Saturday, April 25, 2009

My Time at the 2009 Utah County Convention

It was a cold and rainy day! As you approached the doors of the school there weren't many signs outside. I got there fairly early. I had told Lisa Shepherd I would come and help pass out papers while she went to the candidate meeting. I walked around the candidates tables, then I grabbed some of Lisa's stuff and I parked myself by the front doors, along with many other people, to handout fliers and other miscellaneous campaign items.

At 7:30 a.m. it was time for Central Committee Meeting. This is for all precinct chairs and vice chairs. Commissioner Steve White chaired this meeting. We discussed 2 platform changes, one on family and another on immigration. With some adopted changes, they both passed.

Next, we had Senate District Sessions. Mark Madsen is my senator and he was not there. I can't say I was very happy about it. Maybe he had a good reason, but I didn't hear about it. We voted instead to listen to candidates from our district that were running for the State Central Committee. This proved to be a very useful and informative use of our time.

We then moved on to our Legislative Districts. We stood out in the hall for a very long time waiting, because the Senate District before us went over time. It was Margaret Dayton's district. Finally, we all came in and took a seat and Margaret proceeded to take up some of our time as well. Keith Grover is my legislator and he was there. He talked about legislator's lack of salary and the way to take care of ethics in the house is by voting every 2 years. He talked about the committees he is on and all the email, letters and house visits he receives from constituents. He said that this is not a permanent career from him and invited us all to come visit him in Salt Lake City, during the congressional session, and to spend time on the floor.

He opened the meeting up to questions, which was really nice. We discussed the I-15 project at various points, Provo Center Exchange, and Orem Center Street overpass, etc. We also talked about the Common Ground Initiative, Health Care coverage, The Autism Bill that didn't pass, and air pollution in Utah County.

On to the Convention...

Provo's Mayor, Lewis Billings, chaired this meeting. He did a great job.

Prayer, presentation of the colors, singing of the National Anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance followed. This is what Mark Shurtleff, state Attorney General, twittered about the Pledge:
At Utah County GOP Convention. I have NEVER experienced a more powerful and moving Pledge of Allegiance!

It really was remarkable!
Next, we had a vote on if the candidates for county leadership should be allowed 5 minutes, instead of just 3 minutes, to talk. This was turned down.

Becky Lockhart, Rules chair, talked next. A motion to approve the rules was made and it passed. Later on we find out that doing this approved the meetings agenda. Pretty sneaky of them, since they knew many people were in opposition to the agenda and that there was going to be some talk on amending it.

Susan Bramble, credentials co-chair, said that out of the 1234 possible delegates (7 unfilled), 805 had checked in. This was 66% and constituted a quorum. [You have to have a quorum to vote on anything.] The number of delegates that checked in is not the final count.

Phill Peay gave the treasurer's report. He said that the party has $44,988.25 and a postal credit of $856.83. He said that the post office box and insurance are paid until 2010. Accounts receivable were $27,500 and I believe he said most of this comes from the Lincoln Day Dinner.

Garr Judd, auditor, made a motion to accept the audit and it passed.

Marian Monnahan, county party chair, spoke next. She talked about the $54,000 that the party gave to the Utah County PAC, which she said made another $50,000. [This Utah County PAC is always a topic of controversy.] She talked about how the penny is actually called a "one cent" coin. She talked about the balance of email and privacy. [This has been highly controversially the past year or so.] She hopes that this will continue to be the best run and most successful county in our state and said, "Ask not what the party can do for you, but what can you do for the party?"

Next up Clayton Holbrook asked for an agenda amendment. This is where we found out that unknown to all of us we had already accepted the agenda. There was a lot of booing. However, we still had some debate on it. Clayton wanted the County Party Leadership races to be voted on before the State Central Committee. Which completely makes sense. Why they wanted to do it the other way is beyond me. We needed a 2/3 vote to pass it. There was discussion back and forth about it. The reason for the request is because we get to vote for up to 20 people. The County party chair and vice chair are automatic Central Committee members. So delegates felt like they might be wasting 2 of their votes if they voted for one of the winners of those 2 races. Curt Bramble requested that we amend the rules to vote for 22 instead. He couldn't do this because it was out of order, we weren't discussing the rules, just the agenda. After all this discussion it was essential turned down.
[Senator John Valentine was Parliamentarian]

However, another man got up and made a new agenda amendment. I can't remember how he worded it, but it was essentially asking for the same thing, to move the County Office elections to now. This passed! I guess it's all the way you say it!!!

Ideally the way this should have gone, is we had all the opening and party report items. Next, vote on County Leadership. Following the vote, the elected state representatives should have spoken. They were supposed to be going to the Salt Lake County Convention following ours. This would have allowed them to get up there sooner. Why are the conventions even on the same day? After that, we should have elected the State Central Committee, because we could have had the results of the county leadership by then. But of course, this is not how it went.

So we listened to each of the candidates for county party leadership.
Taylor Oldroyd, Steve Diamond, Lowell Nelson, Don Larson, Mark Cluff, Matt Thompson, Keith Kuder, Lisa Shepherd, Lynn Taylor, and Ben Smith.

The speeches were interesting. They were only allowed 3 minutes. Don Larson withdrew himself when he got up to speak. Keith Kuder railed on the Brambles, which lead to Curt talking to him on stage and continuing in their seats after they were asked to sit down. Matt Thompson had Margaret Dayton talk about him, which I think if anyone was still wondering about who to vote for, knew after listening to her, that it was not going to be him. Taylor 's wife and kids came up to the front and stood there at the end of his speech. After he was done all the kids left except one little girl who was watching her daddy. It was adorable. I think it scared her when she realized that she had been left behind.

Then we voted. We were told that because there were 3 people in the secretary race we might need our second ballot. The only reason we wouldn't is if one candidate got more than 51% of the vote.
Chris Cannon was given the Ronald Regan award and spoke.
Next, came the introductions of the 52 candidates for State Central Committee. Their names were read off and they marched across the front of the stage.

Then we voted. Both times we placed our votes in taped up cardboard boxes.

Here is Chris & I waiting for the all the ballots to be collected and for the meeting to continue. Mayor Billings had to ask several times for everyone to take their seats and ended up having to go over to legislators on the stage and ask them again to take their seats.
LauraLyn Eberting talked about the platform and if anyone wants to make changes they should submit their requests to their precinct chair. She talked about the 2 changes that were adopted earlier in the Central Committee Meeting. We then voted to either ratify or reject the changes and not discuss them at all. They were both ratified.
Our elected officials now had the floor...
Gary Herbert said our state is in good shape. Governor Huntsman took $1.1 billion out of the state budget. Utah has been recognized as the best managed state. Forbes said Utah is the best place in America to do business. Utah was also recognized as the best state poised for economic recovery. Republicans hold every main office. He said, "traditional family is the bedrock of our society." He also mentioned - principles are the important thing. Principles are what guide us.

Mark Shurtleff thanked everyone for their prayers and support. He mentioned his thoughts on hearing the Pledge of Allegiance. He said that the #1 problem in our state is prescription drug abuse. He talked about SB81 and his Attorney General Strike Force against criminal illegal aliens. The said, "Utah's Constitution prohibits same sex legal unions - PERIOD." He also talked about state directory to protect your email and cell phones from adult oriented solicitations. It is @ He talked about the Tea Parties. Nancy Pelosi was calling those who went "dupes" and how President Obama claimed he was unaware of them (the parties). He goes on to say just like how he was unaware of the AIG bonuses, that 5 of his cabinet members weren't paying their taxes, or for 20 years was unaware of his pastor. He talked of Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. Quoted Cleon Skousen and Longfellow. I liked his closing statement about rising up the purple majesty, rolling across the plains and crashing down on the current administration.
Stan Lockhart - He mentioned that it wasn't until 1996 that all the offices in Utah County were Republican. The said that the party chairs is responsible for 3 things. 1) to make sure Republicans are elected. 2) to organize the party 3) to raise money. He said it's the grassroots that make the party not the administration. He told the new leadership that the standard is not perfection, just the best that they can. He also told them to understand that it is difficult and to keep a good attitude. He talked about how the legislators hit a brickwall when it came to I-15. They were told they would only bond for it if the legislators agreed to raise taxes. Legislators said no. They eventually worked out a compromise of a small vehicle fee increase.
Jason Chaffetz stared with, "Welcome fellow terrorists." He talked about recently going to IRAQ. He said that we should be of more service. He also said that we should thank, help and support our troops. We need to do more to take care of those men and women who take care of us. He also said he wouldn't support a president that apologizes for being a military and economic superpower during his stops around the world. His speech was short and sweet. He got a standing ovation and lots of applause.
Bob Bennett - He said that there are 2 fun things to do at convention. 1) to be a cheerleader, to be proud to be an American, that it's OK to be American. 2) to be a truth teller. He said we already had cheerleaders today, so he was going to be a truth teller. He said that this week is the 1st time in 5 years that polls show Americans feel that America is on the right track - 80-90%. He said American's really like their attractive, new president. He said all we have to do is be smarter than Barrack Obama. He talked about General Washington and the Continental Army and how he looked for points of weakness to win. He said that we need to be careful about finding the right battles to win. People will lose their love affair with attractive, young president.
Orrin Hatch talked about how he is "fighting his guts out to have 41 senators [Republican senators for US Senate]." He said it is hard not to like Obama, but they are running us into bankruptcy. This administration spends, borrows and taxes too much. He talked about how the House can push anything through, but it stops in the Senate. They want to limit spending to 20% of GDP. Right now it is 28% going to 38%. He said that Obama is pushing the wrong programs. He said that he is the longest member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and when they release papers people will think that they had the wrong impression of George W. Bush. He said George W. Bush could have used his veto pen more. He said there has never been one single day where physical conservatives were the majority of any one body of congress. Republicans aren't just dreamers, we are doers. It's going to take all of us to make change and for our dream to come true.

Awards & Such

Marian gave a gift certificate to one of the leg. chairs and a "Bush Souvenir" and gift certificate to Lewis Billings.

Mayor Billings said Marian has served 8 years as chair and that is the longest anyone has served in that position. She was given a flag.

Marian gave Susan Bramble one of the Republican logos that apparently Mayor Billings and family made some time ago.
Susan Bramble came and gave the final credentials report: 847 for 69%
7 spots not filled, 380 didn't check in. Someone earlier had mentioned that they only thought 420 would come. We doubled their expectation.

Next, there was a proposed resolution that needed to be discussed. The declared that we still had enough people there for a quorum so they went ahead. Don Larsen wrote the proposal. He said we must support the Rule of Law and the Constitution. The resolution failed. A division was called. They did it visually, not an actual count. It failed.

They announced the winners of the county party leadership, but they didn't have the results of the state central committee by the time it was over.

Results can be found here:


Lisa said...

Maybe, just maybe, one of my friends could have told me to FIX MY HAIR before I went on stage. I guess the delegates must have felt sorry for my having a bad hair day and gave me their vote. haha

Christy, you are an amazing Precinct chair. I'm so glad you ran for that seat. I've never seen better!


nacilbupera said...

Your report is outstanding, thorough and informative!!!
Thanks so much for the info!