by Guy Page
15 GOP town caucuses will meet today or tonight (see graphic above). Vermont Republicans attending are seeking to influence the future of the state party.
A total of 75 caucuses have been scheduled for this month. Several have already met – including Essex Republicans, which reported a larger-than-usual turnout, high enthusiasm, and a willingness to ‘do the work’ on issues and voter and candidate identification.
“We packed Cody’s Irish Pub!,” Essex Town chair Ron Lawrence said. “One of the most exciting things about our gathering was all the new faces! The enthusiasm of meeting so many like-minded people was huge! No, we are not alone, and there are many more of us than you might think.”
Lawrence offered thanks to Cody’s, “and in particular to Kevin, the owner, and to Chris, our waiter. We kept Chris very busy.”
In addition to the excellent burgers, salads and fries, Lawrence also advised those present to “feed ourselves with good information. This is not what we are getting from our usual sources of news. My advice is to turn the TV off!” He recommended the free-subscription Vermont Daily Chronicle and Truth North Reports as good sources of Vermont news.
Lawrence also welcomed participation on organized county-level policy subcommittees addressing communications, education, campaigning, the role of religion, and other areas of interest.
For a complete list of all times, dates, locations and contact info, see the caucus page on the VT GOP website.
Town committees help shape the state policy platform, elect state and county leaders, and find and select candidates for the Legislature. All Republicans who live in the town are welcome to attend, participate, and seek election to leadership.
Wendy Wilton, former state senator from Rutland and now a Milton resident, described the reorganization process (2:49:13 in RebirthTheMedia video) at the Celebrate Freedom event September 11 in Williston:
“‘Reorganized.’ What does that mean? It means that your town parties, whether it’s Progressive Democrat or Republican, you start anew every two years, a year in advance of the election cycle. What this means is this crowd here has an opportunity to go to your caucus. You have an opportunity to show up at those caucuses in your town, and take over the Republican Party. And you should.”
Typical of the ‘vibe’ of many town committee meetings is the Pawlet Republican Caucus, to be held on Thursday, September 16, at 7 PM at the West Pawlet Fire House Meeting Room. “There is an aggressive push for a complete government takeover of everything and everybody. We need to be aware and help Republicans get elected. Critical action is needed to curb changes that are being implemented by the Democrat/Progressive Parties,” Town chair Dolores Luebke wrote to local Republicans.
“We hope you will join the caucus and bring your ideas and views. Legislative changes are being made to towns, schools, and our environment limiting individual rights and freedoms. Some have already impacted the lives of individual Vermonters, their families, property, and businesses; more have only been “proposed” and are ready for the next legislative session. We need a strong Republican voice to prevent this,” she said.
“Especially troubling is the planned redistricting for the Vermont House of Representatives. Some of you are too young to remember when the Vermont House was made up of “Town” Representatives. Each town had a rep who knew the needs of the town’s government, town’s people and spoke for them. Personally, the state house was fairer and less partisan.”
Rep. Sally Achey will explain what legislative redistricting might mean for Pawlet and the other towns in their district. Every 10 years the Legislature redraws voting districts according to new census information. Many Republicans fear the Dem-Progressive controlled legislature will ‘gerrymander’ the districts to help their own candidates.