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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