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Colorado GOP Congressional District & State Assemblies

April 15th, 2012

For some of my Boulder friends, this may come as a bit of a shock, but I, Sarah E. Welch, am a Republican. I’m an active one at that. No, I don’t like everything about the party, but I’m still with them–trying to move the party towards something more palatable. This weekend, I participated in the Colorado Congressional District 2 Assembly and the Colorado GOP State Assembly & Convention as a delegate to both. If you’re not familiar with our caucus system here in Colorado, this is it in a nutshell: Folks show up at their local precinct caucuses and elect people to represent them at the next level. For us, that’s our county assembly. There, we elect more people to represent us at congressional district and state. From those assemblies, we elect people to represent us at the national convention. In this system, showing up matters–a lot. This is how things went–and why I’m proud to be a Ron Paul supporter & a member of the Boulder delegations to these assemblies.

Congressional District 2 Assembly

The Congressional District 2 Assembly Chairman made me wish we could have our Boulder County Chairman Joel Champion again. He’s a man of honor who didn’t let his personal politics color the process. (For the record, Joel Champion is a Romney supporter.) Our CD2 Chairman Kaye Ferry is not made of the same stuff. She had two major party fouls:

  1. Ms. Ferry spoke for the Romney slate while in her role as chair (which she was on).
  2. While giving balloting instructions, Ms. Ferry said that voting for unpledged delegates was like throwing your vote away.

This might sound insignificant, but due to bad behavior four years ago towards Ron Paul supporters, many Ron Paul delegates were running for national delegate unpledged. So, in effect she was saying not to vote for Ron Paul delegates. She further compounded the problem when she was called on this via a point of order (Robert’s Rules of Order term). She was asked to take back her statement since this type of electioneering was against the assembly rules. She refused. At this point, there was a call for the election of a new chair, which she again refused. According to Robert’s Rules of Order, this is a call that cannot be ignored or refused. The point must be discussed. At this point, the crowd was booing her, and it wasn’t just Ron Paul supporters. By my estimate, two thirds of the crowd was involved.

In addition to her unethical and incorrect behavior at the assembly, she was simply disorganized as a chair. She didn’t remember what needed to be done. In fact, she almost closed the assembly before getting an acclimation vote on one of the non-contested races. She only completed this after one of the delegates offered a point of information on this fact.

I publicly call for Kaye Ferry to step down from this post in order for someone who is able to respect the process to take her place. Furthermore, she should step down from her alternate delegate role to the national convention. She abused her powers as chairman to influence the vote, and the state of Colorado and CD2 deserve better representation.

State GOP Assembly & Convention

This is part business meeting, part pep rally & fundraiser. Before I get to some of the unsavory aspects of the day, I need to give kudos to Chairman Ryan Call. From things I had heard about Chairman Call before the assembly, I was nervous about how the day would proceed, but all outward behavior was polished and ethical from my observations. Now, onto the very, very bad behavior…

When we arrived at the convention and began to make contact with members and supporters of the Ron Paul campaign, we were alerted to something quite alarming. The Romney campaign was circulating fake Ron Paul slates that they had filled with names from their own slate. Note, the real slate has the logos of the Paul & Santorum campaigns, along with the signatures of the state leadership of those campaigns. The fake slate looks much like the real slate but is filled with Romney supporters. The one thing that the Romney camp did not count on is the Paul campaign changing the color of the slate. The slate we used on Friday is white, which is what this fake slate was patterned upon.

Conservative Unity Slates Front (left - real, right - fake)

Unity Slates Back (left - real, right - fake)

Unity Slates Back (left - real, right - fake)

It wasn’t just the Paul/Santorum unity slate that was copied, either. The Romney campaign did the same with the Christian Coalition of Colorado slate and the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners slate. Unfortunately, I misplaced my copies of the pair of Christian Coalition slates. I’m working to get copies of these slates and will update this post when I get them. Update: I have the Christian Coalition slate & the fake! Thanks to Alyson Boyce Stanton & Todd King for these photos.

Christian Coalition Slate - real

Christian Coalition Slate - fake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I do however have copies of the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners slate along with its fake. Thanks to Ken Stanton for giving this fake slate up so that I could include it in my post!

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Slate (left - real, right - fake)

If you want to compare the names on the fake slates with the official Romney slate, I’ve provided this below as well. I wanted to give the Romney campaign the benefit of the doubt on this, but no one else had access to their slate prior to the convention. So, this despicable deed had to have been done by someone that is part of the official Romney campaign.

Official Romney Slate

Father Kemberling’s Invocation

Yesterday, I had a first that I wish I could have avoided my entire life. I booed a man of the cloth. Father Kemberling provided the invocation for the assembly, which was fine. He asked for guidance for us and for God to help us know right from wrong. I had no problem with that. What I did have a problem with was when his invocation quit being an invocation and turned into something much uglier.  He started talking about the assault on religion in the country. That was fair territory for a priest. Then, he went somewhere that both stunned and disgusted me. He said that civil unions are socialism. I have no idea how he took this (il)logical leap, but he did. And this is when I booed and sat down, because this was no longer an invocation.

Log Cabin Republicans

Early in the day, I noticed that the Log Cabin Republicans had a table in the hallway in the assembly. If you’re unfamiliar with the Log Cabin Republicans, they are the LGBT organization for Republicans and their straight allies. Yes, they do exist. I was happy to see them represented and made a point to shake their hands and thank them for being there. I didn’t say much more, but I fully support the Log Cabin Republicans and complete equal rights for everyone–regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Republican party’s attack on gay rights is one of my most clear divides with the party. The warm feeling that I had about their participation in the state convention was overshadowed by the bad behavior of many of my fellow delegates later in the day. You see, affiliated organizations were given a chance to address the attendees of the convention. Very shortly after the very brave gentleman from the Log Cabin Republicans began his prepared remarks, the crowd began to boo. It wasn’t just a normal boo. It was vile & hateful. Seeing the man about to break down in front of 7,000 people, I stood and clapped. My husband joined me shortly. Thankfully, the Boulder County delegation was either clapping or remaining respectfully silent as far as I could tell. But still, out of 7,000 people only Rich and I were brave enough to stand. That’s very, very sad to me.  I will also point out that it was pretty clear where the Ron Paul sections of the arena were and where the Romney supporters were. You know where those boos were coming from? Romney supporters. For those of you that booed (regardless of who you back), shame on you.

To put my money where my mouth is, I will be joining them & donating $108 to the Colorado Log Cabin Republicans in lieu of the suggested donation amount requested by the Colorado State GOP for their own coffers. I will also be reaching out to the Log Cabin Republicans to offer my time, including standing on stage with them at events like this and telling other Republicans why they too should support gay rights and fully welcome the Log Cabin Republicans into the party.

Behavior & Decorum

Ron Paul Clean Up Crew

During this entire process, starting a few months ago, I’ve seen something different both from the Boulder County Republicans and Ron Paul supporters in contrast with other counties and Romney supporters. At the Boulder County Assembly, Joel Champion asked us to clean up after ourselves so that we could show that the Boulder Republicans didn’t leave a place trashed. We cleaned up after ourselves. At the Congressional District 2 assembly, a group of Boulder County delegates stayed afterwards to clean up our area of trash and debris. We were the only county to do so. At the end of the state assembly, approximately 100 Ron Paul supporters stayed behind to clean up after the convention. We picked up trash and helped the tear down crew put the folding chairs away. You’d be amazed at how quickly our little army swept across the floor. We were not joined by supporters for any other candidate. By the way, the tear down crew thanked us for our help.

Finally, our Boulder County Ron Paul supporters taught some Romney supporters a lesson in decorum. During the candidate speech for Ron Paul, a group of Romney supporters seated behind us very loudly booed and heckled. Two of our delegation turned around and said ‘watch us respect your candidate’. Talk about stunning someone! Guess what? We sat very respectfully when the Romney speech was given, even offering some light but supportive clapping on points we supported.  While I don’t think that they all learned something, one of the group came up and apologized afterwards. Beyond the issues and philosophy, this is why I’m proud to be a Boulder County Republican and Ron Paul supporter.

Boulder, Colorado, politics, Uncategorized

  1. Alyson Stanton
    April 15th, 2012 at 23:18 | #1

    Great write-up, Sarah! The only thing I would change is that you documented the state chairman’s name incorrectly — his name is Ryan Call. Otherwise, excellent summary – keep up the great work!

    • April 15th, 2012 at 23:25 | #2

      Fixed, thanks! I guess I just have Paul on the brain :)

  2. April 15th, 2012 at 23:38 | #3

    Great story! Thanks for all that hard work! I’ll be tweeting for ya!

  3. Tim Branthoover
    April 16th, 2012 at 00:15 | #5

    Good Job Sarah, I hope this was sent to Ryan Call. Adams county saw the fake slates and picked up everyone we could find. Someone had spilled some coffee and they were used to soak it up. Sorry, your crew probably found the pile when cleaning up. Also, I tried to follow the girl wearing a Romney shirt that was laying the fakes to get a picture only to find that I forgot the card in my camera. And by time disk loaded to film I’d lost her. I remember long red hair, blue Romney shirt & white pants. When I got back to my seat, did get a few seconds of video of pile used as mop.
    Sorry, I’m new to this, first time ever is big assembly. Next time I will think enough to eat before going so I can stick around to clean.

    • April 16th, 2012 at 09:50 | #6

      I love that you guys found a good use for the fake slates! Someone in the Boulder county area had found them and written Fake across the top of each of them in our seats, which I thought was awesome.

      I totally understand not sticking around. It was a very long day with little access to food–or at least real food.

  4. Joel Cannon
    April 16th, 2012 at 00:49 | #7

    Thanks for the fantastic posting Sarah! That was a great summary.
    I do have to give the Romney campaign credit where it is due however. I spoke with Matt Holdridge of the Ron Paul campaign and he told me that the Romney attorney was furious that someone created the fake slates. He even went out into the hallways to personally stop the fake slates. I didn’t get the name of the attorney, so please contact Matt if you’d like to get clarification. If you talk with Matt about his contact with the official Romney campaign you’ll discover that they’ve been nothing but helpful. So, as frustrating as that whole thing was, I believe the fake slates were probably due to some dishonest and overzealous Romney supporters and probably not the Romney campaign.
    I too was shocked at the booing of the Log Cabin Republicans speaker — quite frankly he reminded me of Ron Paul by how he spoke the truth so plainly.
    I also love the story about respecting the other candidates despite their disrespect of the Ron Paul speaker. I have to give credit to the individual who handled that situation so eloquently because I know how wonderful a person he is. His name is Rob Osborne and he represents Dr. Paul’s principles the best way possible — through his actions.

    • April 16th, 2012 at 09:51 | #8

      I will contact Matt for clarification. I’m contacting everyone that I can find that was directly involved so that we can get a clear picture of the day’s events. Also, thanks for the shout out to Rob. I didn’t know his last name, so I couldn’t include it. There was also another gentleman in our section that said something similar to the folks behind us, but I am not sure who that was.

  5. April 16th, 2012 at 07:25 | #9

    Sarah:

    Please come to the GOP meeting on Thursday night at 7 PM. Invite all RP supporters and delegates to State. I will be calling Joel and asking if I can be placed on the agenda to talk about the convention. I would love all the RP supporters that I can get to be there. We now need to populate the meeting, PCP spots, DC spots and run for the positions. Please encourage all RP supporters to come to the Lincoln dinner and donate a liberty book to the auction for Friday night. I want you to consider a leadership role in the County Party.

    • April 16th, 2012 at 09:55 | #10

      Ellyn, Rich & I will be there Thursday night. I’m working to collect statements from the people directly involved in the events on Friday & Saturday. As I get everything together, I’ll get it to you as well as bringing it with me on Thursday. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to be at the Lincoln Day dinner on Friday evening. We’re moving Saturday morning. We will bring a book or two to donate to the auction on Friday, though.

      As for a leadership role in the County Party, I will absolutely stand up to do that. If you have any guidance on areas of biggest need, please feel free to contact me privately at sarahewelch AT gmail.com.

  6. April 16th, 2012 at 08:23 | #11

    I’m consistently awed by your bravery and consideration. I already knew you were a Republican, but I didn’t have much of a clue how the delegate process worked. Massive respect to you for standing up for what’s right at the convention and for calling out the poor behavior afterwards. I hope some good comes of it.

    People need to stop being so aggressively angry about things. It serves no one.

    • April 16th, 2012 at 09:57 | #12

      Thanks, Terry :) This was my first time ‘coming out’ on the blog, and I haven’t shared my political leanings with very many of my Boulder friends–although a lot has come out in the twitter stream!

      As for bravery, I very much appreciate the flattery and sentiment, but I am saddened that standing up for what is right is considered brave. It’s just right.

  7. Joby Weeks
    April 16th, 2012 at 12:43 | #13

    Great job! We just got the summit county GOP chair, Debra Irvine, to step down because of this story! Now we need to get her to drop out of the HD 61 race. http://www.StopDebraIrvine.com

    • April 16th, 2012 at 12:51 | #14

      Awesome, great work!!

    • April 16th, 2012 at 13:30 | #15

      She isn’t supposed to run for office while holding a position within the GOP. Here in El Paso county Kay Rendleman resigned as the county chair BEFORE she accepted the position as campaign director for Ken Buck’s Senatorial run. She should be removed from the ballot for her actions and I hope David Justice files a complaint with the state and Joby files a complaint with the DA.

      Go David Justice!!

  8. Joe Burke
    April 16th, 2012 at 13:20 | #16

    I too agree that Ryan Call did an excellent job as Committee Chair and while I am a Ron Paul supporter I feel that we have lost something in his replacement. I do believe that as far as the false slate issue that new rules should be in-acted that would remove those people from the proceedings caught doing such things and if Delegate/Alternates be stripped of their positions. As far as the Log Cabin Group….the thing to remember is that we are under the same tent believing in the same core values. Booing anyone isn’t conducive to good ethical behavior. I know it is hard not to sometimes but would you like your speech to be booed. It was my first convention and I am happy to say that I will be going to Tampa as Teller Counties’ Alternate.

  9. April 16th, 2012 at 13:27 | #18

    Just a few notes:
    1) In El Paso county many of the Congressional and State delegates are filled at the precinct caucuses. The number of delegates to each comes from how many people voted Republican in the previous election for ??? (Governor maybe).
    2) It is against the bylaws of the state for a party representative to endorse or speak on behalf of a candidate until after the primary if there is more than one person running. That in itself is grounds for removal from office.
    3) I believe it does take a 2/3 vote to remove a sitting chair. Also, a “Point of order” can only be called when there is not another question on the floor. There is another “Point” that can be made at anytime that should have been called. I’m no expert (Kay Rendleman is and we defer to her knowledge often) on Robert’s Rules and that is why we all must become experts: so we don’t get railroaded again.
    4) Electioneering isn’t just against the rules, it is against the law. File a criminal complaint with the local DA. It is a misdemeanor.
    5) As for the fake slate, it most likely didn’t come from the campaign but from a few overzealous supporters of his. Try calling the local printing shops and see if you can find out where it was printed. This most likely happened on Friday night after they got to see the real one that day. CD5 had a much better slate (the delegates, not the campaign) that would have been almost impossible to counterfit. This one would fall into the election fraud catagory and is a much more serious criminal offense. You just need to find out who did it. Still, you should file a complaint with the FEC (Federal Election Commission) and see if you can get a fine imposed upon them.
    6) You weren’t the only ones to stand during the address from the Log Cabin republicans. I was sitting next to a man that stood and clapped as loudly as he could. (I remained seated as I am sick of the tension and division this issue causes within the party. We need to focus on the economy if we want a nation to pass on to our children.) My friend stood because we were sitting directly behind CO St. Senators Kent Lamborn and Dave Schultise who were two of the loudest and most disrespectful people booing in the crowd.
    Very nicely written Sarah,
    Tres (aka RiverRat)

    • April 16th, 2012 at 16:49 | #19

      It’s great to hear that we weren’t the only ones standing. I looked around and didn’t see anyone, but it was a *big* audience!

  10. Vickie L. Deacon
    April 16th, 2012 at 13:43 | #20

    The initial Romney Unity Slate was in the planning for weeks prior to Saturday. This was not a copy of anyone else’s campaign, period.
    The Romney slate of delegates was streamlined and many gave up their positions as candidates late Friday night in order to strengthen the Romney Unity Slate.

    And as to Kaye Ferry, Pres of CD 2 being out of order, this is also incorrect. Ms. Ferry did not in any way tell the CD2 quorum who to vote for. The fact that Ms. Ferry herself was running on the ballot as a Romney Delegate and won is what you are actually complaining about. Please be honest.

    • April 16th, 2012 at 16:53 | #21

      We have a difference of opinion. The Romney Unity slate was designed to look like the Paul/Santorum Conservative Unity Slate that was used at Friday’s assemblies. The list of people may have been in the works for week, but the use of the same name and design could not have been.

      Ms. Ferry needed to be able to separate her politics from the process. She was unable to do this. She mentioned the Romney slate early in the process, which was inappropriate. Then, she told people that they shouldn’t vote for unpledged delegates. Those are facts.

      I am upset that she won, but it’s because she won while being unethical–not that she won.

      • April 16th, 2012 at 17:26 | #22

        Actually, you kind of proved my point. The fake slates were only filled with people from the official Romney slate. So, if the new slates wasn’t finalized until Friday night/Saturday morning (as I suspected), no one besides Romney folks had access to those names that were used on the fake slates.

      • April 16th, 2012 at 18:52 | #23

        Just to remind everyone, the anti Ron Paul slate in 2008 was called the unity slate as the establishment tried to paint Paulites as wanting to tear the party apart. The name “Unity” should be retired.

  11. Ron Mauro
    April 16th, 2012 at 15:34 | #24

    Sarah, I was a volunteer at the convention and also a delegate for CD1 in Denver. I helped the organizers back stage and must have ran/walked the arena in and around it countless times during the day starting at 5:30 AM. I remember running on the lower level back stage underneath the stands, and stopping mid stride as I heard boos. I thought “WTH”? Why would anyone boo at an an event where we are supposed to be together on the same page? What would elicit booing? Yes, we all have differences of opinion, but booing? Please. I expect negative behavior from a Democrat rally, where tolerance is a one way street. The gentleman from Log Cabin was George Gramer, a retired Colonel in the US Army. I’ve reached out to him on Facebook since Saturday’s episode. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but not at the expense of someone else’s opinion. Great retelling of your experience on Sat.

  12. April 16th, 2012 at 17:06 | #25

    Good luck!

  13. April 16th, 2012 at 19:51 | #26

    You make me extra proud to be a Ron Paul supporter!
    THANK YOU!

  14. April 17th, 2012 at 23:09 | #27

    Wonderful post. Particularly the parts about the priest and the Log Cabin Republicans. Very moving and inspiring to read of your supporting them. Gives me a new perspective.

  15. April 19th, 2012 at 13:20 | #28

    “Murphy’s candidacy was aided by the large turnout of Republicans at the 1st District Assembly last week who backed presidential candidate Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.”

    http://t.co/QpF28t5U

  16. TK
    April 25th, 2012 at 12:42 | #29

    Hey thank you so much for blogging this! I was on the Santorum side of the Unity coalition, and I thought what Romney’s people did with the fake slates was beyond foul. Also, even though I disagree with certain social issues, I thought the treatment of that man from Log Cabin Repubs was just awful! The people in the crowd booing were a disgrace to us all. Disagree, fine, but have some human decency and manners. We aren’t leftists for Pete’s sake!

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