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, Christina. I'm glad I wrote it out, and that it is helpful. And, I really appreciate you adding Steve Kohut's name. It was pretty intense in the trenches, and I didn't have time to ask for names I didn't know or hear spoken. I'm glad your first one was a good one for our side! Praise the LORD!
Thank you for the Amendment A update! I really couldn't keep track at the time, and I had no idea there was only one not pulled off the consent calendar— :-D That means we came very close to meeting our goal! (For some reason, I thought E wasn't pulled, but, will stand corrected if it was.)
Well, it's good to know that Robert Moore came that close. But, I can't help wondering when it's that close. . . . It's too bad your other SCs couldn't be there. Maybe we will get more offices next time, as the LORD wills.
Good to know that you've taken the initiative to inform people about the debt and Gabby. I'm hoping to contemplate and pray to see if I can come up with a strategy to break their stalling with Gabby. There has to be a way. . . . She took the opening and got her story out to the members. It isn't just the Minutes, though, it is all of the permanent records! Maybe the right dynamic has been jump-started. I pray it has.
We have to remember that every member of the Body has its own purpose, and everyone can do something to help take-back our Party!
There seems to be a lot good comments in this blog string. There are some missing pieces. I recognized the need in 2016 for Roberts Rules of Order understanding in order to counter the parliamentarian acting meeting chairman. In LD14 we had one training session on the basics of RRO by our own parliamentarian. Other items missing in your blogging.
First; Jim Dutton had an excellent strategy and assessment report on the AZGOP Bylaws committee recommendations. It is a shame that strategy and bylaw amendment report was not followed. End game - the statutory meeting in January 2019 will be over loaded with ghost proxies.
Two; Archie and I have agreed after lengthy discussions in 2017 the proxy abuse situation in Maricopa county is completely different then in rural counties. LD14 covering 3+ counties several years ago changed our bylaws to limit proxies to 2/PC. It works fine and there is no abuse. Also the A.R.S. needed to be changed so the AZGOP bylaws could not be returned - changed back to allow proxy abuse again.
Third; the bylaws of the state committee require county and LD bylaws to comply. So if the AZGOP bylaws limited 2 proxies per carrier the rest would have to comply for their counties and LD bylaws.
Fourth, It costs me about $350 to attend a mandatory or statutory meeting and you want to deny hearing my voice through a proxy. I do not get up at 4:00 am for making a 500 mile round trip, so I spend a night and sometimes two in a motel.
Fifth, The Arizona Republican party is a private club. The bylaws are a contract between the members. The private club is not a deliberative body such as the state House and Senate or the U.S. House and Senate. A private club doesn't make law. Read Napolitano to Trump: Republican & Democrat Parties Are Private Clubs, "They Are Not Part Of The Government" at:
Six; Our best hope is to get AZ legislation to restrict proxies to two and even one proxy per carrier would be OK.
Bruce, Thank you for adding your Voice in this very important matter.
LD-based RRO training is a good plan.
First: I saw right-off that the SC Team waging the parliamentary procedure fight was well-prepared and adapted smoothly. I did not act without consulting some member of the Team. When it came time for amendments to be pulled off the consent calendar, I stayed-back, as several individuals named the amendment letters to pull. I knew “D” & “M” were crucial to defeat. No one said anything to me about protecting the proxy amendment, and no one tried to isolate it other than making sure it was off the consent calendar.
Two & Third: I just spent several hours answering your points, including these two. But, it was taking too much time and space to address the injustice of disenfranchisement that would occur if all of Maricopa County were punished for proxy abuse by a relative few, and to discuss how one LD eliminating abuse does not ensure every LD will do so. . . . No argument on the compliance requirement for counties and LDs.
Fourth: “If any members are absent . . . the members present at a regular or properly called meeting act for the entire membership . . .” Your voice is not heard; the member voting your proxy acts in your stead; he does not speak your voice. . . . Costs are not pertinent to whether we do, or do not, have a moral obligation to exert every effort to attend the Mandatory Meeting and make our voices heard. (Not saying I don't know the hardship involved!)
Fifth: Yes; political parties are private clubs. They do not make law. They are not part of government. I think you’re saying that, for those reasons, they are not deliberative assemblies.
Not being part of government and not making law have no bearing on whether our private club is a deliberative assembly. But, I’m not sure of your point. Are you challenging the status of the AZGOP as a deliberative assembly subject to the Robert’s Rules declaration against proxy voting?
The AZGOP does meet the distinguishing features criteria of a deliberative assembly found in the attached Robert’s Rules excerpt (attached below). These criteria do not require the assembly to be governmental, nor to make law. It is clear that Robert’s Rules does not equivocate: The AZGOP IS a deliberative assembly and proxy voting is prohibited by Robert's. In fact, Robert’s Rules is written for deliberative assemblies.
Of course, if we really wanted to fight for zero proxy voting as a private club representing millions of voting citizens, we could challenge, under AZ Constitution, Art.II.§§2&5, the authority of the Legislative and Executive Departments, who are conspiring with the rogue, tyrannical Executive Committee—that has usurped authority from the membership and is holding hostage our private club through proxy abuse/ballot harvesting—to, by statute(16-828), dictate to us by imposing proxy voting upon our deliberative assembly; refusing to repeal said statute that violates our right to peaceably assemble for the common good as we choose to invoke and adhere to Robert's Rules of Order's prohibition against proxy voting in said deliberative assembly.
Six: Considering the arguments Archie Dicksion and Jose Borrajero have posted to the second Discussion, your conclusion is understandable.
I plan to prayerfully contemplate the question, and post a response in the other Discussion. Thank you again!
Without Liberty, FREEDOM cannot exist!
LIBERTY begins in our own BACKYARD!
I forgot to say that, considering the size of our Great State, and the cost of attending the meetings, since we seem to have accepted the electronic voting, we could always institute some form of Internet conferencing system to allow attendance online.
Itasca, I have to disagree. I have watched the efforts in more than one state to register people to vote. Check the box when getting a DL, as an example.
The problem is this, as I see it. If one is so disinterested that we have to go to these lengths to get them to even register to vote, what good is that vote anyway? I submit. somewhere between zero and none. If they cannot bother to stop by and register, they very likely are out on the lake, or doing something they consider far more important that utilizing their precious time to be informed citizens.
No doubt, we could do electronic gatherings. But, just the other day, I read about Twitter losing millions of accounts because they were fake. People actually buy fake accounts! Did you know that?
My point is that if we, as citizens, are not willing or can't be bothered to do what it takes to be good informed, participating citizens, we can't make them do so. No matter how hard we try.
Any effort to do so would only open the door to more abuse and fraud than we already have. Proxies are only a small indicator of the manipulation that would occur, I'm thinking.
In the case of the check box to register to vote while I was in UT, now UT, even after we got the check box removed, STILL has illegal aliens voting. To date, they have never dealt with the problem caused by the effort to make it easier to register.
We made it easier to pretend to participate in our meetings though proxies. Well, we all see how that has gone!
Doing so electronically? Go do a search on <Twitter fake accounts>. There are actually businesses out there where you can buy yourself a couple hundred thousand followers if you want! No thanks.
PRAISE THE LORD!
Sometime in the past I began to learn why God says, No man is an island unto himself. . . . He has been teaching me ever since why it is True. Because, no matter how much I may learn and how much more I want to learn, I can't learn all that I need to know myself. We are not a collective of insects, but we are connected and we do thrive by knowing that as Individuals, we are Self-Governed under God, Who Creates in and through us the dynamic that takes us to such heights as building the Greatest Nation on His Earth, and flying to the MOON and back!!!
And, His Timing IS Impeccable!
Without Liberty, FREEDOM cannot exist!
LIBERTY begins in our own BACKYARD!
Amending the bill to zero proxies is a mistake. Get it passed for two proxies first That, no doubt whatsoever, will help. We don't live in a perfect world, so accept the two proxy limit for the time being. Let's take what we can get, instead of bowing our necks because zero is a better end game solution. No doubt about that either. Let's eat the elephant in the room one bite at a time. A limit of two is a big bite, but one that may be accomplishable at this time.
This suggestion is what is called compromise.
Thank you, Russell! Your comment here helped me to focus on my own perspective and conclusion as I contemplated yours, along with Jose and Archie's comments on the Expanded HB2012, Discussion.
When the timing was right for me to begin to respond here, my efforts became too expansive to post as a reply, especially considering the connection with the Discussion on the AZ Legislation Group. So, I decided to continue the line-of-thought and post it a little while ago, as a new Discussion on the legislation pages. I don't know when the AFA Team will eblast it, so, if you and others would like to visit the page, here is the link: PROXIES: Compromise or Capitulation?
Compromise is an interesting subject. Here is how I see it in this instance.
Bow our necks, a very common conservative position to take, and stand solid on the position of zero proxies. (The "right thing" to do!)
Accept (and push for) the 2 proxy bill, which solves most of the R party's manipulative behavior and would ultimately benefit all R's in our state.
To me, accepting the second position, which admittedly is not the perfect position, is so far better than losing because of the "right thing" to do is to stand firm on the principle that proxies are clearly bogus...well, there is little doubt that the "compromise" is not really a bad deal at all.
Somehow, it reminds me of the fellow who says, I have an absolute right to shoot this gun...which he does...and then proceeds to shoot himself in a foot.
Instead of losing the argument altogether, let's consider compromising this time by supporting the bill. Just this once, for it is not a bad deal after all things are considered.
FWIW, conservatives always seem to be shooting themselves in the foot. If we learned to compromise, even once in a great while, we would be SOOO much more effective in accomplishing our goals!
For the sake of discussion, what about compromising on one proxy per carrier?
Thank you, Russell, for your expanded treatment of “compromise.” And, Mike for your patient restatement of your question!
We need to define terms:
compromise: a settlement in which each side gives up some demands or makes concessions
capitulation: the act of surrendering or giving up
Without addressing the legislature’s lack of authority to dictate the organization and government of private clubs, HB2012 is not “compromise.” It is “capitulation."
The original goal of zero proxy votes was abandoned in favor of the emotionally popular allowance for a two-proxy-per member-limit. There was no compromise meeting-in-the-middle. There was only the surrender of the correct zero, to the emotionally popular two per member; a clear capitulation.
Having just experienced the Mandatory Meeting, it is clear that at the bottom of this whole problem is the basic lack of understanding of the principles of parliamentary procedure and the purpose they are intended to advance. That purpose is not to have your cake and eat it, too, while begrudging the other side its greater amount of cake.
The only way to resolve the proxy-voting question is to begin post-haste to teach the members the basics of parliamentary order and procedure, and, why they are crucial to the proper function of a deliberative assembly.
If, as Mike White and others are asking, the two-proxy-limit amendment were to be changed to one, because one side wants zero, and the other wants two—and both sides agree to accept one—that would be a compromise. It would also be contrary to the well-considered and logical practice of precluding proxy voting in a deliberative assembly. The point is not to make sure every member votes—present or not—it is not a democracy! If you aren’t there, you cannot deliberate and cast informed, deliberated votes.
Therefore, recognizing that zero is the “right thing,” but, being desperate to receive some relief from the onerous status quo; if the cost is to agree to do the wrong thing and accept just a spoonful of cyanide rather than a whole cup of cyanide-laced Kool Aid, it is capitulation. It is not a compromise, and you can die just as quickly from the spoonful as from the whole cup.
The dispenser of either dose of poison is not giving-up its demand that you take the poison, just changing the dose when either amount will kill you.
He will kill you just as dead with either dose, and you have capitulated; surrendering to his desire to kill you.
Only one side gives up its demands; there is no compromise. The argument is lost in the surrendering of the “right thing.” This is where the fellow shoots himself in the foot!
By surrendering his “right thing” without good cause, he has gained nothing but a gunshot in the foot. That wound festers; becoming a putrid mass threatening to turn gangrenous and kill him.
That is where the AZGOP is today! We will not revive and heal the patient as long as the rules are violated and we shoot ourselves in the foot.
That fellow is more likely to shoot himself in the foot when he fails to climb down from the horns of the false dilemma, and pursue reclaiming the rights of all members of the Body.
Not having done so before now is no reason for failing to do so now.
However, if the members’ premise is to have a social club whose goals do not include Making America Great Again, Restoring the Constitution, or Keeping the Republic, it really doesn’t matter; the Body can play at following Robert’s Rules of Order and successfully schedule play days, dances, entertainment, etc, as long as a core of the members does all the work, but it is not the deliberative assembly that is necessary to conduct the business of a political party.
[There are ways to take the offensive and reclaim the rights of all members, including the Minority, but, it isn’t wise to show all of your cards when the ante is still being raised.]
Itasca Small – I am sorry to say it has taken several days to get back to your statement rebuttal of mine as the LD14 and CCRC (Cochise county GOP) have had meetings in the last week. I have a lot of work to get ready for them especially the LD14.
For the record, I may have had more to do with the bylaw amendment proposal to limit 2 proxies per holder than anyone in the state. I submitted a change request to the Lines appointed bylaw committee. I also submitted the exact same amendment language to the elected Secretary to be included in the call letter as required by the bylaws. And I also submitted a resolution with the 2 proxy limit and reasons to do so. All of this was communicated to the PCs in Cochise county as well as in Greenlee and eastern PIMA. Only on the resolution to the AZGOP resolution committee did I ask for support by other PCs to submit the same or similar resolution. I covered every base except the legislature as they were not in session during all of this effort.
The parliamentarian fight was viewed as very disruptive and plain chaos by State committeemen/women from Cochise county. You said: No one said anything to me about protecting the proxy amendment, and no one tried to isolate it other than making sure it was off the consent calendar. Apparently you did not get the Dutton assessment report on the AZGOP Bylaws committee recommendations. That report specifically stated the proxy limitation (N) amendment was not to be pulled off the consent calendar. Apparently you did not get that report as well as the parliamentary strategy.
Cochise county State committeemen/women had both. The loss of the 2 proxy limitation bylaw change was not is not a victory. Now the Lines and Kenney CABAL(e) can gear up for a proxy fight in January 2019 – statutory meeting. I would if I were them. Kenney is very successful at creating ghost PCs and SCs. I have the proof of how he did it with the non English speaking Vietnamese PCs.
Costs are pertinent to whether we can attend or do not attend. I happily spend the money not because I have to but because I want to participate. I agree with your observation we have a moral obligation to exert every effort to attend the Mandatory Meeting and make our voices heard. You do not know the hardship involved! I did not attend as the two weeks before the mandatory meeting illness hit my household and my wife is still recovering. So I used a proxy to a trusted colleague and stayed home. Do you think I had amoral obligation to place my health at risk in driving 500 plus miles at a cost of about $350? Really? The $350 is not an excuse for not attending and using a proxy.