I am announcing my candidacy as a Libertarian for US Congress in the 2nd District of Louisiana. As a result, my postings may not be as frequent on this site over the next few months. I will certainly still be keeping an eye on things though. You can view my campaign page at www.calebtrotter.com. Next week I will issue an official Press Release. Thanks for reading and your continued support.
Today, June 2, 2012, I was in attendance as a delegate in support of Ron Paul at the Louisiana Republican State Convention in Shreveport. Before the convention began I told someone if we make it through without someone being tazed I would feel the day was a success. As it turns out, I wasn’t specific enough. Why would I suggest such a thing? For some reason, the Louisiana GOP felt it was necessary to load up the Shreveport Convention Center with Shreveport and Louisiana State Police. I guess they thought us rowdy Ron Paul people would create a scene or something. (Apparently they’ve been reading our blogs) In that regard they were correct, but not in the way they were expecting.
First, some background. The Louisiana convention delegation is made up of 25 delegates from each of the 6 LA Congressional districts. The Louisiana State Central Committee wrote into their original rules the authority to elect 5 additional delegates for each district, bringing the Convention total to 180. After the results of the district caucuses, Ron Paul delegates won 111 seats for a 62% majority, including sweeps of the 1, 2, 5, and 6th districts. Now, the LA GOP saw the writing on the wall for Ron Paul supporters to be elected to a potential 32 of 46 delegate seats to the Republican National Convention. This of course was not pleasing to them. A humorous but sad aside; an older woman in the delegation told a female Ron Paul supporter that she knew the reason she liked RP was so he could legalize drugs for her, and what is she, 19 (because age makes her views irrelevant?). Great attitude lady. Anyway, so what do the “powers that be” do? Change the rules of course, 19.5 hours before the Rules Committee was scheduled to meet. And for good measure, they appointed their own chairmen to the 3 convention committees.
These new “Supplemental Rules” could most accurately be described as…. corrupt, power-grabbing bullshit. I was also elected to a seat on the Rules Committee. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the committee meeting to finalize the rules for the convention. However, during the meeting, the body (made up of a majority Ron Paul supporters) voted to remove the appointed chairman and elect Alex Heilwig. Rough video of this is below.
Now, back to the Convention itself. The first order of business was a prayer that I would best describe as a political admonition to just sit back and let the powers that be do whatever they want regardless of the will of the 62% majority body. 4 minutes later, self-appointed Chairman of the Convention, Roger Villere, asked Scott Wilfong, “Chairman of the Rules Committee,” to give the report from the committee. At that time, Alex Helwig, the duly elected Chairman of the Rules Committee, challenged this while contesting the legitimacy of Wilfong’s alleged chairmanship. The result? Shreveport and LA State Police assaulted him, breaking at least one of his fingers. Video of the dust-up below.
Immediately proceeding those events the delegation proceeded to nominate a new Convention Chairman. The motion carried, and as you can see in the above video, the delegates turned their chairs around to continue the Convention since Roger Villere refused to acknowledge this entirely legitimate and proper procedural move. So, what would Villere and the LA GOP do next? Of course, it’s not a real party until the cops assault 2 political activists.
What you saw in that video, was elected Chairman Henry Herford being forcibly dragged away from the proceedings before being injured and subsequently arrested by Shreveport Police. After that craziness calmed down, the majority of the delegation continued with the business of electing delegates to represent Louisiana at the Republican National Convention. Roger Villere continued to have the minority portion of the delegation proceed with their own elections.
So, what next? Now the RNC will receive both results of elected delegates and choose who to seat at the convention in Tampa in August. Ask yourself, which process seems more legitimate to you? What country do we live in where political parties can change rules whenever the results don’t seem to be going their way? What country do we live in where a political party hack can have police assault an elected member? That’s right, here in the USA. Also, I forgot to mention that the event was on private property so there is a question as to whether the police even had the authority to remove anyone.
Anyway, there you go ladies and gentlemen. This is what the Louisiana Republican Party has become. And you wonder why rLOVEution is under way…
This shouldn’t come as a big surprise, but I cannot endorse anyone in the March 24 election for the New Orleans City Council At Large Seat. Each candidate gives me far too many reasons to dislike them and virtually nothing to like. This election will probably be a three candidate race with Austin Badon, Stacy Head, or Cynthia Willard-Lewis winning the votes, primarily based on name recognition alone due to their presence in local politics.
Austin Badon wants to bring the National Guard to town to police our streets in camo and Humvees armed with M16s. Also, he thinks it will be a good idea to tax people who commute to New Orleans for work from other parishes since they contribute nothing and only consume toilet water and parking spaces (his paraphrased words, not mine). Never-mind this idiotic idea was obviously found unconstitutional when Dutch Morial tried it in the 1980s. Additionally, he wants to expand DBE access to city contracts and if you’ve been reading this blog, you know what a crock those are.
Stacy Head is the Mitt Romney of the bunch. Nothing really to love or forcefully hate. With her time on the council so far we know her to be your average bigger government Democrat. What I can say is that if she wins this election, that would create a special election to replace her District B seat (of which I am now a resident). So there’s that.
Cynthia Willard Lewis lost her election in the fall for her redistricted state Senate seat with JP Morrell and instead of looking for a real job is back looking for that tax payer funded check.
Of the remaining candidates, Gary Landrieu, a contractor and cousin to the mayor, will most likely pull the majority of votes. His primary goal is to have traffic cameras removed. In fact, he guarantees it in his video. However, he also states that he wants to replace them with “crime cameras.” No thanks, Gary. Andrew Gresset, William “Poppa” Gant, and Norbert Rome round out the bunch but all have equally uninspiring platforms.
Saturday, April 28, 2012 from 8:30 am-12 noon, caucusing will occur at 30 sites across Louisiana. All Orleans Parish east bank residents will report to De LaSalle High School at 5300 St Charles Ave. All Orleans Parish west bank residents will report to the Quality Inn & Suites at 100 Westbank Expressway in Gretna. Residents of all other parishes can find their site on the party website. Voters are eligible to participate if they were registered as a Republican as of December 15, 2011.
During the caucus, 25 delegates and 12 alternates per Congressional district will be elected to attend the state convention on June 2, 2012 in Shreveport where delegates to the National Convention in Tampa will be selected. Anyone can register to run for delegate in April so long as they register between April 10-12 online or in person at Republican party headquarters in Baton Rouge on April 10 between 1-5 pm. The fee to register as a delegate is $200 and $75 to register as an alternate.
This is an excellent opportunity to elect as many active Ron Paul supporters to the delegation as possible. In fact, with strong caucus support it is possible to counter the March 24 primary results. Only 20 of the state’s 46 total delegates are awarded in March, and those 20 are proportionately awarded to candidates receiving more than 25% of the votes. That leaves 26 delegates. 18 of those are up for grabs in the caucuses (3 per each of Louisiana’s 6 Congressional districts). So assuming Paul doesn’t accumulate 25% of primary votes, he can still have a strong presence in Louisiana.
This is important because of a little history. Here are the 2008 primary results:
Mike Huckabee 43.18%
John McCain 41.91%
Mitt Romney 6.34%
Ron Paul 5.33%
I assumed those results meant Santorum should have a strong primary showing in 2012, but the 2008 primary occured after Romney had already dropped out of the race, and I hadn’t seen the most recent poll results of Louisiana Republicans. Granted, the poll was conducted in late November 2011, with the (basically useless) results favoring Gingrich:
All that to say, I imagine after today’s (Super Tuesday) 10 primary results we should have a better idea what other southern states are looking like and who may drop out of the race by the time March 24 rolls around.
Further, caucus results for 2008 were contested by the Paul campaign who was leading in pledged delegates until the state party extended the deadline allowing the official results to favor McCain with Paul coming in second. This shows the opportunity ahead.
If you are thinking about registering as a delegate, please contact the campaign directly so as to insure maximum exposure for all potential caucus voters. At the very least, please get out to vote the morning of April 28 for all Paul supporters.
I just got off the phone with Ron Paul’s Baton Rouge office to clarify a posting they made. Apparently, a little known secret in Louisiana is that the Republican Party does have a Presidential Preference Caucus in addition to the Primary on March 24, 2012. The dates of the caucuses have not yet been announced, but if you wish to participate you must be registered as a Republican by this Thursday, December 15, 2011 (you still have until 2/22/12 to change for the Primary). Changing your registration or registering for the first time is done easily enough on the Secretary of State website. The campaign will let me know when the caucus dates are announced and I will pass that info along. Oh, and yes, I did change from an “independent” solely to vote for Dr. No.