What is the role of a County Political Party?

Earlier today I received an email from Cobb GOP Chairman Anthony-Scott Hobbs. This passage is from that email:

At the last Cobb County Republican Executive Meeting held on December 5th, 2006, the Cobb County Republican Party took specific positions on prevailing issues affecting our local area. As well, three new committees were created by the board: 1) Legislative Accountability; 2) County Commission Accountability; and 3) School Board Accountability. These committees will interface with their elected bodies and lobby on positions that the Cobb County Republican Party brings forth. They will attend meetings, hearings, and make testimony, and thereafter, report to the Cobb County Republican county committee and our monthly breakfasts.

Reading this it’s clear to me the Cobb GOP takes it as their job to hold accountable their local elected officials, but is this the proper action for the Cobb GOP to take?

The Georgia Republican Party has a platform that represents the general principles around which the Party faithful rally. Not every Republican agrees with every item of the platform and that’s OK – folks in general agreement are most welcome in the Party. Clearly the same is true of our friends in the Democratic Party. I don’t know if the Cobb GOP has a platform, but platforms are general in nature so as to garner as much support as possible. I doubt Cobb has a platform that guides them on specific local issues.

Republicans may agree in principle on a many, many issues but does that translate down to specific proposals under consider by a School Board, or a County Commission? Doesn’t this open up the Cobb GOP to all sorts of controversy? What about those Republicans who may differ with the “official” stance of the Party on a specific local issue – and who decides what “official” stance the Party will take? All legitimate questions I think.

I just see all sorts of problems flowing from this decision and I sincerely hope this idea doesn’t spread to other County Parties.

It’s also important to note that Anthony-Scott Hobbs is rumored to be a candidate for Georgia Republican Party Chairman. Is this the sort of action he would take as State Chairman? Inquiring minds want to know.

9 comments

  1. atlantaman says:

    How many members in the Cobb County GOP are actually voting on the issues the party is going to hold the Legislature accountable on?

    If it’s just a matter of 3 to 5 people in an executive meeting deciding they think abortion should take precedence over the fairtax or vice versa then I hardly think that speaks for all of the Republicans in Cobb County.

  2. Tommy_a2b says:

    I do not believe I have ever met Athony Scott Hobbs but when I read his email my first thought was, Wow what a great idea. I started thinking especially about the school board and how many people I know in many counties who are unhappy with there school boards but are unwilling to personally run for those seats. I thought that the committee would draw all kinds of new members into the local county party who wanted to voice there complaints or praise for the school board or county commission. I will agree Buzz’s question, “who decides what ‘official’ stance the Party will take?” is very legitimate. If the county party as a whole are not making these decisions then I would not agree with it. Another thought I had was, is this not the exact role of the county party? Shouldn’t the county party work to get Republicans elected, build the party, and keep the elected officials accountable. The party rarly asks a candidate to be a Republican or Democrat. Typically a candidate goes and qualifies by the choice they made. They can also try the independant route. So why not hold them accountable. I remember when you Buzz led the Gwinnett GOP to publically denounce Vincent Walls when he qualified as a Republican and ran for state house. Is this not the same thing. We on the Gwinnett Board decided to hold him accountable for his actions. So I think instead of saying the committees should not happen I ask that people explain if they should or shouldn’t with explaination. Again I am not saying I agree with Athony on how his committees are set up but I think the thought is very interesting and why should we not think outside of the box.

  3. Michael C says:

    By adding additional committess and asking for people to join, the county party will grow. These new folks will=eventualy exert their influence whether Hobbs like it or not.

  4. GOPGrassroots says:

    While ASH takes his responsibility to hold elected officials seriously, he should lead by example. Under his “leadership” the Cobb GOP has raised thousands of dollars and failed to report where the money went. He wants accountability from others, but refuses to have any himself. On top of that, he hires homeless people to attend his Illegal Immigration rally and create the illusion that he is a grassroots leader. Thankfully he is term-limited and cannot run for Chair again. Cobb needs a servant leader, not one bent on self-aggrandizement.

  5. jsm says:

    I don’t think the County Party as a whole should get involved on specific issues. In my mind, the Party’s purpose is to bring people into the fold, stand for its “general” principles/platform, and energize PERSONAL activism.

    It seems to me that the Cobb GOP is taking on the responsibility of the individual member. I understand that everyone can’t make all local government meetings, but there are better ways to be represented than as an entire political party. I think they will end up fighting amongst themselves on some issues, and they may lose some members in those skirmishes.

    I think a better idea might be having the committees that were created attend the meetings of their respective elected bodies and report to the Party membership the activities of those elected bodies. Then each member or issues group could take action as desired from a more educated position rather than being tied to the majority position of the whole Party.

  6. atlantaman says:

    I don’t know a whole lot about ASH or the Cobb GOP, but if I were an elected official I would be suspicious of any organization that self-annoited themselves to hold me accountable.

    Before I started to give that organization a whole lot of deference I’d be real interested to know what kind of role it plays within GOP circles and the community at large. I certainly wouldn’t kowtow if the organization is a shell. I don’t know how many people are involved in this idea, but my guess is you could count them on both hands.

  7. drjay says:

    there has been a push to do something similar to this in my county that has caused a lot of “debate” about whether its a good idea or not–also my county party has put out position statements on what they stand for–including very local issues like crime and school board items…our local party is interesting but i’m not sure how much “power” it wields in any real sense–its not like chicago where being a committeeman for the local party is as good as being an elected official in many cases–although on both sides this year participation in their local party was a main bullet on the resume of state wide candidates w/ drexinger as a county chair and eaton as a vice chair…

  8. rightofcenter says:

    In my opinion, this is a horrible idea, and reeks of The Taliban mentality. The county party should be about building up the party, building up the grassroots, and supporting local officials who run or are elected under the R banner. It is not the place for the county committee to hold the officials accountable. That is the voters’ job.

  9. Bill Simon says:

    Atlantaman,

    You said this: “I don’t know a whole lot about ASH or the Cobb GOP”

    Guess that means you never read the “old” Political Vine, huh? I covered the antics of ASH quite thoroughly from 2002-2005.

    In fact, I am the one who dubbed him “ASH” because, apart from that being his initials, everything he touches has a tendency to be burnt to ashes.

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