Caucus Review

Yesterday, I presented a recap of Cass County’s caucus with my observations.  Today is a continuation on that caucus theme…not the results of the weekend but on the conduct of the caucuses across the state.

I have to say that the conduct of some attendees across the state have been…well words fail me, let’s use atrocious.  Some of that behavior, as it appears from the videos out of the St. Charles caucus, was planned.  Other instances, supported by my observations of the Cass County caucus, was through ignorance of the process and of Robert’s Rules of Order.

When I was in High School a number of decades ago, Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedures were taught in the government and speech classes.  The latter was an elective, the former, at least at that time in Illinois, was not.

In those classes, we conducted meetings using Robert’s Rules.  We were taught how to use them and how the Rules allowed maximum communication while preventing chaos.  Such topics and school instruction seem to have fallen by the wayside in today’s “modern” curriculum.

The parliamentary procedures are necessary if the meeting is not to fall into a shouting match.  The St. Charles caucus failed to control the mob.  In retrospect, it now appears that there was nothing the St. Charles chairman could have done.  The disruption was planned in advance with the intent of seizing control of the caucus. We were more fortunate in Cass County, although for a while, our meeting got a bit boisterous as well.

It is important to recognize that when a dozen or more people are shouting, no one can be heard from that herd.  There’s a reason why adherence to the Rules are important.

Now that the caucus is over, it’s time to review the caucus and make a “lessons learned” list.  What was done well, such as the credentialing process, and what must be done better.  For the latter, let me present some ideas.

1.  Have an alternate site available in advance with working P/A facilities.  The auditorium where we met was the right size, but it lacked a P/A.  That made it difficult for the chairman to be heard in all corners of the room.
2. Building on the P/A…have a wireless mic available for speakers from the floor.  Once recognized, the speaker could be handed the mic and then be heard throughout the room.
3.  If the site is moved at the last minute, post a sign with a map and instruction were to find the new site.  I was told by a number of folks that no sign nor map was posted at the New Justice Center.  Some folks were late and were not allowed to enter.  My Pastor and his wife were some of those turned away.
4.  Better communication with the public.  Before the meeting, I roamed the room greeting folks.  One common question was, “Where’s the ballot box?”  All to many thought the caucus was just like the primary with a ballot.  Many people there did not know they would not be voting on a presidential candidate but for delegates.
5.  If I heard correctly, only the four team leaders and the chairman had a copy of the proposed rules submitted by the Rules Committee.  Going forward, copies should be available as handouts to be distributed as attendees passed through the credentialing process.  Our caucus referred to the rules numerous times during the meeting.  I had an opportunity to glance over them at the beginning of the meeting.  Most of those attending did not and did not understand some of the issues under discussion.

6. Provide a brief handout on parliamentary procedures, explanations for “Points of Order, Points of Information, and Question.”

7.  Finally, the county Central Committee should, and may have such already, schedule a review of the planning and performance of the caucus.  Along with that review, record a “lessons learned” document for any future events.  We don’t, as a party, want continue to make the same mistakes if/when the next caucus occurs.

I’m sure those who were more actively involved in the planning and conduct of the caucus can add more to my short list above.  It is as important to document what went well as that that didn’t go well.  When the next caucus or large meeting occurs, use those lessons learned to make that future event a success. 

As important Robert’s Rules of Order are for a successful event, risk management—what could go wrong and how to mitigate the risks, is a top tool for planning.  Lessons Learned provide input to the risk management process to make the meeting move smoothly.

Judging from the size of caucuses across the state, the Republican Party has grown.  More and more are interested in Grass Roots politics.  Many, such as myself, are becoming more active to work within the Party and to restore confidence in our government and respect to the Constitution.  The Party as a whole must be prepared to accept these new members and integrate them into all levels from the local, through the state and on to the national committees.

We have a great opportunity before us. To paraphrase Archy Bunker, “Let us not screw this up!”

Democrat Version of Constituent Service

Representative Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH, earned her seat by attending her opponent’s, Representative Jeb Bradley, Town Hall meetings, heckling the speakers and generally disrupting the entire process. Worked well for her. She won the election.

Now, Ms Shea-Porter is the incumbent and she does not appreciate being asked uncomfortable questions, such as, “Why is the SEIU present?” Rather than answer questions such as these, she has the man, a retired police officer, removed from the room.

Video: Shea-Porter has constituent arrested at town-hall forum

posted at 1:20 pm on August 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Share on Facebook | printer-friendly

This is a curious re-election strategy, especially for a Representative who made her name by bird-dogging her former Congressman at his town-hall forums. Consistency isn’t Carol Shea-Porter’s strong suit, apparently, as she demonstrates in this clip from the meeting she finally held with constituents after dodging them for most of the month. When one of her constituents challenges the presence of union enforcers in the crowd, Shea-Porter asks for police intervention:

I’ve watched this video a couple of times, and I still can’t figure out why the police took this man out of the room. He was actually less disruptive than the woman behind him. He challenged Shea-Porter on the appearance of SEIU protesters in the room, one of whom got up and disrupted his question. When the first man then challenged the residency of the SEIU rep, police swooped in and removed him.

According to Now Hampshire, they removed the man because he didn’t get a Golden Ticket to allow him to speak at the meeting:

In four short years Carol Shea-Porter has evolved from a rabble-rousing, town hall disrupting anti-war activist who once had to be forcibly removed from a President George Bush event in Portsmouth to a Member of Congress who instructed armed security guards to remove a frustrated voter from her own town hall event in Manchester on Saturday.

In the appended video, Shea-Porter can be seen instructing security to remove a man for standing to ask a question without a ticket. Shea-Porter previously held a lottery to determine who could ask questions. She can also be heard taunting the man on his way out by saying, “I do hope the movie theater can be a little quieter for you.”

Now Hampshire also reports that the man they removed is Carl Tomanelli — a retired policeman.

Shea-Porter heaped disparagement on “tea-baggers” who showed up to dissent on ObamaCare, which is rich with irony, considering Shea-Porter’s history:

“The irony is, of course, that Shea-Porter used to be a ‘tea-bagger’ on the left,” writes Nashua Telegraph columnist Kevin Landrigan. “She stalked then-congressman Jeb Bradley at town hall-style meetings the 1st District Republican incumbent held throughout his district.”

Four years ago Carol Shea-Porter protested at the State House alongside people dressed as Nazis while accusing the federal government of trying “to brand us like sheep.” On Saturday, she disparagingly referred to people who do not trust the same federal government to run our health care system as “these people.”

“We remember when, Carol, do you,” asks Landrigan.

But that was when she was one of the hoi polloi. Now, she’s in power, and Shea-Porter doesn’t deign to take questions without preselecting who can speak in her presence. And that’s a re-election strategy that is both all too familiar and increasing unlikely to succeed in 2010.

Typical democrat. “Us elitist need not respond to questions from the plebs! Boot’em out!”

A well-known democrat pollster and prognosticator says that 2010 democrat losses in congress will be in double-digits. I think his estimate is too conservative.

Democrat Version of Constituent Service

Representative Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH, earned her seat by attending her opponent’s, Representative Jeb Bradley, Town Hall meetings, heckling the speakers and generally disrupting the entire process. Worked well for her. She won the election.

Now, Ms Shea-Porter is the incumbent and she does not appreciate being asked uncomfortable questions, such as, “Why is the SEIU present?” Rather than answer questions such as these, she has the man, a retired police officer, removed from the room.

Video: Shea-Porter has constituent arrested at town-hall forum

posted at 1:20 pm on August 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey
Share on Facebook | printer-friendly

This is a curious re-election strategy, especially for a Representative who made her name by bird-dogging her former Congressman at his town-hall forums. Consistency isn’t Carol Shea-Porter’s strong suit, apparently, as she demonstrates in this clip from the meeting she finally held with constituents after dodging them for most of the month. When one of her constituents challenges the presence of union enforcers in the crowd, Shea-Porter asks for police intervention:

I’ve watched this video a couple of times, and I still can’t figure out why the police took this man out of the room. He was actually less disruptive than the woman behind him. He challenged Shea-Porter on the appearance of SEIU protesters in the room, one of whom got up and disrupted his question. When the first man then challenged the residency of the SEIU rep, police swooped in and removed him.

According to Now Hampshire, they removed the man because he didn’t get a Golden Ticket to allow him to speak at the meeting:

In four short years Carol Shea-Porter has evolved from a rabble-rousing, town hall disrupting anti-war activist who once had to be forcibly removed from a President George Bush event in Portsmouth to a Member of Congress who instructed armed security guards to remove a frustrated voter from her own town hall event in Manchester on Saturday.

In the appended video, Shea-Porter can be seen instructing security to remove a man for standing to ask a question without a ticket. Shea-Porter previously held a lottery to determine who could ask questions. She can also be heard taunting the man on his way out by saying, “I do hope the movie theater can be a little quieter for you.”

Now Hampshire also reports that the man they removed is Carl Tomanelli — a retired policeman.

Shea-Porter heaped disparagement on “tea-baggers” who showed up to dissent on ObamaCare, which is rich with irony, considering Shea-Porter’s history:

“The irony is, of course, that Shea-Porter used to be a ‘tea-bagger’ on the left,” writes Nashua Telegraph columnist Kevin Landrigan. “She stalked then-congressman Jeb Bradley at town hall-style meetings the 1st District Republican incumbent held throughout his district.”

Four years ago Carol Shea-Porter protested at the State House alongside people dressed as Nazis while accusing the federal government of trying “to brand us like sheep.” On Saturday, she disparagingly referred to people who do not trust the same federal government to run our health care system as “these people.”

“We remember when, Carol, do you,” asks Landrigan.

But that was when she was one of the hoi polloi. Now, she’s in power, and Shea-Porter doesn’t deign to take questions without preselecting who can speak in her presence. And that’s a re-election strategy that is both all too familiar and increasing unlikely to succeed in 2010.

Typical democrat. “Us elitist need not respond to questions from the plebs! Boot’em out!”

A well-known democrat pollster and prognosticator says that 2010 democrat losses in congress will be in double-digits. I think his estimate is too conservative.

Sen. McCaskill: You should fire me

Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill, fresh from her union and ACORN packed town hall in Kansas City, had a slightly different reaction from those attending her meeting in Jefferson City. Here is an audio clip. Listen to the crowd’s reaction to McCaskill’s “you should fire me,” statement.


Sen. McCaskill: You should fire me

Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill, fresh from her union and ACORN packed town hall in Kansas City, had a slightly different reaction from those attending her meeting in Jefferson City. Here is an audio clip. Listen to the crowd’s reaction to McCaskill’s “you should fire me,” statement.


Exciting Town Hall Event!!!
at Union Station
A local Kansas City grassroots event designed to enlighten and engage
August 25, 2009 at the H&R Block City Stage Theater in
Historic Union Station,7:00 – 9:00 PM

Seating is limited. Please RSVP to townhallkc@gmail.com
Stand Firm! Save Our Country!
Arm yourself with solid facts and you CAN make a difference!
Featuring: Kris Kobach Popular UMKC Professor of Law and Candidate for Kansas Secretary of State, Mr. Koback will be sharing his expertise on the proposed healthcare legislation and illegal immigration.
Cary Hall Known to midwest radio listeners as “The Health Insurance Advocate” Mr. Hall spent 9 years as a health insurance broker gaining a solid reputation of expertise. He also hosts his own show on 980 KMBZ as well as being a frequent guest of Chris Stigall and others.
Kent Baker Mr. Baker has been named one of the top ten financial advisors in the US. He will bring insight into the impact of both the healthcare and Cap and Trade proposals on both the national and state economies.
The format of the evening will be approximately 15 minutes for each speaker followed by a question and answer session with the audience!
Admission is FREE!
Donations appreciated.
Again, seating is limited. Please RSVP to townhallkc@gmail.com


For those of you who live in and near Kansas City.