Deconstructing the #GAGOP Convention

The Georgia Republican State Convention gaveled to an end Saturday afternoon with all its business completed (thank goodness). There were some tense moments during voting, but all in all, it was an enjoyable convention. I’ll take some time to share some of my observations were of what happened on the convention floor.

  • There was concern over the secret ballot vs. stand, rise, and be counted method of voting. Personally, I don’t care to show who I support. We represent Republicans from our respective counties, so I believe we should be public. I know there are those who disagree, and that’s fine. You can look at it this way, a number of people supporting a secret ballot and concerned about intimidation and retribution were wearing lapel stickers of officer candidates. I’d say around 60 to 70% of convention goers had lapel stickers on, so an overwhelming majority must not have been all that concerned about ramifications of their support.
  • There was a lot of talk of “fear of retribution” if one candidate won over another. I don’t believe I was ever “intimidated” or anything while i was Chairman in Walker County, and I don’t believe (since I’m on the state executive committee) I would have been if Alex had won for supporting John over him. We have to remember we’re on the same team working toward a similar goal: electing Republicans.
  • The AJC made a seemingly big ordeal to point out that one of our new state officers is gay. I talked to a few other fellow delegates and we had the same thought: big deal. I believe that’s a thought that is becoming more prominent among Republicans. What you do behind closed doors is your business. I don’t believe race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever will be or should be a deciding factor on whether someone can serve the public as an elected official or a party official.
  • On RFRA, there were a few Republicans that didn’t agree with passing a resolution in supporting it without an anti-discrimination clause in it. Well, if you think about it, if there is a business owner who wants to decrease his customer base by not serving people who are gay, a different religion, or whatever, then free market forces will probably ensure that he or she isn’t in business for very long. Just a thought though.
  • It disturbs me that there are delegates who are willing to publicly accuse us of using “Stalin-like” tactics, being like the Mafia, and other ridiculous charges. I believe Randy Evans did a fantastic job of granting ample time of people being heard while maintaining order to let those opinions and questions be heard. If we were being totalitarian as some people I know accuse us of being, then the vote would have been a lot closer secret ballot or not. These charges are baseless, but I’m sure they will continue to try to shout them in order for their faction to be relevant (in their own mind…or something).
  • I voted for the minority report from the credentials committee to not seat Newton County. I don’t know the specifics, but it seems to me that precincts who elect delegates to the county convention should not be put to a litmus test by the existing county committee. I believe it goes against the convention call of the Georgia Republican Party, and, in my opinion, I believe the Newton County GOP rules should be changed to allow folks who agree with our Republican Party principles to freely participate as delegates in county conventions without regard to service.

I know there were some friends who didn’t support the same people that I did, and that’s ok. I still like them and call them friends. Sometimes our emotions run high, and I know they were high yesterday as we conducted business on the floor. For those who didn’t win, rest for a bit, keep your chin up, and let’s work to continue to lay the groundwork to elect Republicans next year and for years to come.


  1. Robbie says:

    There’s a really interesting disconnect in your comments about caring whether or not someone’s gay and the free market possibilities of RFRA. Saying “what you do behind closed doors is your business” and endorsing the right of businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation don’t really match up.

    I think it’s particularly interesting, especially with Virginia Galloway’s quote in the AJC that it’s ok to have elected a gay guy because “he doesn’t make a big deal about it.” Put those things together and it leads to: “We’re ok with you being gay, as long as you never talk about it, never live your life openly, don’t force me to see it, and certainly don’t ever try to buy something from our stores.”

    I’m sure that’s not the message that the GOP wants to convey, but, it’s certainly the message that comes across.

    • xdog says:

      I agree. That same goper disconnect is also the basis for claiming ‘see, we don’t despise gays, we have gay leaders’ in much the same way some gopers point to Tim Scott to show they aren’t racist.

      Let me be clear that I’m not talking about Nathan or any other individual.

      • Baker says:

        I was concerned with Virginia’s statement as well but I think it came out worse than how she meant it. I believe, and hope, that she meant that being gay is not his end all/be all identity and that’s not the sole lens through which he views his politics.

  2. JeffHaffley says:

    Good observations.

    The Newton County issue needs to be addressed by updating and clarifying state and/or district rules relating to qualifications for participation.

    While I have not objection to some requirements (say a qualifying fee) to be a party officer, I do believe that participation as a delegate at all levels should be as accessible as possible.

    It is also important to remember that less than 1 in 1,000 people in most counties participate in conventions. I don’t care if you only show up for conventions; you are giving hundreds of dollars and countless hours to the party every cycle and a cause or candidate you believe in. Such people should be commended and welcomed, not spurned.

    Those who do the work between conventions will be honored all the more if they welcome newcomers instead of fighting them.

    If the folks in Newton, for example, had welcomed the new folks and explained the process to them they could have worked together instead of against each other. Most people don’t want to do the grunt work of party activism and are happy to follow the leadership of experienced AND friendly people.

    I my county, the party leadership is always trying to get more people and welcomes them warmly. This year, our chairman made sure that everyone who wanted to go to district and state did and they all got to vote (all alternates being moved up). That is how you build a unified party.

    • LindaLR24 says:

      Very nice comment, and thank you. I am compelled to clarify tho, one point. Yes, going on and matriculating up the ladder from mass meeting to big conventions raises money and it is a good thing when as many delegates are seated and show up as possible! As well, MANY of the “new” people were not new, in fact a displaced delegate was once a former chair of same county, many were other delegates, other years, as well as a few folks who ran for some offices as Republicans. The real issue that a HUGE portion of the legally seated delegates at mass meeting were removed from the delegate rolls , not legally, after having been duly elected, was those culled were likely not going to vote for the chair that was being pushed forward by the outgoing chair. They had their guy and NO ONE was going to stand in the way of that fair and balanced selection. Local elections in my and neighboring counties are being lost to dems because of shrinking members and less members willing to participate because of exclusionary attitudes, much like illustrated above…Yet there are no shortage of good conservative folks
      to help get out the vote! Also, to address a comment earlier, Gay people are a Fact of life, they live, they breathe, they participate in the world, and to give an opposing group, or any one, ammunition to make their case against such a few idiots, who dont get that, is sad. Tolerance is a two way street. God Bless and thanks Peach Pundit for the good article and the good comments for which i am responding.

  3. Doug Deal says:

    You clearly did not understand what the people shouting were shouting about. The motions being made to vote by slate and to shut down nominations before any were submitted were what they were complaining about, not Randy’s rulings.

    I know this because I sat behind someone who shouted everything you quoted in your article.

    • JeffHaffley says:

      Doug is correct. I looked to the Johnson supporters like a parliamentary trick to keep him from being able to run.

      • Doug Deal says:

        I nearly made it, but I finally gave up and the first sticker I took was from the Isakson campaign and it had the back off. It immediately stuck to something paper that I was carrying and ruined it. I pretty much swore I will never cast another vote for Isakson.

  4. saltycracker says:

    The only thing everyone above agrees on is gerrymandering districts and fighting over social causes.
    The political placebo for the big issues that effect us all is “We Should fix that””.

Comments are closed.