The GOPers’ Last Stand

Well, here we are–Donald Trump now stands alone in the field, as The Banker’s Husband and The Glutton have dropped out. So, inquiring minds want to know–what happens now?

The Basic Run Down

  1. In upcoming primaries, we can get a good idea how many people will take their vote and stay home, though examining any drop in voter turnout and also the number of “protest votes” the other non-contenders get. I rather doubt we’ll see a turnout drop, but the protest vote breakdown, if any, should be interesting.
  2. The current “rules” going to the convention have to be voted into use AT the convention, and of course the GOPers were smart enough to stack the rules committee AND the delegates. But, there are some silver linings here:  First, the GOPers agreed to a motion that any rule changes must be voted in by a 2/3rds majority. And now that the last of the GOPers have retired from the field, the delegates who have to approve rule changes proposed by the Rules committee are highly unlikely to piss off the folks at home in favor of a GOPer ringer. Second, the names of the delegates are PUBLIC RECORD in most if not all states, so we can contact them in a non-threatening way and let them know NOT playing by the rules is a bad thing. I have already sent all my delegates congratulatory emails, wishing them well in Cleveland and letting them know that I expect them to approve the rules that were in force during the primary season. I suggest everyone else do the same.
  3. The GOPers are squeaking about a third party run. What they are neglecting to mention is simple; it’s logistically, financially, and legally–improbable to impossible at this point. ALL states have rules regarding getting write in candidates on the ballot, as well as qualifying rules for third party/independent runs. And Texas’ deadline for a legal third party/independent run passes TODAY, with all the state deadlines passing before Cleveland. No Independent Run would succeed unless the candidate was on every state ballot. Which leaves using an existing party that is balloted in all fifty states–the Libertarians. Unless the GOPers can convince the 9 Libertarians on the Libertarian Ticket to step aside, AND they have all the paperwork ready and pre-verified, AND they get Texas filed and approved TODAY (and all the other states before mid June), they can’t use that existing party option either.
  4. So, the GOPers are stuck–for the moment. Does that mean they are entirely finished? NOPE. NEVER, EVER, trust a GOPer (or a Dem, for that matter, they are ONE AND THE SAME). But it limits their options to causing trouble AFTER the nomination.

Post Nomination Possibilities To Consider:

We have already seen the GOPers use Dems and Libertarians in the past as “spoilers” during elections, and I have no doubt they will do so again–likely using Libertarians that are running on the legal weed ticket and college cost reform/free college platform as well (and there are a few) to bleed off the millennials and other people who believe in weed and a free ride to college. That won’t amount to much, but it’s a start. They will also, I have no doubt, find ways to use the Dem that gets the nomination as well.

Failing that, they will look for more scandal, but if there were scandal–we’d have heard about it by now, so we’re pretty safe. Which leaves making sure that the senators and representatives elected for the next Congress are all “never Trump” types–and using the party machine and money to put pressure on any that are neutral or pro-Trump.

THAT IS THE REAL DANGER, HERE.

The congress critters rely on the GOPer machine to steer them into power positions, and to finance them and launder Super PAC and corporate money. So it is essential that we occupy the precinct level of the GOP as rapidly as possible, while they are vulnerable. To that end, I will be posting a primer shortly on how to infiltrate the political party of your choice, and how political parties in general work. There is NO EXCUSE FOR NOT PROCEEDING ANY MORE, PEOPLE. TRUMP WILL NEED US, AND THE GOP, BEHIND HIM IN WASHINGTON DC. And taking that party back is the first priority. This man has moved heaven and Earth, lost business, had his family threatened, and has been running himself ragged FOR US. IT’S TIME WE PAID HIM BACK.

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A Call To Action

BEWARE–RANT AHEAD.

Once again, the internet is abuzz with allegations of delegate stealing, fraud, and chicanery on the part of the dearly beloved GOPers–in Arizona. The previous 7 posts on this blog tell that tale. And frankly–I am annoyed, right now. Very annoyed, and with good reason. I and others have been begging, pleading, cajoling for months now to get people to quit yakking and start acting. And I have been spending a considerable amount of time giving people the tools and knowledge to act.

And like typical people–everyone reads, some comment, many share–and then everyone sits back and passes the popcorn, and expects someone ELSE to do the work.

This Post Is Different. This Post Is A Call To Action.

Whereas, we have a perfectly functional political party, complete with huge databases and a solid infrastructure, and

Whereas, this party is governed effectively by precinct level members, and

Whereas, many of those seats are OPEN nationwide, RIGHT NOW,

Anyone who is currently whining for a third party, or whining about the uniparty screwing voters, or whining about the evil politicians shutting us out of the process THAT HAS NOT GONE TO A GOPER MEETING AND ENQUIRED ABOUT GETTING A VOLUNTEER POSITION EITHER IN A PRECINCT SEAT, OR ASSISTING A PRECINCT SEAT HOLDER, SHOULD SIT DOWN, AND SHUT UP.

SOME of us are busting our tails every waking hour, posting on blogs (like this one), building websites, collecting information for people, and FIGHTING FOR OUR PARTY AND OUR NATION’S POLITICAL SYSTEM. We decided to stop complaining and do what voters are SUPPOSED to do–get involved in the party to clean it up.

The basic information on conning GOPers into letting you into a position of power are right on this blog. I am awake and busting tail 18 hours a day to provide more information, answer questions, and motivate people. There are others like me, doing the same.

But all our efforts don’t mean a danged thing if the rest of those who CLAIM  to actually give a flying frog don’t get off their tails and join in.

If You Are Not ACTING On This Matter–STOP WHINING WHEN THINGS DON’T GO OUR WAY.

Just as there is no delegate fairy that delivers nice, loyal delegates to good candidates, there is NO POLITICAL PARTY FAIRY waiting in the wings to magically clean out the GOP and get them to listen to the people who they supposedly represent.

Think of it like this:

If you own a business, and you’re there regularly and checking up on your employees, then your business runs well, and the odds your employees will cheat you, steal, or otherwise misbehave, are small.

On the other hand, if you are an absentee business owner, and you just sign paychecks and visit your business every 2 years–YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO BE PISSED OFF WHEN YOU FIND YOUR EMPLOYEES AND YOUR MANAGERS ARE ROBBING YOU BLIND, SCREWING YOU OVER, AND DOING WHATEVER THE HELL THEY PLEASE.

Why in the WORLD would the party big guys listen to us at this point? We give them no reason to worry about our opinion.

  1. Many people still donate to them, no matter how loudly they may complain when doing so, and if we don’t donate–thanks to Citizen’s United, they are getting more money than ever anyway.
  2. As this is a uniparty, even when we get mad enough to vote a few people out, they don’t suffer.
  3. Because WE DROPPED OUT OF THE SYSTEM AND STOPPED DOING OUR PART, they voted in rules to make sure that ONLY THOSE WHO DO THEIR PART, HAVE VOTING POWER. And frankly–that is ONLY FAIR. We whine about people on welfare getting “free stuff” all the time. We also whine about people who are only takers and have no “skin in the game” having a voice–AND A VOTE. But yet, we expect the political party system to allow “freeloaders” to run the show?
  4. Why should someone who never even bothers to show up for one meeting a month, or volunteer an hour or two a month to educate other voters, think they should be listened to by anyone, ever? Would you listen to some stranger that happens to show up at the door of your house to tell you how you should redecorate? If so, you’re a very interesting type of person.

Now if we had to pay annual membership dues to be in the party, then we’d have every right to sit on our collective asses and complain–because the dues in that case would be our effective “voice”. The dues would be used to PAY people to run the party at all levels.

But we don’t pay dues. And 99% of us don’t volunteer time, or donate. All we do is vote every few years and forget about what happens in between times, unless we get annoyed.

THIS IS WHY THE PARTIES ARE NO LONGER WORKING FOR US. We have shown them, by staying home and ignoring them, that we don’t care enough about how our system works to even figure out the rules. And the big corporations and super PACS are right there giving them plenty of money. Now that the corporations have Citizen’s United, unless everyone gets off their collective asses and gets involved, we will have NO voice at all, just when we need one the most.

I Am As Guilty As Anyone.

I got complacent, I got lazy, I preferred to sit in the comfort of my home and complain. But unlike the vast majority of people, I saw the disenfranchisement of Colorado voters last year as a major wake up call, and began to act. And when my first actions weren’t enough, I got more aggressive and proactive–right up to the point of becoming a state delegate, phone banking for Trump, and starting this blog.

Well guess what–running a political revolt alone is a little bit tough, people. At this point, I’d rather have 50 people write and tell me they took my advice, went to a GOPer meeting, and got a precinct seat than get 50,000 Facebook likes and retweets on twitter. And if the tone of this post annoys you–too bad.

I’m not going to bother ranting again. And I’m also not going to go pout in a corner, or stop posting information and knowledge for anyone to use as they see fit. And I’m not going to put the website on hold, or stop volunteering for Trump.

But it sure would be nice to know that even 50 people, even ONE PERSON IN EACH STATE, decided to get off their tail and get busy also.

AZGOP Convention: Part 3

Link to Part 2

 The Infamous At Large Delegate Ballot

So, after lunch and getting re-credentialed, networking was a major part of the hurry up and wait process. The re-credentialing had been very confused, and took considerably longer than it should have as my own district and several others somehow got “lost” in the shuffle. We ended up waiting by a ballot storage room for them to credential us and give us our paper ballot, plus an innocent looking sealed whit business envelope. When held up to the light, this contained a small slip of paper.

Then it came; the big announcement about the wonderful electronic voting site, along with an instructional video. We were asked to pass in our paper ballots. Interestingly enough, those ballots had been given ut blank to begin with, whereas the FIRST paper ballots had been provided to each district group with the names from the district on them.

We were told we could choose one of four options–the “Trump” slate, the “Cruz” slate, the “Kasich Slate”, or the “unity” slate (this conventions buzzword of choice). We could, alternatively, choose to select our delegates manually from the entire list, up to 56 choices. I immediately decided to choose mine manually, and advised my fellow delegates to do the same. This choice turned out to be the wisest, as many of the delegates had slated for more than one candidate, some slating for all four choices.

The Electronic Process

It took about 20 minutes for the IT team to get the site itself to work on everyone’s smart phones and tablets, while the rest of us (several hundred) lined up by the one room that had about 20 laptops and tablets set up for us to use, with volunteers to talk us through the process. I went for the choose my own as stated, and I ended up choosing the full 56, all people I had personally approached and spoken to before the convention via email and phone, so I knew they were “safe”. I also voted for myself, for fun :-). Others voted for me also (arranged before the convention) but not enough to break the party’s slates, sadly.

I then went back to networking and waiting for the results, after also voting in the run off for our female chair for Cleveland. By 5:30, we hadn’t heard anything significant, and I was well beyond my endurance level, even though I went to the convention wearing my TENS unit, and with my medication, hoping to be able to last well beyond the voting phase and hear the results in person.

So my other half and I had to leave around 5:30 p.m.. He was loaded down with business cards, email addys, phone numbers for me, and I had my own pile of the same to work with in the coming weeks. So I unfortunately missed the big blowup by Jan Brewer and others concerning the vote.

What I Noticed and Heard About The At Large Election Ballot

As mentioned above, I noted that while some delegates were only labeled with 1 candidate or “unity”, more than 10% were labeled with 2 or more choices–so voters who blindly chose the “Trump”, “Cruz”, Kasich”, or Unity” slate didn’t end up with dedicated candidates in many cases. Also, some of the higher recognition names were NOT labeled for a specific candidate. As such, though I could get no confirmation the system was set up this way, there is a good probability that unlabeled candidates didn’t appear on specific slates.

I also noted when going through the final delegate list of primary and alternate for Cleveland that higher profile, more well known Trump delegates did NOT get primary slots–they got alternate slots or NONE. I CAN verify that about 2/3rds or so of the primary and the same of the alternate list are know (to me) Trump supporters–but many were also listed on the “Unity slate”.

The more interesting data is in the “alternate list”. Nobody can convince me that popular, well known people like Jim De Wit, Jan Brewer, Gabby Saucedo-Mercer, the Westermans and the Corbins didn’t get enough votes to make the primary selection. Unless, of course, for whatever reason they weren’t listed on the “Trump slate” in the system, as most people took the advice of the ground team and voted “the slate”. I do know having seen it with my own eyes that on my screen, I marked only delegates I had personally ascertained were Trump supporters, or who were known to me through local politics and listed themselves as ONLY on the Trump Slate.

Results Analysis

  1. I do NOT believe the website was “rigged” in the conventional sense. I read everything VERY carefully as I went through it. As a matter of fact, I deliberately played stupid and wiped out my results 3 times so I had the maximum opportunity to double and triple check the listings.
  2. There was one man yelling fraud in the room where we were voting at the time. His contention of fraud was based on the fact that some of his Trump Slate people were slated for other candidates as well. As we have ZERO information that is reliable on how the slating process worked for the at large ballot, other than the fact all the candidates had someone present to accept/.reject the slate, we have no way of knowing whether the multiple slating was due to choice/consensus on the part of the CANDIDATES’ reps at slating, or the party being sneaky. Had I been a Rep, I would have busted my tail making sure that ALL of my people were multi-slated, specifically so all my people would land in the primary delegate pool.
  3. Allowing your people to be multi-slated is the optimal strategy in this instance as most of the delegates, being new to the entire convention process, played it safe and voted their slate. As such, if a hard core Trump supporter were also listed for Cruz, Kasich and Unity, no matter which slate a delegate chooses, that person gets a vote. The lesson is simple: NEVER SLATE YOURSELF FOR ONLY ONE GUY, ESPECIALLY IF THAT PERSON IS VOTING FOR AN UNPOPULAR CHOICE.
  4. I find it highly improbable, statistically, that most of the well known names only made alternate. A good number of them in ANY OTHER YEAR would have been going to the national, based on their years of service, effort, and financial support of the party (all of which earn you extra points, BTW). So I tend to believe people like Jim DeWit when he says something stinks. But I don’t feel the stench comes from the website–I believe it came from the slating process itself.

The 64,000.00 Questions:

  1. Why did our candidate’s rep at slating NOT slate for all choices, to make sure we couldn’t be overlooked?
  2. Why did Graham NOT explain that just because someone is slated for more than one team DOESN’T MEAN THEY ARE NOT ON YOUR SIDE?
  3. Why were only about 20 laptops/tablets available for well over 500 people who don’t have smart phones or who couldn’t log on at first with their own device?
  4. Why did our ground team NOT make every effort to put us in touch with one another before the convention? I did my legwork myself–but not everyone understands how very important it is NOT TO WAIT AROUND FOR THE GROUND TEAM FOR INSTRUCTIONS.
  5. Who was on the Star Chamber slating team for the first congressional district slating, and why were so many established party members kept in the dark (not to mention the rest of us).
  6. And why, most importantly, were we–the voting delegates–not allowed to stump, introduce ourselves, or otherwise let people know formally who we were and why we should be the choice? I and my other 3,3’s only met ONE of our slated choices for our district in the caucus room, and it was made quite clear to us by sundry parties involved we were expected to blindly vote our slate and not worry about it…..

Inquiring minds want to know…..Because we know that something DID go on.

In Case You Have Missed The Point, Here—

Our responsibility doesn’t begin and end in the voting booth. If we want our candidate, when elected, TO BE ABLE TO GET ANYTHING DONE IN DC, WE NEED TO GET CONTROL OF THIS POLITICAL CIRCUS BACK IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE.

I DON’T CARE WHO TRIES TO TELL ME TO JUST VOTE A SLATE AND NOT WORRY. IT IS MY JOB AS A VOTER TO DO MY DUE DILIGENCE, ASK QUESTIONS, AND BE INVOLVED. 

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. AND RIGHT NOW, WE NEED ALL THE POWER WE CAN GET.

AZGOP Convention Continued: Part 2

Link To Part 1

As mentioned in part one, the slating process turned out to be problematic. It’s not unusual for slates–lists of recommended delegates–to be revised multiple times before the first vote. However, this slating apparently was out of the ordinary. Knowing something of how parties and conventions operate, I had deliberately made sure to grab seats for myself and several others from my district in the area where those with suits and fancy name tags typically sit, and was rewarded with some interesting information.

Quite a few of the old time middle level GOP operatives were rather “annoyed”. It was one thing for the AZGOP to cancel any notion of tabling delegates for slating “from the floor” (a time honored custom allowing “the little guys” a chance to play). It was another thing to prohibit delegates from “stumping” for votes at all–another staple of the delegate process, so the voters have a clue who they are voting for.

A Secret Star Chamber….

A “star chamber”, for those not familiar with the term, is an inner group of key players who meet to work out who gets certain perks or positions in the party, or who gets slated as the reps (open or secret) for the party. In THIS case, according a no less than 12 different mid level operatives, the “star chamber” was comprised of an anonymous group of power players that were chosen by some arcane process, by persons unknown. I could find none who would admit to being included. Quite literally NO ONE I SPOKE TO KNEW HOW THOSE SLATES HAD BEEN FINALLY CHOSEN. 

It should also be noted that a lot of names you would have expected to see on those slates,the mid level and upper level GOPers–were NOT on them. According to those I spoke to, the infighting in the local party right now is far more widespread, and serious, than the “outward” squabbling we have been seeing on the news. if you’re unsure why so many people want to go to Cleveland, read some of my earlier posts on why people fight for national delegate slots–it has nothing to do with voting or civic duty.

I did note that several of those slated for 3,3 on the final tally were also slated for Cruz,and one of the people on that slate hadn’t even been asked to be slated for either Trump or Cruz. As a matter of fact, he didn’t know he was slated until he saw his name. He was in a state of total jaw drop.

The mid level operatives I spoke with made it very clear that there is a serious level of infighting this election cycle within our state party. I also heard directly from more than one of them that they have been left out of the loop this cycle, and they are not happy campers.

Some Interesting Revelations:

The “Star Chamber” slating irritated quite a few people who had been excluded from any knowledge of who was being slated, and by whom. This represents a fairly radical departure from the norm, and when coupled with the absence of any opportunity to stump, or even meet the slated delegates and the ground teams insistence we vote our slate so we wouldn’t get “confused” is quite interesting, to say the least.

When you add in the large number of people reporting being uninformed (that would have been expected to be “in” on the game), one has to wonder exactly WHO chose the final slates in the first vote, and how/why….

Additionally, I had the chance to meet with the county chairs from over half of our counties in AZ–and the precinct situation here is far more dire than even I had suspected. At any given time, the party expects about 30% of those valuable precinct seats to be empty–they COUNT on it, as the precinct position is the power position. So while in one sense it’s desirable to have those seats manned with active volunteers to get out the vote and get the voters engaged, on the OTHER hand, you want to be sure those seats hold people who are in favor of preserving the GOPer power base, and the status quo. BECAUSE IT IS THE PRECINCT SEAT HOLDERS THAT VOTE IN THE PARTY SYSTEM. They are the people who, after the next general election, will be re-drawing our districts and voting on the state party rules and bylaws for the next cycle. And voting in the party leadership.

But from what I gathered in talking to the county chairs, and the precinct chairs,vacancies are at an all time high–with more than 1/2 the seats empty.

In other words, people of AZ–if we want to get this party working for us again, there is no better time to get to your local GOPer meeting, say the right words, and GET A PRECINCT SEAT.

Networking In GOPerLand….

I had my other half in the “guest section”, connecting with other guests and also engaging the various volunteers for candidates of all types and passing out my cards to my blog. His designated position was between a “balanced voice of reason” and a “concern troll”. I gave him very careful instruction on what buzzwords to use, and what NOT to get into discussions about, and went about my business–which was seeking out dissatisfied voters, angry voters, and inside party members whop want to get the system operating properly again.

As such, MY designated position was one of “the party is in trouble. If we want to bring back conservative, constitutional principles and insure we don’t have out of control candidates again, we need to get voters back into the party system, and engaged”. I was very careful to use language that is commonly used by inside operatives (not MY fault if they decided I was “for” their candidate of choice, of course). My purpose was quite simple–get a strong feel for what is going on in as many counties as possible, in what ways the heads of those counties felt they were weak, and to get a deeper picture of the precinct level feeling in the party.

As such, I was very happy to note that not only are there more than enough empty precinct seats to allow a reform movement to succeed, a higher percentage of precinct chairs and county level chairs were dissatisfied with the situation than I had estimated would be the case. Not surprisingly, the more rural/remote counties had the highest vacancies and the highest dissatisfaction level–rural areas typically do. Party members in counties other than my own are more than willing to network with me, and are also more than willing to be active members and contributors in the website I’m building.

In the next post, I’ll cover the infamous “second ballot/at large delegate” vote electronically.

 

Precincts And The GOP

 

IN THE CONTEXT OF POLITICAL PARTY DISCUSSION, “PC” MEANS PRECINCT CAPTAIN/COMMITTEEMAN 

In the last post, I laid out the basic information regarding precinct chairs and their importance. As a real world example, someone I know attended a GOPer meeting in her city this past week. Despite being totally unknown in the party, she was able to get chosen as a state delegate, apply for a national delegate slot, and get appointed to the PC seat for her precinct. In my area, out of almost 150 precinct seats, only 42 are filled. I found that out recently. And I am going to get one. If others like me get those seats, then we can have real control over our party.

And once you are in a seat, staying in it is very easy. Where I am, it requires 10 signatures from people in your precinct, and then there is a vote. This vote happens every 2 years, after the elections. Typically, you won’t have a challenger at all, and if you do, you simply have to make sure you have a majority of the Rs in your precinct already committed to voting for you–so any challenger can’t get a majority without going out and recruiting new republicans.

And PCs are the real power position in the GOP, as they control the voter databases. They know who votes, how frequently, who donates. They also get all the inside information. For instance, there is at least one Senate seat being contested right now in the GOP by a good challenger. But that local GOP has already thrown their weight in favor of the incumbent, who will be allowed to serve this last term, and then retire with dignity,  so the already selected new blood can move in. 

This is how the GOPers work. And they can do this because at any given time at least 30% of the PC seats are empty–and the remainder are held by GOPers. So they keep voting in the rules that benefit them, and the people who have been in charge forever. If we take the precinct seats, we take the party.

Unless the people step up and defy the uniparty, this will continue. And any changes Trump does effect, will disappear fast. If the GOP is against him when he gets elected, then the GOPers in congress will feel confident in opposing him. If, on the other hand, the power of the GOP has been co-opted by us, then we can lean on the GOPers through the party.

Taking Back the GOP:

  • Attend the next local meeting, and find out whether your precinct captain/committeeman seat is open.
  • If it IS–ask to be appointed.
  • If it ISN’T, ask to volunteer with the current PC. If that person is a reformer, offer to help. If they are a GOPer, then:
  • Get to know the people in your precinct, and find others who are sick of the uniparty. Get them behind you, so in December when the PC seats come up for grabs again, you can get nominated and chosen.

Right now is the best time to begin, for several reasons:

  • The GOPers are occupied with the campaign cycle, and dealing with an influx of new voters, so they are more than willing to take on volunteers without thinking about it.
  • It gives us time to observe from the inside, and gather information, and get to know the voters in our precinct, and if we live in a place Trump didn’t do well, we can change that before the general.
  • It gives us time to line up challengers for seats occupied by GOPers, and get people in position to vote for the replacements for those seats when the seats are up for grabs in December/January.

Taking back the party is essential, for reasons discussed in the post about No Third Party.