(Lori Piotrowski) – Last night’s bimonthly meeting of the Clark County Republican Central Committee promised to get underway at 7:00 PM. At least, that’s what the e-mail said.
But then the e-mail also said the doors would open an hour earlier, at 6:00, which according to candidate Herb Peters (CD-1) didn’t happen. He was there at 6:15 and the doors were still closed.
By 6:30, attendees had snaked backwards from the Veil Room and its atrium, through the Silverton Casino slots, and made a 90-degree turn just before the food court.
And still they came.
Two unnamed camps handed out slates of candidates for the Nevada Republican Central Committee. One item of business last night was to elect those candidates who would represent Clark County at the state level.
Concerns expressed by several individuals ranged from missing names to who was backing those listed. One slate urged central committee members to vote only for those on the slate, even if their commission ballot allowed for more candidates to be selected. For those who are prone to conspiracy theories, this would allow one group to “name” delegates. Considering that one group has a two-thirds majority on the executive board….
As the attendees continued to trickle in, at 7:45, Chairman Gibbs finally decided to begin part of the agenda early—letting candidates get a few words in. Federal candidates were given one minute to plead their case, state senate and assembly candidates followed, and commission and judicial candidates concluded this portion.
An hour after the scheduled start time, the meeting was called to order. The invocation was given, but before the Pledge of Allegiance could be said, an attendee from the floor tried to ask a question. Eventually, he was quieted, the Pledge said, and the meeting commenced.
The first order of business was to elect a new political director for the party. Frank Ricotta, former chair of the CCRP, was elected by acclamation, being the only nominee.
David Buell, chair of the Washoe County Republican Party, and Michael McDonald, who are both running to replace Amy Tarkanian as chair of the Nevada GOP, were on hand to speak. Both gave a quick run-down of credentials and both emphasized the need for a united party.
McDonald, who spoke second, paraphrased an old adage: United we stand. Divided, they win!
The next order of business was the election of delegates to the state committee. As voting members stood to hand in their ballots, the disorganization began once again. Ballot boxes lined up along the far side of the room with little aisle space for attendees to reach them, find their Commission District, and then vote.
However, names missing from the ballots became another issue. Wendy Ellis stood to speak to the issue as an incumbent delegate who had self-nominated at the CCRP Convention just 10 days earlier. Others, too, had self-nominated but were missing from the ballot.
An e-mail sent from the CCRP urged members to self-nominate, even if they had filled out the form at the convention, yet not all members received that e-mail. This issue has yet to be resolved.
A motion was made to seal the boxes, move them to a secured location after the meeting, and the board would convene to count the votes on Wednesday evening. Another uproar ensued as new attendees expressed the concern that the votes would not be counted appropriately and the board would select their own delegates.
Finally the matter was settled by a vote, or so the chair thought. More attendees expressed concern, one suggesting that the boxes be videotaped as they left the Silverton, reached the office location and were locked in a room. The crowd quieted only when Eddie Facey, newly elected representative from Commission District A, provided a most informational point of order.
He held up his ballot box and explained that the boxes were sealed with tape, both representatives had signed the tape, and that nothing else would be done until both representatives were present to open the boxes for counting.
The chairman reiterated that the counting session would be open to all members who chose to attend.
Thomas McAllister, president of the UNLV College Republicans, moved to adjourn the meeting because the votes wouldn’t be counted at the meeting. Pros and cons were weighed, and a voice vote confirmed that the attendees wanted to conduct all the business, not just the election.
As the chair proceeded to get the agenda approved, more issues were raised. Some members wanted a new item added—a caucus review period at which members could raise their concerns. More discussion, more votes. This item passed.
But then more discussion ensued. One woman wondered why if over 900 people were attending only some 400 were voting and questioned whether there was a quorum (others also raised the quorum question). The chair replied that according to CCRCC bylaws, a quorum is 10%, to which the woman replied, “How convenient.”
Another gentleman suggested a revote because people in his section didn’t realize what they were voting for.
It was now closing in on 9:30, and being early risers, we needed to leave.
If anyone had thought the meeting would be dull, those thoughts were upended. Tired of standing in line amidst a crush of people, but surprised.