Missouri Caucus: Cass County Shenanigans

The caucus in Cass County, Missouri, was an interesting affair. I only have limited reports at this time, but apparently the process was greatly extended due to strange happenings in the Santorum camp followed by the Gingrich-supporting Chair trying a bit of a bamboozle.

The Chair announced before the meeting that no recordings were allowed, just like in St. Charles. However, apparently most of the Cass County people did not know that that demand is illegitimate. The caucus was opened amid a flurry of points of order from the Santorum camp on several issues, and I don’t have records on what they were disputing. Apparently it was very confusing.

A straw poll was held with the count: Santorum: 162 Paul: 88 Romney: 37, Gingrich: 27. Originally a proportional delegate slate was propose, which would have resulted in S: 22 P: 12 R: 5 G: 4 delegates. The Paul, Romney, and Gingrich camps all submitted the correct number of delegates and alternates to fill out their portion of the slate. The Santorum camp only submitted 22 delegates with no alternates – not enough. The caucus repeatedly gave the Santorum camp time to add more delegates but they would not add more. The reason is unknown – if they had 162 people, why refuse to submit more than 22?

The Chair, Ron Johnson, began to usurp power by filling out the unused Santorum delegate slots with Gingrich people (he is a Gingrich supporter). Almost everyone objected, but the Gingrich camp behaved fairly and opposed this cheating with vehemence!

In the end, the Santorum camp and the Romney camp reached a compromise:
Santorum: 38 and 10 alts,
Romney: 5 and 22 alts,
Paul: 0 and 11 alts,
Gingrich: 0 and 0.

Analysis: The Santorum camp deliberately delayed the process, and the Santorum-leaning Caucus Committee repeatedly extended their time to the detriment of the other groups, so that a Santorum/Romney deal could be struck. By delaying and creating a deal, Santorum gained 16 delegates than had they complied with the proportional slate originally agreed/voted.

Here is the report from Matt S.:

No recording was announced by County chair Ryan Johnson at the very beginning, before anything took place. He wouldn’t recognize anyone from the floor at this time, mainly Santorum folks. Voters were turned away who brought children due to space restrictions. The County chair Ryan Johnson allowed people with children near the end of registration when there was still room. I have no idea who these people were or supported, but Ryan was a Romney guy.
The main problem was after the straw poll Santorum: 162 P: 88 Romney: 37, Gingrich: 27, a proportional slate was proposed as in the draft rules. The delegates would have been S:22 P:12 R:5 G:4. Three camps submitted the correct amount of delegates and alternates.
The Santorum people only submitted 22 delegates, no alternates. They were given an additional 15 minute recess to get it right. They gave 5 more minutes, and then I believe 5 more. They still failed to complete their slate.
The caucus chair Ron Johnson (not Ryan to avoid confusion) filled their alternates slate with 22 Gingrich supporters(his candidate) because we needed a full slate to vote on. This was voted down by Santorum and Romney people and we recessed again.
Paul and Newt supporters both pointed out that this was an illegitimate vote (the proportional slate because Santorum offered no alternates and the caucus chair unilaterally filled it at his discretion with Newt people) that should be re-done, but Ron would have none of it.
He (Ron Johnson) is supposedly a Gingrich guy and was getting the most heat from his own camp. He was going to read the names of the delegates from the Santorum camp, who now owned the majority due to walk-outs, but was met with objections from the Newt and Santorum camps. Romney’s people had cut a deal with Santorum people as well. We had the offer of 11 alternates which we had to take or get nothing. The slate was approved by Romney/Santorum follks.
Santorum: 38 and 10 alts,
Romney: 5 and 22 alts,
Paul: 0 and 11 alts,
Gingrich: 0 and 0.

I have no idea why the Santorum camp was objecting. The whole day they were calling for points of order. They could have stayed completely quiet, followed the rules and taken everything. They were exactly what they accuse the Ron Paul camps of being: disruptive, rude, overbearing. Their points of order were recognized and addressed. Most of the time they were wrong in calling point of order. The Santorum camp’s leader Mike Medsker was constantly speaking out of order. They were treated fairly, yet still would not just shut up and win, or submit a complete slate. It was a 5 hr process that should have been 2-3 hrs.
I just can’t understand why they did not submit a full slate repeatedly with all the support they had. I am hearing today (which I cannot verify) that their regular delegate list had multiple names repeated on it.
The largest objection to the slate was from Gingrich supporters (the Chair’s people) who had much less to gain than the Paul camp but were interested in fairness.


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TRUTH SEEKER March 20, 2012 Reply

The secretary at the caucus triple checked the list for me after reading your post to see if you attended. Lorien please let us know if this was your observance or not since you were not on the roster. I agree the santorum people tried to strangle debate and kill speech. But the chair according to the secretary refused to take delegates and alternates to ram the second slate through without discussion. I would not want his job….lol so stay safe in D.C. Let us know your source would love to share in the fact all rules were followed as passed…. even though they did suck… lol post something about living in D.C.

Lorien March 23, 2012 Reply


1. Your email indicates that you represent the Cass County MO GOP. In fact, you run the Facebook page named "CassMoGOP" (http://www.facebook.com/cassmogop). You also use that page to promote Newt Gingrich. The posts on that page, owned by you according to your email address, are identical to those made on Ron Johnson's facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ronjohnsonauditor). Stand up and be counted, sir.

2. I make it clear on my blog that I've just moved out of KC (I was in Raymore until 3 weeks ago), and that my articles come from others' reports and, when available, video. My name and photo are public. Why are you, "Truth Seeker", choosing to try to be anonymous?

3. My reports indicate that Robert's Rules were followed in Cass. Good.

4. My reports indicate that Ron Johnson very controversially and inappropriately tried to fill the unfilled Santorum slate with Gingrich delegates. That is corrupt and foul… and even the other Gingrich supporters were disgusted and opposed him.

Why do you want to be anonymous if you care about the truth?

Ryan March 28, 2012 Reply

I was in the Santorum 'camp' and the process was not deliberately delayed. This is a willful distortion of the truth by whomever provided you this information.

The first proportional slate was short because the chair asked for delegates, not alternates. The Santorum organizers provided such delegates. The chair did not express any problem with the submission and filled in the slate's alternates of his own accord.

This slate, albeit unfair for the santorum camp and in compliance with the rules, was voted down.

There were delays in the second slate because this was a unique slate that needed to be compiled. there's no database on hand to compile slates, you literally have to write it out by hand. When this slate was completed and full of 43 delegates and 43 alternates, it was submitted. The slate contained the 38 santorum delegates and the 5 romney delegates. Alternates were 25% Santorum, 50% Romney, and 25% Paul. Majority in the room called for a vote on the slate, and it was passed.

Beyond the slate's passing, days later, Ron Johnson has arbitrarily decided to change the slate at his will. In my opinion, and that's all it is, he was disappointed he was left off the slate completely. At one point during a recess he was even bragging to some in the Santorum group about how he's been to the national convention. Why wouldn't someone who has gone to these events feel slighted being completely shut out from the process? This is my humble opinion, but it would explain this type of arbitrary and strong handed changes. His claim is that the slate was incomplete. It was not incomplete, but even if we assume it was, it would be highly unethical for the chair to allow a vote for an incomplete slate without notifying the caucus that it was incomplete.

Katie Bowen March 29, 2012 Reply

Sorry, Ryan, but I was there and it was deliberately delayed. This is not a distortion. The truth is simple: the Santorum camp was unprepared–they had the majority, but not enough delegates; apparently, they had not attended caucus training–they were clueless as to what was expected of them. Also, I would venture to say that most of the voters in the room were disenfranchised–Robert's Rules were changed, and I did not stand for this change, but noticed that several in the minority did–because they did not actually know what they were standing for… Plain English, not legalese, would have averted this issue; but it is what it is. Obviously, the GOP in Cass County needs a change in leadership, or in values… If not a change in leadership, then those in charge need to take a long hard look at themselves, and vow to
represent the people more fairly. There were 88 Paul supporters at the Caucus. 88. They presented a full slate of delegates, they received none. It was interesting and disturbing; but, oh yes, according to one of the Santorum supporters that I spoke to afterwords, everything was done according to "God's will." And, to think, all of these years after the Crusades–bigotry still comes in all forms. I love the GOP, stand behind the Grand Old Party with all that I have, but I will be more careful in the future when it comes to filling out the ovals on the ballot–the truth is hard and it is cold–not every Republican is a good thinking and fiscally conservative soul and sometimes an elephant in the room does stink.

Lorien March 29, 2012 Reply

Two notes:
1. My analytical conclusion regarding a deliberate delay is just that – analysis resulting in a solid guess.
2. Since writing this, I interviewed the leader of the Santorum camp. I'm moving today, but I intend to tomorrow publish more details PLUS info regarding what Ron Johnson has been up to.

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