Saturday (May 10), The Credentials Committee for the Washington State Convention met to decide on an unprecedented number of challenges to State Delegate positions based on allegations of cheating at the County Convention/District Caucus level. Ironically, the meeting was dominated by cheating in the Credentials Committee, itself, predominantly by State Party employees under the direct authority of State Chair, Luke Esser. This may foreshadow a dark future for the upcoming State Convention.
The Committee, chaired by Esser appointee, Suellen Roche, heard five “Challenges” on Saturday. Every single one was based on the confrontation between the Party Pragmatic Establishment, which is cheating for McCain, and Ron Paul Conservatives who are struggling to find footing in a GOP against a Party Establishment that wants rid of them. Three of the Challenges were slam-dunk issues and decided correctly, in favor of the Paul forces, even though it was difficult, but two were atrocities. Scene One will cover two of the five.
The format for hearing challenges, though dictated (illegally) by the Esser-appointed chair, seemed reasonable: The Challengers would present their case before the Committee, the Defendants would respond in the same manner, and the Chair would then entertain motions for Committee decision/action and discussion. The genius behind autocratically dictating reasonable process is that it creates a precedent for autocratically dictating stuff and forces your opponent to give you that precedent or seem to be unreasonably demanding “strict” adherence to “only technical” requirements.
The format they dictated lasted exactly one challenge.
I. The first challenge taken up involved Clark County
Clark County Convention Rules stipulate that the members of the State Convention Committees (Rules, Platform and Credentials), as well as their Delegation Leadership are to be ELECTED by the State Convention Delegates chosen at their County Convention following the Convention. But when there were too many Ron Paul delegates elected at the County Convention, the County Party Chair, Ryan Hart, decided to ignore the rules and appoint his own. He never attempted to call the meeting the rules required. Instead, as CUSTODIAN OF THE RECORDS it was an easy matter to simply insert his own choices instead, and that’s what he did. When Kenny Smith, a Ron Paul supporter, discovered it, he called the Delegate meeting the rules actually required (on very short notice under an Esser-imposed deadline), elected the State Convention Committee Representatives according to the rules, and sent the results in to the State Party on the tight schedule the State deadline required. That meeting met every requirement of the rules and violated none. Kenny also filed the Challenge to the illegal Hart choices and personally presented the case before the Credentials Committee. Ryan Hart and Brent Boger of the Clark Establishment/McCain Executive Board fought this with all their might, throwing legal sand in the air, stating numerous imaginary requirements that Kenny’s meeting did not meet (like the notice period required for a Central Committee meeting (which this wasn’t)) but not one defect that had anything to do with the actual procedure at issue. They had no legal leg to stand on.
During their defense they made it clear they’d rather have no representatives from their own County than follow the rules and let the legally elected representatives be seated.
The Credentials Committee decided in favor of seating the legally elected representative to the Credentials Committee and by the end of the day the Clark County Hart/McCain Pragmatists lost every point and all the legally elected State Committee representatives were credentialed.
The first challenge of the day had actually been decided according to the rules. This did not bode well for the McCain team.
So they changed tactics.
II. The second item of the day was the challenge in the 41st District (King County).
We will be reporting on this historic District Circus in depth, later, but here’s an overview:
This was King County Chair Lori Sotelo’s home District and Lori, along with Ann Adams, Steve Litzow, Don Ege and their cronies dominated it with a brutal agenda of flagrant rules violations including the selective and illegal abrogation of the right to speak or make motions, secret ballot counting, credentials fraud, and repeated threats of force in the course of partisan cheating for John McCain.
I had traveled, personally, that day, to that caucus from the 5th District to give parliamentary aid to the embattled Ron Paul forces and we engaged classical parliamentary repairs, replacing Ann Adams as Chair and legally electing a full slate of delegates. But, since Lori Sotelo, as County Chair, was CUSTODIAN OF THE RECORDS it was an easy matter for her to simply insert her own choices, the delegates elected by cheating, instead, and that’s what she did. We were the Challengers.
In the Credentials Committee, following the pattern of the first Challenge (concerning Clark County), we set up a presentation with two presenters and we had to go first. John Spiers presented our introduction from a personal perspective as one who had been illegally silenced, falsely called “out of order,” literally shouted down and physically threatened by Adams, Sotelo and their inferiors. The main presentation (of the details and full scope of the cheating) was to be mine, following Mr. Spiers. But when he had finished and I began to approach the microphone, State Party Attorney John White intervened with his own brand of cheating, specifically cooked up for the Credentials Committee itself.
John White and I have known each other for 20 years and lined up on opposite sides of virtually every significant Party issue during that period. He is the current State Party Attorney and a former acting Parliamentarian and State Rules Chair. John is a classical Pragmatist Predator (please click on that link, if you are unfamiliar with the technical use I make of the term “Predator”), and knew what he had to do to save the day for McCain.
Now you must understand that a consulting attorney (John White’s role) or a parliamentarian (the role filled, Saturday, by Rob McGuire) may serve in an advisory capacity to the chair of a committee, but neither has, under the rules, any authority: no right to obtain the floor, or speak (except as requested by the body), no right to vote or make motions. What John did next was both illegal and a virtual blueprint for the way the Committee operated the rest of the day.
After being (illegally) recognized by Suellen Roche, John said that, instead of hearing the rest of the Challenge, The Committee had to act on a request in the “Response to the Challenge” from the 41st District that (as you will remember) had been scheduled to be heard AFTER the Challenge. Now, bear in mind that White had no authority to make a motion because he was not a committee member. The defendant, the King County Republican Party, had no right to make a motion for the same reason and the Chair, Suellen Roche, had an even greater disability. She was there to preside and was specifically prohibited by the rules from making, or even speaking to a motion. I was standing near the presentation microphone, but I knew I could neither make a motion, nor even request the floor to speak because I was not a Committee member, either. Yet White, through the complicity of Roche, who resisted every objection to the unethical procedures, dominated the proceeding, and for the next, roughly, one hour, demanded that the body rule on his “motion” although neither he nor anyone else on the McCain side who understood the urgency of his quest, was qualified to make any such “motion.” It was all a Parliamentary shell game.
All this was to prevent me from speaking and to dispose of the Challenge before the Committee had the opportunity of actually hearing it. They didn’t want the Committee to understand how serious a matter they were sweeping under the rug. It doesn’t get much worse.
Here’s the kicker:
The “motion” was to dismiss the entire case on a technicality – because supportive evidence had, allegedly, been mailed “too late.”
The claim was totally untrue.
The material, in point of absolute fact, had been filed in compliance with the time requirement: it had a post-mark of March 28th. I personally filed it, on time, and acquired the post mark, in red ink, properly dated, on the 9X12 manila envelope that carried our affidavits proving the massive cheating (the affidavits Mr. White was desperately trying to prevent from being presented to the Committee). The envelope, as it happened, had been returned to me a few days later, by the post office, undelivered, and it had to be re-mailed to the State Party. John Spiers mailed it after trying, first, to deliver it to Luke Esser, personally. When he mailed it, he inadvertently included my first envelope, the one with the required post-mark. (It was never my intention to give away the evidence, which was, at that point, and remains, my personal property.)
The State Party only divulged the second date to the Committee, but when I told everyone about the first date, Suellen Roche suddenly produced the first envelope, and leaned in to her microphone to say, entirely falsely, “There’s no post mark on this envelope.”
I could see it from 15 feet away in red ink. For Suellen to present that testimony to the Committee, while presiding as Chair, was another violation of the Rules. There is no question about it. The reason Roberts Rules of Order prohibits Chairs from entering discussion is for EXACTLY THESE SORTS OF SITUATIONS. A Chair like Suellen, a loyal member of the Young/Sotelo administration, can use her priveleged position to control what information the Committee can see and consider… and that’s exactly what she did. Roche’s statements, even if they had been true was illegal, not to even mention that she was giving partisan and false testimony.
To back her up, Esser staffers went busily to work printing a stack of BLACK AND WHITE photocopies that obscured what remained of the postmark, by largely blending the color of the red ink into the background of the manila-coloring of the envelope to create a common grey color. They then went about passing them out to the Committee to give the impression that there was no post mark, illegally distributing illegally offered “evidence” in support of a non-existent motion.
We can absolutely prove it is post-marked. After several weeks in the hands of State Party Staff the post mark was close to illegible and partially obscured by a sticker, but the red ink was visible (and I am convinced that, even now, barring further mistreatment, the date can be determined). Even without that proof, the Committee had my uncontroverted testimony of the date as the only evidence in the case (if you don’t count Suellen’s illegally offered falsehood).
The Committee would have an interest in determining the validity of the claim, of course, but not before the Challenge was heard, not before the Defense actually made their case (Not the State Party Staff, and the Chair of the Committee intervening on the defense’s behalf.), and not precluding my right to respond regarding the visual sleight-of-hand that had deceived the Committee.
But after about an hour of hearing only testimony on one side of the issue, and never hearing the details of the Challenge, the Committee voted, along partisan lines, to refuse to hear it at all.
That’s where the story gets interesting.
I own that envelope.
I never gave Mr. Spiers the permission to send it, with our affidavits, to the State Party (to misuse). He acknowledges that and has requested its return from State Executive Director, Jeremy Deutsch. With that envelope I believe we can absolutely prove that the basis upon which the Esser team protected the cheaters from being penalized was false. If it is not further damaged.
But they won’t return it to me. Despite the presence, in the room, of two attorneys working for the State Party, Deutsch said, “I’ll have to check with our attorney.”
It is the proof we were swindled. It is the fig leaf that protected Sotelo and Adams from being exposed for massive cheating in the Committee.
It is the magic envelope. They do not want to release it.
It is an envelope held hostage.
Call or email WSRP Executive Director Jeremy Deutsch, (206) 575-2900 ext #12
Tell him to free the hostage envelope!
Next article: Scene Two: even worse from the State Party.