Sunday, June 08, 2008

MN GOP State Convention Anecdotes

Retrieved from my inbox (more stories are yet being added). The entire emails have been retained in the event context is needed.

Who put out the non-disclaimered attack pieces?

  • One thing that Joe Xxxxxx, a Paul supporter in our BPOU said. He said he was one of the first people in the door of the convention hall Friday and they wouldn't let people in early. We he got in, the anti Paul literature was already on the chairs. Made us think that someone within the party had to be putting that information out there. Fair to put it out there but that particular literature was illegal because it didn't say who was responsible for it.

  • I thought it odd how Cxxxxx left Paul's speech early to put our literature on the chairs, but wasn't allowed in. Yet when the doors opened, literature on all the chairs, including 2 neon colored papers slamming Paul as 'not conservative'. (And they think McCain is?) I saw a man going around pulling these papers out of the last row of the Wright County seating area, as the rules stated (#7 on the first page.) He was stopped by a sergeant at arms, and when showed the rules, the sergeant said "Those aren't my rules." It got a little heated, and some delegates from Cokato went over to check it out. We won out later, but by that time, I'm sure everyone had seen the papers. I'm betting Cxxxxx wasn't allowed in because Ron Carey himself was putting the illegal literature on the chairs. I didn't get the sergeant's name, but if you've ever seen Jerry Mathers (the Beaver) as an adult, you'd know which one I'm talking about. I also overheard guys with headsets talking about Ron Paul people might be trying to put up signs, and they couldn't cover anyone else's. Since 'anyone else's' went around the entire room, it made for crafty placement.

  • On Thursday night I was outside the arena and I wondered what the setup was like so I looked for an open door and found one. When I got in I was walking around the floor, just trying to find my district's seating area. One of the workers approached me and asked me to leave because I didn't have credentials and also because the arena wasn't open yet. Fine.
    Then the next morning I saw the orange and green flyers with all the misinformation about Ron Paul. I took one to the sargent of arms and asked him if it was okay for that material to be there. He said that there were no rules yet because they hadn't been adopted. He refused to do anything about removing them.

  • The Ron Paul Slam sheets without a sponsor's name on them. I wore my Ron Paul button and got a bunch of bad looks from people who were reading the sheets when I got there. Then they tell everyone to turn them in. This is a second chance for everyone who had not seen them to have a look. This was masterfully choreographed to insure that all participants saw the unapproved documentation.


Not counting votes

  • How many times did the person at the podium mention or act like they could not see the crowd? multiple people said it at various times. One committee chair the gave a short report at the podium even outright said it was impossible to see anyone in the room from up there. My question is, how did they count the vote of almost 2000 people if they couldn't see them? If they could see the voters, I can't believe that they could see the entire floor equally... some areas must have been impossible to see due to the lighting. There is maybe some rule about counting each vote with the same weight? Fran did not even seem to strain to see the audience on most votes. He strained very hard when he tried to see who wanted to speak at the microphone, or when he was calling the names of the volunteer award winners, but not when counting votes. Amy Koch appeared to try to count the votes, and even had to re-vote a few times. That was good, but did not mesh with Fran's behavior.

  • Many procedural breaches occurred. At one point the body voted to take a standing count only to have the chair not take the standing count and proceed with the agenda. There was also a number of votes that were way too close to call by a show of cards but they were not successfully stopped for recount.

  • It requires 2/3 vote to cut off debate. I don't remember if they achieved two thirds vote to call the question and then a majority to pass the adoption of the rules. Do you? I was an alternate and had just sat down and was looking for the rules so I could see what section they were talking about and I don't remember after that.

    The rules stated that voice voting would be the norm, except at the discretion of the chairman, when a rising vote would be used. At the start of the convention, the chairman said we would always use the rising vote, and had pink cards to signify our vote which we would raise. The idea of this style of voting is to allow the chairman to see a transition from Yes to No, and so determine the will of the majority. This is entirely appropriate, however, during close contests, the rules allow for a call of division, meaning a counting vote. The rules specified that following a call for division each BPOU should assess whether a counting vote is needed (if 25 BPOUs have a majority of people wishing the counted vote then it would happen). However, the rules were interpreted by the chair to be, during a call for division instead of raising pink slips we should stand.

  • This effectively meant that there was no way to challenge the ruling of the chair. The specific time that this was most dramatically in effect was at the time of the nominating committees report. We being ushered through the process to approve the nominating committee's report, a point of information was made clarifying that this would in effect mean of the 35+ delegates desiring to be on the ballot to go to the national convention, only 26 delegates would allowed. The chair then announced that the adoption of the report had passed, at which point division was called. So instead of raising our pink cards, we were asked to stand up, as if this somehow provided a stronger sense of the will of the majority. I looked around, and it was pretty clear to me that there was not a majority in favor of this; a counting vote would have settled the matter, and I would have gladly accepted that judgment as fair, but as it was, the single most important decision of the event seemed to go against everything democratic.

Not Recognizing Speakers/Motions

  • I am new to this and certainly not well versed in parliamentary procedure, but the failure of the chair to recognize delegates waiting at the mike was shocking. It seemed the only time they were allowed to speak was when any motion they would make would be out of order, coincidence?? I think not.

  • The chair would not recognize requests to suspend the rules for certain purposes. I know on one occasion I requested to suspend the rules to take a vote of no confidence for Ron Carey (I had the support of a few BPOU chairs who have asked to remain unnamed). The Parliament Chair said my motion was out of order and needs to be done during other orders of business. Hello, I motioned to suspend the rules to take care of it.

  • When discussing the making Pawlenty delegate: at microphone one the guy with the earpiece was physically blocking our 3rd speaker (for lack of better definition) from the microphone. The speaker was trying to crawl over him while the chair directed his attention to the 2nd and 3rd microphones and ignored that microphone.

    The rules (none specific) were suspended to allow Pawlenty his delegate seat. The chair cut off discussion at the allotted time according to rules that were suspended.

    They had a constant line standing at the microphones simply to block us from getting to the microphones.

  • The chair called Txxxxx MxXxxx's point of order, out of order.

  • While I was trying to make my point my microphone was turned off at least three times. I had to raise my voice in order to be heard by the chair. When I said that the sergeant of arms had given me some instructions on how to accomplish the removal the chair turned on my microphone.

  • Txxx Wxxxxxxx was waiting to speak at the microphone (as we were debating something about the alternate delegate election process) when someone was allowed to come up to the front of the microphone and call to question, bringing an end to all discussion. People were disallowed the chance to speak by taking people out of order.

  • I approached Amy Koch during a break and said that I was really frustrated by that retroactive decision on the literature and she kindly indicated she would be amenable to a motion I drafted and handed her on paper regarding that issue. Well once things got rolling again I went to the microphone, where a woman (the one who led the Pledge of Allegiance on Saturday) bullied me and refused to yield when I said I wanted a Point of Order and even told her the Chair had indicated support for my Point of Order. I held my ground behind her, but they went a long time without recognizing the mics and finally I decided that the moment was past and it would not help our cause to bring it up again.

  • The one abuse that sticks out to me is the planting of McCain supporters by the microphones in order to call-the-question before we could have any discussion. There also were several instances when Paul supporters were blocked from coming to the microphone, most notably when we were discussing whether Pawlenty should be able to be a national delegate when he broke the rules of the convention by not registering in Rochester.

  • I'd have to agree with all the other statements people have made about there being a crowd of people in the way of the mics, not in line to talk, but to stand in the way and prevent/delay people from getting up to the mics. I found that the mics, though the physically switched on, were not linked into the sound system directly, so until the speaker saw I was there and someone was waving the orange light, anything I said (even if it was a point of order, which can always interrupt the speaker) could not be heard and would be ignored. They effectively had a mute button for every mic, and every speaker from the floor they didn't want to be heard. Even after indicating to the girl who had the orange airplane traffic control light at my mic what my question was, and that is was in fact very pertinent to the voting process, and she indicated the same to the speaker, I was continuously ignored while they cycled between the other mics and then she sat down for a while in silence while I waved my arms in the air and occasionally shouted "Point of Information!" to try to gain their attention. I was not recognized until there was only roughly two minutes left in voting and nearly everyone had already filled out their ballots. I was the first one to the mic once the ballots were passed out, I can only imagine how many other valid, pertinent point were wholly ignored / edited out by the leadership and those in control of the sound board - gee, wonder what color hats they were wearing.

National Delegate Election

  • The most egregious were related to the nomination committee and who did / did not actually appear.

  • I spoke at length with a number of old guard in SD33 regarding the Carey strategy. They claimed the lack of RP delegates and alternates on the ballot was a result of the GOP candidate committee rooting out an attempt by us to dilute the field. They felt that there was a large group of us running as delegates and alternates for that purpose only and no intention of winning. Not even voting for themselves. They felt they were under assault and had to tighten up the field. The best thing to do would be to find a highly qualified RP candidate that was dropped. That would indicate a tipped playing field.

  • When I settled into the convention hall seat area of our BPOU Friday morning the first thing I noticed is 2 banners at front and either side of the convention platform. Listed on the right banner, a 8'X12' suspended from the convention hall roof supports, is a list of 14 "Conservative Republican for national delegates". The left side has a similar list of 14 alternates. A banner of this type would take several business days to design, print, deliver then hang 50' above the convention floor prior to 7:30 AM Friday morning convention registration, not overnight.

    How amazingly prophetic is 12 of the national delegates and all 14 alternates listed on the 2 banners were promoted to National. Friday evening a delegate from the convention floor confronted the Party leadership on stage to their keen ability to predict with 92% accuracy the national delegates and alternates prior to the convention gave drop. A member of the nominations committee responded with a statement close to "We just thought real hard about who would be elected". Using the descriptive word "ARRAGANCE" fails to do justice to the attitude of the Party leadership's response to the delegate question of foresight. P8

  • A specific convention rule prohibited any nominations from the floor. Convention delegates were provided 16 or 18 choices for national delegate on the ballots. The other remaining 100 or so delegates not permitted ballot access for convention consideration or stage time to present their case for national delegate. Protest erupted by many McCain delegates and a couple Ron Paul delegates omitted from an open floor nominations process.

    On the alternate side, a 1992 to current
    Minnesota State House of Representatives Ron Paul delegate attempted nomination to national. The committee placed in nomination over this current Representative a young mother of a newborn. Ironic a young mother has more political experience than a 16 year State House Representative.

  • We raised a point of information asking if all the individuals on the ballot had met with the nominating committee according to rule 25 section a:

    "Individuals wishing to be considered for the position of National Delegate or Alternate must meet with the nominating committee in Rochester, Minnesota on Thursday, May 29th, 2008."

    The committee indicated that it would make a report on this question later. We waited for 2 hours with no response so I waited at the microphone for an hour (through all of Norm Coleman's speech and some business thereafter) and was finally recognized by the chair. I asked a point of information asking to hear the report from the nominating committee on whether all of the candidates had met with the nominating committee. They responded:

    "No. Some of the candidates did the interview by phone."

    I had called Brian Humphreys (an employee of the State Party) on Wednesday asking if I could have a later time or if I could do the interview by phone. He told me unequivocally that I could not. Due to our inexperience with parliamentary procedure we did not make the correct motions to get the ballots thrown out but we did expose the hypocrisy and unfairness of leadership. The party had created an illegal ballot (according to the rules they rammed down our throats). This was our turning point! (On Sunday the convention voted to change the rules to allow Tim Pawlenty to stay on the ballot though he did not meet with the committee according to rules)

  • What really chafed my butt were (1) the convention refusing even to allow the rest of the national delegate nominees onto the ballot or even to speak, and (2) the clincher for me -- MANDATING that everyone HAD to vote for 14 delegates, even though doing so diluted our votes for you and Barb and Dave Mathias. Of course, we know WHY they did that, and to be honest, I did comply so that my votes for you guys would count. But after turning my ballot in, I left the convention for good.

  • The national alternate interviewers' first question was about who I would support for president.
    I said that I would support the candidate who most closely adhered to the Republican platform. There were multiple pairs of rolled eyes immediately.
    The questioner shot back, even before I was finished, "We need a name."
    At that point I figured I was already out of favor with them so I said Ron Paul. Another male interviewer reassured me that I would not be given an up or down vote based on the name I gave them.
    Then the next day when the nominating committee gave their criteria for selection, one of the items mentioned was that the person needed to support the presumptive nominee.

  • I was very disappointed in the nominating committee a)not nominating many of our very experienced supporters b) only nominating the "conservative team" slate-especially concerning the alternates c)nominating four to seven more than a person can vote for, limiting choice, and not allowing write-ins. d)not knowing the ballot until it was time to vote, and then after we realized that we didn't have any of our nominees on the ballot, it was too late to take nominations from the floor.
    The whole Tim Pawlenty not being there in person thing was kind of a joke. I don't think we should have tried to prevent him or Norm Coleman from being a delegate, but I can't believe that they wouldn't name the others that didn't show up for the interview process. If I had to to guess it was probably the majority of the "conservative team".

  • Not putting the majority of the Ron Paul Delegates on the ballot after many of them spent there time and money coming down a day early for the nominating committee.

    No Ron Paul alternates on the ballot. Not even one. And they said they wanted it to be a fair convention.

    The large Red banners had been created several days before the nominating committee meetings. I guess those people knew they would be on the ballot and they all were.

  • Scott & I had walked out of the auditorium for a break, and met Angie Exxxxx who was one of the members of the nominating committee. She was very open & polite and tried to explain to us what the qualifications were that they were looking for. The #1 being a McCain supporter. She then mentioned how she believed that John McCain has been chosen by God to lead us into the "end times", and she could hardly wait because she would be here to see it all end. Now - this is one of the people who said that we weren't qualified to be a delegates or alternates. She also told us that the Republican party is grassroots only at the local levels - not at the National level. The National level should only be filled by long standing office holders within the party. (which is totally opposite of Matt Dean, who said he didn't think elected officials should be allowed to be delegates and it should be grass roots all the way)

Red Hat Society

  • I was sitting on the far left in the first row. So I had a front row seat to many small meetings between the Sergeant of Arms, Ron Carey, Daren Bearson (Executive Director), Barret (the Treasure) and what I call "the Red Hat Society" (the guys with the "yes" and "no" signs). When I started questioning what they were doing the Sergeant of Arms sent a suited man to sit next to me.

    I spoke to a bunch of delegates around me about the BS going on and I know that I wasn't just imagining this stuff.

    We believe that Daren Bearson was coordinating the Red Hat Society. He was constantly talking with and directing them.

    He would go up on stage and talk to "the honorable" Ron Carey and then go off stage to talk to the Red Hat Society.

  • In the back of the convention there was a guy with a McCain hat, an earpiece, a mic, and a laptop. I personally watched that guy press his earpiece against his ear as the opportunity for delegates to go on the mic was approaching. Then he would talk into his mic at his wrist, when he did that, I observed the McCain hat folks on the floor hold their earpiece (so he was talking, and they were listening). Then, they would go flag specific people to squat at the mic, cut in line, and call the quest (not debatable, requiring an immediate vote...ending debate). Additionally they would flag the vote yes/no crowd to walk around.

    This squatting at the mic though, was a very organized effort to end debate before it started. I can give you the name of one mic squatter, a National Alternate named Tibideaux (Robert??? Guy with the Hawaiian shirt). He cut in line, the chair immediately recognized him and his calling the question, which received an immediate vote, which ended debate. They did the same thing every time..."Mr Chair, I would like to commend the Election Board and the Parliament for an outstanding job. We've heard lots of debate on the issues [cough] so I call the question...or....so I motion to adjourn for the evening....or I motion to adjourn from the convention

  • A McCain staffer with a red hat and a headset pushed me a away from the microphone when I wanted to make a motion. He said, "Your candidate has lost, you people have lost, give it up and let us get McCain elected".
    I saw another McCain staffer across the auditorium physically push another Ron Paul republican, and try to prevent him from making a motion.

  • Later on Friday I asked one of the fellows who was carrying the Yes/No signs around if he knew that they were not allowed. He said yes they were. They were a normal event at conventions like this and I should get over it. I asked him who was directing him which sign to display. He said no one. He was just a delegate. Then I asked him who was talking to him on the earpiece he was wearing and if they were relaying instructions to him about which sign to display. He reiterated that he was just a delegate.

  • The one abuse that sticks out to me is the planting of McCain supporters by the microphones in order to call-the-question before we could have any discussion. There also were several instances when Paul supporters were blocked from coming to the microphone, most notably when we were discussing whether Pawlenty should be able to be a national delegate when he broke the rules of the convention by not registering in Rochester.

Not Seating RP delegates

  • Wendell Christenson (i believe my bpou chairman, sd42) had [Yes/No signs] he was waving around. He's a total McCain. He also told me and several other Ron Paul alternates we could not be seated because "we don't think we should be seating any Ron Paul supporters." I immediately shot him down for being unprofessional, and magically he stated "we had a vote, and I guess you can be seated."

    We had 40 seats allotted, 19 delegates and 9 alternates showed, so by default we should have been seated, there was a RP supporter as a sergeant in arms who had to use his power to intimidate him to seating us as well. We did get seated though.

    BIGGEST THING. I found a list of all sd42 delegates/alternates, with the big wigs of the district highlighted, and the people who they refused to seat with "rp" by their names, this list was obviously used to select who cannot be seated. They kept us out long enough so that we could not vote on adopting the rules.

  • In Goodhue, Pxxx Rxxxxx was the 1st alternate, but was always sent back to the balcony whenever a delegate returned to the floor even though there were alternates seated who were numbered higher and should have been sent back before he was. The other alternates were not RP.

    When I expressed dismay to Janet Biehoffer, CD2 chair, over the pre-selected ballot of delegate candidates, she told me it was done purposely because the Ron Paul people had "hijacked" the Nevada convention and they were not going to let that happen here.

  • One incident that concerned me though is after my registration card fell off my neck and when I went to recover it. Outside the doors of the convention, I asked the sergeants at arms if anyone had turned in a registration badge and whether there was a lost and found where it might be found. My shirt sported a pin promoting Republicans against War. A pretty good indicator I was a Paulite republican. The individual I talked to denied there was a lost and found and did nothing to help me recover my registration card. He stated I was not allowed to go back inside. It wasn't until a second individual I asked at the very same door willing to help me. He did so by immediately going to the lost and found and returning with my registration.

    My thoughts on this as I walked away was how uncourteous and commandeering this first individual was to me. He attempted to prevent me from performing my duty as a seated delegate. Was it because of the pin I wore,? I asked. I believe it was.

Rules

  • "Copies of "the rules" were never even made available to our section until after they were railroaded through."

  • What bothered me the most is the fact that the rules were adopted before I had a chance to read them. I was an alternate and was seated shortly before the convention voted to approve the rules. This was my first state convention, so I am not sure if this is typical, but I do think it is suspicious that the rules were not handed out earlier so that we could make a more informed vote.

  • It requires 2/3 vote to cut off debate. I don't remember if they achieved two thirds vote to call the question and then a majority to pass the adoption of the rules. Do you? I was an alternate and had just sat down and was looking for the rules so I could see what section they were talking about and I don't remember after that.

  • Ron Carey's letter to all delegates and alternates 3 days before the convention announced that any rule change attempts in the name of fairness should be seen as an attempt by RP supporters go gain a disproportionate advantage. In the end, the rules didn't matter that much - the executive committee only enforced them when it was convenient. The most flagrant abuse was the rule on division.

    The rules stated that voice voting would be the norm, except at the discretion of the chairman, when a rising vote would be used. At the start of the convention, the chairman said we would always use the rising vote, and had pink cards to signify our vote which we would raise. The idea of this style of voting is to allow the chairman to see a transition from Yes to No, and so determine the will of the majority. This is entirely appropriate, however, during close contests, the rules allow for a call of division, meaning a counting vote. The rules specified that following a call for division each BPOU should assess whether a counting vote is needed (if 25 BPOUs have a majority of people wishing the counted vote then it would happen). However, the rules were interpreted by the chair to be, during a call for division instead of raising pink slips we should stand.
    It is easy to follow and enforce rules when they support your position; being fair means following and enforcing the rules especially when they don't.


Reversing National Delegate Election

  • On Saturday we were presented with another interesting development – we would be hearing from the contest committee. This committee was convened to review the findings of the CD1 convention where Jake Dettinger was voted in as National Delegate. The rules of the convention indicated that an individual must receive 40% of the convention delegation vote to take the position. It was found that in the first vote two of the initial "winners" did not receive that amount. So the convention re-voted and Jake Dettinger took a slot. This was the published result of the convention and was the final decision of that body. The state party decided to step in and overturn the will of that convention by convening the contest committee.

    The contest committee report indicated that the rules were misunderstood by the CD1 convention and that Jake Dettinger should be stripped of his delegate status. They presented these findings to the convention. Jake stood in opposition to this ruling and humbly asked for 4 minutes for he and his opponent to present information to the body. He was denied. He used his mic time to indicate how unfairly he was treated – his opponent was given a month to prepare arguments and collect evidence while Jake was given only one day. He was not even made aware of the challenge until the day before he was to appear in Rochester before the conference committee. Even though this was a challenge to the findings of the CD1 convention the onus was put on Jake to defend himself and the finding of the convention.

    A motion was made to exclude the convention from voting on the matter and limit the vote to only those in CD1. This was denied as well. Eventually the convention voted and overturned the will of the CD1 convention, stripping Jake of his delegate status. Does this sound like the fight between the federal government and the states to you? It should! This is the exact same thing that is happening in California and Oregon.


Misc

  • Rory Koch, the legislative assistant for the GOP caucus at the MN House, accosted me for wearing a "Republicans against the war" button. He told me in fairly rude terms that I was creating trouble by wearing such a button. I responded by telling him that my role at the convention was to represent those republicans who voted to send me to the state convention as THEIR delegate.

  • The fundamental disagreement we have is whether power should be concentrated at the top or the bottom. Our constitution and our republic have set up the rules to favor local rule and individual rights. Yet within our own party we have allowed power to concentrate at the top.

    A good example of this attempt to consolidate power was presented in the proposed changes to the constitution of the Republican Party:

    "If the State Executive Committee determines a BPOU is not fulfilling its responsibilities the State Executive Committee shall have the authority to take all actions it deems necessary or proper to fulfill the BPOU's responsibilities"

    This change would essentially allow the party leadership to remove any BPOU leader that did not conform to the party line or change delegates or really do whatever it deems necessary or proper! This was a gross grab at power and was not ignored on the floor. Many delegates spoke out against this change and questioned why these changes were necessary. At one point Ron Carey descended to the convention floor and took up the mic indicating that this was an attempt to give authority to the party to remove rogue BPOU leaders that refused to comply with party demands. Does this sound like the fight between the federal government and the states to you? It should! This resolution was defeated (garnering only 33.9% of the vote) but even that is frightening. Why would we want the State Executive Committee to have such power over the local BPOU chairs?!

  • One thing I noticed which really bothered me and the others in my BPOU was the way the parliamentarian spoke up on a request basis only. During the CD4 convention, the parliamentarian stepped in numerous times to give clarification and to correct the chair when an incorrect statement was made. In the state convention I noted numerous times when Ron Carey made mistakes (such as not allowing debate on motions where debate should have been allowed) and the parliamentarian only stepped in at the request of someone from the microphone. In some cases, the mistake was made and the motion would either pass or fail before anyone could reach the mic to ask for a ruling from the parliamentarian. I'm not sure how this is normally handled, but it did not feel right to me. In my opinion, the chair should either have a stronger understanding of the rules or the parliamentarian should step in anytime an incorrect statement is made, not just when the delegates notice it.

  • Our little group from Cottage Grove/St Paul Park spoke to a women who was a long time party regular, red suit, long white hair, 60ish said that because of what happened in MT and NV the MN party was not going to let the Ron Paul group "hijack the convention". When a member of our group asked what that meant she became evasive and never did answer the question.

  • One of my friends gave me a semi detailed account of him being recruited and acting as a goon making sure "certain people didn't have access to mics" by Carey himself at a credentials committee right after the 2006 elections.

  • The press was told, and reported, that Coleman was endorse unanimously, however, there was no call for "No" votes, as the "Yes" votes were immediately followed by Coleman's speech. The leadership can't even admit that he was just endorsed, but ignores the rules to be able to put the word "unanimously" in front of it for the press.

  • Just a general observation, but the delegations with the most Ron Paul supporters seemed to be seated all the way to the back and sides, with the more "leadership loyalist" groups front and center. I can find no other reason to arrange the delegations they way they were.

  • John McCallum and my campaign manager have been telling me that I should not count on any funds from the 4TH. Jeff Williams, vice chair of the 4th has been telling me that to gain back some respect with the party I have to vote McCain at the national convention. (MN House candidate/national delegate)

  • As expected, Pat Igo, and especially Rory Koch, were vocally bitter to me about it. Odd, in that we had no candidate disagreement – so it really is about control for these folks. But these gripes are from people who've never have or would support me anyway, so it had no credibility with me. The poisonous atmosphere also made me want to get out of there as soon as possible. I can honestly say it was the worst-run, least fair convention I have ever experienced in the party in my 18 years doing these. Given low expectations and the odds and hostility I was up against, it was particularly satisfying to win this year. (A slate candidate)

  • On a lighter note, my wife overheard a conversation (I'm sure she couldn't help it?) in a restaurant that went something like this:

    "We met a couple and struck up a conversation. They were well dressed, and they turned out to be such nice people. We talked with them for awhile, and it was so enjoyable. Then we were shocked to find out...they were Ron Paul supporters! Boy, were we fooled!"

Encouraging

  • But I have to say on the plus side, a very nice old couple in my BPOU who have been active forever and are not RP people asked me how my first state convention was going for me, and when I said I was disappointed by what was going on and was feeling a little sick to my stomach and didn't know if I could go to another one, the husband told me I needed to stay involved and change the party! So even some of the wiser old-timers know there is a need for (that waaay overused word) "change."

  • I think you are right there were some McCain gop folks that seemed a little embarrassed by the tactics and are possibly more sympathetic to our cause.

  • I think we helped many there change their opinion of the MN GOP leadership. I spoke with an GOP establishment-type, many years with a party post, that started by following the herd, but after some talking with me not only agreed RP was correct (he didn't support RP because he believed he wasn't 'electable'), but in the end quietly admitted he didn't think he could vote for McCain.

  • First and foremost we demonstrated to the convention at the large the way the leadership in the party has marginalized and railroaded us. This upset the body of the delegates and I personally had many delegates, Senate and House District Chairs, a couple Congressional District Chairs, and many long-time Republicans tell me that they were upset with the party leadership and the way the leadership conducted the convention. At several points they used the rules against us then turned around and violated their own rules.

  • Later that night at the various hospitality suites we were approached by party regulars and McCain supporters. These folks gave us their sympathies, pointed out our parliamentary procedural errors, and indicated their dissatisfaction with the conduct of the party leadership. They indicated that they were willing to make coalitions with us and help us. This was huge! We were winning the battle for the soul of the party.

  • Through our defeats we learned. Through our small victories we rejoiced. Overall we left the convention with a strong feeling of encouragement and strengthened resolve. We will sharpen our skills with parliamentary procedure. We will seek leadership positions. We will not be shut out or marginalized.

  • I don't think people realize how much support we have from other "non-paul" people. There were many that came up to us to say how disappointed they were with the way things were run.

  • I was incredibly disappointed with the way we were all treated at the convention, but I still left the convention with a sense of hope. I believe that our presence at the convention a year from now will help bring our party back to its original principles. I will not give up the fight for liberty. I must continue to fight; my freedom is at stake.



    "Always vote for principle,
    though you may vote alone,
    and you may cherish the sweetest reflection
    that your vote is never lost."
    John Quincy Adams

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