Notes on Saturday SD-14 Convention

From: Don Z.
Sent on: Monday, April 23, 2012 3:58 PM

First, let me congratulate everyone who showed up at the Convention on Saturday, and helped us win an improbable battle to restore the SD-14 Precinct Caucus Rule.  I want to assure you all that a very competent and productive team contributed to this remarkable outcome, and many of us worked very hard on it.  We faced the most skilled, experienced, well liked, and arguably, powerful team of Bill Crocker and Kirk Overbey, who are recognized as the most trusted experts in GOP political Convention Rules and questions and procedures in Texas, and beyond.  We must admit that you do NOT win such a contest without help from the Hand of Providence, and we acknowledge that.  We also acknowledge the courage and integrity of Dr. Ron Paul, who has endured decades of attacks from unscrupulous power brokers - Dr. Paul's example inspired enough people to make the difference in winning this important battle, but in fact we must recognize that many non-Ron Paul supporters also supported our victory.


Second, I want it publicly acknowledged that the reason I was kept off the Rules Committee by the leadership was so that I would NOT have the opportunity to present a "minority report" rationale for keeping Precinct Caucusing, from a position of credibility as a Rules Committee member, speaking from the podium as my opposition did.  This is important, because I did not have proper time or recognition to present the argument which could well have earned a 2/3rds vote in favor on the FIRST vote, saving us valuable time, and avoiding so much divisiveness and confrontation which spilled into the night.  Leadership pounded away with an argument of "complexity" and "uncertainty" of the 2010 data, and the new configuration of 4 Senate Districts and 5 Congressional District.  In fact, Harris County had 7 SDs, and 9 CDs, and made no such excuses for "complexity"; they held Precinct Caucuses on Saturday, as they have for nearly 20 years.  I had many other such rational arguments in favor of keeping our Caucuses that I had no opportunity to make.


Third, the strong arming to stop our side from distributing copies of our proposed Precinct Caucusing was unseemly, but completely ineffective.  We asserted our Constitutional right to distribute pertinent political information at a political convention; however, the misguided efforts to suppress our right to be heard really deserves an apology.  There was some irony in the fact that our opposition refused to release their Temporary Rules, even when asked to do so many days in advance; at the same time, our opposition attempted to suppress our right to distribute our rule.  Such attempts to keep delegates uninformed should be corrected in future conventions.


Fourth, we should not appreciate the Robert's Rules manipulation which attempted to impose a 2/3rds vote on initial Rule adoption which the people intuitive knew should have been simple majority.  The sophistry of that 2/3rds argument hurt the credibility of our leadership, in my opinion, and I'm very grateful that nearly 2/3rds of the Delegates -- far greater than the percentage of just "Ron Paul" people, contributed to that vote which restored our voting rights for Precinct Caucusing.


Fifth, it appears that leadership was so confident of regaining exclusive power to nominate all Delegates that they had no plan for quickly merging the at-large list with the Precinct Caucus list.  Consequently, while the Precinct Caucuses finished in under 30 minutes, the Nominations Committee was still not finished when they read their list at about 10:30 PM in the garage, after 5 hours or so.  We passed the Delegate list so we could see the Delegate list (namely, which slots had not been filled at all); but after passing the list we still couldn't get the list.  This must not happen again, and we must continue to work for more transparent and more competent technical solutions for the Nominations process.


I want to thank all the 2010 SD-14 Delegates who voted for me to serve as your SREC Committeeman for the past two years, and I ask for your vote again at the June Convention.  Let us press on the restore the Constitution, and the Texas GOP platform, and better local control of our political process.

Don Zimmerman

SREC SD-14 Committeeman


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