Video: Madness at the Oregon CD2 ConventionSubmitted by David Kirk West on Mon, 06/25/2012 - 09:07
I'm a PCP for the Jackson County, Oregon Republican party, and I witnessed some real shenanigans at the 2nd Congressional District Convention in Bend. Check it out:
I took this 15 or so minute stretch of video just after they tried to adjourn our meeting before letting us cast votes for the At-Large Alternates and CD2 Alternates.
Things get more interesting, though, as I was also one of the observers of the Ballot counting.
Here is an account of what I saw that I sent to some people after the convention:
"Me and my friend Thad Gala (one of our Slate who got elected) acted as observers of the ballot counting at the CD2 convention in Bend. Me for Paul, Thad for Santorum. After we voted and 4 different pairs of people had counted portions of the vote, Jordan (I forget his last name; he was a young party official in charge of the vote counting) said we were free to leave and was going to take the vote tallies and add them up for a final count and report them to everyone else later. Obviously, after the blatant skulduggery that had happened earlier I wasn't going to let this happen, and I told him that I'd like to observe the ballots being tallied so I could sign off on the results. He was definitely irritated by my request, and tried to convince me that it wouldn't matter and that he'd do it later. With the exception of Thad, the other tellers/observers seemed irritated as well, but I persisted and got them to take 10 minutes to tally and record all the votes. These were the At-large alternates and CD2 alternates ballots.
Once the votes were tallied, Jordan immediately tried to make off with the results again. I stopped him and told him that I wanted to check and sign off on the results. Again, he seemed irritated and obviously wanted to leave, but he didn't have much choice but to let me. I went over the results and they looked OK, so I signed them. Because we'd been told these votes might not be counted, people had asked me to get the numbers for them so we'd at least know what the results would have been. So I whipped out my cell phone and went to snap a picture of the results, but before I could Jordan snatched away the results and tried to tel me that that wasn't allowed. That was the at-large alternates. I tried to do the same thing with the CD2 alternates, list, and again Jordan wouldn't let me. That list was substantially shorter than the massive at-large alternates results list, though, so I was at least able to see that two of the three winners were our people (Todd Smith and Shawn Corrigan).
Afterwards, me, Chuck, Thad, and Todd all tried to talk to Jordan to see about seeing and documenting the results, and he wouldn't let us. He kept saying that he wasn't allowed to release them and that we'd have to wait for the ORP to release the "official" results. We told him that we wanted to document the results in case the vote was nullified and never released. He said he didn't know if it would be available or not in the event of the vote not counting and that we'd have to contact ORP and ask them ("Talk to the ORP" was a common theme in his lame arguments). We tried to make the argument that we should at least be able to see the CD2 alternates result and document them because we were the only district voting on it, but he would have none of it.
I should have gotten all of this on video, but Jordan had gotten irritated and asked me to get rid of my camcorder earlier when he saw that I had brought it into the ballot counting area while I observed. At the time, I hadn't even really recorded anything, I just had it in case we needed. Since nothing crazy had happened yet I obliged him, but did think it seemed a little fishy. He acted like it was against the rules to have a camera back there or something, and as I have pretty much no idea what the parties byzantine rules actually are, I didn't want to press my luck.
I did get the 15 or so minute stretch when the party was trying to adjourn us at 5PM and we extended the meeting on video, though."
If you guys have any questions, I'll try to answer them.