Monday, August 30, 2010

Michigan Republican State Convention 2010

[ To the left I am pictured with Tim Boyko, Charlevoix County Republican Party Chairman, with the stage in the background, representing Dictrict 1.  Notice he has his "credentials" and I do not......] 

 In part, from the Detroit Free Press:
EAST LANSING -- In a raucous, record-setting eight-hour session, tea party boosters showed their muscle at the state Republican Party convention, barely ratifying gubernatorial candidate Rick Snyder's choice for lieutenant governor, Brian Calley, and forcing showdowns in fights for attorney general and secretary of state.  [I correct this information!  Calley was only "ratified" after we Delegates were denied the right to vote.  Rather, the party heads forced Cooper to back out without a vote.  Below is Cooper.... withdrawing his nomination. The "herd" of party heads are on stage congratulating themselves on their accomplishment.  After all, we can't have democracy prevail, can we?  Don't the party heads get to choose the candidate?]

My comments:
1)  Waiting in line for 2 hours to get in to the Breslin Center in East Lansing, Michigan was outrageous.  The lack of organization was inexcusable.  However, though we were irritated, we were perfectly calm. There was no "storming" of the gates.  I used the time to network, to hand out my blog address, and to discuss issues. They finally just let us go in without having to MAKE credentials as we entered (Imagine!).  We waited in line for 1/2 hour just to get a pop or hotdog or pop corn.  ONE concession only was open for nearly 5 thousand people who were supposed to be paying attention to what was going on on the floor.  I never got my credentials, by the way.  State GOP Chairman Ron Weiser had to begin the Convention with an apology, saying, "We screwed up."  Indeed.

2) I am still outraged over the fact that despite thousands of delegates hollering "NO" to a show-of-hands vote for Lieutenant Governor, Ron Weiser decided to pay no attention to us.  Was it our fault they had not made up paper ballots and would not take the time for a Roll Call vote?  We were willing to take the time to give Cooper the vote he deserved.  Weiser tried once again to bring reason to us and have us hand vote.  Alternates, guests and delegates could have voted, for there was NO way to prevent it, and no one was there to actually COUNT the hands held high.  It was a railroad to their desired outcome, for sure. Finally, their solution was to tell the new candidate to just bow out, and, despite the overwhelming number of delegates vigorously shouting for a real vote, he did so.  During that pronouncement everyone shouted "NO!" (don't concede), but delegates' voices were countermanded by the "authority figures".  The party must either not accept late candidates for the position - or they must give him a fair vote if they accept the candidate.  This was not a democratic way to solve the problem.  I am shocked and ashamed.

3) As a new delegate I truly resent being called the problem because I don't understand the "rules".  I saw not ONE Tea Party sign.  They can't possibly know it was the Tea Party who objected to their unfair politics.  It was most of us, delegates fed up by injustices by any government.

4)  I am NOT a "rump faction"!  And we were not "trying to derail Rick Snyder's choice for Lieutenant Governor".  We were trying to have his challenger get a fair vote, and that is ALL!  If, as Ron Weiser says, "The surprise contest for lieutenant governor was a sign "that we're the party of openness," he left out one fact.  We can be "open" to hear ideas from our delegates, but we will NOT do as they demand.  They are the unwashed, I guess.  Sound like Washington Democrats, do you think?

5) The reason Rick Snyder got only a tepid response is apparently because during the campaign he asked Independents and Democrats to cross over in the Primary in order to vote Republican and "choose" him as our candidate, the most liberal of them all.  I believe, by the way, that the State Committee should ban the cross-over Primary votes, for it has given us Rick Snyder, after influencing the John McCain vote as our Republican Presidential candidate.

Democracy in Action is not always pretty, even in the Republican party.  I will be writing to Ron Weiser as well as to Bill Cooper.


  1. Thanks for sharing the insight from one of these events...not many of us will have the opportunity to see "democracy?" in action, and it is a valuable perspective to have and to share...

  2. Welcome aboard the convention. I've missed only two or three conventions since 2002. If you don't like what happened at this one, make sure you go to the county and state conventions after the election where party leadership is elected.

    Commenting on your points.

    1. I agree. They should have either mailed credentials, or at least have them printed out and have lines by congressional district or alphabetical. A-F, G-L, M-S, T-S. etc

    2. Agree again. That wasn't right. The rules were set awhile back, so this was a process problem coming from the either 09 or February rules (not sure when). We actually had ballots though that listed "Candidate A/Candidate B" They could have had a vote on this at the same time as the Secretary of State runoff without any cost. Rumor is that Rick Snyder of all people okayed the vote. Irony is I think some of the techniques the parlimentarian did came with a heavy price. Their MSU trustee candidate was defeated by Mitch Lyons. The processes should be revisited and looked at, and they should be looked at long before the next convention after the election.

    3 and 4. Most people don't know, don't understand, and don't pay attention to procedures. That goes for tea party, much of the establishment, and even long time activists. That's starting to change. The real power at the convention is not this one, but the one after the election where local, district, and state party leadership is chosen. Stay involved. This is a marathon process, not a sprint.

    5. Interesting enough, the establishment didn't support Snyder either. Most of them wanted Hoekstra. I noticed his speech was in the middle of the convention, not closing. That's a change from the past.

    Also, I noticed a difference in how things were handled between county and state. County saw the massive influx of new people coming. We were prepared, and put a couple of the tea party leadership on our election committee for the slate. The slate was about 1/3 old guard, 1/3 more recent but not new activists, and 1/3 tea party, with the rest of the slots filled by vote. There was a floor fight, but it wasn't from the tea party. It was from the black sheep of the county (always in the news).

    There's my report on the convention. Believe it or not, it's better than it used to be in some ways. The secret ballot is a very recent phenomeon at the convention. If this was six years ago, there would likely have been a riot.

  3. You look great, Mom, and I'm PROUD of you for getting involved. Just remember...anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room!