Saturday, I watched as Washington State’s eleventh Legislative District Republicans held their caucus. If it is any indication of what is to follow we’ll get to watch John McCain defeat Dino Rossi this year.
It was the first of 49 legislative districts to elect delegates to the State Convention (in various ways), thus beginning the second stage of a five-step caucus/convention process to determine who will be our national convention delegates and, hence, to determine which Presidential Candidate gets the most loyal nominating delegates from Washington State. (When Wash. State GOP Chair Luke Esser announced to the Media last February 9th that John McCain had already “won the caucuses”, he was really, really stretching it.) The struggle over the actual process in the 11th was cold-blooded.
Déjà Vu All Over Again
What I watched was simply awash in irony as 11th District Chair Ruth Gibbs, former top secretary for the 1988 Washington State Presidential campaign of Rev. Pat Robertson dished out the same welcome to new Ron Paul Delegates as she and her Pat Robertson Delegates got from the GOP establishment twenty years ago, that is: “Thanks for playing, but this is for insiders only, Please go home, now.”
And, as if that weren’t enough (in the eerie coincidence department) Ruth even used the unethical tactics King County Chair Michael Young had used to torpedo her bid for his Chairmanship in December ’06: insider trading. But this time it was for the benefit of Young himself, and his John McCain campaign. When the cheating starts, the Michael Young/amnesty team always seems to benefit somehow, but this time Ruth Gibbs pulled the trigger. I guess what goes around… uh… keeps going around… if you’re willing to change sides.
Gibbs is still claiming to be a Huckabee supporter, but she ran an all-John McAmnesty District caucus, Saturday. She had gotten to work the precinct caucus lists, leading up to the meeting, that were only available to the McCain campaign (not any other Presidential campaign). McCain even sent her a personal “Thank You” through his proxy speaker at the caucus: “John McCain wants to thank Ruth Gibbs for all her help.” It was so blatant it even embarrassed Ruth into reminding us she was supposed to be for Huckabee (for now.)
Huckabee may still be running, nationwide, but in Washington State his “leaders” are folding up like a political garage sale and are selling out as fast as possible to the McCain Campaign for whatever they can get. Real Huckabee supporters can’t get any campaign help at all out of State Huckabee Chair Joe Fuiten’s office, which appears to be completely motionless.
Ruth has already announced that she will be supporting John McCain in the general election as soon as he gets the nomination, and all her speakers assured us, Saturday, that a McCain nomination is an inevitable formality. Evergreen Freedom Foundation President and former Gubernatorial Candidate Bob Williams promoted McCain and predicted he’ll be the next President. So did 7th U.S. Congressional candidate Steve Beren. And, while they both made technical nods toward “Secure Borders” and against Amnesty, they were both working hard to nominate America’s biggest supporter of Open Borders and Amnesty. Interim County Chair Lori Sotelo was there, running to succeed Michael Young (who has gone full time for McCain) as permanent King County GOP Chair. Lori plugged McCain, too, but then Sotelo has always supported Amnesty as long as you call it something else.
The King County Party Administration is all on the McAmnesty bandwagon (they have been for years) and Ruth Gibbs couldn’t buddy up to them enough on Saturday, toeing the Michael Young line. She spent all her time sitting and talking intimately with them when she wasn’t stampeding back and forth across the caucus floor, looking like she had built up enough steam to put her head down and crash through walls.
I’ve known Ruth Gibbs for 20 years.
When she was running for County Chair she called me on a daily basis (usually several times), asking for help, discussing strategy, trying to coordinate action, and being a guest speaker at a Reagan Wing meeting. Saturday she must have walked right in front of me eight to fifteen times as though I were invisible. She couldn’t recognize me. All her speakers (except Sotelo) did and were cordial as was her husband Jerry. Ruth wouldn’t give me the time of day. She has, as a matter of practice, gone back to work for the pro-abortion, gay rights, pro-amnesty Sotelo administration and can’t look me in the eye.
Imagine that you are a voter and before an election you go to the Secretary of State’s website for information. Imagine that at the top of the website it says “The Washington Secretary of State’s candidate for Governor is Chris Gregoire.” Curious, you go to the official government website of the State Legislature and, at the top it says, “The Washington State Legislature’s choice for Governor is Chris Gregoire.” When you finally go to vote, at your precinct as you sign in, you are handed a piece of paper, printed by the County Department of Elections, at government expense, telling you to vote for Chris Gregoire. Then, as you are standing in line to vote, the election supervisor at that polling place stands up and announces to everyone, “The Department of Elections Recommends you vote for Chris Gregoire.” I ask you: “Is that ethical?
Saturday, Ruth Gibbs, 11th District Leader, acting as the 11th district leader, handed out a flyer called the “11TH DISTRICT 2008 LEADERSHIP SLATE” touting only the delegate candidates she wanted elected (the first two being named Gibbs). The use of her Party office in the title (where she is required, by rule, to preside impartially) was improper. The Secretary of State can vote in an election he runs, but to use his office to promote any candidate is a clear violation of ethics. That’s what Ruth was doing as the chief election officer in the 11th. The flyer was, according to Lori Sotelo, paid for by District Funds. That, too, was improper. Every member of the State Legislature and the Department of Elections can vote and campaign as individuals for candidates for public office, but the use of their elective offices for promotional purposes is unethical, improper and a violation of law. Ruth Gibbs is a Party official ratified by vote and her district administration members were all acting as the (supposedly impartial) election officers in this caucus election. Ruth used their positions to favor one side in the election and it was blatantly unethical in precisely the same way.
The first sentence of the Gibbs Slate flyer said, “The 11th District Recommends the following individuals to be elected as Delegates to the the (sic) Washington State 2008 Convention…” Ruth Gibbs (despite what she may think) is not the 11th District. In order for her sentence to even be true there had to have been a call to a meeting where the whole district was given the chance to vote on delegate recommendations or, somehow deputized Ruth or her hand-picked Committee with the power to make such a decision. I can find no evidence that such meeting ever took place. Ruth has declined to return my call. But it doesn’t matter (except as a matter of truthfulness) if such a vote ever took place. It would be improper anyway. The PCOs, themselves subject to public election, have the same duty, in the case of a Convention or Caucus, to act impartially as does their Chair (Ruth). Such a “recommendation” as the sentence claims would be a violation of that duty.
It was unethical and improper.
Candidates have a right to have their candidacy for State Delegate considered objectively on its own merits. That right was taken away in the 11th District.
Ron Paul delegates were specifically targeted, just as Pat Robertson delegates (including Ruth) were targeted twenty years ago. I remember being told back then by a Party Insider that “the Pat Robertson people” were going to vote for Pat Robertson for President in the general election, but COMMUNIST on everything else. The same image is being created for Ron Paul supporters.
The Reagan Wing has been a part of an effort to create delegate slates in every Washington Legislative District that include candidates from all the presidential campaigns that pledge to oppose amnesty for illegals, support the right to life from conception to natural death, and oppose “environmentalist” land and energy seizures. We have former supporters of Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, and current supporters of Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul. In the 11th the conservative slate included several Ron Paul Delegates. Gibbs’ slate had been cleansed of every Ron Paul supporter.
Don’t get me wrong. There were some great people on the Gibbs slate and I don’t hold them responsible for what happened.
I know for a fact that the Paul delegates, recognizing that they were in a minority on the issue, had agreed to drop vocal opposition to the Iraq war. But an early candidate speech in Ruth’s district called the conservative slate the “Ron Paul” slate and almost every speaker on Ruth’s greenslate baited the Paul Delegates on the War. Every one of Ruth’s invited speakers spoke at length on the war. NOT ONE of them spoke against John McCain’s radical environmentalist, anti-Republican “Global Warming” energy rationing, his restrictions on free speech or his illegal alien welfare spending. Not one opposed his GOVERNMENT FUNDING for the destruction of Human embryos.
The message was as clear, Saturday, as it was 20 years ago. Newcomers are NOT WELCOME in the Republican Party.
And what, if this continues, will be the result? The Ron Paul Campaign can put more than 20,000 new feet on the ground in Washington State campaigning in 2008. When I walked into the State Ron Paul Campaign for the first time, weeks ago, they were passing out Dino Rossi bumper stickers alongside Ron Paul literature. They still are. But their participation is tenuous – with good reason.
10,000 new people campaigning for Dino Rossi for Washington Governor. Think about that. They have agreed to drop the War as an issue. Think about that. The campaign is preaching against third Party action and telling them to stay in the GOP. Think about that. Think about that new impact on the Democrat/Republican balance of power in this state.
Saturday, Ruth Gibbs, using Young/Sotelo dirty tricks, gave new people the same greeting she, herself, got in 1988: