Today, a local anti-Ron Paul activist posted a highly-edited video of some mildly raucous proceedings at a Denver County Republican Assembly meeting. She then evidently sent out a press release about it.
The highly edited video, which contains less than one minute of actual footage from the assembly meeting, and is edited in such a way as to remove any and all context, shows some shouting between the crowd and the GOP leadership.
According to people who were there, the conflict was actually a very mundane matter between the delegates as a whole and the leadership. The contentious issue was the fact that the party leadership had unilaterally decided to completely eliminate a lunch break from the agenda so that no one could get lunch without missing important votes. The new, improperly adopted agenda also cut out time for the attendees to interact with the vendors and exhibitors who had been invited to the assembly. In other words, people had done a lot of work putting together a rather complex event, and the GOP leadership decided to just chuck all that out the window for whatever reason.
One of the letters I received on this matter is reproduced below and pretty well sums up the boring details.
The fact of the matter is that the conflict at this assembly was essentially over lunch and over the palpable contempt with which the GOP leadership treats the delegates. Few surprises there.
What is somewhat surprising (although it shouldn’t be, I suppose) is that the GOP leadership has used a mundane conflict between the delegates of various loyalties, and the leadership, to smear Ron Paul supporters by pretending that the conflict was over Ron Paul.
The DC article, for example, claims that “the Ron Paul people showed up with an alternate set of rules and calendar for the day.” Wrong. The Ron Paul delegates, and others, showed up with the original rules and calendar that had been posted on the assembly’s blog. It was the leadership that showed up with a new plan approved improperly at the last minute.
The article goes on to make other claims as well, although we’ll never know how these alleged events relate to anything in the video because the video has been edited down to nothing more than a few shots of people yelling. What are they yelling about? You just have to take the GOP leadership’s word for it that it was something Ron Paul did.
We can also note that the woman who shot the video, Kelly Maher, is by no means some kind of impartial observer, but is a former aide to GOP Congressman Bob Beauprez, the supporter of the anti-Paul state GOP chairman, and she runs a web site with the former anti-Paul chairwoman of the Denver County GOP. So, there’s little question left as to the motivations behind the rather creative editing of this video.
In addition, Maher’s description of the meeting as one of “madness” is rather silly and quite a stretch. If there was such chaos, why was no one arrested? Why did the meeting proceed?
Given the minute amount of video actually provided, don’t expect to see any raw footage of the event posted anytime soon.
I received the following statement from Florence Sebern:
11:05 pm on March 13, 2012 Email Ryan McMaken
I am the woman at the mic. I was there, as an unpledged delegate and chairman of the committee of Denver Republican Women [DRW]…[Denver GOP] Chairman Stroud was given a written proposal by DRW, which he accepted, in writing. We worked extremely hard to provide set-up for registration (and student liaisons to assist with registration itself), exhibitor area (18 organizations, candidates, campaigns, issues), delegate bags (filled with 26 inserts from organizations, candidates, campaigns and issues), lunch trucks from our small business community, and a welcoming, positive, enthusiastic atmosphere in the lobby area. We worked on all of it, based on the proposed program which allowed for 1 hour lunch. That hour would have allowed 700+ people to eat, visit the exhibitors, enjoy the camaraderie of being a Republican in Denver and encourage all of us (especially those new to the process) in our civic responsibility of engaging in the process.
The only one who did any promo for our work was House District 7 co-Captain, Chris Maj, a declared Paul supporter. There was not one word on the Denver GOP website (exclusively administered by Chairman Stroud) that helped Denver Republican Women in their efforts at the assembly.
At the Denver GOP Executive Committee meeting on March 6th, Chairman Stroud changed the proposed program and rules. The Executive Committee (Chairman, officers of the Denver GOP, and 16 district captains) did not vote on the new program and rules. Chairman Stroud simply implemented it. The minutes of the meeting will verify it.
My 21-year-old son, Colin, who was a delegate from our precinct, was probably the first one to shout out. He was very upset. He’s young and he’s been raised to be a gentleman. He saw Chairman Stroud treating a delegate — asking for a proper parliamentary point of information — with disrespect and disregard. It had nothing to do with the Ron Paul campaign, although some of those supporters joined in the shouting. Frankly, so did others who supported other candidates.
The “new” program and rules made the delegation grind through the business of the day, with no breaks, no lunch. The “new” program and rules resulted in the exhibitors not having face time and our small businesses losing money. I had an obligation to stand up, as a delegate myself, and as the one responsible to those exhibitors and lunch truck owners, and ask the assembly to decide which set of program and rules THEY wanted. It was the delegate’s assembly — not mine and not Chairman Stroud’s.
Unfortunately, after I made the motion and it was seconded, the motion was quashed by the Chairman.