Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tulsa GOP Precinct Confusion

Chairman McCutchin Relents

Chairman McCutchin is not
seeking re-election to his post
  Broken Arrow's Republican Precinct 456 just received Chairman Mike McCutchin's personal approval to meet back at their traditional precinct location on next Saturday afternoon.
  The Tulsa County Republican Chairman has reportedly at least partially changed his position on local precinct meetings (scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 31st, at 10am), according to Jerry Weller.
  Jerry Weller is the Vice Chairman of Precinct 456. He informed McCutchin of his precinct's plan to maintain their long tradition of meeting in their precinct. Some of the leadership plan to attend the House District event in the morning and hear the speeches and many announcements, instructions, and other details. But they plan to convene their business in the  precinct. Signs have been posted for weeks. Calls & emails have reached out to every known Republican. The precinct typically plans to prepare and discuss several platform proposals, party rules, and other issues of party leadership at all levels. 
Precinct locations like this neighborhood cafe,
are the tradition in Tulsa County's GOP
  Precinct 456 Chairman, Larry Williamson, said he does not want time constraints to limit grassroots involvement on these key issues. Rather than scurrying for a venue change halfway through business when a host church orders the visiting precincts to leave; precinct 456 said they are making the most of both opportunities. "Folks can go in the morning to hear the speeches and talk to the politicians, but in the afternoon we will convene for the business of our own precinct, including the election of officers, naming a delegation, and establishing a platform. The Republicans of the precinct are not required to attend the speeches in order to attend the afternoon business meeting.
  Chairman Michael McCutchin had previously threatened that;
"Any business conducted at a biennial precinct meeting not held at the day, hour and place set by the Tulsa County Executive Committee will be deemed invalid - with no means of appeal to either the County Chairman or the Chairman of the Credentials Committee of the Tulsa County Convention."
  But the grand plan to overhaul the grassroots structure of meeting in the neighborhoods, was  not effectively structured or promoted.
  The County Executive Committee (who has the authority to approve specific locations outside the precinct) never met in an appropriate meeting (proper meeting notices were never sent to precincts, as the state rules require, & the Chairman was advised of that requirement ahead of that meeting).
  The Tulsa GOP Executive Committee voted to authorize a locations committee, to find the best locations to meet the goal of the plan. This move fell short of the requirements for the Executive Committee to approve the specific locations and the locations to be central so as to not put a burden of significant to travel outside the precinct. A report of the committee should have been presented to the Executive committee for a specific authorization of named locations. And prior notice of the meeting needed to go to all the precinct Chairmen & Vice Chairmen of Tulsa County.
  As a result, Chairman McCutchin selected some locations which put undue burdens on local precinct members. His official email notices had contradictions, in that some precincts were first told to meet at Tulsa's Nathan Hale Library; and later, some emails said to instead travel several miles north to a location north of Owasso. The Executive Committee's resolution was to move to central locations, but that standard of "central was not always met. Too many house districts were combined into far off corners of the county.
  The result is that voters who live in the Downtown Tulsa Condominiums and apartments, as well as Brady Heights; are being told to travel out of the city to the northeast, to attend their "neighborhood" precinct meeting... southeast of Collinsville, OK.
  More importantly, this house district meeting concept was not effectively presented to the whole grassroots foundation of the Tulsa GOP.
To be fair, the central meeting idea has worked rather well in several other counties and certainly has merit. But the Tulsa County precincts were not properly consulted and partnered with.

David Van Risseghem

1 comment :

  1. Former Oklahoma Senator, Don Rubottom, said;
    "If this Larry Williamson is the man who worked his ass off twice to elect me to the State Senate, I say he knows how do to neighborhood, grassroots politics and the EC ought to listen to him. If it is someone else...never mind!"

    He later added;
    " It is sad that these disagreements tend to fall into hurt feelings by two sides who have good intentions and feel unappreciated. I hope the goal is to maximize voter involvement rather than to claim power over the party. I can only vouch for Larry Williamson's commitment to the success of Republican candidates. Winning takes people of different aptitudes interests and motivations. But when they fight each other, rather than maximizing each other's ability to contribute, the party's candidates lose.
    I do think that criticism wears leaders down. But bossiness wears down the troops. Selfless service ennobles us all."
    "Aaron, I'm not in Oklahoma and don't want to get into your rules. I just said the letter cannot be accurate. And I think everyone should support each other instead of going to war over where a precinct is meeting. There are very few active, organized precincts. The ones that are ought to be respected and encouraged or none will be. Tulsa County is far too big to run by a County Executive Committee trying to organize everyone. Leadership is winning supporters and keeping them supporting, not bossing people around insensitively. It's why bad officers get shot in the back or find themselves alone on the front line."