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Forum - Police Intervene, Arrest Ron Paul Backers at Missouri Caucus

Rontards gone wild

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JoePosted: Mar 17, 2012 - 22:47

Level: 8
CS Original
Police and organizers shut down proceedings at one of Missouri's largest caucuses today, as Ron Paul supporters feuded with local GOP leaders.

"It's like the Hatfields and the McCoys around here," St. Charles County's former GOP chairman told ABC News, after police arrived on-scene with a helicopter and removed Paul backers.

In St. Charles, an exurb of St. Louis and one of the state's largest GOP counties, Paul supporters sought to elect their own chairman and adopt their own rules when proceedings opened - both of which are part of standard caucus rules and procedure. But as they argued with the caucus chair, Paul supporters held video cameras - against caucus rules, according to a GOP official who was there - and things became contentious.

"It turned into a little food fight within the caucus, between the caucus chairman trying to control the caucus and certain elements, I guess with Ron Paul, trying to be heard," said Tom Kipers, a former chairman of the St. Charles GOP, who attended the caucus at Francis Howell North High School.

An off-duty police officer, hired as security, eventually fielded a trespassing complaint against the Paul supporters and notified on-duty police in the area municipality of St. Peters, who, along with police from other jurisdictions, arrested two Paul supporters and ended the caucuses early. A joint-jurisdictional police helicopter arrived on the scene. Kipers said about 10 officers arrived in total.

"Two people were arrested for trespassing after receiving numerous warnings to leave the school property," the St. Peters police said in a press release. "Both subjects were transported to St. Peters Justice Center where they were booked for Trespassing and released on a summons."

The St. Peters police identified the Paul supporters as Brent Safford, 45, of O'Fallon, Mo., and Kenneth Suitter, 55, of St. Charles.

Caucus business never really got started. The St. Charles GOP does not know whether it will send any delegates to the congressional-district or state conventions, having elected none.

Saturday's episode was a near repeat of 2008, when Paul backers succeeded in overwhelming other factions at the St. Charles caucus, according to Kipers. Their elected delegates were subsequently tossed from the congressional-district convention for being verifiable Libertarians (by primary voter rolls) and not Republicans, although Missouri has no voter registration by party.

At the state convention, in a spirit of reconciliation according to Kipers, they were reinstated and the officials who had barred them were themselves barred for having done so.

"Did I expect this to happen? Kind of," Kipers said of Saturday's episode. "That's why we hired ... policemen."

It's too early to tell which candidate performed best, and the Missouri GOP said anecdotal evidence indicates that very few counties chose to "bind" their delegates to any particular candidate.

The county caucuses are Missouri's main event in the 2012 primary season. There will be no traditional "winner": caucusers did not vote on presidential candidates, even in a "straw-poll" or "beauty-contest" sense, as in Iowa. Instead, caucusers chose first-tier delegates to Missouri's congressional-district and state conventions, who will then elect and allocate 49 of the state's 52 national delegates.

Rick Santorum won the state's nonbinding Feb. 7 primary, 55 percent to Mitt Romney's 25 percent. Newt Gingrich was not on the ballot, having made no attempt to qualify. The state party tried to cancel that event after a complex intra-state political saga.

Santorum supporters prevailed in Chesterfield, one of the largest caucus sites in St. Louis County, the only Missouri county holding multiple caucuses. Attendees elected slates of first-tier delegates who support Santorum, according to a local GOP official.

Paul supporters, meanwhile prevailed in Boone, a mid-sized county that encompasses Columbia and the University of Missouri. The county elected a slate of 48 Paul-supporting delegates and five who back Romney, the local GOP chairman said.

Paul supporters and local officials get along well in Boone, chairman Bruce Cornett said, although one 75-year-old county GOP member referred to them as "loud" and "obnoxious" at Saturday's event.

The caucuses won't end until next week. Nearly all the caucuses took place today, but Jackson County, which encompasses Kansas City and is one of Missouri's largest counties by GOP votes, will not caucus until March 24.
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JoePosted: Mar 17, 2012 - 22:48

Level: 8
CS Original
I found this article online. In the comment section they have some people that were there talking. Mostly Rontard but so other people.
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JoePosted: Mar 17, 2012 - 23:38

Level: 8
CS Original
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JoePosted: Mar 18, 2012 - 01:52

Level: 8
CS Original
(Guy who was arrested)
This is Brent Stafford. I wanted to let everyone know I am out of jail and am just now starting to read some of the posts about what happened today.

I am actually in my car right now, so I will post more complete details when I get to someplace where I can take more time.

First of all, thank you to everyone who was concerned and calling the police station. Apparently they were getting flooded with calls.

I was trying to reconvene the meeting in the gymnasium, according to the rules, and was told I have the leave the gym along with everyone else or I would be trespassing. I went outside and tried to let everyone know we were going to try to reconvene. Some people we trying to go to a nearby park to do so, but the rules are clear the the caucus may only be held in the location printed in the Call to Caucus printed in a newspaper 15 days prior. The ONLY place we could reconvene was at the high school.

I stood on a chair to address the crowd to let them know we were going to reconvene and what we needed to do. At that point I was approached by told I was under arrest.

More to come...

--------------- Update
Okay, I have a minute, and a beer! Here is the saga.

There are three main culprits to today fiasco. Eugene Dokes - St. Charles County Republican Committee Chairman, Bryan Spencer - Chairman of the Caucus Committee for the St. Charles County GOP (he organized the caucus), and Matt Ehlen - The guy the installed as Chairman and who ended the meeting before conducting any business.

I approached Bryan Spencer several times, prior to the commencement of the caucus, to point out where things that were being planned violated the rules. He said, "We are going to do it this way, challenge it if you want." He is the one that was trying to rig the process to select delegates proportionally based on who was in attendance. They conducted a straw poll as people were checked in, in violation of State GOP rules.

The meeting was supposed to begin at 10:00am. There were so many people still in line that by the time the meeting was ready to start it was just after 11:00am.

Eugene Dokes started the meeting by immediately declaring there would be no video or audio recording allowed, and that if anyone refused to stop, they would be removed by police. The entire room of what has been reported as over 2,500 people began booing and demanding that recording be allowed. It was not just Ron Paul people.

Eugene Dokes then refused to commence the meeting until everyone stopped recording. I made multiple attempts to make a point of order to address the situation, but he refused to acknowledge me. He then left the podium and called the police.

There were St. Peters Police, St. Charles Police, St. Charles County Sheriffs, and Missouri Highway Patrol that eventually came into the gymnasium and through threat of arrest made everyone turn off their cameras. Of course many did not.

Eugene Dokes then started to convene the meeting a second time.

Let me digress a moment. We had prepared very well ahead of time. I won't get into all of the details, but the Mitt Romney people agreed to support me for Chairman. This was an incredible vote of confidence in my ability to chair and to convene a fair process. I had also hire the President of the Missouri Association of Parliamentarians who I intended to appoint for that role. I never got that chance.

Eugene Dokes appointed the Creditials Committee, Rules Committee, and Parliamentarian. These are all appointments made by the elected Chairman, not the temporary Chair which is what Eugene Dokes was acting as. The body loudly booed and started making all kinds of points of order and other declarations of disgust at the blatant disregard for the proper process.

He then opened the floor for nominations. I immediately started nominating myself multiple times. He recognized a woman, who was obviously preselected, who nominated Matt Ehlen. At that point about 2,000 people started chanting my name to be appointed. Eugene Dokes ignored that and called a hasty voice vote and declared the one nominee, Matt Ehlen, as the Chair.

Hundreds of people started calling for Division of the vote. Eugene Dokes ignored them all.

Matt Ehlen took the podium and tried to regain order. After anout 20 seconds he declared that St. Charles County would not send any delegates to the CD and State Conventions. He quickly found motions to adjourn and closed the meeting.

At that point I went to grab the parliamentarian I had hired. She had not been allowed inside, because of an arbitrary rule Bryan Spencer made up, but I had checked in with her by sticking my head through the door of and on earlier. I told her to come with me and I headed to the podium. I asked her how to reconvene and since no business had been conducted according to the Call to Convention, we had every right to reconvene.

I took the microphone and announced that people should not leave and that we would reconvene the meeting. Eugene Dokes came up and unplugged the microphone. At that point the police began ordering people out of the gymnasium.

At that point I went outside to try to reconvene the caucus, according to the rules. A number of people were going to go to another location to reconvene. I had to stop those that had not left and explained that we were required to convene at the location published 15 days prior in the newspaper or it would be invalid.

I then found where the biggest crowd had gathered and began to address the crowd. Everyone got quiet to hear me. There were 300-400 people there. I explained very quickly that we needed to begin collecting a roster, as required, and what that meant. I was immediately approached by 4 or 5 police of unknown jurisdictions who made me step down from the chair and put me into handcuffs.

When I asked what I was being arrested for, or if I was being arrested, I was told they would tell me later. Eventually I was booked for trespassing and released.

The actions of Eugene Doke, Bryan Spencer, and Matt Ehlen were the direct cause of the event getting out of control. They have tried to shift the blame, but it is all on them. If they had conducted the meeting according to Robert's Rules and the proper order of the agenda, none of this would have happened.
It also appears that he is on the St. Charles County Republican Central Committee.
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The Real RoxettePosted: Mar 18, 2012 - 06:53

There ARE more sluts in public schools. Shut up and let me explain.

Level: 8
CS Original
Very thorough thread, great work Joe!
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JoePosted: Mar 18, 2012 - 16:05

Level: 8
CS Original
I think that the problem with Paultards is they see themselves as this vast majority instead of this small fringe group that they are. That the St. Charles County GOP is totally innocent but I think that the Paultards started it off. I look forward to see what your take on this is.
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emcadaPosted: Mar 22, 2012 - 18:59

Level: 0
Quote from Joe

I think that the problem with Paultards is they see themselves as this vast majority instead of this small fringe group that they are.

Boy ain't that the truth
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