Clear Fog Blog

Political musings from Warren E. Peterson

Ron Paul Sweeps the 36th and 46th District Caucuses

Posted by Warren Peterson on March 19, 2012

In a display of organization, devotion and dedication, the Ron Paul campaign won all 21 delegates to the Washington State Republican Convention from the 36th Legislative District Caucus and all 20 in the 46th. The first test of strength came in both districts on the election of a permanent chair of the caucus. Generally, the legislative district chair acts as caucus temporary chair and is pro forma elected as permanent chair. In each district, the Paul campaign not only challenged the temporary chair but also took the highly unusual step of nominating a woman from outside the district. In the 36th they were successful and also initially in the 46th. However, a motion was made to revote for permanent chair in the 46th because of confusion regarding abstentions. While the new chair pondered the motion, a cell phone google found evidence she was a hard line Paul supporter and a question from the floor revealed she lived not in northeast Seattle’s 46th District, but (cue an audible gasp) Bellevue. The revote confirmed the temporary chair as the permanent caucus chair. It turned out to be a pyrrhic victory.

There were 96 people nominated for the 20 delegate positions allotted to the 46th District. The district chair (now also caucus chair) published a recommended slate consisting primarily of people who had volunteered their time on district work. There were at least two Paul supporters on the slate, a few undecided and the rest split between Romney and Santorum. Additionally, someone distributed a flyer addressed to the “Santorum, Gingrich, Paul Delegates” that attacked Romney and called for a brokered national convention. A third handout titled “Prolifers for State Delegate” listed ten names, all Paul people but not identified as such. Total non-Paul delegates out numbered Paul delegates so the purpose of the anti Romney and pro life material was to divide the opposition to Ron Paul. It worked. Two Paul delegates were elected on the first ballot, twelve more on the second, and four on the third. By rule, the fourth ballot would elect the final two delegates from four remaining names. This final ballot pitted the 46th District Chair and the 46th District Mitt Romney Chair against two Paul candidates; the Paulistas prevailed.

It was hardball politics won by the best coached team with unified members that stayed for the whole game. As the meeting wore on, many non-Paul people left but the Paul team hung in all six plus hours and swept the delegate elections. Eventually enough people left, some on purpose to force a quorum call, that the chair declared a lack of a quorum. He was sustained by a four vote margin and adjourned the meeting without electing any alternate delegates. Had alternates been elected, no doubt they would have gone to the Ron Paul team.

These two caucuses demonstrated the power of a dedicated minority to control an outcome. Were delegates selected by a primary election, the results would be similar to other states, few if any Paul delegates. It was also the opening battle in a war by the Libertarians to take over the Republican Party in King County and the State of Washington. I asked several Paul delegates if they would support the presidential nominee of the Republican Party? Their answers were the essence of equivocation. It will be a helluva war.


4 Responses to “Ron Paul Sweeps the 36th and 46th District Caucuses”

  1. oroon said

    I was at the Saturday 3/17 district caucus and I feel it was bad-sportsmanship on the part of the ‘old-guard’ to walk out and in effect disenfranchise those delegates who had come to be elected by consensus amongst the district delegates, fairly and squarely according to the rules of the WSGOP. The fact that at least 60% (12 out of 20) of the slate of delegates suggested by the ‘old-guard’ were married/co-joined also speaks volumes about the diversity of their proposed candidates compared to the diversity which exists in the 36th and 46th districts. Out with the old in with the new…if you don’t like the rules, change them, but do it fairly and squarely and in the open, not by walking out to disenfranchise delegates.

  2. Martin said

    So I attended the 36th District Caucuses on Saturday March 17 and I read that Ron Paul swept the 36th and 46th congressional districts. This blog describes what happened at the 46th but left out something that happened at the meeting of the 36th at Seattle Pacific University. Yes, the Ron Paul people were able elect a permanent chair and hold on to it. What the blog left out that probably can’t be proven and is probably irrelevant to the outcome of the seating of the delegates (except for a possible challenge of the alternates), was a dirty trick by the team of the Temporary Chairman of the meeting (36th District chairman Glenn Avery) who had just lost their jobs running the meeting. There was an announcement by Chairman Glen Avery that, “The Bubble Ballot Sheets and Vote Counting Machine are no longer in the building,” after he was questioned about the whereabouts of them by the new administration of the meeting and the majority of the revolting delegates. Lori Sotelo the woman who was in charge of all of the printed material during the setup of the meeting is the person allegedly responsible for taking the voting ballots and counting machine from the meeting. She is also the person that sent out our Call to Order cards in the mail to all of the delegates. That ballot stall maneuver by the Glen Avery people forced the “Ballot Listing” (the sheet with the corresponding numbers that we were supposed to use to fill in the Bubble Ballots) to be used as the official voting ballot. The outcome of all of this was a forced hand count and a caucus that took up an entire Saturday. Nine hours of the most interesting process I have ever seen. No one was prepared for such a long meeting. Half of the delegates did not eat. I actually felt patriotic again. Funny to see that most of the Mitt Romney people had packed lunches. Seems like they knew it would be a long day. I want people to know the length that these Republicans are going to stop a process that was democratic and peaceful. They are willing to run off with ballots! I saw it first-hand. I noticed during the meeting in the back, on cell phone camera, Glen Avery was dodging questions as to whether or not the Ballots even existed. We might not ever know.

  3. Mark Knoke said

    I was elected from the 46th District and stayed at the meeting till adjournment. I must commend you and especially Bob on a very professional job running the meeting. In hindsight, the chair election tactic was unnecessary from my perspective. I’m glad nothing happened in Seattle like what happened in Missouri.

    For what it’s worth, not everyone on the pro-life handout was for Paul. There were Santorum supporters on it, as well.

  4. Kevin Shadix said

    I attended the 46th District on 3/17. As a newbie to the caucus, I found it very interesting and was glad to finally be involved with like-minded, committed people in my area. Personally, I like all four candidates quite a bit. I would vote for any of them as I think truly each of them would do a fine job. In the 2008 election, I wrote in Ron Paul on the ballot in lieu of Obama or McCain. This year, however, I am now leaning first to Romney and then Santorum.

    I remain very much a fan of Paul. However, I must say that I felt a bit put off by the way the Ron Paul folks worked the caucuses. I was confused by what was going on with the chair nomination process, and the hardball tactics seemed manipulative and not transparent. And to me, the equivocation that a lot of the Ron Paul campaigners display around supporting Romney (or probably any others) is concerning. I say this because I believe that while it is important to be true to our convictions, we must really unite behind whoever the final nominee is. Obama is bad news for this country’s direction. And we must work together to stop the nonsense, not fight each other. Thanks for giving the space to share my thoughts!

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