The Caucus in Pulaski County, Missouri, on 17 March, unfortunately suffered from corruption. As in so many places, Robert’s Rules of Order were ignored and violated. The Parliamentarian did not enforce Order. Below is list of the major problems reported.
- The Chair repeatedly voted even though no ties happened.
- No rule was made or announced to declare how a slate would be won. Therefore, the default rule should have been, according to Robert’s Rules, a 51% simple majority.
- Votes were cast by secret ballot. Not against the rules, but generally tacky in a caucus.
- The winning slate was a 50/50 Romney/Santorum combination. It had 26 votes. The other three slates had votes of 18, 17, and 2.
- No slate, or even general vote on a motion, had either a 2/3 or 51% majority.
- When attendees objected and made points of order regarding the lack of sufficient majority, the chair declared that the motion was made, seconded, and had received a 32-29 passing vote.
Report from Lara P.
The meeting started off okay, but as the proceedings went along, you could see a “good ole boy” system. No big deal. We had about 1/3 of the registered voter attendees (RP supporters). The county GOP chair was nominated and elected caucus chair very quickly It There was such a majority in his favor, it was not worth contesting. I was nominated for secretary and so was the county GOP secretary. He won 46-18. We managed to get a person on the rules committee and nomination committee. the Parliamentarian was worthless and did not enforce ANYTHING! The caucus chair seemed to be just winging it, and many times, an older gentlemen in front of us, kept pointing out that the chair was not following Roberts Rules on items that weren’t amended by the Rules Committee and voted on. When it came to the point that the slate of delegates be voted on, the chair did not state how the winning slate would be decided and it was not specified by the rules committee. We voted secret ballot and the slate that won was Romney/Santorum (50/50) with 26 votes. The other 3 slates (which were made up of delegates from each party) received 18, 17 and 2 votes. So we stated that according to Roberts Rules that majority is 51% which the winning slate did not have. He then stated the motion was made, seconded and voted upon 32-29 in favor of the winning slate. We tried to make points of order, motions, discussion and he refused to even acknowledge (call on) us and quickly moved onto the platform. The parliamentarian made no decisions but let the caucus chair have all the say. Anytime a RP supporter tried to speak, they were either ignored or shot down with the answer that the motion had been made, seconded and voted. There was never any 2/3 or 51% votes made today that should have been. We even had some who were not RP people state he was in the wrong and violated the rules but he refused to acknowledge it. Also, the caucus chair voted on everything – there were no ties (which is the only time he’s suppose to vote).