LIVEBLOG: Virginia Sixth District GOP Meeting

121215_6thdistVirginia’s Sixth District GOP committee had barely rumpled the sheets on the decision of a primary or convention for the 2016 nomination method, and the meeting which had been scheduled to end by 11:00am was already 48 minutes through the debate.

What is at stake? Tough to tell… as when your humble correspondent walked into the room there was an objection to an amendment to a substitute motion on a motion to draft the call to the convention.

What was clear was that there was an ongoing battle between Vice Chairman Matt Tederick and 6th District Chairman Wendell Walker, at a meeting so contentious that RPV General Counsel had to be brought into the room.

10:50am: Ken Adams (Waynesboro) at one moment appealed a ruling of the chair on an item I could not immediately discern. What proceeded was a 15 minute discussion peppered by “points of order” where the speakers were never recognized, objections where the speakers were not recognized… in short, a general morass of parliamentary procedure.

6th District appears to be going line by line through the call. Which is fine and their perogative. What is fantastically apparent is that there is very little knowledge of or adherence to Roberts Rules of Order — or very little desire to adhere to them.

In the back of the room, talk goes between the very seasoned members of RONR (“that’s in order… this person was not recognized… the correct order should be… why would they approve that?”) and other conversation from the smattering of activists in the back of the room (“this is rigged… worth the price of admission… what are we debating here…”)

State Senator-elect David Sutterlein paces about the room, clearly not pleased at the tedium and pace of the amendment process.

Tederick calls the question at about 11:18am. Roanoke City GOP chair seconds, then randomly asks the room if they have any further amendments, withdraws the second, reinsert the second, than bounds across the room to consult with Sutterlein. Of course, a motion to call the question is not debatable, but more amendments ensue.

Another amendment to amend the call to comply with State Central Committee’s military voting provisions has been offered. Roanoke GOP chair is seen bounding across the room to confirm with Tederick… Walker mentions that the language has not been confirmed by SCC, and the amendment is simultaneously withdrawn and seconded. Walker asks RPV General Counsel whether or not the call can be amended… language is now being refined. Roanokes City GOP chair now bounds back into the room after leaving the room — which seems to be the norm. Amendment passes and another point of order has immediately been raised… so the motion has been called, and now the amendment is being voted on… which seems oddly backwards.

Another amendment to reflect the change in State Central’s slating provisions.

…and the Homestead has shown up deus ex machina, because they needed the room 30 minutes ago. Roanoke City GOP chair scoles RPV General Council, Tederick asks a question about extracting the slating provisions out of RPV’s call. There seems to be an intent to drag the meeting out as long as possible — perhaps not.

Slating amendment passes. Back to the original motion.

Georgia Alvis-Long asks for a final draft of the call so that everyone can look at the amendments in toto before making a decision, postponing a final vote until January. The murmurs erupt from the floor. Sutterlein rises to speak to substantive issues regarding the call, asking for the call to be approved no later than the first full week of January so that those who have committees who call up early will have the 6th District Call finalized ASAP. Does not have an issue with a postponement of sorts, but does not want a delay that goes too long.

Tederick rises and asks whether or not Executive Committee can finalize the finer points of the call at later point in time. Walker states his preference to draft a final copy and present it in January. Tederick asks if we can recess into the hallway…. or to the Commonwealth Room.

Wow.

Comment made on the way to the Commonwealth Room? “We have to pass the call before we know what’s in it.” Heh.

11:37am: Reconvene in the Commonwealth Room.

11:38am: Alvis-Long makes a motion to table until the 6th District meeting in January so that the committee has a chance to look at a final draft.

11:39am: Roanoke City GOP throws his hands in the air and says something inaudible… Walker rules him out of order and allows Alvis-Long to speak to her own motion.

11:40am: Alvis-Long mentions that she has no idea what counsel Mr. Tederick used to draft the call, says that it is reasonable to allow some time for the call to be reviewed.

11:41am: Senator-elect Sutterlein asks for the meeting to be 02 January, as his unit committee already has a timetable and needs a call the first week of January. Asks the chair to find a location and time. Unreasonable to give up the week of Christmas. Someone mentions “what’s the matter with later today?” to which Sutterlein responds that there’s just not enough time left in the day; too much going on.

11:42am: Alvis-Long seconds the motion to reconvene on 02 January. The motion is re-read to the floor. Sutterlein’s amendment is accepted as a friendly amendment to the motion to table.

11:43am: Tim Boyer rises to oppose the motion. Roanoke City GOP chairman berates Chairman Walker (again) — apparently there is a lot of bad blood… Boyer says that we have expended debate, just need to get it done. Tederick rises to agree, asks for a motion to vote which is ruled out of order by the crowd.

11:44am: Another member rises in support of the amendment so as to review the final draft, so as to make sure every line is correct. Speaker Wilkins mentions to me that any changes can be made at the January meeting… which is an excellent point.

11:45am: Roanoke City GOP chair says that he feels like folks are being rushed to get out, that we have all day here at the Homestead, and that any delay is simply that.

11:46am: Another member rises to support action now to vote on the call.

11:47am: Question has been called and seconded. Walker proceeds to a vote on the motion to table, which is immediately countered that a motion to call the question is on the floor. Sutterlein is asked to clarify his friendly amendment, which he does. Motion passes.

11:48am: Sutterlein’s amendment is put to the floor. Fails on a voice vote.

11:49am: Alvis-Long’s motion is on the floor. Tederick raises a point of order that the motion has changed from the question called. Discussion ensues… and we are back to the motion to table as read.

11:50am: Motion to table fails on a voice vote.

11:51am: Question is called on the original motion to approve the call as amended by Mr. Tederick. Question as to whether or not Tederick was called upon or not, whether or not someone else had their hand raised to speak.

11:52am: Question begins as to whether or not the motion to call the question is a debatable question. Tederick withdraws the motion… and “aww shit” is audibly heard.

11:53am: Sutterlein states that he would like to move on to substantive debate on the call itself; mentions that there are other people who would like to offer amendments and so forth.

11:54am: Member rises to speak about which legal counsel drafted the call as presented, asks for a delay to consider the final draft.

11:55am: Tederick rises and states that calls issued by the unit to be approved by RPV General Counsel and asks that if there is language in the RPV Party Plan, please present it. Unit chairs should now have to kowtow to Richmond. Unit committees have the authority to issue calls. Let’s call this what it is. We have one group that would like to see a call issued with a date and location, the other that would like to put that off. Call for the 6th District is almost identical to the RPV Call. If there are technical issues, it is not uncommon for calls issued that are revised by RPV at a later point… Tederick believes he has exhausted the questions, and yields back the balance of his time.

11:56am: Member asks if Tederick consulted with RPV General Counsel, Tederick says no. Member asks which counsel drafted, Tederick says no counsel was consulted. Member says Tederick admitted earlier that he did consult with “legal counsel” — Tederick denies this.

11:58am: Now we’re into arguments over “this is Trump all over” and a near verbal fisticuff almost breaks out. Holy wow… Sutterlein steps in and calmly states that he would like to offer some substantive amendments. Sutterline offers changes to line 150, asking for a filing fee of $100.

12:00pm: Just saw a “Scott Sayre for 6th District Chairman” card.

12:01pm: Sutterlein offers another amendment regarding faithless electors. On line 163, asks for a $500 filing fee for electors. Asks for a further amendment regarding voluntary filing fees. Asks for a further amendment that would not require the call being published in a newspaper of record — waiving the requirement of the RPV Party Plan.

12:05pm: Tederick seconds the amendments.

12:08pm: Sutterlein is re-iterating and re-reading his amendments, ostensibly for the purposes of informing the secretary of the changes.

12:11pm: Sutterlein raises an issue regarding the forms in the call. Suggests that a subsequent speaker might move to strike 314 thru 323.

12:12pm: Tederick asks if it can be raised as a substitute amendment. Sutterlein consents to include an additional amendment to his original motion.

12:13pm: Moved and seconded. Member rises to speak to the fees, stating that if the amendments are approved, the forms have to be addressed.

12:14pm: Tederick thanks Sutterlein for his amendments; requests that RPV General Counsel approve the changes. States that the he finds the amendments to be in perfect order. Asks whether or not the Party Call does not charge filing fees. Sutterlein states that he believes this to be an error in the RPV Call (laughter). Tederick supports the amendments.

12:16pm: Alvis-Long approves of the changes as well, wants to know where the location will be. Walker says this will be determined after the vote.

12:17pm: Walker states that this vote will require 2/3 to be approved. Passes without opposition.

12:18pm: Walker opens the floor again for further amendments. Alvis-Long asks if Robert E. Lee High School would be a better place than the previous location. Tederick rises. Roanoke City GOP chair paces in the back… Tederick asks how Alvis-Long knows that Robert E. Lee HS is open. Alvis-Long responds that she lives there and has inquired.

12:19pm: Another member rises that the other location has been checked out and is available. Walker asks for the locations to be presented to him.

12:20pm: Mr. Fisher rises to make a motion to change the date from May 21st (after the state convention) to accommodate the JMU CRs, moving the date to April 16th. Sutterlein rises to a point of information, stating that we do not need to vote on location because the Chair has the authority to change the location.

12:24pm: Tederick rises to oppose the motion.

12:25pm: Member rises to point out that the chair cannot arbitrarily change the location. Sutterlein rises to point out that while that has been done elsewhere, the point would be to offer the chair latitude to change the move the location if the prefered location is not available… Mrs. Walker rises to point out that accommodating the JMU CRs and other college students in the 6th who do the hard work to get our candidates elected.

12:27pm: Question has been called and seconded. Passes by voice vote.

12:28pm: Motion to set the date to April 16th fails on voice vote.

12:29pm: Quesiton has been called on the party call as amendment. Passes on voice vote.

12:30pm: Motion on passing the 6th District call passes on voice vote.

12:31pm: Tederick asks for a 10 minute recess. Walker asks if the committee would like to dispense with the agenda in order to adjourn, less announcements. Roanoke City GOP chair catches up, asks if the meeting will be dispensing with the agenda with the exception of announcements.

12:32pm: Scott Sayre is recognized to make an announcement. Announced that he is running for 6th District chairman. Makes a motion to adjourn (with applause). Motiong to adjourn, seconded, done.

What a meeting…