Comment: Contact me about Missouri delegate process

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Contact me about Missouri delegate process

Feel free to contact me about the Missouri delegate/caucus/convention process. I know what the process is very well, as well as the dirty tricks they have pulled in the past. I was very involved in this process last time.

Here are a couple of articles from back then. One article touches on the rump convention I chaired. These are only two, there were more at the time and these two only get into the first two battles, but not the other events that followed. Long story... We had a victory in the end, but what a wild ride it was back then.


Ron Paul supporters take control of Republican caucus

By Kalen Ponche
Monday, March 24, 2008 8:37 AM CDT

St. Charles County's Republican caucus at St. Peters City Hall was anything but typical this year.

Normally, caucuses are political formalities in which the party faithful vote on a list of delegates to send to the state convention and the congressional district caucuses.

But this year's caucus stretched into a six-hour event after supporters of Ron Paul, a presidential nominee and Texas congressman, gained control of the caucus.Josh Stigal, a 24-year-old Republican attendee, walked out of the caucus after three hours.

"It's ridiculous," he said.

Although Paul received just 3.8 percent of the vote during the primary race in St. Charles County, the Paul supporters were in the majority of the 131 people who attended the March 15 caucus. They quickly elected Brent Stafford, a Paul supporter from O'Fallon, as chairman.

"They were able to garner a few more people than we were," said Penny Bennett, member of the St. Charles Republican Central Committee. "Our people seemed to think that if they voted in the primary they didn't need to go in the caucus."

The Paul supporters filled 241 of the 274 delegate slots from St. Charles County. At the county-level caucuses, delegates were chosen to attend the state and congressional caucus. At these events, the attendees will help select the 55 delegates from Missouri who will go to the national GOP convention, where a presidential nominee is chosen.

The scene was similar at other caucuses across the state. In Kansas City, Springfield and several smaller counties, Paul supporters represented the majority of caucus-goers. Some Paul supporters claim they have secured one third of the total delegates who will attend the state convention.

Stafford said Paul supporters across Missouri organized through the Internet and even had practice caucuses.

But he said their main motive was not to put Paul in the White House.

"We weren't shouting Ron Paul! Ron Paul!" he said. "It was about party ideals."

The caucus attendees passed a proposed rule change that could impact the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. During the first vote, Missouri's 55 delegates are bound to vote for John McCain, who won the most votes during the statewide Republican primary Feb. 5. But Paul's supporters want the delegates to have the option of voting for the candidate who best represents the platform of the Missouri Republican Party.

The Paul supporters also did their best to propose amendments that would change the party platform to include support for abolishing the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Federal Reserve, removing troops from Iraq, and removing Republican support for President George W. Bush.

"The bottom line is to keep the dialogue going," Stafford said.

Jon Bennett, chairman of the Republican Central Committee, said ultimately it won't matter if Ron Paul supporters got a majority of candidates from a few counties across the state.

"The bulk of the people who will attend the state convention are going to still be bound to vote for John McCain for president of the United States," he said.

Bennett said the Ron Paul supporters should do what other Republicans have done and look at the big picture when it comes to the future of the GOP.

"I welcome these people to the Republican party," Bennett said. "If they want to be apart, that's fine, I have no problem with that. ... I think the way they are going about doing this, it disenfranchised a lot of the Republican faithful of St. Charles County."

How it works

The Republican delegate selection process:

Missouri's 114 counties each had caucuses to select delegates to send to the Missouri State Republican Convention and to the congressional district caucuses.

At the nine congressional district caucuses, attendees choose three delegates and three alternates to send to the National Republican Convention. (9 x 3 = 27)

At the Missouri State Republican Convention, attendees choose 28 delegates and alternates to send to the National Republican Convention. (27 28 = 55)

Three delegate positions are given to party leaders

55 3 = 58 delegates who will attend the National Republican Convention Sept. 1-4 in St. Paul, Minn.


Clyde Barrow:

KIRKWOOD — Ron Paul's local forces came armed with a portable copier and Robert's Rules of Order as they marched Saturday into the cafeteria of Kirkwood High School.

But that wasn't enough to counter the tactics of Republican regulars at the party's 2nd Congressional District convention.

Within minutes, amid a mix of cheers and protests, district GOP leaders disqualified almost half of the convention delegates or alternates — most of them suspected supporters of the Texas congressman's presidential bid.

Ousted delegates included St. Charles County's contingent and some from west St. Louis County.

Paul's army of allies had counted on using Robert's Rules of Order, which govern meeting procedures, to mount a takeover. Perched on a back table, the copier whirred as Paul supporters frantically produced copies of the rules list when it became clear that a confrontation was inevitable. Instead, on the orders of convention leaders, angry Paul allies and the copier were escorted out of the cafeteria shortly after the meeting began.

"It was a ramrod job!'' shouted Don Griffin, a conservative Republican activist and Paul supporter, as he confronted convention chairman Rich Magee after the session adjourned. "You should be ashamed of yourself.''

Magee, mayor of Glendale, said the delegate purge complied with last-minute changes in convention rules approved by the state party, which placed credentials committee business atop the agenda. That was necessary, Magee added, to protect the results of the state's Feb. 5 presidential primary, won by John McCain. As a result, McCain is guaranteed all 58 Missouri's delegates.

At issue were Paul supporters "who came in here and don't want to support John McCain at the presidential convention," Magee said. "These are not Republicans, in my opinion."

Although Paul garnered only 5 percent of the statewide vote, some of his supporters are seeking to advance their man's candidacy or views by changing the state GOP rules so that presidential delegates don't have to back McCain at the convention.

After Saturday's ousters, the largely pro-McCain delegates who remained quickly approved a bloc of like-minded presidential delegates — labeled the "Faithful Republican Slate" — to be sent to the presidential convention in Minneapolis in September.

But Brent Stafford, the pro-Paul chairman of the ousted St. Charles delegate bloc, said some old-guard Republicans misunderstand his side's motivation. "We're trying to return the Republican Party to its conservative roots, '' Stafford said.

Among other things, Paul opposes the Iraq war, the Patriot Act, proposed national identification cards and the use of eminent domain to obtain private property.

After being tossed out, Stafford chaired a hastily organized counter-convention of Paul delegates in the high school's hall. The group approved a report listing the alleged procedural violations by the 2nd District GOP leaders, which Stafford said will be forwarded to the national party headquarters.

In the party's 5th District, in the Kansas City area, the Paul forces were in the majority. And as a result, the presidential convention slate (3 delegates) are pro-Paul, but they are rule-bound to vote for McCain on first ballot.

Despite Saturday's setbacks, the Paul camp isn't ready to give up. Organizers announced plans to arrange for buses to transport Paul delegates and supporters to Branson for the state convention.

"If nothing else,'' Stafford shouted, "we'll have a big party!"