Kentucky State Convention UpdateSubmitted by steined on Sat, 06/07/2008 - 21:32
I can say that I was deeply dissapointed with the way today's convention went down.
I'll give you a break down of what I observed. I am no expert and new to the process so take my observation for what it is worth. This is sort of off the cuff..
Step 1.) Ask that alternates are seated to vacant delegate positions with a point of inquiry or order or whatever was appropriate. That went well, the chair agreed, credentials comittiee agreed.
Step 2.) Credentials committie read allocated delegate totals for the county and number of present delegates, alternates, and total votes for each county in the convention.
Step 3.) Several counties had under represented numbers and were challenged. Here is where things started breaking down.
1.) It was hot
2.) The rules stated you had to raise issues at a microphone, they had 2 for 600 people and neither worked, they were NOT centrally located.
3.) No one could hear anything and the chair seemed to be losing control since no one could hear the challenges or statements and he wasn't repeating them
So a short break or whatever you want to call it was called and the credentials committie looked into the challenges and amended the report. The report was passed on standing Yea/Nay vote.
Rules Committie report. Here is where all hell broke loose. One of the temporary rules stated that any request for allocated or by the number voting (whatever the term is) had to be seconded by TWO county chairmen from each district. So the point was raised to ammend this to allow for two delegates from each district instead of two chairman. The reading took a while, the first Microphone didn't work. He had to move to another mic, then re-read the ammendment and he was being challenged as he was talking by the chair and others in the room (all claerly out of order). The chair then stated that the time was up for Rules Committie and asked for a vote on the temporary rules as was. From this point on, EVERY SINGLE point of inquiry, question, order, whatever was ignored, seargents at arms were called to escort people away (they never escorted anyone out) but they did take the microphone making it impossible to raise points without shouting.
It was an out and out blatant affront to the rules. Here is the irony. They could have obeyed the rules, called for votes, and WON everything they wanted. They had the numbers. But instead they chose to ram-rod everything through. There was absolutely no civility to the way the chair ran the meeting. It was probably the most blatantly arrogant display of "power" I've ever seen in my life.
During the resolutions part of the convention, after all was lost and delegates were voted, yet another attempt was made at parlimentary procedure and a motion was made to vote on a resolution on its own. Not only was the one chosen silly, it was simply silly to even insist on a separate vote at this point because we saw that no debate was going to be allowed and we didn't have near the numbers to vote any down. It just made us look silly.
Now I will say that I think people went overboard protesting things. One comment was something along the lines of "I thought this was the Republican Party not the Nazi party". It really started to deterioirate and, perhaps as planned, it made the Ron Paul supporters look like crazy idiots.
Don't get me wrong. I was PISSED about what just went down, but my only outburst was when the chair started talking about following the rules during a back and forth on raising points of order and I shouted "What about rule # 3?" (Recognizing delegates). I shut up and didn't say another word after that.
There was a delegate from my District that asked in a snotty tone to me after all was finished "What were you all are trying to accomplish with this display?" to which I basically asked "who is you all?" and pointed out I wasn't part of "the display" and that I was there to learn about the Republican process. After a few back and forth volleys of non-sense from him and Reason from me he said "Well trying to learn things from this is like starting out in a masters course when you should be in a 101 course." I didn't want to get into a back and forth of who was more educated (I bet you it was me with an Engineering degree and an MBA), but the point he tried to make, though ineffectively, was that you can't expect to come in to a convention and just spring shit on people and expect it to go smoothly, that you have to start at the county level, then district and then state level. That it would take too much time to do that at a state convention (Approximately 1 hour of time was devoted to business at hand and 2 to 3 hours were speeches by incumbent or hopeful Republican elected officials. So his argument about time was another one of the several straw-man arguments he made. But I do think his point is valid. We shouldn't lose hope from this failure at the State level. We need to replace the people that don't want to listen to delegates with people that will. And that is grassroots, hard work, put in your time work.
Anyhow... that's my experience. I still don't quite know what to think about it. It seemed very childish and assanine for the party to ignore the rules when they could have followed them and made us look like idiots anyhow. Instead, maybe they end up looking like idiots for not following the rules, but I don't think that's how the majority of people there viewed it in the end.