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Saturday, April 26

Nevada State Republican Convention

Several months ago I wrote a HARSH STORY about what a sham I thought the Nevada Republican Caucus was. I stand by that opinion although since that time I’ve learned eons of “stuff” that make the big picture smaller than the horrible picture that I portrayed in that post. Looking back I feel a little small and a little ignorant, but everybody starts somewhere and you can’t ramble if you aren’t willing to back it up later. Please read through this ramble too in order to understand what happened today. I’ve held off this post for some time as from the caucus I became a county delegate, then a state delegate, and a member of the Washoe County Republican Central Committee (WCRCC).

I got involved in this political process WHOLLY BECAUSE the caucus process in my precinct was so discombobulated! I didn’t know a thing, but knew I would fight for fairness and to the best of my ability represent my precinct in future matters the way they wanted to vote. Well, who knew that Nevada would pick one great candidate and one other different candidate to win first and second place for the Presidential nomination. Neither of the candidates that won the Nevada caucus was the candidate I personally voted for. However, I knew that I would represent my precinct fairly and got elected as a delegate. So few were interested in involvement that in the County Convention and even the State Convention you basically only had to nominate yourself, and since so few were willing, everyone that wanted to could. It’s not like I REALLY got elected, more that I was willing but at least I was willing in the sense of fairness and education of our process.

I never knew that conventions really have little to do with the Presidential candidate per say, but more to do with matters of the party, platform issues, delegate elections, and by-laws and rules. No real vote is made on the President until the National Convention, so it’s important to elect qualified delegates, but more important to represent Nevada and the best interest of our citizens. I never knew that parliamentary procedure could make or break a day or entire Party decisions. I never knew that grown adults could be so trivial in lesser matters, and not take some more serious matters closer to heart. I have learned a lot, and this post is merely my observations of our Nevada political process from a brand new freshman’s political activist and participant’s view. It has been a great ride and one that will probably keep me in this loop at least for a few more years :)

The Washoe County Republican Convention had its moments in the “low-light”, but was better and more organized than the caucus. Hours were spent in trivial argument over a word here and an idea there, but in the end we managed. I assumed that as the process furthered it would continue to get more organized and more “normal”. I was not a proponent of a caucus. I thought that the primary system worked much better and better represented the people as a whole. However, I’ve learned that as with me…thousands of people got involved this year for the first time due to that process. So without the caucus I would have never gotten so involved. I just always assumed that those better in the know handled such matters…not necessarily true. Over 1100 people were at our county convention, and the largest number attending for many years prior was 178. So I wrote off the disorganization and aggravating chaos that was there to inexperience of the almost ten times number of new participants. At this particular moment I find myself torn. Possibly it’s more important to reach out to get huge numbers involved, but keep the primary process. Or, if better educated, perhaps more prepared citizens could do a caucus with success…I’m not sure after today.

I do know this. When you are elected as a delegate, you ARE informed with e-mails, a website from which you may download information and gain knowledge, and prior to and at the convention you ARE handed paperwork that states in writing the entire agenda, platform, by-laws, and upcoming necessary information. You ARE given time even AT THE CONVENTION to put forth to the Party items that matter to you, there is just a deadline (DUH). I put in a fair amount of due diligence to be in the know but I know even I didn’t spend as much time as more dedicated persons. However, if you are going to step out on that limb and get yourself voted in as a delegate to represent hundreds, then thousands of your State’s citizens, one would think that ANY of these voted in folks would take the time to learn and be in the know. LOTS OF US are first-timers. Everybody was a first-timer once. AND, if prior to the NEXT convening of a body of voters if you as a delegate DIDN’T receive ALL the information you thought you should have, one would THINK that as a responsible delegate you WOULD SEEK OUT that information on your own as to be prepared for a convention. It’s NOT LIKE through the process to get that far you weren’t given at least ONE phone number of ONE person that could answer your concerns. As a brand new delegate I’ve found all veterans fairly accessible and willing to help, you just have to ASK. And, isn’t that the reason you decide to be a delegate? You decide to be one in order to represent hundreds or thousands of people that put their trust in you and/or don’t have the time or desire to do it themselves but still want and believe in the great freedom we are given as Americans to hold elections and make it fair and even. It’s a whittling down of the many to the few with like minds in order to get a fair say and a fair vote where it counts and becomes reality.

NO…NO…AND HELL NO! When a convention comes to order, so many are sitting in their seats prepared to the best of their ability and ready to do business at hand. It’s a strange thing as small as it seems…but there is a great sense of pride to be seated in a delegation that has the potential to promote the betterment of an entire nation. There is an excitement in the air at a convention, even a small one. Important people come and speak and an opportunity is given to each seated delegate to try to make a difference for the good of all of our Nevada citizens and to make a difference for the good of the Republican Party. And then…”those people” show their ugly heads.

In the process of passing rules, by-laws, platform issues, etc. there IS and SHOULD BE items that delegates want to debate. That is the duty and responsibility and right of each seated delegate. We have to debate items in order to reach consensus. HOWEVER, so MANY people come un-prepared. So many don’t read the published items that committees have ALREADY resolved. The Republican Party invites commentary. Committees that are ELECTED give delegates ample time to present in writing the views of all for consideration AND these committees are made up of a broad based group representing folks of all thought processes throughout the state. Granted, at a convention if a rule, or law, or item slips through that a great number disagree with, it’s welcome to amend, and parliamentary procedure allows for change. However, SO MANY come in and want to literally REINVENT THE WHEEL! People claim “they didn’t know”. BULLSHIT! People have the opportunity to KNOW. It’s all on the websites. A common sense delegate would have in mind LONG BEFORE the convention items that were vital to them. If it doesn’t come up in published intentions, one SHOULD PRESENT in writing to the committees their concerns long before we are all seated in the convention. When we debate on controversial items (and there ARE some), we need to just follow the rules, debate for 10-20 minutes, call a vote, accept the vote and MOVE THE FREAK ON! Normal adults have no problem with this.

I read the items prior to the convention, only a few I didn’t know about. I didn’t like two of the platform choices, and I voted according to my heart. Majority rules within Robert’s Rules of Order, and I lost. It happens and we move forward. It’s called Democracy even within a Republic. Some win, some lose. It’s the people that DON’T study and come in to change every little thing and every little triviality that irritate me. I wish we would have passed a couple of items that did not, but yes wins and no loses…welcome to America…the GREATEST NATION ON EARTH! “They” had the opportunity LONG before the day and didn’t bother to follow the process, so THEN…we are BOUND morally, and by Robert’s Rules to allow those discontents their “day in court”.

So, if you’ve read this far…(I ramble), HERE’S THE ONE REASON OUR NEVADA STATE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION FAILED!!! Inexperienced people, experienced people who are bandwagon riders, and people with just little common sense stirred the shit pot so heavily “because they could” to the point that we just had to leave because time flat ran out. It was embarrassing and detrimental to Nevada’s Republican Party. The discontents had schooled themselves well in chaotic procedure in order to keep confusion and chaos a priority through technically allowable means. BOY! Is it ever true…”Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

It was discovered that some Nevada counties DID NOT get ample notification and ample opportunity to submit nominations for National delegates to the committee in appropriate time. Well, fair is FAIR, and Carson City, NV (our State’s capital city) was one of those “counties”. So it was appropriately voted that nominations could come from the floor even though a list was pre-approved from the committee. I agreed with that. However, as simple as that was to agree to, believe it or not, it took our convention about 3 hours to debate that and agree to it.

So, once agreed to, and given the “freaking normal assumption that those people or counties had folks already in mind” to nominate, we’d add a few folks (obviously some Ron Paul heavyweights) to the list. NO…NO…and HELL NO again. OVER 100 “PEOPLE” had to add their names to the list! NOW, we have to try and sort through over probably close to 150 people nominated to be NATIONAL DELEGATES. We are talking about a body of over 1300 people from EVERY COUNTY IN NEVADA to vote in ONLY slightly over 30 national delegates. We’re asked to rationally and successfully vote in 30 or so delegates and about 30 alternates to our national convention from a group of over 100 people we don’t know or have any idea where they stand on issues, or how they would vote at a National Convention…and our committee had ALREADY REVIEWED RESUMES’ AND CREDENTIALS OF EVERYONE WHO SUBMITTED THEIR NAMES PRIOR TO CONVENTION AND MADE THE LIST TO VOTE FROM. If each county or group would have considered their best shot of a win and nominated even one from each county or even two or so it would have been fair. 100+ new possible delegates? INSANITY! It was mostly ALL Ron Paul extremists who were trying to stack their little deck if you ask me that were trying to “be somebody”. Not everyone, but certainly most, and they were proud of their chaos, they acted like little children.

POINT OF CLARIFICATION: Nevada’s GOP runs SOLELY ON VOLUNTEERS! We each pay OUR OWN WAY for everything. It costs literally somewhere between $5000 and $8000 of YOUR OWN MONEY to go to the National Convention. It was obvious that it was silly for over 100 people that should have had the opportunity to get on the list much earlier FIGHT SO HARD to spend $8000 of their OWN MONEY just to go and vote for a guy that’s going to lose anyway. To the few rational people that wanted to be legitimate national delegates and truly didn’t get the opportunity…I’m so sorry they didn’t get the chance. Even the legitimate Ron Paul supporters. The MISTAKE the Ron Paul camp made was to not have better organized their moonbat camp into a select few that COULD WIN a delegate vote and have their people in early. The committee has representatives from a balanced portion of the state which were ELECTED by their PEERS. (POINT OF HINT: Start your heated voting process if you’re a moonbat by electing to your committees like minded folk like yourselves if you’re going to have so many beefs!) If they couldn’t win a seat within the normal process, what made them think they could actually win a seat within a State Convention of seated delegates of about 1300 of their favorite “friends” and strangers? Not a common sense strategy and not a common sense thought process of finalization if you ask me. If you cannot win within your own county or your own convention or committee, what makes one think you COULD WIN amongst a few MORE THOUSAND people that DON’T EVEN KNOW YOU???!!!

The Ron Paul camp more concentrated themselves on creating chaos just because they could rather than securing a few delegates that they knew they could win. Again, DAMN Ron Paul for continuing the pursuit of a losing cause. I’m NOT SAYING that Ron Paul doesn’t have his right to run, or that his message isn’t vitally important to those that follow him to the cross. However, when it is EVIDENT that you are at the point that victory is impossible, it’s time to hang your hat until another day when perhaps enough people will sign on to your message in order to actually win and make a difference. He claims to be a Republican or a Conservative. As such he should know when to throw in the towel. I didn’t want McCain either, but McCain is still better than Hillary or Obama. Sad but true that sometimes the lesser of three evils becomes the better choice for the needs of the many. The Ron Paul heavyweights at our conventions placed the needs of a few over the well being of the Nevada citizens and the well being of Nevada Republicans that mistakenly voted them in as delegates to our State Convention. No matter how strongly you feel about your particular personal agenda, at some point it has to be evident that your job as a delegate (since the RNC voted to have non-binding delegates…also on the ballot to change I hear) must be to weigh the needs of the many heavier than the needs of a few…damn the luck or the lot life has taken this particular political year.

And to Mike Weber…YES I’m printing his name on this blog. The State convention is public and it’s not like we in Washoe County don’t know who he is. He IS THE KING of parliamentary procedure. He fights on the Right and he fights for FAIR. I got into this mess strictly to be FAIR. Mike Weber represents fair to the tee, even if the tee irritates the living hell out of you. He’s offered up his own time to hold classes in parliamentary procedure to teach us new people the proper way to convene prior to this convention. He makes sure under any circumstance that our proceedings are held properly and fairly no matter who feels the need to address the delegate body. He does this so that when we do finish business, it’s been done properly, it’s over, and it cannot be appealed later to a higher body and be invalidated. I’ve heard some rumblings that in a convention many years prior he was the proponent and activist that fought fair on an unpopular side of a fence. I don’t know anything about that, as this year is my first. I can only say that in my one year of participation I’ve seen him more than once fight for fair on a side of a fence he doesn’t stand on. Drive-By’s will say it’s guilt, or knowledge that if you are going to take a bullet on a down side you then have to take a bullet on an upside to balance or vice versa. I personally believe, so far at least that I see him sitting right on the fence line…RIGHT on the fence line. That’s why I got involved, to just be fair and right. And, I got involved knowing that “politics makes for strange bedfellows”, but as a citizen I wanted to try and make some difference.

At least Mike Weber has the wherewithal to STAY. I’m not judging anyone for their God given right to vote, move, or even LEAVE of their own free will. I do KNOW THIS. Whichever side of a fence you sit on, when ELECTED to do a job, DON’T VOLUNTEER, NOMINATE YOURSELF, GET ELECTED, OR EVEN PARTICIPATE if you are not willing to STAY THE COURSE. If the hundreds of people that left today throughout the day had stayed to DO THE JOB THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO this post would be a mute point. Yea people have people to see, places to go, and things to take care of, and they get tired and fed up after hours of needless trivialities. However when it’s the future of a nation or a political party that’s been placed into your hands, no matter how frustrating or how disgusting the process might become, it’s your duty as an elected official to see it through. Don’t sign up if you can’t stay until it’s OVER. If you cannot or are not willing to stick out a 13-14 hour day, don’t come at all. I met a LOT of really incredible people today that just got fed up and left. Yes, some of the day is irritating and trivial, but I think we knew that coming in. I fully expected it to be this way and this is my first year. I commend Mike Weber for his diligence and dedication to Nevada’s citizens and our Republican Party. I admire him. He tried to save the convention by reconvening the body. However, so many people had gotten fed up and left that we did not have enough remaining people to have a quorum...so we had to leave to reconvene another day. Mike Weber is also running for a State Assembly seat, I think he’d make a good one. Thanks to RGJ.com for the photos :)

OJ Simpson’s lawyer on OJ Simpson’s behalf coined the phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” I say, if you think you might have to quit, DON’T COMMIT! NO MATTER WHICH SIDE OF THE FENCE YOU SIT ON. The reason the moonbats are taking over the country is simple, they have staying power. They are willing to rant and rave and cause chaos until they chase off normal folk. I heard it OVER and OVER in conversation tonight. “We’re going to make national news!” (as they high-fived) Yea, we made national news, in the reality TV caliber full of shit category.

We’ll reconvene and make it right…RIGHT AND RED!

Check the blog for another convention story titled Nevada State GOP Convention - The Good. Outside the end result, there was a lot of exciting things at the convention :)