Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Let the Super-Delegates decide?...

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While waiting for the election results from Indiana concerning the Democratic Party primary between Hillary and Obama, there was a report on how the Clinton campaign will be concentrating more support on the Super-delegates for a victory. It seems that the campaign will begin special focus on convincing those considered Super-delegates to commit, maintain, and switch support to Clinton for a victory over Obama.

We are approaching and witnessing a uniquely tenuous time in politics and current situations promise to change how many citizens view their votes in the future. Imagine if the Democratic primary results come in and one candidate receives a substantial majority of the votes of the citizens who came out looking for a “Change” from the current leadership, only to have their votes disregarded and ignored by those who “know what is best for the party”. Enter the “Super Delegate”. The voting public watches as their vote, opinion, voice, and educated choice is changed by a “Super Delegate” chosen by the party hierarchy.

As the final election approaches we also begin to see a “paranoia” develop within the ranks of the party as some people view opposing or somewhat different opinions as a challenge to the party or people in leadership positions. This has in the past and will likely progress to a point where some even stand up and claim that they are more party oriented then others in the crowd. Here in the 6th district of Virginia Republican party we have seen some claim that others do not support or endorse the party’s candidates as they could or should publicly. The fact is there are many levels and ways of showing support both publicly and privately and a party that incorporates all forms of support for the Republican candidate benefit’s the candidate and the party.

Unfortunately the focus changes from convincing a large number of voters and constituents to convincing a super delegate who’s vote is more valuable and subject to “Spin” influence at times. This leaves the voting citizen questioning the political system as they see their efforts and vote overruled by a committee member. This past weekend in Lexington there was meeting of the 6th district Republican committee at which time the committee members voted 15 to 8 to recognize Kurt Michael as chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee. This committee was assembled to review “facts” of the Augusta County mass meeting where the majority of voters in attendance chose Dr. Larry Roller over Kurt Michael by a margin of 141 to 103 votes. Michael claimed that the meeting was not closed properly but that is all after the fact that the voting public chose Roller in a up and down vote over Michael. The closing of the meeting happened after the voters had cast their votes for Chairman and was not an issue at the time of voting. After the committee met to review the “facts” and listen to comments by Michael, Roller was not allowed to speak to the committee, they voted to recognize Michael as their Augusta County Republican Chairman. These 6th district committee members decided that they understand the workings of the Republican party better then the citizens of the 6th district and that they knew “best” for the party and disregarded the recorded 141 to 103 vote of the citizens in attendance at the mass meeting.

If the 6th district committees vote is allowed to stand how will the voting public view their vote when compared to the “Super-delegates” vote? It will be interesting to watch the fallout if Hillary is able to steer away enough Super-delegate votes to overrule the citizens vote for Obama…

Lets not forget past history and the possible future use of legal actions when some people do not get the results they expected or desired. Al Gore took legal action to change the way votes were counted in Florida when it appeared he lost that state. It is sad when a presidential candidate, or chairman, feels it necessary to take legal action when the results of the voting citizen does not agree with his agenda or game plan. This is but another way of devaluing the citizens vote while claiming they are doing the will of the people or “for the good of the party”…

Remember the bumper sticker after the 2000 election “Selected not Elected”…

6 comments:

Phil said...

As I have said to you before, it was a messed up mass meeting. No one intelligently denies that the votes were not there for Michael to be temporary chair that night, based on popular vote.
And as I have stated before,there were mistakes made. But you know that the rules had been set for the 7 districts to vote for party chairman.

That night, when the very first attempt was made to close the nominations for temporary chair, it was clear that this was not going to go smoothly or politely. I didn't like that anymore than you did. It brought the adversarial feelings to the forefront.

After the first votes were counted for Jim Bailey, I said to my wife that it was over, unless Kurt can win 4 of the 7 districts. With 72 people in Hanger's district, I figured that was lost. I saw the numbers in the Wayne district when we were signing in people. I thought it would be close there. I didn't know the other 5. Then the mistakes and the obstruction started. I wanted a fair fight, but you have to admit that it did not occur. The rules had been set up so one person couldn't stack the deck.It was supposed to be a vote of 7, not 244. Puting up that vote # is a red herring.

Those mistakes were compounded when Jim Bailey tried to adjourn the meeting. You saw Kurt plead with Bailey to finish the job. When Bailey walked out, Kurt did the job. His motives can easily be questioned. Some people are saying he has a lust for power. Some are saying he just wanted the job done right. Others have said he was doing it "for the good of the party." Whatever the reason that night, I don't know.

It was done. It caused rancor, anger, etc. Understandable. That anger caused things to be said back and forth. I think Kurt did the right thing by resigning. As I have said, I thought that would let the healing begin. It didn't There was more reaction. People did not believe Kurt. I did. I thought he was trying to do the right thing. I am sure that Kurt and Lynn felt that they were being pushed into a corner and they reacted back. Their anger grew as their integrity was attacked.

The investigation ensued. The investigator never spoke to Chris Green, or Kurt Michael. How is that an investigation? Fred Anderson made conflicting statements. There was talk of tampering.
"You say If the 6th district committees vote is allowed to stand how will the voting public view their vote when compared to the “Super-delegates” vote?" An equal question is if the electeds can change the rules in the middle of the game, how will the voting public view their votes? Why bother doing something, if it is not going to count?

I am no happier than you with the events, as they occurred.I just wish that things will settle out. There are many people in that 141 that I like and respect, as there are in the 103. Hopefully, things will calm after 5/31

RightsideVA said...

Phil,

I agree the mass meeting started going sour at the beginning but what few people know or noticed was the way Kurt Michael had already plans in the works to prevent anybody else from being temp chair. He opened nominations for temp chair at which time 1 of the 3 from his front row nominated Michael as temp chair, a quick 2nd by another in that front row, and a close of nominations by a 3rd all in very quick succession. Kurt Michael then closed the nominations and told Shrewsbury that nominations had been closed before she was recognized. The People saw that She was standing and nominating while the gang of three played their tactics and had to recognize Shrewsbury for it was obvious what Michael was doing. That and the TV camera was sitting right there taking video. This tactic was NO surprise for I recall a "Talk" at a past Republican Advance event where Michael was talking with another chairman on how to use this tactic to gain and keep control of the mass meeting. Control of the committeees used and control of the agenda. That is where the meeting started to go wrong and this is how we want the Republicans who came to a mass meeting treated? This is the unity that Kurt Michael claims he wants for the party?

After that the meeting went south for the "other" side did not have a proper agenda ready to go with. There were hopes that Kurt Michael would have allowed his agenda to be followed but "Unity" was not possible there also. Again, we chose to let the meeting go poorly due to egos and other agendas instead of doing the good thing for the party or the Republicans gathered there... Sad but that might be what is needed to correct this whole thing.

"Some are saying he just wanted the job done right" maybe providing the use of his agenda with modifications would have united the party here? Both sides had the opportunity here to do what was good for the party but they both failed.

As far as resigning the question there does Kurt have a position to resign from? The majority of the vote went in favor of Dr. Roller, or against Kurt Michael depending how you look at it, before any of the problems with the closing of the meeting ever came up. The people voting, before there was the problem of the closing had a choice and made the clear choice of Dr. Roller as the Chairman they wanted. That is why the vote # is not a red herring...

How sure are you of who the investigating committee spoke to?

As far as changing the rules why did Kurt Michael use the same rules (Majority vote# instead of 7 vote electrial college format)for his 2nd meeting that resulted in 57 to 2? If that was illegal why did he use the same format?

I also am not happy with the events and actions of either extreme of the party and issue. I would like to see it calm down and people come together but it is obvious there is little trust in eachother from either side. The above example of temp chair nomination is a perfect example.

I too respect, like, and value many people from both the 141 camp and the 103 camp. It is important that those in the middle of both camps speak up and express their opinions, observations, and ideas concerning this issue. There will always be people from the opposite extremes but people like you with your blog are presenting both sides of the issues and fostering the healing process.

Thanks for the comments and lets both do the best we can...

Steve

Phil said...

ur 1st paragraph agrees with my second.

I understand ur point about resigning from a position that he did not have, but if there was no reaction from Roller to that, he would have had no choice but to resign.

"Some are saying he just wanted the job done right" maybe providing the use of his agenda with modifications would have united the party here? Both sides had the opportunity here to do what was good for the party but they both failed.That is a valid point. The thing I wonder is how many people would respond well if they are put in same position. I am sure that he was thinking something along the lines of "You want to take over the temporary chair, go ahead, but I hope you prepared." Is that right? I don't think so. Is it human? very.

Well Kurt is saying he wasn't interviewed. Chris had said early on that he had not, but I don't know if they did eventually.

The vote # is still a red herring. Yes Roller had the majority of the people in the room. Buy it was a change of rules midstream. The deck had been stacked.

As far as the Heinz variety vote, I was in and out of room at that time, so I don't know, but I was told(again hearsay) that the rules were changed this time by the 2/3's vote. If that is revisionist history, I don't know.

Don't misunderstand me. I am nobody's lap dog. I am saying that there were mistakes made by both sides. There were egos involved. But I am always going to defend fairness. To me, the fight was unfair. (The proof of that is that the Newsleader totally went into the tank for Roller/Hanger. If they r for it, then it can't be good. HAHA)The packing of one district and attempting to steam roll the process was unfair. That very point was discussed at the March meeting. I remember Chris, Jean, and Kurt all discussing it at that meeting.

And it will continue as long as people keep speaking to the press and not to eachother.

RightsideVA said...

Phil,

Several good points but if the "Deck had been stacked" by the changing of the rules why did Kurt run his 2nd pretend meeting with the same voting system geeting the majority of 57 to 2? What a group and what a situation...

There has been a issue about needing a 2\3rds vote to change the rules but my understanding is a majority is all that is needed to ammend the rules? And then when we wanted the By-laws we had to go scratching for them for many of us had just receieved a copy a short time earlier. Seems they were hard to come by in the past and information was not as free flowing as it should be in a group like this. That is another thing that you have not seen the whold picture of due to the shorter period you have been in the party, I have seen more over my time involved, and with talking to others there is much more history of the party just coming out.

As I said before at least now these discussions are coming to light and as painful as they are they are probably what our local party needs to get on a productive tract. Your presentation of both sides in your blog is what we have needed for sometime to get issues out there and discussed. It provides a format that allows people to write what they feel and support and take a stand. And people are coming out in other blogs and formats stating the problems as they see it and that will be part of the healing\growing needed for the party.

Mass meeting was a debacle and both sides need to take possession of their part but it is good to have a format where it can be discussed. Politics can and will be ugly for that is the nature of the beast. "Point of order" is how Kurt started the meeting with the railroading of the nomination of temp chair. Nobody seems to want to talk about that but it did happen and was the control tactic that Kurt & Lynn has maintained for sometime now. What I believe is a big reason why many good people are no longer associated with the local party as before...

The ugly truth is that the "other side" had the votes and knew it after the first hand count to determine temp chair. They proceeded to change to popular vote when that was determined for they knew the "Majority" was with them. We both know Kurt would have done the same thing in a heartbeat for and in fact kept the same system in his 2nd "Pretend" election. Ugly politics but our party has come to a point where neither side trusts the other. And as you said it will continue as long as people talk in the press instead of each other. At least we have a conversation here and on your blog, and others, that get the topics and discussion out there. It does work for I have heard from several who are reading these and have their comments also.

Had a conversation last night regarding a solution. You think we can get Col Oliver North to act as Chairman for the next two years while we straigten out this mess?

That would be some cool breakfast talks !!!

Thomas said...

It is hard to understand how Kurt and his "SWAC-Jobs" can complain about changing "his" rules and then he uses the same rule changes in his make believe 2nd meeting!

What a JOKE and you just can't make this stuff up.

Phil said...

I agree that there were many problems. Ollie North might be a good arbiter. My dad, Ollie Lynch might be better. He would point to a few people and say "be quiet.(Probably me included) You have had your say and you muffed it. You guys that are getting a salary, get out. You guys with the press, get out.Now lets see what we got."