A Warning From Washington's 5th DistrictSubmitted by ItsLeeOwen on Mon, 04/02/2012 - 21:10
I showed up to delegate for Ron Paul last Saturday, and want to share my experience in hopes that it helps Paul delegates in other areas. Because I was not prepared for the level of dirty politics at play.
Roughly 400 of us take our seats, and the Party leadership uses a projector to announce a list of pre-assigned delegates that are automatically nominated for the state convention. There were 141 pre-assigned nominees, with no indication of which candidate they support. You are there to vote for nominees who support your preferred candidate, so obviously you need to be informed of who they support.
But the first order is to allow additional nominees to be voiced in the auditorium. So roughly an equal number of Paul delegates, and Romney delegates nominated themselves, and voiced the candidate which they support. The number of Gingrich/Santorum supporters present was significantly less. Supporters of a candidate would cheer & whoop when a nomination voiced support for their candidate, so you got a vague sense for the level of support in the room based on the noise. I was delighted that the Paul whoops & hollers were challenging that of Romney. A very good sign!
After the nominee process came to a close, we are left with a list of 141 pre-assigned nominees, and 36 additional nominations. You can't vote on nominees if you don't know who they support so Ron Paul delegates, and a few Santorum/Gingrich delegates motioned to make it transparent who the pre-assigned delegates were in support of. Mitt Romney supporters in the room vehemently denied the motion, and immediately pass a motion to deny all further motions. An act almost as immature as the offensive supporting speeches given by Romney supporters, who said outright that Paul supporters were attempting to hijack & delay the process. Really? By requesting to know what the nominees represented we are the ones hijacking the process? It was shameful, and another tactic to shut down any chance of a fair & honest Caucus.
The Romney supporters then passed out sheets of paper to one another with a list of the nominees in support of Mitt Romney. So only they had inside information detailing which delegates supported their candidate. The vote was done, Romney dominated in a room that was roughly split based from what I could tell by cheers throughout the day.
After this dismal experience I am extremely unlikely to participate in any future Caucuses, and definitely will no longer donate to the Republican party. I have no interest in a voting format that adds confusion, and room for dirty politics, or a party that isn't legitimately interested in representing the will of the people. Especially after we had worked hard at ensuring an equal representation at the previous Caucus, despite holding a Ron Paul majority in our precinct. No more! Dino Rossi was present as a delegate, and he sat through all of this without any effort to help shape an honest Caucus, and went along with the Romney tactics, so maybe it's a good thing that he never had success with his gubernatorial or Senate campaigns.
So if you're expecting an honest, transparent process you may be surprised by the dirty tricks at play. Get in touch with the Ron Paul campaign, and find out the names of delegates going to Caucus for Paul beforehand.