As some of you know, Orlando Campaign For Liberty was involved in a project to integrate into the Orange County Republican Executive Committee (OCREC). The culmination of this effort was last night (Dec. 8) where we attempted to forge an alliance with other disgruntled Republicans to elect a new Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Treasurer, and Secretary. Due to Lew Oliver sending spies into our group we had to keep this effort quiet. Now that the vote is over I want to share a bit about it.
Unfortunately our efforts fell short. Final vote was 122-121, meaning that just ONE vote stopped us from booting Lew Oliver out of office. Worst of all was that Chairman Lew Oliver (who was seeking reelection) disqualified about 20 of our members from voting due to 'technicalities'. Even things like not having the correct precinct number written on the new loyalty oath, was enough for Oliver to strike people from the list of eligible voters.
Bottom line? Lew was more than happy to disenfranchise duly elected Republican committeemen and women if it meant that he could stay in power. This is a terrible precedent to set and it angered a great many RP types as well as many traditional Republican OCREC members.
I talked with many traditional OCREC members that were now receiving the same kind of rough treatment usually reserved for RP supporters. In all cases it became clear that if you had not previously indicated you would be supporting Lew Oliver, your paperwork and credentials were questioned and scrutinized with special zeal. Like I said earlier 20 or so of our supporters suddenly found out that their 'paperwork' was not in order and they could not vote.
If just two of these mysterious cases were allowed to vote, Lew Oliver would have had to beat a hasty retreat out the backdoor.
There is also the parliamentary question of whether Oliver was elected even with these abnormalities. Two votes that were cast that night were marked 'none' and 'abstain'. According to Roberts Rules of Order, Oliver's one vote margin was not a '50 percent plus one' win but rather as a 'less then 50 percent vote total' which would have necessitated a runoff election. Oliver would have none of that, even though Doug Guetzloe (who knows Roberts Rules forwards and backwards) challenged him on the violation. Oliver interpreted those 2 votes as non-votes, meaning they didn't count. Again this keeps with Oliver's pattern of very skewed interpretations.
None the less there is much to be proud of. Many, many people worked hard to make this project a qualified success. Starting back in May of 2008 going through December 2008 the following are due special recognition. Well on second thought, since we know that Lew Oliver seeks to expel RP supporters they will have to remain anonymous. Trust me though, over 20 people deserve special thanks.
Most certainly the many, many people that came out to support our efforts also should be proud. You guys did what no other state of Florida RP meetup group did--over 100 people put up with the sign up hassle before Lew got a hold of your paperwork. No other Florida meetup group had these kind of numbers.
Here's another little tidbit that I'm going to throw out. During the summer I was able to secretly listen in to a Republican Party of Florida conference call for county chairman. When business about the 'Ron Paul people coming into the Republican Party' came up, it was decided that statewide they had to stop it. Singled out for special mention was none other than yours truly and the Orlando Ron Paul Meetup group. Take a bow guys, your efforts have reached the ears of King Jim Greer (Chairman of the State Party).
Now comes the decision. Do we fold our tents and go home? Or do we stand up for the principles of the Constitution and fight? I think you can guess what my answer is;-) OCREC meetings are the first Thursday of every month. I'm for calling a meeting of our own to plan strategy. What say you?