The following is my dad’s (Deane Gunderson) Bubbles in the Wine column about Iowa caucuses. This article was originally published in the Rolfe [Iowa] Arrow on January 15, 1976, just four days before that year’s caucus.
I’m a conservative and will be voting in Iowa’s Republican caucus tomorrow night, January 3. I am solid with my choice, but (for now, anyway) feel that I’ve designed this blog for topics other than pushing my political beliefs onto others. I’ll save that for my speech at the caucus tomorrow night. (Am I nervous to speak? Yes!) Or for anyone who wants to private-message me. If you are wanting to know for whom I am voting, feel free to email me and I will tell you. MGundersonArt@gmail.com
Contrarily, if you’d like to comment on your thoughts, feel free to do so below. Or, private message me about your thoughts, as well.
For now, here’s my dad’s column.
“Jan. 19 Political Caucuses”
Bubbles in the Wine (column) in the Rolfe Arrow
by Deane Gunderson
First published 36 years ago…January 15, 1976
There have been press releases and official notices of political caucuses, Republican and Democrat, to be held January 19. [Remember, this was written in 1976 and that the 2012 Iowa caucuses will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, January 3.]
A rather unique thing happened this year. The Democrat State Chairman and the Republican State Chairman held a joint news conference and issued a joint news release, “. . . we challenge people to demonstrate their concern for responsible government by attending one of these caucuses.”
It used to be that the Republican and Democrat organizations did a good job of ignoring each other, especially the other’s good points.
The above joint announcement should be taken as a sincere feeling that more participation in political activity is a good thing for the country.
I was surprised to be asked a few days ago if these caucuses were open to anyone, or if they were just for the party committee men and political workers.
Emphatically — the caucuses are open to anyone who wishes to indicate that he or she has the slightest inclination to make his desires known through one of the parties. Obviously, party structure would break down if it were permissible for a bunch of Republicans to attend a Democrat caucus and make decisions — or vise-versa. Likewise, independents without any purpose except to undermine the organizational framework should not be allowed to make decisions.
I’m sure that either party will welcome anyone who shows any indication whatsoever to make his voice heard through that party structure. You do not have to be registered. Just be one who could be eligible to vote November 2 and be a resident of the precinct for the caucus you attend. (See notices in last week’s paper.) [In 2012, you will need a photo ID that includes your current address, for example, your driver's license. If you've moved and your current address is not on your photo ID, you will need some proof of your current address, for example, a utility bill including your address.]
The purposes of the party caucuses, both Republican and Democrat, are to:
1. Name a precinct committeeman and committeewoman who will serve as members of the county central committee for that party.
2. Elect delegates to the county conventions which in turn will elect delegates to the state and district conventions. The state and district conventions will name delegates to the national political conventions, thus naming the candidates for which you will be making a choice for president Nov. 2, 1976.
3. Suggest resolutions and platforms which will be considered at county, district, state and national convention.
While you might consider the impact at the local caucus level to be very small, every idea will have a hearing and be voted on in a democratic way and, if accepted, ushered on up the line to the proper point of application (state, national — or county, for that matter). Be there January 19th. [Or, in 2012, tomorrow, Tuesday, January 3.]
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If you want to know more about this year’s Iowa caucus, click here. And, remember, some elections win or lose by just one vote. Heck, my dad got one vote one time at the county level…and won!
Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.