We met Saturday to vote in delegates to the state convention. From the 27th, there was a near-majority of Romney delegates, quite a few Ron Paul and Santorum supporters, and a handful of Gingrich supporters.
Before breaking into districts, the convention entertained an amendment that would allow each district to elect a chair, a secretary, a teller, etc… That was roundly and soundly defeated. Why? Because the Paul campaign put it forward, and the other three campaigns opposed it. We didn’t want to waste time choosing a chair and such, when the district leaders were already there.
One rule change that might have been adopted, would it not have contradicted state party rules, was the option to vote by slate. Some proposes a slate, people vote yea or nay. With 50% + 1 for a slate, that slate would win, and we’d be done. A simple hand count could be taken to see if the slate would get close to winning 50%+1, and if so, we could make it official with a simple ballot, Athens style. “Put a white stone in the can for a yes, a black stone for no.”
The people who showed up in our district gave a Romney-Gingrich combo a majority vote.
Previously, the national chair of the Romney campaign, the state chair of the Santorum campaign, and a few of the Gingrich supporters (since there is no official Gingrich campaign in WA) met to put together a “Unity” slate. “Unity” here meant “everyone but Paul.
(If people wonder why Paul cannot and would never win, this is why. He has no friends outside of his campaign.)
By the time Saturday morning rolled around, Greg Woodard, who claimed to be a Santorum supporter, was passing out slates he had created in conspiracy with the Ron Paul people that duplicated the layout, font, and even icons of the official Unity slate. Alex Hayes from the Romney campaign furiously denounced this fraud. Greg Woodard tried to defend it, as well as a Paul supporter, but the people were not entertained.
Unfortunately, Alex Hayes didn’t come forward to play the role of the whip. Had he taken some time during the initial ballot to correct the slate, removing Greg Woodard, we might have been done in 1 ballot. Instead, we suffered all four ballots. Halfway through, the Santorum people and the Paul people formed a coalition. I believe the Santorum people were being manipulated by Woodard.
Regardless, at the end of the day, I believe 12 Romney supporters were elected, along with 1 Paul, 3 Gingrich, and 6 Santorum. The original Unity slate had 11 Romney, 0 Paul, 2 Gingrich, and 8 Santorum. The Santorum people lost 2 seats, giving one to a Gingrich supporter and 1 to a Paul supporter. If you count Greg Woodard as a Paul supporter, then Santorum lost 3 seats they could have had. I think the reason why Paul and Santorum got any more seats was a slight confusion on how to vote down the ticket. Many Romney and Gingrich supporters were running the show, and missed out all the shenanigans happening during the counts.
It’s now on to state. The impetus is mostly to stop Paul. The Paul people act like they are innocent lambs in the whole affair, but I think people see through their deception too easily. Why they do not behave as republicans, why they do not simply accept the fact that they are not going to win, is beyond me.
Hopefully, a lot of lessons were learned that day. The Paul supporters suffered from the conceit that they were working harder than anyone else, they had more devotion than anyone else, and at the end of the day, it was clear that they didn’t. It’s a tough lesson for 20-some-odd year olds to learn, but it’s an important one.