Last week this blog carried videos of arrests in St. Charles and near riots in other counties. The GOP contest, which seems done to the national media, in fact, resembles the Russo-German front in World War II.
Read this report from Pamela Grow:
Every one of Missouri’s 8 Congressional Districts has at least one county caucus being contested; several have more than one. Due to the nature of interpersonal communication among Paul supporters, who are legendary for both their fierce love of privacy and their individual initiative, I’m sure I don’t know about all of them.
Not every county (especially in the northern 1/3 of the state) has a formalized leadership structure among its Ron Paul supporters. Doubtless there are a few “liberty vigilantes” (my term) who are not on anyone’s radar, who are trying to “clean up this town,” so to speak. Well, perhaps that is not completely accurate; no doubt they have put themselves on the state GOP’s radar, if they have contested their caucus. But that information is not discoverable by me, at this point. Why would the GOP disseminate this information? I can think of numerous reasons for them not to.
What I think of as “reverse” contests—from my perspective, Ron Paul-supporting delegates and alternates being challenged by the “anti-Paul” crowd—are completely concealed from me. No doubt my status as an 8th CD and state GOP delegate has been challenged! I can’t imagine on what grounds it could be. Through all of this, though, I have begun to think that truth is indeed stranger than fiction, and I have tried to mentally prepare myself as best I’m able. No one could even make this stuff up!
Missouri’s caucuses were potentially to elect 2,123 delegates both to their respective Congressional District (CD) and the state conventions. This number will give you a reference point.
St. Charles, with its combined 59 2nd CD and 88 3rd CD delegates, you have heard about. The caucus began with what I term the “picador-like jabs” of heavy-handedness, including police omnipresence, prohibition of recording, and corralling people–this was planned, as it primed the citizenry for angry outbursts. When the county GOP chairman, as temporary chair, appointed the caucus chair, the vocal response of the crowd was completely predictable. It is a testament to the self-control of the people attending the caucus that they behaved in as civilized a manner as they did. You know by now that a completely fresh start has been orchestrated for St. Charles, which (in my opinion) disenfranchises those other counties who convened and completed their caucuses within the time frame given.
Clay, north of Kansas City, with its 23 5th CD and 55 6th CD delegates (78 total), has been contested by the capable and determined grass roots group there. With a parliamentarian among them, they encountered every manner of irregularity, including a county chair who ran his own election as caucus chair, violations of privilege (no microphones with over 500 people in attendance), stalling tactics such as repeated vote counts (always producing different numbers), points of order from the floor being ignored.
If the initial vote count for caucus chair is indicative, the “establishment” (i.e., anti-Paul) chair nominee had 270 votes, the “Paul” chair nominee had 249. If I seem short on details, it is because I have wanted to see empowerment of the grass roots liberty activists, and rather than intruding, I have given help when asked only. The citizens in Clay are the ones who know the political culture there. They are vested; they have the largest stake in the outcome. It’s the old “give a man a fish, teach a man to fish” dichotomy. If control and power is to be devolved downward, the people have to be capable of handling it.
Jefferson, south of St. Louis City and County, with 15 2nd CD, 39 3rd CD, and 19 8th CD delegates (73 total), is known to you. The entire caucus slate to the three CD’s and the state has been contested. The “old guard” in the county is no doubt threatened by a younger generation of Republicans there. Because man is a mortal being, this problem will resolve itself later, if not sooner.
Cass, south of Kansas City, with 43 4th CD delegates, has been contested by the aggrieved parties there. I’m told the two greatest concerns there were that the caucus time and location were changed less than 24 hours prior (against the stipulation in the Missouri Republican State Committee’s 2012 Call to Convention), and the delegate/alternate slates were manipulated by the caucus chair for at least 48 hours after the caucus adjourned.
The caucus is a deliberative body, convened and then adjourned, and has sole authority to determine the composition of the slates of delegates which issue. For the chair to autocratically decide he would “credential” people off or on the rolls, after the caucus was over, is not how things are to be run.
Christian, east of Springfield and in the southwestern part of the state, with 37 7th CD delegates, has been contested by a faction within the Ron Paul supporting group there. I have been unable to mediate any healing in that county. I have no doubt that there were irregularities, but I doubt that Ron Paul supporters there were in the majority. They may have been a significant minority, however, and with more capable and impartial leadership of the caucus, there would be much less angst overall.
Jackson County, with 144 5th CD and 35 6th CD delegates, is having 20 or so of its 5th CD delegates challenged, because these individuals do not belong in the 5th CD, but rather, the 6th. The astoundingly dedicated Ron Paul supporters in Jackson were able to place their own delegates in their (redistricted) CD’s, but the 20 who are being contested were affiliated with another candidate, I’m told, and did not actually belong in the 5th.
Additional, smaller contests, that I’m aware of and the reason(s) for their contests–as I understand them–are:
- Spanish Lake Township of St. Louis County (5 1st CD delegates): parliamentarian took the chair
- Crawford County (9 8th CD delegates): disregard for RONR
- Mercer County (2 6th CD delegates): caucus chair put herself and another on the list, disappeared into a back room to count, returned and announced the election of delegates (she and the friend won), told a Ron Paul supporter who asked, “the ballots were destroyed–too late.”
One of the individuals involved in a larger county’s contest said, “Fish rot from the head.” When the national leaders take an oath to obey and defend the Constitution, and violate that oath, the decay in the political culture inevitably spreads. Astounding as these events are, I suppose I shouldn’t really be all that surprised.