Monday, March 26, 2012
Never Mind the Establishment Here's the Paulistas
The following is a synopsis of what went down at the SD49 BPOU convention (West Bloomington/Edina Minnesota) on Saturday. I was there and have been helping Paulistas there with organizing (h/t Matt Collins).
First motion of the morning was to prohibit video taping of the Convention and it amazingly passed. Such a motion is out of order thus null and void. It’s a public meeting that was not in what’s called “Executive Session” meaning that recording is indeed allowed.
A number of establishmentarians tried to have Matt and I removed from the room because we were obviously coordinating with and coaching the RP delegates on what parliamentary moves to make. Fortunately for their sake, they weren't able to convince the leadership to do it.
"They did all sorts of things to attempt to stack the deck in their favor legally.
First of all, because of redistricting, they had to create an entirely new organization. Therefore all officers had to be elected, bylaws had to be adopted, and the rules for the convention had to be changed too. That's a long process. But they wanted to keep lots of the previous organization intact along with "the way we've been doing it". Most of the rules favored the establishment and were essentially an incumbent protection plan. This is a very heavy Romney area.
There were several things in the rules and bylaws we were trying to get changed to remove their built-in advantage. I won't go into great detail but when it came time to vote for delegates about 50 people got in line behind the mic to nominate themselves. They put up the list on the screen of delegates who they wanted to be nominated (all establishment people) and made a motion to vote on it. We interjected (I instructed our people to hover around the mic) and started trying to nominate people. They fought that, and then someone moved to close nominations. The Chair was going to take a vote on closing nominations but that was out of order. I had a copy of RRO in my hand and was whispering to our 2 or 3 people on exactly what to say since I wasn't allowed to speak aloud by way of addressing the convention/chair.
At this point the room went berserk as our people (including many Santorum people I suspect) were livid that the establishment was trying to ram through their slate of delegates without allowing any other nominations. Our people got into a yelling match with the Chair both yelling over each other over the mics and PA system. I thought we were about to have a fistfight followed by a riot in the chairs as the Romney /establishment people in the crowd were yelling against others en masse.
RRO clearly stated that a call to close floor nominations was out of order if people were still attempting to nominate themselves (about 50 people were). The Chair and parliamentarian didn't seem to care, or know RRO, and they didn't seem inclined to be bothered to look it up either.
We weren't winning that argument so I instructed my guy at the mic to let this one go, because RRO requires a 2/3rd majority in order to close floor nominations and I was confident they didn't have those numbers. And I told him even if he did, then we could appeal the motion anyway because it was in clear violation of RRO. So the chair called for a vote for closing floor nominations after only 1 person had been nominated. A vote was taken, the chair tried to sneak it through by saying the "ayes have it" which was utter BS. Our people screamed "DIVISION" at the top of their lungs and forced a handcount. I don't remember the exact numbers of that vote but the numbers were that they were essentially 1 vote short of being the required 2/3rd to close nominations.
Because of our quick action, we were able to allow floor nominations for everyone who wanted it. To say that the establishment was LIVID would be an understatement.
We had flexed our parliamentary muscle and won in that instance which was good. We had to fight them on a few more items but not quite as hard. Even after being shouted down they still tried to ram votes through. But yeah, that was the hi-light of the day. Some of it is on film.....
During the Convention we had non-establishment rank and file Republicans coming up to us explaining that they were glad we were putting a foot in the door of the establishment here. One guy said "they've been doing this to us for decades, and now you are able to stop them".
Ultimately it is important that the establishment be made aware that we WILL fight these unfair rules and will not allow these types of exclusive advantages to stand. Let's just say that we taught the establishment in this area yesterday a lesson that they will not forget for a loooooooong time. We broke up their little private country club and made it so that they were not the exclusive arbiters of power anymore. This is how the GOP changes over the long term."
"One non-Ron Paul supporter in the district told us "For years they've been shoving stuff up our ass, and today you guys are giving them an enema" ha ha ha ha"
More on this story at Daily Paul.
So that's how I spent the better part of birthday Saturday which naturally led to this: