The truth about NevadaSubmitted by PatHenry on Sun, 02/12/2012 - 20:42
The Nevada Republican Party (NRP) does not deserve your wrath.
As in many other states, good Ron Paul supporters got involved at all levels in the party. For us it was personal because we were determined to not let what happened in 2008 happen again here in Nevada. As you may recall, the 2008 convention was abruptly halted when then state party chairman Sue Lowden realized a majority of the delegates to the national convention were going to be Ron Paul people.
NRP Vice Chairman James Smack (now acting chairman), Secretary Jim DeGraffenreid along with Treasurer Michael Bertrand specifically ran for those offices to assure a fair and open caucus and convention. My husband, Kurt Criss, is the NRP Rules Chairman and helped James, Jim and Mike stand against those who wanted to bend the rules in many ways. One rule they fought relentlessly for was to count the votes in every precinct meeting in front of all attendees interested in watching and then post the final tallies on the NRP website so all could check the results of his/her own precinct.
Dramatic issues in the Nevada caucuses were the special Saturday evening meeting (which ended up being a Ron Paul coup)and 1-2 instances in Clark County (Las Vegas) where ballots were apparently taken by the precinct chairmen without being counted in front of the attendees (not enough votes to change the results). What much of the time was spent on in the post-caucus hours was checking and rechecking to determine that 57 precincts in Clark County had 1 or 2 vote descrepancies between in signed-in attendance and ballots cast. These could largely be attributed to precinct chairmen and secretaries forgetting to sign in or forgetting to get late arrivals to sign in before receiving a ballot. The number of votes that could have been manipulated would not have changed the results. Jim brought these issues to the 4 campaigns. They all agreed to count these votes so as to not disenfranchise people due to a mistake by a volunteer chairman or secretary.
Another complaint I really take issue with is that they took a long time to report the official results. Wouldn't you rather have a correct tally rather than a fast tally? Jim and his team stayed up into the wee hours of Sunday morning, slept only 2-3 hours and were back at it again throughout Sunday working to GET IT RIGHT. Remember Iowa? If there had not been such a rush there, those several precincts may have been counted and helped Ron Paul's total. Also, look at Maine. What is their rush? Why not get all caucuses' results?
Another misperception was the timing of the resignation of the state party chairman Amy Tarkanian at midnight after the caucus. This had been planned for over a month because her husband intends to run for a congressional seat here in Nevada.
We were beaten by the surge given to Romney from Florida moving ahead of Nevada on the calendar (part of the RNC's plans to help Romney), Romney's fiercely strong LDS-led organization in Nevada and I hate to say it but here it is: Ron Paul supporters not turning out or not being able to vote since they missed registering as Republicans by the January 20th deadline.
I can't speak for what happened in other Nevada counties, but in Elko County where our gold-mining-backed economy is one of the best in the nation the turn out was very low. Even though there was an order of magnitude more support for Ron Paul over 2008 we only had 6 additional Ron Paul votes!! Trying to get 2008 people to help GOTV was a lot like "the Little Red Hen" story. Everyone wanted to eat the bread of Ron Paul's message, but wouldn't even come cast a vote at the caucus for him.
Hope this helps clear up some bad feelings toward Nevada's state party. Hope everyone will take to heart to be registered, be there, and be a delegate!