A few hours ago at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Natick Mass where the GOP was poised to elect a chairman, the Republican party managed to do something so incredible that if you told me it was possible at the beginning of the night I would not have believed you.
After opening speeches, nominating speeches, and two excellent presentations by candidates Rick Green and Kirsten Hughes the 80 members of the local party committees took their vote, and this happened.
Yes you saw that right , the party actually disallowed a ballot for Rick Green marked “RG” because of course the intent of the committee member was to vote for the late World War 1 French Fighter Pilot Roland Garros giving Kirsten Hughes a 39-38 win with two abstention and one ballot disallowed.
And Yes, it took a committee member making a public objection for this mendacity to be revealed to the outrage of the assembled public (heavily supporting Greene) and the embarrassment of that public revelation for said ballot to be counted and a 2nd ballot to take place.
I commented thus
Believe it or not it got worse.
When the 2nd ballot was completed but before the votes was counted a motion was made to reconsider the allowing of the RG ballot to the absolute astonishment of the audience. It took some loud debate and audience reaction for the gentleman who proposed the reconsidering of the initial vote to withdraw it.
After the votes were counted the outgoing chairman asked Rick Green to announce the results, which was a victory for Kirsten Hughes. After very brief remarks Ms Hughes immediately moved for the adjournment of the meeting while activist shouted for the vote total that was not announced. Eventually she announced the vote 41-39 Hughes. As the balloting was secret we don’t know if it was just a question of the two abstaining members going Hughes or several votes changing.
While a lot of people I trust deeply have wonderful things to say about Chairwoman Hughes and she certainly not only carried herself graciously to all she spoke to, but was kind enough to grant me what was likely her first on camera interview as GOP chair
the reactions of some of the activists present after the vote were bluntly not what you would want after this kind of event.
Others, while more conciliatory still bode ill
The Democrats couldn’t have paid for a better result, Ms Hughes has her work cut out for her.
I’ll have the rest of the videos I shot up tomorrow morning but I’ll leave you with this.
In September of 2010 in Washington DC I interviewed tea party activists at a huge rally at the Capital and asked this question:
“Who here trusts the GOP?” Not a single hand went up
I was not at all certain that a third Senate campaign in less than four years, and the prospect of returning to a Congress even more partisan than the one I left, was really the best way for me to continue in public service at this time. And I know it’s not the only way for me to advance the ideals and causes that matter most to me,” he said.
“That is why I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for the United States Senate in the upcoming special election,” Brown concluded.”
While I think this is the right move for Brown I wonder if the reaction to yesterday’s….interesting GOP committee election had anything to do with it?
We have to divide the party in order to unite it (Jim Foley’s rant from the podium, and Wayne MacDOnald’s attack on bloggers.) We have to hide the vote count in order to prove we won (Both candidates for chairman were sworn to secrecy, and the delegates were not informed of the actual votes – news trickled out later) We have to vote without a quorum to ensure the result is fair (Votes for area chairs were suddenly called during lunch break)