Sunday, March 25, 2012

American democracy at work . . . or not

Back-room deals even at the local level. . . . Here, Bryan Spencer, former St. Charles County (Missouri) Republican Central Committeeman, Caucus Subcommittee Chairman, and candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives in District 63, admits to premeditated rigging of the St. Charles County Caucus.

Indeed, when you think about it, in essence he says the election-rigging he helped perpetrate in St. Charles is and has been committed elsewhere: "I looked at Iowa, I looked at Maine, I looked at Nebraska, and saw how they did it. . . . [W]e tried to come up with a set of rules that were going to best represent the entire county voice. We didn't want to make it an all-or-nothing [??]ace; we wanted it to be proportional. . . . [I]f the Ron Paul [group] had . . . taken over the meeting, . . . you would have had no voice."

Sounds reasonable. Until you realize that, in order to ensure the results the Central Committee desired, they had to ramrod against their own rules the crowd that came according to the rules and sought to vote according to the rules.

Best context may be found in this audio-only recording from the meeting:

As "Jefferson" notes, here,
All you have to do is read the guide from the GOP to see that [the Central Committee meeting organizers] VIOLAT[ED] THE RULES TO GET THEIR WAY.

From the MO GOP party guide for temporary chairmen:

3.2.1 Sample Script
Chair: At this time nominations are in order for Caucus Chairman.[The Chair places John Doe
into nomination.] Are there any [additional] nominations? (Additional nominations from the floor may be submitted)
Floor: I nominate Jane Doe
Chair: Jane Doe is nominated. Are there any additional nominations? (pause) If not, nominations are now closed. We will vote with a counted rising vote, you may only stand to vote for one candidate. All those in favor of electing John Doe as chairman, please stand and be counted.
Chair: All those in favor of electing Jane Doe as chairman, please stand and be counted.
Chair: With a vote of # to #, Jane Doe is elected as Caucus Chairman. (Jane assumes roles as Chair and the meeting proceeds)

If you want to SEE video from the caucus (it gets wild!), here is the best/most complete video:

Joe Wetter, one of the Ron Paul Coordinators for St. Charles County, explains (see second comment after the brief article):
[D]ue to having a great, dedicated team, the Ron Paul campaign in Saint Charles County was the only organized camp who walked into that caucus with a full slate of delegates typed and ready to be voted on. The Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich camps came to that meeting looking to cut a deal. The Santorum camp approached the Romney camp, but the Romney camp refused to deal with them.

Our number one task is to acquire delegates and we figured that we had enough people to get our chairman elected by plurality, but not a majority to get our rules passed.

So, because of our hard work getting a complete slate of 147 delegates and 147 alternates together, we were in the position to negotiate.

Our deal was that if the Romney supporters voted for our chairman, we would vote for their secretary, and they would vote on our rules. If they did vote this way, we would take all of their confirmed delegates up to half of the 147 and put them on our slate after removing the bottom delegates from our slate equal to their number.

They liked the idea. They liked our rules.

The only objections were the ban on cameras and the erroneous delegate allocation being determined by the straw poll at the door that was suggested by the Central Committee. We assured them that as soon as we won the chair, the first order of business would be to put the camera ban up to a vote.

Again, our goal is to get delegates, and if we have to make an alliance to get them, so be it. All is great, but half is better than none.

There was nothing against the GOP rules or Robert’s Rules of Order with what we were planning, or the agreement made between the two camps. The Fascist Central Committee blatantly broke Robert’s Rules of Order to shoe in their chairman and their rules.

[Wetter quotes from the article on which he is commenting, then responds.] “Bennett says the rules they objected to, including electing a caucus chair without opposition, were designed to prevent that from happening, 'A lot of the rules that were put in place were put in place in order to maintain a fair caucus, and some people didn’t want a fair caucus.'”

The thing is, . . . there was opposition to electing their chair, and the tapes all over the internet prove it. Eugene Dokes would not recognize our motions, call for division, and even when the entire gym, except for some Santorum people, chanted POINT OF ORDER and BRENT STAFFORD in unison.

The Central Committee DOES NOT make the rules, the people in the caucus do. Not to mention, prior to them ”electing” their caucus chair, the temporary chair appointed a parliamentarian, the credentials committee, and the rules committee, which are all the appointments to be made by the PERMANENT chair.

But my experience attending two Central Committee meetings, Dokes does not know Robert’s Rules of Order. [Or doesn't choose to follow them when they are inconvenient! --JAH]

Interesting counter perspective: "Basic issue—The Paul camp did not have a majority in the St. Charles caucus. They violated their own principles by attempting to cut a deal with a candidate whom they detest."

Why and how this kind of thing is done. (From a calm, "reasoned" interview [with side commentary] shot in 2008 after the Ron Paul delegation, following the rules, first surprised the mainstream leadership.) Tom Kuypers explains how he was able to overturn the Ron Paul vote.

I find myself tending to agree with the sentiments of some of the commenters on Kuypers' interview:
I saw this happen in Louisana, Texas, Nevada & other states.

[The Republicans] had their caucuses & then when Ron Paul would get delegates, the John McCain people or Neo-Cons would take the delegates away from Paul -- EVEN THOUGH PROPERLY ELECTED. . . .

Later the McCain people came to me looking for support & all I had to say was - F.U.
[The] Republican party will pay a hefty price for alienating long-standing conservatives who supported the liberty and limited government message of Ron Paul. [People] like Mr. Kuypers are responsible for losing [the 2008] election, and probably several more on into the future until they finally (if ever) get the message!
"The world is run by those who show up." McCain's ppl did not show up, and so Tom Kuypers has to bend and break rules to get the result the party insiders wanted. And they wonder why they lost this election!


Reminds me of a certain social studies class in high school. Our teacher asked us to create a government . . . then walked out the door.

"Everyone" assumed we should have a democracy. For some reason, I was just ornery enough (and curious enough) that I decided to do an experiment. The teacher had obviously left us to experiment. Why not see what happens when one doesn't make the standard assumptions?

Though other participants may disagree, I can assure you, [my] "The People's Party" gained full support of the masses. No one opposed us. [Ahem. "Us" being me. And a couple of others who joined me.]

About 20 minutes after the experiment began, the teacher in the classroom next door had to find our teacher to regain control. For some reason, there was too much noise coming from our room.

Our teacher [an avowed Maoist--as in, follower of Chairman Mao of Communist China] came into the classroom, walked over to her desk, reached into a drawer, pulled out a gun [yes, really! --though I have no idea whether it was really real], and hissed: "Chairman Mao says, 'True political power begins at the point of a gun.' Now sit down!"

I sat down. And so did the rest of the class.

There were no more political experiments in our social studies class that year!
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