Posts Tagged ‘Ben Wierzbicki’

I love politics because it always seems to provide you with new experiences. Today, unfortunately, is a “new experience” I could have gone without having ever experienced. No, honestly, I lost four hours of my life to something I’m not exactly sure how to describe to you.

The bottom line is it will come off looking a bit embarrassing for the Republican party, and judging by reports from across the state, the Clay County Republican caucus was reproduced in some form or another in multiple locations. From what little I have read in some places it was worse. The worst case was probably in St. Charles in which a caucus had to be shut down by police and two Ron Paul supporters were arrested.

And there folks is your problem!

What Mark Levin affectionately terms Ronulans, or Ron Paul supporters. (Sorry, I’m not going to explain the Star Trek reference, just know, it’s appropriate.)

Now, I would like to make a disclaimer here: I don’t want to overgeneralize because I do have some friends that are Ron Paul supporters, and I do respect them. (Know that it is not that many.) I also respect many of the positions that Mr. Paul holds, and I have financially supported his PAC and his campaign in the past. My reasoning for doing so is I do think Mr. Paul’s voice belongs in the Republican party and should be heard. My major qualms with him surround his foreign policy. He’s just wrong, so wrong I can’t support him for the nomination of the Republican party.

The thing about today is there is a wrong way and a right way to participate. Mr. Paul’s supporters put on a clinic today in the wrong way.

First, they tried to nominate a candidate to run the caucus. When the first vote failed they cried establishment takeover (or something to that effect). So, there was another vote. The irony was the recount actually showed less votes in their favor.

The next big fit they threw took place when the delegate slates were proposed. There were two slates for the sixth district: a unity slate proposed by a member of Common Sense for Common People from Kearney and the Ron Paul slate. The sixth district unity slate won. Next, there were two fifth district unity slates proposed, one by Central Committee member Tom Salisbury and the other a Ron Paul slate. Chaos erupted again and people began exiting the caucus in large quantities. The Paul supporters demanded a new quorum count. Sadly, a little over 100 people left.  The Ron Paul slate was defeated in both the fifth and sixth congressional districts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually think there is a significant point of contention with respect to the unity slate (in reality though I have a point of  contention with the whole process). One of the continual things the Paul supporters screamed were that we didn’t know who the unity slate would vote for. It’s a fair point, and I have a major problem with not being able to cast a vote for the candidate that I think is best to be the nominee. But when you get right down to it, as of right now I think there is no best candidate, but I certainly believe that Ron Paul is not the guy, so in a very convoluted way my voice was sort-of heard.

Anyway, back to our feature presentation. It seemed at this point that the craziness might subside. It was time to amend the Republican party platform. Not to be let down, the Ronulans provided us with more yelling and fireworks when they proposed to dump the entire platform and give us a new one. Oh, but did we get to read the new platform? Nah…. That’s not important. I was amazed at the two-faced nature of what the Paul supporters were proposing here. Some of these people probably screamed loudly at some point in the last couple years about how their representatives should be required to read any legislation passed. But, hey, in this situation, just take our word for it, we’ll give you the Cliff Notes version in a fiery speech. Ummm….thanks, but no thanks.

In fairness, I have to be  a little critical of Clay County Republican party chair Ben Wierzbicki. For the most part, he did a good job in dealing with people that were effectively behaving like overgrown teenagers, wait, that’s too much credit, overgrown five-year-old children. Mr. Wierzbicki should have realized early on that the majority of people in attendance would have stood up to the Paul supporters and that he had the votes to keep them under control. Early on he threatened to have people removed if they would not stop creating a disturbance. As the meeting progressed the Ronulans yelled, booed, called point of order (so many times I think I am going to have nightmares), and sacrificed lambs (oh, wait, that didn’t happen, but it seemed like we could have gotten there). By allowing these individuals to continue to be present and ignoring their persistent calls to be recognized through Robert’s Rules of Order he made the situation a little more chaotic than it needed to be. He should have either accepted their point of order and listened to whatever they had to say. At some point it all would have worked itself out. I really don’t envy what Mr. Wierzbicki had to go through today.

The reality is this must be fixed by our legislators before the next Presidential election. Caucuses are absurd and have no place in our modern political landscape. There is more to the story of why we had a caucus then I am discussing on this post. Let’s just say this mess could have been averted.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a video from today. Sorry if the video appears sideways, it is corrected on the YouTube page.

I attended the Clay County Republican Central Committee last night. The issue of Republican candidate for Clay County Auditor William James Norris came up. The committee entertained discussion for well over an hour. I was given time to speak and present the information that I knew up to this point.

I was impressed by the way the committee handled this issue, very respectful and professional. The bottom line is that Mr. Norris has an excessive amount of questions surrounding his candidacy. Just do a search on my blog and you will see why. He has refused to be forth coming about these questions and has even been approached by Clay Central Committee chair Ben Wierzbicki to discuss the matter. His failure to respond is his choice, he has not been singled out or targeted unfairly.

I especially appreciate the fact that Mr. Wierzbicki removed himself from leading the discussion last night. He felt that since he had originally recruited and supported the other primary candidate Jay Jones, that it was not ethical for him to be in charge during this event.  The discussion was supervised by Central Committee member Tom Salisbury and parliamentarian Kevin Corlew. The final decision of the committee was to issue a press release not endorsing William James Norris in his candidacy as a Republican for Clay County auditor. A press release is expected within the day or two and I will post as soon as it is in hand.

 

Roy Blunt

Chuck Purgason and his supporters

Roy Blunt visited the Republican campaign headquarters this morning here in Clay County. Attending as well was the other US Senate candidate, he who shall not be named by the Republican establishment unless we really have to, Chuck Purgason. My wife and I attended as Chuck Purgason supporters. I am not going to rehash the reasons I am supporting Chuck. You can read that on my endorsement post here on this blog.

I wanted to comment on some specific things. First, this was the first time I have ever heard Mr. Blunt speak in person. If he wins the primary here in Missouri in the Republican party I can and will vote for him. I do have my reservations, but right now, as it stands, I feel there is a candidate out there that would better represent me in the Republican party. The reality is this, if Blunt wins, the choice is between a conservative who has made a few, but critical mistakes, or another vote for Obama with Robin Carnahan. Not my words, that’s what the President said. Mr. President I have had enough of your leftist agenda and you need to be put under control. America and Missouri can’t put up with another Democrat shape shifting Senator like Cousin Claire.

Second, kudos to all Republicans in attendance. There were many faces from politics in the area. As a whole people were very respectful, Mr. Blunt and Mr. Purgason were civil and polite towards one another. Mr. Blunt went as far to say in his short speech that he would support all Republicans in this election. I interpret this as, if he is beat he will get behind Mr. Purgason. I would fully expect, and get the impression that, if Mr. Blunt wins the primary Mr. Purgason will get fully behind Mr. Blunt. I also want to recognize Clay County Central Chair Ben Wierzbicki, he handled the event well and as a supporter of Mr. Purgason’s I felt welcomed into the campaign HQ.

Third, I had the ability to talk with Mr. Blunt one on one about an issue that is important to me. That issue is education. As a teacher I am fully fed up with the involvement of the Federal government inside of our classrooms. No Child Left Behind was something that Mr. Blunt voted for and I have a major problem with that. I first asked him why there was nothing on his website about education. I must admit I made a mistake here, it had been some time since I had last checked his website and somewhere along the way it has been added. You can read it here, Blunt on Education.

It’s the small things that people do some times, and one thing Mr. Blunt did really irritated me. Early in our conversation he attempted to kind of put the whole issue of education to rest by saying that there is a group out there called teachers for Blunt. No offense, but I don’t care. Last time I checked I was an individual and had my own opinions, I do not look to others of my own profession to determine how to think politically. As a matter of fact I don’t do this with anything, I arrive at my own opinions based upon thought and further research. Anyway, I further pushed on Mr. Blunt about NCLB and he did admit that his vote for NCLB was something he regretted and wishes he could go back and change. Ah, if only politics worked that way. He did also say that he was for more local control in education, and that some of his votes reflected this after the passage of NCLB. I have seen one vote for sure that supports this, I would suspect that he is being honest about this. The fact remains the Arne Duncan and Barack Obama education agenda is toxic to public schools in America and we need politicians that are willing to express their concern about Federal involvement in schools. Mr. Blunt seems to agree, I just wish he was more passionate about it. I do appreciate his time and willingness to answer my questions about this issue.

Finally, kudos to KSHB 41 for showing up with a cameraman. It was the only TV media presence in attendance. I don’t have high hopes for the report, but it was nice to see one camera there.