Sunday, April 06, 2008

What the hell happened at the CD6 convention? 

First I read that they kicked out the video cameras. But perhaps we should have had them, not to help the stalkerazzi but to have seen the end of this clusterfarg.

SD 15 co-chair Jeff Johnson sent a newsletter this morning that included a list of national convention delegates and this note:
Ironically, all of these individuals (except Congresswoman Bachmann who supports John McCain for President) have been reported as Ron Paul supporters. It sure got ugly today at the convention!
I had also heard this on the phone last night via Gary. I saw some reference to this also at Leo's blog. The story has since gone national with a headline at World Net Daily by former KNSI talk host (and erstwhile Huckabee supporter) Andy Barnett.

The story is that 98 delegates were nominated for the three national delegates and three alternates. Leo says they were asked
1: Are you a Republican?
2: Will you support John McCain? (yes, no or maybe).
The answers to these questions were displayed on a screen as the vote was taken. If you answered no or maybe to the second question you could still stand for election, but people would know where you stood. The choices of delegates and alternates were:

Delegates: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann; Ron Baert (Benton County); Bob Swinehart (SD52)
Alternates : Steve Hackbarth (Wright County); Scott Anderson (SD52) ; Dean Mahlstedt (Wright County)
I have met Mr. Baert, who worked in electronics for a long time on the east side of St. Cloud, and he is indeed a Paul supporter. Wish I'd've been there, I could have told people that. Neither electee from SD 52 are in that district's leadership. Drew Emmer had warned of the Wright County phenomenon after his district convention where he warned that 60% of his county's delegates were for Ron Paul and "the delegation we elect to the state and national GOP conventions may contain an unexpectedly high percentage of Ron Paul devotees."

Got no problem with that, but not if they are liars. Andy Barnett continues:
A motion was made to ensure the delegates supported McCain at the national convention.

"I moved that we bind the national delegates and alternates to what they told the nominating committee which is what was reported to the voters," said Aplikowsky [sic, actually our friend Andy Aplikowski.]

A heated debate lasting more than an hour followed the motion. Eventually, the motion passed by a slim margin, but not without harsh words and harsh exchanges.

The feeling among many of the congressional delegates who voted was that the Paul supporters had been dishonest. Ron Baert, one of the elected national delegates and a Ron Paul supporter disagreed.
According to other people I've spoken with or exchanged email with, the discussion was very heated. One emailed me
The sound of a stuck pig is more civil than the ... Ron Paul Supporters cry of foul. They started getting really uncivilized during the discussion. At least one of the selected delegates selected claimed that he "didn't understand" the question that was asked each delegate.
I'm pretty sure Leo transcribed the projected questions, and it is reported that all six elected delegates had indicated "yes" to question #2. If so, what was to understand?

Weeks after his post, an anonymous comment was left:
Excellent, but we more DELEGATES!

1. Sign up
2. Show up
3. If you cannot show up, still sign up
4. If you cannot become a delegate, sign up to be an alternate
5. If it's to late, become a Volunteer

You know what? It is working, it is easy, and this is action that RP will need at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-Saint Paul the first week in September.

This is more then only talk - it is real action....

At least forward the link to minimum 10 potential delegates. That I�m sure you can do.

This is the core of the useful things to do. Way more useful then all this talk. Because DELEGATES=POWER.

Yes, we know it's working, and may be way easier than you think too. Just get people out of their chairs please - to get RP some real help before the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis the first week in Sep.
A link to left with that comment takes you to a site I am "not authorized" to read.

I note this isn't the only case of Paul supporters becoming national delegates in Minnesota. Bill Jungbauer won in CD 4. You'll note his site is full of Ron Paul links and positive comments. Now will he vote for Paul or McCain? Did anyone ask, did anyone move to bind those candidates? Andy Barnett reports that the Paul supporters swept CD 4, but one of the delegates is Taxpayers League and former state Rep. Phil Krinkie. I will be interested to hear whether he is part of this movement.

One source on the floor of the convention said it appeared to him the vote was orchestrated. There was even concern over the choice of tellers and their assistants for the vote. That source said he volunteered but was told he would not be needed.

Some writers from the left had picked up this possibility even in February. Marianne Stebbins, Paul campaign coordinator for Minnesota, has said herself she thought they would get nine delegates to the national convention from this state. She had created a video presentation last December to show them how to get elected. Republicans by asking the questions asked by the CD6 nominating committee at least tried to stop this, but it appears to have been thwarted by excellent electronic communication among Paul supporters. Far from a sneak attack, this has been signaled all along.

What would the GOP leadership like to do about it? Will it allow those who did not properly represent themselves to the nominating committees to be seated at the national convention?

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