Wednesday, August 31, 2011

one bank box of political contents (part one)

You may be shocked to discover the kind of political contents we're going to uncover in today's box, so let me tell you up front: 

I'm a registered Republican.

Wait! Let me explain.

Remember those personal philosophical idiosyncrasies I mentioned last week? For starters, my dad is a gun-loving, freedom-defending, constitution-waving Republican with a serious anti-authority streak, and he instilled a bunch of that in me (mostly the "don't tell me what to do" principle; guns are fun but I'm a terrible shot).

Of course I interpret those principles in my own way: I support gay marriage, freedom of reproductive choice, decriminalizing marijuana, and avoiding war. I voted for Bob Dole in my first presidential election, registered with the Green Party during my time as a Clean Water Action canvasser (my motto then: socialism, why not?), voted for the entire Democratic ticket in 2004, and volunteered for a Republican presidential campaign in 2008.

It's not that I can't make up my mind. It's that there's no singular entity to represent my often contradictory ideals. But sometimes, a campaign comes close.

Which is how I ended up involved in the local Republican party.

In November 2007, I joined some friends at the Carson Nugget to listen to then-candidate Ron Paul speak. Intrigued by what I saw at the time as a straightforward approach to liberty and economic independence, I attended some meetings and joined the campaign. I was inspired to stick around after witnessing the disorganization and cluelessness of the party firsthand, and I kept volunteering for local party jobs until eventually I went all the way to the Republican National Convention in 2008 and the State Platform Committee in 2010. I've got tons of stories to share about those years, and I wouldn't trade any of it.

But the time I spent working in the State Legislature showed me the value of compromise and the foolishness of adhering to an inflexible platform, and I'm glad to have retired from small town politics. There are better places for me to use my ideas and my skills.

So without any further introduction, let's unpack.

this bank box box is dense with papers


  • Minutes from three years of Carson City Republican Central Committee (CCRCC) Executive Board and Monthly (general) meetings. I had originally planned to put these all in a notebook for future reference. Wondering now if I should just toss them.
  • Three years of The Trumpeter, the monthly newsletter of the Carson City Republican Women (CCRW). See above re: my plans vs thoughts. Wait. These I am definitely tossing.
  • Notes on my ideas for the CCRW Satellite Group, a monthly gathering geared toward women whose needs weren't met by the more traditional monthly luncheon of the CCRW. I thought I could help shape it as a place for disenfranchised Republicans to gather, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I was looking for a non-partisan discussion group. So I invited Bob Conrad and Ryan Jerz to lead an awesome discussion on decoding the media. And then I resigned.
  • Notes from my time as web admin and chairman of the CCRCC Communications Committee. Offer to build a website for someone, spend two years trying to explain the importance of defining an audience and a message. Then, drown your sorrows in whiskey.
  • Minutes from three years of state party meetings. As I'm not even an inch into the box at this point, I am making a rule: if it doesn't include original thoughts or important ideas on it, it's garbage. So these agendas and welcome letters can all get tossed.
  • Invitations and invitations and invitations. Fancy events are certainly a fun perk of political action. Getting panhandled by the Governor is not.
  • Tons of email addresses and other personal information on the members of the various committees and subcommittees. I will responsibly shred these. (You know how I love to use the shredder!)
  • Oodles of campaign materials. I'm guessing I saved these to study. Since I doubt I'll ever run for office, or manage anyone's campaign for office (and if I do, I'll surely hire experts), I can toss these.
  • [Honorable mention for the Ken Furlong pamphlet; he left it on my door right before I chased him down the street with a glass of ice water. It was summer; he looked warm. And even though I told him I was going to vote for him, he made me ask him questions while he cooled off, so he could practice his answers. I asked him some tough ones, which he answered with humor, honesty, and grace. He had my support for sure after that.]
  • A Scary Thing Happened, a FEMA coloring book about disasters featuring what some might consider to be distasteful 9/11 imagery. I downloaded and printed it a few years before FEMA yanked it and announced they were reviewing "all web content designed and posted by the previous administration."
  • A Smack for Congress bumper sticker! James Smack, a fellow RP supporter, ran for Congress in 2008. He didn't win, but his beehive-kicking tendencies are always fun to witness (and join). I took his sticker off my car went I went to work in the Assembly, so I'm glad to find another one.
Ugh. Sorting through three years of political activism is hard. In the next installment, more of this box. With pictures!


    Jim said...

    I believe that Kenny Furlong fella used to run around with my Mom a lot in the seventies. At least, most of the rest of his family sure did! There are stories, not all of them are happy ones, but most are.

    Anonymous said...

    I am glad you are involved in the process even if I disagree with some of your political choices.