Confronting the Statements of Brent Boger, the Clark County GOP Rules Chairman

I feel a need to specifically address statements made by Brent Boger personally, who happens to also be the CCRP Rules Chairman, as they illustrate so well the disingenuous representation of the convention, the results, and the people who participated.  It is unconscionable for the establishment to use such tactics of marginalizing groups and pitting one group against another, mis-characterizing people because of the candidate they support or the enthusiasm they garner, and furthering myths about the process.  I am going to pull direct quotes from Mr. Boger’s facebook feed and respond to them individually.  I’m going to forewarn you – as I read these comments I became quite furious so my replies to them are quite confrontational and lacking the diplomacy they should probably have.  But right now I don’t really care – candor is my priority.

So as a Santorum delegate to District 17 and supporter of the “Open Convention Slate”, I hope you will find this illuminating:

“Ron Paul Zealots” – Brent Boger

This comment speaks for itself.  A perfect example of marginalizing a well organized, well educated and enthusiastic group of people.

“Ron Paul’s people manipulated the Rules to deny Romney all but a handful of delegates even though he had the highest vote in the caucuses.” –Brent Boger

1)      Mr. Boger later defined “manipulated” in a less negative way, but based upon that definition he could have just as easily said: “Ron Paul’s people operated within the rules in an organized fashion to maximize Paul and Santorum delegates and minimize Romney delegates.”  So why didn’t he say it that way?  Answer: because of the IMPLIED accusation of unfairness and deceit he wanted to convey.

2)      Additionally, there was no “vote in the caucuses”.  There was only a straw poll, with no visible security, checks or balances, and according to the party rules (remember, he is the Chair of the Rules Committee in the County) this straw poll was MEANINGLESS as to the ultimate delegate count, which was only to be decided at the county and state conventions.  This fact was published in the description of the precinct caucuses on the CCRP website!  Why would Mr. Boger try to portray the process of voting by the rules at the county convention as somehow unfair because there is some sort of supposed intent for a caucus straw poll to control the results of the convention?  It is not the technical accuracy of the statement to which I’m objecting, it is the overtly inaccurate message of unfairness it is designed to convey that I find so offensive.

“Anti-democratic practices Paul campaign leadership engage in to further their objectives” –Brent Boger

Mr. Boger, unless you are intending to simply malign and slander, please specifically back up this claim.  Are you referring to the fact that the Paul delegates engaged in VOTING at the county convention?  If there were any anti-democratic practices I would think they would be the lack of motivation on the part of the establishment to mitigate the damage they had done through their mis-management of the convention by extending the convention until voting was complete.  Instead, they gladly let the convention expire without a completion of the voting, to the cheers of the Romney delegates who were present.  I ask you Mr. Boger, which is the “anti-democratic practice” – voting (like Paul and Santorum supporters) or extinguishing the voting process (like the establishment allowed to happen when they in fact were the cause of the “voting crisis”)?  Pray tell!!!

“Paul people got more delegates than they should have” –Brent Boger

Mr. Boger – Please tell me – just how many delegates “should” the Paul people have gotten?  I suppose the amount they got due to the votes at the convention is somehow incorrect or immoral?  If anything, the fact that the voting was not allowed to be completed would be a cause of people not getting the delegates they “should” have, and in that case it was the Santorum and Paul delegates who got FEWER than they should have due to the incompetence of the establishment and then their cavalier/uncaring attitude toward rectifying the problem they had created.  After all, why solve the problem if it works to the benefit of the establishment candidate (Romney)?  We’ll just tell the Columbian it was the fault of the delegates’ infighting.

And please don’t tell me that there is some moral duty toward proportional representation of a straw poll which is completely contradicted by the rules.  We have “winner take all” primary states all around the country and I don’t hear the party establishment lamenting how that is robbing the primary voters of those states of their proportional representation.  We have an electoral college that conveys 100% of the winnings of a state to the candidate who won that state.  We have a long history of elections where a geographical district passes along 100% of its representation to the majority or even plurality winner of that district.  This argument about the fairness of proportional representation needing to mimic some totally informal and insecure straw poll is specious at best and ignorant at worst.  If you don’t want the process to be based upon who can prevail at a county convention, then change the rules.

This argument is even more infuriating when you consider that it was the Romney people who initiated a strategy to completely exclude a candidate from receiving any delegates (the attempted exclusion of Paul delegates).  For them to attempt this exact strategy against Paul then scream disingenuously when it is turned against them should be an embarrassment to the establishment and to all who support them.

(Santorum’s deal) “was a corrupt bargain” –Brent Boger

Exactly what was corrupt about forming a coalition to consolidate the votes of delegates?  This is EXACTLY what the Romney people were attempting to do with their “unity slate” (an Orwellian misnomer if I’ve ever seen one).  You have specifically accused the Santorum people of striking a corrupt deal so I expect you to retract the statement and apologize or back it up with specific examples of corruption.

“I have no doubt if the shoe were on the other foot they would have opposed extending the deadline.  I can take only so much hypocrisy.” –Brent Boger

Mr. Boger – you SPECULATE that the Santorum and Paul people would have opposed extending the deadline.  However, the Romney people ACTUALLY DID oppose extending the deadline.  So are you telling me that because you BELIEVE the other side WOULD HAVE taken such a dastardly position that it was justifiable for the establishment to do so?  And further toward your accusation of hypocrisy – does it really escape you that the Romney people explicitly announced they were trying to exclude Paul delegates and now that they ended up being the ones excluded they (you) are claiming it is “unfair”, “un-democratic”, and even “corrupt”.  JUST WHERE DOES THE HYPOCRISY LAY HERE SIR?

“I was in the bar because I was worn out….”  -Brent Boger

Poor guy, the Rules Chairman had to retreat to the bar during a rules crisis.  I suppose the delegates were lounging around in their lavish rooms sipping on vodka tonics?  No!  You don’t think the delegates were worn out?  We had rooms without chairs, without PA’s, without tables, standing for hours and hours and hours much to the delight of my chiropractor!  What was your responsibility in this matter?  Just sit in the bar and let the process collapse around us to the benefit of your establishment candidate?  That’s leadership!

“The whole nomination process in place is easily manipulated completely within the Rules.  Just because it is within the Rules doesn’t make it right.” –Brent Boger

Exactly what does make it right then?  Should we just have skipped the voting all together?  Would that make you give the process your moral blessing?  Exactly what are you saying here?  Does lobbying voters and forming coalitions translate to unfair manipulation of a process?  By that standard, neighborhood door knocking is unfair manipulation.  We should just allocate votes in the general election based upon Gallup Polls which are about as secure and accurate as the straw polls taken at precinct caucuses.  Oh I get it, every candidate deserves their “fair share” and you and the establishment know exactly what it is!  Forget redistribution of wealth, what we need is redistribution of votes!

“More than 1/3 of the clark county republican caucus attendees are represented by 7% of the delegates.  I guess that doesn’t bother you.”

When a winner take all primary state transmits 100% of its delegates to the national convention in the name of the candidate having not necessarily even a majority, but merely a plurality, have you ever objected to that process?  How is this any different?  This is about who prevails.  If it is so unfair then the rules should be changed.  Don’t complain about the result simply because the EXACT SAME STRATEGY your candidate attempted to employ failed and was turned against him.  Please refer to your previous objections to hypocrisy.

—–

In his posts Mr. Boger also makes the typical establishment argument of ‘just vote for our guy so we can all unite and move on’.  This has come to be intolerable.  This attitude among officials needs to be purged from our party.  If the attitude cannot be removed, then the people purveying it need to go.

The establishment is hammering the nails in their own coffin — and it is about time.

 

13 thoughts on “Confronting the Statements of Brent Boger, the Clark County GOP Rules Chairman”

  1. I’m amused by Mr. Boger’s reference to 2008 results in his initial reply. That was then, this is now. It is obvious that Mr. Boger has failed to adjust his thinking to the fact that at the Clark County Convention, he was attempting to shut out not an 8% ‘lunatic fringe’ from 2008, but rather 24% of the Republicans who showed up at Washington caucuses March 3. How arrogant do you have to be to believe you can win a general election by shutting out 24% of your own party? For the record, Ron Paul got 5 Washington delegates to the convention in Tampa. If we are going to cry ‘FOUL!” because of a discrepancy with the straw poll, he should have gotten twice that many. But then, ‘serial hypocrisy’ is also something I’ve heard said about Romney….

    1. Excellent summary. I’ve seen middle school pep assemblies better organized. To blame any of the delegates is asinine. If the saying ‘All politics is local’ is true, then we’ve got a hell of a mess coming up. And if I’m a zealot for thinking that Ron Paul is the only candidate who says exactly what he means and doesn’t give a damn what others think about him, then call me a zealot.

  2. Mr. Berrigan–

    OOO…”Confronting the Statements of Brent Boger.” Don’t you think it would show a little bit more class to bring this up with me directly, rather than posting it on your blog without telling me?

    I didn’t even know I was being confronted. Snapshots of my FB page (they’re still there I have no intention of taking them down) and thinking you got me. So rather than play juvenile games, which has been rampant in this whole process, I’ll respond directly to you. I remember you from the convention and I thought you fairly reasonable. Maybe I was wrong.

    My comments about Ron Paul Zealots, manipulating the rules, an anti-democratic result (Romney 35% of the caucus vote, 7% of the elected delegates), and Paul getting more than he should–I stand by. It basically comes down to this. I think the Republican delegation ought to reflect the 1.229 million people who voted Republican for President in 2008. I don’t think this process yielded that based on Ron Paul’s performance in the 2008 primary and other primaries this year. I think when I am called “establishment” that is the real reason–my belief the party leadership should be selected by the rank and file and not the cadre attending this convention.

    I realized long ago that the Republican Party is really a coalition of at least three political strains. When one group is shut out, as this process has done, it will make our task more difficult in beating the Democrats. If we had a European-style electoral system, you could have your own party and the more reality-based Republicans their party. If they needed you, they could resolves differences in coalition talks after the election. Unfortunately, they have to be worked out now. So let’s try to do that.

    And taking cheap shots, is not the way for that. I went to the bar just before the 8pm adjournment time because the whole thing had degenerated into a joke. People casting multiple ballots, alternates voting who hadn’t been upgraded, and lists showing delegates not checked-in when I had seen them around with badges so alternates got upgraded when they shouldn’t have been. By then I just threw up my hands and gave up. So you criticize me for retreating to the bar in Rules crisis. It was not a Rules crisis, it was a complete meltdown and there was nothing I could do about it. They knew where I was. I did emerge to inform the 17th District it was violating the rules by continuing to vote in violation of the new rule.

    For your information, I also have the Romney people upset at me for my advice to Greg Kimsey on extending the convention time. I called it as I saw it. I expect a credentials challenge based on these irregularities. I stand by the extension ruling which may be a basis too. So I can’t be all bad.

    1. Mr. Boger,

      Thank you for taking the time to reply to this article. I will respond in more detail later. I would agree that communicating with you directly would have shown more class, however after careful consideration I decided that because your comments were made in public — including some to the Columbian against people who were not given the opportunity to defend themselves in the same forum — that it would be fair and appropriate for my reply to be public as well.

      Again thank you for your reply, in which I’m sure you were exercising no small degree of restraint. We have only begun to sift through this mess, and the rhetoric designed to marginalize others within our party is one of the things that needs sifting.

    2. I would also like to note that in District 17, for each delegate turning in a ballot they checked the persons credentials and checked off their name on the lists as they turned in their ballot. We recognized that simply passing out ballots in the room was a recipe for disaster, and so the control point was that everyone was checked off as they turned in their ballot. If someone didn’t have their credential tags, they had to show their ID to be checked against the lists. Nobody would have been able to turn in a duplicate ballot because their name was already checked off for that round of voting. This may be one reason our second round of balloting took longer than other districts. This cost us our 3rd round of balloting because since our 3rd round started at 8:03pm instead of 7:59pm it was disallowed — to the cheers of the Romney delegates.

    3. I gotta be honest, I am really not interested in how many delegates Mr. Boger thinks ought to be elected for the various candidates…this is for voters to decide as they choose delegates. I notice that the three automatic delegates for Clark County are all Romney supporters – if this followed the straw vote, it would be one each for Santorum, Paul, and Romney. The PCO automatic delegates also skewed in large numbers to Romney. Somehow, in the midst of his internet crusade, he may have forgotten to include this in his critique of the current system.
      The fact that no allowance was made in order to complete the delegation from Clark County on convention day, while Boger gleefully quoted Latin in shutting the vote down for being 4 minutes late to the cheers of the Romney hordes, tells us all we need to know about these men and their interest in having the people participate. They then use their own colossal failure at the convention to justify going back to a system where everyone mails the vote in and Boger and his friends get to count them and pick the delegates for us. Yes, we could go back to a primary….or we could just get rid of the people that couldn’t figure out how to run a convention properly and replace them with more competent folks. Just in case you can’t find any, I know quite a few from the Ron Paul crowd who already proved they could out-organize you any time, even with only two day’s notice. Just go on back to the bar, Mr. Boger, we’ll take care of it next time.

    4. It has been interesting reading Mr. Boger’s facebook comments, as well as articles in the Columbian and posts on other blogs. One could wish for a more diplomatic approach than the one he is making manifest. Calling an entire voting block ‘zealots’ for instance, when he has never met us, has very little value in the discussion, and betrays an incredible immaturity for a man who purports to be a leader. The attempt to discredit the results as not being representative of Clark County Republicans is also without merit. If Santorum and Paul chose to form a coalition, they had fair majorities in every sense, be it popular vote or delegates. I don’t think it is disputed that Romney’s people were the first ones to attempt this strategy, and they did so in a far uglier manner, running us down both at meetings and via mass emails to Santorum people, which I can produce any time anyone wants to read them. We never engaged in these tactics, instead we simply pointed out that, in fact, it was in Santorum’s best interest to vote with us, which their national campaign agreed with.

      I was very proud of my friends in the Paul campaign, I thought they stayed above the fray very well, especially considering the microscope they were under. Any wrong move would have brought down confirmation of all the nasty things that the Romney people had been saying, and we did not give them that ammunition. Anyone who was in the 17th LD room knows from which camp the catcalls and yelling were coming from. The Paul delegation faithfully voted the slate, even when many of those names also appeared on the other slate and some of them refused to endorse ours. It would have been very reasonable to question and contend on this point, but they put so much faith in the leadership, and we weathered through with some help from strong voices like Christian’s. It just affirmed to me that I am on the right team, and reading Mr. Boger continue to trash us only heightens our resolve to bring changes to the way this party is being run. As long as Republicans continue to hen-peck their own conservative base, they will lose, and lose big. It is time for new leadership…long past time. We need reasonable folks who encourage grassroots to participate, not do everything in their power to exclude as though they were some kind of peerage caste among so many serfs. I am a lifelong Republican, and I don’t appreciate Mr. Boger’s attempts to marginalize my friends and I, particularly given what amazing people they are when you actually take the effort to get to know them. I hope some day that Mr. Boger and his friends have that opportunity.

      Dan Poletti

  3. [editors note: the part of this video that pertains to the Doug Parris interview of 3/20/2012 regarding Washington caucuses begins at approximately 4:10 minutes into the posted video. The part specific to Washington caucuses begins about 22:40.]

    I added the link to your story to description of the video:

    Fredinburg Interviews Doug Parris – GOP Elites Cheat
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQXLpnhbyT4

  4. Good Morning Christian,

    First of all I do thank you for your effort in communicating all of this. I’m from the 18th district and am still upset about how badly the convention was managed, and further how Brent publicly tried to place blame on certain supporter groups. Having said all that though, I just wanted to say a couple of things.

    I do not know Brent personally although I have personally met him. He seems like diligent and decent guy. If I remember correctly, he was called a week before the convention and asked to serve as the rules chair. I appreciate his willingness to step up. The fact that he was called at the last minute serves as another indication of how badly the convention itself was managed.

    The other thing I think I remember is that Brandon Vick is a very young man. There’s no way he should have been given such a great position of leadership at such a young age. I have no doubt he has a lot of offer the Republican party in the coming years, but I think it was mistake to have him be the chairman at such a young age (very early 20s if memory serves me correctly).

    I confess that I have not been paying much attention to the structure of the Clark County Republican party. Like many people, I just assumed that things would be handled, and never troubled myself too much to get very involved. But that ends now.

    I was pretty upset about the hypocrisy of Brent’s statements too. But just as we all have done, I suspect his statements were made in haste (yes even the ones on Facebook) and in the heat of emotion.

    But let’s not make the same mistake Brent made in pointing fingers at people. I keep thinking about James 1:20 “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God”.

    I think it’s a great idea to step back and see what we can do to change the Republican party from the ground up. I agree that the Establishment is not serving us well, nor America. But these people are not the Devil.

    Respectfully yours,
    Mrs. Danny Amundson

    1. Thank you Mrs. Amundson for what I see as you expressing concern for diplomacy and for giving people some benefit of doubt. I do agree with you in this regard. It is my hope that the content of my post in no way assaults anyone’s character. My purpose is to vociferously confront public comments being made and associate them with actions for which it is at least reasonable to question if they are associated with GOP Establishment agendas – either intentionally or coincidentally.

      I had several occasions to speak with Mr. Boger on Saturday and I have no doubt that he is dedicated to the conservative cause as he sees it. However, the lack of the CCRP to remedy a problem of their creation, combined with group character assaults on other non-establishment factions within the GOP cries for what former California State Senator H.L. Richardson referred to as “Confrontational Politics”.

      So, in agreement with your concerns, I hope that my post vigorously played in that arena, but stopped short of stooping to the level I was confronting. It is difficult not to fall into that same game. I will have to steadfastly watch myself and take care not to conduct my own group character assaults against “the establishment”. The group does exist, they do have agendas, and they have their own way of attempting to operate the system to their liking. If it is done within the rules it is legitimate. If I don’t like it I will strongly object to it.

      Thanks again for taking the time to reply. I also look forward to any suggestions you might have to pro-actively fight against this tendency for people in leadership to marginalize and impune other groups within our party, or to fix blame on people where it does not belong.

  5. You said it well, Sir.

    The task now is to recruit PCO candidates before the next election so that we can remove the current GOP leadship and replace them with people who are not puppets for for the Establishement Republicans. Should have been done years ago–but I think there is finally enough energy in the grassroots base to get it done this year. It has to be done.
    SWM

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