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Counterfeit Candy

Investing in quality is sometimes a difficult decision to make, but it is an easy decision to live with. Quality is valued because it is not just a thing that is added. Quality is not a component in the list of materials. Quality is part of the process of creation. We refer to people who produce quality as not just builders or makers but as craftsmen who are masters of their trade.

In industry there are entire departments dedicated to quality. They write and oversee innumerable standards and procedures that must be followed to ensure a quality product. Quality is therefore the result of good processes and practices.

Quality depends on the process. So, if you are asking for a recommendation from someone, the process they used to arrive at their opinion should be important to you. If you plan to take someone’s advice, you should ask yourself why you should trust their opinion.

If you needed a referral to a medical expert, you would probably ask your doctor and not your plumber because your doctor would have direct and relevant experience needed to offer sound advice. Likewise, if you need a recommendation for a political candidate, you would be wise to ask someone who is involved in politics.

The Republican Party of Idaho is organized at the state, region, district and county levels. Idaho has 44 counties so there are 44 Republican county central committees. The Republican Central Committee in your county is the ONLY organization sanctioned by the Idaho Republican Party (IDGOP) because the Central Committee was created by and operates under IDGOP rules.

Unlike other organizations where the members appoint themselves and then put “Republican” in their name, the Republican Central Committee in each county is a grassroots organization because its members are elected by Republicans in each Precinct of the County. To be a member of the Republican Central Committee you must be elected by your neighbors to represent them, and because there is only one member for each county precinct, the official party organization is the most diverse representative organization of Republicans in the county.

“Republican” is a brand. It represents a set of ideals and beliefs that are articulated in the Republican Party Platform. Because of this, when people vote for a Republican they expect the person they are voting for to hold a particular set of ideas and beliefs.

Anyone can call themselves a “Republican” even if they don’t align with the Republican Party Platform. But should they also be able to run for office while claiming to be a “Republican?”

Should a random Chinese candy maker be allowed to manufacture a counterfeit version of Reese’s Pieces and sell them claiming to be the Hershey Company? Obviously not. When a customer buys a bag of Reese’s Pieces they expect a genuine product. The customer trusts the Hershey brand, and Hershey has a reciprocal obligation to the customer.

Similarly, if a candidate wishes to carry the Republican brand, then the Republican Party has an obligation to protect that brand and ensure the candidate is an actual Republican. Your local party organization takes this obligation seriously and often has committees dedicated to ensuring the quality of our recommended candidates.

Recruitment Committees find prospective candidates who are qualified for office and who substantially agree with the principles and positions of the Republican Party.

Vetting Committees ask prospective candidates to fill out questionnaires and often to be interviewed. During interviews the committee seeks to understand the candidate’s qualifications, motivations and fundamental thinking about governance. A background check may also be performed. All results are reported to the Central Committee.

The entire Central Committee membership finds opportunities to meet and question the candidates face to face or at candidate forums. Central Committees across the state often meet to discuss and debate the prospective candidates. After this sort of careful study, precinct officers in some counties choose to offer recommendations as a committee. This is usually done via secret ballot where every vote is considered equally, so that no one person, even county leaders, can overrule the will of the majority. Potential candidates often must receive majority or supermajority votes in order to receive a recommendation from the local Republican central committee in their county.

Quality depends on process and no other organization puts as much effort as the official Republican Party in your county puts into the process of evaluating candidates to determine their suitability and that they are a genuine Republican. When GOP party organizations use multi-step process involving separate committees, there are no “favored insiders.” As a result, on several occasions, sitting BCRCC members, who were also candidates for office, did not receive the BCRCC’s recommendation.

Quality has value, and so groups across the state have often attempted to counterfeit the official Republican party recommended candidate lists in an attempt to deceive voters. If their opinions had true value, they could stand on their own merit.

If you want a quality recommendation, you need to ask someone who has done the hard work.

It’s just common sense.

Brent Reagan, Chair, Kootenai County

Modified with permission by Nick Contos, Chair Bonneville County

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