James C Werner... My letter to the Indiana GOP Rules Committee ChairmanSubmitted by AnAppealToHeavenWash on Wed, 06/06/2012 - 21:05
A letter from my friend James C Werner of Lafayette, Indiana...
My letter to the IN GOP Rules Committee Chairman..
Thank you for your time on the phone last night. I think your sentiments about a more open and participatory process will put our faction of the delegation more at ease.
Your explanation for the use of a slate was well taken and we realize that conventions in Indiana have become more of a media pep rally over the years than a place for debate or real party business. We understand the importance of the appearance of unity and I think the best way to achieve that is going to be inclusiveness, everyone following the rules and proportionate representation.
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said the violence and reactionary dissonance in other states was likely a result of over reaction. In the cases like CO, MO and LA restrictions on normal order on the part of event organizers backfired and what should have been simple business meetings turned into near riots that reflected poorly on the party. But in other states like NV MN and ME open normal order resulted in positive growth even though there were overhauls in party leadership and Ron Paul delegates were seated. In fact the MN GOP was near bankruptcy and now is well funded by its new activists.
As Rand Paul has said "political parties are empty vessels" they need to be filled with people who have principles, love their country, and who have the energy and resources to do something about it. In 2008 outside of our voting block impacting the AG race in favor of Greg Zoeller; our people were mostly shut out by the quick un-amendable un-debatable process. We found the last minute rule change to be inconsistent with a free and open political process but fortunately did not allow it to discourage us from being involved in the party. This time we endured every kind of obstacle from early on at the county level but we are still managing to send significant numbers to the convention again and this time we have massive numbers of tea party allies who also feel disenfranchised and want to be active participants in the political process beyond being rubber stamps for a preselected slate.
Greg Zoeller can attest to the activist support he received by Ron Paul delegates after the convention and knows the importance of including our group of young people, military veterans, libertarians and disenfranchised conservatives.
I was impressed with your thoughtful responses on the phone last night and look forward to your communications on the issue of cameras and recording devices that I requested. We need to make sure that those participating know what is expected of them and that rules are fair and consistent with the traditions of a free and open society to eliminate unnecessary tensions and facilitate the inclusion of a new generation of Indiana Republican activists. Shutting out people from delegate and committee positions with out a fair vote or banning them from holding up a video camera is a sure way to turn them off from future party envolvment.
As I said on the phone it is going to be hard enough to get real conservatives and libertarians to support a presidential candidate who supported an assault weapons ban in his state, TARP bailouts, abortion and socialized medicine. If the state GOP disenfranchises our local leaders they will be out working for Gary Johnson in the fall because they feel that if Obama wins at least Republicans will continue to vote against spending, illegal millitary action and will support civil liberties and states rights in the face of an out of control Federal Government; whereas with a Republican in office, they will support the same kind of reckless policy we have now because of the R next to the presidents name.
It is important for the Indiana GOP to remember that Obama won Indiana by less than the margin of those who voted Libertarian in 2008. If we can not bridge the gap and let these people know they have a home in the GOP that margin will increase and eventually will start to hurt out state and local candidates and fracture the party.
We just want a fair and open process. We want to know the rules and who the people we are voting on are in advance, and to be treated with the respect republican delegates deserve. I see it as a reasonable request and I think based on your statements that you agree. I hope our interactions will pave the way for a more unified and principled state party. Thanks again for your time and service; I hope we can all work together to get people who share our values elected across the state.
James C. Werner
Ron Paul Grassroots District Coordinator (IN District 4)