Colorado was “Cruz Country” on April 9th as Senator Ted Cruz completed his sweep of Colorado delegates. However, the Trump campaign took note of a multitude of irregularities.
Alan Cobb, a senior advisor to the Trump campaign told Politichicks that they are not ruling out contesting Colorado delegates. “We are gathering all the facts and documenting everything,” Cobb said.
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While the day was a big win for Cruz, the convention itself was riddled with problems—including disenfranchisement of candidates for national delegate. Some candidates were missing from the ballot. Others were included on the ballot twice. One U.S. Senate candidate was missing from the ballot.
Numerous irregularities surfaced before the convention from violating party bylaws to withholding information on convention rules.
Here is a detailed breakdown of some of the issues:
Candidates for national delegate were disenfranchised at the State Convention.
- The convention program excluded several candidates for national delegate.
- In addition to the convention program, the party published an error- filled booklet listing candidates for national delegate. In this supplemental, candidates were listed in alphabetical order and again based on to whom they pledged—still excluding candidates. The party attempted to rectify errors by printing the missing candidate names and numbers on a “corrections list” on a separate blue sheet of paper. However, the addendum was distributed separate from the supplemental booklet, leaving some delegates unsure of its purpose.
- Five candidates were given two different numbers because they were included in the original list and on the corrections list.
- Two delegates had numbers missing from the ballot itself. Instead, it contained two numbers with duplications. (378 was listed in place of 379; 523 was listed in place of 513.)
- Some candidates who stated they filed their letters of intent were never placed on the ballot or on the corrections list.
Candidates for national delegate were also disenfranchised at the Congressional Assemblies and Convention. Attendees across all seven congressional assemblies and conventions reported that candidates who submitted their correctly filled paperwork on time were missing from the ballots.
Ten names were missing from the ballot for Congressional District 5 (CD5)—including one member from the officially endorsed Cruz slate. A motion was approved for all the candidates missing from the ballot to be given ballot numbers which were then posted on an easel.
In contrast, Congressional District 3 (CD3) did not provide numbers for candidates missing from the ballot—though the issue was addressed at the meeting. When approached after the conclusion of the meeting regarding how many national delegate candidates from CD3 were missing from the ballot, the CD3 chair admitted, “I have no clue.”
The CD lists of candidates are generated by the state party based on “letters of intent” submitted by those eligible to run. Some candidates on a previous version of the list found their names missing from the updated list.
Delegates were shut out from participating in the process at the State Convention. Process irregularities included an absence of microphones on the convention room floor, discouraging delegates from calling out “points of order” and “points of information” as per Robert’s Rules of Order. Attendees of the Congressional Assemblies and Conventions report that microphones were available at their respective meetings.
The State GOP violated party bylaws related to the State Central Committee (SCC) meeting that covered agenda items related to the State Convention. The day prior to the State Convention, the State Central Committee (SCC) convened a meeting to discuss convention issues—with less than a week’s notice to central committee members in violation of state party bylaws. The state GOP sent out the notice as an “amended” call, however there was no original call to amend. This was confirmed by several SCC members.
At the meeting, SCC members did not receive copies of the Standing Rules for the State Convention. A delegate who was not a member of the SCC was reported to have seconded one of the motions in the meeting.
The decision on the Standing Rules Committee Chair presented a clear conflict of interest. The state party chose a woman who was running for Republican National Committeewoman to chair the Standing Rules Committee. In the end, she lost her bid for the RNC position.
The parliamentarian was not a Professionally Registered Parliamentarian (PRP), but an attorney with a longstanding relationship with the Republican Party. According to an RNC source who wished to remain anonymous, the RNC recommended at their Spring meeting in South Carolina that state parties hire PRPs for their state conventions.
Terry Campo served as Parliamentarian at the Colorado State Convention. Campo’s Linked In profile states that he served as Parliamentarian at half the state GOP conventions electing delegates to the 2012 Republican National Convention. He also served as Parliamentarian to the Standing Rules Committee at the 2012 convention.
When confronted if he was credentialed as a PRP with either the National Association of Parliamentarians or the American Institute of Parliamentarians, Campo stated, “ I don’t remember if I am or not. I used to be a long time ago.” He referred to the credentialing organizations as mere trade associations. “You can be a parliamentarian who is qualified without paying a hundred dollar dues to an organization that primarily exists to get people’s dues,” Campo said, emphasizing his extensive experience. After continued questioning, Campo stated that he would join one of the associations.
The Colorado GOP did not make the Standing Rules available to State Convention delegates. As the convention came to order, Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House stated that the Standing Rules for the convention were posted on the Colorado GOP Web site. Delegates reported that they were not posted on the Web site nor did they receive an email of the Standing Rules. Delegates voted on and approved the Standing Rules without seeing them.
Although the program did not include the Standing Rules, it did include all the resolutions in their entirety to be considered by delegates. The entire text of the resolutions was also included on the resolutions ballot.
The state party charged delegates $65 and alternates $45 to attend.