Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tennessee Republican Assembly Endorses Santorum After Paul Landslide In Straw Poll

Here is the news through facebook, from Combat Veterans for Ron Paul:

Combat Veterans for Ron Paul
Local news stations in Nashville tonight reported that the TRA had their straw poll (with no mention of vote tallies, percentages, or any numbers), and that THE TRA IS ENDORSING RICK SANTORUM. After the landslide victory Tennessee delivered for Ron Paul today, the TRA should refund the voters money and publicly apologize for ignoring the straw poll results and adding insult to injury by trying to use all the Ron Paul voters money to endorse Rick Santorum. The Republican establishment obviously doesn't want to embrace what could be the future of the party. Instead, they insist on pushing us out of the process and/or resorting to corrupt tactics to blackout the Ron Paul groundswell. Research this story! The Republican establishment doesn't care what the voters think!
EDIT: here is the link to TNRA contact

My Comment: I don't blame the the Ron Paul supporters for being mad. It was duplicitous of  TRA to have a straw poll and then issue an endorsement for a candidate other than the winner of the straw poll. This is highly unusual. I don't know that I have ever seen this done before. Last year when Ron Paul won the CPAC endorsement, we knew Ron Paul may not have not been the favorite of most regular CPAC members, but the Paul supporters organized and went to the convention and paid their fees and won the straw poll. If an organization fears the outcome of a straw poll, don't have it. If you have a straw poll then don't issue an endorsement for a different candidate. Play fair. TRA just used the Paul supports.

I like that the above writer called TRA "the Republican establishment." To be against "the Republican Establishment" seems to be TRA's only reason to exist. Now, someone considers TRA "the Republican establishment." He should have also called them "RINOs."

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  1. Rod, I disagree:
    --what little I know about the TRA is that "Republican establishment" they're not. What I know of the Republican Assembly's history is that they were founded IN OPPOSITION to the Republican establishment in California.
    --The Republican Assembly, at least the few that I know here locally are also not RINO's.
    --Did the TRA commit themselves to be bound by the results of the straw poll? Were those voting in the straw poll all TRA members? I think I'm pretty safe in assuming the answers to both these questions is no.
    --Assuming then that this is true, we all know that Ron Paul supporters turn out in droves in such straw poll events. Nothing wrong with that, it speaks to their organizational skills and passions but that's also the reason I have zero faith in any real meaning of straw polls. We saw that Michelle Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll and then did piss poor in the caucus and dropped out.
    --It makes zero sense to call the TRA RINO's for endorsing Rick Santorum of all people. If they had endorsed Mitt Romney (THE Establishment candidate by all accounts) you might have a point.
    --It sounds to me like this was not a TRA straw poll (of TRA members) but a TN straw poll conducted by or held under the auspices of the TRA. Is that correct? If that is correct, the membership or leadership had every right not to consider themselves bound by the results of the straw poll in deciding whom they would it endorse. It was, if all these assumptions are correct, completely within their prerogative to decide whom to endorse and, again, their decision to endorse Rick Santorum, was of all, things, not a RINO decision.

    Gene Wisdom

  2. They (GOP) have lost me after this one. I can't believe that this is how the TRA operates.

  3. Jason, Please know that TRA, although they have "Republican" in their name, are not part of the Republican Party. They are Republican only by self identification. Unlike College Republicans or Young Republican which are official Republican organization, Republican Assembly is totally outside of the Republican Party. Don't blame the GOP for the actions of the TRA.

  4. Gene, I said I liked that a disgruntled Ron Paul supported called the TRA "the Republican Establishment" and said he should have also called them RINO. Not, that they are "the Republican Establishment" or not that the are "RINO," but because it appears to me the only reason TRA exist is to fight the "Republican Establishment" and TRA (or at least the current leadership of TRA) go around denouncing everyone but themselves as "The Republican Establishment" and RINO, as I was recently denounced.

    The current leadership of the DCRP is very conservative yet gets denounced as RINO and "The Republican Establishment by the leaders of TRA. As I pointed out in another post:
    Our own Davidson County Republican Party has as it's chairman Kathleen Starnes. Does anyone think Kathleen Starnes is a liberal? We have on the Executive Committee people like Ken Merraro who blogs as The Blue Collar Muse and who is a TEA party activist, Lonnie Spivak who ran for the 5th Congressional District Republican nomination and who is a leader of a conservative organization, Dan Davis and Tony Roberts organizers of Conservative Groups, David Hall who was the Party's 2010 5th Congressional District candidate, Dave Patterson who ran on the Party ticket for a State House seat, and Brent Pierce who leads a chapter of the Ron Paul affiliated Campaign for Liberty. If you know any of these people, or became familiar with them when they were running for office, do you think they are liberals? Are they RINO's?

    That is the "Establishment". Who is the TRA trying to take the party from? If they think the Davidson County GOP is liberal, what would a TRA dominated party look like?

  5. Rod, I definitely misunderstood you. When you said "he should have also called them RINO's" I thought you were calling the TRA RINO's. Thanks for the clarification. As to the people you mentioned, the only two whose names were familiar to me were Lonnie Spivak and David Hall. While I don't think they are conservative enough (for me), I do agree they are conservative. But I do believe that any organized group has a right to seek greater representation within the Republican Party to better advance their views. That goes for the TRA just as it does Ron Paul supporters. The TRA has a set of guiding principles that they espouse and Ron Paul supporters hold generally--and passionately--to a set of beliefs. If Campaign for Liberty held a straw poll open to other conservatives and Rick Santorum won they would still be nothing improper about them endorsing Ron Paul.

    But, Rod, as to the straw poll, did not the TRA have the right to endorse anyone they please? And, again, did they lead anyone to think that they would consider themselves bound by the results of the straw poll? If it wasn't a straw poll OF the TRA but rather a public one HELD BY the TRA, unless they said they considered their own endorsement bound by the results of the straw poll they were within their rights to endorse Santorum or even Hillary Clinton for that matter. I"m not sure how they "use[d] all the Ron Paul supporters" when they decided to endorse Santorum. Again, I may not have all the facts involved as to what was represented and I wasn't there so maybe I'm missing something.

    I don't think the CPAC analogy you drew holds in this case. The CPAC straw poll is the "endorsement" by CPAC. However, the ACU and other organizations which put CPAC together need not consider themselves bound by the CPAC straw poll in reaching their own decisions whom to endorse.

    And BTW, Rod, your blog is certainly not "irrelevant". They proved that by responding to you. I think those comments directed at you were nasty and frankly, trashy. You quite graciously helped to publicize both their organization and their meeting, which included Sharron Angle's speech, and disagreed with their handling of the straw poll. It is disturbing to see their reaction to a different opinion. While I agree with their principles ("What We Believe" from their website) I don't care for their smallness of mind demonstrated in their reaction to your comments.