And what a PARTY it was! It feels like we went from one party to the next, but I guess that’s to be expected. In all fairness, it was a very nice trip and Cleveland was a very fine host. It felt like there were thousands of police officers shipped in from the region and although I was a little nervous at first about potential security issues, everything ran very smoothly and I never once felt threatened or insecure. Even the lines to get through the security tents were very efficient.
Now for the inside scoop. First, I don’t think I’d do the convention justice with just one write up about it so this will be the first of several ‘Hole in One articles about my experience. I’d like to start by talking about the rules committee fiasco. Our delegation of 29 delegates from Wyoming elected Matt Micheli and Harriet Hageman to represent Wyoming on the rules committee. Accordingly, they went a few days early to Cleveland to participate in the deliberations regarding the RNC rules. Of course, the media hyped up the controversy about the “Never Trump” movement, which landed squarely in the laps of the rules committee, but there was a more fundamental struggle on the committee that had nothing to do with Trump. As reported to me by Mrs. Hageman, I learned that the chief counsel – the head attorney – for the RNC recently resigned his position due to the corruption of party leadership. It just so happens that he was chosen by his state to serve on the rules committee so he was in Cleveland last week and made a pretty low key suggestion as to a rules change that would serve the party well but he was quickly and firmly shut down and lost the vote. He and others like him were routinely cut off mid-sentence a few breathes into their statements by the use of parliamentary procedures that allow a simple majority vote to stop discussion and call the question for the vote – a vote which party loyalists always dominated in the majority. After seeing all of this happen, Mrs. Hageman leaned over to the lady next to her and out of curiosity asked her why she had voted against the proposition since it seemed to have general appeal and merit. Her answer? He’s not one of us. My friend asked the man (the previous chief counsel) what was up. He replied, in essence, they (the RNC) doesn’t care what is right or wrong, they just want to maintain power. He also took it one step further and said, they don’t care who wins. Mrs. Hageman asked, do you mean they don’t care who wins the Republican nominee? He answered, no, they don’t care who wins the presidency – from either party. They just care about keeping their position of power and money which comes with a strong, centralized party who does what they’re told and falls in line. That’s why the greatest threat to the RNC is not the Democratic Party but instead Tea Partiers – like you and me – because we could spell their ultimate demise with a split party. Let me be clear, our intent is not to break up or fracture the Republican Party. Our intent it to break up and fracture the party leadership who are in it for themselves and not for the people. Mrs. Hageman also said she saw a lady from South Dakota on the committee vote for a measure that seemed good to her and party bosses came over and told her to change her vote, which she promptly did. The RNC and party leadership has a tight grip on the party. The party exists for their purposes not for the people’s. Not too much different than Congress, the Supreme Court or the Presidency – with a few wonderful exceptions.
Which brings me to my experience on the floor Monday afternoon. The man conducting the business of the party (in this case, the approval of the committee-approved and recommended rules) read almost as it were in a one uninterrupted sentence, “Without objection, all in favor, aye, all in favor, nay, the ayes have it.” The room erupted. There were literally thousands of us screaming at the tops of our lungs and chanting “roll call vote, roll call vote” (I lost my voice in the process and could hardly speak the rest of the convention. But it was worth it!) The media tried to spin this as a failed attempt to oust Trump – which it was not. We wanted to be heard about some real changes that needed to be made. Changes like making sure all primaries were closed so only Republicans could vote in them, or publishing RNC members’ email addresses so they could hear from the grassroots, and other changes that decentralized the power of the RNC over the party. Each time these suggestions were brought up in committee the ideas were squashed immediately by powerful party bosses who walked the isles and called out non-conforming committee members. This ticked Harriet off, so she and friends from other states started a petition which if signed by a majority of delegates in 7 states would force a roll call vote on the floor and prevent the papering over of our concerns (as ended up occurring). Thus, the chants and the yelling – even taken up by those who were neutral on the actual issues but who were passionately supportive of our cause to simply be heard and recognized. In the end, we at least forced the convention to pause for a few minutes while the RNC top dogs decided what to do. They came back to the pulpit and explained that although 9 states had submitted applications with a majority of their delegates supporting a roll call vote, 3 had rescinded their petitions thus disqualifying the roll call vote effort due to the lack of 7 states supporting it. We later learned that Trump and RNC people had joined forces to put the pressure on several states and had succeeded in pressuring three of them into rescinding their petitions. One of those states was Iowa. They were threatened with losing their first in the nation status and so, of course, they rescinded their call for a roll call vote. I was proud that even though the Trump and RNC people came to Wyoming and tried to convince us to rescind our petition we held strong. I guess they didn’t have anything they could threaten us with. I thought wrong. Marti Halverson had previously been appointed to do the honorary task of presenting the party platform to the entire floor from her post at the Wyoming microphone. As punishment for our non-compliance, that honor was stripped from her and given to Virginia – which I believe was one of the states who caved under pressure. Politics!
What You Can Do
Don’t let this happen locally. Share this email with others. Get involved. Take a stand. Fight against the centralization of power. Be the change you want to see in local and state government. Don’t be naive and think that it doesn’t exist – it does. But, don’t give up or give in either. We can win this thing if we get enough people to see the truth and act on it.
Jackson Hole Tea Party
Free Market Economy