Educate Yourself

January 30, 2010

Welcome to The Precinct Project in the Last Frontier. If you are unfamiliar with the nationwide precinct concept, please visit one of the following websites that discuss it at length:

The National Precinct Project, Eagle Forum, Campaign For Liberty,
The Precinct Project at Glenn Beck’s 912 Coalition
, The Conservative Underground, Precinct Strategy 2010 at, RedState.

This project is a collaborative effort by members of conservative groups across Alaska. We welcome you to participate in the most effective grassroots action you can take today to directly influence the political process here in Alaska.  Join us in taking back Alaska, one precinct at a time. (Start here: What is Precinct Project Alaska?)


Tea Party Activists Team-Up with Conservatives and Successfully Take Back Ownership of the Nevada Republican Party

January 30, 2010

New York Times: In Power Push, Movement Sees Base in G.O.P.
by Kate Zernike
January 14th, 2010

Why Participate in Local Party Elections?

January 30, 2010

If you want conservative leadership, you have to vote for it – both on election day and the other 364.25 days as well.

More than that, you influence the election even before Election Day. If you are silent and don’t make your presence known, then a conservative candidate considering running for a contested race (such as a higher party office position) may not even run because they don’t think they have any significant support!

Most people don’t realize it, but your silence itself is a vote. If you let folks know that you will be showing up on voting day, then good candidates will be inspired to run. When it comes right down to it, it’s just that simple.

All politics is local. It’s been said by countless political figures, from Tip O’Neill to Pat Robertson. Every political leader starts in a local neighborhood. Every leader makes his way up through the ranks by learning “how the process works.”

How does the process work in your community? Are political leaders held accountable? Or are they instead being taught through practical experience that the Constitution is a historic concept that they ought to “look past” because of our “pressing modern needs and emergencies”? The simple truth is we are training up future political leaders every day. Some of our local men and women will take positions of community leadership. Some will go on to higher levels of leadership. What lessons will they take with them when they do? If they learn their lessons from an apathetic and disengaged community, we will have failed them. But there is an even more practical political truism:

“For better and for worse, we tend to get the leaders we deserve.”

Here in Alaska the political process is specifically designed to be driven by the grassroots. The Republican Party officially calls itself “Alaska’s leading grassroots organization,” and it has every right to do so. The very structure of the party is such that the grassroots are the gatekeepers; they hold all the keys.  The board of governors of the Alaska Republican Party (“The Alaska State Central Committee”) is elected right in your backyard, and in backyards all across the state.  The Chairman of the Party, and all of the statewide party officers are not elected in a backroom where only the wealthy or politically connected are invited to attend. Every statewide officer is elected by delegates, every one of which is chosen right in your backyard and in other backyards. The requirements to vote in party elections are minimal:

1) Show up to the convention (some are only an hour long)
2) Register as a voter and pay the convention fee

You don’t have to have ever registered to vote before in your life. You can register to vote for your very first time on the morning of the convention when you walk in the door. They’ll even have a blank voter registration form for you. And if you register as a Republican voter, there’s nothing they can do to keep you out or keep you from voting in the Republican Party Elections. It’s that easy!

The moment Alaskans take personal responsibility for the direction of their government is the moment things will change. It’s time.

What Does it Mean to be a Conservative?

January 29, 2010

We are not united today as equally indistinct cogs in a political machine. We will not ask one another to abandon principles and convictions for sake of a supposed “common good”. Each of us work together on some issues and have the freedom to disagree on other issues. We do not assume or require agreement when it comes to specific policy proposals or the election of particular candidates, which are decisions best left to each individual either to support or not as seems prudent to them.

That being said, we do not take either the name Conservative or Patriot without sound reason. We are proud in saying that Conservative is not a vague or fuzzy concept, despite the attempts of some to make it so.  It is not an amorphous idea meant to cast a net wide enough to include nearly everyone, despite fundamental disagreements on the proper role of government in these United States. In the words of Frederick Douglass:

“What, then, is the Constitution? I will tell you. It is no vague, indefinite, floating, unsubstantial, ideal something, colored according to any man’s fancy, now a weasel, now a whale, and now nothing. . . . The American Constitution is a written instrument full and complete in itself. No Court in America, no Congress, no President, can add a single word thereto, or take a single word therefrom. It is a great national enactment done by the people, and can only be altered, amended, or added to by the people.”—Frederick Douglass, Glasgow, Scotland, March 26, 1860

As our Constitution is a tangible document, attesting to the legitimate actions of both common citizens and their fellow citizens temporarily serving as representatives in the halls of government, it is something we can and will defend. So, too, we offer the following tangible statement of core principles we hold in common. As these reflect principles and values that are fundamental to our way of life, we will defend these, both at the ballot box and in our daily lives.

Ten Principles of Conservatism
Being Conservative is a way of understanding life, society, and governance:

1.   Conservatives believe in the written Rule of Law as expressed in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights by the founding fathers and reject the idea of a living Constitution.

2.   Conservatives believe that government is best which governs least.

3.   Conservatives believe in the individual right to life, liberty, and property.

4.   Conservatives believe in the sanctity of the individual from conception, that families are the basic units of society, and that anti-family policies should be ended.

5.   Conservatives believe our freedoms and rights are God-given natural rights, not given by the government.

6.   Conservatives have compassion for the poor and oppose policies, such as socialism, that cause or extend poverty.

7.   Conservatives believe in free and fair trade of goods and services.

8.   Conservatives believe in a strong military and have a great respect for those who have put their lives in peril to protect others.

9.   Conservatives believe in public policy that encourages advancement based solely on ability and achievement.

10.  Conservatives believe English should be the common language for the United States.

Source: Thanks to Alaska Conservative Patriots Group for publishing these as core principles that both their members and the members of other groups may rally around.

The Process

January 28, 2010

Here in Alaska the process is straightforward:

Step 1) Attend your local party convention this February or March.

Those who show up will vote to elect local party leaders, will vote on to fundamentally change the state party platform and constitution (which is call “The Party Rules” in the Alaska Republican Party) and will elect local delegates to the state convention in April.

Those who do not show up will be left to wonder on Election Day why the same Republican establishment continues to support and fund the same establishment candidates as it has in the past.

Civics is not a spectator sport! Be the Grassroots – Get involved!

You can visit the Precinct Project Calendar on the right side of this page to find the date, time, and place of your local district convention.

Fact #1 – Precincts

January 28, 2010

There are 40 districts in Alaska. Within those districts there are a total of 438 election precincts.

Every precinct has a Precinct Leader position. Larger precincts will have two positions. Regardless, it is almost certainly the case that one or both of those positions in your precinct is vacant. All together, there are approximately 600 precinct positions throughout the state. Of these, it is estimated that nearly 400 are currently vacant because the party has not been able to find (or more likely not even tried to find) someone to fill that position.

Every precinct will vote to elect new precinct leaders in either February or March 2010 (elections take place every two years).

Well, perhaps we should qualify that. Every precinct should vote to elect new precinct leaders. The fact is that in the most Republican district in the state, there were no elections two years ago simply because no one cared to hold them. You may very well find that the elections for your precinct are not even scheduled, and won’t take place unless you express an interest having them. Vacant positions means no one ran for the position two years ago. And if there were no candidates, why hold an election? I’m sure you understand, which brings us to Fact #2.

Fact #2 – Districts

January 28, 2010

In the absence of active precincts, the district has become the default hub of the local Republican Party.  The 40 districts correspond exactly with the 40 State House Districts throughout the State. It is the District that is responsible for organizing local party elections every two years in the 1-2 months leading up to the State Convention.

It is important to note however that Districts very widely in their level of activity. Some districts will be very active, while others will be struggling, and some districts do not even have a single Republican volunteer who is willing to lead the District (this usually pertains only to the most rural House Districts).

The District Convention

January 28, 2010

Here in Alaska, Republican officials are elected every two years through a two-stage local convention process:

The first stage is a District level convention, followed one to two months later by a State level convention. Each district should have a district level convention, though even at the district level there are inevitably some districts that fail to organize a convention due to inactivity at the local level.*

In 2010, the district conventions will take place sometime between February 11th and March 15th. The State Convention will be a two-day convention and will take place on April 16th-17th.

At the District convention the following key events will take place:

1) The Election of all District leaders, followed by the election of all Precinct Leaders,

2) The Election of Delegates and Alternate Delegates to the State Convention (see the number of delegates your district is entitled to elect),

3) Proposing and approving recommended changes to the Alaska Republican Party Rules (Bylaws/Constitution),

4) Proposing and approving Party Resolutions and Position Statements,

5) Proposing and approving recommended changes to the (Statewide) Party Platform,

6) Proposing and approving recommended changes to the (Statewide) Mission Statement,

7) Proposing and approving recommended changes to the (Statewide) Statement of Principles.

All recommendations approved at the District Convention will then be forwarded to the State Convention for a final vote.

* The Alaska Republican Party permits individual Precincts to organize and elect precinct leaders prior to the District convention if they so choose. However, in reality this very rarely takes place due to inactivity at the local level.

Which District Do I live in?

January 28, 2010

The State of Alaska is divided into 40 Districts, one for each member in the Alaska State House of Representatives.

The area of each district is shown on the Election Districts Webpage.

You may also call the Elections Office in your region to verify the district and precinct you are registered to vote in. If you are not registered to vote and you call, they can look up your district and precinct if you give them your current address.

Your District and Precinct are important information.
Write it down so you don’t forget!

Alaska Division of Elections Regional Offices
Southeast Alaska Elections Office (Districts 1-5 and 33-36)
Toll-Free (866) 948-8683

Southcentral Alaska Elections Office (Districts 13-32)
Toll-Free (866) 958-8683

Matanuska-Susitna Elections Office (Mat-Su Valley Districts)
Phone (907) 373-8952

Central Alaska Elections Office (Districts 6-12)
Toll-Free (866) 959-8683

Northern and Western Alaska Elections Office (Districts 37-40)
Toll-Free (866) 953-8683

Election of State Delegates

January 28, 2010

At your local District Convention you will vote to elect Delegates to the State Convention in April. These will be the voting members of the party who will vote to elect Statewide Party Leaders, amend the Party Platform, amend the Party Constitution, Pass resolutions, endorse causes, and any other decisions occurring at the state party level.

Eligibility: There are very specific requirements for becoming a State Delegate. In order to become a State Delegate a person must have registered at the District Convention and then been elected at the District Convention. Registering as a participant at a District Convention may be accomplished either in person or over the phone during the registration window on the morning of the District Convention. The registration window will be 1-2 hours long and ends one hour after the convention begins.

The qualifications to become a state delegate are the same as the qualifications to participate in your local District Convention:

1) You must be able to register as a voter in Alaska, and
2) You must show up and register (or call in) on the morning of the District Convention,
Plus 3) You must fill out a very short Nominations Request Form expressing interest in becoming a State Delegate.

The requirements to register to vote in Alaska are very basic:
1) You must be a US citizen,
2) You must currently be an Alaska resident (e.g. you must have lived in Alaska for at least one day),
3) You must be at least 17 years and 9 months old.

The requirements in order to register as an attendee at a District Convention are also straight-forward:
1) You must sign in (or call in),
2) You must register to vote or show that you have already registered as a Republican voter in your district,
3) You must include your address, email address, phone number, and if you are interested in volunteering for anything,
4) You must pay your delegate registration fee (each district has its own fee depending on the costs of hosting the convention).

Note: If you plan to participate in your convention only by teleconference, you must find some way of demonstrating that you are a registered voter or have filled out a voter registration form.

Number of State Delegates

January 28, 2010

As there is no election required to be a delegate at a District Convention, there is also no limit on the number of people who can attend and participate in a local District Convention. At your local District Convention you will vote to elect local delegates to the State Convention in April.

There will be no more than 350 delegates elected to the State Convention. The number of Delegates and Alternates that each district is permitted to elect are as follows:

District 1     –   9 Delegates and 9 Alternates
District 2     –   8 Delegates and 8 Alternates
District 3     –   5 Delegates and 5 Alternates
District 4     –   8 Delegates and 8 Alternates
District 5     –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 6     –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 7     – 11 Delegates and 11 Alternates
District 8     –   8 Delegates and 8 Alternates
District 9     –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 10   –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 11   – 13 Delegates and 13 Alternates
District 12   – 10 Delegates and 10 Alternates
District 13   – 15 Delegates and 15 Alternates
District 14   – 14 Delegates and 14 Alternates
District 15   – 14 Delegates and 14 Alternates
District 16   – 14 Delegates and 14 Alternates
District 17   – 12 Delegates and 12 Alternates
District 18   –   8 Delegates and 8 Alternates
District 19   –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 20  –   5 Delegates and 5 Alternates
District 21   –   8 Delegates and 8 Alternates
District 22   –   6 Delegates and 6 Alternates
District 23   –   5 Delegates and 5 Alternates
District 24   –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 25   –   5 Delegates and 5 Alternates
District 26   –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 27   –   9 Delegates and 9 Alternates
District 28   –  11 Delegates and 11 Alternates
District 29    –   7 Delegates and 7 Alternates
District 30   –  11 Delegates and 11 Alternates
District 31   –  12 Delegates and 12 Alternates
District 32   –  13 Delegates and 13 Alternates
District 33   –  11 Delegates and 11 Alternates
District 34   –  12 Delegates and 12 Alternates
District 35   –    9 Delegates and 9 Alternates
District 36   –    8 Delegates and 8 Alternates
District 37   –    5 Delegates and 5 Alternates
District 38   –    5 Delegates and 5 Alternates
District 39   –    5 Delegates and 5 Alternates
District 40   –    5 Delegates and 5 Alternates

The State Convention

January 28, 2010

At the State convention in April the following key events will take place:

1) The Election of all Statewide Republican Party Officers,

2) Fundamental changes will be made to the Alaska Republican Party Rules (Bylaws/Constitution),

3) Changes will be made to the Party Platform,

4) Changes will be made to the Republican Mission Statement,

5) Changes will be made to the Republican Statement of Principles,

6) Resolutions and Position Statements will be voted on and approved.

Note: Every State Delegate is entitled to serve as a voting member of one of the State Convention Committees, and every Alternate State Delegate is entitled to serve as a non-voting member of one of the State Convention Committees.

The Precinct Leader: Most Powerful Office in the World!

January 27, 2010

Take a moment to learn why the Precinct Leader has been called the most powerful office in the country:

The Most Powerful Office in the World
written by Eagle Forum

Privileges and Duties

January 26, 2010

First, the basics:

Every position in the Alaska Republican Party is held by a volunteer. This includes the volunteer who gives you your ballot on Election Day all the way up to the State Chairman of the Party, who serves on the Republican National Committee and votes with other State Chairmen every two years to elect the National Chairman of the Republican Party.

Between the Election Worker and the State Chairman there are a variety of different positions. But the list of “voting members of the party” who actually make decisions that determine the direction of the party is much more simple. The four local officials that decide party policy are:

1) Your Precinct Leader,
2) The elected members of your local District Committee,
3) Your State Delegates,
4) The two elected members from your district who serve on the State Central Committee.

If you are wondering how many different elections you need to participate in in order to put good candidates into each of these positions, the answer is simple, just one election. Every one of these positions is elected at your local district convention that will be taking place sometime between Feb 11th and Mar 15th of this year. Every officeholder is elected to a two year term beginning immediately upon election. Let’s look at each position in turn.

1) Your Precinct Leader

Your Precinct Leader is the lowest-level party official in the nation. As explained elsewhere, it is so low that most people do not even know the position exists. However, your Precinct Leader is a “voting member of the party” and cannot be ignored. By volunteering to fill vacant Precinct Leader positions in Nevada over the past few months, Nevada Tea Parties were able to take control of every significant position of party leadership in the Nevada Republican Party, including electing a new Nevada State Chairman. [Read about this in the New York Times].

While the responsibilities of a Precinct Leader vary from state to state, there are some key responsibilities that are common in most every state. Here in Alaska the Precinct Leader has two key duties:

a) He automatically serves as a voting member of the District Board of Directors (known as the District Committee). In fact, the Precinct Leaders, when taken together outnumber all other members of the board combined and can determine every Party policy at the District level. Remember, there are only two levels in Alaska, the State and the District. Essentially, all non-statewide policies and decisions are made by the District Board of Directors, a majority of which is controlled by the local Precinct Leaders.

b) To illustrate the significance of the lowly Precinct Leader another way, let us return to an event that took place a couple of months ago. When a seat in the State Legislature becomes vacant due to a death or resignation (as happened recently in the State Senate), the Governor looks to the Party District Committee (and the Precinct Leaders who form the majority of that committee) to prepare a list of three candidates from which the Governor will choose a replacement [See Alaska Daily News Article].

Precinct Leaders may fly under the radar screen, and, like other party officials, they may not get paid for what they do, but they still have an important role to play in the direction of the party and of our state government.

2) Your Other Elected District Committee Members

Your Republican District Committee includes your two State legislators (if they are Republican of course) and each of the other district officers elected or appointed at your District Convention. Together, these officers serve as the Board of Directors for all District activities and exercise complete control over all party events, policies and funding of candidates at the district level. Under their leadership, the party will either be active or inactive, and conservative candidates will either receive support or not.

3) Your State Delegates

Based on the number of Republican voters in your district, you will elect somewhere between 5-15 Delegates to the State Convention. Only those who attend your District Convention (either via teleconference or in person) may be elected as State Delegates.

For the period of the convention, the state delegates are the highest Republican officials in the state. They set party policy, are able to completely rewrite the rules and bylaws of the party, and will elect each of the state party officers. In 2010 every single State Party Officer will be up for election and will be elected to a 4-year term.

4) The two elected members from your district who serve on the State Central Committee

Lastly, you have the two single most important positions elected at your District Convention: Your two members on the State Central Committee. The Central Committee serves as the Board of Governors of the State Party whenever the State Convention is not in session. And since conventions are only held once every two years they run the Party 99% of the time. Your District Chairman automatically serves as a voting member of the State Central Committee. So does your District “Bonus Vote” (if the legislator in your House District is a Republican).

And there you have it. You now know more about the Party and how it works than many of the people who actually run the party!

Use a flier to spread the word!

January 20, 2010

Download and print out fliers to spread the word. (Either use the generic flier or personalize/improve it). If you make up one of your own, we’ll post it here for others to use.

Combine one or more pages into a two-page flier as you like. Look here for more fliers as they are added.
If you’re shy about handing out a flier (like me), print it out, take it over to the mirror and practice saying these words to yourself in the mirror:

“This is some information you should know.”

Just like that. Yep – you’ll be a pro in no time.