Saturday, March 15, 2008

Parade skipping and G.O.P. juvenile conduct.

When I woke up this morning and saw snow falling, so fell my enthusiasm for attending a parade.  To my friends who missed me at the Snake Saturday Parade, I apologize for missing the whole thing.  Here's what I did do today.  I attended the Republican Caucus for my area.  I am fiscally conservative, but not so much socially conservative.  I don't care who clones what or if fetal tissue was involved.  I don't care who gets married, as long as liberty-loving people can pursue their own happiness and the government stays largely out of my business.  I'm sick of being taxed to the point that I don't want a raise at work, because the government gets the increase.  I'm on all the political mailing lists, so when an issue which matters to me pops up, I'm aware.  I read this email this morning, which prompted me to actually attend, to see how it played out and to vote.  I'm glad I did.


The R3VOLUTION is worrying the Missouri GOP.
Missouri Ron Paul Grassroots to me
@ 7:37 PM (21 hours ago)

Dear Charles Hill,

This is one of several emails the Republican Establishment
has sent out about our plans to participate in the party
process tomorrow:

From: "Jared Craighead" <>

The GOP Voice
Volume 25, Edition 2     March 14, 2008

REMINDER - County and local caucuses are being held

Visit to find your caucus
location. There are rumors swirling that the Ron Paul
campaign plans to flood the caucuses and try to overturn
already established rules, which they cannot do.  PLEASE
participate and have your voice heard. We don't want
supporters of an unsuccessful campaign causing trouble - we
need your participation!!!


Ron Paul's supporters have discussed the fact that it does
seem unfair that McCain gets all the delegates while only
getting 30% of the vote.  We have also discussed how to
legitimately change the standing rules at the State
Convention in the Spring on May 31st by following the
by-laws of the Missouri Republican Party.

Dissent from the majority is not "causing trouble" and Ron
Paul needs you and everyone you know who who values the
freedom of assembly and speech with integrity in a public
process to stand principle to go to your caucus tomorrow.
Please try to be there an hour in advance!  Most caucuses
start at 10am but some start as early as 9am, and some are
later in the day.

Your caucus location seems to be

3/15/2008; 10:30 a.m.
William Chrisman H.S., 1223 N. Noland Rd., Independence, MO 64050

If the location is blank here, or you have any other
questions, contact your JACKSON County Ron Paul Leaders:

Kent Andel (Inside K.C.) 816.674.4408; Larry Holland (Outside K.C.) 816.517.9598 M 816.361.3300 H

For freedom,

Ruth Carlson
Missouri Field Coordinator,
Congressional Districts 1, 2, 3


When I arrived at the caucus location at about 10am, the parking lot was lined with Ron Paul signs.  Almost every car in the parking lot had a Ron Paul sticker.  There was aRon Paul table in the entry staffed with people answering questions about how to participate in a caucus.  I signed in, entered, and every single seat in the auditorium had upon it Ron Paul pamphlets outlining his stance on issues.  I sat in the 5th District area on the left half of the auditorium, within earshot of the mainstay Republican crowd, which I'll call the Ward Parkway Republicans, like good ole Claire McCaskill.  There was a very long delay as people continued to file in.  Candidates in upcoming elections, like Sarah Steelman, who is the Secretary of Treasury for Missouri and wants to become Governor, met and greeted up and down the aisles and spoke with anyone who would listen.

The meeting began, and a chairperson from among the established core group was quickly nominated and accepted.  Bunk Farrington presided over the selection of a secretary, who was elected from among the Ron Paul supporters.  He began taking minutes.  Committees were quickly formed by nomination and immediate appointment by the chair, including a balance of folks from each faction.  The agenda was presented by the Secretary.  The agenda includes electing a slate of delegates for the district and, thusly, state conventions, deciding on amendments to the party platform, and any resolutions which should be forwarded on to the conventions.  Some speeches were given by present office-holders and movers and shakers in the state legislature while the committees were working.  Then, there was a long recess, while rules and procedures were read, and politicking went on in various parts of the auditorium. 

After the break, resolutions to be passed along to the conventions were to be approved.  There was one controversial resolution to change the party rule that delegates to the national convention must vote according to the winner of the primary election, but each delegate could vote their conscience.  There was outrage and many red faces.  That would make Missouri a caucus state for Republicans instead of a winner-take-all state.  It passed, to the chagrin of the Ward Parkway crowd.  Then, slates of delegates were to be nominated.  The leaders from the Ron Paul faction, specifically Deb Wells, nominated a slate of delegates and alternates to include a mix of 107 Ron Paul supporters and 80from the Ward Parkway establishment which had been discussed in a huddle of faction leaderships prior to the nominations.  The chair accepted the nomination, thenone of the other Ron Paul supporter types, Michael Michelson, interjected, moving to debate what the chair was saying about a mixed slate of delegates alternating from two lists as being thenomination.  Since it was a nomination, there wasn't anything to debate, really, just take a vote up or down.  There was a delay and some disruption from the audience, then the chair let the young man know that he could nominate an alternate slate, which could be voted upon, but the current nomination wasn't up for debate.  Mr. Michelson proceeded to nominate a slate consisting of 100% Ron Paul supporters without compromise or politics as usual.  That was quickly seconded, and a debate ensued.  Ross Perot was mentioned, tempers flared, someone who was out of order said it was time for the real Republicans to stand up.  And everyone in the room stood.  Then, there was some mumbling, and the chairperson stepped off the stage, faced the Ron Paul leadership and said "In politics, your word is your bond.", then he stepped toward the exit along with the bunch on the left side of the auditorium who grabbed their things and left. 

Again, there was a delay, because nobody knew how to proceed when the chairperson just leaves without adjourning.  Many people pulled out copies of Roberts Rules of Order and began thumbing feverishly through it for guidance.  Then, the rules committee reconvened briefly, there was some discussion and the secretary took over the chair position, being the senior person on the stage.  Another secretary was elected.  A parliamentarian was appointed by the chairperson.  The meeting proceeded.  Debate in favor of the and against the first slate of delegates took place, then debate about whether or not it was okay to vote on a slate which was no longer present at the meeting, since they had taken the list (and the rolls of attendees) away when they left, then we voted to continue to vote on the nominated list, even though it could not be read.  That was okayed.  Then there was a vote.  It was very close. . . something like 62 to 70, so the mixed slate which was agreed upon between factions failed.  The slate containing 100% Ron Paul delegates, including myself, passed.  The irony is that if the Ward Parkway contingent had stayed, their agreed upon slate would have passed.  After that, the meeting went on.  There was debate about 18 or so platform items, and all but one or two of the items passed.  Some comments were made and the meeting was adjourned.

How the press views what happened at this caucus may be positive or negative, but I saw how the system works in all it's ugliness.  I saw how an 18 year old kid with zeal and a enough knowledge of Robert's Rules can throw the wrench into politics as usual, and how supporters of a cause can band together and make change happen.  The question now is about whether or not the Ron Paul faction of the Republican party can maintain this momentum. 

There was a lot of institutional G.O.P knowledge and experience in that room who took a big slap in the face when the mixed slate was not just immediately accepted.  There are people who almost always go to the state convention who now cannot, including some sitting politicians.  Now, because of a poorly attended caucus, all of the Jackson county delegates will be Ron Paul supporters.  And it wouldn't have been so, if the Jackson County Republican mainstays hadn't acted like juveniles and walked out before voting.


  1. I'm for Ron Paul, but I gave up some time ago.  If he'd run, he would have my vote.

  2. This so totally made my day! Thanks for writing in such detail. YES! I have heard similar stories in Alaska and even Colorado. The r3LOVution presses on.

    Miami, FL

  3. So ... how far will this go? Will this mean that they will have somewhat of a brokered convention, after all? Does this mean that we will change the senseless 'fixed vote' for pledged delegates? Does this mean John McCain will have to concede his ground as the Maverick Republican nominee? Does this mean Mitt Romney ... who just suspended his bid (but endorsed McCain...) can come back? Huckabee? The Republicans do not like this because it tarnishes McCain... that poor, unliked-by-Conservatives, Maverick...

  4. Now this is what I call a Great American.  He understands what Individual and Indivisible means.  Nice Job Craig!