While many in the Liberty Movement were engaged in a weekend of blame and counter blame, other Ron Paul stalwarts were still fighting in the trenches at district and state conventions. I have lots of video and documentary on the marathon events in Texas but before that, here is another shocker. This one from Arkansas. It shows clearly that the move to transform the GOP is organic and real and cannot be stopped, even from inside.
So here is the firsthand story coming out of the Arkansas District Conventions. No broken bones this time and, thankfully, no broken hearts either. Ron Paul was supposed to be shut out in Arkansas. Some in the establishment were going to great lengths to keep his forces from participating. But how can you stop his ideas? And how can you stop people who are awake to the truth?
Enjoy this report from Monica Serrano, Arkansas State Ron Paul Director. She endured months of loneliness, rejection and long odds on her unlikely road to success.
Monica Serranos’s Report:
Today was a most amazing day and for so many reasons. Where do I begin?
Arkansas held their district conventions. We have 4 districts. We elected 3 delegates and 3 alternates from each district. And they will be going to Tampa. On June 23 we will elect 21 “at large” delegates and alternatives who will also go to Tampa with the top 3 State GOP officials.
We really have no say about the 21 at large because they are elected by insider county chairmen. So the district conventions were the only hope for the people to win something. I think we did awesome!
It began in February, getting people to file. They had to pay fees and get papers notarized and filed with county clerks, just to be able to vote on the people that VOTE on the Delegates. Then the potential delegates had to file before our May primary and declare in advance who they support, causing any filed delegates for losing candidates to be disqualified. It was a long and detailed process, with some in the establishment looking for signs of Ron Paul youth to block but we navigated through the maze and came out with the strongest force in the state!
Here is a summary of the District Conventions. Keep in mind that some of the victories cannot yet be announced, lest the establishment find a way to undue them.
District 1: None of our delegates were elected in district 1, but we knew going in that our odds were low. District 1 is very rural and our support out there was much lower.
District 4: They swept all 3 delegate slots. With only 9 people filed, total, and 6 recommended by the Romney Campaign, leaving our 3 out in the dark on the district level, we nevertheless, managed to get those three elected! The party regulars are shocked and many are currently scrambling to find out how on earth we did it. It doesn’t matter, we did it fairly and it cannot be undone!
District 2: This was a sight to behold. We filled the tables with our people and before it started we could feel it….”we’ve got this.” However, nothing beats hearing the sound of that first delegate being called out. Once we heard that name we were set and we all knew it.
There was a little confusion because one of the delegates from our slate did not show, and we were not sure if we could elect him or not.
Also the District Chairman kept insulting him for not being there, saying he had no backbone. He was rude throughout the entire proceeding and that did not go unnoticed by even non Paulers.
Ok, back to our tale of victory! We replaced our second delegate, who was not there, with our first Alternate. We elected the second delegate and then the third. It was official, we had just swept the delegate slots in District 2 with Ron Paul Delegates.
Then it was time to elect Alternates. We elected the first alternate. We thought we had 6 people to vote on, but as it turned out, one of them was not on the ballot. (Found out later he had filed for Paul and not Romney) So….we had a decision to make. Do we vote on the absent delegate and really anger the District Chairman who clearly did not want him elected…..or do we give the establishment the last two seats/alternates?
I thought it over and considered a very dear and very old woman named Mozella. This woman is basically Mrs. Republican for the state. She wanted to go so badly. I sent the message around the room….we will give them one. Let’s vote for Mozella on the next ballot and then we send a message that we, the people, will have our say and we are a group that is to be respected.
I would like to take credit for that idea, but the “message” was the idea of a very wise Faulkner County leader. You know who you are! ;-) We voted Mozella and when her name was read her table jumped in such shock and she looked like a giddy school girl. It was really nice!
Last but not least, we voted in the absent delegate as the last alternate. Johnny was running for the same delegate slots. He even wrote up a short “resume” of sorts, asking for our vote, and placed it at every chair at every table. We denied Johnny, the Second District Chairman, a slot as delegate from his own district. This was probably the biggest message we sent today in our district. We showed the party establishment that we are here in large organized numbers and we can accomplish MUCH!
I spoke with State Chairman Webb after it was over, and he was very kind. I told him thank you for being such a great State Chairman and for treating us fairly. He told me I had been a pleasure to work with. At this point, I support him completely as state chairman. He has been nothing but fair and honest with us. I view him as highly ethical.
(update: That absent delegate got there a few minutes late and was not allowed in. The woman at the registration table could not find his name on the list. He told her he was not there to vote, but that he was a filed Delegate candidate for Romney. She still could not find his name and she was asked to come in the room and she took the list with her and shut the door, leaving him outside. He was the second name on our ballot. It makes no sense that she could not find him.)
District 3: Now this one was interesting. They held their convention very differently, opting to divide into counties and hold a mock caucus type election….although caucus rules were not really followed since “caucus goers” were not allowed to speak to their counties.
Because of the change in style, they were off to a slow start. We had votes all across the room in every county and the county establishment started trying to work against each other to get their own county delegates elected. They have a bit of a rivalry going between the counties, particularly Washington and Benton.
A slug fest started and Paul delegates were up for the fight. There was a lot of confusion and as they were caucusing a call came in to a big wig establishment person and that call was overheard.
“They took District 2!” I don’t know who from district 2 called district 4, but the word was out, somehow, the Paul People had taken a district!
A meeting was quickly called for all of the County Chairmen and the fight was on.
Some of our people, including our 2 delegates, tried explaining to their chairman that we have the votes to make things happen, if they would just play ball. They ignored us and attempted to get their way. The first delegate was elected and the second. Neither were Stealth Delegates, but it also was not quite going the way these County Chairmen wanted. I guess they weren’t getting who they each wanted.
Once again, the plea was made for the Benton County Chairman to work with us, or go down in defeat. As I understand it, a deal was struck and we elected Duane Neal of the rules committee and although not a Paul supporter, he was a man who had helped us along the way due to an ethical stand on “following the rules.”
In exchange, we took Alternate seats 1 and 2 for our only two delegates in the running. And we helped elect the 4th.
Now, I know…we didn’t get our two in as delegates, but it was still a victory and here is why. We showed them that we could block them and prevent them from getting what they wanted, and we could get what we wanted accomplished with just a little cooperation. They may not like us but they now know that they need us! Sound familiar? Couple that with our District 2 and 4 sweep and the Constitutional Republicans just became the biggest force in Arkansas GOP state politics!
Just to be clear: Every one of our people, with the exception of district 1, were elected to either delegate or alternate. This means 10 out of 14 are going to Tampa! Bravo County Delegates! (6 Stealth Delegates and 4 Stealth Alternates, with 1 Regular delegate and 2 Regular Alternates gifted by us, to show we can be respectful and kind but still in charge.)
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