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Caucus goes to Ron Paul

Opponents to challenge results on procedural basis

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Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 4:55 pm | Updated: 5:23 pm, Tue Mar 20, 2012.

    FORSYTH — Saturday’s nonbinding Taney County Republican caucus was a decisive victory for Ron Paul, though the results are being formally contested to the state GOP by the losing side.

    For the Paul supporters, it was the harvest of months of planning and preparation. Though the county’s delegates for the next rounds of caucusing are free to change their minds, all of them currently back Paul, the Texas congressman known for his strong libertarian streak.

    While Paul supporters scored major wins in other caucuses Saturday by partnering with the backers of frontrunner Mitt Romney, such was not the case in Taney County.

    “We’re not bound to any one candidate, but all of Taney County’s delegates are Ron Paul supporters,” Erin Behm-Drummond said.

    Behm-Drummond and her husband, Steve Drummond, were two of the 22 delegates selected to represent Taney County at the 7th Congressional District caucus in April and the state caucus in June.

    The selection process was not without contention. A clear rift formed between Paul supporters and a group allied with the Taney County Republican Central Committee and Branson’s Tea Party Patriot HQ.

    The sides clashed most obviously during the election of a caucus chairman — the first business of the day — and the actual selection of delegates — the primary duty of the caucus.

    Paul supporter Peter Kershaw beat out central committee chairman Buddy Roberts in the second vote to lead the caucus, after the first decision — which went to Roberts — was thrown out due to being decided by only two votes.

    The delegates were selected by pre-set rosters rather than individually. The Paul supporters’ lineup narrowly won the day, 111-104, over the one backed by Tea Party HQ and the central committee. That vote also had to be recast after a 98-98 tie in a previous decision that included a third option later ruled ineligible.

    Bill Petrovic, who had backed the opposing side, said the results took him by surprise.

    “The Paul people came in and they took this thing over,” he said. “We weren’t expecting that to happen.”

    But Tera Sukman, director of Tea Party HQ, expected the Paul contingent to be strong and said she spent $1,000 advertising and encouraging registered voters to attend. At least 240 were in attendance at one point Saturday.

    According to Behm-Drummond, the Paul supporters spent months learning Robert’s Rules of Order and GOP protocol. She said a group of about 30 or 40 people met numerous times to plan for Saturday, even inviting speakers to educate them about the caucus process.

    The training came in handy, as many — on both sides — said Saturday was their first caucus.

    Behm-Drummond said her group traveled to Springfield two weeks ago to see Paul speak, where they met other supporters from Taney County that joined their efforts at the caucus.

    “We didn’t realize until then how many Taney County patriots we have down here,” Behm-Drummond said. “I think Saturday was a great, positive sign that a lot of people do support (Paul’s) views.”

    She encouraged those on the opposing side to contact the delegates and discuss their concerns.

    “We’re absolutely open to hearing anybody’s point of view,” she said. “We’re taking this job very seriously.”

    Sukman, who doesn’t support Paul, said she and the central committee are contesting the caucus’s results. She plans to send a letter to Missouri GOP chairman David Cole that details a number of Kershaw’s procedures she questions, including his insistence that presidential candidates not be discussed — though he had been echoed in that ruling by others.

    For his part, Kershaw said  he does not wish the party to be divided, and he believes his political beliefs were irrelevant to his duties as chairman.

    “My only agenda was to conduct a fair and open proceeding,” Kershaw said. “Hopefully, everybody saw clearly that I was not operating on any personal bias.”

    Paul finished third in Taney County in the Feb. 7 primary, with about 11.5 percent of the vote.

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  • Peter Kershaw posted at 7:52 am on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Peter Kershaw Posts: 1

    From the Standing Rules that were read into the record, and that we, as a caucus body, adopted unanimously:

    "No nominee will be required to state a presidential candidate preference or pledge to support a specific candidate or candidates."

    I found it more than just a little peculiar that, after having adopted the caucus rules, the opposition turned right around and repeatedly tried to ignore the rules with demands for straw polls, etc.

    The opposition also attempted to make demands for the binding of delegates to the Primary results. We had some disagreement over state GOP rules vs. the RNC bylaws and whether or not the binding of delegates is permissible prior to District Caucus. But irrespective of that, any "limiting" motion (the binding of delegates would fall under that category) requires a 2/3 majority for adoption. Such a motion, had it ever been formally made (and it never was) would not have had any chance for passage in our assembly anyway. The opposition didn't have the numbers.

    Erin Drummond is correct in saying that we trained and prepared (albeit, in her enthusiasm, she exaggerates a bit as to how long we had to do that). Somehow that's being portrayed by the opposition as a "takeover". Really? We came to caucus prepared, having studied caucus procedure and Robert's Rules, having prepared our slates in advance (we also had a list of individuals prepared, should it have been necessary to make individual delegate nominations), having a set of proposed standing rules in hand, and having done everything we could to ensure an orderly caucus process. And that's a "takeover"? No, it is not. We did exactly what we were supposed to do. We played by the rules.

    We came prepared because of the passion we have for liberty and country. The opposition lost because they didn't have the numbers, they didn't know the rules, and in every other respect they came unprepared.

    We are passionate about the cause of personal liberty, state sovereignty and, not just "reducing the size of big government" (all Republicans agree on that point) but eliminating altogether agencies and bureaucracies of the federal government that are destroying our freedoms and are not authorized by the Constitution.

    As genuine Conservative Republicans (and not just RINOs), we have far more in common with members of the Tea Party than we have differences. Our values, beliefs and goals for America are much the same, as is the legacy we wish to leave for our children and grandchildren. Our only significant difference is over which Presidential candidate we believe is best qualified to carry forward our goals, and which Presidential candidate actually has a proven and consistent track record for the cause of liberty.

    Our Founding Fathers would be ashamed of us for what we've allowed to happen to our Republic. We are now being given an opportunity that we trust would make them proud. We need to remember that the Founders themselves were ridiculed and maligned for the cause of liberty. Only approximately 5% of the American colonists favored independency. The rest wanted to remain vassals of the British Empire. We can thank the Lord for the courage and passion our Founders had for liberty, and that they weren't swayed by the apathy and fears of men less honorable and courageous.

    Your County Delegates now take very seriously our role of representing the people of Taney County. We won't be resting on our laurels. We'll continue the process of training and preparing ourselves for the task ahead. Please let us know your concerns for your county, your state, your nation. We'll do the best job we possibly can in representing your interests and the interests of Taney County.

  • Stephen Schweter posted at 7:51 am on Wed, Mar 21, 2012.

    Stephen Schweter Posts: 0

    Hello Folks

    Dr.Ron Paul is correct on all issues.go to my face book page and see the positive
    information I have collected for Dr.Ron Paul. We have to enlighten each other since the Biased Media is not given Dr.Ron Paul the respect he has earned true out his life. Keep up the good work on his behalf. The author of Black Swan Mr.Tale is on the side of Dr.Ron Paul.
    Stephen Schweter check out Ron Paul and the Bible by Historian Mr.Tom Woods. on Gov and governed,not religion

  • Stinson posted at 7:51 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    Stinson Posts: 1

    i hope to see more articles like this one. Ron Paul 2012!!! 

  • pintkeeper posted at 5:49 pm on Tue, Mar 20, 2012.

    pintkeeper Posts: 0

    I smiled through this whole article.......