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How our Christian Heritage impacts our Political Values

The great statesmen of our country were men of conviction who believed it was their sacred duty to uphold Christian Principles in their politics 

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So You Want To Run For Office?

 

THE ELECTION PROCESS - PART I

 

Today, all across America candidates are working on their campaigns for election to their chosen office.  How did they get there?  Who promoted them?  What does "running for office" entail?

 

When my son many years ago said;, "Mother, you should get involved with the County Central Committee; it’s the most influential group you can join," I had no idea what he was talking about.  What was it, who was it, why was it so influential?  I found out!  A few years later I was appointed to organize a campaign to get members elected to the local County Central Committee (CCC)!  With some minimal instructions from the one who appointed me I went to work. What did I learn?

 

First came the realization that I had to find folks who were willing to run for office to become a member of the County Central Committee (CCC).  None of us even knew what that meant-yet!  But we were willing.  We were told (here’s where the "influence" part comes in) that we would be "an influence for good in our community."  And we wanted to be a good influence.  Some of the things we’d be responsible for as members of the CCC would be the discussion, making of suggestions, and voting on the party’s platform as well as helping to elect good candidates at the state level.  That’s pretty impressive.  All we knew then is that we’d be "influential for good."  As Christians we wanted that.

 

Getting members elected to a County Central Committee, being an influence in politics by that method didn’t sound like the method our Founders had in mind when they set up our republican form of government.   However, the structure of the CCC follows that of a republic: persons chosen to represent others who will fill the offices designed to carry on the business of the county (or state or federal government).  We will be discussing the several methods used to choose folks for the position of County Central Committee member.  The first way  is to elect the members.

 

So, when you go to the polls to vote try to imagine all the things it took for me to get a candidate’s name on that ballot.  To help your imagination I will tell you what I had to do.   (Keep in mind that these things are similar to those that must be done in order for folks to run for other offices on the local, state and federal level.)

 

My candidates had to "take out their papers" at the County Clerks Office.  Each candidate must then take the "oath of office":

 

I solemnly swear (affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.

 

With the papers they "took out" they then had to pay a sum of money or obtain the signatures of forty registered members of our party in order to be a qualified candidate (forty being the number required to guarantee that at least twenty of them were valid!).   Some of these or another group of people had to sign a paper that indicated they were "endorsing" the candidate.  Now the candidate and the members of the CCC are ready to campaign in order to get the candidate elected.  You are no doubt aware of some of the things this requires: things which cost time, effort and money.

 

Now you have some idea of how one goes about to get a candidate on the ballot.  But does this tell you what goes on with the County Central Committee?  No.  Tune in to the next article which, hopefully, will clear up that question.

 

One more thing must be addressed: the alternative ways by which folks can become members of the CCC.  There are two: both by appointment.

 

A. Because a new party comes into existence or a party has not yet created a CCC in a particular county a new County Central Committee may be started.  In this event the State Central Committee Chairman may appoint a county chairman who may then appoint members who can act as officers of the new CCC.  These appointed officers then may appoint other folks to complete the number needed to fill the remaining vacancies.

 

B. The second way is used when there are fewer candidates running in an election than there are vacancies or "seats" in that district.  (Each county has one or more districts, each of which has a specified number of seats.)  For instance, in a certain district there may be four seats or offices, but only two people file papers for those seats. 

 

It is obvious that, if only two people file, they would be elected so they are not put on the ballot.  They are simply declared the winners.  After the election, the CCC, made up of those who won, may then appoint others to fill the empty seats.  This is an effective way to control CCC’s when no one pays any attention to what is going on in their home town!   Those in control are "influential" but may not necessarily be for good.  That was our problem; the present makeup of the CCC guaranteed there would be many more ungodly decisions made in the future if these continued in office.

 

It has taken a long time to change the composition of our County Central Committee so that godly decisions could be made.  The battle still goes on.  Would you like to know why?  Keep listening.  


Question:  What does the word "poll" mean and why do we use it in regard to elections?

 

Answer:  The word "poll" comes from a Dutch or Belgic word for head.  It refers to the fact that we are individuals-we each have a head!  When one votes at "the polls" during an election, one vote per person is cast.  The "poll," therefore, is the place where each person casts one vote that represents himself and his beliefs.  "Polling" means the casting, counting or recording of votes cast.  It has many applications other than its use in elections.  (The above information came from Numbers 3: 47, Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language and Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 1945.)


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