Have strong opinions on what you would like -- or wouldn't like -- to see in the state's Republican Party platform?
If you're a registered Republican, you'll get your chance to express those views at three platform caucuses beginning later this month.
"The ones who care will be there," said Susan Smith, who chairs the Douglas County Republican Party. "People who are interested will make an effort to be at one of those three meetings."
Douglas County Republicans, like Republicans in each of the state's other 104 counties, are setting up the caucuses to develop the official state party line for the 1996 elections.
Over the objections of Republican Gov. Bill Graves, the state GOP committee approved a platform-building process last summer that starts with local meetings open to all registered Republicans.
Graves and several local legislators have said they don't see the need for the party to spell out its beliefs in a formal platform because it could be divisive on some issues, including abortion, prayer in school or gun control.
"We have a national platform, so what's the problem of having a state platform?" Smith said Thursday. "We have a national or a federal government and a state government. Should we do away with one because we have the other?"
Smith said although there are differences among Republicans, she thinks they can reach agreement on the state platform.
"I still want to see this disunity that people keep talking about," she said. "I know that even some of our local legislators may not agree that we need this, but not one of them has commented to me that we don't need this."
Meanwhile, Republican State Chairman David Miller of Eudora said Thursday that caucuses are now going on all across the state.
"Every county is on its own. So there is no way to know what's going on everywhere," Miller said. "But I'm getting reports back of a lot of activity. And I think that's great."
Republicans who have resolutions regarding specific issues are asked to have them written out and copied in advance. However, "issue ballots" will be provided at the meetings.
Under the state party caucus rules, all resolutions should be assigned to one of the following categories: Agriculture, Constitutional Issues, Defense/Foreign Policy, Economic Development, Education, Family/Individual Rights and Law Enforcement.
Following the caucuses, a meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 5 at the Lawrence Public Library by the county's Republican central committee.
The central committee will organize the results of the three platform caucuses and forward the suggestions for the platform on to the state committee.