(Originally an exclusive I wrote for The Libertarian Review.
Perhaps one could guess that those not sympathetic to the Ron Paul delegates’ disenfranchisement would not take kindly to one resolution to be proposed that night; Resolution G-109, basically condemning the party leadership’s fraudulent, coercive, heavy-handed and underhanded tactics used by the RNC, calling for the resignation of Chairman Reince Preibus, and urging all state central committees and national committeemen and committeewomen to pledge that they would repeal the unrepresentative national delegate rules:
Resolution G-109 Summary: A General Resolution to take an express political position on a matter of party policy regarding recent amendments to the rules of the Republican National Committee in violation of existing party and parliamentary rules, that abuse the independence of individual state parties, and that abuse the voting rights of republican party voters; and providing for other matters properly relating thereto.
In order to quickly get to how the evening actually played out, I will post the complete resolution (the vote of which never saw the day of light) at the end of this article. Also later in this article is a powerful statement made by Rachel Stephens, Candidate Recruitment and Development Chair of the Clark County Republican Party.
After a prayer booed by some and a Pledge of Allegiance with “UNDER GOD” shouted aggressively by more, the meeting started off with calls for adjournment of the meeting, so that we could just get to the candidates’ speeches and election… Without voting on Resolution G-109 or other party business such as a PANDA (People Against NDAA) presentation, and Resolution G-110 endorsing Independent American Party candidate Greg Hughes for State Senate (a conservative running against a Democrat with no Republican in the race, in order to obtain a conservative majority in the State Senate). There was clearly no need for this, as every meeting (that at least I’d been to, this year) has gone through all the motions, all the business and resolution voting and every boring little detail until all business was done. If time ran out toward the end, adjustments would be voted on then. But not a call for adjournment AS SOON AS THE MEETING BEGAN. We did not need two hours for one election- an election for CCRP Secretary in which (full disclosure, a friend and former fellow intern for the Ron Paul campaign) Lillian Babcock, won. This is all they wanted the meeting to consist of? Apparently not, because most of the room by the time the candidates gave their speeches was not seated and talking and fighting amongst themselves.
I am not yet fully proficient in the language of parliamentary procedures, but it was pretty clear that they came up with every way thinkable and even unthinkable to delay the meeting. CCRP Chairwoman Cindy Lake took an absurd amount of attacks, including lots of yelling and twisted-around accusations, and handled them amazingly. The primary fight consisted of complaints that many people had not received information on the elections, so the board then showed on the projection screen the informational email being sent ten days before the meeting, on a Monday at 12:00am. People continued to argue this, and numerous motions did not even make sense. The board convened for about half an hour to discuss whether the demands of the barrage of those Republicans wanting to skip the meeting altogether could be recognized, and much unlike past local meetings and conventions and of course the Republican National Convention, handled everything fairly and according to the rules.
The legitimate motions were voted on, and the Ayes (to adopt the agenda, and continue the meeting) clearly overwhelmingly won. Of course, a division of the house was called for, because some Nayers thought it was too close to call (again, something that was completely ignored at the RNC when it really did sound too close to call if not the Nays having it- which is what we were intending to fight against this night). We did a hand count, and did it again, amidst cries that the count was done incorrectly, and again, and again. I honestly lost count of how many times our votes were counted. After a while I was positive their latest tactic was to make sure all blood had drained from our arms so that we couldn’t vote anymore.
By the last recount and vote to continue onto the candidates’ speeches and election, we had about half hour left, just enough time to vote, and the house was so up in arms that the usually most well-behaved of members (again, full disclosure- including myself) had shown their fury at least once, and it was at times hard to hear the candidates speak. Of course, many including those elected to offices were well-restrained, while handling wave after wave of temper tantrums. To be fair, not all “opposition” Republicans were disruptive. Certainly, numerous committee members were not in favor of such disruptions. It was mainly a very obnoxiously loud disruptive group with several troublemakers who led the pack with their disrespectful shouts and interruptions largely consisting of nonsense and provocation. They were an embarrassment to the entire party.
CCRP Candidate Recruitment and Development Chair Rachel Stephens gave a presentation with some very good infographics and asked for volunteers, in order to help progress the Republican Party into the future, and of course knowing her pro-liberty leanings, she got interrupted continuously and extremely disrespectfully, and could hardly be heard above all the noise. Rachel has been one of the most vocal and upstanding political activists I have ever met (and she understands the game thoroughly), is sincerely invested in moving the party ahead in a positive direction, and has the utmost respect of those who see her in action. She represents the youth that is the ideal path of the party’s future. She has this to tell you all:
What happened at the CCRP meeting Wednesday night was an embarrassment, and frankly, frightening. It’s frightening in that there’s people within the party who are so full of ignorance and hate that they’ll physically lash out at people they perceive to be different from themselves. For example, executive board member, Ken King, physically violently grabbed me to wrestle the microphone away from me after I had waited in line for my turn, in which I then called to question. That sort of behavior, especially from a man, is inexcusable.
New people are in the party -that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, people from the “old guard” seem to believe they have dibs on the party and want to exclude everybody who isn’t just like them from the party -and then they wonder why they lose elections. These older members don’t realize that they sabotage local Republican candidates when they purposely try to filibuster a meeting. They embarrass themselves when they scream and holler at the microphone about procedural processes that they neither understand nor try to learn.
When I called for volunteers during a informational report -a report that had no action items on it (meaning nothing to vote upon) these same members screamed me down and then complained that their women’s clubs had all the volunteers that the GOP needed, so I shouldn’t ask for volunteers. These people don’t understand that this isn’t a place to exclude, but to embrace people who want to get involved. If we’re going to win elections, young people MUST be involved.
This old guard attitude is madness! This illogical, nonsense (for example, trying to second a point of information) wastes time and shows how some members are more concerned with hearing themselves speak than working to get Republicans elected. Those members don’t care about elections, principles or even the party, they only care about petty, immature drama that they both cause and work themselves into a frenzy over. They’re the real RINOs.
-Rachel Stephens, CCRP Candidate Recruitment and Development Chair
Matt Maldonado, a friend whom I brought for his first CCRP meeting of any kind, who is another one of the most politically aware people I know, certainly got quite the first impression. He commented, “I felt we didn’t accomplish much, and I wondered to myself ‘is this what these people want, their families to live in a country where nothing will ever be accomplished and we can’t put our differences aside, work together, and have a better society and country for ourselves?” Although, “this meeting is the reason I’m going back.” He of course wants to be a part of the change away from this clown parade of unaccomplishments.
There could not have been any doubt in anyone’s mind that these- I try not to pigeonhole them by one label- ok, anti-Resolution 109’ers- were there to disrupt and delay this vote that would show them directly how corrupt and coercive their establishment party leaders had behaved in order to disenfranchise so many legitimately elected delegates at the RNC. However if they weren’t aware that what we were trying to remind and make clear to trhem and the media was corrupt rule-changing and antidemocratic, and if they weren’t complicit by supporting those actions, then why would they have fought so hard against us even being able to vote on it? They could vote against it, so why not just vote nay in a fair vote?
Obviously, our numbers are bigger, even though some of us have been concerned about GOP numbers dwindling due to the “exodus” as a result of the RNC debacle. But clearly, Nevada is still a stronghold, and the establishment status-quo pro-war neo-Con Republicans who want to mimic their leaders and silence us, can kick and scream and delay the democratic process and filibuster until we cannot make our voices heard… but they can’t keep that up for long. They have stubborn spite and misdirected rage, but valid concern that they now look even worse because of what they “had to do to the Paulites” to keep us silenced at the convention and make their “chosen candidate” look like the unanimously-hailed king of the party. We have the passion and determination to change the country for the better, to nominate candidates that are authentic and sincere and have the voting record to prove it and are not just the anointed status-quo figurehead. The next stage of the war for our liberty has begun.
“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you.” –Nicholas Klein (or the similar line misattributed to Gandhi… yet reflects his philosophy)
The attitude taken by the Ron Paul campaign seemed to be that of treading carefully and of course playing by the rules so that we may gradually gain the majority status-quo’s vote and not antagonize them. This is far from a secret. Ron Paul is a gentle, sincere soul who has represented the conscience of our movement. That has probably earned us respect, and maybe some votes, but what have we gotten in return so far? Scenes like Wednesday night’s apparent attempt at a hotel ballroom civil war provocation, the Republican National Convention disgrace, and the rampant corrupt tactics used throughout the caucus/primary/convention season. Maybe treading lightly is smartest in the long run. And there is no justifiable argument against adhering to the rules (the ones voted on by a legitimate quorum) aside from complete revolt. I have always been an advocate for peaceful revolution, and obviously that comes with fierce opposition that does not live up to the same moral standards. But seeing how disrespectful and absurd the status quo is being (a frighteningly growing number of the “old guard” GOP) just because we try to make sure things are fair, compromises like those made so far may not be a viable option.
However… again… standing the moral high ground is vital, and we can’t respond emotionally, like they are, and end up at their level. We must continue to let our conscience (beyond any one person) be our guide. If they would only see that the message of LIBERTY FOR ALL is the salvation of the Party, and adapt to maturity, this could all go so smoothly. Quite the growing pains these are.
Here is Resolution G-109 in its entirety (sans summary):
WHEREAS, the management of the Republican National Convention in Tampa displayed a blatant disregard for the rules under which the convention committees and convention’s general business session were supposed to be conducted; and
WHEREAS, national party leaders and staff of the Republican national Committee worked to disenfranchise legitimately elected delegates, silence dissent and disregard legitimate motions and the results of votes during the national convention; and
WHEREAS, fraud and coercion were used to pass new rules which reduce the power and autonomy of state and local party organizations, allow future rule changes without proper oversight by the body of the party and impose a top-down structure of governance in place of the party’s traditional bottom-up structure; and
WHEREAS, most of the factional problems at the convention could have been resolved through reasonable negotiation in ways which promoted unity and cooperation, but were instead dealt with by a heavy handed incompetence which has led to greater divisions, a weakening of the party and loss of support for the presidential nominee; and
WHEREAS, responsibility for the mismanagement and abuse of process at the national convention ultimately rests with the National Chairman; and
WHEREAS, it is to the benefit of the party to protect the rights and interests of party members and preserve the traditional and unique practices of the state parties:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, We call for the immediate resignation of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, we reject the validity of all of the revisions to the party rules passed at the Tampa convention and consider the 2008 rules to remain in effect; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We assert the primacy of the state parties in determining policy for conducting party elections, nomination of candidates and apportionment of delegates within their states without the interference of the national committee or any campaign or outside entities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We urge our State Republican Executive Committee, our State Chairman and our Republican National Committee representatives to act on this resolution and vote to return control of the party to the state parties and the body of party members; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We urge our Republican National Committee representatives to vote to conduct a parliamentary audit of all motions and votes conducted at the Rules Committee and the General Business Session of the 2012 Republican National Convention; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, We urge all members of Republican state central committees throughout the nation to ask every candidate for State Chair, National Committeeman and National Committeewoman to pledge publicly that they will vote to repeal unrepresentative National Delegate rules.
SECTION 2. This resolution is hereby introduced by action of the Executive Board which formally recommends its adoption by the plenary session of the Clark County Republican Central Committee.
SECTION 3. The Central Committee directs the CCRP Chair to distribute or to cause to be distributed this resolution to the chair of each county Republican central committee in Nevada, the Chair of the Nevada republican Party, the members of the CCRCC, the members of the NRCC and the media.
SECTION 4. This resolution shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage at the close of the meeting of the Clark County Republican Central Committee at which it was passed.
All opinions, unless specified by a quote, are those of the author Jason Nellis and do not necessarily reflect those of anyone else. But the author has the feeling he’s not alone.
How matters have come to this in Las Vegas and our state… Follow along with some of the year’s timeline here:
Nevada: Battle Born and Battle Evolved at the 2012 State Convention (Ron Paul Takeover)
Clark County Republican Party Passes Anti-NDAA Resolution
Corrupt RNC Destroys its own party in the days before the Convention