4th District Committeeman Report – 6/18/2012
4th District Committeeman’s Report 6/18/2012
The 4th District Convention was held on Saturday June 9th at the VFW Post #2278 in Hot Springs. The convention was hosted by the Republican Party of Garland County. The meeting was convened and the first order of business was the election of three delegates and three alternates representing Mit Romney to the National Republican Convention in Tampa.
The rules for the voting as set by the Arkansas State Republican Party specified that from the nine filed 4th district candidates for the Romney delegation there would be a series of six votes that would pick a first thru third delegate and a first through third alternate delegate. According to Larry Bailey at the State District Committee Chairman meeting there was concern expressed about the method of conducting the election because of the potential for abuse, but they were told this was according to the requirements of the state rules and was not negotiable. The 4th District election was held in accord with the state rules.
Delegates elected on the first three votes were 1st Delegate, Tammy Pope, 2nd Delegate Cora Linda Liscinski, and 3rd Delegate Michael Motes. Oddly, none of the three candidates that were recommended by the Mit Romney campaign were elected as Delegates from the Fourth District! District chairman Larry Bailey then asked if any of the delegate candidates wished their names removed from the ballot before consideration for the Alternate Delegates so they could run for Delegate positions with the “At Large” candidates at the state meeting on June 23rd. Skot Covert and Barbara Deuschele withdrew their names from consideration leaving a slate of four persons for consideration as alternates. The persons elected from those remaining four were 1st Alternate Stacy Dejarnette, 2nd Alternate Sara Darling, and 3rd Alternate Drury Hoover.
When the convention convened a group of delegates considering themselves as “Constitutionalists” and supporters of Ron Paul arrived with lists directing them exactly how to vote on each of the ballots for their desired three candidates. As a result, when they voted in the first vote, although they comprised only 1/3rd or less of the total delegates all of them voted for the same candidate while the other 2/3rd s of the delegates who did not know about the “fix” had their votes split between nine candidates. Mathematically this effectively made this group’s votes count three to four times more than everyone else’s since theirs was not even split between their three candidates of choice. Of course under the lax rules their candidate received the most votes and was picked as delegate # 1 with only about 1/3 of the total votes cast. Their second and third candidate choices for the D2 and D3 positions received few or no votes on the first ballot since all their votes were concentrated on only ONE ballot. Since the state rules specified there was to be no “runoff” to establish a plurality of votes, as would be appropriate for elections of large numbers of candidates like this, their candidate was declared the winner.
Likewise on the second vote all of this group voted for their second candidate on their list while everyone else’s votes were split among eight candidates. Likewise their second candidate was declared the winner with a minority of total votes cast and again no runoff was conducted in accordance with state directed rules. Again, few or no votes were recorded for their desired third candidate. The same result on the third ballot with them voting for their third candidate while everyone else’s votes was split between the seven remaining candidates.
The net result was that a relatively small but well organized group whose loyalties were not with either the Republican party, its presidential candidate or the 4th district effectively hijacked the election denying an opportunity for the majorities’ votes to count. Here a group of less than one third of the delegates conspired to make each of their votes count as much as three or four times as much as the votes of the other delegates. According to reports from other districts in Arkansas the same thing was done with essentially the same results in three of the four Arkansas Republican District conventions. The net result is that a relatively small group with loyalties outside of the Republican Party colluded to hijack the election and deny the voting rights of the majority of the delegates to the 4th District Convention.
Since this resulted in what was essentially a rigged election, raising several questions. First, should the election be nullified because of voting irregularities? Why? The individuals that perpetuated this “fix,” did nothing directly in violation of the rules. They used the weaknesses in the rules to take over a party election to the benefit of their group effectively denying voting rights to the majority of delegates. Second question, should the individuals that participated in this “fix” be punished in some way? Individually they followed the rules. A comment made by Larry Baily after the event described it as a tactic, “skillfully crafted and flawlessly executed.” What they actually did was to demonstrate that their loyalties lie outside that of the Republican Party and they have put their local committees on notice that they can not be trusted. However, collectively these individuals conspired to impose the will of an outside group on the Republican Party, to effectively hijack the delegates of the nominee of the party substituting them with, in their words, “stealth” delegates who were secretly pledged to support someone else thus stealing the delegates of the Presidential candidate that received 73% of the votes of the primary voters of Arkansas. Such could certainly be considered a violation of their responsibility as members of a local Republican committee for “working against the interest of the Republican Party” under Article II, section 12 of the rules of the Republican Party of Arkansas.
This should be a wake up call to the Republican Party of Garland County, the 4th District and the Republican Party of Arkansas that such ill conceived and lax election rules should never again be used and should certainly never be enforced on the districts or county committees against their better judgment. It is my personal opinion that the local Republican Party of Garland County should adopt a policy and so notify the state, that we will not abide by such lax voting rules in the future. If the state then wishes to disallow the results of one of our elections, so be it. To have an election nullified by the state would be no worse than to have it hijacked by an outside group that does not place their allegiance with the Republican Party of Arkansas.
The next meeting of the 4th District will be in Scott County in Early October. Time and location are as yet TBD.
4th District Committeeman