King County is larger than 13 States, is the most liberal county in Washington, and regularly imposes, on the rest of the State, thinly disguised Marxist Politicians who go largely unchallenged by the King County Republicans (KCGOP).
The County has 2499 precincts. There are 2499 Republican Precinct Committee Offices established by Washington State Law. Only 1149 of those precincts are represented on the Republican Central Committee by officers elected on November 6, 2012 and certified by King County Elections.
On Saturday, December 8, only 457 of the 1149 showed up for the biannual Organization Meeting that is defined and mandated by State Law (RCW29A.80.030).
No such meeting was held.
The administration of Lori Sotelo and her parade of unprincipled pragmatists, in open violation of State Law, refused to seat 10 of the Publicly elected precinct representatives (PCOs), at a meeting to which that administration had previously, in open violation of State Law, refused to call all the officers they were required to call, thus failing the minimum legal requirements of such a meeting twice over. Neither the retiring administration, nor the remaining Precinct Committee Officers, have any authority (even with a unanimous vote) to ban elected representatives on any ground whatsoever.
It was a highly orchestrated and expensive farce.
The third in a row for Sotelo.
I ran against Sotelo for the Chairmanship. Under the circumstances I had no choice.
Behind the Scenes
I have sought, for more than eight years, for any reasonable candidate for that office and this year was no exception.
Familiar with the proclivities of Republican Central Committees, I knew successfully replacing the deeply entrenched and ruthless Sotelo would take – at minimum – four things:
- strong turnout of the people she has cheated and slandered for the last four years (mostly Ron Paul supporters),
- real, articulated reasons she must be replaced,
- open vote counting (If Sotelo’s chosen subordinates were allowed to simply retire with the ballots, feed them into one of their personal computers and announce “the winner,” as they did in the caucuses, all was lost.) and
- a candidate who exuded positive, electable attributes.
And since I knew that:
- Sotelo would give herself unlimited speech time while allowing any reformers only very short speeches, and
- Even a great candidate can’t present both (2) and (4) above (the negative and the positive) in less than 15 minutes,
I projected the necessity of two candidates: One who would tell the truth about one of the worst County Republican Chairs in American history and Another who would present a positive agenda for change – that is, explain how we could hope to win more elections. The theory is that, although King County Republicans might have their head in the sand about the extreme abuse of process in which their leaders engage, they still have some interest in actually winning elections (call me a dreamer).
So while the search for a “positive” candidate continued, and several we asked considered it, I resolved to begin the role of the guy who exposes the truth about Sotelo’s massive cheating and perhaps even go into her criminal behavior. I was, after all, the guy who knew where most of the bodies were buried. My first two speeches were almost all exposés of Sotelo: her Democrat philosophy, her constant violation of rules and laws, and her habitual dishonesty. People said, “You’re too negative.”
Where was the “positive” candidate? The guy with the programs to turn it around politically?
By Monday, November 26, Scott Shock had said he absolutely would not do it. That Thursday, my last hope for any parallel “positive” candidate had dropped out and I knew I would have to be both.
Many people (most without much experience) urged me to completely drop the negative, to stop presenting the reasons Republicans absolutely must replace “the princess of perjury,” the woman who I can prove has committed repeated felonies. But I know the mindset of Loyalty Republicans – they don’t make changes easily to the order of succession. (They once refused to replace Gerald Ford with Ronald Reagan as Presidential nominee, for crying out loud!) They need strong reasons. Moreover, I felt that Republicans have a right to know who Lori Sotelo really is; that she is working, as King County Republican Chair, only to accomplish her personal, liberal political objectives, AND that she is engaging, not only in procedural cheating, but illegal activity. Because of the enormity of the task (and the tiny speech times Sotelo’s establishment henchmen were allowing) we created an entire Website for the position: Parris4KingCountyChair.wordpress.com. I appeared at every remaining “combined district meeting,” but knew why they were poorly publicized. Sotelo treats the assets of the King County Republican Party as though they were her personal property. She refused to share the emails of the PCOs with non-incumbents for the same, obvious reason – to obscure her opponents and to benefit herself and her allies. (That’s cheating.)
At my first campaign appearance, Sotelo attempted to have me arrested on false charges at a combined district meeting held at Aurora Church of the Nazarene. Investigating police, as they have always done, found her charges baseless. But in that and succeeding meetings I found some traction and came to believe that it might be possible to actually win the office. Sotelo’s violation of her own bylaws, for instance, in disenfranchising the elected 37th Legislative District Leader, Tamra Smilanich, was becoming well known. Sotelo is a despot, a bully, and a philosophical Democrat. How long can she keep it hidden – even with habitual lies? I just needed to be able to compete on an even playing field.
But an even playing field… not an easy task.
By law, outgoing County Republican (and Democrat) administrations, have no authority in Organization meetings. Their only role is to call and gavel open the meeting to be run by the PCOs. But since 2002, all the KCGOP organization meetings have been under the imaginary rules of Michael Young: the incumbent administration is given vast acreage of speaking time; a chairman’s report, speeches by their friends in elected office (they have fewer each time), all orchestrated to present the Sotelo-Young view of things. And as I had predicted, Young himself, was permanent chair; to make sure legal process didn’t break out.
Before any other candidate took the podium, Sotelo spoke without time limit until she had nothing left to say. She refused Smilanich’s questions, and then King County Council members and Sotelo supporters Kathy Lambert and Reagan Dunn (failed McKenna successor) came on to assure us that victory was just ahead. Sotelo’s chair opponents, by
First there was Scott’s shock. The night before the meeting my campaign had sent out a last minute request to some of our allies to be nominated for chair. Two reasons:
- It has become traditional in elections run by Sotelo and Young to only allow a candidate ONE ballot counting observer in a room with as many as 15 to 20 tellers. That makes cheating in the count easy. They cheat.
- We were not confident of being able to get fair rules (we were right, we didn’t – the Sotelo rules only allowed ONE observer).
I knew that if the people in charge of ballot fraud in the conventions were allowed to count secretly we had no hope of winning. So I asked several friends to simply nominate each other for the chair position ( but not make a speech) in order to secure one ballot observer each. When Scott Shock was nominated I thought he was helping. When Scott rose to speak I was Shocked. One witness said his speech implied that I was “too radical.” I suggested a radical return to fair process and our principles.
I spoke for five minutes before Young interrupted.
John Dickinson did stand-up comedy for five minutes. (And when Young tried to stop him, John, right there behind the podium, lit up and said “It isn’t tobacco,” to laughter and applause.)
And Lori got another 5 minutes just for good measure.
This meeting decided the dismal fate of the Republican Party in King County for the next two years. About 190 showed up willing to replace Sotelo and her band of merry sycophants. But 260 or so, by re-electing Sotelo, chose to continue the path that has almost eliminated the Republican Party as a force for conservative change in King County. 260 precinct representatives out of 2499 precincts.
What, exactly, did they choose?
First, they chose to give away all their power to Lori Sotelo. Just like they did last time around.
By Washington State law the Precinct Committee Officers of each county hold all the power of their County Party. They can hire and fire all officers, choose candidates, order conventions, and make all the rules. But to do this they have to be at a Central Committee Meeting and since the election of the chosen Sotelo-Young regime in 2002, there has not been a single such meeting except to elect a Chair. For TEN YEARS. The Central Committee gives away all its power by adopting the Sotelo Royalty Bylaws.
Here’ are the bylaws that contain the “Royalty” they bestow on Sotelo:
“Between sessions of the Central Committee, the Executive Committee shall have the powers of the Central Committee…” KCGOP Bylaws Article XIV Section One (14.1)
Who is this “Executive Committee” to whom the Central Committee has given all its power?
“To assist the County Chairman… there shall be an Executive Committee comprised of the County Chairman, other elected officers of the Central Committee, and Legislative District Chairman.” KCGOP Bylaws Article XIV Section One (14.1)
Who appoints these “Legislative District Chairmen?”
What can Lori do if they cross her in any way?
“Except as otherwise provided herein, the County Chairman shall have the discretionary power to remove from office any person appointed by him or his appointee to any party office.” KCGOP Bylaws Article V Section Two (5.2)
How many of the 25-member County Executive Board are appointed and dismissed at Lori’s whim?
How many are elected by the Central Committee (PCOs) ?
Who controls the Executive Board?
What does this Executive Board get to do? Again…
“…the Executive Committee shall have the powers of the Central Committee…”
Lori Sotelo was last elected in 2010 and I published the following linked two-part article, immediately after that election.
|King County Re-Org: There was Kool-Aid in the Coffee|
|KCGOP Reorg Part 2: The Dance of Death|
And in the conclusion of that 2010 article I described what the PCOs had done to themselves. They just did the same thing again. I can’t improve on the description:
…those Precinct Committee Officers who went to the Organization meeting, by adjourning their meeting with the Derham/Sotelo bylaws in place, ended their political lives as Precinct Officers, as surely as the cultists at Jonestown ended their lives by drinking the [Kool-Aid]. They had all the power and now have no power at all. Lori Sotelo has all of it. They will never again wield that power. Barring the death or resignation of an elected officer they will never meet again. They won’t decide anything.
But it is now, in 2012, absolutely clear that Sotelo’s 260 PCOs WANTED it to be over. They openly debated and defeated every measure to amend the bylaws and give them back their power. They did not want power over the process. They did not want a republican form of representative government over their own Party. They wanted a King. They willfully made the same decision as Russian workers in Soviet deliberations to outlaw labor unions. The same decision as Germans to unite all power in a single leader in August of 1934:
“Today Hitler Is All of Germany.” The newspaper headline on Aug. 4, 1934 reflected the vital shift in power that had just taken place. Two days earlier, on the death of Reich President Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler had lost no time in abolishing the Reich Presidency and having the army swear a personal oath of unconditional obedience to him as “the Führer of the German Reich and People.” He was now head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces, as well as head of government and of the monopoly party, the NSDAP. Hitler had total power in Germany, unrestricted by any constitutional constraints.
If comprehending what you read is a challenge, I am not comparing Sotelo to Hitler. I am comparing her followers to early ‘30s Germans. No, not to the Nazi party, but ALL GERMANS.
They did not expect what they got, but got it, they did.
And what did the majority vote of the minority seated out of the minority present out of the minority elected out of 2499 precincts get in return for handing over all their power to Lori Sotelo?
What did they choose and what did they reject?
Read Part Two: