Photos by Victoria Giampa
Special to the Las Vegas Tribune
Many Clark County Republicans were invited to participate as delegates to the county convention during the recent caucuses. Participants were invited to arrive at 7:00 a.m. to get their credentials. When I arrived at 9:00 a.m. the lines to get credentials were about 15 minutes if a person’s credentials were properly recorded previously and printed. Due to problems of the credentials recording and distribution the event did not start on schedule at 9:00. After getting their credentials, those who were admitted to the convention were greeted with coffee and tables full of politicians. While the party leaders were sorting out the issues of credentials, everyone was treated to political speeches by those running for office, their advocates and those advocating for petitions and causes.
Among the more interesting speakers were Sharron Angle, who has written two books; Michele Fiore, speaking about justice reform and having the federal government keep its promises; advocates for prohibition of Sharia (Islamic) law and disallowing federal government tracking of children’s personal data and abolition of the Common Core federal child training program. Among the many familiar faces who were allowed to speak was Danny Tarkanian and numerous judges.
The last speaker prior to the official start was an advocate for Donald Trump. At this time the first major cheering and presenting of people’s political signs that began on behalf of any candidate occurred. Trump supporters were obviously greatly in the majority.
There were three separate groups of multiple tables for Trump at the entry. One was signing in supporters, another was selling T-shirts and similar items. The third was speaking to people about positions when I was near it. There was a table representing Ted Cruz, but no speaker on his behalf. John Kasich also had a table. The advocate for Kasich was widely booed at first and later spoke uninterrupted until he finished at which time booing outweighed cheering significantly. Attendees watching the signs, shirts and stickers saw that Trump’s signs etc.
outnumbered the others by a huge amount in the neighborhood of 50 to 1 ratio or greater. Trump organizers placed one sign signaler on each side of the stage to signal their suggestions for voting. Then the green and red Trump signs went up the audience typically voted that way. No signage direction was in evidence from others.
At 11:24 the convention (scheduled to start at 9:00) officially began with the assignment of temporary leaders. At 11:27 the convention was able to officially conduct business. Rob Tyree was designated as chair. Jordan Ross was deputy chair. As the event began, there were several people who spoke at the open microphones to complain about the credentials and how information was provided to Republicans during the caucuses and who were given credentials. Jordan Ross told those attending that he personally was not given his credentials until after he waited over two hours for them to be found or created. At 11:50 Ross told everyone that a vote would be conducted to include those whose credentials were not yet distributed with the others, but who the credentials committee had cleared. After much debate and maneuvering, it was decided to credential about 50 people who arrived without the credentials being in proper order. It was noted that numerous people weren’t added due to decisions of the credentials committee. During this time I asked a few people who were there regarding how they signed up and got in. One person had signed up and not paid, but got it. Another paid online and was sent away. That person took their spouse with them. Both were Trump supporters. Many times the proceedings were interrupted to explain the credentials delay. Given about 1200 actual credentialed attendees in the final count, I would estimate that about 50 to 100 were sent home due to paperwork or computer SNAFU. This in my unscientific analysis takes
into account those who arrived with a person who was sent home and departed with them. The unwinding of the credentials SNAFU took the entire morning.
The convention adjourned to have lunch and to allow members to vote on County Republican Trustees. When the convention reconvened the County party platform was read and voted upon. During the discussion and debate of the platform there was an intermission during which Dr. Joe Heck gave the audience a rousing speech regarding his run for the Congressional seat being vacated by Harry Reid. Heck’s presentation was well received.
A motion was made and seriously debated to allow only attendees at this convention to be delegates to the state convention. The motion did not pass. Many participants apparently did not understand how delegates were determined due to poor communications during the caucuses and thereafter. It is important to understand that it was not necessary to attend this event to be a state convention delegate.
Clark County can send more than 2000 delegates to the state convention. As noted above, only 1200 attended this event.
Several of the County Republican Party Trustee seats were filled by acclimation because the number of people running was equal to the number of seats in each particular District. District F had a run off.
Interestingly, earlier in the day a person from the Trump campaign table handed out cards recommending two candidates, Margaret Carlson and Noel Sears. Those people won their seats. This, combined with the voter signs mentioned above showed more organization for Trump than others. It also may lead one to conclude that, contrary to the assertion of some pendants, Trump has some positive “Coattail” effect even while the national television continues to assert the opposite.
State party chair Michael McDonald delivered a closing presentation encouraging participation going forward.
The state convention will be held in Northern Nevada May 13-15. Cost for attendees will be $80-$180 plus transportation, room and board.
The specific location of the state convention is undecided. Nevada will have 30 delegates going to the National Convention.