RPN Interview of Cheryl Caswell, AZ Legislative District chairperson

RPN Interview of Cheryl Caswell, AZ Legislative District chairperson

RPN Interview of Cheryl Caswell, AZ Legislative District chairperson. Find out what we must do to strengthen the Republican Party. Lots of talk about the importance of precinct committeemen but not much change in how states and the national GOP treat PCs. Lots of talk by Republican National Committee members about local decision-making, but decentralized decision-making is a lot more than surveys and input. To advance the role of the PC, we must change the structure of the Republican Party and distribute leadership throughout the grassroots. Provide your comments below.

All right welcome everyone to the Republican Party network uh my name is Yale wishnick I am the founder and President of the Republican Party Network rpn uh Republicanpartynetwork.com and as you Can see behind me uh we also uh have a Podcast called Jefferson Civics and we Present Jefferson Civics couple two Three times a week we hope you will look For it it’s brand new we use it to uh Take a look at the events of the day From uh the Jefferson perspective and so Uh we hope you’ll look at uh give us a a Look at that and take a chance on it and We hope we think you’ll enjoy it uh also Letting you know the Republican Party Network has been completely redone Uh and refurbished and we are brand new In all kinds of ways we’ve taken all of The features on the Republican Party Network and we really expanded it uh With our platform and we’re going to be Talking a lot about that in future Meetings but uh if you have a chance I’ll go to it we are now charging for The Republican Party Network 15 cents a Day uh we think most folks can handle That and it’s just basically to keep the Lights on Um as you know none of the profits or Whatever the real profits is really not The right word uh but whatever we get Goes into the network to build it uh and

To expand it in every way we can Uh and one of the reasons why we really Decided to refurbish it and to uh expand Our effort is because we want to really Focus Um the next couple of years on Precinct Committee men and committee women um You’ve heard a lot about it those of you That have been involved with the network For a while or even if you’re brand new To the network know the PCS uh have been Promoted as really Central and key to The Republican party and while the 2022 midterms wasn’t uh Oh let’s put it this way we would hope For more Um we know that the PC really is key and Central and starting off Um our whole effort in the PC I am Delighted to let you know that and Really honored that we have what I Consider to be a PCS PC uh and uh we Have Cheryl Caswell with us who is the Legislative district chairperson in Arizona for district 19. uh she is Obviously a Precinct committee woman and Uh has been very involved with it I’m Going to let her talk about that but I Also want to let you know Uh that you also received a pretty Outstanding award when she got into the Precinct area from uh Arizona the Arizona Republican party as Rookie of The Year for 2020 and so

Um you’re gonna really hear a lot of Information today about PC not just on Why it’s important but really how the Future of the Republican Party really Risks with our PCS and things that need To happen so welcome Cheryl to the Republican Party Network Good afternoon yo Um nice to be here yeah we’re delighted You are so let’s get right into it uh First question for you is kind of like Tell us a little bit about your Experiences Um and your current positions how you Got involved and um uh what you’re doing Right now Sir Um I’d be happy to tell you I am a Lifelong Republican raised in Chicago in A Union Democrat home I was raised with my father uh who was a Locomotive engineer on talk radio So he did not understand at the time That influence was very important I Really enjoyed talk radio and so I had a Lot of upbringing with our maharashi So I consider myself a rush baby leaving Chicago 25 years ago and coming to Arizona as a State Certified real estate Appraiser I understand contractual law I Am a property investigator so I am a Researcher extraordinaire I have been involved in politics for Some time before becoming a Precinct

Committeeman and it was Um in 2016 that I was very influential With my friend group and my community And they all were urging me to do Something more in politics than just my Um Republican good Republican work Always doing the poll work always Showing up for the elections and always Supporting candidates or registering Voters just as a community service So I was urged to look into that it’s When I started looking into how to get Involved in the Republican party and Most of us come upon some of the Information about Precinct committee men Either through Dan Schultz or Steve Bannon and the precinct strategy It was uh very important when I learned That the PC was the most powerful Position in the nation more powerful Than the president and that intrigued me And as I started looking more and more Into it I realized this is the Foundation the very Foundation of our Party and the Grassroots movement and so I started investigating that little did I know I was really doing a lot of the Work as a Precinct committeeman in my Community without the title So in 2020 I actually signed the Paperwork and was recruited through Tucson Trump uh Maga and as a Maga Candidate for Precinct committeeman no One was there to train me no one was

There to tell me what I what to do I Just Coming from Um the political upbringing my talk Radio days and such I knew that in Chicago it’s all boots on the ground and I know that they have organization Within the communities so I feel that The precinct committeeman is the most Important tool that we can use in our Party because we are right there in the Precinct amongst the voters where we can Have a great influence So in 2020 before I was actually elected I was already registering voters at my Chamber of Commerce holding events Having little tables helping my Community learn about the propositions And things uh how to get involved in Elections and that’s the work that Earned me the Rookie of the Year in January of 2021 So being that the precinct committeeman Is the foundation I wanted to explore What other areas the precinct Committeeman position allows you to Select and get involved in leadership And I recognized in my legislative District there was a real need there was Um not as many active people as I would Have thought when I started attending The meetings so I stepped in there and Said how can I help and Iran is the Fourth Vice chairman on my legislative

District at the time my job there was Really just uh doing the program as far As the meetings and helping our guest Speakers come to the meetings and Address our community it was then that My leadership skills were noted and I Was elected as a state committeeman from My fellow Precinct committeeman and that Is where we go to the state level and Elect the state level leadership was Very intriguing I was very excited to be Part of that but to also be at my first Estate committee meeting receiving an Award for Rookie of the Year as a PC was A highlight of that meeting for me it Was then Um also that I’d already had a lot of The knowledge it just did a lot of People don’t know how to put that Knowledge to work But I realized the precinct committee is The most important thing in the precinct And so my my Goal was to try to help others so I ran As the third vice chairman of the Pima County Republican party so at this point In January 2021 I have become a newer Precinct committeeman Rookie of the Year A state committeeman a legislative District Vice chair and then the third Vice chair of the Pima County Republican Party That’s where I really hid the boots uh You know hit the boots on the ground

Aspect and I was getting in contact with The PCS my main job there is voter Registration and that was a non-party Non-partisan type of effort that we do But depending on how you present that is How what voters you attract So it was then that I was looking at the Covet issue and we were all really stuck In our homes so it was the Great American Block Party voter registration Effort That was supposed to set the Foundation for our party in the county To put Precinct committeeman back in the Precinct and so we named it Um the Great American Block Party And the Great American block party was The party in the precinct for 2021. we Were supposed to engage with our Community we created voter registration Kits over 800 of them distributed them Through the legislative district so that All the precinct committee men would Have the ability to go out and register Voters but we wanted them most Importantly to connect with their Community and as I was working through My two years I realized We’re not training enough to give them The tools needed To feel comfortable with knocking on Doors and just becoming that Representative in the precinct in that Time of our legislative district only Had 15 PCS we now in our new District

Have 74. and I recruited and worked and Trained with many of those PCS over the Last two years several of them have Wondered where do I make a difference And the first thing of it is is that you Don’t need any permission You as an elected Precinct committeeman You have the permission you need to get To work in your community Secondly is that you can find your Niche You don’t have to do it all but we have Some PCS that are more interested in Board of Supervisors issues and some PCS That are interested in the school board Issues so those Precinct committee men Have been instrumental in My Success Because they’ve been in all the right Areas and we’ve collaborated and helped Each other so we have a more Well-rounded effort in our community So it was very exciting then to see a Lot of PCS participate we had over 32 PCS holding things like voter Registration events in their driveway With dog walkers all the way to Bluegrass bands so it was a lot of fun I Don’t think that Um our party managed that messaging very Well and didn’t push enough people into The precinct sometimes they think it’s Used at our Precinct committee men are Used as a leverage for the candidates That they feel should to be supported Instead of offering our services to all

Candidates as necessary and all Precinct Committee men So the precinct committeeman has become The most powerful position in Pima County I never realized how far I could Go as a Precinct committeeman until Today there now I sit as the legislative District chairman for a five-county Legislative district and it’s been the PCS that have helped me to get here and I will never forget their work and Contributions because they’ve done the Hard work of Elections they’ve done the Hard work of contacting the voters and They’ve done the hard work so I owe all Of that to them and so I’m looking Forward to working with them to refocus Our own District right now In um getting Republicans elected the Party politics aside we have a lot of Work to do right well think now that you You know being the legislative district Chair you really have uh you know a a Broad perspective in terms of the kinds Of things that you have to be involved With and connected to as you say and so Thinking about that Um and you kind of mentioned it a little Bit but we spend a lot of time talking About the problems and the obstacles What are some of the strengths that you See right now at the ground level Um with PCS generally and then Specifically in your legislative

District what are some of these Strengths and perhaps some of these Strengths they’re not being utilized Fully And that’s correct actually one of the Things I love about working in the Republican party is I believe we have a Great Community of skill sets that are really Untapped and a lot of people seem to Wait on the sidelines to for the Permission to do something and now we Need to just move on and and stop Waiting for someone else to step forward So I think some of the strengths are Also some of our weaknesses the strength Of our Republican party is that we have Independent business-minded people that Have been in the independent sector They’re business people they’re usually Independent Um people working on their own some of Them web designers more home-based Businesses Entrepreneurs and so I think with that We got a lot of managerial experience And Leadership experience that we don’t Put enough emphasis on and that creates A lot of independent thinking and Critical thought and as much as that is Our strength it is also I think our Biggest weakness because it seems that Some of us as Republicans think that we Have the only or the best idea are we

Tend to be so independent-minded that we Don’t tend to collaborate and work uh Together as well as I would have thought And that was probably the Um biggest lesson I’ve learned is having The right managers uh to put policy in Place and kind of help the members rise Up is one of the biggest challenges I I See with the strengths that we have a Lot of people want to worry about their Own credit and they tend to forget about The accountability and fiduciary Responsibility we have with our as an Elected official yeah you know you said Something there that’s you know Um I think very important because it’s Really connected to one of the things That the Republican Party network isn’t Concerned about and that’s Decentralizing decision making in the Republican party uh really allowing and Permitting not only us and that’s not Even very good words I say encouraging PCS to be more involved in the Decision-making process itself not just Tokens they’re not just instruments of Someone else Um how do you feel about that and Because if you you know you have these Strengths as you’re mentioning and and I Think Um you it’s you’re absolutely right in Terms of your categorizing and Characteristically looking at

Republicans as independent folks Um how does that fit in then with the Idea of trying to have PCS more involved In decisions do you see it happening uh What can we do to make it happen what Are your thoughts on that Well I think unfortunate in um As well as an art And are complacent and I think that Sometimes we see good leaders and we Think that the good leaders have Everything under control and they have The help they need and too often that’s Not the case it’s usually a really small Group of Select people that do the hard Work and it comes off so well it looks Like we have everything all polished one Of the things I would say is in our County Party Committee we haven’t been As open to the PCS as we should be the County party committee meetings have Been closed for the most part I’m I Thought maybe that was more covid Related or pandemic related but it never Really opened up back to the PCS in my Tenure although a lot of the mitigation Was being lifted so we as PCS we need to Hold our own lead leadership accountable And show up and so for two years now in Those meetings we I remember one meeting where we had About 20 PCS that had showed up Otherwise the precinct committee men are Not showing up to the county committee

Meetings So you are not able to Um follow what programs are being Presented and how they will be Um rolled out to the membership through The legislative districts but also I Don’t believe that the committee sees in A lot of respects some of the leaders See us as in a servant role and so Without our PCS present they tend to Forget that we serve the precinct Committee men and that that Precinct Committee meant are the committee So I would encourage more PCS to get Involved at the county level by being at The meetings and helping the leadership When they are struggling with these Decisions now I know a lot of times in These meetings they seem to be a lot Like a school board meeting or Board of Supervisors meeting where there is no Call to the public or no call to the PC So as one of the board members sitting There and a PC I would suggest that Pdc’s right write letters and emails to Your board members about your concerns And about the things you think need to Be addressed if I was to come to any Board meeting with 20 letters from my Fellow PCS as to what they wanted to see Then my voice is bigger and more Amplified and my other members tend to Listen So I would say as the precinct committee

Man we need to get more involved at that Level but also we need to remember we Don’t have to attend all the meetings we Have to take the tools with us and put Them in employ them in our Precinct it’s Not uh it’s not the County’s job to help us Uh get that motion moving in our Precinct it’s us the producing Committeeman Yeah well it’s it it’s again it’s it’s Your perception as of your role and That’s what you talked about in the Beginning uh if if you believe that your Role is the most important in the Republican party then you’ll behave and Act accordingly on the other hand if you Think that your role is simply to do What others tell you to do or you’re There as an instrument uh to knock on Doors only or to walk precincts only Then that’s what you’ll do too and I Think your idea of letter writing is an Interesting one uh it really gets the Conversation going because obviously That it you can go all kinds of places From that in terms of the LD meeting and Really make a much more engaging Um Switching gears for a moment Um and talking about the issue that’s Probably one of the most well if not the Most important one is voter integrity Um we know particularly in Arizona now a Lot of controversy over that a lot of

Questions as to what’s happened what’s Going on uh what are your ideas on the Idea on voter Integrity how did we get Into this mess Um what do we do about it in your your Your view now as a as a Precinct Committeeman all the experiences you Have as now as a legislative district Leader is a person who’s involved at the County level as well as well Um where do we go with this issue of Of election Integrity particularly When now we’re seeing all kinds of Commentators Coming up with their point of view And we’re seeing leaders at the national Level coming up with their point of view Once again kind of ignoring the PC on This so as a person at the ground level Um where are we going with voter Integrity what’s your ideas on it Well kind of uh even going back to Within the precinct committee men we Serve our communities of interest and Each community of Interest has their own Needs and their own cosmology so I the Centralized power within our party or Decision making doesn’t serve our Communities of Interest which is why I Also look at that similarly with our Voting situation we were at 2020 and 2016 2018 we had 249 voting centers Within precincts Precinct voting uh Could have been improved and I like the

Precinct voting because it’s Decentralized it puts the power back Into the precinct where we the precinct Members as Precinct committeeman we know The voters and we know our community We can also address different things on There because some of those uh related Issues you know Our proposition related or School Board Related or different water districts so Each little community of Interest has Their own uh situations of in of Importance My um Disappointment in this last election Cycle is that in my tenure our board did Nothing to stop 249 Precinct voting centers being Reduced to 129 centralized voting centers with new Process and equipment That was uh very quickly hoisted upon us As a as a public or as poll workers so I Do believe that having our Precinct Voting back is very important and I Think we can improve that by including Um a system where we can hand count Those as the ballots are cast in our Precinct so as we leave the night each Precinct has their account this Day long two days three days week ten Days before we have Finalized results is uh it’s just really Crazy to me

Um I remember the election night parties And election Night results and those are A thing of the past and that’s scary to Me I have been a voting Center inspector In the last uh election And prior to that it was the Marshall And as we dropped off the ballots in 2020 the election was already called Before our our election day ballots were Even received so I do think the one Large problem we have is uh all mail-in Ballot or all mail-in election I do Think Delaware moved to uh solidify that Based on their Constitution which allows For certain circumstances to have Absentee ballot and I do believe that we Do need to return to a Um or turn away from a no excuse Absentee ballot mail-in election the Issues I saw are ballots and ballots and Ballots everywhere Even in our own Community Pima County Always had allowed you to request an Early ballot and you’ve never needed to Be on that permanent early voting list But the permanent early voting list is a Tool used to back flush in mail-in Ballots so I do think the mail-in ballot Issue needs to be addressed but I do Know that that is something that needs To be mitigated with the disabled with Our military and with people that cannot Attend the polls so I do agree we have To have an option for an excuse to have

Mail-in balloting but it should not be a Blanket mail-in ballot for everyone we Need to we need to buy back into this Process and stop being complacent yeah You’re absolutely right Um and you know that’s you you said Something there also which you know the Democrats Are always two steps ahead of us uh You know if one could summarize what you Said is that you’re you know we’re we Need to really reduce this number of Mail-in ballots from a lot of reasons But at the same time no one is saying That individuals that that really have Legitimate reasons why they can’t get to The polls sure we’ll deal with that We’re not that makes absolute sense and Um it’s it’s that kind of communication That message that’s always seems to be Lost somewhere and I believe one of the Reasons it’s lost is going back to our Original purpose here is that the PC is Not given Um either the responsibility the Opportunity Um the resources to make those messages Known in their local community I really Like what you said about that that’s Really where the action is in those Small communities the PC knows the Voters and if we if we took the position And I really like the way you described It if we took the position as a party

That that the PC Is that that first Contact And the most important contact that that Voter that citizen has with the Republican Party Uh and got get they know their Community They know the interests in that Community we need to keep it small so People can actually engage each other Um and there’s no reason we can’t do That it’s just it’s just uh just the Will to do it and I think you’ve hit Upon something and that’s certainly Within the context of Jeffersonian Civics Jefferson certainly would agree With you on that and and and and you’re Absolutely right I really like the way You’ve described that and I hope you’re Successful Um in in pushing that along because That’s so important so okay voter Integrity we know is a key issue but What are some of the other issues that You’re hearing as well that the Republican party needs to really begin To start emphasizing and framing for Voters in our communities Well I think accountability it is too Often as one of the only members that Really takes the fiduciary Responsibility seriously as well as my Servant mentality seriously to the Community we represent That we have really moved away from

Holding our own accountable and we’re Too often afraid because people say Um either that I’m attacking another Republican or their Unfortunate we’ve come to a place where We’re so far from having good discourse And discussion that most often People tend to forget that the business Item is what we need to address and yet It’s personality So we need to move ahead regardless of That you know if you’re a Precinct Committeeman and you’re getting involved In party leadership uh know that what You’re doing is the right thing but stay In contact with your PCS and stay in Contact with your community because They’ll always keep you in the right Place and so I think the accountability Issue is something Um our PCS and my community of Voters Have told me is that why they’re not Wanting to get involved anymore they’re Frustrated because they don’t see us Even holding our own accountable to the Values going back to the foundation of We the people and we have the PC When we are being disenfranchised as a Precinct committeeman We have to remember that we are Disenfranchising 125 Republican voters for every PC Disenfranchised so a community such as My legislative district sometimes hasn’t

Had a voice in these uh boards or within Leadership and without that voice they Don’t they can’t steal as though their Their input is respected and valued and Heard so we have to make sure that we Are holding our own accountable in party As well as within the community of Republicans and that’s one of the Biggest things I think we are facing Right now people are wanting to see us Govern wanting to see us in managed as The Republicans we claim to be just not Empty words but managing ourselves in That very manner Yeah that’s that’s uh when you started Talking about accountability Um you’re absolutely right in the sense That it’s not something that is Segmented you’re if you’re an Accountable you’re going to be Accountable in every aspect of what you Do accountable in terms of the party Party leadership party issues the Community and so on and so forth and That gets to that whole idea of people Having confidence in in the party and Again the role of the PC Uh this is this is as you said this is The most important position in the Republican Party well that means Accountability But I think I believe based on the PCS I’ve seen and I know and uh being a PC Myself

Um that uh our PCS want to be Accountable they want to do a good job They they do feel this commitment but at The same time as you’ve been saying here Throughout our time together that Um it has to be uh perceived at the Leadership both at the county level and At the state level and at the national Level wants them To be responsible and accountable for a Lot more than just again uh putting Stamps on envelopes Um and and you’re absolutely right there Um or sometimes maybe they they have Been viewed as the reserves and they Pull out the reserves when they have the Candidate or the issue they want and Then they’ll keep the reserves at Bay Um if there’s issues that are more Controversial I really do believe that uh the tools Are there for all of us and if we could More often communicate to our PCS just Alone being a voting inspector you you Know the PCS in my uh voting location Were overwhelmingly involved in that Process so it’s very important it leads To all of the important issues of Election integrity and it also helps us And many of the other Um Community issues such as our school Boards we have several scoreboard Candidates that stepped up that happened To be Precinct committee mid right so

It’s really encouraging to see because These people will be the Future Leaders And we need to start to rise up the Future Leaders Uh instead of always looking for the Problems there are a lot of problems we Need to find the solutions work together And find the ways to lift each other up To the next rung of the ladder What a great way to bring this to a Close you know in terms of helping each Other lift each other up in terms of the Process as opposed to some food chain Kind of operation where we eat each Other up You’ve said a lot of different things Some really great things I I know that Our Republican party network members are Really going to find this valuable other Anything else that you want to add to Our conversation as we come to a close Anything you want to showcase or other Issues that you haven’t touched upon at This point now is your chance Well I would say Um don’t be discouraged we do make a Difference I have been in contact with many of the People in my community that stay Encouraged because of the contact we’ve Had they know not everything has been a Failure there’s been some good things And we’ve learned a lot of good things Along the way so I would say keep up the

Good fight I am fighting for my children And for my children’s future I’m a Mother of triplets that are in college Right now and there’s nothing more Important right now than to look at them In the eye and tell them that I just Didn’t watch the events unfold I tried My best to give them the country I Remember growing up in and so I would Say uh also it is also Republican party Network the United Republicans for Arizona and those groups that are doing The hard work in the the absence of Where our party hasn’t so thank you Dr Wishnick and for all the members that Participate with you I do know that the Um things I see that you do the Brown Bag lunches and such those are the ways That people can get involved so if You’re not Getting enough Information from your Republican party Officials check out our clubs such as The Republican Party Network in our United Republicans for Green Valley Because when they see a skill set They’ll put you to work oh yeah yeah Thank you for that you’re absolutely Right and and again that’s all part of The Grassroots uh increasing and Empowering our Republican leaders at all Levels How do folks get in touch with you if They want to find out more

I can be reached on Facebook at Cheryl Caswell and one of the things I do as a Priest in Ken miniman is I started a Facebook page right away start building Your own brand as a priest Precinct Committeeman you have a brand of your Own and so build your brand through your Social media I can also be reached by Email at Cheryl Caswell msn.com and I Know that the United Republicans also Has my contact information and I’ll be Seeing a lot more of you there yes yes And we’ll have all of that contact Information in our show notes as well so Folks can get in touch with you I want To thank you for taking some time I know You’re extremely busy and we appreciate It very much and and this was really Um a a an intensive conversation with so Much information so thank you and uh we Will definitely be in touch as we go on Once the new year is here I know then we Got to hit the ground running again and Uh so thank you Cheryl really appreciate It and you take good care Thank you very much and Merry Christmas Tall right Merry Christmas to you guys

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