Oklahoma Republican convention report

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The 2008 Oklahoma Republican State Convention adjourned about an hour ago, having completed its agenda, electing a slate of 23 delegates and 23 alternates, 2 presidential elector nominees, a national committeewoman, and a national committeeman.

The convention approved the rules recommended by the convention rules committee, approved the slate of delegates and alternates nominated by the State Executive Committee (of which I am a member), and the two elector nominees recommended by the State Executive Committee. The convention elected James Dunn, the 2006 nominee for Attorney General, and retired Woodward veterinarian Carolyn McLarty to the Republican National Convention. (Incumbents Lynn Windel and Bunny Chambers stepped aside after 12 years.)

A group calling themselves the Liberty Values Coalition -- an alliance of Ron Paul supporters, paleoconservatives, and conspiracy theorists, with a number of long-time party activists who, for one reason or another, are disaffected with party leadership -- attempted to get one of their own elected as convention chairman, attempted to defeat the proposed rules, and attempted to defeat the Executive Committee slate, failing in each case. The group distributed a proposed slate which mixed selected members of the Executive Committee slate with a number of Ron Paul supporters.

Former National Committeewoman Mary Rumph was one of those nominated for delegate on the Executive Committee slate who was also listed on the Liberty Values Coalition flyer. When she told the convention that her name was appropriated by the LVC without her consent, the loud and long applause told the story: The "non-Pauls" had the majority at the convention.

More later.

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Ted D. said:

As a first timer to a state convention, I’d like to offer my report. I know people who were voting on both the “establishment” side and the “Liberty Values Coalition” side. I myself ended up voting both in support of and in opposition to both sides. So…among the Republican activists I am a moderate. Based upon the right leaning polarity of crowd, that still places my well grounded on the right.
I’m a sick freak. Let me qualify that statement. I enjoyed the “bloodletting by Robert’s Rules of Order.”
There were several instances where it was obvious there was some political maneuvering going on with the rules. The several motions to change, amend, and approve the rules of the convention prove to be a quagmire in the political process. To me…this is a good thing. It keeps abrupt changes to the way things are done from happening too fast.
I think the establishment of the Oklahoma Republican party is in need of a conservative wake up call. On the other hand, I am glad to see that the right people (those from the establishment) were elected to fill the offices that were voted on today. I learned a lot about local politics once again. The interesting part for me was to see how certain people I know voted. There is one particular group I am familiar with who are similarly minded and I thought would have voted as a block. They were split, some with the establishment, some with the coalition that included the “Paulies”. I want to learn more. I want to understand what drives the establishment and see what it is about the anti-establishment (for lack of a better term) that drives them to change. I WANT TO KNOW WHAT GOES ON IN THOSE “SMOKE FILLED BACK ROOMS”. I know some of the people in those rooms, but I am not invited yet. I have yet to pay my dues. (Qualifying statement) I will not enter those back rooms if it compromises my personal beliefs.
The leader of the Liberty Values Coalition was given a chance to express his views of why they were opposing the “establishment” slate of delegates given to us by the “establishment”. At that point I was thankful for the character of Sen. Williamson, who was elected as Convention chairman, and Rep. Wright, Parliamentarian. They were fair and allowed both sides to make their points.
In the end, I am satisfied with the people elected to each position and I am thankful for the Liberty Values Coalition. My prayer is that the establishment takes note and aligns itself with the mainstream conservative ideals in Oklahoma (Liberty Values Coalition). If this happens, I see a long term prominence of the Republican Party in Oklahoma.

steve said:

This was a very hateful and misleading article. There's a more complete and accurate account of the convention at http://www.coupbymemo.com/convention.

chere said:

breakdown of attendance
30% senior citizens (establishment)
30% establishment & their families
30% Coalition Values.
Which 30% pays most of the
politicians salaries?
Which 30% will vote for better
this year & the years to come?

Michael Patlan said:

Steve, I don't see anything hateful or misleading. Read the follow-up post where it explains the raw and weighted vote totals. The convention was fair and anything to the contrary is sour grapes.

Pat said:

Most of the convention went perfectly for my taste. The theatrics displayed by the mostly new, so-called "Constitutionalist" did exactly what I thought they would - that is, they greatly angered many who have sacrificially given great efforts to the party, for years.

The Ron Paul people don't give nearly enough credit to these people. They seem to think that ONLY Ron Paul people have any clear understanding of the Constitution, when in fact, their take on the Constitution is a flawed one. They should recognize that fact, since they don't even agree amongst themselves on many basic principles that guide their interpretations of it. These dramatic theatrics were mildly entertaining, but completely needless and did not do anything to help defeat Obama (or Clinton) in November. The Paulites don't seem to grasp the concept that the race in November is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL, because they constantly claim that there is no difference between John McCain and the Democrats' nominee. That is where they are DEAD-WRONG and they need to realize it before they cause irreparable damage to the only party that stands between these radical liberals and the Oval Office with control of both the House and the Senate. Obama and Clinton both believe in partial-birth abortion, which involves shoving a scissor-like device into the back of the head of an otherwise breach-born child and vacuuming out their brains. Obama even takes it a step further with his belief in "post-birth abortion", in the event that the baby is "accidentally" fully born alive, during the process of being a victim of a partial-birth abortion - he argued during his Senatorial campaign against Alan Keyes that the baby in that situation should not expect to be fed or medically treated, but rather just left completely alone until suffering death from starvation, hypothermia, suffocation, medical complications, or any combination. Most Paulites just want to leave such moral issues up to each of the individual states to decide - much like the issue of slavery was a states-only issue, until Abraham Lincoln. Aside from just this one moral issue, Obama and Clinton are pretty much Socialist, too. But, be it far from the Paulites to see the importance of party unity, at this time. It's so much more important for them to enjoy making dramatic theatrics with their newly-found game called Robert's Rules of Order than to care anything about victory for the party they've just joined over these radicals.
I was glad to see them get shut down so much. Williamson and Jones deserve a lot of credit for their upholding proper order, in spite of these attempts to discredit our organization and it's processes.

The only REALLY bad part of this convention was at the very final few seconds, when the time to adjourn had already come and people were already starting to leave, because the Vince Gill concert people had already started pumping music into the hall. It was at this time, that the Party Platform was quickly put to a vote, with absolutely no discussion or debate, whatsoever. It only narrowly passed by voice vote and, due to the embarrassingly, ridiculous contents of it, should have failed miserably. Certain new planks of it do not, at all, represent the core values held by most Republican Oklahomans, as the Platform Committee was stacked with Paulites in numbers that did not at all represent their 3% showing in the Primaries. This article explains in detail:


Orat said:

Those who are glad the executive committee slate passed must understand this:
This slate included a man who was on the board of Planned Parenthood until 2 years ago. It also included a man who is a member of an organization whose other members include the Islamic Society of Tulsa, and a gay and lesbian organization. It also contained 5 Giulliani donors (likely pro-abortion individuals), and a woman who, when asked if she supporter legislation protecting the unborn, answered that she thought these kinds of social issues were hurting the party.

In addition to that, it included a laundry list of paid GOP staff -- not grassroots volunteers. So why did the committee resort to choosing such unqualified individuals out of a pool of 115 applicants? Because 64 of those applicants were Paul supporters, leaving those on the committee very little room to be choosy. So because of their refusal to select even the most highly qualified, long-term GOP activist Paul supporters, they had to resort to choosing paid staff and outright liberals. In the process they excluded some of the most adamantly pro-life activists, long-term Republican volunteers, and even a few who had been involved in the Reagan administration.

Now I should clarify one thing: the Executive Committee was not homogenous. There were many good conservatives on the committee, but the committee was very evenly split. The liberal candidates were selected by margins as thin as 1, 2, and 3 votes. So the idea that the product of this committee reflects Oklahoma conservative values is very flawed, because, yes, there were many good conservatives who voted on that committee, but they were barely outvoted.

The Liberty Values Coalition slate, on the other hand, had the support of many of the more conservative members of the Executive committee, who themselves had a hand in selecting the members of LVC slate. It also had the endorsements of some of Oklahoma's most conservative Republican leaders, including Charley Meadows, James Dunn, Greg and Susan Hill, and many others. Its slate was 100% pro-life, 100% pro-family, and 100% conservative. The choice should have been clear.

Those who believe the convention was conducted fairly are mistaken for the following reasons:
1. The state rules committee had been stacked by Gary Jones' own admission. Paul supporters represented roughly a third of those who had been recommended for the Rules Committee by their respective counties (the same ratio showed itself at the State convention). The initial chair of that committee randomly appointed individuals from that pool of recommendations. Therefore, the Paul supporters received a (slightly less-than) proportionate representation on that committee. Gary Jones was livid when he learned this, and quickly removed the chair of the committee, replaced her with himself as well as another co-chair, and then proceeded to appoint many more people to the committee at the last minute in an effort to dillute the Paul votes.

He then railroaded the rules committee by forcing through his own proposed scheme which made it such that the Executive Committee slate had to be voted on up or down first, without amendment and without the opportunity for others to be nominated, and if that slate was voted down, the convention would be forced into a protracted and exhausting individual nomination and run-off scheme. In other words, if you wanted to actually conclude business by 3:00 (the deadline before we got kicked out of the convention hall), you had to approve the Executive Committee slate.

That meant anyone trying to run an alternative slate HAD to challenge the portion of the rules that created the above unacceptable situation. So we did. And in so doing, we angered those who thought the convention should have been a mere coronation ceremony instead of an ELECTION.

Contrary to the comments above, we succeeded in striking down the above restrictive rule. But not before the convention chairman used very slanted language when referring to our motions, such as his statement that we were "attacking" the rules. That sort of shaded wording is utterly innappropriate for a chairman. He also turned the crowed against us by ludicrously chiding a delegate for "interrupting" him, even though the delegates' motion was an INTERRUPTING MOTION! That is why they are CALLED "interrupting motions", becuase they are motions which are allowed to interrupt.

But after having stricken down the unfair rules designed to force the outcome of the convention, we then made a motion to amend the slate. This is a completely valid motion to make, but the chair ruled it out of order. This was ridiculous!

There were many, many other examples of cheating and manipulation I could point to, such as the phone calls identifying themselves as "Oklahoma GOP" when, in fact, it was McCain's Arlingon, VA campaign office calling Oklahoma convention-goers to find out whether they were going and who they would be supporting. Or the fact that flyers for the alternative slate were being taken up and thrown away by some, and even the state Chairman gave an order for attendees to fold them up (so they could not read them) and pass them in to be discarded. But I simply don't have time to detail all the nefarious things that happened surrounding the state convention. Suffice it to say, the Establishment fought hard to hand on to its control rather than allowing the grassroots to have their fair say.

We would be happy to lose fair and square. But we are not happy when the convention was manipulated to such a degree. We will not forget what happened Saturday, and we have learned many lessons from this. You will not get away with it again.

Kyle Heying said:

Ignoring the other comments on here COMPLETELY, I do believe your assessment of how the convention went down is good. It killed me all day Saturday while I was at work that I would not be there to participate, drove me crazy until I started hearing about the attempts that were made there by supporters of a certain person who is not our political party's front runner. I am thankful to the Comanche County delegation that attended, since I could not. I heard that our votes from our county were 16 to 9, at least my prayers were with the delegation in attendance that day.

Kyle Heying
CCRP Committeeman to the 4th District

Concerned Oklahoma Conservative said:

I was a delegate at the State convention both in 2008 and 2009 and I for one agree that the majority if not 100% of the convention was not conducted fairly and I don't understand how anyone can say that real conservative Christian Oklahomans/ Americans do not really understand the Constitution is beyond me (it doesn't matter witch candidate you supported) what matters is if we can all agree on the Issues that are most important to all conservative Christians (pro life, saving the constitution Ect)

Thanks Concerned Oklahoma Conservative

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on May 3, 2008 4:15 PM.

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