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Confusion Wins In Missouri's 'Chaotic' Caucus Process
KCUR - NPR ^ | March 17, 2012 | Frank Morris

Posted on 03/17/2012 5:03:03 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

Cassville, Mo., is a little town on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. During the Civil War, the Confederate state legislature convened here. Tuesday, the Republican presidential caucus was the big draw. Most of the rest of the state will hold its caucuses Saturday morning.

Confusion On Caucus Night

The first caucus was a messy process. More than 250 people showed up, most planning to vote directly for the candidates. But that was not to be.

David Cole, the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, told caucusgoers that they would be voting on delegates to attend district and state conventions. Those meetings are weeks from now, where Missouri's actual voting delegates will be decided. The delegates picked in this caucus won't be bound to any particular candidate, and they have to be elected in slates.

The county GOP happened to have a slate prepared, as did the Tea Party. But most folks were blindsided by the rules. Cole apologized to the angry crowd that they weren't aware of the process.

The confusion is understandable. The rules for these caucuses are different from county to county. Here in Barry County, only party activists had seen them beforehand. Frank Hubert, a robust 80-year-old in a blue blazer and tie, was one of many to stand up and vent.

"What we have had happen tonight is totally unacceptable, and it is a de facto railroad job," he said.

'Bizarre' Process Sparks Frustration

As tempers flared, it was clear the room was sharply divided between Tea Party supporters and traditional Republicans. Some likened it the caucus to the US Congress. Ralph Kelley, a retired engineer, backing Newt Gingrich, stepped out for a smoke.

"I think that we should vote the Tea Party out of the Republican Party," he says.

Tea Party folks weren't happy either.

"I think it's a joke. I think every bit of this is a joke," says Teresa Petty, a Ron Paul supporter.

The frustration is well understood 60 miles away, in the sunny offices of the political science department at Missouri State University.

"The process is chaotic. I think one word we could use is 'bizarre,'" professor George Connor says.

On top of that, he says, Missouri Republicans have already voted in a presidential primary this year, back in early February.

"We had a primary, which became a beauty contest. A million-dollar primary that didn't count for anything," he says.

Missouri Republicans decided to hand out delegates via a caucus system this year, but deadlocked with Democrats over striking the primary from the calendar. Rick Santorum won the nonbinding primary vote, but no delegates were chosen. The caucuses will do that, eventually.

'Anybody But Obama'

Back in Cassville, the Barry County Republican Party's slate won this caucus. That means the delegates from this steadfastly conservative county will probably back Mitt Romney in district and state conventions over the next couple of months. It will be at least that long before anything like a winner emerges.

Meanwhile, Frank Hubert has turned toward November.

"I'm the A.B.O., Anybody But Obama," he says.

Despite the byzantine nominating process, opposition to President Obama still unites the Republicans of Barry County.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: caucus; caucuses; conservative; gope; gopprimary; mo2012
In Pennsylvania, to pick an interesting example, NO delegates will be assigned to a candidate. None.

Each state has rules about proportioning delegates, whether they are bound or not, and when (which vote round) bound delegates are free agents.

The August GOP Convention in Tampa needs to see Romney without a GOP-e maneuvered win in hand.

1 posted on 03/17/2012 5:03:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
A lot of these "rules" have been unknown since the GOP Primary usually is "wrapped up" before now. Many states moved their dates up and were penalized. Many states changed their rules.

Let's take a look at Illinois' primary process and their 69 delegates:

"Tuesday 20 March 2012: 54 (3 from each of the 18 congressional districts) of Illinois' 69 delegates to the Republican National Convention will be directly elected in the Illinois Presidential Primary.

This is a so-called Loophole primary (a Delegate Selection Primary combined with an Advisory "beauty contest" presidential preference vote). The popular vote in the Illinois Republican Primary will have nothing whatsoever to do with the presidential preference of the 54 separately elected National Convention delegates.

Each candidate for delegate ... must file a Statement of Presidential Preference supporting a specific presidential candidate, or a statement that he/she intends to run uncommitted [SBE No. P-1E]. Note: There is no law or rule officially binding the delegates to the candidate.

Each of the State's 18 congressional districts is assigned 2 to 4 National Convention delegates- the number of delegates assigned to each district being based on the relative strength of that district's vote for the Republican presidential nominee in the previous Presidential election: a total of 54 district delegates to be directly elected by the voters and individually listed on the ballot with their presidential preferences indicated."

2 posted on 03/17/2012 5:08:35 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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I live in Missouri and I have definitely adopted a “why bother?” mindset this primary season. I voted in the February primary, but only because there was a huge city sales tax measure on the ballot (it lost). I’m definitely skipping the caucus. Besides, the fix is in anyway.


3 posted on 03/17/2012 5:17:07 AM PDT by stranger and pilgrim
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To: stranger and pilgrim

Wife and I are going to the caucus in Camden County this morning.

From reading the story above, the rules need a re-write, f’sure.


4 posted on 03/17/2012 5:21:28 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Beware the Sweater Vest)
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To: All

Over the last week I’ve had the opportunity to watch “Game Change” and “The Undefeated.”

It was interesting to note striking similarities in how Gingrich and Palin were portrayed once they threatened the Establishment.

They’re “crazy,” “egotistic” and “power hungry.”

But prior to being labeled thus by their own party, they were heroes of reform and limited government.

Both had a barrage of ethics violations (that were later dismissed) aimed at them to force them to “quit.” Which they both did in the end to allow their party to govern.

Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are both feared by the Establishment. They are recognized as effective leaders, who will offer true conservative change.

This GOP Primary MUST go all the way to the floor in Tampa.


5 posted on 03/17/2012 5:23:01 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
A report by National Public Radio.(/S)
6 posted on 03/17/2012 5:27:49 AM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: TYVets

Yes. A report from NPR.


7 posted on 03/17/2012 5:32:02 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

This is a BS story. That’s why a caucus is different from a primary.

First the whiners want the process reserved for those committed to being Republican, but when it’s designed that way the whiners want to raid the process and leave a mess for someone else (who better agree with them!) to clean up.

Grow up!


8 posted on 03/17/2012 5:32:28 AM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

It’s a gorgeous day in the Ozarks. Surely you have something better to do.


9 posted on 03/17/2012 5:38:10 AM PDT by stranger and pilgrim
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To: jjotto

Morris said Romney doubled back to MO this week to “try to peel off some of Rick’s delegates. Looks like it was to make sure he stole Rick’s delegates.


10 posted on 03/17/2012 5:42:14 AM PDT by Kenny
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To: jjotto
Grow up!

I don't know what prompted your anger but my purpose for posting this thread was to make the comment beneath it so FReepers could look at the process in their states or others (primary or caucus) and realize how fluid this will be going into the GOP Convention in August -- that the delegate numbers reported as being FOR each candidate are really not much to go by.

11 posted on 03/17/2012 6:33:09 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I am waiting for a story on NPR about lack of Voter ID in Missouri before I call them credible.

A story about the dead voting in St Louis would be a good one for them to cover, but I will not hold my breath for that one.

12 posted on 03/17/2012 6:47:25 AM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
The Missouri Process


Participation in the caucuses is limited Republicans who are registered to vote in that county.

Thursday 15 March - Saturday 24 March 2012: County Caucuses. Participants elect delegates to the Congressional District Conventions and State Convention. The number of delegates per county is determined by the Missouri Republican Party based upon the number of Republican votes cast in the last presidential election.

  • There is no formal system applied in the County Caucus to relate the presidential preference of the County Caucus delegates to the election of delegates to the District and State Convention. The delegates in attendance at each caucus alone determine if presidential preference is to be a factor and, if so, how it is to be applied.

Date breakout-- Chariton County: 15 March, Wayne County: 16 March, most counties: 17 March, Jackson County / city of St. Louis: 24 March.

 

Saturday 21 April 2012: 24 of 52 delegates to the National Convention are elected and bound to Presidential contenders in today's Congressional District Conventions.

Delegates, elected at the County Conventions, meet in each of the state's 8 Congressional Districts. Each District elects 3 National Convention District delegates.

  • Before voting begins, the National Convention Delegate candidates indicate their Presidential Preference. The Convention participants then cast ballots for the individual candidates.
  • There is no formal system applied in the District Convention to relate the presidential preference of the District Convention delegates to the choice of the district's delegates to the National Republican Convention. The delegates in attendance at each District Convention alone determine if presidential preference is to be a factor and, if so, how it is to be applied.

National Convention delegates are bound on the first ballot unless released by the candidate.

 

Saturday 2 June 2012: 25 (10 base at-large delegates plus 15 bonus delegates) of 52 delegates to the National Convention are elected and bound to Presidential contenders at today's State Convention. These At-Large delegates are elected by the convention as a whole.

  • Before voting begins, the National Convention Delegate candidates indicate their Presidential Preference and organize into slates. The Convention participants then cast ballots for a slate rather than the individual candidates. The slate receiving the most votes, goes to the National Convention.
  • There is no formal system applied in the State Convention to relate the presidential preference of the State Convention delegates to the choice of the convention's delegates to the National Republican Convention. The delegates in attendance alone determine if presidential preference is to be a factor and, if so, how it is to be applied.

In addition, 3 party leaders, the National Committeeman, the National Committeewoman, and the chairman of the Missouri's Republican Party, will attend the convention as unpledged delegates by virtue of their position.

National Convention delegates are bound on the first ballot unless released by the candidate.


The Feb. 7, 2012 Non binding Primary results.

Candidate Popular
Vote
Delegate Votes
Soft
Pledged
Soft
Unpledged
Soft
Total
Hard Total
Santorum, Richard J. "Rick" 138,957  55.17%        
Romney, Willard "Mitt" 63,826  25.34%        
Paul, Ronald E. "Ron" 30,641  12.17%        
Uncommitted 9,859   3.91%        
Perry, James Richard "Rick" 2,463   0.98%        
Cain, Herman 2,314   0.92%        
Bachmann, Michele M. 1,690   0.67%        
Huntsman, Jon M., Jr. 1,045   0.41%        
Johnson, Gary Earl 547   0.22%        
Meehan, Michael J. 364   0.14%        
Drummond, Keith 162   0.06%        
Total 251,868 100.00%

13 posted on 03/17/2012 7:05:06 AM PDT by deport (..............God Bless Texas............)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

“Back in Cassville, the Barry County Republican Party’s slate won this caucus. That means the delegates from this steadfastly conservative county will probably back Mitt Romney”

What a bizarre statement.


14 posted on 03/17/2012 7:12:02 AM PDT by smalltownslick
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To: smalltownslick

You don’t even want to know about Barry Co Mo republicans...it is crazy!


15 posted on 03/17/2012 8:32:51 AM PDT by katiedidit1 ("This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." the Irish)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I moved to MO from Virginia...Newt was not on the ballot in Virginia and he was not on the feb ballot in MO. It is so discouraging.
You don’t want to know about Cassville, MO..I live in Barry Co where this mess is mind boggling and shoddy politics at best..toss in Gov Nixon and the aburd 7 million dollar beauty contest we had...the gop is not on their game.


16 posted on 03/17/2012 8:36:31 AM PDT by katiedidit1 ("This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever." the Irish)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

If the Republican elite establishment keeps on with this nonsense stealing (yes, stealing!) the election from the Tea Party with slimy procedural tactics like this, they will have a third party challenge.

Just keep it up elites, and we the people, will have nothing lo lose by going third party. That day is coming closer.

“Selecting” Romney instead of electing a candidate who can win is not going to get rid of Obama. Romney will not get the base out there and he is fatally flawed as a candidate. Obama will sweep up the detritius as his candidacy falls apart.

Remember Dole? Remember McCain? Can we afford that nonsense this time? Heck no!! You country club types better pray that some real democracy happens in the convention or else!!!


17 posted on 03/17/2012 8:50:08 AM PDT by helpfulresearcher (This is the battle for the soul of the Republic.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Here's the point: Santorum won 63% of the vote. Romney gets the delegates. Welcome to Demokracy.
18 posted on 03/17/2012 8:57:13 AM PDT by dangus
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To: stranger and pilgrim
Voted for 12 delegates and 12 alternates for District 3, Camden county. Most are Santorum supporters. All are bound to vote for Rick on the first round of voting when the next step happens in Springfield in June.
A few Ron Paul people attended. And a few Romney supporters who said they would vote for Rick and then vote for Romney.
I didn't hear or see anyone for Newt, which was a surprise.
19 posted on 03/17/2012 11:02:24 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Beware the Sweater Vest)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

That is a very stupid process, meant to be so complicated that only the party officials can navigate them.


20 posted on 03/17/2012 11:10:08 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: dangus

bump


21 posted on 03/17/2012 11:27:36 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

In Butler Ounty we only had about a 8 or 10 for Newt, Paul’s slate got 81 votes & the other slate got 108 & appeared to be fairly well divided between the other 2.. Our delegates, party faithfuls, are not bound to vote for anyone. What a sham! I so want a primary next time!


22 posted on 03/17/2012 11:44:14 AM PDT by PoplarBluffian
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Apologies. I was targeting the author of the story, not necessarily you. Most delegate counts touted are indeed just fantasies that ignore the details of the rules by which delegates are actually selected.

And yes, there are plenty of FReepers who want ‘outsiders’ excluded from the process, but then feel cheated by the insiders’ choices. How can it possibly be both ways?


23 posted on 03/17/2012 2:45:25 PM PDT by jjotto ("Ya could look it up!")
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To: PoplarBluffian
I just saw on KY3 that the Springfield caucus went overwhelmingly for Ron Paul. This, after Santorum took the state in the vote a month ago.

Missouri's election rule are bizarre.

24 posted on 03/17/2012 5:32:18 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (Beware the Sweater Vest)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6sKbpR24ASM#

http://www.dailypaul.com/221322/urgent-can-any-parlimentarian-help-with-this-real-time-caucus-issue-like-nv-in-2008

http://www.dailypaul.com/221346/this-is-brent-stafford-from-missouri

http://www.examiner.com/political-buzz-in-st-louis/st-charles-caucus-ends-near-riot-with-no-delegates-aw


25 posted on 03/17/2012 6:20:54 PM PDT by widdle_wabbit (taglines don't always work.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
If you cut to the chase and read between the lines, the message is that the GOP is totally defunct as a political party, not only at the beltway level, but the state and county levels as well. Completely corrupted. The end result will be a total fiasco at the National in Tampa in the Fall. The thieves will have fallen to fighting among themselves over the rapidly diminishing spoils of their crime.

It will make entertaining television, and whoever comes out alive will be able to pick up enough pieces to run a decent campaign. But don't expect any integrity from this party, ever again. You can stick a fork in the GOP--it' s done.

26 posted on 03/17/2012 6:34:14 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

I didn’t hear or see anyone for Newt, which was a surprise.


Newt blew off the earlier vote, so it’s really no surprise.


27 posted on 03/17/2012 6:44:23 PM PDT by magritte (Gladys Knight: Mormon Siren?)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Paul came in second in Cape County & had we voted for candidates instead of slates he might have given Santorum a run for his money here. His organization really got out the vote. Most people I know decided not to go after they found out how we were doing it. The state should have had the same rules every where instead of giving the counties an option. Bizarre, indeed.......


28 posted on 03/17/2012 6:48:46 PM PDT by PoplarBluffian
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To: deport

Thank you deport. I was off line most of yesterday.


29 posted on 03/18/2012 1:20:17 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: katiedidit1
...the gop is not on their game.

Bump!

30 posted on 03/18/2012 1:21:40 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: stranger and pilgrim
The fix was certainly in on the caucus. Even the Republican party establishment was not consistent in its enforcement of caucus rules. I could find no published basic guideline of rules from the party. We were lied to and denied advanced copies of local caucus rules. Our rules committee never met during the Caucus. A valid motion to have rules committee members elected from the floor in addition to appointments was suppressed and invalidated by a phone call from a unnamed GOP representative to the caucus Parliamentarian. We were only allowed to amend the local rules no additions from the floor. The caucus process backfired on the Establishment, in an effort to steer the delegate selection process toward Mitt, they have alienated the Tea Party. The party needs to understand that if they don't treat the Tea Party fairly they can kiss their chances for future victories GOODBYE. They have definitely jeopardized their long term viability and they will soon become a footnote in the political environment as inconsequential as the Libertarian Party. So the delegate selection process and binding of delegates is no more valid or reliable in the caucus than it is in the primary, its always slanted to the establishment.
31 posted on 03/18/2012 6:06:27 AM PDT by woodpile
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