This is the second in a series of reports on the 2010 King County Republican Convention published earlier this year. The rest are Here
When I first got involved in the Republican Party, I did not see, nor understand, the mechanism behind the liberal dominance of our process and nominations. I assumed, at first, that Republican policies reflected the will of Republicans. In the years of battles since then I’ve become intimately familiar with the real power behind liberal Republicanism: sophisticated cheating.
Before I was credentialed for the King County Convention on Saturday, as I explained in Part I, I knew they intended to cheat conservative U.S. Senate candidate Clint Didier. Then, as soon as I was credentialed, had climbed to the top of the bleachers opposite the podium, and had read the rules, I knew where the cheating would begin.
The blueprint had been established at the 2008 State Convention:
In 2008, Luke Esser, presiding as unelected temporary chair of the State Convention, without electing a Permanent Convention Chair:
- Closed debate on credentials without a 2/3 majority (in order to seat illegally elected delegates),
- began the convention without seating actual, legally-elected delegates,
- manipulated rules debate without electing a Convention Chair,
- illegally called a valid amendment to the convention rules “out of order,”
- closed debate on rules without a 2/3 majority,
- imposed illegitimate rules on the convention in violation of Washington State Republican Party Convention rules,
- imposed illegitimate rules on the convention in violation of National Republican Rules,
- imposed illegitimate rules on the convention in violation of Washington State Law, and
- refused to allow any of the votes under his regime to be counted.
And Saturday (4/17) the KCGOP had clearly set Lori Sotelo up in the same position by putting the Rules Report before the election of a Permanent Convention Chair. That would allow Lori to rule anything she didn’t like “out of order,” thus preventing the convention from voting on it, and to call votes any way she wanted. This is how liberals prevail. They can’t win votes by honest debate. They have to cheat. And for at least four years, Sotelo has facilitated cheating by naming Michael Young her parliamentarian and repeating what he says as if he were a ventriloquist and she were his… um… uh… mouthpiece.
The remedy available was simple. I would move to elect the Permanent Convention Chair before the rules debate. Roberta suggested that we could call a “Point of Order,” but the weakness I saw in that was that they would simply overrule it and most delegates are not familiar enough with Roberts to know the proper order of Convention procedures. If we made a motion at least we could make it clear that they were taking away the body’s right to vote on the issue.
I knew I had to make the motion immediately following the Final Credentials Report (which always must precede any other Convention business), but as loose as the Young/Sotelo regime is with rules I did not know at what point they would claim that had happened. I had to keep my eye on Suellen Roche. Roche was credentials chair and approached the mic at least three times, each time making a motion (to accept each of several Credentials reports), and, simultaneously, acted (improperly) as Temporary Convention Chair, putting the question to the body, and holding the vote (in clear violation of Roberts). On each of her last two trips to the mic, I went forward and knelt (so as to be unobtrusive) close to a floor microphone to be ready to make my motion. Mike and Lori clearly noticed me, but that couldn’t be helped.
When I finally made the motion, “to elect a Permanent Convention Chair as the next item of business,” Lori, of course first consulted with the Ventriloquist, and then ruled the motion “out of order.” That claim was a lie. The motion was, clearly and unequivocally, in order and Michael Young knows it.
Roberts Rules (§3 Basic Procedures): “If the assembly has no binding order of business, any member who obtains the floor can introduce any legitimate matter he desires (within the objects of the organization as defined in its bylaws) at any time when no business is before the assembly for consideration.”
All of the above conditions were present. There was no “binding order of business” (the county had never adopted any order of business, either acting as the Central Committee, or in the Convention). It was a “legitimate matter” (securing a competent, impartial convention chair is unquestionably within the purview of the body and it has been established both in Republican Rules and State Law ~ that’s why chairs are elected). I had legally obtained the floor and had been recognized by the temporary chair (in fact, my actions were more legitimate than Suellen’s had been). No business was before the assembly for consideration (I had waited, in fact, several hours for the proper time: right after the adoption of the final Credentials report, but before the introduction of any other business).
I pointed out, at my microphone, that the motion was in order and suggested that “Mr. Derham” (referring to Richard Derham, Rules Committee Chair and parliamentary expert, who was on the dais when this happened) could explain it to them. Mr. Derham looked very uncomfortable. His eyes did not meet Lori’s or Mike’s. He would not have enjoyed either exposing their cheating or going on record as having joined it.
Young responded that the rules had force “because the rules committee had passed them” and reiterated I was out of order. I “appealed the ruling of the chair.”
Young’s claim, that the order of business was unchangeable because it had been adopted by the rules committee, is patently ridiculous.
- The “Rules Committee” is a County subcommittee. It has no authority over the Convention, but, to the contrary, is subject to the Convention. The “Rules Committee” does not adopt Rules, but proposed rules. Those rules have no authority until adopted by the body and they never have.
- The County Party has never, in its bylaws, delegated authority over the Convention to the Rules Committee, only the duty to compose “Proposed Rules” for the Convention’s adoption. That’s why the rules were voted on. By State Law (RCW29A.80.010 Rule-making authority) the PCOs have all the power of the Republican Party at the County level and, unless and until they delegate that power, they retain it.
- Even if the Rules Committee DID HAVE the authority to make rules for the Convention, the Convention would have had the authority, by a 2/3 majority vote, to change or suspend the rules, as was done on Saturday in other circumstances. In that case, my motion would STILL have been IN ORDER, but requiring a 2/3 majority vote.
Young’s denial of my motion, only a parliamentary lie by Young but a rules violation when enacted by Sotelo, was a direct assault on the American principle of delegation of power as I described in Part I. It was the usurpation of a power never delegated to either one of them, (and never, by the way, claimed by the Rules Committee). It has the same authority as would a Barack Obama executive order to arrest every Republican member of Congress. It was a gross abuse of power, but it mirrors the general operation of the Young/Sotelo and Sotelo/Young administrations: seizing power they were never given to do things for which they have no authority, because they suspect they could never get the power if they had to ask for it in the context of open discussion and debate.
It is how they ran the last County Organization meeting, illegally denying elected PCOs to participate. It is how they run most conventions, and it is how they tabulated the voting in most of the 2010 district caucuses, refusing transparency, counting in secret without observers. Who knows the real outcomes?
As I said in Part I:
… the legitimate authority to govern resides with the people and that, unless and until a power is specifically given to a governing body, THEY DON’T HAVE IT.”
It is the loss of the consciousness of that principle in the heart of Republicans that is our greatest danger.”