Live From The 7th Congressional Convention

Already I have failed at my primary task for the Convention, which was to get Glen Menze to sign the FreedomWorks Earmarks pledge. Oh, I confronted Mr. Menze and he agreed to sign the pledge but…

I didn’t have a pen. I had a pen with me to start the day.

Well, I was carpooling with a guy, I loaned my pen to him so he could navigate a stack of coupons. He didn’t return my pen to me until after I embarrassed myself before a congressional candidate. It was just one of those mornings.
9:22. We’re already getting a lecture from some convention/district official about Ron Paul, uniting behind a slate of pre-picked national delegates and alternates. Whatever. I’m not 100% in Ron Paul’s camp, nor do I think Ron Paul delegates should continue the fight for Paul after Paul has given up. However, I don’t think we should be attacking the Ron Paul people for being passionate, for being active or for being organized.

The Republican Party is born anew every two years in Minnesota. The “establishment” must then work to maintain control or risk losing it, this means continuing to attract new people. If someone like Ron Paul attracts new people and they change the MNGOP in ways the “establishment” doesn’t like, well, maybe the “establishment” shouldn’t have been so complacent.

10:27. Why do I go to these things?

10:46. There is some discussion about whether the 7th district higher ups discouraged people from running to be national delegates. I think clearly that is exactly what some of the officers in the 7th were trying to do, rightly or wrongly. I think after the 6th district convention (where there was some controversy involving Ron Paul people) there was a lot of fear about losing control of the process.

Well, the delegates belong to the district. I’d prefer not to elect delegates whose purpose is to disrupt the national convention but the right to vote for them should not be taken away.

There were some attempts to change some rules but they failed.

11:15. I am a McCain guy, I have been for a very long time. I’m excited the Republican Party went with a candidate who has a good chance at winning to be our nominee. I’m glad my district, which did not go to McCain, is uniting behind our party’s candidate. What I don’t like are backroom deals or cronyism, nor do I appreciate top down management of a grassroots organization.

To the credit of the convention officers, they have done a good job being fair. I’m not sure how impartial they have been (impartiality is the most difficult part of chairing an organizational meeting). We’ll see how everything works out. I’m sitting with some Ron Paul supporters and in a lot of ways my sympathies lie with them. I’ll probably not vote for their slate for the national delegates but I also didn’t appreciate being lectured at the start of the meeting and being basically told the slate of candidates for national delegates that the 7th district officers approved of.

I’d like to vote my conscience, thank you. So, I won’t be voting for the “approved slate” either.

11:20. I think the Ron Paul people are a little annoyed that I’m abstaining from most of the votes.

11:25. Marty Siefert gets a big thumbs up.

11:47. Norm Coleman is now speaking. He wants to get the farm bill done.

“We [Republicans] believe in Freedom First”

“We are the party of small business”

“We support the second amendment because we believe in freedom and the Constitution”

Something about no soical experimentation from the Bench

“Every child is a gift from God”

“I don’t want the people who [did] Katrina relief or who run the IRS to run my healthcare”

“Things have changed in Iraq”

I wish I was taping Coleman’s speech. It’s really good.

I’m a big fan of Norm Coleman, I have been for a long time. I’m not concerned he’s more moderate than I personally prefer, he’s the right guy for the job.

2:03. Non.Stop.Thrill.A.Minute

2:05. There are 3 national delagate spots with 3 alternates and there’s only 21 people running for the 6 spots. Those are pretty good odds, compared to the 95 people running in the 6th district. If you want a good shot at making the national convention a rural district might be the way to go.

2:23. Again, why do I do this to myself?

3:00. Well, I split my vote, I voted for some of the Ron Paul delegates for alternate while I voted for the candidates that weren’t “pre-approved” but were still good conservatives and McCain supporters as national delegates.

I don’t seen any harm in having some Ron Paul people in the convention, nor do I see any harm in making them alternates. I am still pretty close to a libertarian and I don’t want the new blood in the party to be discouraged. The Ron Paul people are wrong on some issues but showing a total disregard for their energies and passion would be a mistake.

3:56. It amazes me, I haven’t had a headache in years, and suffering through this meeting has given me the worst headache I can remember having in the last decade. Resolutions to thg MNGOP Platform is the cause, I’m sure of it. There has to be an easier way.

4:00. In the runoff voting for national delegate, I didn’t have the option to vote for a Ron Paul supporter, while for the runoff for alternate the choice was between the Mike Barrett or a Ron Paul supporter.

4:15 The hard currency (Gold Standard) resolution actually passed! Awesome.

4:20 A huge portion of the delegates support medicinal marijuana, just not a majority yet.

4:30. None of the Ron Paul people made it unto the slate.

Yes, Mr. Menze signed the pedge, I’m outta here.

Cross-posted and comments welcome at Martin Andrade Blogs.