2017 State GOP Convention Voting System
What an Amazing Mess
Last weekend was the annual GOP State Convention that was turned from a refreshingly well run convention into a massive loss of trust and respect for those who run the GOP thanks to the corruption of the convention chairman Rep. Josh Cockcroft and parliamentarian AJ Ferratti.
The massive controversy started after a close voice vote on Rule 5 which would have held GOP candidates accountable for following the GOP Party Platform, requiring the candidates mark up a copy of the Platform stating where they agreed and disagreed. Rep. Cockcroft, the proud owner of a RINO level voting record, obviously had a huge conflict of interest as did his partner in crime AJ Ferratti so they took advantage of their positions to help torpedo the vote and to shut down discussion or amendments exposing their chicanery.
As the spreadsheet showing the live voting tallies being recorded was projected onto three walls of the convention it became obvious that there were problems with the macros or formulas used to tally the votes, then suddenly without warning the screens went blank. Pandemonium erupted as this ruse has been used before to cheat the grassroots and keep power in the hands of the RINOs. The problems were laid out by a well experienced Excel expert and motions were rejected out of hand without a vote by Rep. Cockcroft and AJ Ferratti, threats were made to remove challengers from the convention by parliamentarian AJ Ferratti, and together the due steamrolled over opposition by denying the use of Party Rules, convention rules, or Roberts Rules of Order. Cockcroft ruled as if he was in a committee chairman post and impervious and imperial.
Wiser heads prevailed and you can read this account of newly re elected GOP Chairman Pollard leading the core group of challengers headed by Sooner Tea Party leader Al Gerhart up the long stairs to the balcony where copies of the spreadsheets were given to two of the experts and later distributed to more Excel experts so the macros and formulas could be cleared of any claims of corruption. The story above misinterpreted part of our last week's newsletter; the formulas and macros were in no way cleared as of that point in time.
Starting on Monday the spreadsheets had been distributed to a small group of other Excel experts and activists, starting a discussion on the intricacies of the macros and whether or not mistakes or corruption on the vote had happened. This story by Batesline.com, one of the participants in the group, lays out the facts quite well. At the end we couldn't find anything that compromised the vote, something that convention chairman Rep. Josh Cockcroft obviously feared as he stonewalled and bulldozed any attempt to allow oversight and transparency. Chairman Pollard did do an end run around Cockcroft which showed wisdom and a spirit of bringing transparency.
Late next week the group will begin discussing a way forward to make the voting more transparent and more immune to hacking, a process that will put to rest a lot of distrust that exists between the grass roots and those running the GOP. GOP officials have vowed to make changes to make the process cleaner including simplified formulas and processes, digital signatures on all spreadsheets, and advance distribution of the vote totaling spreadsheet prior to the convention. While we are sure that those in charge of this spreadsheet were trying to get by the spreadsheet had been patched and morphed and was quite unwieldy and impossible for the average Excel user to understand.
The end result was that Rule 5 was defeated by one measly vote, 257 to 256. However due to vote weighting where some counties had only a half vote per attendee and other counties had as many as two votes per attendee the voice vote outcome and the standing vote outcome would have easily been seen as higher than the weighted vote so the concerns were valid.
The Batesline.com story also laid out the controversy over chairman Rep. Josh Cockcroft's illegal and corrupt decision to refuse to hear Rule 6 as required under GOP Party Rules, convention rules, and Roberts Rules of Order. Cockcroft's anemic voting record was an embarrassment to the boy so he and AJ Ferratti were more than biased in the successful corruption of shutting down debate and voting for another embarrassing rule change. Here are the two Rules that are in debate:
Rule #5, the one vote defeated Rule:
The Oklahoma Republican Party State Chairman, in the interest of informing the voting public during primary elections and special elections, shall request Republican candidates for President of the United States of America and Oklahoma's statewide and federal congressional elected offices to affirm which sections of the Platform of the Oklahoma Republican Party they support. This request shall be made to official candidates within ten (10) business days of the filing deadline for these offices. The deadline for candidate response is ten (10) business days from the date of the Chairman's request. This request and responses to it may be made in written, typed, or electronic form. The Platform shall be made available to the candidates in the request.
The State Chairman shall make public the candidates' responses, or failure to respond, on the Oklahoma Republican Party's website and to the press within ten (10) business days of the request deadline. The Oklahoma statewide-elected offices are Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commissioner of Labor, Commissioner of Insurance, and Corporation Commissioner. The Oklahoma federal congressional elected offices are United States Congressman and United States Senator.
In the event that county parties conduct candidate examinations, the results of such examinations shall be delivered to the State Chairman, and the Chairman shall make public such results on the Oklahoma Republican Party's website within ten (10) business days of receiving the results.
In the event of refusal or failure of the Oklahoma Republican Party State Chairman to adhere to this rule and to discharge the obligations under this rule, any member of the Oklahoma Republican Party State Committee may call the Chairman to act and may call for a meeting of the State Committee to implement appropriate action. Refer to Rule 10.c. of the Rules of the Oklahoma Republican Party for information regarding calling a meeting of the State Committee.
And the Rule 6 that Cockcroft illegally and immorally refused to hear:
Rule 19.(i) Disclosure of Agreement of Candidates with Our Platform: For a Republican candidate for elective office to receive the endorsement and support of the Oklahoma Republican Party, he must read and mark up a copy of the current Oklahoma Republican Platform, indicating his agreement or disagreement with each plank with explanation as necessary, and make it available for review at the state Party office.
Rule change 6 was indeed about the Platform and candidates but was radically different and would have likely prevailed had Cockcroft not stabbed the conservatives in the back. However, Cockcroft's outright illegal refusal to hear the matter automatically puts Rule 6 at the head of the line at the next GOP convention.