Saturday, April 2, 2016

TNGOP delegate selection meeting gets nasty.

 Since my previous post (TNGOP Confirms Final Slate of 2016 Convention Delegates. Here is the list)  I have talked to a several people who were at the meeting today and as I surmised, the discord resulting in a 40-25 vote to confirm the delegate list did in fact come down to the make up of the 14 at-large delegates appointed by the State Executive Committee. As was explained to me, for weeks and days leading up to the submission of the list to the SEC for their approval, people lobby the chairman asking that they be one of the 14.  Some of the 14 slots go to distinguished office holders who the party feels compelled to appoint; the others are pretty much open slots.  While the Chairman presents the list for an up or down vote, he does not want to have his list of delegates rejected so an effort is made to draw up a list than can win confirmation. 

The Trump supporters were not happy. The process got very contentious.  The news story from Politico reflects some of what I was told, so please read the story and I won't have to repeat the same information.  Some disgruntled Trump supporters distributed Chairman Ryan Haynes private cell phone number and he got dozens, maybe hundreds, of angry phone calls. (This is second hand information and I have not confirmed it with Haynes.) I was also told that there were threats on Haynes' life. (I have emailed Haynes for confirmation.) Some of the Trump supporters apparently did not understand the delegate selection process and thought that since Trump carried the state, he should get all of the delegates. About fifty Trump supporters attended the meeting today. Although all SEC meetings are open to the public, it is rare fore anyone other than members of the committee attend the SEC meetings.

On the floor at today's meeting, according to one person I talked to, among the ringleaders trying to defeat the presented slate was Mark Winslow.  You may know Mark Winslow as the member of the SEC who has a penchant for suing other Republicans and for working as a hired gun to elect Democrats to office and defeat Republicans.  You may notice, and I am pleased to point it out, that Mark Winslow who ran as a delegate was not elected or appointed.

During two hours of debate several parliamentary maneuvers were made to derail the confirmation of the list. One person told me the controversy boiled down to two member of the SEC who were appointed as Trump delegates.  Although they are require to vote for Trump on the first two ballots at the convention, after that they are free to vote their conscience and the Trump people said they were "too establishment." In the end the submitted delegate list was approved 40 to 25. Below is the Politico story.   

By Shane Goldmacher and Kyle Cheney, Politico,  04/02/18- Donald Trump’s campaign issued a late-night plea in Tennessee on Friday, telling supporters there that the state’s Republican Party was “trying to steal” his delegates and urging them to crash a party meeting on Saturday morning to stop them. .....“We won the votes. They are trying to steal them. I can’t believe I am writing this. But the Tennessee Republican Party wants to steal your vote TOMORROW,” Darren Morris, Trump’s Tennessee state director wrote in a missive late Friday. .... hired extra security for the event....At issue are the state’s 14 at-large delegates that were not assigned in the March 1 primary but are set to be selected by the party’s executive committee. Trump won the Tennessee primary and many of the delegates were directly elected at that time. Morris wrote that Trump’s campaign had struck a deal with party leaders on Wednesday to fill the remaining at-large slots with Trump’s share of the vote....."They informed us that they did not care about party procedures. They don't care about the Republican Party," Haynes said.....Scott Smith, rebutted the Trump campaign's allegations in an email, saying that the root of the conflict is the fact that some of Trump's Tennessee supporters "depend on threats, manipulation, outlandish accusations and behavior."......

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