“Follow the rule of law”. “Personal accountability”. “Transparency”.
These are words and phrases Republicans use to guide their political discourse and set them apart from Democrats. If the January Macomb GOP convention is any example, these words and phrases are hollow.
On Thursday, the Michigan Republican Party (MRP) confirmed challenges I presented to deliberate alterations to the list of state convention Delegates and Alternates. This challenge was solely focused on the Congressional 10th District Congressional portion of the county. In essence, gross negligence or voter fraud was perpetrated as the list submitted to the MRP was not the same list approved by the Macomb 10th District delegation at the county convention on January 10.
The charges verified by the MRP include the following:
- Two people that were approved as Alternates were placed on the Delegate list.
- A person approved as a Delegate was not on the list at all.
- Twenty names (20) read to be Alternates were not on the Alternate list.
- Twenty six names (26) not read at the convention were added as Alternates.
This was not a clerical error. Discrepancies of this magnitude are pre-meditated. How does this exemplify “following the rule of law” when the convention rules clearly indicate to report to the MRP those Delegates and Alternates determined at convention? There is no authority to make changes to the list once the county convention ends. Unfortunately, we are at the point now with Republican politics in Macomb County that conventions have to be videotaped in order to ensure they are run according to the rules. And like the demise of Acorn, video is revealing unpleasant details.
While the MRP did the correct step in reinstating people as expected to participate in the state convention, the state party said they have no current authority to sanction those guilty of perpetuating this type of willful disregard. This essentially offers the chance for convention chairpeople to alter lists and chance whether they will get caught without repercussion. Not exactly the makings of an accountable process.
At this point it is uncertain who made the changes to the list. Stanley Grot was elected as permanent chairman of the 10th District sub-caucus and along with the nominating committee he formed, had responsibility for compiling the list of Delegates and Alternates per MRP rules. Michael Ennis, chairman of the Macomb GOP, had responsibility for forwarding the final list to the MRP.
Hints the integrity of the convention might degrade started when Grot’s nominating committee read the initial list of 93 delegates. The names were selected without consideration of the Precinct Delegate Preference rule mandated by the MRP. This rule gives preference to be a Delegate or Alternate to the state convention if you 1) are a precinct delegate, 2) present at the county convention and 3) indicate your desire to go to state convention.
Not applying this rule was a clear example of a lack of “personal responsibility” by Grot and his team to understand the rules they were charged with applying. Once the rule was brought forward by a member of the delegation, Grot’s team adjusted their approach holding a roll call to determine which delegates were in attendance. The result was at least 14 delegates being removed and replaced.
Shouldn’t Grot and his nominating committee have read the rules BEFORE the convention in order to serve their roles faithfully? The Macomb GOP had the official check-in list for those attending the convention but the nominating committee never referred to this list and some confusion ensued.
At the end of the convention, I made a motion for the list of Delegates and Alternates selected to be posted on the www.macombgop.com website. The motion passed resoundingly but as of this writing, the list still has not been posted to the county party website.
I made this motion for two reasons. The first of which is so that all Delegates and Alternates from both the 10th and 12th districts would understand their slot. Names can be read very quickly at these conventions and it can be confusing for someone to know where they are slotted and decide if they truly will go to state convention or not.
The second reason for my motion was to press for “transparency”. After the highly contentious November Macomb GOP county convention (see an account of this convention here), transparency was not in high regard as exemplified by the refusal to post the list of the 32 elected members of the Macomb GOP Executive Committee. As such, I wanted to ensure that this convention was more transparent by having the list published and corroborated with the names read in the sub-caucus.
As it turns out, a full audit of the list was needed. I acquired a copy of the official list and compared it to a video I took of the reading of names at convention, leading to the challenges mentioned above.
The events at the convention and ensuing challenge are highly troubling. This is the official leadership of the GOP in Macomb County and possibly the 10th District (Grot is running for chair of the 10th District). If Republicans cannot exemplify those values they ascribe to, how do they hope to maintain the public trust and present a clear difference to the Democrats? If this type of leadership is allowed to continue, there is no differentiator. Republicans are as bad as those they decry.
- January 28, 2011 – Macomb Daily Article about Delegate Challenge