The Libertarians’ Problem with the Illinois Republican Convention

Wonder why the Libertarians who went to the Illinois Republican Convention are dissatisfied with the folks who ran the Tinley Park gathering?

I couldn’t find a way to ask for permission to reprint the following, but I wanted you to have a chance to see why Ron Paul supporters are not happy with the GOP Establishment:

Ron Paul delegate appointment at the GOP convention…

Some Illinois residents on this board may have seen this story floating around.

As Parliamentarian for the Illinois Ron Paul campaign, I thought you guys might be interested in what really happened at the Illinois GOP convention.

About 85,000 Illinoisans voted for Ron Paul in the primary (about 10% of the electorate) and we wanted to appoint 6 delegates for the national convention out of 69 to represent those 85,000 (Illinois is winner take 57 and 12 are appointed at the convention).

In fact, we had 250 state Ron Paul delegates who were at the convention (20% of the delegates).

These state delegates all vote to appoint the national delegates at the coming national GOP convention.

It was me and a friend of mine (law students) against 8 Romney attorneys.

On Friday, the committee hosted an open meeting on selection of delegates but rejected our motion to put delegates up for a vote among the committee … but seeing as we had no committeemen and (it was all but impossible for a Ron Paul supporter to get on this committee… this all was expected. I informed the campaign as much.

The 250 Paul delegates attended the committee meetings but kept running up to me “saying, they did this, can they do that?”

With a heavy heart, I had to say yes every time. But I knew we had one shot on Saturday and we had our plan ready to go a week prior.

Saturday was the official convention where the delegates all voted.

And the speakers at the convention went on a tirade against Mike Madigan (who I agree rules by virtual fiat) and gave a presentation on how government in Illinois ices people out of the process in which Mike Bost spoke. You might remember him from this video that went viral: )… and so right AFTER that, this happened….

  • –> the Ron Paul wing’s written motion to put up 6 Ron Paul delegates for a floor vote was ruled out of order because we had only 37 (we had 41 but they said 4 didn’t count) out of 50 signatures by Chairmen delegations

Let’s put that ruling into context…

  • –> They refused to release the modified rules for putting forth motions until 11:20am
  • –> We were required to make the motion at 11:20am
  • –. The doors opened at 11:20am
  • –> They modified the rules to require 500 photocopies of the motion be submitted (which we knew beforehand due to a brave patriot getting us an early copy)
  • –> We submitted our motion to put up our delegate slate for a vote w/ every single requirement sans the signatures.
  • –> They invalidated 4 signatures for some unexplained reason
  • –> They had instructed everyone not to sign our motion and chairmen were afraid to sign our motion who otherwise would.
  • –> Our motion (to put 6 out of 69 delegates for Ron Paul up for a majority vote)was ruled out of order based on not enough signatures.

How is someone supported to make 500 photocopies of a motion at 11:20 am when the doors open and ruled are released at 11:20am?

Why do 500 photocopies of the motion need to be submitted?

Had the motion been entered, a delegate would have been allowed the opportunity to debate it on the floor and this all would have been on the record.

This was one of two walkouts at the Illinois Republican Convention in Tinley Park. I don't know whether it was because of the rejection of the Ron Paul delegates' desire for 10% of the at-large delegates or the failure to consider direct elections of State Central Committeemen (and the addition of elected State Central Committeewomen). The sign is for Evanston Township.

I will let you draw your own conclusions about the process.

When the doors opened at 11:20am, we RAN to the front of the hall in front of 1,000s of delegates to present our motion.

They immediately asked us for the 500 copies and it was great knowing the look on their face when they found out we actually had the 500 copies.

This meant they had to consider the motion and had to be on the record objecting to it.

They even denied it verbally on record and did so after their anti-Madigan tirade.

We now have a paper trail of this.

= = = = =

Politics ought to be a game of addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division.

Being allocated 10% of the at-large delegates does not seem like an unreasonable expectation to me.

= = = = =

Thanks to Dave Diersen’s GOPUSA Illinois for pointing me to this content.


The Libertarians’ Problem with the Illinois Republican Convention — 21 Comments

  1. This is typical Illinois politics…this is why we need change at all levels!

  2. No Paul, you are missing the point, remember George Ryan, how about Judy Barr Topinka, those are the losers we are stuck with, did you hear Joe Walsh??

    Paul supporters should have had representation.

  3. The Republican party establishment is blind to it’s own future voters.

    Look at the demographic break downs of what age groups vote for Paul.

    Many in the party don’t see this yet, but the future Republican voters are pretty energized about Paul.

    I wonder if Paul is this generations Goldwater in that he is losing the battle but could win the war.

    Only time will tell.

    In the meantime, the establishment seeks to quiet an energetic and enthusiastic voting block in it’s own party, instead of harnessing that power for the future of the party.


  4. What about the Republicans who were also shut out of the process down there in Tinley Park?

    You know… the Republicans who aren’t part of the good ole’ boy club.

    What a joke!

    Illinois is in trouble because of both parties, because the IL GOP doesn’t have the where-with-all or guts to stand up to the Madigan Machine.

  5. Gaming the system.

    It really is sad that everything comes down to that.

    No integrity left in the world because everybody is gaming the system.

  6. Wouldn’t it be easier to just name the STATE Chicago?

    How do these people face their children and instruct them to be honest and fair?

    This is NOT a sport they are playing with, It’s our lives.

    Can everyone who did it.

    Can everyone who knew about it and did’t blow the whistle.

    Can everyone who intimidates others so they don’t sign…no matter how high it goes!

  7. I know a Santorum supporter who yelled, “Nay,” when they voted on at-large delegates to the Republican National Convention. She knows that ex-Gov. Thompson, ex-Gov. Edgar, Comptroller Topinka, Sen. Radogno, and Rep. Cross are too liberal.

    I think that about twice as many people yelled, “Nay” as “Aye.” I was one of the people who yelled, “Vote in writing,” but Chairman Brady ignored us. He would have said that the motion passed, no matter what happened. Brady was like a dictator, and he didn’t care about anyone else’s views.

  8. What the ILGOP cared about was winning the primary.

    They got their guy nominated, and now they’re not willing to do what’s needed to unite the party behind him for the sake of rescuing this country from the tyrant.

    They are self-satisfied about having kept control of the convention, which was inevitable from the start.

    They have all the marbles, but they don’t know how to play.

  9. Penny, I would say both the state and county GOP have lost their marbles.

    Under Reagan, the party was advertised as a big tent.

    What happened that?

    While the screwballs who run things say so many ridiculous things, they have made one comment that might be true: Today’s GOP would not nominate Ronald Reagan.

    Mitt Romney, as a man, politician and businessman would be the best thing that could happen to the U.S., especially in light of our situation and choices.

    People who want to set themselves on fire over single-issue interests have helped divide, not unite.

    If Romney fails to knock off Obama in November, it will occur because people wanted to make a point for their “cause”, not vote for the greater good.

  10. Illinois is not winner take all in the Congressional districts. Its direct election of delegates.

  11. “can they do that?” says it all.

    Those on the outside looking in clearly had not done their homework in several areas.

    They did not do their homework to get the county chairs to appoint them to the committees.

    But then, they weren’t prepared to sit on the committees if they had been appointed.

    After the committee(s) took their votes, there were attempts to explain what the valid motions on the floor would be, including by an attorney for a wing of he establishment who seemed to want an “open but orderly and legal” process.

    He explained what would be “in order” by the rules.

    But the people (around the Ron Paul booth) had no interest in details and reality.

    Three things in politics:

    The brains to know what to do with them.

    The third is in short supply.

  12. Dear Cal and fellow Commenters:

    As parliamentarian at the State Convention, I was the person who gladly accepted the Paul filing on the floor, which was filed on-time. The motion language was entirely in-order, and included the 500 copies.

    The 500 copy requirement is simply so we can immediately pass copies of a motion that is going to be called to the delegates prior to it being called.

    The sole reason the motion was out of order was that it did not contain the required 50 delegation head signatures. There are 183 delegation heads to choose from, and the petition did not have the bare 50 required.

    That is the only reason the motion was not called.


    Craig Burkhardt

  13. Mr. Burkhardt did not address the allegations.

    – They had instructed everyone not to sign our motion and chairmen were afraid to sign our motion who otherwise would. –

  14. Dear Mark:

    As parliamentarian, my obligation of neutrality requires me to stay out of the substantive arguments made by parties concerning a motion.

    However, I would note that in the normal political advocacy that goes on during state conventions, encouraging and discouraging others from backing specific proposals is fair game.

    No person or entity has the authority to prevent any person from supporting a proposal.

    I note that the motion filed by Paul supporters includes 13 county chairmen signatures.

    Unfortunatly the motion only contained 36 delegation head signatures in total (38, if one were to include a stray mark “M” for an unknown Chicago ward committeeman, and another name scribbled on the back side of the papers filed).

    An inability to attract 14 more delegation head signatures from 147 remaining available delegation heads would seem to indicate lack of overall support for the proposition.

    Craig Burkhardt
    Convention Parliamentarian

  15. Well thanks for the reply and that’s interesting.


    There are 183 delegation heads to choose from, and the petition did not have the bare 50 required.

    Required 50 / 183 = .27

    Obtained 36 / 183 = .20

    Obtained incl Questionable 38 / 183 = .21

    About 85,000 Illinoisans voted for Ron Paul in the primary (about 10% of the electorate).

    250 state Ron Paul delegates were at the convention (20% of the 1,250 delegates).

    Neither overwhelming nor inconsequential numbers.

  16. This is in response to Craig Burkhardt:

    I am the individual who wrote the post. For the record, it was taken without my permission and posted here. What I wrote was intended to be a communication among friends, but I have no objection to its being brought here for viewing.

    – Amending the process to require 500 copies of a motion to be submitted and refusing to release this change in the rules until the deadline is evidence of bad faith. If not, what was the reason behind making this change and refusing to release the rules until 11:20 a.m.?

    – When we see delegation chairmen who were “talked to” and subsequently change their mind regarding the signature, that is evidence of bad faith.

    – Instructing all the delegation chairmen “not to sign anything” is evidence of bad faith.

    – 50 signatures meant the motion HAD to be considered (“shall”), but it still could have been considered anyway. A choice was made not to consider it. That is evidence of bad faith.

    I would also like to note how calm and under control the Ron Paul supporters were. I could not be everywhere throughout the process, but I certainly calmed down energized Paul supporters who did not like what was happening in the committee meetings. I did everything I could to ensure business was conducted in honesty and good faith on our side.

    I will take your not denying the facts mentioned above as an admission to the truth of what occurred. I concur with everything you have written as well.

    Let’s let the people of Illinois decide if the way things transpired is how they want the Illinois Republican Party to operate. But they deserve to know. I am a true believer in transparency in government. I hope you are as well.

    Michael J. Meyers

  17. I just wanted to add that I realize the rules dictate that a motion sans the signatures “shall” be out of order. So a proper retort to my comment would be, “I had no choice but to tell them they had to rule it out of order.” Nonetheless, the rules could have been amended Friday when everyone was aware the motion was going around for signatures to allow a motion to be considered using the verbiage “may be considered” in an an amendment. Instead, the rules were amended to require 500 photocopies.

    In response to the statement, “The 500 copy requirement is simply so we can immediately pass copies of a motion that is going to be called to the delegates prior to it being called.”

    Were there not more than 500 delegates present? Certainly you knew there would be over 1,000 delegates present. Why was this rule not present in the original bylaws (i.e. “any motion shall have photocopies in a quanity large enough to distribute a copy to each delegate present”? Why was the rule change not released until 11:20 a.m.?

    There is a difference between what one can technically get away with and what is morally just. I am more curious in how what transpired was appropriate than whether or not it was legal.

    Michael J. Meyers

  18. Dear Mr. Meyers:

    The Rules Committee met on Friday and approved and announced the 500-copy requirement.

    That was the day before the filing deadline.

    Your group became aware of the requirment and timely complied, so I fail to see anything unusual about this.

    I suppose the rules committee could have required 1,200 copies, but I presume they believed 500 copies would be enough to get the written message out to the delegates (if your motion had been called).

    The 50-delegation head signature requirement (out of 183) has been openly known for over 20 years now. You had notice of it, and nearly complied.

    I know anecdotally that other state convention parliamentarians and chairs chose to hear out-of-order motions from the Paul organizations, and that is just fine.

    In Illinois we have a very large convention, and the organizers have long chosen to have most substantive arguments take place in committee.

    I personally was the parliamentarian at the Platformand Resolutions Committee, and we went on for more than 3 hours.

    We also heard vigorous debate on a very contriversial matter (direct election of state central committeemen), and both sides had what could only be described as a very full and fair hearing of their issues.

    It is the organized groups that come to a convention with an adequate number of delegates and supporters who have the controlling hand.

    Craig Burkhardt

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