'd call me about it.

Twitter on my computer running very slow, posting highlights not working. I suggest you follow them live at hashtag  #COCaucus on http://Twitter.com

I'll post my overall impressions later tonight.

John Wren

Want more Colorado customers? Free listing for your business at http://PioneerHQ.com 



My favorite #COCaucus Tweets:
 lynnbartels Here we go caucus! Here we go! Clap clap!

 SenatorBrophy The real selection in CO will be April 14th. It might get really interesting at State Assembly

 @davidtreece Romney wins at South High School!

Colorado Republicans just now announced a website dedicated to watch statewide results for the 2012 caucuses. The website www.results.cologop.org is equipped with an interactive map which allows viewers to see caucus results by county and statewide totals. There is also an integrated twitter feed on the site for voters to get real time information about the caucus and the results from the Colorado Republican Party.

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call just made the announcement and he said, "Colorado Republicans are aiming to deliver transparent results in real time and our new webpage will help us do just that. Today’s caucus is Colorado’s first step toward victory in November and tools like this webpage will help us build our online presence as we move forward.”
Do you use Twitter on your smart phone? 

Tonight Tweet reports from your caucus using #COCaucus hashtag, highlights will be compiled here. Top posters will be invited to be on a panel to discuss the caucus-assembly process at the post-election Colorado Caucus Conference at the Capitol next November.

Want more customers for your business in Colorado? Get a free listing in the new Colorado Almanac & Small Business Directory PioneerHQ.com (click here.) 

Starting a new business? Want a job in the direction of your dream? Attend a free Small Business Chamber startup workshop, see www.SmallBizChamber.org (click here.) 
 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My friend Dan just asked me for my advice for participating in his GOP neighborhood caucus, his first time to attend. So for Dan and anyone else who is attending for their first caucus, here's my advice.

First, you might read this column I wrote for the Colorado Statesman newspaper (click here.)

Then come back here and read it again after next Tuesday.

Here's the key to success: Show up, listen, and ask questions.

Grassroots politics is a long distance race, and a bit of an acquired taste. Talk by telephone with your precinct committee people in advance. Let them know it's your first time. Ask for his or her advice. How do you find them? Call you're county GOP office, you'll find a link to it on http://www.ColoGOP.org (If there is no one serving, offer to chair the meeting yourself, it's not that difficult.)

Get to your precinct meeting at least a half-hour early next Tuesday, and plan on staying late to talk with people after the meeting. Be willing to take on whatever jobs are offered. You'll learn by doing. When you call your county office, they may ask you to serve as precinct committee person because there is a vacancy. If they do, take the job.

Don't let it overwhelm you, but here is some very good information put together by the Colorado Republicans that should answer most of your questions. http://www.cologop.org/faq/

The first order of business is to elect delegates, see the above link. Hold up your hand and say you'd be willing to go. If you've decided on a candidate in any race, you'll get a chance to speak. Remember, it's ok to go as an uncommitted delegate, then you can make up your mind based on full information just before the vote is taken, I think the parties would be much stronger if more uncommitted delegates were elected.

After reading the GOP website and poking around here on this website, if you still have a question post it here and I'll give you my opinion.

Good luck, Dan, and anyone else reading this. Attending your caucus with your neighbors can be a very rewarding experience. They are all good, in my opinion, but some are much better than others. If you see ways to improve the one you attend, you'll have a chance to make a big difference in it in two years. But good or not so good, you'll always remember your first. Have fun!


Want more customers? Get a free listing for your business in the new Colorado Almanac and Small Business Directory, for more information click on "Free Listing" at http://PioneerHQ.com 


Saturday, February 4, 2012

I just had a journalist from South America call me, he wanted to know my thoughts about the Tuesday GOP Caucus, and to tell me he'll be here in Colorado Tuesday to cover it for his paper. Wow.

We are now getting lots of hits on this blog, it's #1 if you Google "Colorado Caucus", and we are getting lots of visitors on the Colorado Caucus News Facebook Page (click here) where we post articles about the Colorado Caucus. If you have Colorado Caucus news that I've missed, email it to me at John@JohnWren.com

Ryan Call, the state chair for the Colorado GOP has done a great job getting word out about the neighborhood caucuses. And I think it has helped the GOP to be going early, while there is still lots of interest in the Presidential race, and to be separate from the Democrats which will be held in March.

It looks to me like Republicans will have a big, big turnout Tuesday. Weather shouldn't be a problem, even if it is I don't expect it will keep those who are interested in attending, the true believers, away.

Tuesday should be interesting!

John Wren
Publisher, COCaucus.org
John@JohnWren.com
(303)861-1447

Want more customers? Get a free listing for your Colorado Business
see PioneerHQ.com, Colorado's new Almanac & Small Business Directory 





Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Colorado Caucus News

See local and national stories about the Colorado Caucuses, the system for nominating delegates to the national conventions and candidates for local elections. Click here

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