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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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.

 

 

Insider Report: The AZGOP Convention: Part 1

Arrival:  7:30 a.m.

After staying in a local Mesa hotel at 50% off (courtesy of the AZGOP) I arrived at the Convention Center promptly at 7:30 a.m. for credentialing. As a delegate from Congressional District 3, Legislative District 3, Pima County, I presented my voter registration card and picture ID, signed in and got the first ballot of the day (and my 10.00 lunch voucher). Our section was in the very front, and I took a seat in the 2nd row knowing full well the unwritten rules governing seating at conventions. I wanted to be among the higher ups to listen for valuable information, and along the way I hooked up with a Trump ground team member and some of my fellow 3,3 delegates.

We were given the “Trump Slate” by a representative and told to “just vote the slate, and don’t listen to anyone”. The problem inherent in this instruction became rather evident, in short order, as there were few names on the slate I could personally identify as vetted (by ME) Trump supporters–not to mention when we read the rules for this convention we discovered that the AZGOP had decided not to allow delegate candidates to speak for even three minutes each in our caucuses or canvas for votes for the at-large selection later in the day. The reason given was “time constraints due to an usually high number of delegate candidates”.

The Greatest GOPer Show On Earth Begins:

For those unfamiliar with this form of political theater, some background is in order. All the candidates of any type have table sat up and are passing out bumper stickers, signs, and information. The higher echelon party members have the fanciest name tags and are the most dressed up–in AZ’s case, big brushed gold badges in the shape of the state. Next are standard plastic name tags coupled with more casual attire, then simple lanyards with your delegate voting credential card. Typically, the groups will tend to separate while people are getting settled, but as I dragged some of my fellow 3,3’s to the front of our section, we got in among the intermediate name tags and a handful of “gold tags”.

The Convention opened with a dual invocation–the first gentleman giving a Hebrew Prayer for peace (properly sung with beautiful pronunciation, followed by the English translation), then an invocation by a middle of the road Christian. A trumpter/bugler then played the Stars Spangled Banner (we sang), and some children recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and the preamble to the Constitution. The Party head’s daughter Faith Graham did a Kid’s News report showing how uninformed the average voter attending the state fair is, accompanied by a well stated plea for us to elect the right people “for the kids, who do care”.

Robert Graham, Head GOPer, gave a rah-rah speech, and explained the basic process, then it was hurry up–and wait. And wait some more, while the credentialing team made sure we had a quorum. Graham turned the floor over to a professional parliamentarian, causing a minor ruckus as people pointed out “the rules” shouldn’t allow that, and the point was not well taken.

The First Vote:

The Trump slate was updated twice while we were waiting, then we went to cast our paper ballots–one for delegates, one for party chair people for Cleveland. Bruce Ash was running unopposed, with three women vying for the chairwoman slot–so that contest ended in a run off. As we had no opportunity to talk to anyone except fot one gentleman who introduced himself to all of us in 3,3, (Thank you Mr. Ortiz, Sr.!), I had to rely on my notes from the meeting where we all got picked to go to Mesa. On that first ballot, out of the 6 of us 4 were know Trump supporters in my area, two weren’t.

HOW these people got slated will be in Post 2, as it was a very odd series of events all the way around. By now it was lunch time, and long lines formed at the food trucks in the 90 degree cloudy weather, and after eating people were making the rounds of the local candidates’ tables. I disposed of my trash and began making connections, starting with the gold badges and working my way down the line.

I began the day with about 150 business cards, and bought home less than 10, so a decent day–the type of networking that I did and others were doing will also be in the second post. When we went back in, we found we had a run off to deal with when it came to our chair women for Cleveland, and we had to go back out for the 2nd credentialing. The voting process is extremely tightly controlled, as you have to re-credential and get your badge initialed to participate in the second vote. And it was on the second vote of the day things got interesting in GOPerland.

So They Misplaced My Entire Group–Things Happen LOL.

Everyone was outside at once, and it was badly controlled mayhem. The Cruz ground team had their second slates already to go, and I grabbed one (to insure I wouldn’t accidentally vote for a Cruz supporter). And Lo and Behold–no sign for 3,3. So we were milling around, and half of the other delegates couldn’t find their credential people either. According to my local chairman, they accidentally left him off the voting lists in the January meeting–they seem to always mess up something about my district *sigh*.

After almost twenty minutes, we were directed back inside, and finally got some spare paper ballots for the second vote and the runoff–plus a sealed plain envelope, with a slip of paper in it. When everyone was finally back in the main hall, we were then directed to pass the paper ballots to the center of our rows–as we would be voting electronically. At that point, we STILL didn’t have an at-large Trump delegate slate in hand.

Coming Next: GOPers On Parade…..