Nevada Republican State Convention

 

The Nevada Republican convention yesterday started with the
McQueen High School Band Color Guard marching in with the flag. As they played
snippets from It’s a Grand Old Flag, Anchor’s Away, The Marine Corps Song –
"From the Halls of Iwo Jima to the shores of Tripoli" and Sousa marches
like The Stars and Stripes  Forever my
heart swelled and I felt proud to be a small part of our political process. By
the end of the day most if not all of the participants at the convention felt
disappointed if not disgusted by the convention. I suspect the objective of the
party leaders was to have a pep rally for John McCain but it didn’t turn out
that way.

I blogged earlier about the caucuses and being a delegate to
the county convention.  I was looking
forward to attending the state convention and although it was a long shot I
applied to be a delegate to the national
convention.

The state convention did not get off to an auspicious start.
Congressman Dean Heller spoke first. He talked about what he believes that
Republicans believe. His priorities were weird and to me unbelievable. First was
his strong opposition to Gay marriage, second his opposition to illegal
immigration and the need to build a fence, third the need for English to be the
official language.  Next he got to things
like the need for an energy policy, the importance of mining and how hunting
and fishing are much more important than wilderness areas. Finally he got to
the war and not wanting to “cut and run”.  He ended by  saying that someone who can’t
score better than a 40 bowling is not fit to be President nor is someone who
can’t remember if they have been under sniper fire fit to answer the white house crisis phone when it rings at 3 in the morning.

I was disgusted. If he represents  what it means to be a Republican maybe I
should change my registration. I am a conservative.  I am very concerned about the war and how we
are going to get out of this mess. I believe that the economy is in serious
trouble. I believe that tax and spend policies like those of this administration
are a disaster.  I support gay marriage,
I think immigration is what has made this country strong, I am not in the least
concerned about our ‘official language’,  I treasure our wilderness areas, I don’t
think that electing a liberal is they way out but I also don’t think that Dean
Heller represents my views. I certainly won’t be voting for him.

Governor Jim Gibbons spoke next. He was much more
impressive. He talked about the challenges of the state economy and how he will
handle the state budget problems while not raising taxes. He talked about
living within our means,  his commitment
to no tax and spend fiscal irresponsibility and that we have a spending problem
not a revenue problem. He got a lot of cheers  when he said we can just turn to California to
see “What a tax and spend Democratic State will get you”. He said “businesses
can just keep on coming to Nevada as an alternative”

Then  Mitt Romney
spoke. He addressed what he sees  as the
major problems facing our country. His priorities were in stark contrast to
those of Congressman Heller and were much closer to mine. First was Radical
Violent Jihadism, second was the economy which he said is the worst since World
War II, third was the need to solve our energy challenges and the fact that we
send over a billion dollars a day to other countries for energy. Finally he talked about culture. He referred
to the book “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations” which he quoted as saying that “culture
makes all the difference”.  Romney and I
don’t agree on what is necessary to nurture and protect our culture but
otherwise his priorities are right on. His
ending was inspiring as he talked about his optimism about the future. It was a
good speech.

Republican_convention_029

While all this was going on the credential committee was
doing their work. They took a really long time to total up the numbers of delegates
and seat the alternates. Until the Credential committee’s  report was completed and accepted no real
business could be done. Finally they reported that there were 1,347 delegates
present and we could get down to work.

Republican_convention_037_2

But first Ron Paul had to speak. He received  by far the biggest ovation of anyone at the
convention. His statements like “The Republican party needs to stick to its
roots and be a conservative party” ,  “The
purpose of government is to secure and preserve liberty”,  and  that the “constitution is meant to restrain the government and not government
to restrain the people” are why he is so
popular. But when he gets  to his kooky
ideas like we need to get rid of the Federal Reserve System, we should have no
income tax or IRS, We should quit having military bases abroad to “maintain our
empire” he loses any credibility.  Even
though he was wildly popular with many at the convention he is just too much of
a nut for me.

OK,  now we could get
down to business. The objective of the convention is to elect delegates to the
national convention and elect a platform. It quickly became clear as the rules
were debated that the Ron Paul supporters were staging a coup. After wild debate and several votes,  the establishment of the party was overruled. The
most vocal and time consuming speaker was a guy names Mike Weber. What a jerk.
He sure loved to hear himself talk. The convention voted to not  accept  the
slate of delegates to the National convention recommended by the nominating
committee and instead take nominations  from
the floor.

Republican_convention_031_2

Apparently many people never got the form to apply to be delegates
and anyway people really wanted to elect Ron Paul delegates. To make the
process workable it was suggested that we each vote for 5 and the top vote getters would be delegates.
But that was overruled and the majority wanted each of us to vote for 34 delegates
and  34 alternates. Given that there were
at least 300 people who were going to nominated either from the applications or
from the floor the whole process was controlled chaos. Just to vote on the
three delegates that had to be elected from each congressional district took
over an hour. For our district the vote counters had to count  over 700 ballots, each with  three hand written names from a list of over
100 candidates.  By 6:00 the results were
still not in and we hadn’t even started selecting the  delegates at large.

Meanwhile the platform was presented. It was a compromise document
and contained a little bit of everything of what any and all Republican’s in the state want. We
didn’t even start considering it until after 5:00. The option to consider the
platform plank by plank was voted down. Out of what I think was shear fatigue the
platform was accepted as a whole with virtually no debate. To me the platform
is an embarrassment. It includes things like “livestock grazing shall be increased
immediately on federal land”, “We support the withdrawal of the United States
from the United Nations” ,  “We support
the repeal of the Federal Reserve Act” and “We demand a return to a gold and/or
silver backed currency”.  But there was no way the platform was going to
get fixed and of course it has no impact and will never be used for anything –
it doesn’t matter. So I’ll admit I voted
to just accept it and move on.

I figured we would be there well into the night to choose
the delegates to the national convention. I couldn’t even imagine how the logisitics
of getting it done were going to work.  Then
abruptly at about 5:55 the chairman announced that we were going into overtime for
the Peppermill contract and with a bang of his gavel the convention was
adjourned to be reconvened at a future date and time to be announced by Monday.

The delegates were dumbfounded “What the Hell??” was the most
common statement I heard as I was leaving.  So, the  bottom line is that the convention is to be
continued…  Maybe this will give the
establishment of the party time to figure out how to get control back. I wonder
how many people will show up for the reconvened convention. How many people will
travel to Reno or wherever. I know I
have plans for the next few weeks so I don’t know if I will be there. It will
be interesting to see what happens.

According to the Reno Gazette Journal this morning I
guess I left too soon. Ron Paul supporters led by the obnoxious Mike Weber
tried to reconvene the convention but didn’t have a quorum. It sounds like there was a lot of shouting
and heckling.

My big take away from the convention is that the rank and
file of the Republican Party is fed up and disillusioned with where the current
administration has taken the Republican Party. To paraphrase Hess, the guy who
sat next to me –  “ McCain is the nominee
of the party.  I know that Ron Paul doesn’t
have a chance and I can’t support some of his weirder positions but,  voting for Ron Paul is making a statement that
we are fed up and disgusted with the  where the establishment is taking this party.
This is our way to stand up and be heard.”

Author: marionvermazen

I am a traveler, hiker, avid reader, Sun alumnus, computer geek, Spanish and French language student, knitter and genealogist. I am retired after working for almost 30 years in the Computer Industry. I live in Reno, Nevada with my husband Duke.

One thought on “Nevada Republican State Convention”

  1. The link below is to a YouTube video which gives details about what happened at the state convention and later up until the national convention:

    Like

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