KCRCC: Decorum and freedom of speech

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As chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee (KCRCC) I am compelled to correct some misinformation that has been presented by others. Members of the KCRCC are precinct committeemen that have been elected one from each of the 70 Kootenai County precincts. Each precinct has approximately 1,000 registered voters. Committeemen are elected during the primary elections, which typically have a much better voter turnout than off season elections such as those for bonds, districts, levies and school boards.

Because Kootenai County is divided into 70 precincts and each of those precincts elects a Precinct Committeeman (many in contested elections) the KCRCC is without a doubt the most diverse political organization in the county. The KCRCC also well represents a cross section of the entire county and not just a few select enclaves. The KCRCC is not a self-selected group of like-minded people who engage in cognitive resonance. Because of these facts the idea that the KCRCC can be “taken over” by this group or that obviously needs to be filed under "Conspiracy Theory."

While it is true that the KCRCC is entirely composed of Republicans (that is kind of the point), it is also true that 53 percent of Kootenai County registered voters are affiliated with the Republican Party compared to 37 percent unaffiliated, 9 percent Democrat, and the balance Libertarian and Constitution party.

My job as chairman — with the assistance of the vice-chairman, secretary and parliamentarian — is to run the meetings and maintain decorum. The committeemen themselves bring motions to debate on a wide variety of topics. If any member objects to a topic or motion they can ask to table (stop discussion) the motion and if there is a second the committee will vote to stop debate and table the motion. If a majority agrees then we move on to the next item on the agenda. If, as a committeeman you object to a topic being discussed and you don’t even attempt to have it tabled, then you have no standing to complain about it later.

Freedom of speech means that you are free to speak your mind, especially on matters of politics. However, with that freedom is the obligation to allow others to speak their minds while you listen politely. The KCRCC is a proud example of this long American tradition of civil debate. Everyone is given their turn to speak and after everyone has had their first turn they are allowed a second opportunity.

In the end, the will of the committee is the will of the majority but during the journey the rights of the minority to speak and to make their case is honored.

The KCRCC meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month (except December), 7 p.m. in the County Administration Building Room 1B. The public is welcome to attend and observe the processes at the foundation of our political system.

• • •

Brent Regan is the chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.

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