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The Problems Oklahoma Dealt with from the Ron Paul Campaign State Coordinator

Oklahoma has been through a lot this election year. We had problems at our state convention, as many people know. But, it wasn’t just the “establishment” Republicans who we had problems with.

We also had problems with the Ron Paul National Campaign. We haven’t come out and said much about this, but I feel there is no reason to keep this under the radar anymore. This hasn’t been exactly a secret, but some of the details have not been out for all to see. We didn’t want this to cause the Campaign or us any problems back when this was all going down, but right now, I feel it would be beneficial to come out and say some more. I don’t want anyone to think the Ron Paul movement has some kind of tie or support to the person who caused us so much grief.

Back in January of this year, Al Gerhart (with the Sooner Tea Party), was appointed as the Oklahoma State Coordinator for the Ron Paul 2012 Campaign. This was a volunteer position. The end of January, I signed up as a volunteer for the campaign to be the Cherokee County Ron Paul 2012 Campaign Coordinator.

Because I was new to being very politically active, I met Al for the first time at the Ron Paul rally in Oklahoma City the end of February. What I encountered when I met Al was unique. But, it was just the beginning.

Being so new to being really active in the Party, I did not know the Ron Paul grassroots leadership who had been around since 2008, like Brady Wright, Lukus Collins, etc. I was slowly introduced to them via someone in my county, Shannon Grimes (who was also grassroots and had been around since 2008). But, this was a slow process over a month or two. When I signed up to be a county coordinator, I was told to not have contact with the grassroots supporters of Ron Paul. This made things rather difficult. I was torn between trying to coordinate both groups, yet not have contact with the one side.

We had great success in Cherokee County, Oklahoma. But, it had nothing to do with the campaign. I sent emails out to the identified RP supporters in our county and we had a great turn out at our County Convention. That night we came away with just over 50% of the delegates from my County. And it was all by God’s hand.

Anyways, what I attempted to do at first was have another friend be the contact point for the grassroots. But, this quickly showed it was not going to work. I tried to have this work as we were leading up to our District Convention. But, this is when I started to realize things were really fishy with the state coordinator that we had.

A few days before Oklahoma’s Congressional District 2 Convention, Al Gerhart sent an email out with instructions for everyone as to how to vote. The quote that got me was this,

“No doubt there are some grassroots candidates running for the same National Delegate slots but on Saturday you have a choice. Do you support Dr. Paul or do you support unofficial candidates that are unknown to the Ron Paul National Campaign.”

When he put the grassroots supporters up against Ron Paul, as if not voting for these “pre-approved delegates” was voting AGAINST Ron Paul, that was one of the first times I said, “I’m not doing what he says.” We were all in this for the same reason – to WIN delegates for Dr. Paul.

The supposed “vetting” process the delegates went through from the national campaign was simply Al Gerhart’s opinion of who he liked and who he didn’t like. I would later find out that this was not done by a committee of people (as the grassroots did leading up to the state convention to choose our delegate slate).

This email (which was very long), caused some people to not attend the District 2 Convention. People did not want to be directed by Al Gerhart or told they were doing wrong by not following his orders. This cost us delegates. The Convention in District 2 was run fairly and we lost the delegate vote by JUST TWO VOTES. Mr. Gerhart cost us a potential win in District 2. It should be noted that 3 of the 5 District Conventions in Oklahoma had a complete sweep for Ron Paul. They were all run fairly and they were all organized and coordinated by the grassroots. The one other district which we did not win was not run fairly and had a challenge at the state convention.

After the District 2 Convention, I decided to get more involved with the grassroots and forget about the fact that I was not supposed to have any tie with them as an “official volunteer campaign coordinator.” This was the best decision I made!

What I ended up doing, even though I had signed a non-disclosure agreement to be a county coordinator, was forward emails that were sent to the county coordinators to a select few of our grassroots leaders. I was watching emails come in to the county coordinators that laid out detailed plans of how to thwart and disrupt the planning and coordination of the grassroots. No, I am not kidding when I say this. I have a massive amount of emails to prove this.

I would receive emails that would tell the time, date & location of where a grassroots strategy meeting would be taking place. And Mr. Gerhart would specifically tell the county coordinators to go there, see what they are saying and try to change their plan. He would tell the county coordinators to try to tell the grassroots to work with the National campaign. Ha! What he didn’t realize is that WE (as in the grassroots) were more than willing to work with the campaign (and tried to more than once), but Mr. Gerhart was the one opposed to that. I know this sounds outrageous, and it is, but it’s what Oklahoma went through with the national campaign.

We could not take this any longer, so we sent an official request to the national campaign signed by 27 grassroots leaders in the Ron Paul/liberty movement in Oklahoma (I was one of the signatures) asking for the immediate termination of Mr. Gerhart. There were many more who would’ve signed this, but due to time constraints we had to send it with “just” 27 signatures. This was sent the beginning of April.

We made it very clear in this letter that there was nothing that Al was doing that we wanted to be a part of. We told them we didn’t have time for his distractions and wanted him gone right away. We gave examples of the problems he caused us, as well as the problems he caused the liberty movement in Oklahoma by acting inappropriately towards GOP Party leadership. This was not a light issue. We made our case very strongly and clearly. We requested a response from the Campaign within a few days.

Mr. Gerhart came back saying that the National Campaign had dismissed what we had brought forward and that he was in the clear. But, interestingly enough, he stepped down from the Campaign position just about a week or two after the letter was sent with not much of an explanation.

We were very glad to see this, because we did not want him around or trying to coordinate anything as we worked up to Oklahoma’s State Convention.

Of course, having the county coordinator position I had, I received a couple emails from Al regarding my signature on the letter. He wanted explanation before he “fired” me from the position. By that point in the game, I was well “entrenched” with the grassroots coordination and felt a response to Al would only hurt us more. So, I did not respond and ultimately things got quiet because he quickly “resigned.”

At the state committee meeting before Oklahoma’s state convention, he did more to put a bad light on Ron Paul supporters by making a big (unnecessary) scene there. There is question among the Ron Paul supporters in Oklahoma if Mr. Gerhart was even a Ron Paul supporter because of his ridiculous actions and statements. When I witnessed this at the state committee meeting, I was even more thankful that we had requested his removal, because I did not want him thinking he had some kind of role in our coordination and work at the state convention level.

Regardless, Mr. Gerhart did a lot of damage to us in Oklahoma, because many people in the “establishment” thought he represented us. He was the farthest thing from representing the liberty movement and Ron Paul supporters in Oklahoma.

I want this message to be sent to the OK GOP: The Ron Paul supporters in Oklahoma do not condone or support anything Al Gerhart does or stands for.

I also feel that Mr. Gerhart caused us a lot of hurt with regards to the National Campaign’s view of Oklahoma. It felt like we were the “red headed step child” after the state convention. We had so many issues at our state convention, yet the Campaign continually refused to help. Yes, we did reach out to them on more than one occasion (and by more than one of us) and never heard a response. Even when we were dealing with our contest to the RNC.

When I confronted John Tate about the Campaign’s lack of support for Oklahoma, it was obvious Mr. Gerhart had hurt us. John Tate acted as if Oklahoma wanted nothing to do with the campaign. If he talked to Mr. Gerhart, that is what you might get because he twisted so much.

But, if you would have talked to the grassroots, we would have accepted the Campaign’s help (and working with the grassroots) with open arms. We had leaders who would’ve stepped up to the plate – and were ready to long before Mr. Gerhart took the position.

Oklahoma continued to be shunned by the Campaign all through Tampa, but I don’t feel the need to go into all of that right now. I’ll just say it felt like being stabbed in the back – and I told John Tate that when I talked to him at 1:30am at the Marriot the week before the Convention.

Overall we learned a lot through this experience. And I hope the same mistakes won’t be repeated again. It wasn’t easy. But, what has been easy for Oklahoma this election cycle?

-Qadoshyah Fish

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What do you mean if Romney could cheat his way into the WH?

It was revealed in the sparse tax returns he showed that he purchased a chunk of Diebold.

November 6th 2012 I voted for Dr.Ron Paul
"We must remember, elections are short-term efforts. Revolutions are long-term projects." ~ Ron Paul

In Maine, it worked like Oklahoma

In Maine, it worked like Oklahoma, except in Maine, there wasn't some separate grassroots. The delegate list came from the official campaign, from Brakey. I don't know and don't care where Brakey got his list. We knew there would be an official list coming from Brakey, and Brakey provided us that list, and it all worked.

In Oklahoma, it appears that people just didn't want to follow orders. Campaigns are organized. There is a lot of following orders.

The OP here isn't at all clear that they fkd up when they decided that they were going to do their own thing, and not follow the orders of the official campaign.

And if the OP is confused why Tate is shunning them, consider that the "grassroots" didn't do what they were supposed to do.

What is this "asking us" BS? There's no confusion about who should be listened to. Whose orders should be obeyed. You do what the official campaign wants. Period. There's no choice number 2.

Grassroots committees don't come up with their own lists of delegates. Lists of delegates come from official campaign.

Maine did not work like Oklahoma....

I know Eric Brakey and he is awesome! I was talking to Brakey last night actually about this very issue. What you guys did in Maine is what SHOULD have happened in Oklahoma. But, what didn't happen.

Brakey was the official campaign and what did he do - he got in contact with the grassroots (Brent Tweed!) and worked together. The grassroots and the campaign were one and the same. That's the only logical thing to do - find the people who have been on the ground working the state for the liberty movement for years and do things together. Mr. Gerhart did not do that.

I was told more than once to have NO contact whatsoever with anyone who had been on the ground working the state for the liberty movement for the last few years. I was told to disassociate with them as a county coordinator. Where is that going to get us? That is where the official campaign went VERY wrong in Oklahoma.

The grassroots had to come up with their own list of delegates in Oklahoma, because the official campaign did nothing.

I want this heard loud and clear: OKLAHOMA WANTED THE CAMPAIGN'S HELP. BUT, WHEN THEY SENT SOMEONE (WHO WE WARNED WOULD NOT BE A GOOD CHOICE), IT HURT US AND WE COULD NOT WORK WITH HIM.

-Qadoshyah Fish
Oklahoma Parking Lot Patriot
http://libertyliveblogteam.wordpress.com

Usually a candidate's campaign organizers...

call a meeting of all the grassroots people who worked on the candidate's campaign. Some worked harder than others. Some have great name recognition from having worked in the party for a long time. Some have resumes that are impressive. Some gave a lot of money. Some gave great speeches at conventions for the candidate.

Everyone that shows up to the meeting gets to vote for the number of national delegate and alternate spots that are open. If someone wanting to be a delegate cannot make the meeting, then a friend throws their name into the pool of those wanting to be National delegates and alternates. Everyone agrees to abide by the outcome of that vote beforehand.

Once the outcome of the vote is determined, that is the slate of candidates for the State Convention for that particular candidate. These are called "Slate Parties." Most campaigns do it this way I believe. This is how we did it for Reagan in 1976 and 1980.

Minnesota Mary

Your last sentence. I can't go with that.

I would then have to assume.

That for the campaign to choose delegates, they must be contacting someone or a few people in the state. These folks must be recommending people. That is a lot of power to be in the hands of people who possibly can also choose according to gossip, grudges, or favoritism.

If not accepting means that there is a loss in one of the battle, then it is for the general in charge to learn from the mistake so they don't do it again.

Things worked out for you and that is great. Obviously, Oklahoma had questions, and that is good too.

The campaign selected CA delegates

I'm sure the CA campaign had an input, but the national campaign gave the list of delegates to the sec of state, who posted it on her web page, and many "stealth" Ron Paul committee members were "outted" and had a lot of problems on their committees. It is what started the campaign in fighting as outted "stealth" committee members felt it was more important to be on a committee than be a delegate.

I was just glad I was open about being a Ron Paul Republican from the git go.

BTW, none of the Romney delegates from my district went to the convention.

???

Gosh you are brilliant for uncovering that!

November 6th 2012 I voted for Dr.Ron Paul
"We must remember, elections are short-term efforts. Revolutions are long-term projects." ~ Ron Paul

Maine worked like Oklahoma.

Maine worked like Oklahoma. Brakey asked for applications. He asked for applications for delegates, for state committee, for electors, etc.

And then, later on, we got a list. This seems to me like the proper procedure. And I voted for everyone on that list. And that's how you win.

All that about grudges and favoritism, so what. That's the process. It's a process ultimately approved by Ron Paul. Deal with it.

It's not an official campaign problem. It's a "terrible grassroots" problem.

This wasn't a confusion problem. This was people intentionally not doing what the official campaign told them to do. You have to do that, you have to do what the campaign tells you to do.

Steve Dickson's picture

Oklahoma was not like Maine

The Grassroots handed over leadership and placed itself under the National Campaign, prior to Super Tuesday, with this official notice:

http://ronpaulok.com/2012/02/23/ron-paul-organization-passin...

That's on February 23rd.

Prior to the Oklahoma County Convention (largest in the state) we were forced to call for Gerhart to be fired since he was threatening multiple women who hold offices in the GOP. Here you go:

http://mccarvillereport.com/archives/3282

and here:

http://mccarvillereport.com/archives/3287

Ok. People submitted their names for consideration.

In NYS, I assisted in choosing our RP slated delegates that were submitted to the NY board of elections for validation.

One person was selected by the campaign to choose the delegates for the whole state but he decided to divide that responsibility. He divided NYS into three section and contacted a person in each who would therefore choose the delegates from their respected area.

I assisted that original state coordinator. We discussed what we were looking for in a delegate.

So when you say "so what" concerning favoritism and grudges, I don't agree. I had to put aside knowledge of some people and be fair in the selection process. That was not easy to do.

Were those who submitted their requests to be considered for delegates get personal phone interviews like we did in the selection process?

I became suspicious of our state coordinator

I noticed several things. She also quit after the primary. I wanted to speak with her, but was referred to the RonPaul 2012 campaign. Also a December meetup - 2 guys tried to push the AE petition- that would have negated delegate status. One sat by himself and texted the whole time during our stragegy talks. Back to the primary - a trained poll watcher was sent away and someone else watched over the handcount. Voting was cut off at 8:00 in a heavy RonPaul precinct. People didn't get to vote. 3 precincts decided to just go ahead and not count the ballots and just take them in. Another tried and tried to do the same but 1 person insisted that they count the ballots. When witnesses (3 of us) complained at the warroom, the Ron Paul state coordinator just lightly scribbled a little note and went back to her laptop. Not one follow up question, no eye contact, no sign of indignation, no further interest. At that point I regretted not volunteering for the position myself. The entire campaign was most likely co-opted from early on. I won't name names but these people are very serious. It appears that it is a syndicate if you ask me. These are my personal observations.

What state was this in?

In my research I have found this same kind of thing happening in many, many states.

Thanks for you work and sharing your description!

As distasteful as this process is, I'm glad we still have what's left of it. After all, it is effective in exposing what it happening.

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Infiltration and sabotage are common tactics against opposition.

A basketball game is thrown by point shaving. The traitor goes through the motions of a basketball game, but misses critical shots and defensive moves. Same for politics.

Thanks for posting

but I dont get it. Why did you split the vote between "national campaign" approved and grassroots delegates? There should have been only 1 list so everyone votes for same people. You just divided Ron Paul vote or am I mistaking? Official campaign picks a list and that is only official list. This way you avoid that every county and every group of people puts his own slate of delegates and splits the Ron Paul vote.
Your main objection is that he did it and not you. Well he was official campaign and you were outside. Sorry.
Ofcourse he was "vetting" people and he approved them. Who would have done it instead? His car? In campaign there are a lot of strangers interacting and he choose people that he trusted. I never heard that 1 single delegate from Oklahoma did anything wrong so I guess he didnt choose badly....
Correct me if I am wrong.
How he put a bad light on Ron Paul supporters by making a big (unnecessary) scene there?

Right on. It seems that you

Right on. It seems that you understand this.

The idea of a separate grassroots is crazy. Oklahoma shows how it can be destructive.

Exactly...a separate grassroots is crazy!

But, THAT is what the state coordinator did! It was not what we wanted in the grassroots. We wanted to work with the state coordinator and he opposed working with us.

See my other comment explaining this. I know Eric Brakey from Maine and yes, you guys did it right. But, Oklahoma was a night and day difference.

-Qadoshyah Fish
Oklahoma Parking Lot Patriot
http://libertyliveblogteam.wordpress.com

We did not split the vote, but Mr. Gerhart wanted us to

We did not split the vote. The campaign coodinator was asking us to split the vote or to only follow the national campaign plan of delegates. Those of us who were actually involved at the district level (because the state coordinator was not at most of the conventions, but just gave out "orders"), coordinated together and disregarded what Mr. Gerhart told us to do.

We only had one list of delegates to vote on. And that list of delegates was decided by a select group of individuals - for our state slate it was a committee of 10. For my district convention, it was a larger group of us who discussed which of our delegate candidates might appeal well to the general republicans (therefore get the most votes to win).

It was not that he was the official campaign and we didn't want him deciding who our delegates were. It was that he did not consult with us - the people involved in each district - to discuss who the best candidate might be. If we would have put forward the list he wanted us to at my district, we would have lost completely.

In regards to not hearing any delegate from Oklahoma doing anytyhing wrong....Every delegate elected from Oklahoma was not chosen by Mr. Gerhart. They were all chosen by the grassroots supporters of Ron Paul.

Mr. Gerhart put a bad light on Ron Paul supporters by making a big scene at our state committee meeting before the state convention. We had a challenge regarding Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District and we brought it before the state committee. This had support from both Ron Paul supporters and the Establishment. Mr. Gerhart tried to force the person who we had brought a challenge against to read a letter out loud that had nothing to do the challenge we were bringing forward. He accused this person of lying. It was a bad scene. We asked him to be quiet and go sit down, because it had nothing to do with the rules that were broken at the 1st District Convention.

There was a lot that went on with our state coordinator. Kind of hard to summarize it all, but I'm happy to answer more questions :).

-Qadoshyah Fish
Oklahoma Parking Lot Patriot
http://libertyliveblogteam.wordpress.com

Thanks

Do I understand it:
0. Lack of communication, bad feelings....
1. Official campaign people wanted to select delegates they could trust (and other reasons).
2. Grassroots wants their own people to be selected delegates who had better chance of winning (in their opinion).
3. Grassroots went on and put their list of delegates because they believe that their list is better.
4. Official campaign cuts all connections because they cant vouch for grassroots delegates.
How many people didnt know for whom to vote? Did it hurt Ron Paul?
5. Aftermath....

Not really.

There was no lack of communication.

Grassroots would've followed the campaign's lead on delegates if they actually did something useful. But, they didn't.

The official campaign cutting all connections had nothing to do with vouching for the grassroots delegates or not.

The official campaign via the state coordinator cut the grassroots out of the picture long before delegates were chosen at the district and state level.

The places the grassroots were able to coordinate successfully in were a complete win for Ron Paul. It didn't hurt Ron Paul at all. The place where Ron Paul was hurt was the one district where the state coordinator tried to have an impact. Yes, I'm serious.

Where the grassroots were working, everyone knew who to vote for.

-Qadoshyah Fish
Oklahoma Parking Lot Patriot
http://libertyliveblogteam.wordpress.com

Thanks for the explanation

Thanks for the explanation here.

..

I know its hard, but sometimes I just have to close my eyes and TRUST Ron Paul.
I trust him more then every other and for what ever reason, I know he is making SURE he/we win..
He is smart and DEFINITELY knows how to win.
Even most of his own supporters dont know just how smart this man really is.

Thank You for your telling.

It is interesting to watch the filth of politics, you stayed clean and I am so grateful.

"OH NO! He has a SON?" Neoconservatives and Liberals EVERYWHERE!

Rand Paul 2016

Please don't just close your

Please don't just close your eyes and trust. I agree that Ron Paul is an honest man and he means well in everything he does. I'm sure he was trying his hardest to win as well...but.

Ultimately he must rely on his supporters to feed him information and opinions and from that form his own opinion and best course of action. If there are two-timing, low down, dirty cheats and liars feeding him information and completely biased opinions or people set out to fulfill their own agendas there's no possible way he'd be able to do what was best. Now that his campaign for this election is over I'm sure we'll see at least a few more stories such as this one emerge.

As the saying goes: it's not that I don't trust him, I just don't trust anyone (blindly).

If ignorance is bliss, Washington DC must be heaven.

To many chiefs and not enough indians...

Have you ever heard the phrase "To many chiefs and not enough indians" ?

There is a time and place for top-down organization.

"People did not want to be directed by Al Gerhart or told they were doing wrong by not following his orders. This cost us delegates."

If "people did not want to be directed by Al Gerhart", then whom were they planning to be directed by? Were you guys planning to crowd source a cohesive plan for victory?

It seems to me that there were some serious misconceptions regarding the process of political organizing...

you found the key sentence

you found the key sentence and bolded it. Good! In total agreement.

More mutany is what this was

Read the articles Doc linked to me. Seems Al did a damn good job for Ron Paul and the Neocon/Rinos/Tea party asr pissed he got delegates for Ron Paul over them, and spoilers here are those who he didn't choose, and why would he?

It's completely laughable that you would say

Al did a good job for Ron Paul. The ONLY delegates we won for Ron Paul, Al had NO part of WHATSOEVER!

-Qadoshyah Fish
Oklahoma Parking Lot Patriot
http://libertyliveblogteam.wordpress.com

Maybe you should read the articles DocLiberty provided me?

The Neocons who co-opted the Tea Party, Al caslled RINOs are pissed because Al was able to place Ron paul delegates over them, and that he wasn't a long time Republican.

You're saying Al upset the OKGOP, well the articles say who he upset in the GOP. Seems to me, he upset the right guys for the right reason.

PS DocLiberty also said in OK, grassroots are GOP volunteers. We do not call GOP volunteers grassroots in CA, so I apo;logise for the confusion and appreciate you're being a GOP volunteer.

I know the articles VERY well...

and I know DocLiberty very well. You are completely mistaken and I feel there is no reason to continue trying to explain this to you.

-Qadoshyah Fish
Oklahoma Parking Lot Patriot
http://libertyliveblogteam.wordpress.com

I'm in CA, nobody has the

I'm in CA, nobody has the same definition of grassroots as you.