[Note on UPDATE: Since the original publication of this article on April 7, its author, Bruce Morton, has been the target of attacks both public and personal. He has requested that we redact some information from the report for which he has been under intense pressure by people he regards as friends. In deference to Bruce's wishes and repeated requests we are removing factual material from the article that documents some of its claims, to protect Romney operatives from scrutiny for public acts for which they now seek anonymity [has the person in question removed their FaceBook post?]. The record has not changed, only Bruce’s coverage of it. In addition, it should be pointed out that Bruce is not in direct control of the reader comments that are allowed to be published. We have an independent comments editor who is in charge of screening new commenters to remove slander, profanity and undocumentable accusations. ~ Doug]
Snohomish County. April 2, 2012.
By: Bruce Morton
Many dishonest and underhanded tactics have been employed by Mitt Romney’s followers in his presidential campaign. A few examples are in order.
On March 24th, at a fire station in Marysville, the Paul campaign held a training session for delegates in the 39th LD. This event was promoted on the Snohomish County Ron Paul Meetup site and email invitations were sent out to county Paul delegates.
As the meeting was about to begin Lil Erickson recognized a Romney supporter sitting in the back. This wasn’t just any Romney supporter, it was Bob Williams, the Snohomish County Romney campaign coordinator. When asked to leave, he refused, claiming that he was in a public place and had a right to be there. Lil considered getting some of the attendees to physically remove him, but fortunately, Maggie Ries preferred to use persuasion rather than force. Discussion ensued for about 10 minutes, during which, it was reported that Bob was shaking. After lengthy negotiation, Bob agreed to leave after being promised a copy of the training materials.
I decided to confront Bob. I called him and introduced myself. He immediately responded that he already knows me. (which kind of surprised me) I told him about what I had learned about his spying. I politely told him that I considered that dishonest and underhanded and unbecoming of a Latter-day Saint. He defiantly responded that he saw nothing wrong with it and that he would do it again. [Ed. note: why are they so fearful?] I was sickened by this. I honestly thought that I could appeal to his higher moral sensibilities as a fellow high priest in the Church.
I was wrong.
He then changed topics, complaining that the Ron Paul followers are not Republicans and that we should go back to the Libertarian party. Having heard this many times, I told him that I am not a member of the Libertarian party, and neither are most of the people in the Ron Paul movement. I reminded him of Ronald Reagan’s own words that “the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.” I also reminded him of the political position of Ezra Taft Benson, former Secretary of Agriculture under Eisenhower, and former prophet and President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Benson categorized himself as a libertarian. On hearing this, Bob told me that he considers himself to be a libertarian republican. I was flabbergasted beyond words. The conversation ended soon after that.
In retrospect, I should not be surprised at all. Mitt Romney is a political chameleon. He changes his position depending on who he’s speaking to. It should not be a surprise that his followers are also chameleons. Little did I know at the time that I too was a victim of spying from the Romney campaign.
That very same Saturday, March 24th I, too, held a delegate training meeting, at the Snohomish library. I was not too concerned about spying because I did not advertise the meeting on Meetup.com, only sending an email invitation to the delegates and alternates in the 44th LD who had indicated Ron Paul as their
presidential preference. Two days later, I discovered through two independent sources that there was a spy there, Susan McCaughan (wife of 44th LD State House candidate Bob McCaughan). Somehow, in the caucus results spreadsheet obtained from the GOP, her presidential preference had been erroneously recorded. She was listed as a Paul supporter, but was actually a Romney supporter. I should have caught this earlier. I should have scrubbed the database. So, she attended, represented herself as a Paul supporter, learned about our strategy, and passed on what she learned directly to the Romney campaign. What a “coincidence” that a “random error” in the database sent to the Paul campaign would “just happen” to occur with a Romney campaign operative.
My final example of dishonesty in the Romney campaign is the most disturbing of all. At the conclusion of the Snohomish County Republican Convention on March 31st, multiple reports were passed on to me of the delegate allocation results from the 44th LD. (The most detailed reporting can be found here. http://abulsme.com) Since each delegate nominee gave a speech, and each stated their presidential preference in their speech, it was easy to determine that the caucus results were Romney 26, Santorum 7, Gingrich 5, Paul 1.
Later that week a leader in the Romney campaign posted their version of the results on Facebook. According to her, 27 delegates had been elected. The facts are that 13 of the 39 individuals who were elected delegates openly proclaimed in front of 317+ people that they support someone other than Romney. According to the Romney campaign, one person changed their mind. Who was that person? Lois Glover. Outgoing President of the Evergreen Republican Women’s Club. Lois Glover was for Romney on March 3rd, but when she spoke on March 31st. She said Rick Santorum is her man. Now, according to the Romney campaign, Lois is back with Mitt.
Is it possible that other Romney supporters lied in front of the entire caucus in order to fool the Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul supporters in the room? Could it be that the “Unity” slate actually contains more Romney supporters than we are led to believe? If so, the claim of “Unity” pasted on the chests and hats of hundreds of Romney supporters that day is a total farce.
That day there were many rumors going around about Romney infiltrators into the other campaigns. It was feared that some who claimed to follow Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul, were actually Romney supporters. Given the examples above, one could believe it.
Since engaging in political activity, I have seen people who are normally kind, polite, honest, and friendly become completely different people. It’s disturbing to see how politics turns people crazy. I now understand why most people avoid politics entirely.
As I see such behavior, it makes me want to be extra careful. It’s very tempting to want to fight fire with fire, and show the other side how vicious we can be, too. I see some Paul supporters who are victims of establishment shenanigans get so upset, they feel the only way to respond is to “play dirty.” I have strongly discouraged that. We need to follow the example of our leader, Ron Paul.
When Dr. Paul is belittled, laughed at, even physically manhandled (as was done by Rick Perry in front of millions), he responds with firm politeness.
In the face of cheating, intimidation, lies, and even physical force, we need to respond with honesty, courtesy, integrity, and humility. But we do not allow our rights to be trampled upon. We fight to the bitter end, but we do it the right way. The ends do not justify the means.
Bruce Morton and his wife (Lake Stevens, Washington) have four children. A conservative activist, Bruce didn’t give up or go away after 2008. He is an electrical engineer and holds degrees from Brigham Young University and the University of Florida. He spent two years as a missionary in Guatemala. He blogs occasionally at Bruce Morton