38 votes

Nebraska Recap

Laura Ebke, RLC-Nebraska

Since people seem to be interested (to say the least) about what happened in the Nebraska today, I think I'd post a little recap.

If you're interested..

Our numbers--we believed going in--were at about 40% of the total delegates. As I told many people, we didn't have the majority. I also told a number of people that how well we did would probably depend on how well the Romney forces were organized, and how many folks in rural areas decided to stay home and irrigate their corn instead of coming to the convention. Based on the credentials report, attendance was at about 96% of the elected delegates--an extraordinary number, really. Of course that made our job tougher, since we looked to be behind by about a 60-40 split.

We wanted to see how much firepower we actually had--we had a credentials challenge, and a rules challenge. We lost both by voice vote, and called for a division, which resulted in standing votes. In one instance, we lost 58-42%. In the other, we lost by about 62-38%. In other words we were in trouble.

In normal years, having 40% of the vote voting as a bloc would have allowed us to take most of the convention delegates, because the "slates" would typically have been very week, and "suggestions" rather than "demands" from the campaign. This year was different, as our Governor, as a result of the national media attention, the assorted "threats" of press/observers/crowds coming into the state (which thankfully didn't occur), and an earlier run in we'd had with him on another issue--decided to exercise more control over the slate than usual. He *personally* called delegates (and apparently *personally* chose the Romney slate, in large part) and told them to vote ONLY the slate. I don't know the details of what he said, but it appears to have worked--their slates held together as well as ours did--except that they typically had a 50-60 vote margin difference for the delegates on their slate, over the delegates on our slate.

We won in the 2nd District, and displaced the Romney slate there--because we had superior numbers there. But that's the only place where we had superior numbers.

There was no cheating. The voting process appeared to all who observed to be very clean. The question of the "official slate" had nothing to do with the campaign. The RLC was the de facto campaign in the state (although we did occasional have contact with campaign staff, and one was in Nebraska on Saturday). When the State Chair called me up and told me that they were offering both campaigns the option of having their "official slate" on the ballot, I declined. That may or may not have been a strategic mistake, however given that the "establishment" would have then seen the names on our slate, and that they had the majority to begin with, I judged that NOT showing our hand till we got there made sense--in hopes that we might coalition with some other groups for delegates.

The ballots were paper ballots, marked like any "scantron" type of test sheet. The voting process was organized, ballots were placed in locked boxes on the floor, and "official" observers (myself, one of my folks, or the campaign staff) accompanied the ballots to the counting room, where they were unlocked and put into the reader.

Given that there were 130-some odd candidates for delegate, and we were to choose either 3 or 23 (depending on CD or At-Large election), counting machines made sense.

If we had reason to believe that there might have been fraud of some sort, the numbers eliminated that concern, really. Our slate candidates all got between 120 and 135 on all at-large votes (and votes closely correspondent to the number we had confirmed as "ours" in each CD). The Romney slate numbers were consistent, as well--ranging in the 185-210 range.

We believe that it was a clean convention. Perhaps not ideal processes, but pretty good, and fair. We just got beat--they organized, too, and we didn't have the numbers.

Laura Ebke

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Mirroring Idaho

This mirrors the experience in Idaho with one small difference, in Idaho the liberty caucus was not even allowed in the committee that selected the delegates, and the state GOP rules gave 80% of the delegates and 80% of the alternates directly to the Romney campaign for nomination. So the State GOP only had 6 delegates and 6 alternates to select, but another state GOP rule says that the Chair, and each of the two national committee persons are automatic delegates. Which means we really only had 3 delegates and 6 alternates to select at the convention. And the nominating committee (hand picked by the state GOP chair) made sure that no one but a Romney purest was on the committee.

So when the slate came up for a vote at the main session, we had no choice but to let it go uncontested. We also controlled about 30-40% of the delegates. So not enough to change the decisions.

Our one consolation prize was the chairmanship which we were able to sway away from the big city campaign insider and to a rural GOP county chair.

State Secretary
Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho
National Board Member At-Large
Republican Liberty Caucus

I have no problem losing as long as its a fair loss

Just like in indiana, we simply just didn't have the numbers. Laura, i know everyone might pressure you into saying that there was some sort of cheating or fraud, which did happen in other state, but i appreciate your honesty. I just hope that next time we have a candidate just as strong as Ron Paul to rally behind. somehow i doubt it. don't lease steam and keep pushing.

Washington State delegate here...

We had a similar experience here as it boiled down to a numbers issue.

Of the 1500 delegates on the floor at our state's convention, we estimated about an 800 to 700 Romney advantage.

That's not a lot and it's believed that Spokane area Paul delegates didn't show for some reason, which could have made the difference.

But clearly there were thngs done here which we were not pleased with.

We felt there were a lot of "pre-determined" outcomes and results.

ALSO - This whole SLATE thing makes the entire voting process a FARCE.

Instead of floor delegates voting for people to go to Tampa based on their speeches and eligibility, the SLATES were handed out and everyone was told to just "vote the slate."

That made all the speech-giving irrelevant and a waste of time.

If I had known this going in, I would have declared myself a delegate to Tampa and used my 30 seconds to rant against the GOP establishment in front of every one of those (Romney) idiots.

A couple of Paul delegates did just that and it was great.

One guy for example, used his 30 seconds to blast what the GOP did in his district to shut out Paul supporters. He didn't care less about getting elected, but he sure got his points in!

The SLATE thing makes these conventions a total farce with pre-determined outcomes.

It should be done away with and delegates should be chosen on an individual basis determined by their ability to convince voters to choose them as national delegates.

It's another reason I'm done with GOP politics after November.

I'm going back to being apathetic - NOT because I don't care or am ignorant - but because I DO know what goes on now and it's all corrupt, party-first crap which is a WASTE OF MY TIME.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

please don't abandon GOP

please don't abandon GOP politics after Nov. The RLC.org needs more involved members. Dr. Paul choose the GOP as the party to influence, and all actions indicate that this is indeed the best fit for us. We just need to be steady and willing to wait this out for the DECADE or so it will take to turn around the GOP from the inside.

Keep going. Get your shit-shovels because there is a lot of party BS to wade through to survive them. Their tactic is to just outlast. They can't out-debate, and they can't out-organize unless they are in control.

So we need to be the constant / loyal minority in the GOP and eventually the youth of today will be the GOP of tomorrow and if we do our jobs, our children will be running the GOP.

State Secretary
Republican Liberty Caucus of Idaho
National Board Member At-Large
Republican Liberty Caucus

Laura and RLC, Thank you!

...your countless hours of labor for the cause of liberty were more fruitful than you will ever know. NE was unfairly hyped; way too many armchair liberty lovers were sucked into it, wanting a "solid 5th state" so badly that there seemed to be this belief that simply willing it must make it possible, and that the only reason for not winning would be fraud and cheating. Pardon the expression, but Jesus Christ could have been on your slate and He would have lost. You took the numbers you had and made us proud! How you did it all with grace when you seemed to be being shot at by well-meaning people who "knew" your own state better than you, is beyond me. Solid-Gold Kudos to you!!!

Liberty LiveStream Team reporting in from Nebraska...

Thank you so much to all the Nebraska Ron Paul delegates. We felt VERY welcomed and it was VERY nice to be there with you all! Truly a great weekend. Thank you to the Liberty Caucus for the hospitality suite the night before. We had a great time hanging out with you all there.

There were 850 people watching on the livestream during the convention. After the convention was over for about an hour there were still 300 people on the livestream. Truly amazing.

Thank you to everyone who donated to the chipin. It made the trip a huge success and much easier. Also, a huge thank you to the delegate who let us stay in her guest house on the lake.

We'll be talking about more of our experiences tomorrow. Tune in to the Liberty Live Stream Team show tomorrow night (Monday) at 9PM EST for a full recap of the Nebraska GOP convention.

Thank you!

-Qadoshyah Fish
Oklahoma Parking Lot Patriot

Qadoshyah, you and your siblings...

absolutely rock! Thank you so much for enabling the rest of us around the country to "be there."

"There was no cheating." - In itself reason to celebrate!

We cannot heal as a party and work together for the most Republitarianism we can get if we can't at least respect each other enough to work together and let the chips fall where they may.

Why didn't we have our own chair stand up, not recognize their motions for a new chair, and - when they elect one, anyway - just break the Pro-Mitt Chair's hip? Because that's not the Liberty Way, nor the ethical way, nor even the American way!

Glad to hear it's not the Nebraska Way, either!

Thank you for all your hard work!

Please know there are so many people who appreciate all the work the delegates do. We may not have had the outcome we would have liked, but big gains were made. We have to keep pushing forward. Thank you!!

reedr3v's picture

Disappointing yes; but looking at these

losses from a 2008 perspective, it is simply amazing how well the Liberty movement has done toward overturning the Republican Establishment. Well done all of you on the front lines!

Good job Laura. Organizing

Good job Laura. Organizing an effort like you have is no easy feat to be sure.

I hope you are able to keep your people involved and grow your strength for future efforts.

I also hope you get the governor who opposed you removed from office. I support working with local Republicans, but when they stand and actively fight against constitutionalism and liberty, they need to be removed, even if doing so requires crossing party lines.

Sic Semper Tyrannous Rex

This is pretty much what happend in Texas.

I thought it was all pretty fair and honest, we just didn't have the numbers to win outright.

I am Ron Paul.

MIssouri Delegate here.

Same thing happened all the way through the Missouri Process. We had a solid 40% but they had the majority. They stuck together and won fair and square. The chairman of course were leaning to establishment side and slandering us randomly. He is not suppose to do that but they get away with it in a room of 1,000. Basically we got some delegates out of Missouri but we lost. In a fair and square slightly slanted way.

We need to take control of

We need to take control of the chairmanships, no doubt about it.

Never underestimate ignorant

Never underestimate ignorant people in large groups. Ours had record attendance as well.. we were banking on a low attendance.

This Could Be a Heads Up for Tampa

Warning, Ron Paul delegates and supporters! If the RNC/Romney was this organized in Nebraska, we'd better be prepared for more of the same in Tampa. The more "may or may not. . . strategic mistakes" we can second guess in advance, the better. Obviously, we do not get walk-throughs or dress rehearsals at these conventions.

Shake it off. Now you know

Shake it off. Now you know what you have to work with and you have much work to do. Think of it this way...you may have started something in Nebraska. Start some fires!

Nevada and Nebraska were VERY different.

I was a delegate in Nevada, and as I posted yesterday I was on hand as an observer this weekend in Nebraska. There were huge differences in the two conventions. The attempt to cheat in Nevada was pretty obvious from the start. I never got the sense that anything questionable was afoot in Nebraska, and I'm very astute at picking up on those things (i'm a bit of a parliamentary rules wonk).

First, the credentialing for Nebraska was extremely efficient and was they were very careful to check ID's to verify the identity of delegates. Some delegates did not show, and alternates were elevated in their place, which I believe actually improved the Paul numbers slightly. Credentialing in Nevada was sloppy and disorganized, and that's being kind. It's a travesty that the new state party chairman in Nevada has not replaced the chair of the credentials committee.

Second, the seating arrangements in Nevada were very disorganized from the start. Guests and alternates were allowed to mix in with delegates, which obviously gave them the ability to unfairly participate in voice and hand votes. Once we figured out that was happening we got the problem fixed, but it derailed the Nevada convention for hours. Nebraska was completely different - there were divided sections for each congressional district, and separate sections for delegates and alternates within each CD section. Guests were cordoned off in the back of the room. Very clean.

Third, in Nevada we had 1600+ delegates at our convention. Sneaking in 150-200 guests / alternates and having them mix in with the crowd was not difficult. In Nebraska, there were under 400 delegates total, and due to the structure of their party system there, most of them were known to other delegates. Sneaking in even 20 or 30 people unfairly would have been pretty easy to spot, due to the seating arrangements and smaller number of delegates.

Finally, the Paul campaign was heavily organized in Nevada, where the Romney and other campaigns were not organized at all. Many of their delegates just didn't make the stip, where ours did. Had they turned out as many of their delegates as we did, we could have well been slightly outnumbered. Our advantage was that a greater percentage of our people showed up. In Nebraska, the GOVERNOR was making personal phone calls to Romney delegates and asking them to show up. If you are an establishment person, and the establishment Republican Governor of your state personally asks you to go to the convention, you are probably going to show up. This also precluded getting any of the Tea Party people to cross over and vote with the Paul voting block, because the Governor called them too.

I can say with absolute certainty that everything within reason was done in Nebraska to achieve the desired outcome - it just wasn't in the cards, because the numbers weren't there and Romney / RNC got organized (for a change).

Thank you,Rob

for your report. I was curious how it went for our crew, & I applaud you for getting on the plane & doing the best you could.

Nevada - Battle Born!

Cynthia Kennedy

96% Delegate Attendance Figure Unbelievable.

96% delegate attendance?? That does seem extraordinary! In fact I would say unbelievable. It would be my first port of call for investigation. Personation has not been much of a feature of the cheating to date (as far as we know?). But does personation go on? How is it detected? Especially when the people we don't trust are very people in control of checking processes? I've a feeling this is where the wool may have been pulled over RP supporters eyes.

Bussed-in impersonators? An interesting angle

Should be pursued. There are reports of this in Iowa (front row-seaters who artificially spiked the vote for Romney) as well as in Nevada; eyewitnessed accounts of people bussed in to do the final count of the votes in Clark County.

Yep, might as well add it to the lawsuit

Even without any evidence and even though the delegates there said everything was fair.

Ouch, Shazad!

You have never been one to pull your punches...

By the way, how did we do on the alternates in Nebraska? (You always seem to know these things.) Thanks.

A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand

I don't know

Though I would venture a guess that the process for alternates went about the same as the process for delegates and that voting outcomes were similar.

I have been thinking, Shazad...

... couldn't a resolution be introduced on the floor in Tampa calling for the unbinding of all delegates? While parliamentary procedure might require a 2/3 vote for passage, that would be easily achieved if the Romney and Paul delegates combined to support the resolution. If that were to happen:

1. Dr. Paul would have his 5 states (with Nevada and Louisiana), without the need to finagle Oklahoma or Colorado.

2. All of the pro-Paul delegates could then vote for Dr. Paul without it being a rule violation. We would be very happy, which could, potentially, result in Gov. Romney being very happy in November. This would particularly be true if it was a known Romney delegate that introduced the "unbinding" resolution, and if Gov. Romney publicly supported the resolution and make it clear that he wanted his delegates to vote for it.

What do you think, Shazad? A clean, simple win/win solution? Thanks.

A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand

I don't really see the benefits

I don't think that would really help Romney, and I also don't like the precedent it would set for future primaries. It would seem to me that it would send positive reinforcement to those who in future primaries want to consider state conventions to be an appropriate means of overruling voters. It gives too many concessions to those who have been living the Richard Gilbert dream of all delegates being unbound. Next time around, people will be even more emboldened to turn every convention into a war because they would have seen that if they complained enough, they would eventually get their way.

Every delegate who is bound to a specific candidate knew from Day 1 that he/she was required to vote for that individual unless released, no matter who their preferred candidate was. I don't think Romney would believe they would vote for him in November if they are still adamant about voting against him now, even when they're required to do so. And I don't feel bad in the least for a delegate who is bound to vote for someone they don't like. They knew the rules, even if they didn't like them, and I hope they get held to them. Overall I just don't feel that this would do much for Romney and that it would lead to negative future consequences.

That is all well stated, Shazad...

... and I tend to think that you are right about the long-term consequences. Gov. Romney needs to do something to change the negative feelings that Liberty Movement supporters have toward him, however. As it stands, we:

1. Don't trust him, as he has not been a paragon of political consistency over the years.

2. Are not making a distinction between the Romney campaign and the State Establishmentarians, with the result that we are blaming Gov. Romney for the way we have been treated in Louisiana, Missouri, etc.

3. Fear that Romney = Obama and/or that Romney = Bush (and I tend to subscribe to the 2nd equation).

Romney supporters can argue that we shouldn't feel the way that we do, but Gov. Romney needs our votes in November if he wants to win, and he is in a position to be gracious to us if he cares to be. Can somebody on the Romney side think "outside the box" and get him to do something to shake up the unfavorable status quo? The Neoconservatives would just as soon have Romney lose in November, then blame the Liberty supporters for the loss and seek to purge us from the GOP (for they, and we, both know that our intra-Party war is more important that the Romney candidacy). Shazad, Romney is your candidate, so please help me find some solutions.

A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand

This requires a long response

And I'm not in a position to do that right now. But I'll start by commenting on the premise of Romney needing Liberty movement support. While he can use more support, I wonder what actions by him would move which voters from this group to go from not voting/voting 3rd party to actually voting for Romney. I would contend that this set of individuals is a reasonably small fraction of the total number who voted Ron Paul in the primaries (and different ideologically from the average person on this site). Then for some perspective.... Look at the 2004 election. Almost everyone considers Bush/Kerry to have been extremely close. Yet there are only 2 states in which the victory margin by Bush was smaller than the number of people who voted Ron Paul in this year's primaries. Take away an equivalent number of votes nationwide and Bush still wins the electoral and primary vote. So the question the Romney team might be asking is what changes would prompt what response from this movement and how that would increase his chances of winning (or decrease them - because potentially a move in this direction could drive away another set of voters). So I guess that's where I'd start. Who is close to being willing to vote for Romney and what would it take to get them over the hump?

A couple of points, Shazad...

1. To compare the number of Paul votes in a primary or caucus with the margin of victory in a general election is to considerably understate the impact of the Paul supporters. Given that Dr. Paul has an unusually high (for a Republican) "crossover" appeal to Independents and Democrats, I estimate that his total support among the voting public is in the high single digits. This is definitely a large enough group of voters to swing a close election.

2. Liberty Movement supporters tend to lump the G.W. Bush and Obama Presidencies together into a 12 year period of profligate spending, eroding civil liberties, bailouts, unconstitutional and preemptive wars, and reckless borrowing and printing. If Gov. Romney can give us reason to hope that he will break with the policies of both Bush and Obama, and instead move in a Liberty direction (and his selection of VP, and how he treats us in Tampa, will definitely factor into the perception), then we will have an incentive to vote for him.

So far, however, Gov. Romney has largely given the impression that his goal is only to undo Obama's "accomplishments" and to return to the status quo ante of the Bush years. If that is not what he intends, then he needs to start making a better case for himself. In particular, he needs to distinguish his approach from the many failures of the Bush years; this will not only help him with Liberty supporters, but also with the majority of voters (60-70%) who think that Bush was a poor President.

A Constitutional, Christian conservative who voted for Ron and stands with Rand

Debate Good for the Republic

Isn't a debate, or a fight as you call it, good for our Republic, good for our people, and wonderful for our freedoms?

Why limit people's rights?

I think we should have a debate (or a fight) at EVERY convention instead of a PREDETERMINED winner!