Fair warning: tedious alert for this chronicle!
In an earlier post regarding the March 12 Scott County Republican Central Committee (SCRCC) election of officers I stated my impression that it was a triumph of superficiality, clubishness, hand wringing, fear mongering, prejudice and rubber stamping over the need for substantive reforms. I should have specified that, as is true of group dynamics involving busy people, it is usually a cohort of intensely interested individuals that “lead ” the distracted and oblivious along a path, and that even among them, not every quality applies to every individual among that leadership cadre. Rubber stamping in my parlance is also a result of inattention, and that applies to more than the leadership cadre.
But so it goes . . . and welcome to the human race . . . and if the shoe fits . . . wear it.
The Prelude to March Madness:
The majority of the SCRCC leadership’s electoral pettiness was further exposed in the last 14 months or so since the 2012 caucuses. As detailed in a number of posts in these pages beginning about that time, legitimate requests of a bonafide Republican presidential preference camp were slow walked, haphazardly responded to, or ignored by elements of the leadership cadre now recently reelected. The integrity of the Iowa precinct caucus was compromised by them, the election results dishonored, in my opinion out of old ill-founded grudges and ridiculously ill- informed prejudices and fears. Unity has never been an honest watchword during any of the majority’s actions.
The SCRCC leadership cadre holds those grudges in particular against a few leadership operatives of the presidential preference camp (Ron Paul) that extends back to a third party County Auditor’s race a few years ago. With the grossest of presumptiveness at the level of scapegoating, their third party activities were blamed for a Republican loss. Commentary regarding that prejudice was set forth in these pages here.
Local rank and file Ron Paul supporters have been painted with a broad brush when the truth is they have diverse positions on any number of matters legislatively and as regards electoral matters. In an egregious power play by the SCRCC leadership, their preference camp was denied fair proportional representation reflecting the results of Republicans voting at the caucuses.
Based on the Ron Paul strength in the caucuses, a fair proportional representation in delegates to the district and state conventions, should have been roughly 20% instead of the roughly 10% allowed them. The same cadre of SCRCC perps that denied them that representation, and has made no move for amends, subsequently doubled down with graceless pettiness all the while bleating on about “unity” among Republicans. Astonishing, jaw dropping hypocrisy.
The only threat that Ron Paul supporters have ever comprised is to an element fearful of their own ability to make their case on matters of legislative and internal policy. While in comfortable majority control, rather than debate a point openly, engage dissent, embrace a group of young, effective, enthusiastic organizers, it is the MO of that element to whisper about “those people” manipulate the rules, hobble access and control agendas. Pathetic.
Insurgent conservatives experienced similar behavior from establishment liberals in the Party back in the day. It is incumbent on those of us who experienced it to demonstrate the sincerity of our arguments back then, our calls for fair play, and not to go along with similar tactics used against disfavored elements now.
Looking at the current leadership cadre, with one exception, I note that they were not active locally as conservatives back in the day. They did not experience the prejudices. But some of their enablers on the Central Committee were, and they should be embarrassed by their current obliviousness to basic elements of organizational fair play. But regardless of one’s institutional history, an elementary understanding of fair play should inform even those newer to the Republican cause that the results of the Caucuses need to be honored, that a basic sense of fair play requires proportional representation.
One wonders . . .
Harkening back to the caucuses . . . imagine an “average” caucus reflecting the final Scott County Presidential preference spread. Accordingly, the most popular Presidential candidate would not have the first choice support of two-thirds of those in attendance. Now imagine the current Chairwoman had not been in the Caribbean or wherever and actually attended her caucus and stood for questions regarding her nomination for election as a delegate or central committee member.
Ponder her support level at that time if she responded truthfully to a question “will you work to insure each of us assembled here will be represented in proportion to our presidential preference strength for the rest of the process?”
I think I know how the overwhelming majority would have voted had she stated the effective meaning of her practices . . . gee, you people really don’t have any claim to proportional support . . . you have no vested interest in the district and state delegate process . . . your attendance here, the most grass-roots of all involvement systems in the country . . . is a proxy for nothing as far as I will allow beyond the county . . . there is absolutely no subsequent Presidential process you need to be concerned about . . . I will do nothing to insure proportional representation or fair play in matters I have discretion over . . . indeed I will manipulate the process in order to help weaken delegates I don’t think much of . . . and as regards your resolutions and the platform . . . it is a meaningless exercise because it will make no difference to any official activities I am part of.
The above I believe are our current Chairwoman’s operational “principles.” If not so, then she has these pages to respond.
It was incredibly graceless of the SCRCC Nominating Committee to never mention the names of all those running for internal office in any of their several communications to the SCRCC.
It was especially graceless of the Chairwoman, because she handpicked the Nominating Committee and had every opportunity to see to the remediation of any graceless shortcoming of theirs using her own authority. The courtesy of a mere listing of those running, an admission of challengers to the regime, was apparently thought too dangerous to their already established hegemony.
Chairwoman Davidson in effect accepted culpability at the March meeting by admitting to the blackout and defending it as an effort to provide “privacy.” Seriously, she said that. I was sitting quite aways away from the podium but I think she said it with a straight face.
Of course the challengers were running for a political office with not only no expectation of privacy, but a human expectation of good will and common courtesy to be mentioned. Instead, as pointed out in these pages before, the regime implemented the equivalent process of County Auditor and chief election official Roxanna Moritz issuing election notices and only specifying the Democrats who were running. The ministerial obligations of the Nominating Committee were abandoned in favor of pettiness. None of the candidates were even contacted as to whether such a silly notion was actually operable. And the Chairwoman was imperiously defensive.
The election meeting had numerous examples of pathetic manipulation, indifference or ignorance about the platform and governing documents, obliviousness to key contentious matters, and more discourtesies.
- No reports were prepared and posted, not even outlines prior to the meeting, none were in writing for distribution, instead they were read using up valuable time, not even the minutes have been posted to a members only part of the website subsequent to the meeting. The powers that be really do not want an involved informed SCRCC, even among the interested, except as corralled and spoon fed by them.
- The reports themselves smacked of campaign posturing rather than reports, prequels to their nomination and election speeches, absorption of as much face time as possible. All so transparent.
- During the electoral question and answer time most of the Nominating Committee nominees were asked a basic question about their position related to the important issue of Agenda 21. It is a matter of key importance to Scott County residents because of its far reaching implications as regards property rights, property taxes and hugely expanded and expensive environmental protocols and regulations.
The question was to the effect . . . do you believe the Executive Committee should call on the Scott County Board of Supervisors to oppose implementation of Agenda 21. The answer in at least one case was essentially “what is Agenda 21 . . . I do not know what you are talking about” (from a person soon to be elected to the Executive Committee) and several saying words to the effect “it is not my /our job.” Indeed the latter became their mantra after the first iteration. *
Understand that the Constitution of the Republican Party of Iowa’s brief statement of purpose includes the clear determination “to promote Republican principles and policies.” The Constitution of the Scott County Republican Party expresses similar purposes.
- The question was raised by yours truly to one illustrious “well vetted” Nominating Committee nominee: “Do you support proportional rules for the selection of delegates to the district and state conventions.” He may not have heard the question given the acoustics in the room so I will strive not to misinterpret the response which I heard to be “I do not know what you are talking about.” However it appeared that it was explained to him sufficiently on the side to fumble a further response as best I could make it out to the effect that he would have to think about it.
Now if he did not understand the question or had not thought about it, given that the subject has been a great bone of contention as a policy matter, relevant throughout the state from different aspects for over 14 months, his response was incredible. Regrettably I do not think it was isolated to him among the newly ordained organizational chieftains of the SCRCC. Nevertheless it is an issue that promises to be chronically so until proportionality rules are implemented. Other counties have such rules. Some sort of proportionality rules in all the counties is perhaps the the only way to restore trust and respect to the caucus process and Iowa’s first in the nation prestige.
I do not name names here because it was a question that should have been addressed to all the candidates but was not. And that was my failing. Now that they are elected all of them have these pages to indicate their response to the matter.
- A stilted question or maybe it was a nomination speech, I do not remember which, was dutifully delivered by a gentleman who appears to be the approved House Ron Pauler. Periodically he will be dragged out by them and referred to as “our friend ____ , a Ron Paul supporter.” He might as well add the prefix and suffix to his name as it is how he will be introduced by them from now on.
His being prepped and recognized on cue was intended to spin the idea of how wonderfully open the Chairwoman has been by deigning to allow him the privilege of being Parade Logistics Person or something. It is a position previously held also at great personal expense by Cyndi Diercks, who is no longer introduced with the same prefix above.
Now this “openness” never resulted in the Chairwoman allowing the Chairman of the Scott County Ron Paul campaign to be allowed delegate status to the district and state Republican conventions, or apologizing for not doing so. Nor did the openness translate into taking up the offer by Todd McGreevy, a prominent Ron Paul organizer, to meet over coffee to discuss differences. Nor certainly did calls for “unity” from the Chairwoman result in her suggesting one of the Liberty Republican organizers for an Executive Committee position. Their demonstrated organizational acumen, more youthful front, and social media savvy, just are not needed at this time given the panoply of the same on the Executive Committee.
- Our Republican National Committeeman Steve Scheffler, who is dealing with a serious personal physical illness and treatment, who traveling from Des Moines, nevertheless makes every effort to visit county organizations and make a report and stand for questions, was not afforded the courtesy of an early placement on the agenda. Graceless.
Questions (a few of many) that didn’t get asked:
To V-C John Ortega — Thank you for all your efforts over the years, You have been a leader of the “Black and Brown” Republicans for a number of years. We do not see a lot of B&B folks in the audience. What are you going to do different now under the GOP “plan.”
To Treasurer Andrea McGivern — We welcome your willingness to serve. Will you provide periodic written reports? What are your professional views regarding the rights and responsibilities of Central Committee members?
To Secretary Lynn Bosten — Thank you for your willingness to serve. Will you post or provide written minutes of the previous meetings of the SCRCC in a timely manner prior to subsequent meetings enabling us to forgo the reading of the minutes? Regarding Executive Committee minutes, similarly will you see to the posting of the minutes in a timely manner to a SCRCC member only part of our website ,or e-mail them to those requesting them in a timely manner? All of this will facilitate accurate approval, and an informed SCRCC .
To all Exec Committee members — will you propose a Scott County plan respecting the full importance of the presidential caucus system, requiring proportional representation reflecting the presidential caucus results in the nomination of delegates to district and state conventions from Scott County? If not why not?
To Adviser Jane Murphy — will you kindly forego invoking my mother “rolling over in her grave” because of my alleged transgressions. The real ones keep her spinning enough.