What Really Happened at the Nevada Convention


Posted April 28th, 2008 by cbunce

Out Classed and Out of Options…

Politics is a never-ending game, which has little to no rules, and the rules that do exist can change at anytime. You can choose to start, or stop playing this game at anytime, but no matter how you play this game it comes down who has the most people who care.

On Saturday April 26th , 2008, in Reno Nevada, the Republican State convention came to order with a set agenda and rigged rules to basically give complete control of the Delegate process to the party. The original rules would have only a set list of people that could be chosen as a whole to represent the state called a slate. These slates were created by a small group of people and were never published, and even as we began the convention were not known.

This was the first attempt to keep complete control of the delegate selection process. After three hours of explaining how this was not representative of the convention as a body, the convention modified the delegate selection process to allow anyone to run for a national delegate position. Three would be chosen from each of the three Congressional District and twenty-two from the entire body by each person voting for twenty-two people.

It was lunch at that point in time, giving two hours for the next play to be planned. Upon reconvening from lunch at 2:27pm, no time was wasted to unfurl this plan, which was instead of breaking up into districts to make sure at least three from each one was elected, the party would be kind enough to move around arbitrarily alternates to delegate positions to ensure “a fair distribution”, even better we shouldn’t vote for twenty-two people at large because that would take far to much time, but instead vote for only five. Which took anybody with an eighth grade math understanding to know this was intended to divide our vote by four because in order to vote for twenty people you needed four people now instead of one. So this just was obliterated by the convention getting over a 75% rejection vote.

At this time we split into three districts and began to vote on delegates, this only took about an hour and went rather smoothly in district three and one. District two was continually delayed because of a dispute of whether a printed ballot was acceptable or a handwritten one was, somehow handwritten equals easier to handle to the those that ran the voting for district two. After this we came back and began to debate planks on the floor.

It was two hours in the making, the start of which was a person coming from the count room of the 2nd Congressional District of Nevada, which was the last of three districts to be counted. From our count observers in the rooms of Congressional District’s 1 and 3, Paul Supporters had won all three delegates spots in District 3 and one Paul supporter in District 1. The counts of these districts took about 30 minutes after voting was completed. The 2nd District was taking very long to complete and no one could understand the delay of more then an hour, information from observers within its count room relayed that Paul Supporters had swept its three delegates as well. This meant that Paul Supporters took 7 out of 9 possible Congressional District delegates to the National Convention.

The person walking from the counting room took a straight line to State Chairwoman Sue Lowden, leaning over and whispering into her ear. After the person walked off Sue sat there for about 30 seconds tapping her foot and then stood up and walked over to Councilman Woodbury who was sitting in front of me, leaning over she said, “If we can break Quorum, can we invalidate this?” After saying this rather loudly and glancing at the expression on my face she quickly quieted down and I was unable to hear the rest of the conversation.

I sat in a dazed confusion for about five minutes trying to figure out what quorum was in this convention of 1347 delegates, which was 674 delegates. Soon after Chairwomen Lowden left, a John McCain staffer, Paul Johnson, came by. I had been gathering signs and information from him all day, and he believed I was a hardcore McCain supporter. He came up to me and got on one knee as if to propose his undying love. He began his conversation with, “They are trying to pull a coup, we are going to leave and quarter the convention.” I responded, “Do we even have the numbers, all they need is a couple hundred to keep Quorum?” He answered back, “The powers that be have the numbers, I am just doing what I was told to do by my boss.” At this moment I knew that they had lost control of the convention and were desperate. About an hour went by before they finally figured out they did not have enough people to pull off this little stunt.

I watched the party officers directly in front of me huddling up with the parliamentarian and trying to come up with something. Soon after this huddle, the party began to filibuster the convention filling it with videos and speakers over a course of 60 minutes. During this time Sue Lowden began barking at Chairman Bob Beers, and I could clearly see Chairmen Beers not agreeing with what she was telling him. First it was just her talking to him, then after going on and off stage to present the next video or speaker, three people gathered around him, by the fourth time he stepped off the stage, eight people were surrounding and pressuring him, which I can only assume was to end the convention, being that was the next thing that happened when he returned to the stage.
When he returned to the stage for the last time, Chairmen Beers ended the convention illegally calling an indefinite recess without a vote of the delegation to do so, at 6 pm. This was not before their first plan of ending the convention was attempted to be put into play by a member that was not informed calling for a Quorum which we would still have had. But Beers interrupted him saying, “I will save you some time”, and called the indefinite recess. Later it was claimed to be the end of the contract of the room. But upon request from the Hotel they gladly gave us three more hours for free.

After five second of pure silence, disbelief, and confusion, a once consistently civil and controlled convention was thrown into ten minutes of anarchy, while the party vacated the room out the back doors. Bob Bears attempted to speak with an angry mob with little to no avail before leaving.

After this occurred we attempted to reconvene the meeting but fell 70 people short of a quorum.
This series of events leaves me with the understanding that the opinions and concerns of how Nevada Republicans want our government to work, do not matter. The only concern is that we fuel the inner party through our donations. Am I to understand that the people of Nevada are to have no representation and take marching orders from the Republican National Committee, that is two thousand miles away? To accept whatever they tell us, even if it is to support a man that never came to Nevada or would even agree to a conference call to discuss local positions on things such as Yucca Mountain. We know nothing about his positions that would affect the state in which we are to represent as delegates. When asked to come and talk before the January Caucasus, his Clark County staffer told us that he was not concerned with Nevada and would pick up delegates in May if he needed them. So we as a state are supposed to bow down and support a man who does not support our state?

We must complete a process of debate and discussion until we complete the National Delegate process. Being dictated to from people two thousand miles away is reminiscent of some of the central causes of the beginning of our great nation. So like a spoiled child the Nevada GOP officers, after being out played and without any other options they just kicked over the table and went home.

Richard Bunce
Las Vegas, NV


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