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Arkansas PoliticsRead

Pulaski County Delegates and the Republican State Convention

Written and submitted by a concerned Arkansas voter

Did you hear what happened at the Republican state convention this weekend?  The votes of the entire delegation from Pulaski County were stolen.  Weeks after nobody objected to the delegate election wherein 71 delegates were chosen for Pulaski County, nine old timers complained because those new delegates were largely new members who joined this past year and took control.

About a month ago, when Pulaski County Justice of the Peace candidate Lorri Justice was, to the surprise of the old guard, elected chair of the delegate-nominating convention, that old guard brought out their dirty tricks.  They refused to help during the delegate election, held back the membership list, hid printer paper, and made false claims about the rules.  And who did this?  Those who were losing their grip on power.  Throughout this, Lorri Justice accommodated their complaints.

Prior to the election, there were two attempted ballots.  Both times, objections were raised.  So, Lorri Justice fully withdrew and collected those ballots.  When the actual ballot was presented, someone made a point of order that there were small misspellings.  For example, future complainer, Allen Kerr had “Allen” spelled one of the many other ways that name is commonly spelled.  Mon dieu.  (That’s French for “give me a break!”)  So, law professor Rob Steinbuch made a motion to correct the mistakes directly on the ballots.  That motion passed unanimously, and all of the errors were corrected.

Thereafter, Lorri Justice asked three separate times if there were any challenges to the ballot.  No one objected.  None of the nine complainers said a word.  Not even all nine were there, but those who were stood dumb.  The district chair, Melonaie Gullick, who screamed at the Lorri Justice and other newcomers throughout the process, led the vote count. State Party Chair, Jonelle Fulmer, was present the entire evening. Senator Mark Johnson was the Parliamentarian.  No objections to the ballot were made.

Several weeks later, “grievously injured,” misspelling-“victim,” Allen Kerr, and eight other delicate daisies, including some who weren’t even at the meeting during the vote, sought to cancel the election of the Pulaski County delegates.  They complained that prior to being elected as chair, Lorri Justice openly stated that she would run for chair and she and her allies will run to be delegates.  (Isn’t that exactly what candidates always do?)  They complained that the two objected-to and rescinded draft ballots had errors.  (Isn’t that why they were objected-to and rescinded?)

Last week, immediately after Steinbuch made public the until-then hidden complaint by the old timers working behind the scenes and under the cover of darkness, the author of the complaint, Linda Dyson, proclaimed:  “You people have taken over our committee. We will not stand for that.”  Misspelling “victim” Allen Kerr, who was standing beside her, told her not to say that.  Of course he did!  She forgot the most important part of stealing an election:  don’t say the truth out loud.  Doh!

This was never about a ballot. This is about the fact that the old guard see the new folks as being on their playground, and the old timers don’t want to share the swings.  Well, there’s a new sentiment in the Republican Party.  Constitutionalists are replacing cronies.  Freedom lovers are replacing mega-corporation apologists.  And truth is replacing corruption.

State Senator Alan Clark had this to say:

“A terrible thing happened at the Republican State Convention today….  We voted 303-295 not to seat the Pulaski County delegates. Ostensibly that was because rules were broken in their county convention….  But that’s not the real problem. The problem is the wrong people were elected. Trump has brought a lot of new people to the Republican Party that are impatient with the rate of change. The status quo feels downright under siege in some locales.  Sorry.  This is politics, and that is how it works.”

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