Category Archives: GOP Convention

PA Primary Results: Hillary Wins Big, GOP Delegate Picture a Mess

First thoughts:  Well, Hillary won by 10.  I guess that means this superdelegate tracking is going to have to continue for a while.

Regarding the GOP delegate races, those results are a little spread out over the interwebs, so will require some time to aggregate.  My favored candidate for my district– Jim McHale– did not win, but he did OK.  Interestingly, in my district well-known insider Ken Davis, about whom many are less than enthused, was included on the GOP sample ballot as an endorsed delegate at the last second absent any appropriate vote, at least as far as this committeeman is aware.

While Mr. Davis did not win, he did siphon off 1300 votes which affected the ultimate results.  There could be an explanation for this, but the most thorough one I’ve heard thus far is there was a “mix-up”, so an endorsement fell upon him by fiat, like manna from heaven.  This will require more investigation.  A very polite e-mail to the chairman of the Chester County GOP has thus far gone unanswered.

As for the rest of the Commonwealth, I believe there are at least some unendorsed delegates who have been elected, and not all of them are Paul-bearers.  As Mr. Drudge says, developing…

Tomorrow is Primary Day in PA

Well, team, tomorrow is primary day in Pennsylvania.  As you may have noticed, some of my projects here did not quite ripen.  Work, fishing, and volunteering for Admiral Steve Kantrowitz, who is running for PA Senate 19, have intervened.

There’s nothing in this post for voters in the Dem. primary.  Your vote matters, and if you’ve been paying attention there’s not much I can tell you about each candidate.  I could tell you about what PA’s superdelegates are doing, but that shouldn’t be part of your equation.

As for those casting a meaningless PA presidential primary ballot, my recommendation is this:  Remember, top of the ballot is legally meaningless, and the state GOP likes it that way.  Down the ballot you will vote for delegates to the convention, who will cast a vote for your district in St. Paul.

If you live in my district, vote for Jim McHale.  If you have the opportunity to vote for additional people, leave it blank.  Generally, avoid most of the people pledged to Ron Paul, although God bless them for running and absolutely vote for them if you dig Dr. Paul.  If you don’t, though, go to this page, also look at the GOP sample ballot you can get at your polling place, and vote for a person who is not endorsed by the party, and is not a Ron Paul supporter.

In my research I have determined it is those people who are most likely to have your district’s best interests at heart.  As a group, the greatest fault of those people is they are running mostly because they think it would be fun to be a delegate at the convention.  That’s their greatest fault.  How we could go wrong with a delegation like that, I don’t know.  Pass the bottle, and move to close!

The take away point from all this is what?  That when it comes to electing the president of the United States, Republicans have to do lots of research and attempt to guess who might best reflect their values by proxy.  If you wanted to design a system concentrating power and influence in the hands of people with roles the public doesn’t understand, this is it.

That’s not the way I think things should be done.  You?

Updates on PA GOP Delegate Preferences

This page has been updated, accounting for all the GOP delegation candidates supporting Ron Paul, according to this link.

Jim McHale, running to be a delegate in the 16th district, got his start as a Paul supporter.  Upon witnessing more intimately the bursting inanity of Pennsylvania’s primary system is he decided the right thing to do was to simply reflect the will of his district.  He informs me, though, that in order to be designated a “Pennsylvania Patriot for Ron Paul” one has to agree to vote for Dr. Paul at the GOP convention regardless of the will of the district one represents.

I mention this because when I spoke to some of those people they claimed they would try and represent their constituents rather than the interests of Ron Paul.  So either they were lying to me, or they are being less than truthful with the Paul campaign.

So unless you hear otherwise from me, the people indicated as Paul supporters on that grid intend to vote for Ron Paul, which is absolutely their prerogative.  It is, of course, also incumbent to them to be honest with the voters about their intentions, and I am beginning to have my doubts about their veracity.

Your mileage may vary.

First GOP Delegate Sign Spotted!

I believe one is only allowed to display yard signs one month or less before an election.  Jim McHale is on his game, because shortly after that deadline I spotted one of his signs at the intersection of Routes 113 and 401, which I presume is in the sixth congressional district, which is mostly in Chester County and Berks County.

While I don’t know anything about Mr. McHale, I hereby endorse his candidacy, which is my prerogative as a committeeman.  He was not one of the rubber-stamp candidates ‘endorsed’ by the local GOP committee, and that’s good enough for me.  As I live in his district, I think I’ll actually be able to vote to send him to the GOP national convention.

Of course, he could be a Paul supporter.  Or perhaps he digs on the Huckster.  Heck, he could be a Bircher for all I know.

What I do know is that he cares more than the endorsed candidates, for whom I’ve seen no signs.  He will also likely be a straw that stirs the drink, and that’s what the GOP needs both here in Pennsylvania and nationally.

(In fact, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and run him some Google ads off of my account, linked directly to this post.  This means if you’re reading this, Jim, you should pop me an e-mail at karlub at yahoo dot com to make sure I’m representing you accurately!)

GOP to PA Republicans: Go Pound Sand

John McCain now has all the pledged delegates he needs to become the GOP nominee to be president of the United States.  I plan to support him.

Of course, we got to this point without anyone asking a single Pennsylvania Republican to actually, you know, vote on it.  That’s not democracy.  It’s not democratic republicanism, even.  I guess it’s sort of an oligarchy.  Not that this stopped the PA GOP from offering an endorsement.  Oddly, I’m actually a committeeman, and still nobody ever asked me about it.

So, those elected in April to be delegates to the GOP convention should know that the nation at large doesn’t care about their votes.  So treat it with the regard party leaders show it, and formally abstain.  If told it is important for party unity that they vote for John McCain, suggest then that the party should act in a way that values their participation.

If told they should observe the will of their districts, happily agree.  Then say as there is no way for any of us to actually know the will of these districts, thus an abstention is the best possible choice.

GOP Committeeman to “petition the government for a redress of greivances.”

When calling up delegation candidates in Pennsylvania I was surprised how many did not reject the notion of a protest vote out of hand.  Many well known delegate candidates, including Fred Anton, David Dumayer, and Vito Canuso, were at least willing to entertain a protest abstention.  For those outside of PA, they are, respectively: A leading GOP activist and fundraiser, a township supervisor, and the chairman of the Philadelphia GOP.

Some well known folks who are not running to be members of the delegation, like representative Curt Schroeder, also happen to consider such a course of action within the pale, so to speak.

I was advised to put off acquiring and publishing information about those running to be delegates from Pennsylvania to the GOP National Convention until I could assist, instead, in the organized process run by the state GOP.  Turns out nobody knows of such an effort.

Therefore it seems to me I have no choice but to start freelancing again.  I will, of course, check with my local party leaders first.  But every voter with whom I’ve spoken thinks reform is necessary.  The system as currently crafted demands that voters know how delegation candidates plan to dispose themselves at the convention, and nobody seems to care all that much about providing voters this information.  Many delegation candidates I’ve contacted agree reform is necessary, and would consider a protest abstention.

I am left to conclude, then, this project is necessary.  Necessary to make this asinine system work as designed, necessary to promote reform, and necessary because nobody else cares to do it.  Furthermore, there is nothing divisive about it.  Any protest that results will be against our ridiculous primary system, not the presumptive GOP nominee for president.

Some May Ask: “So What’s The Solution Smarty-Pants?”

One of the delegation candidates running who happens to be endorsed and is not some rabble-rousing manufacturer of nuisance like myself asked me “Dysfunctional system?  Of course.  I’d be curious about your remedies.”

First, it may be news to people who run the Pennsylvania GOP, but pretty much all the delegation candidates with whom I have spoken agree our primary system is broken and wish it would be reformed.  As such, my notion of a protest vote is, by definition, not radical or contrary to the will GOP members.  Nor is it contrary to the will of their constituents, at least as far as we can tell.

Seems to me the best idea is the rotating regional primary.  A national primary day would be an improvement, but it would be nice to maintain the ability for a less wealthy candidate to slowly build momentum.  A regional primary might preserve that.

See the Wikipedia entry for regional primaries:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotating_Regional_Primary_System

Furthermore, I would make delegational appointments proportional, and still maintain a small pool of unpledged delegates who would decide the race in cases of very, very close races.  The ratio currently in the Democrat party seems high.

For a variety of reasons the national parties aren’t all that warm to the idea.  I think it mostly has to do with a reluctance to “learn” a new system, and also the fact that some political perquisites are currently distributed with the current system.  Also, the way the system currently runs has put those very beneficiaries in the position of determining if reform is necessary.

In order to draw attention to this need for reform, I plan to lobby delegates from Pennsylvania to formally abstain.  This has three major benefits:

1)  While abstaining the delegation can express full-throated moral support for the presumptive nominee, so party unity is preserved.  Personally, I don’t think unity in this context matters a whit.  Some people of good conscience think it does, though, so the charitable thing to do is to find a way to accommodate them.

2)  The threat of a protest may actually force people to listen to our delegation in less sexy convention procedures, like the platform ratification.  Some of those less sexy rituals may actually end up having something to do with election reform.

3)  By abstaining on the floor the whole nation would briefly be forced to consider this issue.  As reform is necessary on a national level, this is critically important on a PR level.  Nothing will ever happen unless those responsible for keeping it the way it is have a bright light pointed at them.

That’s the gist of what I’m doing here, at least on the GOP end.  If the state folks don’t get back to me soon, I am going to have to start freelancing again.  I’d rather not.  I’m as lazy as the next guy, and would love their help.