Posted by: sweeneyblog | April 27, 2012

Follow-up on GOP Convention – Crawford and Paul supporters respond

In the last week, Sam Crawford has taken to the Bellingham Herald Politics Blog to defend his actions at the GOP County Convention. After a few shots at the “crocodile tears by the Ron Paul supporters”, he offered up this version of what happened:

Sam Crawford

“My being chair of the second-district caucus with Robert Neff (County Ron Paul leader) was fun, and to me the time flew by. Mr. Neff is eloquent and tenacious. During a ballot counting break, to ensure correct procedure I found the convention Parliamentarian, and brought him into the District 2 caucus room. Upon reconvening the meeting, we (the entire body) discussed an earlier GOP Rules / Roberts Rules question about how we had taken a previous vote (the parliamentarian confirmed we had done it correctly).

Everyone who wanted to speak in the second district caucus was definitely heard – at one point we had begun balloting, and a woman wanted to say something else. I halted the balloting until her questions were vetted. Only one person tried to speechify after the majority of the group voted to limit each delegate-candidate’s statement of their name and presidential preference without a speech. He was openly challenging the previous majority vote on that, and I explained he’d be removed from the caucus if he continued. It did not come to that.

Like I said, the atmosphere in both the caucus and the convention was fun and there were lots of light moments. ”

Not everyone agrees with Sam Crawford’s assessment. Kristian Nason, Ron Paul delegate from my home precinct 215, was so disappointed in Crawford’s behavior at the convention that he wrote up his recollections of the event and sent it in to me for publication. Readers are always welcome to email me their comments, tips and responses here and I will preserve your anonymity if you wish. Kristian wanted to sign his name loud and proud to this in response to Crawford’s conduct at the convention.

Kristian Nason

“Getting involved in the caucuses this election year was of paramount importance to me. A more Constitutionally principled government is the goal that resonates with the young, freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Clearly, this newfound interest in the American Political process should be nurtured, yet, sadly, at Saturday’s convention what transpired was anything but nurturing.

As a member of the delegation from the 2nd Council District precinct 215 I was one of many in the largest district in the county representing my precinct.  When our Chairman, Councilman Sam Crawford, prematurely closed debate over the right to speak on behalf of our candidates it gave the impression that he wanted to expedite the caucus process simply because many viewed the delegates as pre-selected.  However, the process matters and is vital to the continued success of the Republican party and to those fundamental Constitutional principals so fervently expressed on the floor.

Young conservatives need guidance and mentoring from the experienced party elders, not lectures.   Party leaders should foster conversation with young people, not cut it off!  After all, the right to political free speech and debate is a tool central to unifying the Republican Party at a time when it desperately needs it.  Many I spoke to were justifiably upset by Councilman Crawford’s rush to silence those wishing to represent their precinct with due diligence.   With age comes wisdom; with wisdom comes patience.  Councilman Crawford’s rush to speed up the process by silencing debate shows his young impatient side overcame his wiser self.

There are some clear lessons to be gained from last Saturday’s caucuses.  First and foremost, there is need for genuine guidance and mentorship from the leadership.  Moreover, I challenge all conservatives, especially the party chairwoman, to live up to conservative values.  Rhetoric and fabricated talking points will no longer unite the conservative message.  If you don’t live by the values you preach then they will hold no meaning or value.  Finally, It’s a mistake to alienate young conservatives at time when the party needs their votes, and more importantly at a time when conservatives will need their support and organizational skills.

-Kristian Nason
Delegate Precinct 215″

Well said.



  1. Put simply, Romney pretty well has this in the bag no matter whether or not the Ron Paul delegates get fairly represented and respected. They should have let the RP contingent have their slice of participation, in order to widen the GOP coalition.

    Apparently the GOP doesn’t need those votes. Some free respect is too costly. If Romney loses by a percentage that is equal or less than the estimated size of Ron Paul support, it will fall on party leaders who pushed them out when they didn’t need to.

  2. Nice follow up Riley. I just had a conversation with a gentleman whose wife was a delegate in CD 2. He told me it was her first foray into politics and because of the behavior of Sam Crawford her last. At least her last in the republican party…

  3. As an observer and to be fair, Sam Crawfords was some of the least objectionable behaviors in a Convention scripted to disenfranchise a third of Whatcoms 300 GOP activists. Rather than embrace the groundswell of young(and old) GOP activists, (something the Party will desperately need in November), current leadership seems locked into a turf-war to protect their influence and imagined power. Shortsighted and depressing for those of us on the right.

  4. I really just wanted to get up there and say, in twenty to thirty years all you mitt romney supporters will be dead.. While most the younger crowd (under 40) here supports Ron Paul. Makes me wonder when the young freedom loving people across the country will unite under a new party, or just overthrow this old crony capitalist party.

  5. […] I know that they haven’t been as politically successful as you would like and locally the Whatcom Republicans worked to shut you guys out, but think to the future. Many young conservatives are much more libertarian that religiously […]

  6. […] young organizer. After being the lead voice against the Red Light Cameras in 2011, he (along with a whole team of inspired young voters) worked tirelessly on the Ron Paul campaign before having their team shut out at the Whatcom County […]

  7. […] young conservatives almost universally trend libertarian adding a generational dimension to the struggles between libertarians and establishment Republicans. Pickens remains undeterred, “As an organization, the Libertarian Party of Washington is […]

  8. […] the Republicans in Whatcom show a united front, only showcasing their divisions when it comes to Ron Paul supporters or the County Executive race last year, however this could potential divide the local party as […]

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