Friday, March 28, 2008

Caucus update.

I got a nice email about my status as a delegate, despite a stormy caucus where the election took place, including the chairman just walking out in the middle of proceedings. 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: RonPaul HQ Westport <>
Date: Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 8:11 PM
Subject: Delegate Update - Fifth District
To: RonPaul HQ Westport <>

A note from volunteer HQ.

(This is going to serve a few purposes, as it is hard to send e-mails to 150
people once, so we'd rather avoid having to do it twice.  Once we get a
distribution list compiled, it will be easier to send separate e-mails per

First will be an update for the basic question "so what's up with our
delegates".  Then, at the bottom we have included an "intellectual toolbox"
- facts so you can combat misinformation about the Jackson County caucus,
and information to devastate the most likely arguments from those who would
have you believe our caucus was somehow tainted or should be invalidated.)

First, the delegate situation.  We realize it's been awhile since we've been
in touch, but that's for good reason - we just did not have anything to
confirm.  In case you're not aware of why, the story on that is further down
the e-mail.

For those who intended to be delegates and attended the caucus - you know
what happened.  We finally have confirmation that the names filed by us are
the only ones accepted by the state for Jackson County.  Thus, you are a
delegate.  Clear your calendars for April 19th and May 31st, as attendance
is just as vital here, except it will be a lot easier.  We'll send out
district convention location information when we see it, or it will likely
appear on no later than about April 5th.

For those who told us you would be delegates but were not able to attend -
Less strict requirements helped our cause.  At the caucus we found out soon
enough that the Republican county chairman, Bunk Farrington, was not
expecting that delegates HAD to attend.  That was obvious because he had a
full slate of 187, but they're lucky if they had even 130 total people
there.  Thus, we no longer had to consider attendance either.  Because of
that, and our caucus victory, you have moved on as an official part of the
Ron Paul Revolution.  Obviously, you don't HAVE to attend the further
conventions, but you have been elected, and will receive official notice,
and this is the time that we need you more than ever.  Please if you have
any concerns, let us speak with you so that we can address them.  Anyone who
was at the caucus can tell you that the most important thing for the usual
attendee was merely being there, and that will hold true for the district
and state convention.  And if you weren't at the caucus, the 5th district
convention will be your chance to find out first hand how satisfying victory
is.  Don't worry, now that things are settled, we'll get everybody on the
same page.  In the meantime, recall the dates we've said endlessly during
calls and meetings - April 19th for district and May 31st for State.

A Possibility to Recognize.  Considering the Jackson County chairman's and
the State Republican party's behavior, it is possible (even likely), that
some or all of us will be challenged as delegates.  For now, we'll just say
that there is MUCH time to get ready for that, that we feel good about
providing a devastating defense to such challenges.  We'll do our best to
update you in general regarding that.

For those who would are interested in being nominated to be in a national
delegate (for the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in September),
please send an e-mail to

George Burton pointed out a very interesting fact - He says that before the
news that OUR caucus made across the country, there were about 16,000
precinct leaders signed up on ronpaul2008.  Now there are over 20,000!  YOU
did that!

NEVER underestimate the power of a small group of people united for a just
cause!  Let's perform some more freedom miracles TOGETHER!

Thank you, and GREAT JOB!

Your brothers and sisters in freedom at the Westport Ron Paul Volunteer

(816) 349-2283

PS. The "Intellectual Toolbox" follows. Please keep for your reference. It
is intended to help you combat miscoverage, properly inform the public, and
pressure the Republican Party to do the right things by shining the bright
light of truth.  There is certainly an editorial tinge at times, but if you
read it all, you'll see it is well backed.  Please feel free to call us with
any clarifications about facts or arguments.

What is included:

1.  An account of the caucus

2.  Why the initial chairman, Mr. Farrington, was WRONG in nearly every way
a caucus chairman can be wrong.

3.  Why any blanket challenge to the caucus will be WRONG in nearly every
way a challenge can be wrong.

4.  What in HAY has Mr. Farrington done with the caucus sign-in rosters?

5.  A quick explanation of why it took THIS long to verify the delegate

1)  An Account of the Caucus (to the best of my knowledge):  I'd like to
tell you that merely reading the newspaper articles gave you the full story,
but that just isn't true. I know the important things I told Dave Helling
for the page one Kansas City Red Star story, and I know how many of those
things he didn't bother to include.  If this doesn't look to you like a
"quick account", I'll start off by saying the meeting was over three hours
long. ;-)

Before the meeting, while the lobby was stuffed with people, many clearly
Ron Paul supporters, the Jackson County Republican Chairman Bunk Farrington
got everyone's attention to explain the sign-in situation.  In doing so, he
said that those attending had to be Republicans for the day.  Among other
things, he explained being checked against the voter log and signing in.

The caucus started off at least a half-hour late, as Mr. Farrington had seen
our very good attendance numbers and had decided to negotiate a slate from
the very beginning.  Of course, this is despite that he fully expected to be
the caucus chairman, which according to the governing Robert's Rules
requires not only impartiality but the avoidance of any appearance of
impartiality. He recruited Deb Wells as our person to make the deal with.

Once the meeting started, it went smoothly enough at first.  Farrington was
voted in as chairman, and because of our numbers he conceded Ron Paul
participation in the committees, as well as conceding that the secretary
could come from our numbers.

Cutting to the chase, a vote happened that for all practical purposes
allowed us to truly understand our voting strength (the vote was 130 to 74).
At that point, I believe that the details of the initial compromise delegate
slate had been shared with the assembly.  If not, it obviously was shared
with the assembly later.  The question on many minds was whether we should
accept such a slate since we clearly had greater numbers, and could vote in
any slate we desired.  Someone (indeed one of our core people) decided he
did not like the compromise, and rolled the dice on getting a nearly-full
slate made up of only Ron Paul people elected.  The compromise slate would
have given us 107 out of 187 delegates.  The chairman, in a
less-than-impartial fashion, didn't like that someone else had their own
ideas.  Rather than having to sit and potentially preside over his slate
being defeated, he decided to leave.  He did so without turning over the
chairmanship to anyone.  As if impartiality hadn't been damned enough by his
negotiation of the compromise slate, Mr. Farrington damned it some more by
grabbing the opportunity to be dramatic and denouncing the activities,
trying to pin the developments on Deb Wells, as though she had some power
over free and equal caucus participants.  Deb told him that she can't
control 200 people (paraphrase).  Mr. Farrington said something to the
effect that you don't break your word in politics, and then... left.

A short editorial (but factual) comment here - Mr. Farrington was absolutely
and positively doing the exact opposite of what he should have been doing,
and the implication he projected was utterly wrong.  Check out further
description below.

Back to the meeting.  After Mr. Farrington left, the assembly got a little
loud with someone saying that it was time for "real" republicans to stand
up, and (editorial comment) imagining that somehow we thought that we were
all Democrats and would stay seated.  Umm... we all stood up.

Our Secretary (Ralph Munyan) had to take the floor to tell people that a
five-minute recess would be taken so that Robert's Rules could be consulted
to figure out what to do in the situation.

After 5 minutes, Ralph Munyan said that as senior officer he would take
over, but invited people to show him differently with the rules if they
could.  No one objected, or said they knew differently, and the meeting

Somewhere after Mr. Farrington left, many others decided to "protest" and
leave too.

Also sometime soon after Mr. Farrington left, there were several police
officers in the auditorium (five? Ten?).  They said nothing and did not
interrupt the proceedings in any way, and then left without incident.

There was heated debate on the two delegate slates.  The second slate (all
Ron Paul - no compromise) won only by ten votes (72 to 62?), even though
many of the "non Ron Paul" people didn't bother to stick around to vote.

At some point during the meeting after Farrington (and others) had left, it
was realized that the roster sign-ins, which are required for caucus
filings, were missing.  At the end of the meeting, makeshift sign-ins were
used.  The voter lists were also missing.

Many platform amendment resolutions submitted by the Ron Paul groups passed,
with nearly no changes.

Life was good.

2) Why the initial chairman, Mr. Farrington, was WRONG in nearly every way a
caucus chairman can be wrong.

Please look at Robert's Rules and you'll find that the whole idea is that
the chairman is merely a referee.  He is charged merely with running the
meeting smoothly and fairly. In some regards, he can be considered to have
LESS power than ANYONE ELSE, in that he cannot even vote except to break a
tie or to cause a draw.

At the other extreme, by Robert's Rules, any member can make a motion.  Any
member can make an objection.  Any member can make a point of order.  Any
member can second.  Any member can nominate.  Thus, ANY member can offer a
slate of delegates.  Deb Wells did NOT go back on her word. The initial
slate still existed and was eligible.  She was clearly stunned by the
developments.  As we've said several times about the meeting, Mr. Farrington
clearly confused an open and public caucus with backroom politics.

By leaving, the only true practical thing Bunk (and supporters) accomplished
was to sacrifice their own representation.  The slates had not been VOTED
on. They still had a chance to affect things.  You lose your right to affect
the results when you voluntarily disappear.  You don't regain them by
unfairly trying to negate the whole process afterwards.

3)  Why any blanket challenge to the caucus will be WRONG in nearly every
way a challenge can be wrong.

There will be some who try to point to some small "mistakes" that the
replacement chairman may have made, and act as though that is cause for
throwing out the entire caucus.  Robert's Rules says that the rules are made
to serve assemblies, and not the other way around.  They're made to help the
will of the assembly be properly heard.  They're not meant as a means to
second guess, nitpick, and invalidate results of a fair and proper caucus.
Jackson County completed a fair and proper caucus.  Even in a court of law,
the principle is that in order to appeal a ruling, a lawyer must first
preserve his right by objecting to the supposed error at the time.  Robert's
Rules is not a tool to review meetings minute-by-minute in order to overturn
their results.  Results of a caucus should only be overturned when it was
clearly unfair and consistently out of order, where people tried to preserve
their rights but were nonetheless shunned.  Jackson County was not such a
suspect or unfair meeting.

With that in mind, the thing to remember is that as a rule, for the parts of
the caucus that some may latch on to try to unfairly invalidate the
proceedings, there were not objections.  The Robert's Rules provides for
objections, as well as points of order to ask the chairman if something is
in keeping with Robert's Rules, and also provides for a process to override
the decision of the chairman.  Those tools were left conspicuously unused.

Some might claim NOW that the Secretary shouldn't have taken over.  First,
Robert's doesn't fully anticipate the situation we found ourselves in after
Mr. Farrington irresponsibly abandoned the caucus.  Second, our secretary
was the only other OFFICER there, so he had to do something.  Third of all,
he consulted Robert's Rules.  Fourth, when he announced the decision to take
over rather than elect a new chairman, noone objected even though he gave
them the opportunity.  Fifth, anyone could have moved to elect a chairman
instead.  Sixth, even if they had moved to elect a chairman, we already had
the numbers, and likely would have just nominated and elected the same guy
(or another of our own) anyway. Seventh, in the case of an overwhelmingly
fair meeting, it is NOW too late to claim the secretary shouldn't have taken

By now you probably understand the scope of power of the chairman, and know
perfectly well that if someone tries to claim that the meeting was stopped
just because Mr. Farrington walked out, then that someone is... misinformed.
As you would expect, the chairman has no right.  Someone has to move to
adjourn the meeting, and then it has to be voted on.  No one did.

Regarding any other details that might be second-guessed, suffice it to say
that the new chairman acted quite deliberately, with exemplary fairness, and
consulted often with his parliamentarian (one who can advise on Robert's
Rules).  The initial chairman didn't even have a parliamentarian.

All this is not to say we have some guarantee that someone won't try to
challenge on these very bases, and there is no good reason to believe that
the state Republican Party might not be tempted to entertain such a
challenge.  That's why it is important to tell people what happened, and why
a challenge would be unfair - your friends, the media, the state and
national Republican Party.

Note: There is a challenge they might get a foothold with.  I won't go into
it here, but rest assured we're thinking about it.  If you get challenged
individually, let us know.

4.  What in HAY has Mr. Farrington done with the caucus sign-in rosters?!

That's a great question.  We don't know.  The new caucus chairman tried to
communicate with Mr. Farrington on multiple occasions regarding getting the
caucus sign-in rosters.  They are required to properly file the caucus
results.  Deb Wells once got through to him.  We filed the results, with an
explanation as to why we did not include the roster, and explaining that we
continued to try to get them.  That was 9 days ago.  This is outright
wrongdoing, and an outright attempt to sabotage a proper and fair caucus.
We don't know that such a transparent attempt will be entertained for even
two seconds at the state offices, but it is possible.  It never hurts to
expose wrongdoing.  It may be the case that he has shared that list with the
state, but if so, he hasn't told us, and neither has the state.

Don't be surprised that if someone will keep records that are clearly NOT
his, than someone else in the same camp might try to challenge our filing as
incomplete since we don't have those records.  Seems to be the way they're
playing.   Just be ready to shout it from the rooftops if they do.

5.  A quick explanation of why it took THIS long to verify the delegate
information.  Simply enough, the state wouldn't allow us to see the filings.

We had people in Jefferson City a week ago, so they would have time to
review the filings to ensure all our people across the state were seated,
and challenge the filings if they were not.  That timeline was quite
reasonable, since it was two days after the filings were due, and the
challenges were due by the end of business on the following Tuesday (two
days ago), and had to be in writing and have specific evidence or testimony.

No, we're not sure how we're expected to challenge delegates when we don't
know who was on the list.  It is not as though our people expected to see
the entire state all at once, so certainly they could have continued
inputting data with nearly the entire state while our people looked at a
small fraction of it at a time.  Nonetheless, the Missouri Republican Party
executive director had no good solutions.  His explanation as to why we
could not see the filings basically amounted to "it's not going to happen".

On Monday evening, the party finally shared a list of delegates with Debbie
Hopper. While the addresses were missing (even though they're technically
needed in order to challenge) they did have the names.  We were able to
compare our names submitted to that list.

So... there you have it.  We'll send out some more e-mails regarding
reassurances about the district convention, and meetings and coordination
for it.

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