Today was a victory for Ron Paul supporters in Jackson County, Missouri.
Further summary is needed to really explain what happened at the end of the caucus that resulted in the Beat Obama slate. I’ve spoken to the Chair, several delegates, and many attendees in order to compile the most accurate report possible.
The Credentials Cmte. reported 1012 people present, but the highest vote – the one for the election of the chair – only had 970 votes. That’s our starting point of voters present: 970.
The day began with approximately 375-400 Ron Paul supporters. Some are confused because over 550 stickers were passed out to ID Ron Paul supporters. However, the team ran out of one type of the Paul stickers and two people were counting. Sticker types were switched and the stickers that did not state Ron Paul were accepted by non-Paul supporters. The sticker counting system failed and was discounted. The door click system was more accurate, and the team’s best count indicated approximately 375 Ron Paul supporters.
Numbers dwindled throughout the day. The best count tracked these walk-outs/early departures: 80 Santorum, 60 Romney, 12 Paul, and 5 Gingrich. By the final vote the total number of people voting was 768.
The final delegate percentages agreed upon by the 768 votes were:
To the State: Paul 73% ; Romney 27%
To the 5th District: Paul: 44% ; Romney 56%
To the 6th District: Paul: 100%
Alternates: Paul 100% to the State, 5th, and 6th.
How did that deal, the Beat Obama slate, come about?
The Romney and Santorum leaders both approached the Paul leaders about two weeks ago. The local Paul team rejected them completely. After 17 March and the debacles seen then, when Romney and Santorum camps approached them again, they discussed a plan B – a compromise slate – at the Monday night Ron Paul strategy meeting open to Paul supporters.
This group of about 25 people who have been leading the Ron Paul movement in Kansas City with their blood, sweat, and tears, decided that between Santorum and Romney, Santorum was the most dangerous “to the concepts of liberty”. Therefore, they agreed to dialogue with the Romney camp about a possible compromise slate. Later in the week leaders of the local Paul strategy team met with the attorneys from the Romney team and hammered out a compromise.
The deal was strictly a Plan B. Plan A was a full Paul slate. If it was possible to pass Plan A, then Plan A would be voted on. If, however, Plan B was voted upon and lost, then the Romney camp would not agree to Plan B and would go to their Plan C – a deal with the Santorum camp. Therefore, the ultimate decision on the floor of the caucus was down to EITHER pass Plan A OR pass Plan B… and no second chances. If they tried Plan A and lost, they would forfeit ALL delegates because Romney would switch to Santorum.
Even if we’re generous and say that 400 Paul supporters were present at the final vote, that 400 was not the 2/3 necessary to pass the vote (51%) and close the meeting (2/3). The Paul camp did not have sufficient votes to pass Plan A, a full slate.
Also important: two men separately nominated the Ron Paul Constitution slate. Neither of them had been to any of the Paul strategy meetings.*
The first gentleman had good intentions. The Ron Paul slate had been distributed to Paul supporters earlier in the day and had been well-promoted by the team. When it came time to nominate slates, the Paul team captains had already determined that the numbers meant that the 100% Paul slate could not pass. They could not tip their hand to the full room and inform the Paul supporters of every detail, and the first man who nominated the Paul slate wanted to help. Team members spoke with him privately to see if he had additional names to add that would flesh out a second slate and safely give two Paul-centric slates. He did not. He withdraw the slate nomination.
The second man who nominated the Ron Paul slate was a Santorum supporter. He was still wearing his Santorum sticker. He was deliberately trying to divide the Ron Paul vote. He was publicly challenged by the Chair to declare whether he had a full slate of delegates for the RP slate he has nominated. The man didn’t, clearly, and he said as much. His slate was therefore rejected as it was invalid.
The Chair, Mark Anthony Jones, asked each of them if they had a full slate of delegates and alternates. They both said they did not. They had not prepared slates with names of delegates.** These were the two Paul slates that were withdrawn/rejected.
The Paul team had to decide between the compromise slate with Romney that was a definite majority of delegates for Paul, or risking getting no delegates for a slate that was incomplete when they did not have the necessary votes to pass it. The Paul team chose to take the compromise and they won the overwhelming majority of delegates for Paul.
The Romney camp would not have voted for a full Paul slate because they knew they could make a deal with the Santorum camp and get delegates. The Romney votes were far too slim to win anything on their own, but were necessary for either the Paul or Santorum camp to get delegates. Paul had more supporters present than the Romney and Santorum camps individually, but not a 2/3 majority overall.
Today was the best possible victory for Paul supporters in today’s caucus given the number of people present. The team did well. The Chair was honorable and answered the Santorum camp’s concerns. Robert’s Rules of Order were followed. Recordings were permitted.
Ron Paul won the delegates fairly and honestly. Well done, Jackson County!
* Edited: 04:05PM EST, 3/35. Clarified and expanded situation surrounding the nominations of the Ron Paul Constitution slate.
** Edited: 11:00PM EST, 3/24. Possible inaccuracy removed.