What Happened at the Jefferson County Caucus?

26 Mar

The short version? After 9 1/2 hours (!): “a slate of 73 delegates was chosen, with their support split among Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.”

The long version, however, involves intraparty conflict, allegations of theft of the roll as well as hijacking of the event. The fallout from the caucus is bitter and ongoing.

In short, from what is out there (other than the Dear Leader, I haven’t seen any other media reports on the JeffCo caucus), the Ron Paul faction (allied with the small Mitt Romney contingent) joined forces to take on the establishment types who were in favor of a “unity” slate of delegates. I’m not sure, but I think the establishment also tried to pull the “bind the delegates to the primary” trick that Rick Santorum types were trying to advance statewide.

In JeffCo, it sounds like the Paul people had a majority of the attendees (see this report). According to the linked account, the Central Committee folks stole the roll, held the meeting “hostage,” and attempted to use the stolen roll to bargain for half the delegates. In the end, the Paul slate was removed because some paperwork was not filled out right (the delegates’ addresses were not on the proper form, only their names).

The opposing view is that the Paul people unfairly took over the meeting and tried to impose their slate on the meeting (report at this link).

This sounds a bit similar to the well-publicized St. Charles County Caucus, at which, in my view, was another attempt to shut out the Paul voters. Being the best-organized is not unethical; in a caucus, the majority rules, especially if they have command of Robert’s Rules of Order. It looks to me like there was some desperation across Missouri to keep Ron Paul from getting delegates. I’m not in the Paul camp, but this is just wrong, and in the end, destructive.

On the lighter side, for some breathless, poorly written local commentary on this and other local political happenings, see this Facebook page for “Politigal Republic.”

UPDATE: The Romney and Paul camps are officially asking that the Jefferson County caucus results be thrown out due to “serious and prejudicial misconduct.”  Party chair Janet Engelbach said the missing rolls mentioned above disappeared because they were “taken by a volunteer, who had to leave early and inadvertently packed the documents up with her computer.”

UPDATE: The secretary for the caucus has refused to sign off on the delegate selection.

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6 Responses to “What Happened at the Jefferson County Caucus?”

  1. Casey Jones March 26, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    Objectivity. A rare commodity these days. Thank you.

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