“What good does it do to have the ear of the Governor if you don’t have anything to say except ‘Okay’?“ Deb O’Hagan, grassroots Constitutional Conservative activist
An age old human condition reared its ugly head at MIGOP County Conventions across the state Thursday evening. The condition I am referring to is the clinging and gasping and lust to retain power, position and money at any costs.
I have received first hand reports from Constitutional Conservatives and platform Republicans from County Convention across the state.
My own personal experience was at the Ingham County Convention.
The method chosen to select delegates was by slate as usual and the nominating team Linda Lee “Dollface” Tarver, Brian Beauchine was headed by “Big Norm” Shinkle the former and still the current de facto Chair, despite someone else having the title. He is also the 8th District Chair. They came in with their own slate of 43 prior to the meeting.
The pre-chosen slate included Calley chief of staff Nathaniel Forstner (won his race and is an alternate) MIGOP director of administrative services Marsha Quebbeman (won her race with six slots and five running) Ruth Johnson staffer Lindsay Esson (hw rule) who lost her precinct delegate race, Meagan Danielson (hw rule), former MIGOP Finance Director who now works for…Wait for it…Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP) (would someone like to volunteer to make a six degrees of Kevin Bacon-type chart with the Devos?) who lost her race.
Scott Greenlee (hw rule) whose LinkedIn profile lists him in Grand Rapids (which is in Kent County not Ingham) and who currently works for Attorney General Bill Schuette in Macomb County (per “Big Norm”) and did not run nor was he in attendance.
Of course they are not the only Calley supporters state wide to run for precinct delegate. Some “big names” got in the act also.
“Snyder senior adviser Dick Posthumus of Alto, the Republican nominee for governor in 2002, and “transformation manager” Rich Baird of Bath are among executive office employees running for precinct delegate positions,…Senior strategy advisor Dennis Schornack of Williamston, (he won with seven spots but was not on the slate, perhaps he is just too busy to do lit drops, man phone banks and deliver yard signs?)
There’s certainly nothing stopping Snyder staffers from running for precinct delegate posts, but the large number is surprising, according to Bill Ballenger of Inside Michigan Politics, who was especially interested to hear that a big name like Posthumus would run in such a small race.
“That has got to be unique,” Ballenger said, noting that various Republican groups have been recruiting precinct delegates for months in what he called the latest front in Michigan’s “tea party versus establishment” battle.”
I guess some do what they do to keep a job.
However, Rule 8 states:
“In order to recognize hard-working Republicans, who may not be precinct delegates, a county convention, acting as one body, may authorize the election of eligible individuals (not to exceed 10% of the number of State Convention delegates allocated to that county or congressional district portion or up to two individuals, whichever is greater) not subject to this preference, as though they were, to attend the State Convention as delegates or alternates.”
Nevertheless, duly elected precinct delegates who expressed the desire to go and were considered Wes Nagrikri voters were left off. I bet you can guess right now that would include myself. And this was repeated at County Conventions across the state.
The rules also state: In order to recognize the importance of precinct delegates, a precinct delegate duly elected at the August 5, 2014 primary election; shall be given preference (over a non-precinct delegate) to be elected as a delegate or alternate to the State Convention. Between two or more such precinct delegates, no preference shall be given
Because the rules could be interrupted different ways and duly elected precinct delegates were deliberately left out, disenfranchised and the voters who elected them I filed a Credentials Challenge with MIGOP
My contention is not with the hard working rule per say, properly applied instead of abused. However, hardworking is not defined. What does it mean to “hard working”? It is just being a donor? An employed fundraiser who has done the job he/she is being paid to do? A insider political hack? There needs to be a definition to provide parameters as apparently now it is left up to the nominating/anointed Committee to abuse.
If not than why bother to run or vote for the person of your choice?
When the method of choosing delegates is a slate the only way to be considered if you are not on the slate is to challenge one of the chosen. So I, as a duly elected and hard working (you know long time precinct delegate worked phone banks, did lit drops, delivered yard signs and made donations to the GOP candidates of my choice) challenged Robin Naeyaert. Robin is the wife of Gary Naeyart, (chosen as an alternate). Gary Naeyart happens to be the executive director for the Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP).
The board of directors for the Great Lakes Education Project includes Betsy DeVos and Michigan Freedom Fund (MFF) president Greg McNeilly, (“Big Norm” Shinkle is employed part time by McNeilly’s (MFF) and members of the DeVos family have made large contributions to the group according to campaign finance records.
However, once again with a roomful of status quo GOP Calley supporters, my challenge was quickly shot down.
The bottom line was our whole meeting was a setup from the opening gavel to the end.
New delegates were immediately disillusioned.
And some are very aware of what is happening and know that it was unprincipled but chose to remain silent as to not rock the boat or perhaps diminish their chances for promotion. Silence is complicity
However, this just wasn’t an attempt to stack the State Convention with Calley voters. It is an attempt to drive a stake in the heart of the limited government movement. The status quo MIGOP is attempting to rid itself of us “trouble makers.” The trouble makers who helped GOP candidates to historical wins in 2010. The troublemakers who were at first embraced when it was thought we would be convenient yes men and woman propping up anyone with an “R” by his or her name despite any policy they might push. The trouble makers whose only crime is assistance on adherence to the Constitution.
Well it hasn’t worked.
What it has done is made us more determined.
What it has done is created more who will NOT be the worker bees nor vote for those “R” who push and promote Liberal policies
What it has done is given a boost to the Liberation Party and the 3rd Party movement
What is has done has clarified the fact that money can buy politicians and non-profits but it can’t buy our votes.
And it won’t
First hand accounts of what happened at County Conventions across the state:
My 14th went well. we amended the proposed rules to provide preference to delegates present at the county convention. that process allowed many of the proposed slate to be dropped as many of the “party” proposed slate did not bother to attend the county convention. so the finally approved slate was much improved.
The only procedural issue in the 14th was the chair did not allow discussion on the motion to approved the slate (see 2 above as the no shows had already been changed). This allowed Max Rothbart (who was on the Michigan Advocacy Trust flier as a “TRUE CONSERVATIVE”) to stay as a delegate as he was in attendance. We could have/should have challenged the chair’s decision, but no one did.
Hmm do “TRUE CONSERVATIVES” endorse Liberal Democrats??
The chair person was not qualified to run a Lionel train let alone the delegate process. The nominating team came in with their own slate of 47 prior to the meeting. When motions were made from the floor were willfully derailed and only one made it to the floor for a vote.
Rules for the meeting were being twisted to fit the desired outcome when desired. Ignored when it would not fit the desired outcome.
No motions for changes to their slate were accepted. As soon as their slate was approved someone moved for adjournment before any motions to amend the slate could be made.
A lot of new delegates were immediately disillusioned.
In Oakland they did not even have printed copies of their slates for delegates, but we saw Calley whips (like the Orion Twp. Supervisor) with folded and printed copies in their pockets. This whole dirty primary and railroad conventions are the worst I have seen in 50 years of involvement. Despite their huge staffs, money and dirty tricks, we had great victories tonight for the conservative movement. After all this they will try to pull the “unity” and “we all have to support the ticket”, and expect people they royally screwed to carry their water, make the calls and door knocks. It will be an interesting fall.
The good ole boys have done well in Arenac County Convention, putting out a new set of rules. Then the County Convention votes for a nominating committee on slating delegates. The new permanent Convention Chair then is presented a motion to support the nominating committee’s slate for delegates to the 2014 State Convention. What committee? This is so ugly and corrupt, it presents to you the very nature of the MRP. Such a vote of creating such a committee is not allowed to extend to the current meeting nor can the slate be entered as it’s product.
Of the 25 delegates, we took 15 for sure 5 moderate 5 establishment. Plus we were working against Dennis Lennox. All in all a good night. Our organization brought in 18 members from the Church of Philadelphia. There is still some life in a few of the churches
On Thursday evening Clinton County held its GOP county convention with the “anticipation of issues” with “newly elected” precinct delegates pre-positioned for the sole purpose of being elected to the state GOP convention on August 23rd to re-elect Lt. Gov. Calley.
Chairman Steve Willis held steadfast with integrity and chaired a very well organized and methodical convention. While he requested names prior to the convention of those that wanted to be on the ballot, he allowed attendees to submit their names to be added if they were present. With 54 names appearing on the ballot, a majority of precinct delegates in attendance were “not regular attendees” what so ever!
Many of the elected delegates who have done the work, donated large amounts of time, money, sweat equity, studying the issues, attending meetings, events and conventions for years upon years were dumbfounded on who these people were?
If you were familiar with the downtown Lansing political scene, you would have recognized the numerous lobbyists and republican support staffers who had just recently and out of nowhere submitted their names and won their precinct delegate races.
Tom Leonard, the current Clinton County State Representative and his wife, Jenell Leonard, who is a Calley staffer, orchestrated this whole coup d’état by carefully recruiting their new found friends, colleagues, underlings and so-called Christian brothers and sisters to be in on this overthrow to secure Calley’s reelection since he cannot obviously get reelected on his own merit and character.
The true conservatives were the steadfast individuals who have toiled over the last four years (actually decades) to make Clinton County a force to be reckoned with, and a thorn in the side of the state party. Not because of defiance but for standing up for principle, legislative issues and ethics that have been severely lost by the MRP.
These hardworking conservatives were outnumbered two to one over the RINOS that appeared like phantoms to elect their slate of delegates, elect Jenell Leonard as their state convention chair and then disappear into the night again, never to be seen or heard from when in actuality the real work has to be done by those involved at the local level. These so called delegates are not!
The so called “true conservatives” won the night but the fight is not over. The establishment will continue to work to dominate the process behind the scenes to get Tom Leonard into a leadership position in the caucus and pose as the nice guy who is working for his constituents.
The reality is that he is a puppet for the Governor’s office and is too close to the Governor’s agenda which will continue to be implemented if he and his wife are able to fool / seduce more conservatives in the process. Clinton county deserves better !
Our Eaton County convention went well. We had a slate for the tea party people and some people came to vote even when sick and postponing vacations, etc. Therefore, I will be a voting delegate next Saturday.
Grand Traverse County
Pretty well. About 60-40 mix of limited government to establishment
Just in from St. Clair County
In St Clair County the conservatives were the majority and the slate was filled for both the regular and alternate positions.
Patriots maybe have 1/4 -1/3 of the voting delegates in kent. Establishment came out in force.” The thing was rigged from the get go, and almost all the delegates selected are Calley supporters.”
It went on without any drama or shenanigans (which seems to be the word of choice now). Though there were clearly two lists being promoted by certain factions, there were no outward displays of angst, irritation or anger. The Wes supporters checked their names off from their white list and the Calley supporters checked off their names from their blue list. And as we stood in line to cast our votes we chatted quite nicely with each other.
It was a long night as no slate was presented at the beginning. It was decided in order to be very fair about the voting process that each delegate would vote their choice from a complete list of those that had submitted names stating they wanted to the state convention. Once the votes were tallied and the names read off of those who won, new lists were printed off deleting the ones already elected and we proceeded to vote for alternates from those remaining.
As far as candidates attending – Ron Weiser, Lt. Gov. Calley and Wes (his county) were there and given an opportunity to speak.
We started at 7:00 PM and left the building at 12:30 AM. The alternate ballots were not counted that night as we had to leave the building but it was voted on and agreed due to the time limitations, that the ballots would be counted at the Victory Center the next day. We trust our committee and appreciate them being fair in all aspects when it comes to the TEA Party and the GOP.
I also heard of at least one case where Norm Shinkle promised someone if they ran for PD and agreed to support Calley that he could both ensure they won their election and go to state. The person was in a contested precinct and made the postcard but still lost their election… That is second-hand, however...
Wes Nakagiri said he’s confident 37 of Livingston County’s 57 delegates will vote for him this month. He based the numbers on results he gathered at last week’s Livingston GOP convention . Livingston GOP Chairman Dan Wholihan said Nakagiri’s figure was in the ballpark.
West Oakland County
Our founding fathers would be proud of us tonight. We made a significant step towards bringing our party closer to the principles and values our forefathers intended our party to represent. Each and every one of you should be proud of what YOU accomplished. I was humbled and motivated to witness such support from all of you. Each day I pray that God directs my steps and places the right people in my path. Thank you for being there to support what we all stand for. I am most pleased so see the smiles and cheers of victory on all of your faces! We needed that didn’t we? And we DESERVE it.
The progressive establishment and state party officials may challenge your decision and your vote as a body to elect the delegates and alternates. They might call another convention because they didn’t get the results they anticipated and attempted to orchestrate. If they call another convention to “redo” what has already been done, we will have to show up and do it all again. Stay tuned.
BTW The Oakland County Chair had some dramatic and untrue things to say to the media that somehow got changed overnight?
Willow Run TP (Washtenaw County)
These results are unofficial, but I believe we were able to elect 52 delegates to state convention who will be voting for Wes Nakagiri for Lieutenant Governor as well as an excellent number of alternates to provide much-needed back-ups. I also believe we only lost 2 seats to delegates who would vote for Brian Calley. This tremendous achievement could not have been accomplished without your help to get our members elected as precinct delegates and without our precinct delegate members working together as a team to be successful at county convention.