Local political power shifts with Ron Paul campaign
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Local political power shifts with Ron Paul campaign

Austin : TX : USA | Jun 05, 2012 at 7:22 AM PDT
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The Austin Ron Paul Revolution Makes the News!

The Ron Paul campaign for the presidency will most likely not succeed in a primary nomination, however the grassroots have made great progress in achieving Congressman Paul's original goal: To return the party to its small government roots. No where is this progress more evident than in the local county level.

Ron Paul supporters and allies have been following a two pronged strategy: Get delegates to the state conventions and get supporters into precinct chair positions. The two roles are ignored, even unknown, by the majority of primary voters yet are entry level access into state party politics. The roles and powers of delegates and precinct chairs vary from state to state, but generally one or both are responsible for electing state and county chairs and other important roles, as well as voting on wording of key party documents. Precinct chairs also are responsible for voter outreach and delegates can get selected to national delegate spots to nominate the party presidential candidate.

Using a combination of enthusiasm, organization, and education of the local Republican Party rules books the Ron Paul grassroots movement has been filling these positions. On the grassroots website DailyPaul.com they purport to have taken a large number of counties, with delegates this has been proven true however with precinct chairs the true numbers will not surface for several months. Another popular venue for organizing is Meetup, where every city has at least one Ron Paul meetup group. In my location Austin, TX there are over 10 Ron Paul or Republican Liberty Caucus related websites, with thousands of total members, however Austin is notably a strong base for the Republican Liberty movement.

Although the deadline has passed for precinct chairs, many local Ron Paul supporters are waiting until the current slate of precinct chairs is returned by the Travis County GOP because any empty spot - and there are often empty spots - are open for late applicants. It is this dedication and follow through that makes the Republican Liberty movement a strong one, despite being outnumbered by competitors for influence in the GOP.

The real question that needs to be asked is will the grassroots movements that have been so active this election cycle be active in 2014? After the nearly equally active 2008 campaign, most Ron Paul supporters abandoned politics in 2010. Time will tell if this movement is a fad or a lasting political force.

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Ryan Pierce is based in Austin, Texas, United States of America, and is a Reporter for Allvoices.
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