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.


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.


A Call To Action


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.


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 Scuttlebutt Part 4

Part Three Here

The Law Enforcement And First Responders

I also took the time in my non-stop day to talk to any and all support staff I saw, and some first responders and the food truck people. There was a moderate amount of police presence, both local police and the County Police. They were all friendly and pleasant, and many were wearing vests under their uniform shirts. all were armed with ;pistols, tasers, batons and a flashlight that I saw, though most of the Mesa police didn’t have vests.

They walked in pairs, with a Mesa police officer teamed typically with a county sheriff. Toward the end of the convention when a delegate began loudly complaining about “fraud” because of the multi-slating and the way the electronic voting website displayed final results, 4 pairs of them arrived in the main foyer rapidly, though nothing happened and they dispersed shortly thereafter.

The fire fighters, for some reason, tended to congregate around the restrooms–go figure. They were also friendly, and in my small talk all of the law enforcement officers expressed confidence there would be no “problems”. There was no security screening of any kind, no searches of purses, metal detectors or anything else. I don’t believe anyone snuck a firearm in–but they sure could have.

The Support Staff

The janitorial staff at the convention were also friendly, and of course had no idea where anyone was or where any particular events were happening–though a couple did complain about the way various ground teams treated them, and the general and inexplicable shortage of trash cans, everywhere–something delegates also noticed.

The majority of support staff were frantically emptying the few trash cans their were outside and inside, but they still managed to keep the bathrooms clean.

Quite a few of the support staff I spoke to mentioned they were glad for the “extra hours” and actually hoping the convention would be as long as prior ones have apparently been. By far, the support staff were Trump voters, and number one reasons being JOBS and the wall. I made a few remarks to one janitor on trash detail, and we would probably still be talking if I hadn’t had to come home LOL.

Quite a few of the support staff I talked to were surprised (and pleased) that I had noticed them at all–one actually asked me if I was speaking to him, and when I said yes, he told me at the end of our short conversation it was the first time he could remember anyone at ANY event he worked speaking to him in conversation rather than just seeking information, and the only time he remembered anyone thanking him for the work he did.

My take away on that is simple–I’m ashamed of myself, as I thought about it and realized the only time I ever take the time to exchange a few pleasantries with support staff anywhere is for a specific purpose, myself. Whether that purpose is information gathering or in the course of cleaning up after a special event where we sold kettle korn, it’s never “just because”. It’s unsettling to think about.

Concessions And Vending Trucks

The concessions staff were friendly and busy, but not overly so. We could drink and eat on the convention floor, surprisingly enough, but the lack of trash cans was really odd. I literally counted less than a dozen in the foyer and convention floor area, one 55 gallon one with each food truck (health code requirement, probably belonged to the vendors themselves), and less than a half dozen scattered elsewhere. The concessions people I spoke to said they had stopped paying attention to what goes on at events like the convention years ago–most had been working for the convention center for quite a while.

The healthy food truck people–like all of their customers I spoke to, were Cruz voters who had a Cruz bumper sticker on the truck–which might account for the fact that every single one of their customers I asked was a Cruz supporter. None of the food vendors I saw were wearing campaign gear or stickers of any kind, and they didn’t particularly want to talk politics–but the three I talked to also said that the convention was the best day they had “in a long time”.

I will say that from a food vending point of view, the GOP had almost exactly the right number of food trucks–the most they could have added was one more. All the trucks were running flat out at full speed all during lunch, and I would guess most were almost out of food by the time lunch was over. The mix of food was acceptable–barbecue, quesadillas and healthy food outside, the typical event venue concession food inside, typically priced.

As a 10.00 food voucher got you a lunch item and a drink, I’d say the food vendors realized a decent though not extravagant profit from the event, which is a good thing. We know from experience how dicey it can be to make a profit at a “small” event like this, especially one with a cash price for tickets attached.

The Final Take Aways:

  1. The AZGOP did an acceptable, though not amazing job, with this convention. They should have just used printed paper ballots and had everyone slated, or not slated at all and let us actively stump. At the very least we should have been allowed to (or REQUIRED TO) stump in our breakout room before the first vote.
  2. The Trump ground team didn’t meet my expectations for this event, at all. The campaign needs to address the ground team issue NOW, well before California.
  3. The Cruz Crew were insufferably polite and friendly–unless you challenged their guy with your concerns (my other half was concern trolling, and a female Cruz Crew member told him to shut up and leave her alone when SHE butted into HIS conversation with 2 male Cruz Crew members in the first place LOL.
  4. The Kasich team might as well have stayed home. I think they outnumbered his supporters.
  5. The electronic voting SNAFU was idiotic–they shouldn’t have just assumed that 98% of convention delegates would come armed with tablets or smart phones. They should have had at least 2 rooms and 50 computers or more set up for that–or used the danged paper ballots.
  6. MORE TRASH CANS would have been nice.
  7. Better organization of credentialing, More proactive engagement by the GOPer operatives with the delegates. This is where the shortage of precinct seat holders was evident–as they are usually on the front line at a convention, shepherding any of their precinct members through the process or helping those who don’t have a precinct seat holder around.
  8. The GOPer convention volunteer squad was on the small side, and not well coordinated either. Many of them didn’t know what was up during the second credentialing, and couldn’t answer other questions either.

It could have been far worse, of course, but it also could have been far better in terms of helping new participants understand how the party and process works. The few of us who had some prior experience were just too danged busy to coordinate our efforts. It was basically going from one small crisis to another, and hoping others were doing the same.

Considering how Graham was touting the outreach efforts from the last election and taking credit for the unprecedented growth of the party in THIS cycle, the actions came nowhere near supporting the rhetoric he was spouting. Getting people involved in the process for the vote is great. But KEEPING them involved is the only thing that can lead to reform.

Of course, the GOPers have no real interest in informed voters, when it comes to controlling party platforms, rules and direction–that would derail their gravy train.



AZGOP Convention Scuttlebutt Part 3

Part Two Here…

The Delegate Side Of The Fence

In between interrogating the party operatives at all levels, I also talked to a large number of miscellaneous delegates from all counties, of course. The delegates were mostly older white people, though about 1/4 to 1/3rd or so were Hispanic (judging by appearance and names), and another 10% or so were minority. The delegate pool was about 60/40 in favor of men, not unusual.

The delegates were also heavily weighted towards the first time crowd–far more than one would have seen at conventions decades ago when I attended them in other states as a guest. I spent a lot of time with newbies, for a reason–they had the least idea what was going on, and they were the most involved and upset people in the room.

I didn’t run into a single “newbie” that was a Cruz or Kasich supporter–they were ALL Trump supporters. My other half in the guest section (and there were about 300 guests) only talked to three Cruz supporters and found no Kasich people at all, the rest were Trump.

Common Delegate Complaints/Views Expressed

By far the most common complaint I heard was that the GOP was “stealing delegates”. Anyone who follows this blog knows that is essentially a false narrative the media and GOP are pushing to try and get people to stage an uprising in Cleveland, so I spent a great deal of time leading people to this blog on their smartphones or tablets, or giving them my business card.

Many also complained about how hard it was to find information on the process to begin with, and confusion on what would happen. I will give Graham his due on this, he DID spend a decent amount of time explaining to people what was going on….But again I spent a lot of time directing people to this blog and giving them my email for specific questions.

The Cruz delegates that I spoke to had very different aims from the Trump delegates–their aim being to get delegate slots by any means, of course.Most of them were long time GOPer voters/operatives who had convention experience, so the Cruz Crew had it easy at our convention–they just took advantage of the natural ignorance and emotion of the Trump supporters.

A lot of Trump delegates, sadly, “outed” themselves at the very beginning by wearing Trump gear, so while I noted names and voted for them and encouraged others to do so, we DID lose a lot of potential votes as the GOPers (and the ground teams) were pushing the “vote the slate” narrative, and making sure that as few identified Trump delegates were on the slate as possible.

The Common Misconceptions

Many delegates believed the canard the AZGOP posted in their emails and on the website about the convention wrapping up by 3:30 or so. I was shocked we were almost wrapped up at 5:30, myself, and I have been to previous conventions where we were still going as late as 10:00 at night, or had to extend to a second day. NEVER TAKE THE PARTY’S TIME ESTIMATIONS AS ACCURATE. If my physical stamina had held out I would have stayed until the very end, and then attempted to arrange a group meet up with people at a nearby burger place after.

because many people had believed the party rah-rah, quite a few delegates signed out after the first ballot, which led to having to credential a few dozen or more alternate delegates, which is NEVER a good thing.

A convention is the single best opportunity anyone has to gather first hand knowledge, experience, intelligence, party contacts, and in some cases make business deals. You WANT the convention to take a reasonable amount of time.

Many were also confused by the inevitable screw ups and inefficiency–especially the old time party operatives, and the rural delegates and operatives. Screw ups are a fact of life at an event like this, but if the AZGOP had just stuck with paper ballots and either didn’t slate at all or let each of us slate ourselves and declare candidate support when we were selected (and printed that on the ballots), it would have been much smoother–and we would have been able to effectively grab EVERY SINGLE SEAT by multi-slating.

Multi-slating, if you can communicate the plan privately to the ground team and other delegates, is the single best strategy to grab every seat in a slated convention setting.

Analysis Of The Ground Game In Mesa–AN INDICTMENT

One of Trump’s strengths is his populist support–in terms of getting the vote. However, it’s a serious weakness when you’re sending a bunch of newbies to a convention, or your ground support is made up of people who don’t communicate the most effective old school strategies to ALL delegates well in advance of the convention. Or ground teams that are not long time involved voters in the party–and former convention participants.

Much of the ground team I met fell in the last category–very little or no prior convention/campaign experience, and effectively none in a heavily contested race. The “big guys” on the ground here weren’t in evidence, either, though they apparently participated in the at large slating.

When you’re dealing with a bunch of nervous angry newbies to politics, the FIRST people you meet at the ground team table should be people who have attended many former conventions, under all circumstances, who are confident, supportive, and friendly. Sadly, I actually heard one ground team member tell a nervous delegate with simple question it wasn’t their job to “hold her hand”, and to “google it”–before shoving a slate into her hand and telling her to just vote the slate and ignore anything else. I immediately introduced myself when she left the table, welcomed her to the process, answered her question and helped her find where she needed to be.


Had the rules allowed the experienced ground team members to address the convention, or those people had been out in the delegate pool coordinating, things would have gone far better in terms of final delegate results. JUST HANDING SOMEONE PAPER AFTER PAPER AND TELLING THEM TO VOTE THE SLATE AND DON’T GET CONFUSED OR LISTEN TO ANYONE ELSE IS NOT PRODUCTIVE.

If how our convention was handled by the ground team is ANY indication of conventions elsewhere, it’s little wonder we’re having delegate issues. I spoke to almost every ground team member I could find at one point or another, and well over half had ZERO convention experience. And sadly, quite a few had what could be called “attitude” as well–while under normal circumstances, nailing your flag to the mast and being loudly defiant may work to some extent, it’s a miserable excuse for a strategy in the current situation.

Being curt, confrontational, overbearing or condescending isn’t productive either. When you hear other Trump supporters in the bathroom expressing confusion, hurt and anger because THE CANDIDATE’S GROUND TEAM MEMBERS ARE “BITCHES” OR “ASSHOLES”, YOU HAVE A REAL PROBLEM.

I’ll be the first to admit that after you have to reassure your 30th or 40th person on the very same issue as the last 30 or 40 people, or answer the same basic Politics 101 question for the 20th time in 2 hours, it’s a little bit wearing. Had I been able to find a quiet corner during lunch and round up a large number of people, I would have tabled my own damned meeting and given everyone a pep talk, some support, and allayed fears and confusion.

AND I AM NOT EVEN AN OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN WORKER. But I couldn’t find that quiet corner, and when I did suggest that to three different ground team members, they basically patted me on the head and brushed me off. I don’t know where the campaign found these yo-yo’s–but Trump was poorly served, at least in my part of the convention. I didn’t talk to every ground team member–but I did talk to a majority, as did my other half (who wasn’t impressed either, and he is not politically active).

This game has rules that most people don’t understand. It also is a very different experience to convention with all or majority newbies rather than seasoned operatives and involved party members.


WE ARE IN A SERIOUS FIGHT HERE. If you have a convention coming and are listed as a delegate, DO NOT OUT YOURSELF.

WEAR STICKERS FROM EVERY CANDIDATE IN THE RACE–or only local candidate stickers like your Senate/House contenders.



Any seasoned campaigner will tell you the single most important thing to do is make sure you get the votes, and the delegate slot. “Voting the slate” is ONLY a good idea IF YOU KNOW EVERYONE ON IT. In THIS game, you’re essentially playing “Liar’s Poker”. Slates can change dozens of times between the first and the moment you mark the ballot, as different party operatives work behind the scenes to get an advantage.

If your convention rules allow you to speak to your district and directly stump, QUIETLY, BEFORE YOU SPEAK, LET KEY TRUMP TEAM MEMBERS OR OTHER DELEGATES KNOW YOU WILL BE SPEAKING GOPER. If the rules don’t allow a speech, it’s up to you to introduce yourself to as many people as possible in your congressional district before the convention starts, and during it before the voting.YOU NEED TO SELL YOURSELF AS A DELEGATE. 

Had I been more focused on actually going to Cleveland as a delegate than building a ground network in AZ, I WOULD have gotten chosen by any means possible–because I KNOW THE RULES. But right now, we all need to also start focusing on building state networks so we can co-opt the GOP and give it to Trump when he gets elected.

I’m sorry if my bald assessment of the ground team in Mesa offends some people. But I feel it is perfectly in order, considering my first hand experience, and the importance of upcoming conventions. I also took the time to write an email to the Trump campaign stating basically what I wrote above, and telling them politely that this is an issue that needs addressing–not the least of which because after Trump wins the nomination, his supporters will be needed to campaign during the run up to the general election. And more than a few of the Trump supporters I met, like myself, had been volunteering on the phone banks and using social media to do what they can for Trump–and were somewhat regretting doing so after yesterday.

More scuttlebutt and a final takeaway to follow, next….

AZGOP Mesa Convention Scuttlebutt Part 2

Part 1–some background color

The other half took the time to talk to sheriff Babaeu and Kelli Ward first, as I had assigned him the “local candidate” tables primarily. I did that as he doesn’t have my experience level at observation, nor can he retain as many factoids as I can without taking notes. Since I also had obligations at the convention and he didn’t it made the most sense.

At the Sheriff’s table, the general atmosphere was one of gratitude for Babaeu’s speaking out on the illegal issue, and expressions from people in Pima and other counties that wished their sheriffs were more like him.

At Kelli Ward’s table, people were thanking her for running against Mc Cain–some of the names my other half recorded in his notes were : Mc Shame, Mc Slime, The Carpetbagger, Mc Fraud, and Mc Asshat. The sentiment level he recorded trended towards unqualified support for Kelli because of her personal voting record at state level, though he did note that about 1/4 of the people who signed her petition slate were in the #anyonebutmccain category, with a little over 1 in 10 not even bothering to find out her positions, just signing her petition to primary John. Both of us heard at least several dozen people stating if Kelli lost the primary against Mc Cain, they WILL vote for Kirkpatrick (the Democrat) to get rid of him anyway–talk the AZGOP is completely ignoring, or joking about (at least publicly).

The GOPer Insider View On MC Cain

Interestingly enough, the scuttlebutt among the actual party operatives was still trending towards what I heard directly from one at my GOPer meeting in Tucson–that Kelli has “peaked”, and Mc Cain is getting a last term before they “transition to his replacement smoothly”. This was confirmed in different ways in several dozen conversations with operatives from all counties and all levels of the party. Many of them expressed dissatisfaction with MC Cain, but still stuck with the party line on the issue.

The overall opinion of Mc Cain is that he’s no “war hero”, and even if he were, that’s ancient history BTW. I heard over a dozen jokes and quips about how the vets and servicemen and women would REALLY feel if they knew just how little Mc Cain does for the military in actuality.He’s seen as an average Senator whose pork deliveries to our state have been slacking off a little too much in the last decade or so. The AZGOP is apparently now looking at and grooming Flake to up the pork level we get, and to be more proactive in the nest few years leading to his run for a second term.

There was also mention of Mc Cain’s son’s steady progress toward his Senate seat….

The GOPer To Do List, Flake, And Maricopa County

I overheard several gentlemen discussing a “To-Do” list for Flake while they were in a side room setting up things for the electronic voting–more technically supervising the staff doing the set up. Some of the items I heard mentioned included the new light rail/street car project in Tempe should lead to some “revitalization” money for certain enterprise zones, selling off some more land that one Indian tribe or another will likely declare is “sacred”, and some improvements and upgrades to Maricopa County services.

It’s interesting to note that all the pork talk I heard going on here and there as part of To Do lists for Mc Cain and Flake only involved money for Maricopa County in any large amount. Some guests from Graham County Yavapai Countyand Gila County were trying to get attention paid to some projects they wanted funded–small potatoes in both cases, under 10 million dollars–and were getting glad handed, given business cards, and moved on their merry way.

I saw no indication at all that the AZGOP realizes how disenfranchised the rural counties are feeling these days, and how high the resentment level is in outlying areas against the main party. This will work to our advantage if Arizonans in rural counties will actually GET ACTIVE IN THEIR LOCAL COUNTY GOPS.

But the main takeaway is that the AZGOP is confident their activities against Kelli Ward and in favor of Mc Cain will work.

The reasoning is important here–they are relying on the precinct level operatives to get out the vote against Kelli in our primary. While nobody flat out stated that the AZGOP was deliberately stumping for Mc Cain and suppressing Ward, the “you know how the game is played” comment was common. I was able to capitalize on my family’s long history in Massachusetts and national politics by trotting out some juicy (verifiable) family anecdotes about a famous relative’s “Presidential Walk” several decades ago. They aren’t public knowledge, but easy to check out if you have political connections.

And NO–we are NOT Kennedys! My ancestors go back to the Mayflower and the Boston Brahmin half of the family tree is tied up in the famous poem:

And this is good old Boston,

The home of the bean and the cod,

Where the Lowells talk only to Cabots,

And the Cabots talk only to God.

I stay as far away from my Brahmin relatives as humanly possible–but occasionally their antics come in very handy LOL.

Part three coming up…

AZGOP Mesa Convention Scuttlebutt

This will be a mishmash of interesting comments, observances, and other small doings in GOPerLand from Mesa, in no particular order–though I will loosely group them into groups to give you the overall picture:

Mesa And The Convention Venue Physical Location:

The Mesa Convention Center itself was easy to find–but the much touted “ample parking” at the facility turned out to be woefully inadequate. We arrived promptly at 7:30, and found all parking lots full and the streets and side streets lined with cars everywhere it was legal to park. The other half had to drop me off and ended up parking a 1/2 block away.

I was doing a general bumper sticker survey at all times driving around Mesa, and in the time there I saw 134 Trump stickers, 51 Cruz, 9 Paul, 19 Kasich, 3 Carson,37 Hillary and 54 Bernie. I also saw while leaving an additional 59 Trump stickers that were brand new or being installed as we were navigating the traffic jam.

Kelli Ward stickers outnumbered Mc Cain stickers over 2 to 1.

Engagement Levels At Candidate Tables During Lunch:

When I got lunch, the other half and I used out tally counters  (the small clicky gizmos you can buy to count things, we own several LOL). From my vantage point in the Quesadilla line I noted that those attending the convention went for the two Barbecue options first, followed by switching to the Quesadilla truck when the BBQ lines got too long. The “organic/healthy food” truck got less than 1/3rd the traffic, but the line was consistent.

I was monitoring Cruz/Trump/Kasich while I had him watching the local candidates. The Cruz Crew had about 50% more total volunteers than Team Trump–but about 5 times as many people were either buying Trump/MAGA gear made by others from the vendor selling fan-designed gear or “Hillary for Prison 2016” shirts than buying Cruz gear. There were a few forlorn looking Kasich shirts being ignored at the shirt vendor’s spot also :-).

In order of popularity, the Tee Shirt Sold Tally from the lunch break:

Trump/MAGA shirts (4 designs available)–259 Adult, plus 26 child/teen

Hillary for Prison 2016–127, 2 different styles, 3 different colors. The round neck tees outsold the Vee necked ones by slightly more than 2 to 1. The guy I was watching ran out of Hillary for Prison Bumper stickers and buttons entirely.

Cruz shirts of any kind: 78. All one style (round/crew neck), 3 different colors.

Kasich: 11. The poor guy even tried hanging them in front, they were ignored.

No “build the Wall” shirts were available–he had sold out entirely, and they were on back order, before this event while doing other local events. The tee shirt guy had 2 helpers, and almost nobody took their gear in bags–everyone was just putting them right on over their clothes.

The Candidate Table Counts:

Trump table: 217, average stay at table 5 minutes.

Cruz table: 97, average stay 16 minutes (more on that in next post)

Kasich table:41, average stay 2 minutes (more on that also)

For the locals–

Kelli Ward table: 319–and Kelli herself was working all the lunch truck lines in between working the table. Average stay was close to 15 minutes, so a constant crush that caused her staffers to try and move people out into groups to answer questions.

Mc Cain: 98–and staffers were visibly working to keep people at the table, as the average stay was less than 3 minutes, while the average stay at Kelli’s table was just under 11 minutes.

Babaeu: 121–his came in “waves”, when he was there, and the average stay was 9 minutes.

In The Lunch Lines:

Talked to an Alfalfa farmer from Buckeye, Cruz voter–polite, nice guy, convinced Cruz was a spiritual person, Constitutional conservative, and statesman. Overheard three women (2 of them Hispanic) vociferously defending Trump from another Cruz guy at the healthy food truck next to us. The guy they were tag teaming on was a mid twenties Latino male, and they ranged in age from mid twenties to over 55.

Talked to a nice minister who was, though not an official Cruz Crew operative, trying to engage any passer by with the information that Cruz was America’s only protection from the Tribulation ( anyone who votes Cruz will be bumped to the top of the Rapture List, everyone)….Which led to a nice argument right next to me as I ate between himself (a Pre-Tribulation Rapture believer) and FIVE other people, 3 male 2 female, all in their mid/late 40’s divided into 2 Mid-Tribulation Rapture believers (one of each gender), and 3 Post Tribulation Rapture people.

The result of the rather convoluted debate was 6 people thumbing through different versions of pocket Bibles, and slinging verses at each other as they walked away (some other people had intervened and asked them to please take the fight further down the sidewalk, they were organic food Yuppie types). The main takeaway from the argument was that regardless of the timing of the Rapture, they all had to unite and pray very hard that the delegates chose rightly.

The healthy food line (which I strolled by slowly to get to a convenient trash can) was almost universally Cruz Country at the time I monitored it, while the best BBQ line was nearly all Trump. They were one upping each other with a long list of touching, patriotic, and heartwarming moments from the Cruz campaign to date.

Inside, I loitered by the concession stand, which is where about 75% of the higher ups were eating, and complaining about the “Secret Star Chamber” slating process, speculating on who had been involved, and gleefully predicting “a bloodbath” during the at-large delegate vote.

They were also chuckling over the fact that only about 15% of the delegates had been slated as supporting any candidate–and the vast majority of those were “names”. Nobody asked me who I supported–had they I would have asked to be slated for everyone, and had advised all the delegates I had connected with to do the same.

It should be noted I have yet to find ANY unknown delegate who was ASKED who we supported for slating purposes at all…..

In the Ladies’ Room:

Of course the ladies’ room was mobbed, all the time *sigh*. Most of the women I met were mid thirties or older, white or Hispanic, though I did also meet 6 Asian women and 2 Black women. Over 1/2 the women I talked to were Cruz supporters–but I converted a group of 8 to Trump when I showed them the interview with Heidi Cruz from some time ago on one of their tablets.

They, like me, couldn’t imagine any “normal” woman conducting business on a Blackberry while in labor–or saying it was great to be able to give up a spare bedroom to live in help so she could still work 80 hours AND support her husband’s career despite having very small children. When we moved out of the entry way back into the convention hall they were already busily spreading that information to friends….

More coming in the next post.



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.