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March 21st, 2012
 

SCC Member and Ron Paul Backer Jeremiah Johnson Supports Reconvening Convention

First District GOP State Central Committee Representative Jeremiah Johnson differs with the Republican Party of Iowa and is backing the group of fellow Ron Paul supporters who want to reconvene the Scott County GOP convention. Johnson drafted an email to the county’s delegates and alternates explaining his reasoning. Johnson is a longtime Ron Paul supporter and a part of the Super Liberty group that is demanding the reconvening, which is scheduled to take place Thursday evening.

Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker, the former state vice-chairman of Ron Paul’s campaign, sent a letter to delegates on Monday explaining that the scheduled March 22 meeting will have “no binding authority” and “the authority to call a convention rests solely with the Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa”.

To Scott County delegates and alternates,

This is Jeremiah Johnson, State Central Committee Member and delegate to the Scott County 2012 Convention.

I understand the political ramifications of making a statement on this matter and the media crucifixion that likely will ensue.

I have spent my time, money, and energy in supporting the Republican Party of Iowa but am one of the few members who does not turn in expenses for reimbursements nor has ever been paid for any of my political involvements. Like all of you, I’ve got my skin in the game. However, I have no choice in the matter but to make a statement on this as my values require that the law preside above partisanship and my own interests. That is what is at stake here: The law.

Before you write me off as being vested in a particular outcome, I would point out that I’m currently a delegate on the slate allegedly elected at the Convention. In other words, this reconvening risks my NOT being seated as a delegate.

However, on March 10th, for the following reasons, the slate that was allegedly adopted was not lawfully elected and here are the reasons why:

1.     Robert’s Rules of Order Revised were adopted as the rules governing our Convention(Adopted Convention Rule I.A.).

2.     Robert’s Rules require that “…the chair asks if there are any other nominations, when they may be made from the floor. The committee’s nominations are treated just as if made by members from the floor, no vote being taken on accepting them. When the nominations are completed the assembly proceeds to the election,…“(RROR Article XI, 66).

3.     An attempt at nominating another slate was struck down by an actor “chair”. Upon appeal, the actor “chair” proceeded again to strike down any non-committee nominations, and violating Robert’s Rules Article XI, 66; making any election that followed being done, as such, outside of the Rules adopted.

i.          This actor “chair” was never elected by the assembly of delegates, as required by Robert’s Rules 71(b) and 58.

ii.          Absent a chair elected by the body of delegates appointing a nominating committee, or the body of delegates electing a nominating committee, there is no nominating committee and the nomination made is only that of the individual.

iii.          There is question as to whether that individual nominating the slate, who was elected as an alternate at caucus, was seated as a delegate and could make a nomination to the assembly.

4.     The non-appointed parliamentarian proceeded to assist in obstructing nominations, prior to a vote, by stating that we would either vote the slate up or down, and if voted down, it would go back to the “nominating committee” to present another slate, and we would vote that up or down and proceed as such until we accepted what they presented. In other words, the spirit and intent of Robert’s Rules 64 was obstructed through fraudulent statements.

5.     Nominations were never closed.

For the above reasons, regardless of who was on the slate or how favorable it is to a given faction, there was no lawful election of delegates that occurred as it was done outside of the rules the assembly adopted.

Certain statements have been made regarding this reconvening Thursday night, I can only presume, in an attempt to prevent a quorum from being reached. One of such statements is that Article IX., section 3 of the Constitution of the Republican Party of Iowa means only the chair (or State Central Committee) can set the date of reconvening. It states “The Republican State Central Committee shall set the date of the county convention in each county of the State.”

There is a particular word in that section that this question balances on, and that is the word “the county convention“. It does not say “any county convention” or “a county convention“. It is specific to the county convention referred to in the Iowa Code 43.4, which states, “Such conventions… shall be held on the same day throughout the state.” Let me clarify that we have already done that and the responsibility under Article IX. has been fulfilled.

Later the Iowa Code states “When… the county convention in any county of the district has adjourned without selecting delegates to such convention, the county convention shall be reconvened for the purpose of making such selection.“(Iowa Code 43.85)

If there was not a lawful election, we must reconvene, and I would encourage all delegates participate so as to represent your constituents. Absent the RPI Constitution or Iowa Code specifying who has authority to set the date for reconvening, the authority resides in the assembly of delegates.

Furthermore, special county conventions occur on a regular basis without the State Central Committee setting the date for such. This is because the RPI Constitution does not delegate this responsibility on the State Central Committee in such cases. Likewise, no place in the RPI Constitution can it be found that we have delegated the responsibility of setting the date for a reconvening of a Convention, as required under Iowa Code. Absent that delegation, the responsibility rests in the body delegates to do so.

As a delegate, authority from the people has been delegated to you for convening and carrying out the purposes of the Convention. That authority has not been vested in the County Central Committee Chair, the State Party Chair, nor the attorney of the State Party. As shown above, law requires we reconvene so delegates from Scott County may be elected. If the question has been raised, it will be the body of delegates that has the authority to determine whether the slate of delegates allegedly adopted is in fact the slate to proceed.

The law not only provides for us to reconvene; it requires it, so that we may have lawfully elected delegates. Following the law is what creates the line of authority to allow the Republican Party to have candidates listed on the ballots in November here in Iowa. Absent following the law, we risk losing our place on the ticket.

We are no better than certain parties that we condemn for not obeying the law to get political agendas through if we can’t obey the law ourselves and accept the outcome of what this autonomous body of delegates decides. Now is the time for us to decide our values. Are your personal interests and biases more important than an adherence to the law? Will we set the standard for the State of Iowa and country by following the law? Or will we crack under political pressure and the fear of media condemnation? I’ve made my decision. Time for yours.

Best regards,

s/Jeremiah Johnson

Iowa Republican State Central Committee Member


About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.




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