Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
AZGOP Mandatory Meeting
by Itasca Small
Saturday, January 27, 2018:
THE DAY WE, THE PEOPLE, BEGAN TO TAKE-BACK OUR PARTY!!!
I was one of the SCs whom the LORD used to fight for Our Party!
For those who ask: “WHY?”
The meeting itself was out of order and should never have left the starting-gate due to failure to effect the required, complete, Mandatory Meeting, Call Notice to every State Committeeman! We did not raise this point of order.
[Clarification: “When a member thinks that the rules of the assembly are being violated, he can make a Point of Order . . . thereby calling upon the chair for a ruling and an enforcement of the regular rules.” RONR (11th ed.), Ch.VIII. §23]
We fought the parliamentary war waged on Saturday for several purposes; one was to expose the egregious actions of the Executive Committee in their continuing inexcusable treatment of our duly-elected Secretary, Gabby Mercer! Joe Neglia moved to place the Secretary’s Report on the Agenda! And, YOU voted to give Secretary Gabby Mercer the floor to charge Chairman Lines and others before the assembly!
Another purpose was to defeat Proposed Bylaw Amendments that were worded to tighten the GOPe stranglehold on our Party. They attempted to slip them all past us by falsely claiming: “These changes are non-controversial and procedural.” Well, WE, the People, still read!
Two of the Proposed Amendments were Letters D&M: “D” would have made it possible to nullify Robert’s Rules of Order!
“M” would have raised the bar from 20 to 40%, for the number of members required to sign a petition calling for a Special Meeting! The amendment was clearly offered because of the attempt by membership to call a Special Meeting, in 2017. If your dog slips his leash, what do you do? Tighten the collar! That’s what this amendment would have done to US.
A third crucial amendment was Letter “N.” This change would have set in the Bylaws the right of each State Committeeman to carry and vote two proxies. Sounds good? Ahh, we could have stopped the proxy abuse that helped the GOPe takeover our Party! Or, could we have?
Maybe we should “do the math:” On Saturday, LD28 had 40 SCs present, who carried 55 proxies, an average of 1.375 proxies per attending SC. Hypothetically, if each LD28 SC present carried 2 proxies, the total SCs represented could be: 40 + (40x2) = 40 + 80 = 120, or, 25 more votes than Saturday—55 proxy votes could increase to 80—Not such a good deal, after all. . . .
So, what can we do?
We can take the time-proven advice of Robert’s Rules of Order: “Proxy voting is not permitted in ordinary deliberative assemblies . . . Ordinarily it should neither be allowed nor required, because proxy voting is incompatible with the essential characteristics of a deliberative assembly in which membership is individual, personal, and nontransferable. . . . ” RONR (11th ed.), Ch.XIII.§45
Also, “If any members are absent . . . the members present at a regular or properly called meeting act for the entire membership . . .” RONR (11th ed.), Ch. I, §1
Proxy voting is a negative force that, as we have learned, can be used to effect an artificial Majority reigning as tyrants! Because it is incompatible with the principles of Liberty and Self-Governance upon which our Nation under God is founded.
The solution is to end the practice entirely in our Party meetings! With eliminating proxy voting, the Ghost PC problem will also be resolved.
Tabling further action on the Proposed Bylaw Amendments pulled from the consent calendar stopped Amendment Letter “N” making the proxy problem worse!
* * *
Saturday’s Quorum was certified at: Present 581 Proxies 388 Total 969
With 388 proxies still allowed on Saturday, the voting was stacked against us. So, we used parliamentary tools and scored big wins with our successful motions! And, the points of order we won were huge! The two-front offensive culminated in a Major Victory for We, the People!
1. We successfully wielded basic Robert’s Rules to score important parliamentary victories.
2. Secretary Mercer exposed Jonathan Lines and the Executive Committee.
3. The Proposed Bylaw Amendments that were pulled from the consent calendar are DEAD!
NOTE: Not all of the Amendments were removed from the consent calendar. Those remaining were declared passed without the voice vote required by the Rules!
* * *
[Following are highlights of the parliamentary war waged, and do not include every tactic or detail.]
1. Joe Neglia moved to amend the Agenda to add the Secretary’s Report! Some confusion. Motion carried.
2. Joe Neglia moved to remove four Proposed Rules. Chaotic parliamentary discussion ensued; the chair finally ordered a manual, written, vote tally—including proxies—recorded by LD Chairmen; facilitated by the Teller’s Committee. Motion failed; Rules were adopted.
3. Item 6. Secretary’s Report. In fearless, righteous indignation, Secretary Gabby Mercer came-out firing verbal salvos at Chairman Lines and the Executive Committee regarding their refusal to provide her with the permanent party records, rendering her unable to perform the duties of her office. In the midst of calls for Lines to respond, a member went to the microphone and asked Lines, “Why . . . ?”
3.1 Mercer still had the floor! So—out of order—Lines came-forward and threw-out a preposterous excuse for this travesty. He could just as well have said, “There are blue elephants on the Moon!”
3.2. Joe Neglia immediately moved for the removal of Lines from office. I quickly seconded (there may have been others, but I didn’t hear any). The motion was impeccably timed! and, in accordance with the bylaws! But, when the Question was called at Warp-Speed, using a rule-violating voting procedure, we were caught by surprise, and many couldn’t react fast-enough! The motion failed.
4. Item 9. Election of non-statutory officers. When balloting was closed, we went on to Item 10, while the Teller’s Committee tallied the electronic votes. Vote results, and Second & Third Round balloting were interspersed with the bylaw amendment procedures.
5. Item 11. Joe Neglia moved to reject the Proposed Bylaw Amendments consent calendar. Presider Gage objected to the motion’s validity, claiming it was an attempt to reject an entire class of individual amendments at one time. His argument was invalid, because as long as they were part of the consent calendar, they were not a class of individual amendments! They were the one consent calendar, which by rule is voted-on as one item. But . . . Of course! it was an attempt to reject all of them! just not as individual amendments. . . . He finally conceded the point, but, we did not prevail.
[At some point, it became apparent that our quorum may be lost. The committee counted the counties, but there was no attempt to count the members present, in-person and by proxy! If there was no longer a quorum, the meeting should have been adjourned!]
5.1. Tim Horn, Jim Dutton, and other members, called for certain amendments to be pulled from the consent calendar as special preference items, per Rules 5.B&C.
5.2. With the items pulled, the Presider suddenly asked if there was any objection to accepting the consent calendar. This, too, was done too quickly, without due deliberation to allow the members to catch-up. In the next breath, he declared the calendar accepted without the required voice vote! Rule 5.B. states: “. . . the consent calendar items . . . will be voted on en masse.”
6. Item 12. Bylaw Amendment special preference items that were pulled from the calendar. Due to the time, with no objection, Presider Gage determined we would debate and vote on the items in groups of three. As mentioned above, Letter “D,” as written, actually could have been used to nullify Robert’s Rules! Three of us spoke against it. (For the result, see below.)
6.1 Presider Gage ordererd balloting for the next Round of Election Voting, and Amendments B.C.&D, to begin electronically. He then began debate on the next amendment.
7. I realized it was out of order to debate the next items while balloting was occurring! And, I realized that Rule 8.A, required a voice vote on the amendments! [Why did they want to vote on the amendments electronically? It was easier to vote the proxies that way!]
8. I began my point of order; challenging: 1. Debating during balloting, and, 2. Voting on the amendments electronically. I raised the point of order repeatedly while being ignored for several minutes, as the Presider and others conferred on the dais; then I debated the Presider. Jim Dutton cut-in to move to table further action on the Bylaw Amendments. He was shutdown by Presider Gage because my point of order was still open. (We didn’t know that a point of order yields to a motion to lay the main question on the table.)
Presider Gage finally acknowledged my points were valid: 1. Debate during balloting was out of order, and, 2. Rule 8.A. did govern the amendment voting, so electronic balloting was out of order.
8.1 As soon as he acknowledged these facts, I quickly reiterated Jim Dutton’s Motion to Table Further Action on the Bylaw Amendments. I heard my Fellow-LD25 SC, Jacque Wilson, Second—with Warp-Speed! Presider Gage argued the point and wouldn’t allow the motion, while he danced around verbally trying to decide what to do. I began to press for the motion to be called, reminding him that it was moved and seconded, and he had to call for a vote.
[Bylaws Committee Chair Kathy Petsas had repeatedly been allowed to take the floor just to indignantly remind us how much effort the committee had put-into the amendments. When she did it while I was at the microphone arguing parliamentary truths for all of us, I called, “Mr. Chairman, Point of Order! Emotional appeals are out of order!” He and she were speechless. I was told afterward that my Fellow-SCs told her to sit-down, and she did. . . .]
NOTE: The crucial difference between Constitutional Conservatives and Progressive/Collectivists of any Party Label is the polar opposites: Logic and Reason v. Emotion!]
Gage demanded that the votes taken on the three amendments be counted. I should not have agreed, but did. (But, it worked-out well to know the results. See below.)
He agreed to call the question on the Motion to Table Further Action on the Bylaw Amendments!
Our Fellow-SCs were ready to take the ball and run with it! When the voice vote was taken, it was obvious the Ayes had it!!! Presider Gage had to admit the motion carried. No further action could be taken on the remaining Bylaw Amendments! They were dead!
The results of voting on Amendments B,C&D, were announced: All three were defeated!
1. The consent calendar holding the unpulled Proposed Bylaw Amendments, was wrongfully accepted. Because there was NO VOTE taken!
2. The amendments pulled as special preference items ALL died on the table!
Results of the Third Round of voting for officers were read. Presider Gage called for a Motion to Adjourn. The motion carried. Items 13&14, Resolutions and New Business, were left unheard!
Praise the LORD! for helping us to begin to take-back our Party!
Without Liberty, FREEDOM cannot exist!
LIBERTY begins in our own BACKYARD!
Thank you for standing up!
Right on, Itasca! Yes, it was the day We the People began to take our party back. Joe Paglia, Jim Dutton, Tim Horne and Itasca made no bones about how the meeting would proceed. Needless to say, Mr.Gage met his match as he very quickly realized these individuals would not remain silent should he attempt to pull his notorious shenanigans of “ out of order.” God love these four “Musketeers” that taught us that we still have a voice and we’d better start using it.
The efforts by Itasca Small and Joe Neglia, among a few well-prepared others, were very courageous. The were out-numbered (esp. by those armed with proxies and control of the meeting) and occasionally hustled by the Chairman and his professional presider (GOPe meeting controller and spokesman). But Itasca, Joe, et al, fought back and even a few times defeated, at his own game, the professional presider who had control of the microphone, had the board on his side, and even had Lines' consultant in the back of the hall electronically tethered to Lines' earphone giving him tactical advice. (I wonder if the state GOP paid for these advantages to the entrenched establishment, but I have no doubt that we did). The professional presider repeatedly allowed Lines, Petsas, and other GOPe officials access to the microphone to dispute the grassroots conservatives' statements even when they were clearly out of order. Not a neutral presider in any sense of the phrase.
Yes, our side ended up shutting them down, but, sadly, we didn't walk away with any election wins or any favorable resolutions. Let us all hope that the Proxy Limit HBs (2012 and 2029) pass and at least start nibbling away at the stranglehold the entrenched establishment has over the rest of us in the AZ GOP. A limit of one proxy per elector would be better, but the limit of two per the HBs is a start. We were outnumbered in all votes nearly 2 to 1, so we must prevail by replacing the GOPe board members over time with Conservatives! And we must demand transparency over their pre-meeting decisions and agenda control.
Thank you for fighting for the Conservatives!!! Thank you for all your hard work
We need folks like Itasca in the AZ GOPe vice chair positions so that we have people to replace Lines once he is tossed out or just gives up in frustration. Right now they have all of the vice chair backup positions. Gabby Mercer is our only voice on the Board at this moment in time, but she has been shut out and down.
CORRECTION: I see that I erroneously stated in my Bylaw Summary that "ALL" special preference items "died on the table!" I should have said that all of them died; three were defeated by We, the People, via improper but, Providentially on-the-record, balloting procedure, and the rest died on the table.
Please watch for my new Discussion in this Group for an expansion of the proxy voting discussion.
Thanks to all of you! Everyone's unique perspective is invaluable to our Noble Cause. I'm thankful that we united in our shared purpose and worked together: as those fighting in the trenches, and as Members of the deliberative assembly voting together to reclaim our Right to Speak and be Heard. We are learning quickly why the parliamentary procedures can work in the best interest of the Body when every member's Rights are respected. We may not have reached that last goal yet, but, we see the Light Dawning. . . .
Jay, Yes! We hear you Voice, like the bass drum beat I enjoy sounding when it is needed! But, we also need to DREDGE that Swamp! Draining it isn't enough; we have to clean it up, too!
Silence, Your Voice always speaks volumes in few words!
Rose, You were right in there with us, as a contributing Voice of logic and observational powers! And, as a skilled Facilitator when I needed to "hear" the newest strategy!
Mike, Your Voice is always objectively observing and analytical; we need those skills to help us with points we may have missed in the heat of battle! And, to see the bigger picture with facts we need to know in order to evaluate and prepare for the next challenges. Thank you for showing me that I need to expand my observations on the crucial Proxy Voting topic! As I was responding here, I realized it needed to have its own Discussion Page.
Myrna, I always note your Voice offering valued input, too!
Without Liberty, FREEDOM cannot exist!
LIBERTY begins in our own BACKYARD!
UPDATE RE: My expanded Proxy Voting Discussion!
In writing the new Discussion Post, I just realized that the correct location for it will be the AZ Legislation Group; considering its importance to the pending HB2012 & HB2029 Legislation in the State House of Representatives that would advise or reject the question of setting a two-proxy individual limit. (Or "goal," depending upon whether one sees it as a glass half-empty or a glass half-full!)
Thank you Itasca. !!!
You're welcome, Myrna . . . !!!
Itasca-- You and everyone else who collaborated in doing battle with the RINOs of the GOP deserve a standing ovation. That took real nerve and quick thinking, and above all, determination not to let them bully you, as they are so accustomed to doing. There is a lot of joy being felt throughout the grassroots. If the rest of the fed-up conservative activists in the state feel the way I do about that deeply satisfying triumph you guys made happen... Well, to put it mildly, our cups runneth over, Itasca.
Let us fully enjoy these unprecedented victories. We all deserve the good feelings, especially because they are real! We've all worked hard, always against the current, and waited for this for far too long.
There does remain this sobering thought--that this is not how a political party is supposed to be run. We are not supposed to have to go to parliamentary boot camp to protect ourselves from a weaponized leadership populated by--in my view--charlatans and libertines. Robert's Rules are not rules of battle. They were intended to facilitate, for large bodies, the process of holding discussion and reaching consensus.
The leadership have transformed our party and are forcing us to fight on a battlefield of their choosing--one for which we must work extremely hard to prepare ourselves. This is totally artificial and outside of reality. It is like a coup d'etat, in which the attackers are the only ones with weapons. Yes, I know we're smart enough to become better at Robert's Rules than they are. With but one meeting per year, it will take time. Ultimately, we will have to decide whether that is the only possible scenario, and whether we are willing to accept it.
It is so encouraging to read the comments here and on the original meeting report here at the AFA! And, your Voice joining the "Singers" here is one of Logic, Reason & Truth unsurpassed in this political and philosophical forum.
I think I can speak for the others who so readily accepted me on the Field of Battle on Saturday, when I say, We were doing what we knew needed to be done.
Praise the LORD for Robert's Rules of Order! The beauty of Logic, Reason & Truth, is, one can wield them as Weapons of War, or, Tactics for Peace.
Speaking for myself, I praise the LORD for my part at the Front, and for giving us the words and the courage to speak with One Voice for the People!
We, the People, achieved these unprecedented victories together! It just took Voices to speak at the microphone to set-the-stage for our Voices-in-Concert to rise in considered agreement, and declare:
"WE ARE NOT YOUR SLAVES!!!!!"
As we fully enjoy these unprecedented victories, I thank you, Marianne, for blazing the trail with grit and determination, as you always act to effect whatever invaluable influence you can—without fear nor regard for consequence!
I don't know the details of what scuttled our move to call the Special Meeting, but, as I read your Reply, I realized that in the Heat of Battle, I had not yet understood that your Drive to hold that meeting was actually the first salvo in our ACTION to take-back our Party!!!
In spite of our defeat in that battle, we put the tyrants on-notice that we are regrouping and we are on the side of Truth! Their Proposed Bylaw Amendments were evidence that they know we have awakened, and we will not go gently into the night!
Joe Neglia's Motion to Remove Jonathan Lines from OUR Chairmanship put them on-notice that we are NOT going to lie-down and rollover! The speed with which the chair called for a standing vote caught us off-guard, but that behavior will not go unchallenged in the future—as the LORD wills!
On Friday night, I found Proposed Bylaw Amendment "M" and read their revealing Rationale. I composed my argument against it, carrying it with me to argue if we had to debate it before the assembly. Since I didn't get to voice it Saturday, here it is as my tribute to you and your untiring efforts to Call a Special Meeting in the noble quest to "Take-Back Our Party."
The existing 20% membership requirement preserves the right of the Minority to bring a cause to the BODY for consideration and concurrence by a Simple Majority.
The point is NOT to block the Minority's RIGHT to argue a cause to the Body.
The point IS to retain the Committee's RIGHT to freely consider a cause & freely concur—or reject—that cause!
Protect our RIGHT to defend the BODY against tyranny by those who serve US!
Thank you, Marianne, for also fighting the Good Fight!
Without Liberty, FREEDOM cannot exist!
LIBERTY begins in our own BACKYARD!