Sunday, April 1, 2012

Jefferson County GOP Caucus Used a Draft Call to Convention

The pictures above were taken at the March 17th Jefferson County Republican caucus. They are photographs of the Missouri Republican Party's Call to Convention; however, there's a problem with that document. It's a draft version, not the official call to convention issued by the Missouri GOP.

If you click through the photographs above, you'll notice that there are large, faded letters in the middle of each page. The "R" on the first page isn't even recognizable, but on other pages you can usually make out one to three 4" high letters of the word "DRAFT". These pages were obviously photocopied and that process obscured the "DRAFT" watermark.

Before we get to the main question--Why would a draft version of the call to convention be used?--let's recall that in Jefferson County, as in St. Charles county, the central committee attempted to ban cameras and recording devices.

As you can see in that sign--making some allowance for the spelling of "electronic"--cameras were prohibited. Perhaps part of the reason for prohibiting cameras was because the organizers did not want anyone to know that they were using a draft call to convention.

So, why use a draft call to convention?

The draft document used in Jefferson County included language that would bind the caucus's delegation to the results of Missouri's February presidential preference primary (paragraphs 3 thru 5). However, the final and official call to convention includes the following language instead of those three paragraphs and specifically precludes the binding of delegates to the February caucus results:
No delegate to the Republican National Convention shall be bound by the results of any Republican Presidential Primary held before March 6, 2012. Upon being nominated and prior to any vote to elect national convention delegates or national convention alternate delegates, each nominee for national convention delegate or national convention alternate delegate shall notify the chair of the Congressional District Convention or of the State Convention, as appropriate, of the Republican Presidential Candidate who that nominee pledges to support on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. No nominee shall identify more than one Republican Presidential Candidate who that nominee pledges to support if elected as a national convention delegate or national convention alternate delegate. Prior to any vote to elect national convention delegates or national convention alternate delegates, the chair shall announce the Republican Presidential Candidate who each nominee will be pledged to support. National convention delegates and national convention alternate delegates chosen at the Conventions must pledge their support to the Republican Presidential Candidate who they identified at the Convention at which they were elected and will be bound to cast their vote for said candidate on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention.
It stands to reason that a draft version of the call to convention was used in an effort to bind the caucus's delegation to Rick Santorum--the winner of the February presidential preference primary. However, Hanlon's Razor suggests an alternative explanation: incompetence. So take your pick: 1) disingenuous political maneuvering or 2) ham-handed event preparation.

More to come...
Below the "read more" link is an animation of the photographs of the draft call to convention. It runs through the pages twice. On the second iteration, the word "DRAFT" is overlaid to make the original watermark a little easier to recognize.


freespeak said...

Let's see how fast a replies comes to this.
Mind you , there is so much I do not know.
At the same time, I am sometimes glad I don't.
Here is the "Is it Legal?" segment:
Paul, Romney join forces to cut out Santorum, Gingrich in Jackson County caucus

GOP Feud: Santorum and Paul supporters team up to scuttle Romney

("The Santorum-Romney situation is going to be damn helpful at these conventions. They both want to deny each other delegates, and both need Ron Paul supporters to do it. If this trend continues, Ron Paul may end up splitting a lot of counties 50/50 with either Romney/Santorum, which will have the two of them hovering around 25% each when you total all of the conventions this is taking place at." )

Brian Mueller said...

I recognize how new this caucus stuff is in Missouri, so I can understand someone not knowing certain details.

In a caucus, the assembly votes on slates of delegates to send to Congressional District Conventions and State Convention. In order for a slate to pass, 50% + 1 vote is required (simple majority). In many cases, such as Jackson County, one group will have close to the majority, but requires help from another, smaller group. These groups make arrangements to pool their votes together to reach the simple majority requirement. So, in Jackson County, Ron Paul folks were just shy of having the votes, so they teamed up with the Mitt Romney folks. Paul walked away with at least 66% of the delegates and Romney got the rest.

Santorum is the biggest threat in Missouri to both Romney and Paul, so it doesn't make sense for either camp to team up with him. In Washington, the biggest threat is Romney, hence the partnership between Santorum and Paul.

There is nothing illegal about two groups teaming up to get the votes. A caucus is about who is best organized, who is willing to truly get involved.

freespeak said...

I'd have to agree with you on Santorum....
But IMO, the choices are not so great at all.

And doing all of this is the name of someone's own candidate is a bit disingenuous.
It's a bit different if there is no bias in these actions.
That is the problem with politics, I guess.

I know who I will vote against.
Thanks for the feedback.