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Liveblogging a GOP District Convention

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Hey, political junkies. I'm at the Texas Senate District 14 (more or less Travis County) Republican convention and it's dragging on so I might as well take advantage of the free wireless provided by the Austin ISD to put some notes out about the experience of attending a district convention. Special thanks to the folks from Americans for Prosperity who got bored and abandoned their booth in the convention hall, unwittingly providing me with a comfy place to sit down and share my thoughts.

So, how did I get here? Most people who haven't been through the process have no idea how one gets involved in the convoluted process through which the parties pick their candidates and set their platforms. You go and vote in your primary or in a caucus and you think that's all there is. That's really just the beginning. After you vote in the primary some of the most motivated voters get together and hold a precinct convention.

Attendees at the precinct convention vote to select delegates who then go to a regional convention, in this case broken down by Senatorial districts, which is why I'm at the Senate District 14 convention right now. Our precinct convention had an impressive turnout. In 2006 there were three of us at the convention. This year there were more than two dozen, which is a big step forward for our largely rural district. Of course, the Democrats had even more, but the growth we showed was very encouraging.

Here at the district convention we pick another set of delegates who get to go to the state convention, and at the state convention they will pick our state's delegates to the national convention this summer. In addition to picking delegates each of these conventions votes on resoultions which ultimately get passed up through the process in hopes of finding their way into the party platform, which is symbolically very important because it gives a sense of where the party body politics stands on the issues and ought to be taken to heart by candidates, even if the resolutions include no absolute compulsion to enact legislation down the road.

I don't guarantee that all the district conventions around the country are just like this one, but there are going to be a lot of basic similarities and even Democrat conventions will be structurally similar. Ours may be a bit unusual, because we're representing a Republican minority in an overwhelmingly Democratic district within a state which is equally overwhelmingly Republican. Every statewide elected official in Texas is a Republican. All but one elected official in this district is a Democrat. A very weird political situation. I knew this before the convention, but it was really driven home to me on the drive over here when it took 45 minutes to get here from my house which is all of four miles away because my route took me by the Texas Exposition and Heritage Center where the Democrats were holding their convention with so many attendees that traffic from every direction was blocked by endless lines of cars and by pedestrians who had parked miles away and walked to the convention.

I have to admit it was pretty intimidating, but our Republican turnout isn't exactly embarassing. We've got double the numbers that turned out for the 2006 convention and that includes lots of first-time participants. Many of the new delegates were brought here by their interest in Ron Paul, but for the most part they're sticking around and taking it seriously and deserve some credit for that.

2:43 PM: What Happened to Lunch Breaks?

So, you may wonder why my first entry beyond the initial introduction comes at almost 3 p.m. It's largely because it took us about six hours from the 9 a.m. start of the convention to actually get beyond the first procedural rules debate and move on to the meat of the convention.

What held us up was a very real, but ultimately futile, debate over the apportionment of delegates for the state convention. It should have been clear from the very beginning that there was no equitable solution to the problem, but a lot of people were very unhappy so the debate got dragged out to the bitter end over a period of over five hours before we had even elected the permanent officers of the convention.

The heart of the problem is how the state party decided to assign delegates to the various districts. They used as their basis the votes which were cast for Governor Rick Perry in the 2006 election. The problem is that it was an election with very low Republican turnout where many Republicans voted for other Republican candidates but chose not to vote for Perry who had lost a lot of support as a result of his endless shilling for toll road construction which a great many Republicans opposed for a variety of reasons. Voters were offered two independent gubernatorial candidates in that election as well, so that drew away even more votes from Perry.

The end result of all this is that in a district with 196 precincts we were assigned only 164 delegate slots. That means that some precincts were guaranteed not to get any delegates to the state convention at all. In fact, because some precincts were much larger than others and got as many as five delegates based on voting population, we ended up with 95 small precincts who were mathematically excluded from having delegates. The way the math worked out, the only chance those small precincts had of any representation at all was if their delegates were selected for one of 32 at-large slots by the nominating committee. Not surprisingly some people were unhappy.

The dissatisfaction with this state of affairs came largely from many of the first-time delegates, especially Ron Paul followers who saw themselves being disenfranchised because the delegate slots were going to be assigned by an administrative committee which no one had voted for and appointed by the convention chairman. Even worse, the at-large delegate slots could be assigned to anyone including extra delegates from the large precincts which were already well represented.

The natural suspicion was that the nominating committee would be dominated by insiders and they would pick their cronies as delegates and leave the newcomers out in the cold. It's a reasonable concern, but to be fair, the nominating committee was set up with some representation for the Ron Paul supporters, including prominent local libertarian-leaning Republican and candidate for County Tax Assessor, Don Zimmerman. Most of those who were upset were unaware that they had an advocate on the committee, so debate got pretty heated.

The focus of the debate was on a minority report submitted by Robert Morrow who differed with the rest of the rules committee on how the problem of inadequate representation should be dealt with. The majority plan was to select the at large delegates from anyone available. Morrow's proposal was that the apportionment should be changed slightly with 36 at-large slots specifically reserved for delegates from the small precincts selected by the nominating committee.

Debate was heated and some delegates were unruly and really angry. At one point the Sergeant at Arms had to be sent over to threaten some people with expulsion. There were three microphones set up and dozens lined up at each to ask questions and make statements and generally express a great deal of dissatisfaction. Unfortunately, the rules committee chairman didn't explain the situation very well so there were a lot of questions and it took a long time for people to realize that there was no "fair" solution to the situation and that delegate slots could not possibly be allocated to satisfy everyone because the situation we were given by the state primary system was the problem and nothing we could do would change that. Even the minority report proposal wouldn't solve the problem because it replaced underrepresentation of the small precincts with underrepresentation of the larger precincts.

Not surprisingly, with the larger precincts having more delegates, the majority report was eventually adopted and the minority report was just barely voted down. The reason the process took so long was that it took a roll-call vote and several procedural voice votes to resolve the issue. Some of the dissatisfied delegates walked out after the final vote, but it was heartening to see that many Ron Paul supporters remained and I hope they'll keep working within the party to generate positive change.

More than five hours later, with the delegate crisis resolved, we've now moved on to short speeches from our various candidates for office while the nominating committee works on selecting the at large delegates in another room.

4:33 PM: Nero Fiddles as the Committees Drone On and On

Once we resolved our procedural differences to universal dissatisfaction, all the fine candidates for local office began making speeches in the main hall/basketball court. But the real business pf the convention was happening in two noisy and overcrowded back rooms where the nominating and resolutions committees were meeting.

The committee meetings seemed to be where the excitement was, so that's where I headed. What exactly was going on there was hard to tell despite my keen reporter's senses, because the nominating committee room was closed to observers and the noise was so oppressive in the resolutions committee meeting that I could barely hear what was going on.

I did get to talk to some of those who met with the nominating committee and got the scoop a bit after the fact. First off, they kept about 110 people waiting to be interviewed for the 32 slots which were available. They kept them waiting for almost an hour while going over the credentials of prior applicants who saw the committee during the week before the convention. Then they called them in four at a time to meet with four-man subcommittees where each candidate had 30 seconds to speak. By the accounts of those I talked to, the interviewers seemed to represent a breadth of factions and perspectives and they gave people a fair hearing, but the rumor was that only a handful of slots were being made available at the convention and most had been assigned to those who applied in advance. The vote on the nominations is coming up, and there are likely to be objections of all sorts raised.

I spent some time at the resolutions committee meeting, despite the overwhelming noise in their meeting room which was essentially a converted stairwell with all the fine acoustic features you'd expect. It was hard to tell what people were proposing, but I know at least some of them were unhappy with the reaction they got and stormed out. One fellow made a very rational suggestion to change a proposed resolution for pulling out of the UN to a more moderate wording to withhold troops or money from UN projects which were not of benefit to the US. One very angry hard-money fan made an impassioned by largely incomprehensible attack on the Federal Reserve and the expanded powers of banking regulation which have been proposed for it. I even got my two cents in, with a quick suggestion that they strike a resolution in favor of posting the Ten Commandments on government property. I was not well received to say the least. When I told them that I didn't like my tax money being spent to promote a document which was at least 40% in violation of the separation of church and state the tension was palpable. But it was nice to at least pipe up and have my say.

Of course, we'll really have our say in a few minutes, when the two committees finally emerge and present their nominations and resolutions to the convention (the half of us who haven't left in despair or out of exhaustion). I'm bracing myself for debate into the wee hours.

6:28 PM: Rumors, Religion, and Recriminations

I bet that after the last report you thought I'd be reporting on some meaningful votes by now. No such luck. The committees are still deliberating, which has given me a chance to talk to some folks from neighboring precincts who are a bit more clued in than I am on the local political scene. While I've been worrying about national politics they've been in the local trenches witnessing some very dirty deeds that flew right by me. Now most of these are Ron Paul folks, but they're also genuine Republicans who want the party to change and improve and move forward with or without a Ron Paul candidacy, so I take their reports fairly seriously.

The big scandal of the convention is what appears to be a concerted effort by elements of the convention leadership to squeeze newcomers and nonconformists out of the process. The chairman of the convention is a fellow named Dr. Joe Pojman who is a member of the Legacy PAC, which is an ultraconservative, religious-right organization with a pretty scary agenda. He's been running things with a pretty heavy hand, applying Roberts Rules somewhat selectively, and shutting down anyone who doesn't march in step with his agenda. Particularly troubling have been his outright attacks on the Ron Paul Republicans who are trying to desperately to get a fair hearing at the convention. Before the convention he sent out emails, direct mailings and made phone bank calls to try to make sure that every blue hair turned out ready to do battle with what he calls "renegade Republicans". One postcard which he sent out to his supporters reads:

Our platform is under attack! A new angry, populist group has taken over several precinct conventions. Many of them do not believe government has a role defending traditional marriage or protecting the sanctity of innocent life. Many are opposed to our fight against Islamic extremism. They want to take over our state convention and strip delegates away from our presidential nominee. Legacy PAC will equip you to defend our platform at the upcoming SD convention!

Inviting loyalists to attend strategy meetings so they can work together to disenfranchise enthusiastic party neophytes is really unappealing – like making the party into a private club for the morally righteous. There are some ethical questions surrounding this campaign of exclusion. At the least it's not terribly Republican and doesn't fit with the 'big tent' traditions of the party. It may be unethical, as some have claimed that resources from the non-partisan Texans for Life PAC may have been used in the campaign. Obviously his behavior is contrary to the best interests of a party which desperately needs new blood and new ideas. It particularly troubles me that several people I talked to confirmed overhearing him essentially declaring war on the Ron Paul faction and promising to crush them.

To me it's all somewhat inexplicable. That the religious right should object to Ron Paul makes very little sense. Paul is as pro-life and pro-Christian as you can possibly get, and while his followers may be a more diverse group, plenty of them follow right along in his footsteps. I wouldn't think common ground would be that hard to find, and this kind of hostility can only be bad for the future of the party. In fact, it might destroy whatever future the party has.

7:45 PM: Chicks and Chickens Coming Home to Roost

So I went out to the BigAss EcoTruck and drove down the road to bring back some yummy KFC chicken for folks from our precinct delegation, and when I got back my prime blogging spot had been usurped by someone giving away a rather intimidating selection of Jack Chick comic booklets. So I moved over to the now abandoned table of our friends at the East Austin Republicans. As I left I snagged a copy of Chick's classic denouncement of the satanic influence of the tooth fairy and Easter Bunny, Fairy Tales?, for my future reading pleasure.

As we dined the committees finally returned with their results and they read the endless list of nominee and alternate names. I didn't mention it, but I was picked as our precinct's one alternate earlier in the day, so I got to have my name read. With the alternate number of 112 I've probably got a 50/50 shot at being seated as a delegate if I go to the state convention in Houston. Apparently by that point a lot of delegates are discouraged and the most dogged alternates get picked to fill their spots.

Objections began almost as soon as the list of delegates and alternates was read. The Ron Paul supporters had come up with the quixotic strategy of moving that each of the almost 100 at-large delegates and alternates be debated and voted on separately with a roll call vote. Based on the roll call vote we had earlier in the day that process would probably take the next three or four days, so that proposal was not well received. But as it turned out that proposal was not the actual proposal, just a convenient misinterpretation of it from the convention chair, and in the confusion he managed to get it voted down and shut down further debate and additional motions and basically ram things through to a vote on approving the at-large delegates and the alternates.

Then followed a series of confused and somewhat pathetic attempts to fill a small clutch of unfilled or vacated alternate seats by various means proposed by enthusiastic but naive neophytes, including an attempt to get a spot for some strangely dressed guy who attempted to get seated under a pseudonym and was then forced to reveal his real name, which consisted of five or six unpronounceable consonants, and then had his offer to serve voted down for his trouble. Ultimately the renegade faction caught on and after a number of unsuccessful attempts to vote people into the unfilled spots in some sort of equitable way they realized that whoever they shoved up to a microphone first could just ask for and get one of the empty slots by acclamation, so that worked out fairly well for them, probably assisted by how tired and increasingly irritated most of the convention was getting.

By now it was getting late and the hall was getting less and less full, when we finally got to the report from the resolutions committee…

10:35 PM: Send in the Goons!

So I'm home now, the convention having wrapped up right around 10 p.m. in a conclusion which was both sudden and dismaying. As I mentioned before, everyone was getting tired by about 8:30 when the resolutions committee finally showed up with the fruits of their labor. I've got to give them credit. They did a difficult job and came up with what were generally improvements on the original slate of resolutions. We ended up with nothing which was embarrassing and most of the resolutions were better written and made more sense than they did when first offered to them.

That having been said, things began to fall apart pretty quickly once they offered their report. It started when someone on the far side of the hall from us stood up at one of the microphones and entered a motion to adjourn before the resolutions had even been presented. Then there was a barrage of motions and questions and attempts to offer last minute minor amendments to the resolutions, and it became clear that some elements on both sides had just had enough.

The Ron Paul delegates. Strike that. We're now calling them 'Renegade Republicans', as they were referred to in one of the attempts to demonize them which issued from the poison pen of Dr. Pojiman — and they've even embraced it and made themselves bumper stickers. It's a much more positive and broadly applicable term, so I think it's got legs.

Anyway, the renegades – who had suffered from organizational problems all along – began to fall apart and broke into two factions arguing over whether it would be better to just give up and go home or whether the resolutions mattered and ought to be heard out. Their squabbling was interspersed with attempts to introduce amendments to the resolutions, culminating in one which would have endorsed a prohibition of any use of torture by the US government. Attempts to get it discussed kept getting interrupted by a creepy little woman in an oversized pink coat who had seized control of one of the microphones and refused to give it up, while mocking and harassing the harmless latter-day hippie who proposed the amendment. The chairman then ruled the amendment out of order because it didn't attach clearly to an existing resolution. Then with dozens waiting to propose other amendments the chairman cut off further discussion and called for a vote on the resolutions. With everyone tired and fed up they passed pretty much as written. That done, before anyone could catch their breath, someone moved to adjourn a quick vote came and it was all over except the recriminations.

Some observations and tidbits of information came to me as we packed up and headed out. It turns out that the efforts of the Legacy faction (as they were calling the religious righters associated with the Legacy PAC) was far more organized and insidious than I had realized. In addition to Dr. Pojman's pre-convention smear campaign – which turned out to be more vicious and pervasive than I had initially realized – they actually had goons walking the convention floor, wired for sound and listening in on the planning sessions and conversations of the Renegades and reporting them back to their leaders so that anything the Renegades attempted to do could be countered before it even started. No wonder they seemed so frustrated and disgruntled. Oh, and pink coat lady was put at the mike on the convention floor as a shill to move things along. Pojman's high-handed behavior at the podium while running the convention was irritating, but what was going on behind the scenes was far more reprehensible.

The Renegades came into this process eager to bring change and new ideas to the Republican party, and willing to work within the system if they were given a fair shake. Many of them were suspicious of the establishment, prone to calling everyone 'neocons' and eager to find a conspiracy. Some of us assured them there was nothing to fear and that we'd welcome them because the party needed new blood and had always claimed to be a 'big tent'. But what went on at this convention and probably at others around the state and the nation provided the worst possible confirmation that all of their fears were real. There really are small-minded, bigoted elements in the GOP with no scruples and a screwed up system of values who put their own petty agenda and egomania above the welfare of the party. The party needs new blood to be strong and grow, but screw that. When people come to us offering their votes and their support, we'll drive them away because they don't pass the religious litmus test of a self-righteous minority.

The behavior of the Legacy group at this convention made me ashamed to be a Republican, and as far as I'm concerned the need to purge them or at the very least curtail their access to any positions of power is long past due. They are a net liability and if allowed to carry on as they did here in Austin they will marginalize and ultimately destroy the party.

Despite all of this, I think that the Renegades did manage to capture maybe 20% or more of the delegate positions and maybe a higher percentage of the alternates, which is pretty impressive and a tribute to their enthusiasm. It does raise some questions about the whole convention process, since they're probably actually represented out of proportion to their actual turnout in the primary election. It leads me to suspect that the two extremes came out of the convention overrepresented at the expense of the rest of the more mainstream core of the party.

In a final touch of irony, towards the end of the convention, news filtered in from another neighboring convention that it went exactly the other way, with the Renegade faction seizing control and apparently shutting down the religious right faction there pretty effectively. I look forward with dread and fascination to see what happens when the factions meet again at the state convention.

On the way home I drove by the Democratic convention site and discovered that despite their enormous turnout and all of their internal strife they had wrapped up before we did. An unconfirmed source (the convenience store clerk down the block) told me they had turned out 12,000 people for their convention, and I find it credible. But it's also troubling, because the chaos and infighting at our convention was not the behavior of a party ready to fight a foe which is more organized, more unified, and has a groundswell of popularity which we can't match. Very discouraging in what it promises for the future of this nation.

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About Dave Nalle

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I just posted my first update after the intro. More to come soon.

    Dave

  • Dan Miller

    Bismarck. Laws. Sausages.

    Now why did those words pop into my head?

    Dan Miller

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Just posted another update. It’s on the exciting new second page of the article. Stay tuned. Bigtime controversy in the next entry.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Another update and we’re on to page 4. Tune in soon for more controversy.

    Dave

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    A very interesting piece for two reasons:

    1. Good illustration of how, even if due to the local political demographic your individual vote amounts to little more than pissing into the wind, you can still get your voice heard on the national level.
    2. The way new pages kept appearing as I read.

  • Clavos

    After reading this account of all the wrangling and internecine fighting going on in only one district, I’m very amazed that the national parties are ever able to put together a rational, cogent platform, much less get a candidate elected.

    Very interesting and eye-opening, Dave.

  • TJ

    Good to hear the democracy I fought for is kind of working. Good for the Paul supporters. McCain needs a reality check. What happened to all the talk about him not being conservative. I guess Huckabee and Romney supporters just sacrifice principles and just go with the party. Not Paul supporters it seems.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Another update. Grim and unpleasant conclusion still to come.

    Dave

  • TJ

    The wait is killing me. Grim and unpleasant for who?

  • GOP

    The gentleman who was “forced” to reveal his real name initially identified himself at “Ronnie Reeferseed”. Why did you fail to mention this? His credentials were understandably challenged by another delegate, and that’s when it was revealed that he was using a fake name.

    The Ron Paul supporters don’t do themselves any favors when they parade people like this around in a blatant attempt to disrupt what under ideal circumstances is an already tediously dry proceeding. And there was in fact an attempt to force an individual roll call vote on all 70-something at-large delegates and alternates. There was some confusion over the wording of the resolution but that was the ultimate intent.

  • Ryan C.

    Thanks for the report!

    I was a delegate in this convention, and you describe pretty accurately what happened.

    I had the “pleasure” of overhearing the conversations of several Legacy PAC members — they were not pleased that Ron Paul people knew what they were doing.

    Ron Paul supporters are starting to hammer out those dents put in the Republican Party by the REAL renegades: NEOCONS!

  • witheld

    Great report. This is a pretty objective take on how things went.

    A couple of things I found interesting:

    – Some of the delegates wore earpieces similar to those worn by news media or Secret Service. These appeared to be established party members. I would guess that they were receiving instructions on how to vote and likely distributing this information to those around them.

    – Kirk Overbee, who, Chairman Pojman mentioned was our resident expert in Robert’s Rules of Order, and whom we depended at times to interpret the more complex issues of parliamentary protocol at times, happened to be the voice on the recorded telephone message many received in the days before the convention. It seemed like a conflict of interest to me that the person who had referred to half of the delegates as a “Renegade Group” had so much influence over the final outcome of many parliamentary decisions throughout the night.

  • Ryan C.

    To the person above me, regarding the earpieces:

    You are absolutely correct. Those individuals sporting earpieces ARE establishment Republicans who have connections with the Legacy PAC (as if ‘Legacy’ doesn’t SCREAM establishment/status quo). Brewer’s (chair of rules committee) precinct delegation sat behind mine, and I overheard some interesting conversations. Most of it was derisiveness directed towards the Ron Paul supporters, of course. I’m almost certain those earpieces were used for communication between the establishment leaders.

    It was funny — at one point, Brewer and his people actually referred to themselves as the ‘establishment’ when they were discussing a convention from some year in the past.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ok, I wanted to note that I’ve posted my final section. I’ve maassively violated the BC article length limit, but that’s the nature of the beast.

    As for the Legacy people, let me assure you that they do NOT represent the mainstream of the Republican party. They’re no more of a majority than the Renegades are. They just happen to have been around longer and to have more experience and perhaps a lower standard of basic morality.

    I talked to a lot of people at the convention who did not come there because of Ron Paul who were sympathetic to the Renegades and their issues and certainly supported their right to be heard and included.

    The Renegades may indeed have been unruly and they were certainly disorganized, but they real justification for being frustrated, and their behavior as newcomers who ought to be given a break or two does nothing to excuse or justify the truly offensive behavior of the Legacy group.

    But please, try not to keep trotting out the ‘neocon’ accusations. It’s as offensive as when the Legacy people and their fellow travellers start calling people RINOs. The terms aren’t accurate and they’re only used to offend and insult.

    Dave

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dave,

    I found this article extremely interesting to read, and very reminiscent of the kinds of things that went on at DFL conventions in Minnesota in the ’80’s and ’90’s. Apparently, things have not changed all that much.

    There is a healthy desire to bring some kind of democracy into the organization by one faction, and iron-fisted control attempting to squelch that desire by an establishment group.

    It is my opinion that the level you got to this last weekend was the highest level you will see democracy actually operating at, though. In Minnesota, the highest level was the Congressional District convention. Once you get to the state convention, the big money will be all over the place.

  • http://www.buyingone.com Christopher Rose

    Dave, just a quick heads up, there is no limit on BC article length since the recent introduction of pagination.

  • Freddie L

    Dave,
    Thank you for this very informative blog. I really enjoyed your writing style. Wheter you realize it or not, you are also part of the R3volution. You have done your part with this reporting, and I hope to read more of your writings in the future. KUDOS to all of the RP supporters for putting up with all the S**T at the GOP convention. Don’t be discouraged. Karma will catch up with them. My sincere thanks to you all for your efforts.

  • REMF

    “But please, try not to keep trotting out the ‘neocon’ accusations. It’s as offensive as when the Legacy people and their fellow travellers start calling people RINOs. The terms aren’t accurate and they’re only used to offend and insult.”
    – Dave Nalle

    And how do you feel about someone calling commenters “dumbasses” or “morons”?

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The gentleman who was “forced” to reveal his real name initially identified himself at “Ronnie Reeferseed”. Why did you fail to mention this?

    Because I was on the other side of the hall and his assumed name was mentioned once, while they tried to spell his born name over and over again. As I recall it was something like Gremrc, right? Not an uncommon kind of name in this region and I think the folks at the podium were subtly scoffing at him with their repeated attempts to spell it.

    As for his assumed name, I don’t have a problem with it. Like many sensible Republicans – familiar with the late Bill Buckley? – I think the war on drugs is an idiotic misdirection of the nation’s resources.

    His credentials were understandably challenged by another delegate, and that’s when it was revealed that he was using a fake name.

    I agree that he should have been made to use his real name, but I think an unnecessary effort was made to humiliate him.

    The Ron Paul supporters don’t do themselves any favors when they parade people like this around in a blatant attempt to disrupt what under ideal circumstances is an already tediously dry proceeding.

    This convention was anything but tediously dry, and given the way it was going I don’t think that a bit of satire was out of place.

    And there was in fact an attempt to force an individual roll call vote on all 70-something at-large delegates and alternates. There was some confusion over the wording of the resolution but that was the ultimate intent.

    No, you’re wrong. That wording was clearly admitted in error and the author tried to withdraw it repeatedly and was ruled out of order and not allowed to submit corrected language. He was treated discourteously and essentially punished by the podium for his naivete and inexperience. The podium forced a vote on the issue in order to prevent the renegades from introducing a more sensible motion. The author of the motion clearly did not understand what he was doing.

    What he SHOULD have done was to ask for a role call of the nominated at-large delegates and then moved that those who were not present be disqualified and replaced on the basis that the nomination committee had nominated at-large delegates in advance who may not have attended the convention, which I suspect was true in at least some cases.

    Dave

  • GOP

    A little food for thought here.

    15 or so years ago, the Joe Pojman’s and Kirk Overbey’s of the world wrested control of the Travis County GOP from a bunch of establishment country club WASP-types who had almost no interest in winning local elections and absolutely no interest in opening up anything to grass roots groups. They did it by slowly and quietly and methodically recruiting their own precinct chairmen and getting themselves established on the various committees through normal and accepted channels. They did not, by and large, make a spectacle of themselves every two or four years at the big show, but rather put in the grunt work of organizing and recruiting their people block by block, precinct by precinct. And in the process they opened up the process to allow and encourage grass roots participation. It is precisely because of the work that the Joe Pojman’s of the party put in in the 90’s that the Paul guys, who are largely concentrated in the smaller precincts, today enjoy far more representation on the various committees than they ever would have hoped to get under the pre-“neocon” or whatever you call it regimes. But the “Legacy” folks still control the big precincts, because they worked their asses off for it in the 90’s. For the Paul guys – or anybody, really – to think they should be entitled to simply walk in and be given an equal seat at the table because they are “fresh” or “young” or whatever is just naive, and frankly a bit insulting.

    Also, booing Perry and nominating guys named “Ronnie Reeferseed” and calling us “Nazi’s” does not help, to say nothing of the 9/11 conspiracists.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Thank you for this very informative blog. I really enjoyed your writing style. Wheter you realize it or not, you are also part of the R3volution.

    Think of me as a sympathizer anyway. From what I saw yesterday it looks like the movement is maturing in a positive direction. There are still a lot of rough edges, but I see potential there which I didn’t see earlier in the election process.

    You have done your part with this reporting, and I hope to read more of your writings in the future.

    If you do keep reading my writing I’m bound to irritate you eventually.

    KUDOS to all of the RP supporters for putting up with all the S**T at the GOP convention. Don’t be discouraged. Karma will catch up with them. My sincere thanks to you all for your efforts.

    Inexperience really counted against the renegades at this convention. They were manipulated and misdirected pretty effectively. Hopefully that will change with experience, but I hope that for the state convention they search their ranks for a small group of their most knowledgeable and politically savvy and unify behind them as a spearhead to speak for them and get things done. They need to bring down the level of internal chaos to be more effective. Otherwise they might as well go join the mess that is the LP.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    15 or so years ago, the Joe Pojman’s and Kirk Overbey’s of the world wrested control of the Travis County GOP from a bunch of establishment country club WASP-types who had almost no interest in winning local elections and absolutely no interest in opening up anything to grass roots groups.

    In other words, they were a bunch of ex-dems who took the local party from the traditional republicans. Sorry to say I come from that traditional GOP background and I know first hand that they are a lot more sympathetic to the renegades than ‘GOP’ is willing to admit.

    They did it by slowly and quietly and methodically recruiting their own precinct chairmen and getting themselves established on the various committees through normal and accepted channels.

    This is the smart way to stage a takeover. The problem is that they’re religious fanatics who hold beliefs inconsistent with traditional Republican values.

    They did not, by and large, make a spectacle of themselves every two or four years at the big show, but rather put in the grunt work of organizing and recruiting their people block by block, precinct by precinct. And in the process they opened up the process to allow and encourage grass roots participation.

    So long as the grass roots agrees with them, perhaps.

    It is precisely because of the work that the Joe Pojman’s of the party put in in the 90’s that the Paul guys, who are largely concentrated in the smaller precincts, today enjoy far more representation on the various committees than they ever would have hoped to get under the pre-“neocon” or whatever you call it regimes.

    I certainly wouldn’t apply the term ‘neocon’ to the Legacy folks. That’s clearly not what they are.

    But the “Legacy” folks still control the big precincts, because they worked their asses off for it in the 90’s. For the Paul guys – or anybody, really – to think they should be entitled to simply walk in and be given an equal seat at the table because they are “fresh” or “young” or whatever is just naive, and frankly a bit insulting.

    My point as a more or less neutral observer is that the renegades should at least be given a fair hearing and be treated with some respect for the work they have also done. The other point is that the party needs new blood and to expand its base, and the Legacy types aren’t bringing in that new blood and it’s unwise to slap people who want to be part of the party in the face for their enthusiasm.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Also, booing Perry and nominating guys named “Ronnie Reeferseed” and calling us “Nazi’s” does not help, to say nothing of the 9/11 conspiracists.

    On that one I can agree with you, though it was more than just the Renegades booing Perry. There was a small but vocal faction of TollParty people there. If you read my other writing, I’ve taken the Paulbots to task in detail over these issues.

    But let me add that it was not the Legacy faction which filled that room with more than twice as many people as showed up in 2006. They remain a small but influential minority, and numbers may eventually win out.

    Most of the things the Renegade faction wanted to propose were fairly idiotic, and rather than just slapping them down the folks at the podium could have looked a lot less heavy handed and probably moved things along with less contention if they’d just let them have their say and then let us vote the proposals down.

    Dave

  • GOP

    I agree that the roll call issue at the end was quite confusing all the way around. I’m still not quite sure how Pojman got the petition declared ineligible or whatever. But I had heard from many sources both prior to yesterday, and indeed during the day yesterday, that this was exactly what they would try to do. Sure enough, the petition began circulating right before the caucuses. The intent from the beginning was to wear us out so they’d have a majority at the end to reopen up anything they wanted. That they screwed up the resolution isn’t the point – they were shooting for a roll call vote on each and every alternate in hopes of chasing us away for the night. Heck, even a roll call vote on the slate might have done it.

    The whole pointless fight over the nominations report was little more than a test to see how much power the Paul guys might have. As you yourself mentioned in your blog, there was nothing anybody could have done to satisfy everybody. We just didn’t have enough state delegates this year. btw, that’s because of the Rylander vote and I wonder how many Paul guys voted for Rylander, thus creating the very problem they were so upset about? I mean, ideological purity is fine and all, but there are consequences and this is one of them.

    My point is that they intentionally picked a long, drawn-out stupid fight over something that wasn’t Legacy’s or anybody else’s fault. How do you expect Pojman to act after that? How would YOU react to someone who did that?

  • Ryan C.

    To the user named GOP,

    You make it sound as though those Pojmans and Overbeys did people like Ron Paul supporters a favor, as though I should be so thankful to them for allowing me to even be there.

    It may be that they enabled “grassroots participation” from whatever faction had influence before them. But, they clearly do not want the participation of those outside their own influence.

    Why should they command some sort of admiration from me? It’s apparent that they think my ideas, as well as those of the Ron Paul supporters, are incongruent with their thirst for power.

  • welkinator

    Good job!

    I, too, was a delegate from one of the larger precincts and you have well captured the tension of this convention. I gave up and left around 3:30pm – after checking with our precinct “boss” – because I saw that alternate views could not be expressed or validated.

    A procedural side note your readers may find interesting is how the role call votes are tabulated. Each precinct has a certain number of delegates and each delegate slot is authorized one vote. However, if the number of delegates present during a roll call vote is less than the full slate, each voting delegate gets a proportionate share of the total. Precinct 256, for instance, was eligible for 25 delegates but only one showed up. That ONE person had the proxy of all twenty five!

    The drawback here occurs during voice voting in which the LOUDEST group often wins the vote.

    The other procedural rule that I found most telling, with regards to Legacy control, is the way State delegates were apportioned NOT by how many Republicans voted in last November’s election BUT how many had voted for PERRY in that election. Loyal Republicans with alternate philosophies were disenfranchised.

    …welkinator

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I agree that the roll call issue at the end was quite confusing all the way around. I’m still not quite sure how Pojman got the petition declared ineligible or whatever.

    My impression is that Pojman basically encouraged the confusion so he could use parliamentary rules to shut down debate. He could have reached out and given a little slack to the clearly confused Renegades so that they could have entered a sensible proposal, but he chose not to.

    But I had heard from many sources both prior to yesterday, and indeed during the day yesterday, that this was exactly what they would try to do. Sure enough, the petition began circulating right before the caucuses. The intent from the beginning was to wear us out so they’d have a majority at the end to reopen up anything they wanted. That they screwed up the resolution isn’t the point – they were shooting for a roll call vote on each and every alternate in hopes of chasing us away for the night. Heck, even a roll call vote on the slate might have done it.

    That seems like a remarkably dim-witted strategy, but I suppose it’s possible they’d planned it that way. Of course, we have actual documentary evidence in the form of emails, postcards and phone calls that Pojman was planning to disenfranchise the Renegades well before the convention, so it’s understandable that they were angry and disruptive.

    We just didn’t have enough state delegates this year. btw, that’s because of the Rylander vote and I wonder how many Paul guys voted for Rylander, thus creating the very problem they were so upset about? I mean, ideological purity is fine and all, but there are consequences and this is one of them.

    A lot of regular Republicans voted for Rylander. Perry is NOT a popular governor with people who have toll roads in their back yards.

    My point is that they intentionally picked a long, drawn-out stupid fight over something that wasn’t Legacy’s or anybody else’s fault. How do you expect Pojman to act after that? How would YOU react to someone who did that?

    My impression was that there were at least two major factions among the Renegades, those who sort of gathered around Don Zimmerman who were more reasonable and sensible and those who gathered around Robert Morrow and were more radical and less competent. They seemed to also break down geographically, with the Morrow faction mostly coming from Austin and the Zimmerman faction being more rural and suburban. The Morrow faction seemed to represent those elements of the Ron Paul campaign which came from outside the GOP – the conspiracy nuts and the crossover leftists.

    In an ideal world we could separate those two groups, send the crazies back where they came from and embrace the more moderate faction. Pojman’s behavior worked against that and pushed the factions closer together and farther from the party mainstream.

    Dave

  • GOP

    *******You make it sound as though those Pojmans and Overbeys did people like Ron Paul supporters a favor, as though I should be so thankful to them for allowing me to even be there********

    I am saying that the rules that allow precincts at least some say in who their state delegates are irrespective of anything the Nominating Committee does or does not do is a direct result of the work and changes that people like Pojman and Overbey got through back in the 90’s. There was a time – under the old boy rule – when virtually all state delegates were selected by the Nominations Committee. Pojman/Overbey et.al. changed that to encourage the very grass roots participation that the Paul guys now have the opportunity of taking advantage of. Despite what Dave thinks about the old establishment guys being sympathetic to the Paul guys, do you think they would have put Ronnie Reeferseed on the slate of state delegates? Or even Robert Morrow, after the way he behaved yesterday? At least now, because of changes Pojman/Overbey made, Morrow is going and there’s nothing anybody can do about it. Under a normal year, Ronnie Reeferseed would have a chance of being sent by his precinct to state regardless of who is on the Nominations Committee. It just didn’t work out that way this year because we were not given as many delegates in years past by the State party. That’s not anybody’s fault, and it was a monumentally stupid fight to pick, especially when you’re a newcomer trying to establish credibility.

  • GOP

    ****In an ideal world we could separate those two groups, send the crazies back where they came from and embrace the more moderate faction. Pojman’s behavior worked against that and pushed the factions closer together and farther from the party mainstream.*****

    I tend to agree, at least there toward the end when I think Pojman felt he was in danger of losing control if he didn’t wrap things up. But it was clear from the couple of division votes he did that the Paul guys didn’t have the numbers so it was really pointless to prolong things much longer. And don’t forget, the reason we were just starting Resolutions at 9:00 p.m. or whatever it was is that we had spent so much time on the pointless delegate argument earlier in the day.

    Still, I generally favor as much open participation as possible and it did seem like he was a bit heavyhanded there at the end. I always look forward to the resolution fights but I felt it was about to turn ugly bordering on violent. So I can understand why he did what he did.

    fwiw, I’m not a member of Legacy although I do generally support their positions. I went to one of their training sessions (because Legacy invited me and the Paul guys did not) and I can tell you that they were very adamant that while they were expecting a fight, they were going to give them their say as much as reasonably possible. There was a tremendous respect for and concern about allowing a fair and reasonable amount of participation from all the delegates there. But at the same time, they weren’t going allow the Paul guys to reopen everything and have the whole platform picked apart and replaced by nonsense about the gold standard or the inside job fruitcakes. It’s a tough call but surely you can at least understand where Legacy is coming from, even if you didn’t particularly like how it played out.

    There’s a lot more sympathy than you realize for the Paul guys among us “neocons” or whatever you want to call me, but they’re gonna have to find a way to filter their crazies before we can come together and move forward.

  • GOP

    *****Of course, we have actual documentary evidence in the form of emails, postcards and phone calls that Pojman was planning to disenfranchise the Renegades well before the convention, so it’s understandable that they were angry and disruptive.*****

    What exactly did Pojman do to disenfranchise anybody? As far as I could tell, he acknowledged each and every request from the floor. In conventions past, that didn’t even always happen. There were a couple of times I even thought he let some things slide in the interest of participation that he could have squelched. Yeah, he ruled some motions out of order, but so what? That’s his perogative as chairman. It happens all the time and it’s just part of the process.

    Surely even you have to admit that he put up with a lot of foolishness from the Paul guys all day long, even if he might have been a little too quick to shut things down at times. He nearly always called a division vote when the voice vote was close. He himself called the roll call vote on the delegate deal early on, even though he could have simply declared that the ayes had it and even though he knew that if the Paul guys won that one – and they nearly did – it would have been even more chaotic the rest of the day.

    I mean, the bottom line is that these Paul guys are still just a tiny fraction of a struggling minority party in Travis County, Texas. By and large, they come from precincts that will never even be close to voting Republican in our lifetimes. So in a sense, they are minnows while Legacy is perch in a small pond that the state party has more or less already written off. So truth be told, and you won’t like this, but the Paul guys probably got more yesterday than they deserved if you’re just looking at where GOP strength resides, which is essentially all the party should be looking at. And again, they got as much as they got because of things Joe Pojman personally fought for in the past. So maybe he needs to be cut a bit of slack.

  • Casual Observer

    As a point of information, the woman you referred to as “pink coat lady” is State Representative Charlie Howard’s daughter Julie Drenner. She was on the Resolutions Committee, which collectively put hundreds of hours of work into the compilation of the resolutions report. So I can understand her desire to get the report approved before adjourning the convention, but I definitely would’ve liked to see a little more debate given to the amendments.

    Drenner is a lobbyist for Texans for Family Values PAC and other groups. She is also a graduate of the Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, which is a distance learning school that offers law degrees. Coincidently or not, there was a paragraph in the resolutions report that “calls upon the Texas Legislature and the Supreme Court of Texas to repeal the prohibition on out-of-state attorneys who obtain their law degree through distance learning (curriculum and coursework through electronic means or the mail) from taking the Texas Bar Exam.”

    Further inquiry into Oak Brook College and Texans for Family Values could prove quite interesting…

  • GOP

    ****The other procedural rule that I found most telling, with regards to Legacy control, is the way State delegates were apportioned NOT by how many Republicans voted in last November’s election BUT how many had voted for PERRY in that election. *****

    Legacy had nothing to do with that; nobody in that room did. It was a decision that the State party imposed on us. That’s why the fight over it was so frustrating. Morrow’s alternative did the exact same thing, he just broke up the percentages slightly differently and wanted at-large selections restricted to non-caucusing precincts.

  • spacebetween

    GOP,

    You are right that the state party determined the amount of delegates per district based on the Rick Perry vote. But, I think what the poster above is saying is that the same formula was applied to actually APPORTION those delegates within our convention.

    True, Morrow’s minority report called for the same formula, but I think he did that to make it more agreeable.

    I think, though, that a different formula could have been used which would fall under the jurisdiction of the rules committee, which was under the influence of Legacy.

  • welkinator

    I said: ****The other procedural rule that I found most telling, with regards to Legacy control, is the way State delegates were apportioned NOT by how many Republicans voted in last November’s election BUT how many had voted for PERRY in that election. *****

    GOP said:Legacy had nothing to do with that; nobody in that room did. It was a decision that the State party imposed on us.

    My mistake. Perhaps I should have said lower-case-l “legacy” meaning, the good ol’ boys who have the power to manipulate these things to their own ends. I really don’t have a dog in this fight; my being a delegate was a fluke that I likely won’t allow to happen again. But it seemed stacked that the criteria to be represented is that your precinct had to vote for Perry. It wasn’t enough that you were Republican.

    Personally, I will continue to vote for Republicans on the State and District level and if Hillery is the Dem’s candidate I will hold my nose and vote for McCain. If Obama is the candidate I will vote against McCain – better the out front liberal than the one in disguise.

    …welkinator(at)gmailcom

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Guys, our delegation had a nice selection of math geeks. We ran formula after formula. There was no solution to the problem. Even the best one we could come up with left someone underrepresented, either the large precincts, the small ones or it took delegates away from those who had only 1 assigned to them.

    As for the bit with basing it on the Perry vote in 2006, as I understand it this isn’t even a party policy, it was set by the state legislature for both parties, so the dems were probably similarly screwed based on the Chris Bell vote.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Welkin, that you call Obama a ‘liberal’ and would be willing to vote for him against McCain shows how little familiarity you have with his politics. He is not a liberal, he’s a undisguised, unrepentant socialist. That you would even consider voting for him when the alternative is McCain is flabergasting.

    Dave

  • loyalfriend

    At the district convention the issue is always numbers. Who has the majority? I was there when the Pro-Life contingent took over the leadership at the convention, and they did it by motivating their people, by convincing others to get involved, and by arriving at the convention with a majority. The Ron Paul contingent didn’t manage to do that. They didn’t have a majority. They came with the strategy of using delaying tactics anticipating that their opponents would leave before they did, and then they would impose their contrived majority by reversing all the decisions that had been made by the actual majority. That is NOT a fair and just way of dealing, and had they been successful, the district resolutions and the delegates chosen would have been representative not of the Republican Party of Texas as a whole, but rather would be far more libertarian in flavor than characterized Texas Republicans. If they want the presence and the power they are fighting for, they need to become a majority, and they haven’t gotten there yet.

  • constitutionalist

    Great reporting Dave. My impressions overall were very similar.

    As a long-time Republican who is fed up with the failure to follow through with the Contract with America and the out of control spending of the Bush years (Medicare part D and other socialist efforts), I would probably consider myself part of the “Zimmerman” faction of the “Renegades”… at a minimum I’m sympathetic.

    It was clear to me early on as well that the Renegades still had a lot to learn. Many of the “questions” they asked about both the majority and minority reports were often overzealous and sometimes downright embarrassing. Also, the attempt to amend the minority report to something more reasonable (50% of the at-large delegates being set-aside for small precincts) was defeated primarily due to bad organization… the person introducing the amendment did not know it needed to be submitted in writing. The next person at the mic (who was clearly a Renegade too) submitted a poorly worded amendment that wasn’t substantially different from the already failed minority report changes. Then, in a brilliant tactical move, the next two people (Legacy members?) managed to call the previous question on not only the poorly worded amendment, but the majority report itself. Better organization and thoughtful wording could have likely won a compromise measure.

    As Dave has pointed out though, yesterday’s tactical win by Legacy may turn out to be a long-term blunder for the party. There is far more common ground between even the Legacy and Renegade factions of the local party, than there is between either faction and the Democrats. Unfortunately, a lack of patience on the part of some may mean the democrats continue to rule the county well into the future.

    As for me though, I fully intend to continue the effort to bring the party back towards its fiscally responsible and constitutionalist roots by doing my part of the hard work necessary to get like minded Republicans (Renegades?) elected right here in Ausitn. I have a feeling the Renegades will be around for some time (hopefully having tempered the more conspiratorial elements) and will return wiser, and more powerful, due to the experience.

  • welkinator

    Dave Nalle said: Welkin, that you call Obama a ‘liberal’ and would be willing to vote for him against McCain shows how little familiarity you have with his politics. He is not a liberal, he’s a undisguised, unrepentant socialist. That you would even consider voting for him when the alternative is McCain is flabergasting.

    Hey, I don’t disagree with you; I just don’t think that electing him is the end of civilization as we know it. On the other hand, I am of the opinion that having McCain as president, especially with a Democratic congress, is going to keep conservatives of the Republican party out of power for a long, long time. If Obama is elected, I believe it will be for one term only and that Republican conservatives – especilaly if led by a strong leader such as Newt – will have a chance to regain many of the congressional seats that have been ceded to the Dems over the past six years.

    Like the man says, “It’s just my opinion; I could be wrong”.

    …welkinator

  • REMF

    “That you would even consider voting for him when the alternative is McCain is flabergasting.”
    – Dave Nalle

    Barack Obama will make 10 times the president your Deserter in Chief made, Nalle.

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Patrick

    “You are right that the state party determined the amount of delegates per district based on the Rick Perry vote. But, I think what the poster above is saying is that the same formula was applied to actually APPORTION those delegates within our convention.”

    Yes, and that is a fair thing. What few know is that this 80-20% system was first proposed by … Don Zimmerman in 2004. And while Morrow was saying how unfair the lack of caucusing was for small precincts, in fact he had no real cure for it, just a Rule that would tie the hands of the Nominations committee. He even took *out* 6 precinct-level allocated slots from SD-25 and gave them to the pool.

    “True, Morrow’s minority report called for the same formula, but I think he did that to make it more agreeable.”

    No, Morrow did it that way because he did the math and found there was no other way. Brewer explained that was the case and he was right, but it was tought to convince the faction all set to get upset about it. A precinct that had only 50 or 60 Perry votes would simply not be able to get its own slot for state, period, without running out of slots.

    No other formula would be fairer. it’s unfortunate that misinformation was used to get people whipped up into thinking there was something unfair when in fact it was not.

    So Morrow simply did soem jiggering and then reserved/restricted the slots for the small precincts, not considering that it was too much all or nothing.

    “I think, though, that a different formula could have been used which would fall under the jurisdiction of the rules committee, which was under the influence of Legacy.”

    First, ‘Legacy’ controlled things? No, the various grassroots factions – INCLUDING RON PAUL folks – were ALL on the committees – Rules: Morrow, Davis and Brewer not part of Legacy, all part of grassroots, and thats 3 of the 5. Second, there were two Ron Paul supporting members on the Nominations Committee, so the bashing about the Nominations committee was a bit misplaced too.

    That was the most grating thing about the behavior of the Ron Paul crowd and some who got up to the microphone. And even Rob Morrow. He’s acting like an outsider when in fact he was on the Rules Committee.

    The Ron Paul folks want ‘their guys’ to go to state. Fine, but the complaints that they were treated unfairly were inaccurate. They had a seat at the table; they had reps on committees; they had a chance to make their case. The convention allowed them 4 hours to discuss/debate the proposed rule change and we went through a full roll-call vote on it.

    To their credit, Morrow, Zimmerman et al are great organizers, and this was an act of organization to get all these folks out there. One of the other leaders had a thick binder of all the eligible voters, and clearly there was an effort to get a turnout to the convention. But the view that those running the convention were doing something nefarious by doing the same and trying to keep regular order is also misplaced. Politics is a contact sport, and if you want to get something done, you get your friends together and work towards the common purpose. You use parliametary procedure to get your way or stop the other guy, and Kirk Overbey is a parliamentary professional in the truest sense of the word. I’d say the the tactics to close off debate and go home at 10pm was an act of mercy for the convention-goers and organizers. 13 hours? Phew!

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Patrick


    What exactly did Pojman do to disenfranchise anybody? As far as I could tell, he acknowledged each and every request from the floor. In conventions past, that didn’t even always happen. There were a couple of times I even thought he let some things slide in the interest of participation that he could have squelched. Yeah, he ruled some motions out of order, but so what? That’s his perogative as chairman. It happens all the time and it’s just part of the process.”

    Pojman did as fair a job as could be done under the circumstances. There were a number of times when people were out-of-order, but the convention was orderly. if want to see a mis-run unparlaimentary meeting, you’d have to turn the clock back to some Sager-run TC exec committee meetings. Sager btw tried to run a competitor to Pojman, but Pojman won a vote of precinct chairs. This despite the fact that Sager ran ‘his’ folks in several precincts.

    “Welkin, that you call Obama a ‘liberal’ and would be willing to vote for him against McCain shows how little familiarity you have with his politics. He is not a liberal, he’s a undisguised, unrepentant socialist. That you would even consider voting for him when the alternative is McCain is flabergasting.”

    This is why some of us who have been in the party for decades and helped many races are a bit cautious about the ‘new blood’. I understand the frustration over McCain; I share it. But it takes just a bit of mild information – eg like knowing that Obama was rated the most Liberal Senator in 2007 – to know that Obama is a dreadful left-liberal choice.

    It’s great to see the energy when people are motivated, and great to see the higher turnout. But if you want to be a GOP insider, grab an oar and help row. As Morton Blackwell says, there is plenty of room at the bottom. dont expect to become a captain of the ship without paying dues and actually *supporting* the party and candidates. And another thing, using the name “Reeferseed” probably wont help in front of Nominations; try “Reaganbush” instead. :-)

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Patrick

    “There is far more common ground between even the Legacy and Renegade factions of the local party, than there is between either faction and the Democrats.”

    This is undoubtably true. the convention was mostly a bunch of ‘grassroots regulars’, and you could tell where their hearts are when the ‘lower taxes’ and ‘limited government’ talking points got the loudest cheers.
    It’s a slam to say legacy doesnt represent the GOP. The GOP base is 80% prolife/profamily and fiscal conservative/limited govt/lower taxes, and that what most of the folks at the convention were. its not either/or, its both, with some more passionate about one side or the other, but a general consensus about these issues.

    ” Unfortunately, a lack of patience on the part of some may mean the democrats continue to rule the county well into the future.”

    You know the #1 problem with the Travis County Republican Party. Don Zimmerman once complained to me – nobody does anything. The TCRP grassroots has withered. Getting energy and ideas back in the TCRP is the main thing. I hope the Ron Paul folks stick around and help out. If we grow and unite, we can take on more races and battles and defeat the socialists.

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Patrick

    “As for his assumed name, I don’t have a problem with it. Like many sensible Republicans – familiar with the late Bill Buckley? – I think the war on drugs is an idiotic misdirection of the nation’s resources.”

    I think your views on certain issues have taken away from your ‘neutral observer’ claimed status. Which is fine, its still a great report, but as I note above, the actions and motives of those running the convention were far from nefarious.

    You have sympathy for the crowd that slowed a 6-8 hour convention into a 13 hour one, did it with some antics that showed some naivety, had a lack of majority to actually win anything on the floor, and did it by claiming they didnt have a voice, when in fact they did, both on the floor and in the committees.

    But consider all those who (a) want a convention to go in regular order (b) dont want to waste hours and hours on futile fights (c) think we shouldnt tie hands of committees unnecessarily nor overturn their work on the floor (d) want to be fair to *all* factions and not just have one faction ‘take over’ and upturn everything. That’s what the majority of the convention was thinking and thats why the Ron Paul crowd failed I think.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I was not impressed with Morrow or his group of followers. They seemed bent on causing disruption without having anything really positive to offer.

    But you guys are missing the point of my complaint about the Legacy group, and in specific Pojman. Regardless of the composition of the committees and any efforts to be fair at the convention, his behavior has to be viewed in the context of his actions prior to the convention. He sent out an email, a phone message and a postcard to people identifying the ‘renegades’ as traitors to the party, outside agitators and rebels and ultimately declaring war on them. He organized his followers with clear instructions to try to render the renegades ineffective. While the renegades may have dragged things out, they did it because they were frustrated at being unable to get any of their issues heard except for Morrow’s report and the 5 hours it wasted.

    There’s plenty of blame to go around, some of it reserved spcifically for Morrow for pushing what was ultimately a trivial issue and wasting time that should have been used for a meaningful attempt to apply some reasonable consideration to the resolutions.

    Well, hopefully the renegades will stick around for a few more elections and develop the savvy to deal with this sort of situation better.

    Dave

  • spacebetween

    I also view Pojman in the context of the phone calls/mailings that took place PRIOR to the convention.

    Although, if that wasn’t Pojman, then who?

    Despite that, I am eager to get a better, more organized Republican Party activated in Travis County, Texas, and the entire US.

  • Kaleb

    I just want to say Thank You to Dave for putting together this report. I went to the convention as a “Renegade” delegate who was inspired by Ron Paul’s candidacy. This article and the comments that follow have given me a lot of food for thought as to the context of the convention…TCRP history, background maneuvering I wasn’t aware of, impressions of delegates from “the other side,” etc. My wife and I (we were the ones with the baby) learned a lot and plan to stick with the party and try to help move it in a direction we can be more proud of. Thanks again!

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Kaleb, that’s a great response to see. I really do think there’s a place for the Renegades in the GOP on both the local and national level. We just need to move away from the kind of bully tactics some have resorted to. I think that a minimal effort to play along at a very basic level would get those labeled renegades a lot more respect and attention.

    I should point out that I’m saying this in the context in reading reports on a number of the other conventions, where the Renegades were more successfui than they were in SD14. The troubling part is that it sounds like Dr. Pojman’s incendiary accusations against them had at least some element of truth to them. In some of the conventions tactics similar to those attempted in SD14 were used with more success to essentially overthrow the convention and behave as intolerantly towards the ‘establishment’ republicans as Pojman and his cohorts behaved towards the renegades in SD14.

    But the good news is that in a number of conventions cooler heads prevailed on both sides and everyone worked together and got fair representation for all sides.

    Dave

  • Legacy Partisan

    Ha! This is very interesting to read from the opposite viewpoint. Thanks for taking the time to write out your thoughts and perceptions at the convention.

    This article seems to somewhat demonize the Legacy PAC, but it’s always tempting to fear what we don’t understand.

    There was a huge disagreement at the beginning about what method the remaining 32-36 delegates would be allocated. For some reason the Minority Report was supported by all the Ron Paul advocates. What was in there that made it such a Ron Paul advocated position? Why should all the Ron Paul people be for the Minority Report. I had no idea. After we accepted the majority report I headed to nominations to try to get a spot at State.

    It was a long line. A very long line. In the meantime I had time to call my friend from SD25, where I had heard something astonishing had happened. In SD25 the Ron Paul people had won that beginning debate (which the Ron Paul people lost in SD14 – our convention).

    My friend told me how the Ron Paul faction seized control, replaced the Chairman, liquidated the nominating committee, installed a new nominating committee, flushed all the approved delegates and installed a political litmus test for any delegate or alternate. The only delegates and alternates that were approved were ones that were allegiant to Ron Paul. Talk about fascist!

    The behavior is in start contrast to the Legacy way of doing things, that gave 20% of all the delegate seats to Ron Paul fans. I admit that this should have been handled and run a little smoother, which caused some Ron Paul fans to perceive some sort of vicious animus. The evidence shows, from the mirror universes of SD14 and SD25, which side is more politically vindictive. I am not saying this because I am a part of Legacy PAC, I am saying this from the evidence of who is going to the convention… 0% of non-Ron-Paulers from SD25 and 20% of Ron Paulers from SD14. The evidence shows who is more equitable (the way the Chairman handled some disorderly conduct is completely different topic – that has some room for improvement).

    Anyway, after hearing the report from my friend about the vicious coup that happened in SD25, I was legitimately concerned for what other tricks awaited us when the reports of the nominating and resolutions committee came out. After a long wait, the reports came out and the battles began.

    I had no idea what the Ron Paul’s camps plans were, but I could see them huddling in corners and making some covert plans. Maybe they had some other tricks to take over the convention and liquidate the nominations committee and say that men marrying men is a core value of the Republican Party (as SD25 did after their coup). It seemed to be in our best interest to end the convention before the plans made in dark corners came to fruition.

    I was not for ending the convention before the resolutions committee made their amendments. I agree with you whole heartedly that the Amendments the Resolution committee made were a vast improvement on the original platform. And yes the new wording made us seem less crazy :-)
    Agreed :-)

    I applaud the nominating committee on their tough task. Also in interest in preserving their work I thought it was best to close things down, especially as some of the proposed amendments were to support fringe groups and it seems that their suggestions had not been vetted by the Resolutions committee.

    Overall I hope that the misunderstandings on both sides does not deter political involvement. I was worried before the nominations and resolutions report that some plotted scheme to seize control was afoot, because that’s what the Ron Paul people ACTUALLY DID in SD25 and they installed a political litmus test or witch hunt to remove all those who did not conform to their political candidate. Although this is what not happened in SD14 (20% of the Ron Paul people were elected – and Ron Paul supporters were heavily involved in the Rules and nomination committees), I am sad that many of the Ron Paul supporters felt disenfranchised. I think some of it was a clear misunderstanding of the rules (which were not articulated well throughout the convention), some general disorderliness of the newbies, some frustration on the Chairman’s part from the newbies, some rabble rousers (on both sides) and a general sense of distrust.

    Did I distrust the Ron Paul faction… you bet! When they took control of SD25 they liquidated the nominating committee and installed ONLY their people. I didn’t wan that blatant disregard for democracy in SD14. Did the Ron Paulers distrust Roberts rules of order as a tool to subjugate them? It sure seems like it. Honestly I don’t know what their agenda was. I don’t know what the plans were that were whispered in dark corners.

    Were the Ron Paul people trying to liquidate SD14’s nominating committee and install a fascist system of Ron Paul reps only at State or were they really just trying to get a fair shake? …I honestly have no idea. Were they coming up with devious plans to shut people like me out of the process or were they wanting to join me as a new voice in the party… I don’t know.

    The Ron Paul people got 20% of the delegate seats this time… not bad for their first concerted attempt. Was I part of the opposition… sure, but only because of the fascist way the Ron Paul people dictated the terms of SD25. I didn’t want that for SD14. I am glad that we are both represented in SD14 and I hope that we can heal our wounds and work for a future together.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Most of us didn’t hear about what happened in SD25 until after our convention was over. As you can see in my last comment I share your concern about what happened there, which was as undesirable in its way as anything which happened in SD14. I do have to note – as you do not – that the reason the Renegades were able to completely take over was that the Legacy faction did in fact walk out of the convention alltogether, leaving them the opportunity to rule without opposition or inclusion. From what I’ve heard the more moderate people who were not part of the Renegade faction did get some inclusion in the process because they stayed.

    What you also conveniently overlook is the point I have stressed again and again, that the Legacy hostility to the Paul faction predated the actual start of the SD14 convention. It is the conscious plotting against the other faction before any offense had been committed that I find particularly troubling and ultimately very hard to forgive.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Like many others who have participated here I want a more libertarian Republican Party, but I do not want it at the expense of silencing other voices. That’s not the republican way.

    Dave

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Patrick

    “Like many others who have participated here I want a more libertarian Republican Party, but I do not want it at the expense of silencing other voices. That’s not the republican way.”

    I completely agree with that sentiment. Add Liberty to the mix, but its a part of the party. As noted, I think some of us have the perspective that the Ron Paul crowd both should have a seat at the table and DID have a seat at the table; they were on all the committees after all.

    “I also view Pojman in the context of the phone calls/mailings that took place PRIOR to the convention.”

    Apparently, it was judged nefarious that Legacy made a call to have people show up at the convention. However, if you check the Ron Paul meetup site, they had phone-call banks that week to do the exact same thing. There is nothing wrong with that, that’s classic political GOTV.

    “The behavior is in start contrast to the Legacy way of doing things, that gave 20% of all the delegate seats to Ron Paul fans. I admit that this should have been handled and run a little smoother, which caused some Ron Paul fans to perceive some sort of vicious animus. The evidence shows, from the mirror universes of SD14 and SD25, which side is more politically vindictive.”

    I have to agree with that. The people running SD-14 have been party stalwarts for years. They know the ropes and they know that all the factions get a seat at the table, but cant get the danged table. On the state slate, they were trying to be fair.

    David: “But you guys are missing the point of my complaint about the Legacy group, and in specific Pojman. Regardless of the composition of the committees and any efforts to be fair at the convention, his behavior has to be viewed in the context of his actions prior to the convention. He sent out an email, a phone message and a postcard to people identifying the ‘renegades’ as traitors to the party, outside agitators and rebels and ultimately declaring war on them. He organized his followers with clear instructions to try to render the renegades ineffective.”

    During the convention, I similarly had a ‘what’s the big deal’ … it was when Overbey said “This is a test vote” that I perked up.
    Knowing what happened in SD-25, it turns out those fears were fully justified. As I said, people GOTV to conventions to win votes; that’s politics. BFD. The namecalling – probably overkill/inadvised, but the claim that Ron Paul group was trying to ‘take over’? Completely 100% true. That was the plan. So on that score, the email and phone call was justified. And the ‘Regulars’ won it fairly – on the votes.

    The guy who ran the SD-25 Travis convention was a Libertarian Party candidate 2 years ago. I dont think he has the best interests of the GOP or mainstream GOP base voters at heart. SD-14 dodged a bullet.

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Patrick

    Dave: “What you also conveniently overlook is the point I have stressed again and again, that the Legacy hostility to the Paul faction predated the actual start of the SD14 convention. It is the conscious plotting against the other faction before any offense had been committed that I find particularly troubling and ultimately very hard to forgive.”

    I think what you are missing is that the Ron Paul activities related to SD-14 also was happening well before that day. It wasnt just a coincidence, it was a plan, to use the Rules change as a test vote and then to reseat all committees.
    They knew on Tuesday when the Temp committees met that something was afoot. I waited 2 hours to speak to the nominations committee. Our friend Mr Reeferseed was there in the Resolutions Cmmttee room, informing us of the vital amino acids to be found in MJ seeds.

    The Ron Paul folks didnt have good OpSec or they might have surprised everyone.

  • Bo Zimmerman

    Hey Dave — Williamson County convention attendee here — a fascinating article, and even more fascinating comments. Thanks for the great work reporting on the efforts of my friends down in Austin.

    Our WilCo convention had a few fireworks, but went with far less contentiousness than the one you reported on south of us. The “Renegades” comprised about 40% of the floor, were handed a generous portion of delegates from a committee on which we had no representation, and we were thrown a few bones in the resolution committee report, partially due to having one of our own at work there.

    We did try to get a look at the hastily recited delegate list (not realizing how well we’d been treated on it), and used parliamentary rules to attempt a 10 minute recess to that end. When that failed, we attempted to vote down the slate for the same reason. This was probably a mistake in hindsight, but the non-renegades were happy spending 30 minutes debating our motion for a 10 minute recess so we could confirm that fact. We happily obliged, though we didn’t get to count our chickens until well after the convention ended.

    Regarding resolutions, the non-renegades were far less interested in debating and considering them individually than we were on the floor. Some renegades believe, in hindsight, that the fact that our endless motions forced them to approve the entire resolution packet en mass (to end debate) probably went to our favor, as some of Our resolutions might not have otherwise had a chance if considered in isolation. However, since I happen to know that the debate on resolutions was part of our strategy to use our strength, perseverance, to fight a war of attrition on the convention floor (so the delegates list could be revisited, and perhaps even examined), I was very sad to see debate finally come to an end at the time.

    As I said in the beginning, however, I believe we were treated very fairly. All the more because we were given so much despite relative weakness on the floor of the convention. Kudos to Audry McDonald, Bill Fairbrother, and the rest of the WilCo Rep. party leadership, in that regard, for their charity and magnanimity.

    Lastly, I know for a fact that a great number of us are in this for the long haul, and are excited about state.

    God bless Texas and Ron Paul. Vive la liberte’!

    – Bo

  • Legacy Partisan

    Evidence. Evidence is what I am looking at.

    It sounds like you are arguing the Chicken or the Egg argument. As a Legacy Partisan… I am forced to argue… the Chicken :-)

    You try to say it was the call/email that caused the tension…

    “What you also conveniently overlook is the point I have stressed again and again, that the Legacy hostility to the Paul faction predated the actual start of the SD14 convention”

    Yes, I can see that you stressed that point. I don’t overlook that point. It’s like saying the Ron Paul people tried to take over the convention, because there was a call saying they were going to take over the convention.

    Using evidence as a guide, you can see that in SD25 there was a planned coup. The plan was successful over there. There was a complete change in the nominating committee over there. There was a political litmus test installed by the SD25 Ron Paul fans. Anyone with alternative views were completely shut out. Evidence.

    It is reasonable to assume that those plans were similarly designed for SD14. It is reasonable to assume that Legacy did the right thing to protect every non-Ron-Paul voter in SD14. But now we are certainly in speculation. Can I verify that Legacy actually protected the Giuliani voter, the Romney supporter, the McCain advocate, the Huckabee devotee and the Hunter fan? No. I can’t verify that, but all evidence points to the fact that we protected their voter rights (as evidenced by what happened in SD25).

    All evidence points to the fact that the call was right. Was the tone helpful? No. Was it poorly worded and divisive. Certainly so. What this is coming down to now is a method argument versus fact. All evidence points to the facts being correct. The tone (“renegades”, etc.) was excessive. On the behalf of Legacy I apologize for the tone. I do not apologize for protecting the rights of all delegates to vote, regardless of who they prefer for President.

  • hocndoc

    Comal County SD 25 here.

    What I’ve found over the last year or so is that the “new’ and “young” Paulers will go out of their way to make noise and take up space but won’t give a few minutes to read the existing platform of the Republican Party of Texas.

    They seem uniform in their hostility when we offer them copies of the 2006 RPT Platform and Rules and argue when we point out the RPT platform page and paragraph identical to (or with better wording) some unhappy delegate’s pet resolution. Every word must be verbatim — and even when that is true and their pet is a direct quote from the Platform, seem suspicious. They consider Robert’s Rules or any other procedure a direct attack on them, personally, and don’t offer to do any of the work of setting up or cleaning up the convention hall, feeding the attendees, or even volunteering for one of the temporary committees.

    Dave, there is no equivalence between running an orderly meeting where the minority is heard, but the majority rules and one where only one side is ever heard at all.Travis Co SD 25 evidently only allowed their own narrow agenda, with no semblance of “big tent” or inclusion.

  • Legacy Partisan

    Your report, admittedly trying to be fair (although blatantly demonizing us), made it sound like no one knew what was going on in SD25.

    “Most of us didn’t hear about what happened in SD25”

    I assure you, all the key Legacy people heard what went down in SD25. We knew it before the Nominating Committee & Resolution Committee Reports.

    Was the Chairman’s tone more terse during the nomination committee report and resolutions report? Yup. Was that helpful? No. But for background information, he knew… we knew… what happened in SD25.

    To divorce these two events, is to distort what happened Saturday. The Chairman’s tone was less accepting and open after we heard about the SD25 successful coup. That’s accurate. The Chairman’s tension was fed by the destruction of the SD25 convention. He did not want to see everyone’s hard work flushed down the toilet for Ron Paul supporters to ramrod all their people into the convention and leave everyone else out in the cold.

    He didn’t handle the situation ideally, I grant you that. From the evidence presented at the SD25 convention, the Ron Paul supporters were treated much more kindly at SD14, than any Giuliani, Huckabee, Hunter, McCain, Romney, Thompson or McKinney supporter would have, if the Ron Paul people executed their coup in SD14.

  • Lumpy

    Geeat report and interesting responses. I wonder if similar things happened in other states. All we’re hearing about here is Texas.

    As a voter it does trouble me a bit to hear that the Paul supporters are getting about 20 percent of the delegates in texas when he only got about 4.5 percent of the vote. That doesn’t seem right or fair.

  • spacebetween

    Legacy Partisan,

    I think you will find that those of us Ron Paul Republicans who are willing to continue the fight to restore the values of the GOP have a LOT in common with your group.

    As an inexperienced first-time delegate, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. For the past year, I have been campaigning for Ron Paul, and many times I have been met with ridicule and hostility from other Republicans! Entering a GOP convention that I knew had never seen a significant amount of RPRs (emphasis on significant amount), I felt like I would be treated in the same way those other Republicans have treated me. In my mind, the ones running the convention have been there for at LEAST two years, so they would represent the “status quo.” And my sentiments were shared with probably most every other inexperienced Ron Paul supporter as well — not just in Travis County, but all across the nation. Our rallying call has been “Ron Paul Revolution,” setting fire the desire to change the leadership of the Republican Party in whatever manner feasible and possible. Of course, the only way to do that would be to become delegates and begin the process there.

    So hopefully you can see why our intentions were to “take over” the convention. They were never meant to be malevolent in any way, although our goals might appear exclusionary. I don’t know if I can convey the amount of frustration so many people have felt in regards to the Republican Party and politics in general. Surely you have felt the same way before. After all, I have come to learn that Legacy was once in a similar position to the one we are in now.

    Basically, I think what we can learn here is how to really work together. Our little confrontation is, in my opinion, a microcosm of the splintered national Republican Party. The GOP is a party without the same fusion of factions that coalesced as a result of Goldwater and Reagan. The Party seems to have forgotten its goal of smaller, limited government.

    I’m completely willing to forge a new Republican coalition, along with many other Ron Paul Republicans.

  • http://travismonitor.blogspot.com Patrick

    “I think you will find that those of us Ron Paul Republicans who are willing to continue the fight to restore the values of the GOP have a LOT in common with your group.”

    Those that have the attitude of looking for common ground rather than looking for a fight will find that others will be more than accepting of them joining the ‘team’ and uniting to win against the socialist/liberal Democrats. Whoever you are, I look forward to meeting you at future Travis GOP events.

  • Legacy Partisan

    Dear spacebetween,

    Welcome! I look forward to working with you. You seem quite reasonable. I did feel bad for some of the people that were shut down, who just wanted a voice.

    I hope you can see that many of us in Legacy voted to accept the platform as is and end the nomination process as soon as possible. We were concerned about the impending doom that faced anyone who dared to vote for any candidate besides Ron Paul.

    I am sad that shutting down debate and locking down the State Delegates as soon as possible did shut some reasonable people out of the process. At that point we could not tell the crazies from the rational people like yourself. It seemed safer to shut things down. I’m sorry that hurt you. My apologies.

    We did not want the fascist installation of Presidential litmus tests in SD14, as they were imposed in SD25 by the Ron Paul people.

    I am happy to work with you to forge a new alliance. I am certainly not happy about the way things have gone in the Republican Party. A lot of us Legacy folks are sad at the out-of-control government spending and I think we can work together to curb that. I think the thing we’ve been pleased with is Roberts and Alito… anything else is well… questionable. Maybe we disagree on that, but I think there are a lot more that we do agree on. And lets come together in our strengths not our divisions.

    When you come to the convention with torches and pitchforks you shouldn’t be surprised if we are defensive to your fire and sharp metal… especially when it’s pointed at us.

    I really appreciated all of your enthusiasm. I was glad to see so many people be a part of the process.

    I was not happy about some of the vitriol poured on us or at the platform or committees.

    But let us put our first contact aside as a rough start and move forward on a positive note. I hope we can work together for a better tomorrow.

  • James M

    As a delegate to the SD 14 Republican convention, I wish to think Dave for posting this article. This has provided a forum for some reasonable discussion between the different groups represented at our meeting.

    I belong to neither the Legacy nor the Ron Paul groups, attending SD 14 simply to represent my neighborhood as a conservative Republican. This was my second SD 14 convention and I had some idea what to expect, but I arrived with no special agenda.

    As member of the “Reagan Revolution” many years ago, I had joined the Young Republicans in a hope of waking up the Republican establishment. Although not as active in politics today, I can still appreciate enthusism. At our Precinct meeting, a number of new republicans participated, people I had not met in previous years. We welcomed them, even encouraging them to be delegates and alternates to the district meeting. No plans were made other then to show up at SD 14, and no communication other then a few calls or emails to remind people to save the date.

    I was therefore a little surprised by the level of organized activity at SD 14. I didn’t know anything about the Legacy group (they sent a post card), but I could clearly see all the Ron Paul buttons, stickers, and banners. Our young precinct members, who were openly Ron Paul supporters, were busy trying to convert us to thier political beliefs. They were also busy talking to other Ron Paul people, calling on the telephone to people elsewhere, text messaging, and in other ways obviously organizing something.

    There is nothing new under the sun…I have worked to organize people and I know it when I see it…so I made a mental note to keep track of the Ron Paul Replubican activities during the day…

    I know that the Ron Paul group set up a little HQ in the back southeast corner -four corners: northeast VIP, northwest Resolutions committee, southeast Ron Paul, southwest main entry. We were there almost 14 hours, so plenty of time to get a hot dog for dinner or see what they were up to now. They were tracking Precinct strength, with people reporting in status -counting the people who grew tired and went home. They were also maintaining telephone numbers of Ron Paul people that may leave, so they could be called back. They were preparing documents (resolutions and a name lists?). I was not the only one to notice activity. Over the course of hours I had many conversations with other people, who were observing the same behavior.

    Something was up, so I organized with people I had never met in neighboring precincts, to maintain our voting strength -people called to cancel evening plans, I called to ask my neighbor to let the dog out, and some people even ordered food delivered. We knew it would be a long night, as a delaying game was in play, and we intended to stay to the end.

    Late in the afternoon we began receiving reports from people at SD25. When we heard that the Ron Paul Republicans had closed everyone out except their own, we decided that they did not want to play nice. So when the time came, we worked to close things down quickly, helping anyone of similar views…

    I have spent time over the last two days doing internet searches on Ron Paul Replublicans …that is how I found you…

    There is a great deal of information out there, written by the Ron Paul Replublicans themselves, if anyone cares to read. The Ron Paul Republicans intended to take over SD 14 and SD 25. They organized for months: creating precinct captains to work the area, using voter rolls to target registered voters, creating promotional papers (slim jims) to work those voters by expected agenda as liberal/conservative/etc, setting internet meet-ups, and training members in the delegate process (they even created a nice Roberts Rules of Order cheat sheet to help those unfamilar with Parlimentary rules -which I have saved for my own use). Anyone who doubts my word can look for yourself, the Ron Paul Republicans are not shy in stating who they are or what they intend to do.

    I know that it is sometimes hard to accept a loss in a campaign -John McCain was not my first pick. So I do not hold it against anyone that they are supporting their person. But there is only one nominee for the Republican Party, John McCain. He won all the delegates in this state, and it is our responsibility to nominate him at National.

    Even in thier own words, the Ron Paul people who attended SD 14 say they did pretty well. They had representation on all major committees, they had an oppurtunity to be heard on the floor to state some of their issues, they amended existing or added a number of their own resolutions, and in the end they walked out with a fairly high % of the overall delegate count to state (they estimate 20-25% in some blogs). In contrast, the Non Ron Paul people at SD 25 got NOTHING…so who is fair and who is unfair…who is reasonable and who is unreasonable…

    I am not crying about it…it just makes me mad that so many people, spent so much time in the trenches working, to then be disenfranchised as if they don’t matter to our party…I worked my primary and I didn’t have any help from my new precinct member delegates…I know there were people at SD 25 who spent all day working the voting booth, to make sure some Ron Paul Replublicans had the privilege to vote…people who received only ridicule and no thank you at thier own District convention…

    What I don’t appreciate, is the feeling that someone is attempting to push me out of my own party. I invite someone new into my home, seat them at my table, offer them a share of what I have worked to obtain, and look to them as a possible heir that can push all to greater things. In return for my generosity, I receive the ransack of my home and a quick boot out my own door.

    Come sit at my table and let us find some common ground to help each other…but don’t expect me to let you burn my house down…

  • sam

    i agree–dr. pojman did not disenfranchise the RP supporters. he and one of the RP supporters did, however, tag team disenfranchise me, as the RP supporter who attempted to caucus out the last two alternate slots jumped me in microphone precedence by shouting me down. after his motion failed, pojman skipped me to recognize the lady on the other mic, who ended up nominating herself to the last alternate spot–which i was going to try to get my friend nominated for.

    uncivil behavior (aka acting like a jerk) doesn’t win the RP supporters any points with me. they’re just as bad as the legacy folks who, incidentally, happened to be better-mannered and more cognizant of us ordinary folk, whose time seems to have been wasted listening to vitriolic rhetoric being thrown around. (i did vote for the minority report, thank you very much.)

  • withheld

    I gave money to Ron Paul and agree with much of what he campaigns for. I was a precinct leader for my precinct, although I admit I was not a very active one. I signed up on the Ron Paul web site when I noticed no one else had. I attended the SD delegate meeting held at the Paul campaign headquarters. That was really my first face-to-face interaction with the campaign leadership. Here are my impressions from this experience …

    – Intent to “take over”: This is simply an exaggeration. The Paul leadership had a good estimate of their voting strength a week before the convention. They knew they would be in the minority. They had no illusions of or intention of strongarming out the Legacy leadership.

    – OTOH, Legacy also knew the Paul voting strength beforehand. They knew that if they didn’t throw some bones and play nice that those unaffiliated would take sides with the Paulers and would make things difficult at the convention.

    – Thus, Legacy put token Paul members on each committee and made an attempt to let people have a chance to speak at first.

    – The Paul campaign did in fact make an effort to keep some running numbers on voting strength a few times throughout the evening. They did have a table in the back — which they paid for — to help out Paul delegates, keep track of the numbers and coordinate.

    – Legacy also did this. The whole convention was dotted with people wearing earpieces reporting back to some central administration and receiving instructions from them. Funny though… I didn’t see a table for Legacy. Where was this administration operating? My best guess is the VIP area. At least the Paulers operated out in the open.

    – Like the Paulers, Legacy also had delegate training meetings to prepare their delegates for the convention.

    – One legacy delegate near me openly jeered and laughed at the Paulers on several occasions. She was on a committee. Her attitude and behavior were ugly, vindictive and spiteful. It was apparent that she did not appreciate people trying to move in on her little club, and she took pleasure when they failed. Big Tent didn’t seem to be on her agenda.

    – Back to the Paul leadership… In my conversations with them, they all were genuine, up-front, honest, sincere and passionate. All they wanted was a fair shake. They were willing to go to the mat if they were given a hard time, but as long as the proceedings went civilly they were more than willing to be cooperative and inclusive.

    All that being said, I think there were a few bad apples on both sides that perhaps are tainting perspectives a bit, and, depending on which way one sways, one tends to view the bad apples on the other side while ignoring the ones on their side.

    The Paulers had a dude who hijacked a mic at one point and said we were headed towards nazism (post-SD 25 news, when Legacy grew significantly shorter with the Paulers). Then there’s Ronnie Reeferseed, who, while passionate about his cause, is not someone the establishment could ever understand (or at least admit to understand). On the Legacy side there was the vindictive lady near me. There was the Nominations Committee grilling, which was rather like a litmus test at times (e.g. Do you support the right to life? Do you vote straight ticket Republican? Who did you vote for? etc) And there were others.

    So we can conclude that both sides felt threatened at times and took a defensive posture. –And you can’t blame them for that. One side wants to hold onto their authority while the other side wants to introduce new policies and share the in the leadership of the party. This certainly is a threat to the existing establishment, whether they’ll admit it openly or not.

    Did the Ron Paul campaign really set out to sabotage the conventions in an organized way with the intent of overriding the primary vote? That’s preposterous, and it’s against the rules, and the campaign is fully aware of it. In Texas, delegates to the National Convention must vote according to the Primary popular vote. The campaign leadership has been attending these conventions, as well as state conventions, for decades. They know how it works.

    Mapping what happened in SD 25 to what was going on in SD 14 is not fair. One can’t assume the agendas were the same. Clearly they weren’t; there was no move to usurp Pojman.

    I did not make known my affiliation with Ron Paul to anyone, as I believed it would diminish any hope of going to the State Convention. I kept a low profile. I didn’t interact much with the Paulers if I could help it. I was worried that if my sympathies were known I would automatically be discarded and not permitted to gain any sort of foothold either in the party or as a delegate. The very fact that I had to conceal my affiliation should indicate to what degree there was a bias and which way it leaned and who it affected.

    It’s frustrating enough to have to restrain my expression of my political views on a day-to-day basis in this county, for fear I’ll offend or isolate myself from all my liberal friends, colleagues, etc. It’s really tragic that I must employ the same strategy at a political event for my own party.

    I come from a Republican household, I believe in small government, limited taxation, I’d like to be able to opt out of Social Security and am willing to abandon all of my contributions made to it up to now for the freedom to leave the program. I firmly oppose legislating morality, and I do not support the war in Iraq. I believe we’re antagonizing Iran. I like my guns, I don’t like public education, I do like immigrant labor, but I don’t like federal subsidies for -anyone- or -any- entity. I’m anti-Keynesian. Based on the above, on the continuum, I’m probably more conservative than Legacy. Why should I have to conceal what I’m about from them?

    If we do decide to lay blame, let’s look at which parties breached ethical boundaries.

    Collaborating and coordinating at a convention? Perfectly acceptable.
    Collaborating and coordinating before a convention? SOP.
    One contingent collaborating and coordinating in the area of the convention designated for VIP reception and administrative activities? Not quite so kosher.
    Sending out mailers and leaving messages informing everyone that a “renegade group” intended to take over the convention? Not Cool.
    Having the same person who recorded the phone message be the authority on Robert’s Rules at the convention? Gives the appearance of impropriety, although I hear this same person helped a lot of the first time Paulers formulate their resolutions, so while it may have seemed a bit off, it appears he did make some efforts to be inclusive at other times. Then again, he called the Minority Report a “Test Vote”, which it was totally not intended to be. Sort of a mixed bag.

    That’s what I’ve got. At the end of the day, both sides did okay. I would say that all the contentiousness was at the cost of the resolutions though. They still could have used a great deal of ironing out.

    Final observation: Legacy is old. Their ideas are old. Their convention methods are old. They are becoming less relevant. They desperately need new ideas, the introduction and effective implementation of current technology, and they need to stop talking about bongs, boy scouts and baby killers and talk about issues that matter, like money and war. Let’s drop the dogma and look at things objectively and empirically.

  • spacebetween

    James,

    I’m a complete beginner when it comes to this political game, and I’m speaking in generalizations here. BUT, from everything I’ve gathered over this past year, the way you hate feeling being “pushed out” of your party is the same way many Ron Paul Republicans, including Ron Paul himself, have felt for many years now.

    And as someone stated about SD-25, the reason the RP supporters got all their people through was because Legacy folks became very angry and left at the beginning. Some people that didn’t belong to Legacy OR RPR did remain, and they were rewarded as well.

    I can’t stress this enough… we all have to compromise now in order to achieve the GOP’s intent of small, limited, constitutional government. These competing factions are the factions that once worked together to build the Republican Party, it seems. I’m speaking of the (small “l”) libertarian conservatives, social conservatives, economic conservatives, etc.

    As an RP supporter myself, I never engaged in any activity to disenfranchise the honest members of the party. I want to work together and achieve positive change with you.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Many interesting comments since I was last on, so I’m going to respond to the most relevant bits, all smashed together.

    Apparently, it was judged nefarious that Legacy made a call to have people show up at the convention. However, if you check the Ron Paul meetup site, they had phone-call banks that week to do the exact same thing. There is nothing wrong with that, that’s classic political GOTV.

    It’s hardly fair to characterize those phonecalls as just an encouragement to show up at the convention. The call claimed that traitors were going to try to take over the convention. They also held advanced meetings at one of which Pojman said he was ‘declaring war’ on the RP supporters.

    As for RP meetings, I’m sure there were some. I’ve seen video of one, in fact. However, I’ve been active in the Travis County LP and ran for office as a Libertarian a few years ago and I didn’t get a phonecall an email or a postcard about attending a Ron Paul organizing event. There weren’t even any such notices on the various local LP email lists.

    The point being that as demonstrated at the convention, the RP supporters weren’t really all that organized, and they certainly weren’t organized to follow a hostile and aggressive agenda as the Legacy people were.
    the claim that Ron Paul group was trying to ‘take over’? Completely 100% true. That was the plan. So on that score, the email and phone call was justified. And the ‘Regulars’ won it fairly – on the votes.

    Perhaps the Legacy people were overly sensitive to the potential for a takeover because that’s how they got power away from mainstream republicans a few years ago themselves.

    We did try to get a look at the hastily recited delegate list (not realizing how well we’d been treated on it), and used parliamentary rules to attempt a 10 minute recess to that end.

    This seems to have been part of the Renegade game plan for all the districts, presumably on the assumption that they thought they were going to get aced out of delegate spots by the insiders. Going into the process with the assumption of hostility probably didn’t help matters much, and apparently it wasn’t as accurate a prediction in some districts as it was in SD14.

    Yes, I can see that you stressed that point. I don’t overlook that point. It’s like saying the Ron Paul people tried to take over the convention, because there was a call saying they were going to take over the convention.

    No, it’s like saying they were going to be more defensive and more hostile because they were aware that they were going to be shut out of the convention.

    Using evidence as a guide, you can see that in SD25 there was a planned coup. The plan was successful over there. There was a complete change in the nominating committee over there. There was a political litmus test installed by the SD25 Ron Paul fans. Anyone with alternative views were completely shut out. Evidence.

    Yes, but SD25 isn’t the same as SD14. And from what I’ve heard from SD25 the people who didn’t walk out of the convention got delegate seats in reasonable numbers even if they weren’t part of the Renegade faction.

    Your report, admittedly trying to be fair (although blatantly demonizing us), made it sound like no one knew what was going on in SD25.

    “Most of us didn’t hear about what happened in SD25″

    By ‘most of us’ I mean the average person on the convention floor – the 60% or so who were just regular Republicans not part of one of the organized factions. I know the first mention I heard of SD25 was on the way out while talking to some RPers by the door.

    I assure you, all the key Legacy people heard what went down in SD25. We knew it before the Nominating Committee & Resolution Committee Reports.

    I’m not surprised. They were better organized and had fancy earpieces.

    Was the Chairman’s tone more terse during the nomination committee report and resolutions report? Yup. Was that helpful? No. But for background information, he knew… we knew… what happened in SD25.

    Which means nothing to those of us hearing about both SD25 and why people behaved as they did because of it, long after the fact. Our impression remains pretty negative based on what we personally observed.

    As a voter it does trouble me a bit to hear that the Paul supporters are getting about 20 percent of the delegates in texas when he only got about 4.5 percent of the vote. That doesn’t seem right or fair.

    Now that’s an interesting question. Clearly there’s going to be much more Ron Paul representation at the state and even the national convention than there was in the popular vote. If it stays around 20% I don’t see that as a real problem, but if it’s much more than that it could start to invalidate the whole idea of voting for candidates in the primary.

    Dave

  • hocndoc

    The Paulers had their own memos – Morrow had warned that “they probably don’t like you.” Paulers were texting and emailing each other during the day and had held what ‘ronpaulbillboards’ calls a mock session the week before to practice what they hoped would be disruptive tactics. One report out there claims that the SD 25 nominating committee forced allegiance to Paul for anyone they allowed on the State slate.

  • spacebetween

    Hocndoc,

    The Legacy PAC website. Check out the revisions to their wiki. They were doing the exact same thing.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Guys, you have to understand that I come at this not from the perspective of the Legacy folks or from the perspective of the Renegades, but from the perspective of one of the delegates – probably the majority – who is just a normal, traditional Republican.

    I believe in a lot of the same things the Ron Paul republicans believe in, though I’m not terribly font of Paul as a leader and don’t think much of conspiracy theories. I share some views with the Legacy folks, but I’m not part of the religious right or a big anti-abortion fanatic.

    From that perspective, my experience at the convention made me more sympathetic to the Renegades because they seemed to be manipulating the process less and getting pushed around more. The situation was apparently different in other districts.

    What I don’t like is the idea of either group or any other group, taking over a convention and dominating it and taking most or all of the delegates, way out of proportion to how their viewpoint was represented in the primary or in the Republican party in general.

    Both factions look like they each make up less than 20% of the party, and while that ought to be enough to get them some respect and some input, it should not be enough for them to dominate a convention or set policy for the party as a whole.

    Dave

  • dleebrooks

    This has been a very interesting read, from Dave’s report on down through all of the comments.

    By way of introduction, I am a Ron Paul Republican. I have always been a libertarian leaning Republican in the sense that Ronald Reagan meant it that conservatism is grounded in libertarianism.

    In my precinct, Travis 460, there was nearly zero Republican presence and, inspired by Dr. Paul’s message, there is now. We canvassed our neighborhood and found many, many people who were open to small government, conservative principles and this canvassing and subsequent GOTV efforts resulted in Dr. Paul winning in my precinct and individuals in the Dr. Paul camp taking all of the slots in our delegation to the SD 14 meeting. In fact, to speak to the lack of prior Republican organization in our precinct, we were the only one’s to show up to the precinct convention at all. This was my first involvement in a campaign at this level.

    Many in the RP movement have felt hostility, as has been mentioned previously, well before they received anything from Legacy decrying us as “angry populists” and “renegades”. Whether it was talk radio hosts insulting Dr. Paul or other candidates immaturely and openly laughing at his positions during the debates (were the running for POTUS or President of the Sophomore class, I couldn’t tell) or the constant insinuations that we are all kooks, truthers, conspiracists and the like, there was a feeling that we were fighting an uphill battle from the outset.

    Yes, we organized and had practice sessions and information distribution amongst ourselves. That is how campaigns work so I don’t think that is indicative of any nefarious motives to usurp power.

    That being said, I had no real worries that there would be as much contention at the convention until I received the aforementioned postcards and robo-call calling me a renegade. As a result I ended up walking in very much expecting what happened.

    To those who questioned whether it was fair that we got roughly 20% of the delegates to State when Dr. Paul only got 4.5% of the statewide vote, all I have to say is that he did much better in Travis county and SD14 precincts than that and the delegate allocation is not out of line with what he received in this area.

    Did some of the RP people act a little bit uncivilized, re: “Answer the question” and booing the gov. (although those weren’t all RP people as has been stated, tolls and land grabs make a lot more than just RP people mad) – yes. Were the majority of us civil, polite and friendly, I think so.

    All in all, I think that there is plenty of room in the Travis GOP for us and our ideas and priorities. I look forward to working with all of you Rp’ers or otherwise, moving forward and I’ll see you in Houston in June.

  • GOP

    Can I assume that the Ron Paul supporters here agree with his pro-life position and support the overthrow of Roe v. Wade?

  • Lumpy

    I voted for Paul and I disagree with his stand on abortion? But I see it as one issue among many? Not a make or break issue.

    How about u GOP? Could u support a candidate who was the way u want on every other issue but hppened to be pro choice?

  • withheld

    GOP-

    I think the views on abortion of Ron Paulers mirror those of Republicans in general: They’re varied.

    Paul’s position is that the more complex the issue the more it can be best addressed at the local level. In this case he advocates leaving abortion policy up to individual states. This entails overturning Roe v. Wade.

    Paul’s personal position is pro-life, but since he does not support federal legislation on abortion, it is moot for all intents and purposes, beyond the revocation of Roe v. Wade.

    You’ll find Ron Paulers who are pro-life and some that are pro-choice with views on the issue spanning the spectrum. I think a significant proportion do support Paul’s position that the issue is best handled at the state level.

    When it comes down to it, abortion is, for most Paul supporters, not as pivotal a component of Paul’s platform as, say, the economy, taxation, non-interventionism, limited government, etc.

    If you listen to Paul’s interviews, you will find that he has a priority list:
    – First, he intends to expedite the end of the Iraq war and get troops home.
    – Second, he intends to bring troops home from Afghanistan.
    – Third, he wants to work with congress to reform policies on the following:
    + The Patriot Act/Homeland Security
    + The Economy, including reducing spending, minimizing taxation, curbing the Fed
    + Social Security
    + The War On Drugs
    + Border Security
    – Next, he would work to bring troops home from other areas of the world where their presence is no longer needed, such as Korea, Cuba, and the other 150+ countries where we have a military presence.
    – Finally, he would work on his grander aspirations:
    + Getting rid of the IRS
    + Getting rid of Social Security while still enabling those dependent on the program to continue to receive benefits
    + Getting rid of other extraneous federal programs, like the Dept of Education, which didn’t exist until the 80’s
    + Handing abortion policy off to the states (and overturning Roe v Wade)
    + Getting out of the UN and NATO
    + Getting back to a reserve-backed currency

    I’m sure I’m leaving a few things off and probably have a few out of order, but this will give you a general idea of his platform and what he has set out to accomplish.

    As you can see, abortion reform is in there, but there are other issues that take precedence.

    My personal view on abortion? I think the best answer is to revitalize our culture and return to a society where individuals are responsible enough that it would be rare to be in a situation where one might consider the option of abortion. I don’t support government subsidies for abortions, I do support a requirement of parental consent for minors (if it’s required to obtain parental consent for a girl getting her ears pierced then a doctor should get consent for her to undergo any medical procedure, including abortion). I would support making the process to get an abortion much more bureaucratic after the 5th month and only under special circumstances after then.

    Ideologically I struggle with the issue. It comes down to what autonomy do we give parents over their minor children, who do not yet assume full rights. This is a fine line, even after a baby is born.

    I know many Paul supporters who are much more pro-life than I am and many who are much more pro-choice. This same holds true for my Republican friends. We are a big tent, after all. We aren’t going to see eye-to-eye on every issue. The important thing is that we respect everyone’s perspectives and work to find the common ground and build upon it.

  • GOP

    —How about u GOP? Could u support a candidate who was the way u want on every other issue but happened to be pro choice?—

    Depends on what you mean by “support”. I’ve had to hold my nose many times in the past and vote for pro-choice Republicans because the only alternative was a Democrat. But as far as giving money and actively campaigning, I’ve done it on occasion but not enthusiastically.

    What I find disingenuous about the Paul guys is that they promote Paul’s pro-life position as some kind of proof that he is a real Republican, when my guess is that a very large portion of them – like, probably 75% or more – will be rioting in the streets if and when Roe is overturned. If they truly are pro-life, then fine – the Republican party is their natural home. But if they aren’t pro-life or if abortion is not a big priority, then basically they are left with three issues – Iraq, legalizing drugs, and spending, and Republicans of all stripes are upset and we don’t need Ronnie Reeferseed to tell us that. Which leaves only Iraq and drugs that they want to change, which are already bedrock positions of the Democratic party. So if those are truly the issues – and it seems to me that that’s really what all this is about – why not go over THERE and work on THEM to cut spending? It would seem much easier than tearing up the Republicans on Iraq and drug legalization.

    Unless, of course, that’s the real goal.

    And then there’s the ideological purity that the Paul guys seem to insist on. They’re supposedly not happy with McCain for whatever reason, but unless they agree with Paul on abortion, they are doing essentially the same thing that McCain supporters (all 3 of them) are doing – giving him a pass on that with which they don’t agree because they support him on some other things that they do agree with him on.

    I just don’t understand why Paul gets a pass on abortion. That’s a big red flag to me when it comes to trusting most of those I saw last weekend.

  • withheld

    GOP-

    You misunderstand Paul’s position on abortion.

    Paul supports giving states the authority to determine their own policies on abortion. For Mississippi, this means that abortion could likely be banned. For California, abortion will probably be subsidized.

    Paul is personally against abortion, but he does not want federal government to determine this issue.

    More is available here.
    Paul elaborates on his federal policy in the video in the top-right corner.

    I support Paul primarily because of his fiscal conservatism. I also support Paul because of his position on free enterprise, privacy rights, firearm ownership, taxation, property rights and eminent domain, health care, the environment and energy. All of these issues are in line with the Republican platform. In fact, they are all incredibly similar to Reagan’s platform: one of our Republican icons who managed to re-invigorate the Republican party.

    Paul’s positions on foreign policy, drugs, social policy and perhaps monetary policy are where he deviates some from today’s Republican platform, however, if you look back on the platform, his positions are actually more in line with the traditional Republicanism than the current administration.

    With respect to social issues, the religious right must come to terms with the fact that legislating morality is a futile exercise. In fact, whether or not someone else complies with my own set of moral standards really doesn’t determine whether they’re a threat to my life, liberty or property.

    Let’s focus on legislation that preserves and protects these rights, the rights to life, liberty and property, and leave the morality issues to the church and, if desired by the community, the local governments.

  • withheld

    GOP-

    One other thing…

    Those who are strictly pro-life are these days so few in numbers that they could hardly make up an entire party. I think you will find that most Republicans are split on this issue. Most believe that there should be some form of regulation and restriction, but very few support an outright ban on abortion.

    If you attempt to promote this policy and hold it as a standard for all candidates and partymembers to abide by, you will be sitting under a very empty tent.

    If the party desires to grow, they need to accept that there is a broad spectrum of opinions on this issue, and that just because someone does not support an outright ban on abortion does not make them unqualified to be a republican.

    My own mother, who votes straight ticket and is has had unwavering support for our president and even VP Cheney, does not support a ban on abortion. Trust me. You don’t get more Republican than her.

    Some people like beans in their chili. Some say this is an abomination. Both can still be Texans.

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    Just a quick note bubba:

    As I know you like to pass yourself off as a “true” conservative in the noblest of tradions, I thought you might appreciate what Barry Goldwater said in his book about the CFR.

    Sen. Barry Goldwater wrote in his book With No Apologies: “Does it not seem strange to you that these men just happened to be CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) and just happened to be on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, that absolutely controls the money and interest rates of this great country. A privately owned organization … which has absolutely nothing to do with the United States of America!”

    I suspect however that you will come back with one of your usual diatribes suggesting that you are the expert on conservatism, and that everythin wrong with america is the liberals fault. LOL

    Or maybe you will write back that Barry Goldwater was a neocon! hehehehe

    You are one funny “conservative” Davey boy.

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    On second thought perhaps you might instead of saying your a conservative, say that you are a
    CFR conservative, hehehe. Or better yet a FED conservative in the noblest of traditions.

    Btw, I liked that one post recently in one of your diatribes where you were talking about whats wrong with installing a tin-pot dictator in Iraq. Kinda reminds me of some of your rantings regarding my article on home grown terrorism, where you were defending US covert terrorism in south america. You really are quite the character Davey.

  • spacebetween

    GOP,

    You said,

    “But if they aren’t pro-life or if abortion is not a big priority, then basically they are left with three issues – Iraq, legalizing drugs, and spending, and Republicans of all stripes are upset and we don’t need Ronnie Reeferseed to tell us that.”

    Your generalization there seemed rather patronizing. You fail to see the point. Ron Paul supporters want SMALL GOVERNMENT. That means no intervention in other countries’ affairs, and that means little to no intervention in the affairs of citizens. Some supporters may feel more strongly about legalizing drugs or getting out of Iraq. But, the main purpose is ALWAYS smaller government.

    Dr. Paul, someone who has delivered over 4,000 babies personally, has great insight into the whole abortion thing. He has said that not once has he had to perform an abortion. It’s not a very common thing that affects many people, like someone above stated. Thus, abortion cases may be very complicated. Local government is always better for that very reason. Some guy in Washington, D.C. cannot feasibly write such complicated laws that deal individually with 300 million people. That has always been a tenet of the Republican Party and conservatism. It is to that end that Ron Paul supporters are in complete agreement with other Republicans.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Good try with the misdirection and sniping, Paul, but you made one fundamental error. I never claimed to be a ‘conservative’. I’m a Republican and that’s not necessarily the same thing.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Withheld has one of the best summaries of RP’s positions I’ve seen in #73. I haven’t seen anything that clear from the Paul campaign or from Paul himself, and I’m inclined to think that some of it is projection and extrapolation of what he thinks Paul likely believes. But I certainly hope it’s all true. It makes Paul sound a lot more reasonable and willing to compromise than I think he really is.

    For me that’s where RP and a lot of his supporters tend to come up short. They want it all their way and nothing less will do. I’d like to see some hint of compromise and practicality from them.

    Edmund Burke, who was one of the ideological inspirations for the American Revolution, wrote “All government — indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is founded on compromise and barter.”

    Without that ability to compromise you don’t have a viable political environment.

    McCain may have many flaws, but his great asset is his ability to compromise. This is why I see hope for the future. If we can get McCain elected with a stronger libertarian influence in the party we can make him compromise with the ideals of Ron Paul rather than with the ideals of the socialists on the left, and the result might be a better, more liberty-oriented McCain, which wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    Dave

  • GOP

    ****Your generalization there seemed rather patronizing. You fail to see the point. Ron Paul supporters want SMALL GOVERNMENT. That means no intervention in other countries’ affairs, and that means little to no intervention in the affairs of citizens. Some supporters may feel more strongly about legalizing drugs or getting out of Iraq. But, the main purpose is ALWAYS smaller government.*****

    Not patronizing at all. In fact, that’s exactly what I said – Iraq (“little to no intervention in other countries’ affairs”), legalizing drugs (“little to no intervention in the affairs of its citizens”), and spending (“the main purpose is ALWAYS smaller government”).

    So if Ron Paul is president and nominates justices who favor overturning Roe, you’re OK with that and will support them? Realize, these will be Scalia/Thomas types, not Kennedy/O’Conner types. And if Roe is overturned, you’re not going to join or sympathize with the masses of lefties who will be screaming on the steps of the Capitol for months on end?

  • troll

    HOT DAMN – Barr for Pres – !

  • Kaleb

    Speaking for myself, I would be happy with more Scalia/Thomas types, especially if this type includes judges like Andrew Napolitano who have a great respect for the 4th Amendment. And from my experiences with other people inspired by Ron Paul, I would guess that sentiment is in the clear majority.

    What galls me most about GOP support for the Bush administration is the fact that this DOJ is doing all the things -and worse- that Republicans rightly screamed about during the Clinton years: claiming state secrets, politically-motivated prosecution of appointees, classification of public documents (the Yoo memos, for the latest example), and on and on. All of these activities obfuscate the citizen’s view of what his government is doing to his fellow citizens, and without that view we can never move in the direction of limited government. I’m so sick of being told to trust the motivations of people in power. (Which demand, btw, was a major flaw in the presentation of the Rules Committee’s Majority Report at the convention.) Faith in a person’s character is not a sufficient substitute for a paper trail of accountability, and Republicans post-Bill Clinton ought to realize that better than most.

    /rant

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bob Barr? You’ve got to be kidding. I’ll be flabbergasted if he gets the libertarian nomination. His candidacy is something dreamed up by the Washington Times to annoy McCain.

    He’ll be booed off the stage at the LP convention if anyone there has read his congressional voting record.

    Barr:

    Authored the Defense of Marriage Act
    Authored legislation opposing state legalization of medical marijuana
    Voted for the Patriot Act
    Voted for the War in Iraq
    Ran Against John Linder (FairTax) for Congress
    Tried to ban Wiccanism in the military (many soldiers have gone pagan in recent years)

    Barr is more of a religious nut job than Ron Paul and he’s closer to being a real neocon than most people who are accused of it, even if he has spoken out against the neocons in the Bush administration.

    Opposing Bush because he’s not conservative enough doesn’t actually make you a libertarian despite Barr’s claims.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    Thanks for clarifying your not being a conservative, I suspected as much all along, so I must thank you for your honesty. I agree that your political philosophy as I understand it us much more akin to the neo-cons and CFR WFB (skull and bones) type of republicans. Those that have no aversion to a ruling class, and have absolutetly no problem with ignoring the bill of rights, due process, and limitations on free speech. I put the following republicans into the same camp Dave.

    Armitage, Powell, Elliot Abrahms, WFB (God rest his soul), Krauthhammer, Cheney, Hatch, Ronnie Reagan, his suck up adopted child, and varous others, as there are too many to name.

    I never thought you were a true conservative Dave, such as Goldwater was, but just another typical republican who has absolutely NO idea what real freedom is, and has no respect whatosever as to the sovereign integrity of another nation.

    There is only one type of rebublican I like, and this comes from a guy who was raised as a liberal democrat. I like the Gary Allen (none dare call it conspiracy) type of republican, the Goldwater conservative, the rest of you are fakes and quite frankly have no idea who really runs either this country or the world. Ignorance is bliss, just ask
    Clavos.

    Thanks again Dave for your clarification, and I will not make the mistake of characterizing you as a conservative again.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Pablo, good thing I believe in the legalization of drugs because I wouldn’t want you to get arrested for whatever you’re smoking.

    Thanks for clarifying your not being a conservative, I suspected as much all along, so I must thank you for your honesty. I agree that your political philosophy as I understand it us much more akin to the neo-cons and CFR WFB (skull and bones) type of republicans. Those that have no aversion to a ruling class, and have absolutetly no problem with ignoring the bill of rights, due process, and limitations on free speech. I put the following republicans into the same camp Dave.

    As you know perfectly well, the only thing I have in common with those groups of statist nutbags is that I think that a merit based elite will inevitably be influential in any free society.

    never thought you were a true conservative Dave, such as Goldwater was, but just another typical republican who has absolutely NO idea what real freedom is, and has no respect whatosever as to the sovereign integrity of another nation.

    Actually, I’m EXACTLY what Goldwater was, a traditional Republican who believes in liberal social policy and conservative fiscal policy.
    Goldwater certainly wouldn’t have sided with the faction of loonies and halfwits which you attempt to speak for.

    There is only one type of rebublican I like, and this comes from a guy who was raised as a liberal democrat.

    Just like the neocons and most of the religious right.

    I like the Gary Allen (none dare call it conspiracy) type of republican, the Goldwater conservative, the rest of you are fakes and quite frankly have no idea who really runs either this country or the world.

    You really ought to read some of Goldwater’s writing sometime so you come off as just a little less ignorant. Then you might be ready to put aside your childish fantasies and sart discussing politics in a serious way.

    Pablum, your only real disagreement with me is that you believe in conspiracy fantasies and I believe in reality.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    Dave you said:

    your only real disagreement with me is that you believe in conspiracy fantasies and I believe in reality.

    Believing that 19 Arabs from Saudi Arabia living in caves in Afghanistan successfully infiltrated and attacked the most militarily powerful nation the earth has ever seen, with box cutters I would call a conspiracy fantasy of the highest order. Some people will believe ANYTHING. I have some beautiful forested land available for sale in the Sudan Dave. Send me an email and I will give you a great deal bucko.

    Don’t you think its time to come back to reality Dave? You obviously have had your brain washed a few times too many there fella.

  • Clavos

    Pot…meet kettle…

  • http://jetfireone.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Ma & Pa Kettle and their 16 kids-nice family; though I wasn’t aware they smoked pot?

  • Pablo

    Dave,

    You missed Jessie Ventura today on Alex jones dude.
    A great hour, and Jessie also says that he thinks 9-11 was an inside job. He also said that right after he became governnor of Minnesota, he was visited by 30 cia agents, none of whom would give their names. When Jessie asked them about their charter which specifically prohibited them form operating in the USA, they just hemmed and hawed.

    I would offer to send you the tape, as well as pdf books on the Tavistock Institute of Public Relations, as well as numerous other gems in my possession, but as your mind is as closed as any other typical republican, it would be wasted on ya. Good luck Davey your gonna need it.

  • Clavos

    Ah yes.

    One of Garrison Keillor’s favorite satirical targets, Governor Jimmy (Big Boy) Valente…

  • Pablo

    Dave you said:

    “You really ought to read some of Goldwater’s writing sometime so you come off as just a little less ignorant”.

    Umm to you mean something like this Davey?

    From “Barry Goldwater: With No Apologies”

    From the Personal and Political Memoirs of United States Senator Barry M. Goldwater

    “The Council on Foreign Relations has placed its members in policy-making with the State Department and other federal agencies. Every secretary of State since 1944, with the exception of James F Byrnes, has been a member of the council. Almost without exception, its members are united by a congeniality of birth, economic status and educational background.

    I believe the Council on Foreign Relations and its ancillary elitist groups are indifferent to communism. They have no ideological anchors. In their pursuit of a new world order they are prepared to deal without prejudice with a communist state, a socialist state, a democratic state, monarchy, oligarchy—it’s all the same to them.

    Rear Admiral Chester Ward, USN (Retd.), who was a member of the CFR for sixteen years, has written, “The most powerful clique in these elitist groups have one objective in common—they want to bring about the surrender of the sovereignty and the national independence of the United States.” Their goal is to impose a benign stability on the quarreling family of nations through the merger and consolidation. They see the elimination of national boundaries, the suppression of racial and ethnic loyalties as the most expeditious avenue to world peace. Their rationale rests exclusively on materialism. They believe economic competition is the root cause of international tension. This approach dismisses as insignificant the form of government or the political ideology expressed by that form.”

    Is that what you meant by reading Barry Goldwater Davey? Ummm Ok :)

    Ready to wake up yet Dave? Or is the slumber making you fuzzy.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Why would one, much less 30 CIA agents visit Jessie (sic)? As usual, the conspiracy theories make no sense at all. Sorry to hear that ‘The Body’ has finally lost his mind.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Pablo, this article from Minnesota Public Radio might help clear up some of your confusion.

    Dave

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Ah, Pablo. I forgot that you’re incapable of reading with comprehension.

    Look at the quote from Ward again. Do you see how he clearly differentiates between a small elite globalist cadre and the CFR in general? These kinds of distinctions are enormously important.

    It’s from ignoring that kind of distinction that conspiracy theories are born.

    Dave

  • Pablo

    As usual your caustic remarks are cute at best Davey, as to Jessie Ventura, I do not recall saying there was a conspiracy, but was only commenting on it as I heard his interview today. Are you suggesting he was lying? Or perhaps delusional sitting in he new Governor’s chair. Or are you just out to lunch as usual. I am not aware of anyone of note questioning Mr. Ventura’s honesty as to his words. I mentioned it only to show how odd our country has become. If true, as I believe him, it is very sad, and troubling. Even an apple pie american guy like you should agree Davey.

    Keep your caustic remarks coming, I alway enjoy returning the favor. Perhaps, and I doubt it, one day you will actually learn how to use words to debate, rather than to condescend, to learn rather than to be pompous, and to engage. You would rather sit there on your high horse thinking you know whats going on and arrogantly sharing your “wisdom” with the masses. I will always return your ugly remarks with my attempted wit and retort.

    Please let me know Dave if the day should come, when you actually would like to debate, rather than insult. I know, I know, I know, it makes you feel smug and superior, but hey your not a kid anymore Dave, You might even God forbid learn something about the world from an old fart like me.

    Until that time Dave, I will continue to treat you exactly as you have treated me. Enjoy your superiority, and your ignorance.

  • Pablo

    Oh and Davey?

    I like this one line out of the above url you listed about Mr. Ventura’s coffee with the CIA.

    “But Durenberger said he thinks the agency would be stretched to assign operatives to every state capitol and send 23 agents to attend the same meeting.”

    That one had me cracking up. I forget Dave what was their black op budget last year? They have agents in literally every country on the face of the planet, and for all intents and purposes an unlimited budget, but they are stretched to assing operatives to every state. HAHAHA

    You go believe the senator or cia, I will believe Jessie any day of the fuckin week over those yoyos.

    Got any other cute URL’s there Davey?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Re #95.

    I went to the MPR link and read the article. Ventura looks like a fat old man. Leaving the personal compliments and kind remarks aside, I never thought too much of Wodele when Ventura was in office, which is the time period around when we left America.

    Ventura’s assessment of this meeting with CIA types does not surprise me. There is still (there always was this element in his comments) of “how did the wrestler elbow out the ‘pros’ from running Minnesota?”

    My assessment of him remains unchanged. He was a good times governor for good times. When the dot.com crash took place and started eating away at the surplus in Minnesota’s budget, it wasn’t good times anymore. When he had to start cutting agency budgets, Ventura decided he’d had enough and took his big ego and big mouth and headed back to the suburbs where people like him belong.

    My wife’s (the native Minnesotan) comment on the MPR article. “A lot of good space was wasted on that article that could have been used on something more important.”

  • Pablo

    Wow Ruvy,

    I am really impressed. This is the first time that I can recall that you werent writing about your homeland. Will this trend continue?

    If your going to respond that all I ever talk about is US politics its true, however that seems to be the runnning theme of the political segment of this magazine.

    I never said that I was a big fan of Mr. Ventura, I am however of Alex! That being said Ruvy, the fact that cia agents were visiting a state governor uninvited to boot, should send chills down any freedom loving american. I found his interview on Mr. Jones site that was an hour long to be far more interesting than milktoast Larry King.

    I rarely comment on your posts because I do not find Israeli politics to be particularly interesting for me personally, no insult to your nation intended sir.

    As to your wife’s comment regarding wasting valuable space. Perhaps you should give her a quick lesson on websites, and the fact that there isnt any valuable space per se on the web, its dirt cheap to put another page up, for all intents and purposes its free. Nothing wasted, excpept perhaps her time, which is another story.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Paul,

    If you look at my comments on the American presidential race, you’ll see that they follow a consistent theme, one which doesn’t necessarily have to do with Israel. That theme is that whatever the rights or wrongs of the matter, your country can no longer afford to be in Iraq. Your involvement there is bankrupting you.

    If you remember, I tend to agree with you about the CFR and the various biggies draining the American economy. The book A Century of War, by William Engdahl, confirms all this without spelling out what others dismiss as conspiracy theory.

    As for Ron Paul, unfortunately, he seems to have a spotted history concerning Jew-hatred. But his one positive concept, so far as I was concerned, was pulling American troops out of many of the places where they don’t belong. Frankly, the media shunting him aside so that he did not have a Chinaman’s chance of winning did him the favor of keeping him alive. The shadow government that runs your country would have had him killed if he did not knuckle under to the directives of those who employ the CFR, the oil and banking establishment.

    If Obama gets the Democratic nomination, the same thing may happen to him, if he does not knuckle under to those who employ the CFR. Remember all the blood and death that surrounded the Clintons in office a decade ago. The media protecting Obama the way the Israeli media protected Rabin, Sharon and now (to a far lesser extent) Olmert, may just be a swift ride to his own grave. Consider where Sharon is now and where Rabin is now, just to mention two examples….

    Having been squeezed for the concessions that they could give the American oil and banking establishment, they were spit out like sunflower seeds. These assholes play for keeps.

    But returning to my commenting on American politics, where I think it is relevant, I do comment. See upthread, comment #15.

    At some levels, America is still a functioning democracy, which is more than can be said for the falafel republic I live in now. But, on the other hand, I did not move here to worship at the altar of democracy.

    This senate district convention that Dave so ably covered, whatever you think of his views, is an example of democracy still functioning in America – more or less….

  • Clavos


    This senate district convention that Dave so ably covered, whatever you think of his views, is an example of democracy still functioning in America – more or less….”

    Interesting.

    I saw the description of what went on at that district convention as a microcosm of the inherent chaos and ineffectiveness of democracies. A camel, as the saying goes, is a horse designed by a committee.

    Which is why the Founders did not set up, and never intended for, this country to be a democracy, despite what grade school civics teachers have been brainwashing kids with for generations.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I think I’m with Clavos on this issue. Democracy is a crude and ugly way to run anything. It’s also not terribly effective. The story I wrote here is really one of the struggle between democracy and the rule of law, and what we ended up with was somewhere inbetween, which I think is about as good as you can get when those two forces are involved. Too much democracy is mob rule and too much rules and structures takes out the representative element of the process.

    Dave

  • wildnfree

    Dave,
    I must say that this was an enjoyable little article. I actually like the term renegade republican! Although if anyone were to read the words of Buckley (who paved the way for the conservative commentators of today), they would call them retro-republicans. Tell me that they have a future, and get McCain to promise us that he will endeavor to undo or stop whatever B.S. Bush and congress do to attempt to “fix” (read collectivize) the housing industry. I agree with what he says on this and hope he can follow through. Who knows I might not vote for Wayne A. Root this time.
    I am thankful that at the few local Republican Party events that I attended here in SC, that all of the politically informed people were polite and welcoming. The problems came when when dealing with Bubba Joe in his rebel flag painted monster truck who would call us commies because we; A. wanted to reduce the size of the government B. get rid of the IRS,BATFE, Depts. of Agriculture, Homeland Security etc., and C. stop killing little brown people.
    It’s true that a lot of Paulites do not realize that a lot of what they believe in is already part of the party platform. It just gets overlooked or sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, but it is there.
    I really believe that a lot of the haters show up ignorant of what they are supporting and this what causes so much of the problems that they create.
    But I hope this little revolution continues because every little step in the right direction helps.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I must say that this was an enjoyable little article. I actually like the term renegade republican!

    I like the term too. I think they should play it up and take it nationwide. It’s a lot more viable in the loing term than sticking with Ron Paul as their identifier.

    Although if anyone were to read the words of Buckley (who paved the way for the conservative commentators of today), they would call them retro-republicans.

    The term a lot of them use is ‘paleo-republican’, but I’m not sure it’s really accuratge.

    Tell me that they have a future, and get McCain to promise us that he will endeavor to undo or stop whatever B.S. Bush and congress do to attempt to “fix” (read collectivize) the housing industry. I agree with what he says on this and hope he can follow through.

    I think they don’t get McCain at all. If they understood him they might realize that he’s their best hope. I think he would be easy for them to influence. He’s already philosophically sympathetic to them and he’s also receptive to negotiation. If they approached him the right way I think they could push him towards a much more libertarian position on a lot of issues. It’s a much more realistic strategy than continuing to stump for the unelectable Ron Paul.

    The problems came when when dealing with Bubba Joe in his rebel flag painted monster truck who would call us commies because we; A. wanted to reduce the size of the government B. get rid of the IRS,BATFE, Depts. of Agriculture, Homeland Security etc., and C. stop killing little brown people.

    You breed your bubbas differently in SC. Here in Texas the bubbas are all on board with Ron Paul and striking out at the government.

    It’s true that a lot of Paulites do not realize that a lot of what they believe in is already part of the party platform. It just gets overlooked or sacrificed on the altar of political expediency, but it is there.
    I really believe that a lot of the haters show up ignorant of what they are supporting and this what causes so much of the problems that they create.

    Well, if everyone comes in with a hostile attitude then they’re never going to find the common ground that they share.

    Dave

  • wildnfree

    Dave, most of our Bubbas here were Huckabee supporters. They have no problem with big government as long as everyone is forced to live by the moral code that they deem appropriate. As I said they have no concept of true republicanism.
    The Paul supporters in my group were a mixed bag of college kids, artists, small business men, gothic 20 somethings, bikers, backwoodsmen, Libertarian and Constitution party members, and other assorted weirdos (by SC standards anyway). Even today at my office people think that I’m some kind of radical anarchist nut case.
    Oh well you gotta love this game even if it does get you dirty sometimes.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Chances are that most of your bubbas were democrats at one time either when they were younger or a generation back in the family tree. Good ole southern democrats with a bible in one hand and the other one pulling down their white hood. Pretty much the opposite of real Republicans.

    But then you guys DO have Mark Sanford, the guy who is going to actually do what Ron Paul is trying to do in this election, come 2012.

    Dave

  • wildnfree

    Very true. I my self am descended from several generations of good ;} democrats. My grandpa spent nearly an hour cussing at me when I showed up at his house with a Reagan button on in ’84. (my first election!)
    Sanford does have the ability to pull off the smooth act and bite his tongue when it is appropriate, something that Paul has never had, and never will get.
    The problem will come in getting us to let go of Sanford! He is probably the most successful Republican governor of my adulthood.
    It amazed me that he got elected the first time because all of his ads carried the statement “Libertarian/Republican” I voted for him but thought that he was doomed.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I wish Sanford were running this year, but I can understand why he wouldn’t want to. After a disastrous Obama administration the public will be so eager for responsible government that Sanford will have a much easier time of it. I just don’t look forward to four years of hell.

    Dave