by Justin Nafziger
On Saturday March 10th, in Athens, GA, the democratic process was trampled on. The Athens-Clarke county GOP met to hold their annual county convention. The convention was held to nominate, approve, and pass slates of delegates to the party’s district and state conventions. County chairman Matt Brewster and nominating committee chairman John Elliot blatantly broke the rules of their own party when they improperly, and without a majority, passed delegate slates and adjourned the convention amidst cries for “division”, which is a call for a standing head count. With that, many sitting precinct delegates were disenfranchised, and the convention was improperly closed. When warned that their conduct was jeopardizing the status of the delegates and alternates for the entire county, the chair Matt Brewster directed all questions to John Padgett, who is the Secretary of the Georgia State Republican Party. Unfortunately, Mr. Padgett refused to answer questions and fled the scene along with the rest of the local GOP leadership.
Apparently, this is not the first time that the Georgia GOP has alienated Ron Paul supporters. In a March 2011 speech given by Sue Everhart, Chairwoman of the Georgia State GOP, she apologizes to Ron Paul supporters for “shoddy treatment” in 2008. She also admits that pressure from an outside source was the reason that Ron Paul supporters were mistreated. During the same speech, Everhart holds up a copy of the Georgia Republican Party Rules, vowing that such treatment will not happen in the future.
Many of the precinct delegates, who were elected in February at the county’s mass precinct meetings, were new to the process and were appalled by the conduct they witnessed. Delegate Gary J. Warenfelt of 5C said, “This is the first time I have ever been actively involved in politics and to see illegal actions taking place in a major U.S. political party is very saddening. They cherry-picked the delegates that they wanted to go to the district and state conventions without following party rules. They did not listen to any voice of opposition and ended the meeting illegally.” Fellow delegate Shawn Lewis added, “I personally called for a count of the votes of the ayes versus the nays, and was refused. I was told that the convention was closed, and watched as everyone just up and fled from the scene. I was ignored by the state GOP secretary after we were told that he would answer questions. I’m thoroughly disgusted; this is my first time participating in the process, and I feel violated.”
A word from our people on the ground:
Hello everyone, I’m in Athens, GA and don’t ya’ll worry…. we’re fighting this.
This is what we need: Call to action!
Because the meeting was illegally closed and the delegate slate illegally voted on, according to Robert’s Rule of Order, we had the right to reconvene the meeting. We did. We voted on and passed our own delegate slate, legally. Everything was done totally by the books. The paperwork has been submitted.
WHAT WE NEED:
Help us put pressure on our state and local GOP! DEMAND that they recognize our legally passed delegate slate, and throw the other slate out!
Send this to the people listed below:
Tell them that the slate passed at the reconvened meeting of Athens-Clarke county which was held on March 11, 2012, is the only legal slate from that county and therefore should be the only slate that qualifies to have its delegates and alternates proceed to the District and State conventions.
Feel free to use your own words but make sure the above information is included, our people deserve to be treated fairly within the rules.
Contact Info, priority from the highest to lowest:
Sue Everhart’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Georgia GOP: email@example.com
Chairman: Matt Brewster
Vice Chair: Karen Schwind
2nd Vice Chair: Tim Wright
Treasurer: Michelle Burnum
Secretary: Chelsea Magee
Georgia Republican Party Headquarters
3110 Maple Drive
Atlanta, GA 30305
Phone: (404) 257-5559
Fax: (404) 257-0779