By Elisha Dorfsmith
In 2008, myself and other Ron Paul supporters were criticized and vilified by McCain voters for not lining up and supporting the establishment choice. We were told that we were handing the election over to Obama and that the evil policies of the Obama administration would be on our hands. I had close friends and family members tell me that I was un-American for voting third party.
Back then I spent a lot of time arguing that there was not really much of a difference between Obama and McCain. I explained that as a principled voter I could only cast my ballot for someone who upheld my core beliefs and values and especially defended the Constitution and my rights. McCain was NOT that person.
Keep in mind that I clearly understood that I would never agree with any candidate 100% of the time but it’s not like I only disagreed with McCain on the small issues. McCain was the opposite of everything I believed in.
Today, McCain is still pushing for just about everything I rail against on a weekly basis in my blog including the Law of the Sea Treaty, the “Patriot Act”, NDAA, SOPA, CISPA and unconstitutional undeclared wars where the UN and NATO take command of our troops.
I don’t think McCain has ever opposed any military action in his long Senate career. Even now, McCain is calling for new undeclared wars in Syria and Iran. He’s also calling for more spying on American citizens without warrants. He even supports killing or holding American citizens indefinitely without a trial.
The bills McCain has voted on or helped write over the years have consistently shredded the Constitution and Bill of Rights. And yet, for some strange reason, I was supposed to support this guy. It was laughable in 2008 and it’s laughable now.
Lesser of Two Evils
In 2010 I made a major mistake that I will always regret. Angry at Congresswoman Kirkpatrick for supporting Obamacare, I cast my ballot for what I considered the “lesser of the two evils”. Sure, Paul Gosar had tried to force what many consider poison on Flagstaff’s water supply but my mindset at the time was that Kirkpatrick had to pay for her Obamacare vote. I told myself that I would try to hold Gosar’s feet to the fire and force him to follow the Constitution when he went to Washington.
Once elected, Gosar immediately set to work trampling the very Constitution he had so proudly waved during every speech he gave on the campaign trail. He voted to renew the “Patriot Act” and raise the debt ceiling and continue our unconstitutional undeclared wars.
Holding Gosar’s feet to the fire didn’t work out too well either. When I emailed Gosar all I ever received were vague form letter responses. When I posted on his Facebook page, my posts were deleted. When I asked why my posts were deleted, I was banned and blocked. I voted for the lesser of two evils and got exactly what I deserved…evil.
Here We Go Again
Like some strange case of deja vu, this 2012 election is starting to play out the same way 2008 did except this time we have Mitt Romney as our savior rather than John McCain.
It’s amusing to watch people who supposedly have principles try to justify Romney’s support for government healthcare and gun control and bailouts and big government programs.
I guess these things are all fine as long as the person doing them has an (R) next to their name.
Of course, what concerns me the most is the fact that Romney has been a very vocal supporter of the “Patriot Act”, NDAA, and these never ending, unconstitutional, undeclared wars.
Sadly, establishment voters are coming out of the woodwork to tell me that I have to line up like a good little sheeple and vote against everything I believe in because even though Romney is not perfect, he’s the “lesser of two evils”.
Others are telling me that I’m being divisive and not being a team player. They keep telling me that we shouldn’t criticize Republicans in such a critical election year.
Nevermind the fact that some of these same people have sent out anti Ron Paul emails on a regular basis for over a year calling us “racists” and “leftists” and “conspiracy nuts”.
Ron Paul supporters have done nothing but fight day in and day out for freedom and liberty but sadly, many jumping on the Romney bandwagon would rather fight us and mock us and spread lies about us while parroting the talking points of the propagandists on talk radio.
Now they suddenly bring up the need for unity and working together as a team. All I can do is shake my head.
Some of these people are tea party members who banned all Ron Paul posts from their Facebook pages (while leaving Gingrich and Santorum posts intact). I suppose their beloved Gingrich was also being a team player when he said that Ron Paul is worse than Obama and admitted that he would never vote for Paul.
But we’re the bad divisive guys/ “anarchists”. Yes, someone actually did suggest that Ron Paul supporters who don’t support Romney are “anarchists”.
Seriously people. All we want are candidates who defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights and will stand up for freedom and liberty. Is that really too much to ask?
By Elisha Dorfsmith
With an even more impressive than usual display of fear mongering and scare tactics, the Flagstaff City Council agreed to push ahead with a resolution to deal with global warming over the next 88 years. Woodson and Overton were the only council members opposed to moving forward.
The resolution will cover the following areas:
1. Build, sustain and leverage local and regional partnerships.
2. Identify vulnerable populations.
3. Institutionalize an incremental resiliency review structure into City decisions and operations.
4. Incorporate flexibility of design into infrastructure development needs.
5. Prioritize proactive education.
6. Integrate resource scarcity; and climate-related risk and uncertainty into all City planning.
7. Allocate municipal resources necessary to adapt the City’s physical design and operations.
Council member Al White went so far as to suggest that if the resolution did not move forward Flagstaff could fade away as other civilizations have in the past. Vice Mayor Barotz pleaded with dissenting council members to understand the urgency of global warming. She begged them to read an alarming new book on climate change that she had recently finished.
The final version of this resolution will be on the June 5, 2012 agenda.
You can read more about this resolution here:
During the Council meeting, Mayor Presler attacked Councilman Woodson on her facebook page (click to enlarge).
By Pepper Draper
Ballot Counting on May 14th 2012
I was the first to arrive at the AZ GOP Headquarters at about 12:45. When I saw that there were others coming, I went in with them and sat in the front row. Thayer Verschoor came over to me and sat down by the Computer. He stated to us that they were only allowing two supporters from each campaign to be present. I replied to Thayer “this decision was ridiculous since we had all been present the entire day waiting for these results.” He said that those were the rules.
About that time, Shawn Dow came in and sat in the front with me. Thayer reiterated that there would only be two allowed to be present. Shawn stated we would follow their rules. Shawn obviously was one of the two and the other had to be Brett R. who was present when the ballots were sealed and he signed them. When he arrived, he stated to me that he was fine with me staying if I wanted to once he opened the ballot box. I asked him what measures were taken to secure the votes and he said “it wasn’t much, just taping up the box and signing it.” This of course gave concern for me since, what prevents tape from being lifted off and laid back down on a plastic container?
What is amazing to me is that there were no better provisions made for securing ballots than a plastic container? When the GOP left the building that night after the votes, did they not think how important it would be to secure the ballots and insure that if there were any challenges to the results, that they could show that there was no tampering? Boxes with 3 locks could have been secured, giving each party a key that only could be opened when all three were together. Even more simple than that, specially made envelopes that could hold all of the ballots with secured tape and signatures from both parties and the GOP, but a plastic container? This is just one evidence of complete incompetence on the AZ GOP.
Back to the events of the day, the two witnesses from the Romney Campaign were not yet present, but several Ron Paul Supporters were in the room. When Nathan Sproul and a woman that I am assuming is from his office, named Meagan entered the room. The first thing Nathan said in a sharp and loud voice was, “We agreed that there was only going to be two present from each campaign, I am NOT going to be in this room with Ron Paul Supporters!” I said to him, “We are going to wait outside and follow the rules, we were only waiting for you to arrive.” I quickly gathered everyone up and we went outside. About 15 minutes later Brett R. came out and told me to go in, which I did.
When I got in there Shawn Dow was in the front row, while Nathan and Meagan were in the second row to the left of where I sat in the front row.. The first thing that happened was that George started on the far right scanner and computer (which was referred to as computer 2) to scan the Alternate (At Large) Ballots page two.
This becomes tricky because there were two pages with the delegates names front and back. Each name was assigned a number, but on both pages they started with the number one instead of continuing on page two with the next number leaving from page one. When it was time to merge documents, that were numbered exactly the same on both pages, there was a program issue that George had to “fix.” This was actually discovered the day before while I was in the counting room and a woman asked George how they were going to know which number was for who? George put his hands on his head and gasped! He said he was going to have to write in the program how to differentiate the two.
Once the document “training” was done by George on the computer 2, a young man named Laddy was the one filling the ballots into the scanner and pressing the continue button. At ballot number 216, we had our first “ballot refusal” which followed by pages 217, 218, 300, 303, 306, 308, 309, 310, 313, 315, 317, 319, 329, 330, 412, 415, 416, 419, 595, 596 for a total of 21 ballots rejected. When each of these ballots were rejected, George had to come and look at them. The first problem came when the ballots scanned half of one and half of another. The final total of ballots for this batch was 596.
While, Laddy was loading the scanner for the first scans page 2, George was “training” computer 1 for the Alternates (At Large) Ballots page one. These ballots actually scanned easily the exception for page 409 and the total ballots were 611.
However, two different times during the first scan of the page 2, somewhere in the 300’s some of the ballots fell on the floor after being scanned and Laddy picked them up and put them on the scanned pile rather than putting them back in their original place. After the scanning was done, both parties wanted to know about the refused ballots because when then totals were calculated, there was a very close number between delegates. Those ballots could determine who would actually be the alternates. George explained that we could find the refused ballots in the computer, match them up with the actual ballot and then rescan them. I said that there were ballots that had fallen on the floor and put on the pile and thus they were not in the right order, Laddy agreed that did happen twice which now complicated things a bit more. George then said that they were within about 10 and so we could find them. George started to go through them, but then asked if there was anyone who wanted to count them, I suggested that he count out a stack of 50 and then he could use that as a guide for counting out 50’s and would be within a page or two. When he realized that it would be “too hard” to find the out of order ballots, he said we should scan them again. Which we began all over again.
On the second run, ballots 106, 107, 110, 201, 240, 243, 301, 338, 362, 363, 365, 372 were now rejected, however these were marked with a yellow sticky and ran again. Each one that was rejected was verified by myself and Meagan and then was accepted by the computer program.
Once these were scanned, George went through a long process of manipulating the computers trying to merge the two documents together to get election results. Throughout this process he kept saying how “tired” he was and now that he had these documents he could “go in and write/correct the program errors.” I asked him several questions that I was not sure of:
- Did the ballots’ results get sent to elections headquarters (like the state ran elections) or are the ballots’ results calculated in the computer program?
- His answer was that the results were calculated in the program
- Who wrote the computer program?
- His answer was that he wrote it and it was a work in progress
- When did he write the program and when was it tested?
- His answer was that he was still working on it late into the night on Friday night, the night before the Convention. He also said that he was still testing it on Saturday.
This should raise several eyebrows when securing and verifying voting accuracy. First, he was the programmer, so he could be the one to manipulate anything in the program at any time, which he did, which is evidenced by the admission on Saturday that the asterisk and the name being moved up on the CD Ballots caused the votes to shift. Someone who did not have access to the program should have been the one to scan and then calculate. However, this would have required successful testing which brings us to the second issue. The program was not even tested successfully before the actual elections took place. They were not certified by either Campaign prior to the election and even if they had been, the programmer could have changed the programming any time he chose.
Finally, when he was ready to print the results, the calculations showed that there was a tie between two Romney delegates and one Ron Paul delegate. Nathan suggested that we have Thayer draw the names out of the box. Shawn said he needed to go and consult with Headquarters. While he was outside, I said that I was not comfortable with Thayer doing the choosing and if Shawn agrees to do this, I would suggest that Laddy, be the one to draw the names, since he was honest about the ballots falling and making sure we were told when there was an error. I felt at least we could somewhat trust him. Nathan said that Laddy worked had worked for him, but I said, I still trusted him more than any other person in the office. When Shawn came back, there was no decision made about the drawing because there was another issue that had arisen with the Delegates that were scanned on Saturday night.
When we asked George what the problem was he said that he had only programmed it to calculate the first 160 ballots and he could not certify the results! It was then determined that those ballots that were already scanned, had to be verified. Thayer went into the locked room to find the ballots. He was looking around the room, going through plastic tubs, while Laddy was standing at the door, shaking his head in disgust. When he finally found them and brought them out, the ballots were not sealed. I said to Thayer, “You guys didn’t seal the votes?” he did not respond to me and kept his head down, but Laddy looked and me and mouthed the words, “NO.” Several times throughout the day, Laddy had given me looks that said “what was going on was unbelievable!” When he opened the plastic container, he did not know which ballots were page 1 and which was page 2 of the A Delegate Ballots. They also had lost a couple of the pages of the print out. It took about 10 minutes to figure out what everything was…page 1 and page 2.
George spent another 45 minutes or more reprogramming or whatever he was doing as he was typing away in the computer. In the meanwhile, Shawn decided that we would do the drawing and took my suggestion that Laddy be the one to draw. The Romney people in the room was saying things to him like, “remember don’t draw the name that would allow for Iran to get nuclear weapon’s” Laddy’s comment was, “NO COMMENT!” then they would say, “Don’t grab the name that would allow for the legalization of all drugs including heroine and LSD” and Laddy would reply “NO COMMENT!” I really admired this young man. I know he supported Romney, but I felt that he was honest. The new order was now Middleton at position 19, Davis at 20 and Ron Paul Delegate Anna Larson at 21.
George was finally ready to run the already scanned program internally and while running it, these following numbers came up with a rejection on A Delegates Page 2: 116, 117, 118, 324, 354, 545, 723, 724, 725, 726, 727, 729, 730, 731, 732, 733, 735, 736, 738, 740, 743, 744, 745, 746, 749, 751, 754, 757, 758, 759, 761, 762, 765, 766, 767, 768, 769, 771, 772, 773, 774, 775, 776, 777, 778, 779, 781, 782, 784, 785, 786, 787, 788, At this point he did not tell me that there were others that had been rejected until 803, then he said, “Forget it! I am stopping it, there are probably a 100 votes that are messed up!” He then looked at my paper counted up what I had written and said “Ya, probably a hundred…. we have to rescan.” We do not have a total since he stopped the scan, but based on what we alredy had it was most likely true that we had around 100. He would later dispute that and say it was a “SWAG” (Sxxx Wild Axxx Guess) We do not know if we would have had a hundred or not, but at this point we had 54 that had defiantly been rejected.
He then ran the scanned ballots for A Delegate (At Large) Page 1 in an internal overview within the computer program with pages 94 and 898 that had failed for a total count of 898. He declared this a clean scan and prepared to merge the documents together to calculate the results. Once they were printed, Nathan was confused at what the report was showing so, one of the ladies who worked in the office, I believe she was the same one who questioned George the day before about how we would know which numbers were going to be correct because of the double numbering, was trying to help him understand the printouts. She did state that they had changed the format for the print out for page 1 and page 2. Shawn had stated to Thayer that he wanted page 1 and 2 scanned again and Thayer did not answer in regards to page 1 that George had declared clean. How were we to know if that were true because the ballots had not been secured.
Once the A Delegate (At Large) page 2 was correctly identified, Laddy and George started to feed them into the scanner again. This time pages 119, 212, 553, 554, 885, came up as rejected for being backwards and were ran through at the end of each section that they were rejected from. When they were ran, the total was 900 ballots.
After George combined these he started calling off numbers of total votes cast. First he stated there were 4698. Then immediately stated there were a total votes cast of 15, 809. Then he said the first reading was 15, 806, then again the second reading was 15, 808, then a third 15, 809. Then he finally said, “when I run this fourth one, that should tell us which one is the accurate count,” it came back as 15, 809 and that was his final Votes Cast count. I tried to identify what exactly that number meant especially because we only started the day off with 1147 voters. However, he did not makes sense on this issue for me, so I have no idea where that number comes from.
George then took the two pages of information and combined them on the first computer. He then calculated the results and made a print out, which did not show a significant difference in the top 20. After some discussion between Nathan and Shawn privately, they both knew there was a problem because Nathan stated that with a 100 page error there should have been a significant difference, but it was only a 4 vote change. At this point I was not sure exactly what either of them were looking for, but clearly there was a problem.
While Shawn was outside talking to Headquarters, there was being some discussion going on about George forgetting to add one of the Romney names and said that if George had done that there would not be an issue. George apologized for the mistake. I stated again that Shawn wanted page 1 scanned again, and George said that he was not going to scan the ballots again, that he was putting his foot down. When Shawn came back in I told him what was said and he asked George if he was “refusing to rerun the scans?” To which, he said “yes, because there was no point, it ran clean.” Then Shawn asked him if he would email all of the results to him and he agreed to do that. Lee Miller, the GOP Attorney (?) quickly interjected stating “they were property of the GOP and that no he would not be emailing them.” Then George said he “should have consulted with the Attorney first.” Then Thayer clarified that “yes it was possible to email them, but no he would not be emailing them.” From what I took of that is they refused to give the results of the tally’s to the Ron Paul Campaign.
Now, the situation became clear when Nathan said to George that it “was clear that there is an anomaly in the program because statistically, if there were a hundred votes missing, each of the top people should get an additional 20-40 votes. With a 50 ballot error, there should be an additional 12-15 for the top go-getters,” but they didn’t so, it was obvious to all of us that there was clearly a calculating error. Romney had all the delegates, but the last one and Nathan reiterated again that if George had added the name, this would not be an issue. However, the last Delegate who was Matthew Papke, had more votes than the guy than the Romney Campaign had to write in. Nathan then began to ask where do we go now? Shawn went outside to confer with Headquarters and while he was out a discussion ensued. So, I asked them to hold on while I get Shawn. I went outside and called him in.
Once Shawn was in, Nathan began to lay out the situation of what had happened during the day and asked Lee what the ramifications would be if the Ron Paul Campaign challenged this in Court? Lee stated something to the effect that it would not go anywhere. Nathan then began to tell us that if the Paul Campaign wanted to waste more of his( Nathan’s) time, that was fine but the result will be that we would lose all of our delegates because they will mail out an A Ballot and a B Ballot and we would lose. It was in our best interest to take the one Delegate and the Alternates because it was obvious from the convention that we did not have the votes.
Looking at the results myself from the two different printouts, the numbers were all over the place. On one Matthew Papke had very little votes on the next he was the top go getter. The other issue is that I know that the Ron Paul campaign as a majority voted for the slate we had been given. There might have been a few off here and there who may not have gotten the text, but overall the numbers for the slate for Ron Paul should have been very close and they were not, they were all over!
At this point, Thayer was putting names upon the whiteboard for the CD winners and there was discussion that there were errors. I did not have time to write down just because things were starting to move fast to a close. However Nathan repeated his threat and then said he was going to leave. I quckly said that the ballots needed to be sealed before any of us leave here. He said that he “trusted the GOP to seal them up and take care of it” and I said “I didn’t.” Thayer agreed to have them sealed and another guy got some duct tape and started to seal them. I signed them and Shawn told me that if I signed them I would have to be present in order to have them open, which I agreed to do.
I also stated that I did not feel this was an adequate seal since anyone can take tape off of a plastic container, but it will have to do.
An issue for me was that I wanted the ballots hand counted to verify those numbers, but that fell on deaf ears. The numbers that were generated after all the computer manipulation by George were never verified by a hand count.
Another observation was that the Romney people came and went as they pleased. They were not even paying attention to what was going on. If it had not been for me watching and explaining what was going on they would have been lost. The lack of concern for the integrity of this election was appalling.
Side notes: Conversations
I had different conversations with Thayer throughout the night, but I asked him why it was that after the first ballots came back wrong didn’t he just have the CD’s hand-count the ballots? He mouthed the words, “George insisted on running them through the scanners.” Personally, I do not believe this because Thayer seemed to be the one running things. Everyone had to ask him for permission for something. I am aware of a delegate who had a personal conversation/confrontation with Thayer asking him who authorized the asterisks on the ballots? Thayer did admit to him that he did. Even if that were true, at some point someone in the AZ GOP office could have over-ridden that thought and suggested he figure out what happened instead of continuing to use a program that was clearly in error. Why not say that openly where George could hear what was said? Instead he mouthed the words which tells me that he was not truthful.
On the same subject of the “electioneering” that was being done with the Romney endorsement, George brought it up and Nathan quickly said that he had offered the Paul Campaign to put their endorsement on the ballots but we refused. Shawn calmly said that, “campaigns have different ethics, we did not feel it ethical to add our endorsement to the ballots.” Nathan got furious and said, “Shawn it is uncalled for to call my ethics into question!” Shawn replied “I didn’t call your ethics into question, I simply stated that campaigns have different ethics and we did not agree that should be done.” George immediately said he never should have brought it up and Nathan huffed out of the room. George said, “If it was up to me, I never would have done that, personally.”
Throughout the day, the Romney Team kept making accusations against the Ron Paul supporters. It was like they were trying to goad us into an argument, but neither of us took the bait. There was only one time, after a few hours of this nonsense, when another guy came into the room and started talking about how he had tried to guard the stage, but the guy pushed passed him and how physical and rowdy the Ron Paul supporters were. Then Meagan asked him how many people were arrested? I then said, “No one was arrested; there was no need for it. We left the building peacefully and wasn’t pushing Romney people.” She then jumped on that and said that she had witnessed several people pushing and getting physical. I told her that I video-taped it and I never saw anyone pushing other people around. At that point I realized I needed to be quiet and just said “I should not have said anything, but you certainly do not know the art diplomacy.” I was not there to have a debate on what happened. I have plenty of complaints about the behavior of the Romney people and the GOP, but this is not where it was to be done. All that was important was that we get the ballots counted, which I believe should have and still should be hand counted, because the results are not reliable. I did not leave there knowing that what was calculated was accurate. In fact, after seeing the results, I was even more convinced there was a problem because the Ron Paul Supporters voted the slate, the results did not reflect a unified vote. A few votes off here and there is possible, but not the way I remember seeing the votes.
The other issues that I found ridiculous was that Nathan insisted that there were only two Ron Paul people in the room, yet multiple Romney people came in and out throughout the day and were present in the room. Early on, David Fitzgerald came in to talk to Tom Morisee in his office and Nathan swore and said that “if one more Ron Paul person walks through that door (which no one but myself had come in) he was leaving!” It was appalling to watch individuals act and behave so rudely to get their way.
Voting Accuracy Issues:
- There was no testing of the ballots prior to the Convention by bot Romney and Paul witnesses to ensure the program was calculating correctly and we still do not know that.
- There were no procedure in place to hand count the ballots for verification of accuracy.
- Security for the ballots was anything but secure. Plastic containers with tape is unacceptable.
- Ballots that should have been secured, by at least the tape, was left in an easily accessible container.
After having seen the delegates list that the AZ GOP put out, it does not reflect what was even printed out on Monday night. It is as though they have hand-picked who they wanted. Its shameful!
These are just some observations, I hope I have covered everything. If there is anything that needs clarification, please let me know.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
I recently posted my observations of the May 12th Arizona GOP Convention. It was one of the most disorganized and chaotic events I had ever attended. Many others are starting to step forward to tell their own stories. I hope these stories inspire everyone to fight even harder.
The Following first hand account was submitted by a Ron Paul supporter named Pepper Draper who observed the delegate vote tabulation at the convention.
“May 12, 2012 AZ GOP
I am from CD4 and an Elected Delegate. There was much pandemonium prior to us being dismissed to go into our designated area where we would conduct Caucus business. I am pretty sure that has been covered well, by others, so I will just briefly mention what happed the first time we were dismissed. The Delegate report was supposed to be announced by Steve Kohut and accepted unanimously by the delegates, but Steve only called for the CD leaders to go to the side so, he could speak to them and then walked away without giving us the delegate report. Tom Morrissey came to the microphone and dismissed us. Once half the audience were gone, someone started to yell a “point of order” that the delegates had not been accepted and therefore no business could be conducted. It was acknowledged that happened, but it took 45 minutes before everyone got word and came back to the floor.
Once we were seated again, the delegate report was announced by Counties and “points of order” were being yelled (there were no microphones in the middle or back, only in the front) that the delegate count was incorrect. There was commotion about it, but then the delegate count of 1147 was accepted and we were once again dismissed to conduct Caucus business.
Prior to me going to my caucus, I saw the gentleman who was yelling for “point of order” and asked him why he was doing that. He said that Coconino County had been announced as having 11 delegates when they had 19. If that was not corrected the delegate election in that county would have been thrown out because they would have had more votes presented than what was allotted. Wow! Glad that someone caught that and had it corrected.
When we were finally dismissed into our Caucuses, we were given our first Ballot to choose our A Delegate and Alternates. The ballot itself was in alphabetical order except for the first name, which was out of order with an asterisk beside it.
When the vote was taken, the ballot box was taken down, but I do not know by who or if it was even escorted by a representative from each campaign. I did ask if there were Ron Paul witnesses present while the ballots were being counted and I was told by just some member of the caucus that as far as they knew, no one was present. This greatly concerned me.
When the results came back, Steve Peirce had won the A Delegate spot with Joan Lewis and one other Ron Paul supporter winning the alternate positions. When the Chairman asked Joan if she would accept, she asked who had voted for her, no hands went up. Then the other person also asked who had voted for him, with the same result. Upon looking at the ballot, the two names that the Ron Paul Supporters knew we had voted for, was one below the delegates who had been announced as the winners.
Joan demanded a hand count, which they finally did consent to do, but I do not know who performed that hand count. Prior to the results of the hand count, the Chairperson initiated the second ballot for the B Delegate and Alternates. Another “point of order” was motioned that we did not know the results of the first election and therefore we did not want to vote until those results were in. The Chairperson over-rode the “point of order” and had us vote for the B Delegate and Alternates anyway.
When they returned, the chairperson acknowledged that the name, Steve Pierce, which had been placed at the top with the asterisk, caused the program to read the ballots incorrectly and the two people, Patricia Lewis and Gianluca Zanna, whom we did vote for, were elected. This changed who the Ron Paul supporters would have voted for on the B Delegate and Alternate ballot, so another “point of order” was made because the results changed our plan. Another “motion” was purposed that the second ballots be discarded and we receive a new ballot. There was a second on the “motion” and the Chairperson finally gave in after having the Parliamentary and Thayer Verschoor come up to consult. The Romney people just was getting disgusted because they were convinced that Romney already had the nomination so why were we wasting time. Joan Lewis said to the man who made the comment, that “nothing has been decided yet and if it’s a done deal, why not do it honestly?”
We then had to wait about an hour maybe longer before, we received the new ballot. At this point when I went up to place my ballot in the box, I saw only one man who was counting the ballots and I immediately said I was going to be the second counter and witness, which he agreed. I knew this man was not a Ron Paul supporter and there was no way I was going to allow only one person as counter. At the end of the count, we both insisted that we escort the ballots to the counting area, which the chairperson agreed to do. We then took the ballots and turned them in the same direction and did a recount to verify our 117 ballot count with 2 voided, which our numbers agreed. After we did this, both of us insisted that we stay with our CD box, since there were others ahead of ours waiting to be counted. I was impressed with this man that he had the same concerns that I did.
We both watched CD7 and CD5 being counted. The man, who I now know as George Teagarden (sp) was scanning the ballots into a scanner that looked like your average day scanner, only fast. He was having issues with the scanner and the computer program. He would type things in and make comments about what a late night he had the night before and so he was very tired. At the time, I did not know what he was typing and still don’t, but it is my guess that one of the issues he was having was with rejected scans because that was also an issue that happened on the following Monday. However, his typing things in and doing things looked more like entering data vs what I saw needed to be done to rescan a ballot.
There were a few Ron Paul supporters as well as Romney Supporters viewing the process. I however seeing that the ballots were not being hand counted and verified started asking questions about, “How do we know the results are correct?” I then insisted that my CD be hand counted. Thayer Verschoor had been coming in and out of the room and at one point he turned to the man next to him wearing a Romney sticker and whispered loud enough for me to hear that, “he was sick of these (expletives) Ron Paulers and why can’t they just leave it alone and let us get on with it?” I then turned to Thayer (whom I have known for at least 15 years) and said, “Thayer, you have to understand with everything that has gone on this morning with the all the CD why we would want accuracy, I should think you would too.” He then asked me what I was talking about and I replied “with just what happened in CD4 with the delegates being shifted up and I heard this happened in other CD’s as well” He then said “Okay” and backed away.
One Ron Paul supporter by the name of Brett Rayno was asked by John Laurie to observe while the papers were being scanned, that happened during CD7 and part of CD5. During this time, it had been determined to proceed with the “At Large Votes.” Several people asked, including Romney supporters how they could proceed with the At Large Votes when the CD had not been fully determined? Thayer said, “What does it matter? Don’t you think that if the person doesn’t win the CD nominations that they would prefer to be “At Large?” A few people took that answer as reasonable; however, I did not as it does change strategies especially since there were still three CDs left to count how those names could be changed out before the election was concluded.
Brett needed to leave for a little while so, I took over the watch in the front of the computer table that was within the cordoned off area. When CD5 was finished, Gary Pearce, Kenneth Biehl and Kelsea Easton had been declared the winners for the B Delegates and Alternates. I asked those from CD5 who were present if they wanted this hand counted and verified? There was one woman, who was a Romney supporter, who said that she felt that all of the CD’s should be hand verified and with myself suggested how this could be done, by setting up tables and having witnesses from each CD and camp read the ballots, mark the totals of each on a separate paper and compare the printout to the hand count. However, the other CD5 members declined and so she was alone on the issue. Not being in her CD, I did not know if I could push the issue and I was afraid to push too hard since I was pushing for my CD, lest I be kicked out. Brett came back at that time, so I went back around the cordoned off area to watch the rest being scanned.
I also noticed that once the ballots were scanned there was no one from either campaign who was verifying the computer generated tallying before they were sealed in an envelope with the ballots. The only one who was even signing on the envelope was not from Ron Paul and as far as I know, he worked with the GOP.
CD4 was now being scanned and I told George, and the another man who was helping him, that we (myself and the man who helped me count) wanted to hand count the CD4 ballots. George then told me that was “impossible because we needed a clean room and no writing tools were allowed.” I then explained to him that I knew that was not true since I have been a witness to ballots being counted in an election and what is needed are witnesses from each party. It is also necessary that you have writing tools to mark down the ticks for each candidate to verify numbers. He ignored that and any suggestion to hand count ballots.
During this time, another woman, I think her name was Marla, who works for the GOP came to me and asked me why I wanted these counted and I explained again. She then said “if they are going to be counted we needed an elected official to be present,” So, she went and got another man, who then started to question me on why I wanted them counted.
At this point, they asked for Shawn Dow and John Laurie, so I went out to get them. When they came in, Thayer Verschoor had words with them in the corner to the right of the counting table. John Laurie then came over and asked me what was the problem and what I wanted to do? I explained again and John told me that he appreciated me and to “hold their feet to the fire.” John then went back to where Shawn and Thayer were and told him something. At that time, I saw Thayer grab Shawn Dow’s arm, kind of lift it and pushed Shawn back a few steps, while he was angrily saying something to him. When he had him stepped back, he let go and then proceeded to point in my direction and continue to speak to him. I did not hear what was said, but I could tell it was not nice. I later told Shawn I was sorry for getting him in trouble and he just laughed and said that he had been being yelled at all morning.
While I was watching what was going on with Thayer and Shawn, the elected official kept trying to ask me “why do you need to count these ballots? Who are you to be able to count them? If they let you guys count them, then anyone can demand to count the ballots…where does it end?” He was trying to make me feel like I had no right to demand these ballots be verified and that I was going to cause mayhem, but I would not relent.
At this point the scans were done and the man helping George told me that “if you want these counted, you have to first get Thayer’s permission to have these run again, if the numbers don’t match, THEN you can have them hand counted.” The issue with this is that it would not matter if their numbers matched or not because the program could have been the one to incorrectly tally the votes. That could not be verified without a hand count. The other issue is that them knowing that I was perusing the issue could change things to make it look like the other CD had to be right because George was at the computer typing things..so who really knew?
The man with me from my CD (he was actually a Gingrich Supporter) told me that he would support whatever I wanted to do. So, when the numbers came out, the top two people were Ron Paul supporters, I looked at my CD member and said, “these two names are Ron Paul supporters, I am perfectly willing to hand-count these to verify, but I am going to leave this in your court since they are demanding a rescan in order to do it.” He then said he was satisfied and then left. I looked at the elected official who was a Romney Supporter and asked him what he wanted to do, with some trepidation said, “It’s fine” and walked off.
Then, while CD6 was being scanned, the At Large ballots were being brought in and placed to the left of the counting table in a corner. Thayer was sitting next to me a short distance talking to George. I asked him if he needed help turning the ballots around so that they could be prepared to be scanned? His reply was, “NO. My people are going to take care of that.” I was afraid to push too hard so, I toggled between watching CD 6 and the “At Large Votes” to see if anyone was going to be standing guard over them, since there were people going in and out (not Ron Paul people, but other people I could not identify except many of them had Romney stickers on). I stood there for about 20 minutes watching and these ballots were left unsecured while people were walking around. At that point John Laurie came back and said he had some relief for me, but if I could come back in awhile, that would be appreciated.
After about 30 minutes, I came back in and there were three Ron Paul Supporters so, I asked them if someone wanted to leave, but they declined. I was concerned about having too many people back and having the media distort what was going on. However, I was also concerned that they might not know what to look for, but I left anyway.
By this time, they had also been doing the National Committeeman and Committeewoman voting. Before they came back with the results, they told the delegates present, that if there were a “run-off” they would mail the ballots to the delegates. That was “booed” and “points of order” were being made that this business needed to be done that night.
A little while later they came back and stated that, “we did not have a quorum and would have to be adjourned.” This also received “ boo’s” and “points of order” were made, demanding a headcount to finish up the business, but they refused. There were other “points of order being made that we didn’t need a quorum, but again there was nothing. At this point several Romney Supporters left, bringing the numbers down even further from the long wait times we were being subjected to.
Finally, they came back with the results that Karen Johnson had over 300, Geise was over 200 and the other was over 100 votes. Just by these counts alone we knew that there could have been a enough delegates to finish up the NCW elections. Tom Morrisey announced that there would be a runoff and then declared that the Convention to be adjourned, a man popped up front and made the motion and a second, the gavel came down “adjourned” without a 2/3 present “aye” vote. Tom Morrisey left the podium.
A man from Tucson, went up to the microphone to make a motion to dismiss Tom Morrisey and a new Chairman be instituted. The Security was trying to keep him from speaking and additional security guards were standing on the sideline. However, a motion, a second and a majority of “aye” only one “nay” removed Tom Morrisey. David Fitzgerald was nominated, a second and a majority of “aye.”
Then David called for a vote on National Committee Chairwoman to be Karen Johonson, all in favor say “aye” (aye) all opposed say “nay”(silence) David declared Karen Johnson the winner.
There were several Romney supporters still present and I overheard many of them across the aisle saying “we got more done in 5 minutes than what was accomplished in 5 hours!”
At this point we were told we had to leave, which we all did peacefully and reconvened out at the “BecomeaPC Booth.” There was no riot, no one causing trouble, but the police were called to tell us if we did not leave, we would be arrested. Therefore, we quickly, took down everything and left the parking lot.”
By Elisha Dorfsmith
About a hundred enthusiastic supporters attended an election night party for Jerry Nabours and Jeff Oravits at Northern Pines Restaurant in Flagstaff this evening. A big cheer rang out when the results flashed across the screen and Nabours and Oravits soundly won.
Nabours will be replacing Mayor Sara Presler who is not running for another term and Oravits will be replacing Councilman Al White who left his council seat to run for mayor.
Also winning council seats were incumbents Coral Evans and Karla Brewster.
As many of you know, I personally endorsed Jeff Oravits and Jerry Nabours and I look forward to their service on the council.
Congratulations to them both!
The crowd reacts as the results are posted (click picture to enlarge).
Jeff Oravits thanks supporters during his victory speech.
Jerry Nabours addresses supporters.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Just got word that AZ Governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB1182, the much anticipated anti NDAA bill. Many of us worked very hard to get this piece of legislation passed and Brewer threw it all away with the stroke of a pen.
At last week’s AZ GOP Convention, Brewer was elected to be a delegate for Mitt Romney. Romney has also expressed his support for the NDAA. Now they get to work together in their effort to trample our freedom and liberty.
As we all know, trashing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is nothing new with Brewer but this time she really deserves to hear from us about how disappointed we are.
You can contact Governor Brewer HERE.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The big story in the news in Arizona (and nationally) today is that Ron Paul supporters booed Josh Romney, the son of the establishment’s chosen candidate Mitt, at the AZ GOP Convention. I have personally been yelled at by several Romney supporters saying that my people were rude and offensive and disrespectful because they booed.
Booing is perfectly normal and acceptable, both at state and national conventions (and at other political events). Politics is war and the nomination process is often one big battle after another. It has always been that way and it always will be.
Why are Ron Paul supporters expected to act like good little children and sit quietly in the corner?
I have decided to give the critics a little history lesson. Some old history and some very recent history.
Booing at the 1964 GOP National Convention.
Establishment GOP boos Ron Paul when he mentions the Golden Rule.