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Thread: Voters Turned Away From Benton Co. Caucus Site

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    Voters Turned Away From Benton Co. Caucus Site

    After my caucus I went to a Ron Paul meetup/speech In downtown Seattle near Pier 66. Several people I talked to told me about the Caucus in Benton County (Tri-Cities area). They informed me that the Caucus location chosen by the party establishment was WAY to small. The room was double capacity, and that well over a thousand people were denied entry and were not allowed to participate. The line of people was over 1500 people long by 9am.

    I heard many reports that rather than "first come first served" The County GOP leaders were handpicking people throughout the line to come in and participate.
    (this is all according to those I spoke with. Some were there themselves others were hearing it from friends and family that were there.)

    http://www.kvewtv.com/article/2012/m...o-caucus-site/

    http://www.keprtv.com/news/local/Too...141324093.html

    http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-...on-116301.html

    http://www.kndo.com/story/17073672/h...-county-caucus (Video)

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...writethru.html



    Tony Benegas of the County GOP was in charge of the event. He is the man responsible for this. If you live in West Richland he is one of your city council members until 2015. Hopefully he will not receive another term.

    Tony Benegas is the one who essentially decided that not everyone should be allowed to participate.

    Tony R Benegas

    tbenegas@westrichland.org
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 03-04-2012 at 04:05 PM.
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    the correct way to deal with this is to move it outside .... why didn't a riot break out? Lambs....

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    Aha! The old "deny access" tactic. Running scared, he is.

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    How do caucuses in Washington work? What does the law say? Is everyone entitled to vote? I know here in VA everyone who is registered to vote must be allowed to vote in our upcoming primary. How does someone get away with keeping someone from voting?
    Last edited by thebigsd; 03-04-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran OlGutshotWilly's Avatar
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    Well, it looks like VA and WA are exactly the same. All registered voters here are also allowed to vote in our primary elections as well.
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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlGutshotWilly View Post
    Well, it looks like VA and WA are exactly the same. All registered voters here are also allowed to vote in our primary elections as well.
    And you guys are not going to have a primary, correct? It was my understanding that this was Washingtonians only chance to cast their vote for the Republican nominee. I guess I should have clarified my questions. Who is entitled to vote/participate in a caucus? Is it legal to turn voters away and why?
    Last edited by thebigsd; 03-04-2012 at 08:03 PM.
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    I would GUESS that primaries and caucuses being how the PARTY chooses a candidate, would not fall under the same "right to vote" protections that a general election would. In this regard, it is easy to see how it will vary widely between the states.

    So, I can imagine such a travesty being LEGAL while being totally and utterly wrong and need to be exposed greatly.
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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    So lemme get this straight.


    Our parties are voting for us this year?

    So, if the parties lie about our participation (like happened in Maine), or turn voters away (WA) then what?

    The state (essentially) is saying that private parties are running the election, and since it's not government, it's not protected by the same voting laws?


    You're f*cking kidding me right?

    Caucus votes are non-binding, IIRC, which basically means they don't mean anything.. BUT our primaries are based off of them... (this year).... So our parties can report whatever the F#(& they want, and there's nothing we can do about it, even if it's wrong?
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    Regular Member Dave_pro2a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoWeenie View Post
    The state (essentially) is saying that private parties are running the election
    Political parties ARE running their own private nominations, yes.

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_pro2a View Post
    Political parties ARE running their own private nominations, yes.
    If they canceled the primaries, in lieu of caucuses (taking place of the primaries) how the hell can they ignore people who wish to cast votes?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoWeenie View Post
    If they canceled the primaries, in lieu of caucuses (taking place of the primaries) how the hell can they ignore people who wish to cast votes?
    "They" did not cancel the primaries. The legislators wrote a bill and the governor signed it. There was time for a referendum petition but not enough people bothered to sign it. The law could have been reversed but most were apathetic, indifferent, or just plane ignorant on the matter.

    However it should be mentioned that even when there was a "presidential preference primary ballot" in Washington, there was nothing that forced the party to award delegates based on those results. Washington has always been a caucus State.

    Parties are private groups that can and should be able to make there own nomination rules. That being said I do feel that if ballots were mailed out then results of the straw pole would have been much different, and Ron Paul would have "won". I do not know that, but that is my strong opinion.


    I would love to eliminate the party system altogether but I don't see it happening. That is what I use to advocate, however I have come to realize that it might be more effective to change the party from within. The way to do this is to get liberty minded folks to work with the party. If the majority of the party becomes pro-liberty then we can outnumber the big-government republicans and we will control the party. Just think how different the "republican" party would be if every libertarian party member and every independent suddenly started working with the "republican" party. Hell I might even be able to stop using these damn quote marks every time I mention the the name of the party. lol

    I hope that with all these folks turned away, and all the way larger than expected turn outs that have been happening, the GOP realizes the numbers they can attract if they have more respect for pro-liberty people like Paul. If the GOP embraced the cause of liberty, rather than ignoring it or fighting it, then their numbers would be so great, and out number the democrats by such a large margin that they would win almost every election at almost every level. Unfortunately the party establishment is more interested in perpetuating the false paradigm then truly advancing the cause of liberty.
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 03-04-2012 at 10:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoWeenie View Post
    If they canceled the primaries, in lieu of caucuses (taking place of the primaries) how the hell can they ignore people who wish to cast votes?
    People are not required to belong to a political party. If you choose to do so, you basically agree to how that party chooses its nominees, within local laws.

    In reality, local laws probably should have no say.

    Just remember that those people who control the parties are oligarchists with the same agendas as politicians in general, and cannot be trusted.
    Last edited by MAC702; 03-04-2012 at 10:42 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    People are not required to belong to a political party. If you choose to do so, you basically agree to how that party chooses its nominees, within local laws.

    In reality, local laws probably should have no say.

    Just remember that those people who control the parties are oligarchists with the same agendas as politicians in general, and cannot be trusted.
    In the State of Washington you do not have to "join" the party to participate.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by END_THE_FED View Post
    In the State of Washington you do not have to "join" the party to participate.
    Is that a Party rule, or required by law?
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Is that a Party rule, or required by law?
    I am not sure if there is a law that stops the party from closing its doors to non members. I just know that there is no registration by party in Washington State. You are either a registered voter or not. I also know that I was not asked to officially join the party when I went to the caucus. The party rules say that anyone can participate who is a registered voter and who "considers themselves a republican", and agrees not to participate in any other party's primary that year. In my opinion this allows you to define the word "republican" yourself.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    Regular Member Dave_pro2a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    People are not required to belong to a political party. If you choose to do so, you basically agree to how that party chooses its nominees, within local laws.

    In reality, local laws probably should have no say.

    Just remember that those people who control the parties are oligarchists with the same agendas as politicians in general, and cannot be trusted.
    IMHO you should the above in a stronger fashion.

    The 2 major political parties control the laws about elections. Thus, we are stuck with 2 major political parties.

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    This entire thread is off topic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    I would GUESS that primaries and caucuses being how the PARTY chooses a candidate, would not fall under the same "right to vote" protections that a general election would. In this regard, it is easy to see how it will vary widely between the states.

    So, I can imagine such a travesty being LEGAL while being totally and utterly wrong and need to be exposed greatly.
    All the more reason for people to get involved. The time to make changes in a Party is not just before an election but throughout the years. If the local Republicans aren't content with how their precinct/county/state organization is being run, GET INVOLVED! If not, it will be status quo and the parties will continue producing the same old results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderTattoo View Post
    This entire thread is off topic.
    Sorry, You are right. I should have put it in the social lounge.
    A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.- Thomas Jefferson March 4 1801

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    I'm sorry this is old news, but I was there. The venue at the Convention Center is one of the largest in the county and a MUCH larger room than the one used two years ago. The people that were being pulled out of line were precinct officers, and automatically allowed entry with no other sign-in required. The bottom line is that they were simply overwhelmed by the turnout and coped the best they could. The wife and I just took it in stride and went out for coffee.

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