Statement from Peg Cage, Chairman Boulder County Republicans (BCR)

Colorado GOP SCC, Please Opt Out of the Unconstitutional “Semi-Open” Primary.  

September 20, 2017

“….a Republic - if you can keep it,” responded Dr. Benjamin Franklin to a concerned citizen.  Our nation’s new and excellent form of government was formed and framed by the Constitution. 

At the GOP State Central Committee meeting, Colorado’s grassroots representatives will face an unconscionably high bar to retain our Party’s integrity.  Because forcing political parties into open primaries is unconstitutional, Proposition 108 “allowed” for an opt-out with 75% approval of the entire SCC.  Even though, as Lord Acton said: “The will of the people cannot make just that which is unjust,” open primaries are “the will of the people” and thus endorsed by many in the GOP.

Justice Antonin Scalia said "Proposition 198 [similar to 108] forces political parties to associate with—to have their nominees, and hence their positions, determined by—those who, at best, have refused to affiliate with the party, and, at worst, have expressly affiliated with a rival. A single election in which the party nominee is selected by nonparty members could be enough to destroy the party." Justice Scalia went on to state for the Court that Proposition 198 takes away a party's "basic function" to choose its own leaders and is functionally "both severe and unnecessary."

The opt out clause could help save the Republic.  If grassroots Republicans demand the SCC votes to control our own primary elections, it will show America that Republican elected officials, State and County Party elected officers and Bonus Members can be moved to support the Party’s platform.  It might encourage the majority currently in DC to act like Republicans – repeal bad legislation and “drain the swamp.”

The Republican’s Constitution-based platform once shored up neglected principles of the Republic, united the states following a divisive Civil War and perpetuated an environment of success for the greatest nation and the most prosperous and generous people in the history of the world.  The GOP’s platform is winning nationwide.  A strong Colorado GOP should also win.  SCC members were elected to stand on our platform and win. 

According to the CRSCC Bylaws, our Purpose is:  “…to elect duly nominated or designated Republican candidates to office, to promote the principles and achieve the objectives of the Republican Party at national and state levels…”

By not opting out, Republicans reinforce the false perception that parties are government entities and subject to “public” decrees.  If we allow government to continue to run elections, we’ll continue to lose.  Colorado’s elections are uncertifiable; creating powerful government and a weak electorate.  We must elect strong Republicans to correct election laws.  For honest primaries, Republicans should run them ourselves.  The GOP’s elections should:

  1. Occur on ONE day on secret ballots with absentee ballots available by request
  2. Require affiliation, registration and residency deadlines
  3. Use printed poll books to verify the VOTER with a photo ID (not a signature on an envelope against a signature on a screen)

Two primaries and a general election are now planned for 2020, obligating the Parties to facilitate three “election seasons,” requiring hundreds of low-paid workers and volunteers for nearly TWELVE WEEKS and obtaining questionable results.  Opting out now would allow Republicans to focus more on winning elections than running elections.

Some unaffiliated and Democrat voters will still despise us whether we capitulate or stand.  Rather than fearing “public opinion” if we opt out, the GOP should fear the optics of VOTING to partake in an unconstitutional open primary.  Here’s what I’ll see:  Republicans are weak and afraid and have no intention of fighting to keep the Republic.  Republicans are okay with elected officials making laws to destroy the integrity of our elections and keeping the grassroots busy “doing elections” while they concentrate power to themselves.  Republicans don’t want elected officials to stand up against that kind of “representative.”  Republicans think conservative unaffiliated voters will vote GOP if it’s “less Republican.”  (Maybe our lack of conviction disenfranchised them in the first place!)  Republicans think people like me will continue to volunteer hundreds of hours for a Party that doesn’t take seriously their job to “keep the Republic.”  (Don’t count on it!)  Vote to opt out, please.