Bradford Blog-The Opt-out, Strikes out!

Colorado Republican State Central Committee Meeting Report

by Delta County Republican Central Committee Chair Dave Bradford

Well, the Colorado State Central Committee (SCC) held its Fall Meeting this past Saturday, September 18, 2021. In spite of the meeting being held the same day as the Delta County Lincoln Day Dinner, several members of our Delta County Republican Central Committee (DCRCC) made the decision to go to this very critical Republican meeting. DCRCC Secretary Brittany Deleff, Bonus Member Sue Whittlesey, Tom Howe and myself attended the meeting. It was a full day event at the Pueblo Convention Center in downtown Pueblo.


The agenda for the Fall Meeting included remarks by elected officials – Ken Buck, Congressman for CD4; Lauren Boebert, Congresswoman for CD3; Heidi Ganahl, CU Regent-at-large, State Senate Minority Whip Paul Lundeen, State Minority Leader Hugh McKean. Candidates for the 2022 election also spoke – Eric Aadland, Eli Bremer, Peter Yu and Julie Henry for the U. S. Senate seat currently occupied by Michael Bennet. Greg Lopez and Heidi Ganahl, two of the ten candidates for Governor, also spoke. State Chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown reported on the Redistricting Process. And what was supposed to be the main purpose of the Fall Meeting - there were twenty proposed Bylaws changes to the Colorado Republican Committee Bylaws. The Bylaw changes mostly dealt with how our next Republican State Assembly will be held in the spring of 2022. But the proposed Bylaw change to Opt-out of the Colorado Open Primary was the most significant event at the meeting. It was scheduled as the third to the last item on the agenda and took place in mid-afternoon after lengthy discussion and votes on the twenty proposed bylaw changes. I won’t go into details on what the proposed Bylaw changes were, but 16 of the 20 were passed. It takes a 2/3-majority vote to make a Bylaw change. But if you are interested, let me know and I’ll fill you in on the details.


The Fall Meeting was well attended. Of the 520 State Central Committee members, there were 441 present (84% of the SCC membership.) The voting during the meeting was made by standing vote. If a 2/3 majority was not readily apparent, balloting was made on paper ballots. Four of the twenty proposed bylaws changes ended up being decided by paper ballot voting. The Opt-out vote was also determined by paper balloting. As noted in the headline for this article, the Opt-out Vote did not pass. The results for the Opt-out vote are:

507100%Voting members of the State Central Committee380.33 75%Votes required to Opt-out of the Open Primary.44184%Members present at the meeting.43085%Votes cast in the Opt-out vote.171.3340%Votes cast in Favor of Opting-out of the Primary.241.3356% *Votes cast Against Opting-out of the Primary.


Not sure why these two figures do not equal 100%, but these were the figures given at the meeting. The point was the Opt-out proposal did not pass.


But a positive result did come out of this effort. Two resolutions were proposed after the Opt-out vote. The first resolution was to create a fund for donations that would be used to initiate a lawsuit that would challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 108 – the initiative that created the Colorado “Open” Primary in 2016. These funds would not limit the amount of donations that the Colorado Republican Part can accept for campaign financing. The second resolution was to initiate a lawsuit that would challenge the constitutionality of Proposition 108. Both resolutions passed, almost unanimously. This is the approach the State Party should have taken from the beginning. If Proposition 108 can be overturned, the State Party would create a “Closed” Primary that would only allow Republican voters to vote.


The meeting was well run, especially since emotions ran so high, with the proposed Opt-out Bylaw change. Our State Chairwoman, Kristi Burton Brown, did a fine job running the meeting. We completed a lot of work and developed a good understanding of the issues facing our party. I hope we can build on these efforts.


I have a short note on the Delta County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. The reports I am hearing is that the Lincoln Day Dinner (LDD) went well. Our featured speaker, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert was able to appear at the Fall SCC Meeting AND make it to the Delta County LDD. I am waiting to receive the financial report on the LDD but I believe this was another good opportunity for Delta County Republicans to see and interact with our Congresswoman.


Finally, I want to remind everyone that the DCRCC is sponsoring a Forum for the Delta County School Board candidates. The Forum is Tuesday September 28th at 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Surface Creek Community Church in Austin. There is limited seating, so we are using a reservation system to make sure we don’t go over our 100 seat capacity. The event is FREE. Please go to out website: www.deltacoloradogop.com/events to make a reservation. Hope to see you there!


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