Tag Archives: Kitsap County Republicans

Kitsap GOP approve delegates after brief, but testy, drama

Kitsap Republicans will have a full slate of delegates and alternates when they go to the state party convention on May 31 in Tacoma.

County party members met for a second time on Saturday and completed the voting process that stopped prematurely on April 21, when a nominating process ran into conflict with a commitment to be out of the Klahowya Secondary School building.

State party officials informed county party leaders they could reconvene and get approval from the state convention rules committee to seat the five-dozen-plus delegates in total. If, for whatever reason, the committee were to decline, the county would be represented by 14 people. The head of that committee, however, gave assurances earlier that the full delegation would be seated.

Speaking of sitting, that the full delegate slate will be seated doesn’t sit well with a “Daily Paul” poster with the moniker staobrof who wrote, “Because of the unorthodox reconvening and the rules violations, the state convention will have to rule on whether Kitsap County’s delegates can even be seated at the convention. From the strongarm tactics I saw at the convention, I don’t think they should allow them to be seated.”

Hamilton, in his statement following the convention, makes no mention of what appears to be a brief, but boisterous, moment of dissension that was videotaped. Hamilton thanked those who attended both events. “Your sacrifice of time, energy, and money are greatly appreciated. In addition, your willingness to actively participate in our political process (with all it’s warts and glory) set you aside from most voters. As those of us who have spent far too much time chasing dreams of political success know, you are no longer a ‘normal’ person,” Hamilton wrote.

The video, which apparently is against county party guidelines, shows the videographer being told to stop taping. He eventually yells that he’s being assaulted. There’s more attempting to get him to stop taping while Kirby Wilbur, state party chairman, attempts to talk to the rest of the delegates. Wilbur tells someone to “Sit down and shut up,” but I can’t tell from the video who he was addressing.

As the delegates begin dispersing to their three different caucuses the videographers get a variety of comments sent their way. One woman says, “Hey video this,” then tells them to take their anarchy somewhere I couldn’t decipher. Another convention delegate tells the filmer “Hey, you’re cool man. Good job.”

A final critic offers a condemnation that makes little sense to me, only because I’m assuming the videographer is a Ron Paul supporter. “What part of the Communist Party do you belong to?” the man yelled. That insult gets lobbed all the time at Democrats, but not at libertarians.

Many commenters to the video operate under the illusion that the party has to allow filming. It doesn’t. A political party is not subject to state open meeting laws, because those only apply to governments, and political parties are not governments.

The state attorney general has a page on this, which gives broad explanations of when a meeting must be public. Note that “political subdivision,” which is mentioned on the page, refers to a smaller government, such as a city or county, that is subject to state law. In fact, not all government bodies are subject to open meeting laws. The Legislature wrote in exceptions for itself and for the courts. Even the government entities that are subject to the law are allowed exceptions, such as when they meet to consider a legal action or real estate transaction.

Whether it’s a good idea to prohibit filming at a political event is another question. Any time someone attempts to stop it the resulting footage provides better public relations fodder than anything the videographer might have otherwise caught.

State, County GOP meeting to discuss reopening convention

Kirby Wilbur, state Republican party chairman, said he will meet with county Republican leaders Friday evening to discuss reopening the county convention to fill out the county’s delegate slate.

If county leaders want to try it, the state will support them, Wilbur said. He doesn’t want the decision to come from him, however. “I’m leery about the precedent of the state chairman interfering,” he said.

Kitsap County Republicans met Saturday for its convention and failed to elect the full slate of 64 delegates and alternates for the state party’s convention, which starts on May 31 in Tacoma. The convention ended at 4 p.m. with only 14 confirmed delegates.

Wilbur said earlier in the week he wasn’t inclined to let the county reconvene, because he worried about setting a precedent into the future and about the impact in Clark County and Chelan County. Republicans there also failed to complete election of delegates. Both, however had well more than half. In Chelan and Clark the conventions ended because there was no longer a quorum of delegates.

That’s far different, Wilbur said, from what he described as the “arbitrary” deadline exercised in Kitsap by Jack Hamilton, party chairman. Hamilton said he had a firm agreement with officials at Klahowya Secondary School to end the political event at 4 p.m.

Wilbur said county Republicans would only meet to elect regular delegates, not alternates. Nor would there be any platform discussions. He also said he would want agreement from backers of presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to agree to no challenges to the delegate slate once the convention was closed. Additionally, if the county party lost a quorum before all the delegates were elected, the convention would close. The delegates elected by then would be the final tally.

If county Republicans do decide to meet again, the assurances they have that the 50 new delegates would indeed be seated at the state convention would come from members of the state convention credential committee. Two members of the committee were traveling with Wilbur Friday afternoon to Kitsap County as part of the contingent here to discuss the county party’s options.

KC GOP unlikely to reconvene

The odds are long that Kitsap Republicans will be able to meet again to fill out its delegate roster for the state convention, said state party chairman Kirby Wilbur late on Wednesday. County Republicans met Saturday, but the convention ended with the party only choosing 14 of the 64 delegates allotted for the state convention.

Wilbur said the Republican National Committee offered some guidance as to how the county convention could be reopened just to finish picking delegates, but he said national officials were cautious. Wilbur, himself, is concerned about consequences beyond Kitsap County.

“I really, really do want to do something for Kitsap,” Wilbur said. But, “I’m inclined to do nothing because of the Pandora’s box I would open with the other two counties.”

Republicans in Clark County and Chelan County also ended their conventions without completing a full slate. Both, however, were able to pick more than half.

What made Wilbur consider making an exception was Kitsap’s count being so low, but he said he is afraid of establishing a precedent that could have an impact in the other two counties this year and in convention processes in the future.

Another issue is whether county Republicans could muster up enough attendance again to have a quorum. Estimates of Saturday’s attendance run between 700 and 800 people. Even if it was as low as 600, it would mean at least 301 people would have to be in the second meeting during the voting. Wilbur doesn’t relish the thought of 285 people showing up and having nothing to do.

Wilbur said a final decision could be made Thursday.