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The Most Powerful Office in the Land
by Rick Herron
(Rick Herron wrote this article in 1988 to go into the public domain for the benefit of the average voter in America who did not understand how our nation's precinct system works. Mr. Herron has not been consulted on the posting of this public domain article on our website, nor should any assume that Mr. Herron agrees with anything else on this website. His brilliant synopsis of the Precinct System can benefit any American who wants to know HOW power is attained and wielded in the USA.)
Preface: In 1986 Rick and Debbie Herron attended conferences put on by the FREEDOM COUNCIL. At this meeting the "nuts and bolts" of politics in the United States were explained. Rick Herron explains that the first time through -- he did not fully appreciate what he had heard.
When Mr. Herron's explanation was first transcribed into print in 1988, 321 pro-life candidates for Precinct Executive were already on the ballot in the Republican primary in Hamilton County the county which houses Cincinnati, Ohio. Everyone was now looking forward to the primary in May which would then be followed by the Hamilton County Republican convention in June, 1988. The pro-life faction had adopted the name "Platform Republicans" to indicate that they wished the local party to begin nominating only candidates who strictly adhered to the pro-life, pro-family planks of the 1980 and 1984 National Republican Platforms.
Articles had already appeared in the Cincinnati Post, and the Cincinnati Enquirer; the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio's pre-eminent newspaper, had devoted front page coverage to the movement. Why all the excitement? The Herron article explains why hundreds of Cincinnatians had been persuaded to run for the office of Precinct Executive -- and why the GOP hierarchy was wondering how vigorously they should be shaking in their boots. If it were not for the betrayal of the grass roots troops by Cincinnati Right to Life and Citizens for Community Values (CCV) -- the "citizens of conscience" would have won easily in 1990. As it turned out, the Platform Republicans did win on a technicality -- only to have the victory stolen from them by the courts -- all the way up to the Supreme Court of Ohio, which ruled that the Platform Republicans were correct "in law and in fact" -- but then gave the GOP headquarters of Hamilton County back to the Old Guard. After reading Mr. Herron's essay, continue on to see what must be done now, and what can easily be done -- in 2003 and 2004. - Jim Condit, Jr.
P.S. This speech was given to people considering running for
Precinct Executive in the Republican Party. The same strategy can be applied to
the Democratic Party, or any "third" party. Be sure to read the questions and
answers at the end, as many points of strategy for the concrete circumstances
facing the nation in 2003 and 2004 will be addressed.
Here begins Mr. Herron's speech turned article:
The Four Laws of Civics
"Why are we running for Precinct Executive? The main thing to keep in mind is our goal. What do we want to accomplish by this? We believe this project will actually get the law changed. (Note: Herron is here referring to the law permitting the killing of unborn children by abortion and the need to change the law to protect the right to life of these babies.)
"First of all, I would like to make clear that we don't believe this struggle between the forces of life and the forces of death is some kind of a debate. If this were a debate, we would have won a long time ago because all of the facts, all the logic, is on the side of life. Obviously, it's not a debate. We pro-lifers have been studying for debate while the enemies of life have been studying war. So guess who is winning the war? Whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, we are in a state of war with the enemies of life. And don't kid yourself, you are their enemy.
This war, this struggle, is being fought in the courts, and in the legislatures. Battles won and lost in this war are measured by government policy. Policy is the prize. And, right now, killing children is a policy of the United States. So our goal is to change the policy. So if policy is to change we must know how policy changes. This is where the four laws of civics come into play.
The First Law of Civics
is that People Are Policy. And what that means is if you want to change the law, if you want to change the policy you have to change the people that make the policy. And if you doubt that, try writing a letter to Senator Howard Metzenbaum sometime.
"So how does the law change? Well, these Senators or Congressman up there -- they make a decision, they pass a bill. The law changes. That's basically all there is to it. If during a vote there are more of THEM, then THEY make the policy. If on the other hand there are more of US, then WE make policy. Personally I would like it better if we made policy.
So how do legislators get in there where they're
in a position to change the policy?
"Well, they're elected in the November General Election in accordance with
The Second Law of Civics
which is: If Your Name Is Not On The Ballot, You're Not Going To Win. So in order for our friends to win the November General Election so they can change the policy we have to get their names on the ballot.
"Well, how do we get their names on the ballot in November? Well, we get their names on the November ballot by ensuring that they win the Party Primary election in May. So people who want to be Senators and Congressmen have to run in the primary and then if they win, they get their name on the ballot in November.
"So if we want to change the people who change the policy, it becomes our job to make sure that our friends win the primary. So how do we ensure that our friends win the primary in May? Victory in May is based on
The Third Law of Civics:
Only Candidates Endorsed By The Party Win The Primary. It's just that simple. There might be six Republicans wanting to be Congressmen in the First or Second Congressional District. And they're all running in the primary. Only one of them is going to win and that's invariably the one that's endorsed by the Party. And there's a very good reason for that. Most voters are just like myself. They don't have time to study all the issues or candidates.
Election day comes up on them just like it does on me. Oh my goodness, it's election day already. They go down to vote, and someone outside the polling place hands them a sample ballot that was published by their Party. They take the sample ballot in, they look at the sample ballot and they start voting. They're trusting their Party to have made the correct decision in endorsing these people.
So if we are going to change the people who change the policy we must ensure that our friends are endorsed by the Party so their names get on the sample ballot.
"So, where do these Party endorsements come from? Who is the party? For all practical purposes the party is made up of members of the Executive Committee [of your county]. And it is the Executive Committee that hands out the Party's endorsements.
Every County has their own Democratic Executive Committee and Republican Executive Committee, and we have ours in this county. These Committees decide who's name will go on the sample ballots which are distributed outside the polls at the primaries. The endorsed candidates win; they invariably do.
After winning the primary they move on to the November General Election. The winner there goes on to Columbus (Ohio) or Washington D.C. and changes the policy. So it turns out these endorsements are very important. Because if our candidate doesn't get endorsed for the Primary he doesn't go any further in the process. That's the end for us. It is important that we understand that in order to get to Columbus or Washington to change the policy, we have to succeed at each one of those steps. If we miss any one of them, the whole thing fails.
So, if we are going to change the policy, it becomes our job to get as many of our friends as possible onto the Executive Committee, so that we can ensure that our friends get the Party's endorsement at the Primary step. So what is the Executive Committee that passes out these endorsements?
Wouldn't you agree with me that these are pretty important people, even more important than the people they endorse? Do you know any members of your Party's Executive Committee? Where do they come from? Who are they? How do you get to be on the Executive Committee? Do they run recruiting advertisements in the paper? Do you go down to the unemployment office and tell them you want to be on the Executive Committee? No.
To ensure that our friends have a majority on the
Executive Committee so that we can ultimately change the policy we must help
them get elected to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee of the
Party is elected every two years by the members of the Party's Central
"So what is this Central Committee that elects the members of the Executive Committee? Wouldn't you agree with me that these are pretty important people, even more important that the executive committee that they elect? Where do they come from? Do you know anybody on the Central Committee? Did you ever hear of the Central Committee? Well, what is it?
The Central Committee is made up of one person from each precinct in the County. (Note: your precinct consists of about five or six streets around your house.) Our County has 984 precincts [this was in 1988], so there are 984 members on the Hamilton County Republican Central Committee. And each one of those members is called a Precinct Executive. The terms "Precinct Executive" and "Member of the Central Committee" are synonymous. This very important Committee meets at a very important meeting once every two years where the Executive Committee is elected.
So if we want to change the people that make the policy it becomes our job to ensure that our friends have a majority on the Party's Central Committee, so that our friends are elected to the Executive Committee, so that our friends receive the party endorsement, so that our friends win the primary, so that our friends can get on the ballot in the November General Election, so we can help them win there, so they can go on to the state capital or Washington D.C. and change the policy, that is, change the laws.
The bottom line is that membership in your Party's Central Committee is the Highest Office in the land. The reason that this is so is because the Central Committee decides who all of the policy makers are going to be. So if we want to change the policy it becomes our job to become members of our Party's Central Committee.
And that's why we're asking you to run for
Precinct Executive: so that you will become a member of the Central Committee;
so that then you will decide who becomes a member of your Party's Executive
Committee; so that next a pro-life majority on the Executive Committee will
endorse an all pro-life slate of candidates for the Party Primary Election; so
that only our pro-life friends are on the ballot for the November General
Election; and then, finally a pro-life majority in the state and federal
legislatures will change the policy and keep it changed.
Because there can be only one member of the Central Committee from each of the 984 precincts in Hamilton County, it is imperative that we locate, and encourage to join with us, at least one pro-lifer from each precinct. That is why if each of us would do this in our own precinct then we will succeed. And so we conclude with
The Fourth Law of Civics:
"The Precinct Executive turns out to be THE MOST POWERFUL OFFICE IN THE LAND. And that's why we are doing what we're doing."
(End of Mr. Herron's speech -- now turned into an article which can benefit all the nation, by benefiting the nation, benefit the whole world.)
Afterword: Now THAT, Ladies and Gentleman, is a
truly brilliant summary of the task before us.
The following section will help answer questions that may be on your mind:
Q. I'm sick of the two major parties, I want to run for precinct executive in a third party, such as the Reform Party of the Constitution Party.
the rest coming soon