Thoughts on what a PCO Should Be Things to Which I Believe a PCO Should Aspire

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by Dan Poletti, PCO Elect, Precinct 635, LD 17

A few thoughts about the upcoming PCO race:

I believe very firmly that anyone wanting to be a PCO should be thinking first about the people in their precinct and their interests. This is in direct contrast to what I have seen so far among the existing PCO body, with a few exceptions. Most PCO’s appear to view the position as a commodity to be won and lost, the acquisition of which serves to further the interests of the individual PCO and his or her faction in the party and the heads of those factions, the party bosses. This view resembles in many ways what our Congress has become. This broken PCO status is exactly what I and many of our fellow citizens are here to change.

So let me introduce my view in practical terms. I believe that a PCO should either already know the rules that govern the responsibilities of the position, or after their election quickly learn these rules. A key example is that when caucus votes occur, the PCO is competent to run a fair caucus and effectively facilitate that vote. This is the FIRST RESPONSIBILITY of a PCO in my opinion. I further believe that a PCO should spend time getting to know people in his or her precinct so that when caucuses do occur, there is a certain level of familiarity in the precinct. This is the whole reason for a caucus model, for neighbors to get together and promote political discourse. The PCO is the person elected to facilitate that discourse, and in some ways, to find the consensus among the attendees. Their voice is what is being determined, not the party’s, or even the individual PCO’s. The PCO is already an automatic delegate to the county convention. That designation affords him or her the opportunity, even the responsibility to remain neutral and play the role of knowledgeable facilitator rather than manipulating ideologue. I don’t think this precludes a PCO from campaigning for a specific candidate, but that partisan orientation should be, for the most part, left at the door of the caucus meeting room.

I believe that at the heart of these responsibilities should be the desire to represent the people in that PCO’s precinct. To this end, I believe that PCO’s should be actively soliciting feedback from people in the precinct, particularly those who have already expressed an interest in the process. This means that as we meet people in our precinct, we file their contact information and keep a dialogue with them, recognizing that they might actually want to be PCO someday as well. In addition to representing the people of the precinct, the PCO is also a liason between the party and the people.

This is a grass roots position, it ought not be occupied by the same person for decades, unless nobody else expresses the desire to run. A person who, after many terms of being PCO, has still not been able to locate and/or train a replacement for himself has failed in his job on some level. I anticipate being elected PCO in my precinct, given my lack of an opponent. I do not plan on occupying this seat forever, I view it as part of my job to develop a pipeline of possible future PCO’s and others who want to be active in the party. I envision a future where there are several people in each precinct who have served as PCO and can therefore be called upon to help elect good representatives. The concentration of power and influence that I see at every level of the Republican party is what has contributed to disenchanted voters, and by extension, to lost elections. The thesis that I am operating on is that the true conservatives are still a majority in many places, but they have been driven away from the party because of the power-mongering, the cheating, and the very non-conservative stances that the party has chosen to take on a myriad of issues in recent years. My goal is to help restore the voice that has been suppressed for way too long.

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