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Samuel Adams

American Patriot & Politician

1722 - 1803

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.
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Hot Issues From Linn County Iowa
Monday, 15 February 2016
The Caucus Behind The Curtain

We live in an era of Revisionist History.

Everything seems to be rewritten to fit an agenda.

Those of us who experienced the recent Linn County GOP caucus,

Came away with certain impressions that the Executive Committee do not share.

They have been broadcasting how excellent they were.

To quote our Chair:

 "After our record-breaking Caucus, we are on our way to a successful 2016 Republican Election victory." 

I must say it was record breaking, if the records you wanted to break were in: Chaos, driving people away in frustration, and total pandemonium.

If those are the records to break, then the Mega Caucuses at the Double Tree, and to a lesser extent, at Kirkwood, were roaring successes.

I have some video clips of the crowded conditions and a couple of opinions given by people who attended--and who don't seem to agree with our leadership. 

Crowd 1  Crowd2    Interview 1   Interview 2

Just click on the link to download the clip and then open the file.  

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 7:14 PM CST
Updated: Monday, 15 February 2016 9:21 PM CST
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Sunday, 14 February 2016
From The Same People Who Brought You Mega-Caucus

The Founding Fathers were concerned about tyranny, that of the despot and that of the majority.

Which is why they set up our government with checks and balances and formed a constitutionally based Representative Republic.

Our Linn County Republican Central Committee is also set up with checks and balances, a constitution, and bylaws.

One of the foremost tools to prevent abuse of power is found in the section on the Executive Committee in the County Constitution:

The Executive Committee is subject to the orders of the Linn County Central Committee, and none of its acts shall conflict with actions of the Linn County Central Committee.  

Regretfully, we have an Executive Committee which is convinced that due to the purity of their intent.

If there is a section of the County Constitution, the By-Laws, or the Rules of Order which forbid their actions,

Such strictures are optional.

They are not adverse, either, in creating a faux crisis and engaging in what one might term "creative reality" to achieve their goals. 

Last year, during the first meeting of the Committee after the officers' election they, breathlessly informed the body that

Robert's Rules of Order stated that all actions--motions, committees, etc., established before the officers' election were voided by it and had to be replaced.


The also informed the body that a gentleman who is in Republican circles in Iowa, the "go-to guy" for parliamentary procedure, had told them this.


And of course, all of this meant they we had to completely redo all these things they claimed that were NOT TRUE,


And that there was not time to think about it and debate it at a later month's meeting.

So, we adopted their motion, which contained a few poison pills.

The thriving sub-committees, including Finance, which handled all of the budgeting decisions; Communications, which included web activities and press releases; and Credentials, which ensured that the voting was consistent with the by-laws and limited to only elected committeepersons; were all eliminated, and replaced with "Teams."  

Previously, anyone could join a subcommittee and have voting rights, but the "Teams" were limited to five voting members, including the "Team Leader."  The "Team Leaders" had already been appointed by the Executives, and most of the voting members had already been chosen by the Executives, the Team Leader would decide who could be on a team.   

Then at a later meeting, they presented their opinion that the Executive Committee Secretary should replace the "Team Leader" of the "Membership & Meeting Setup" team.

This was, of course, AFTER they tried to edit the original motion to replace the Team Leader voted in with someone else, and were called on it.

Did I mention they engage from time to time in creative reality?

I have a copy of the second version which includes the wording:

To accomplish this, the Executive Committee moves to accept the following plan for 2015-2016 Election Cycle: APPROVED BY VOTE OF THE LCRCC 3/17/15 

The problem was this section:

 Membership & Meeting Setup – Membership records, meeting setup, credentialing for voting (Mike Dupree, Deb Dupree, Justin Wasson uncommitted)  

You see, the version that was actually VOTED on,

Had Justin Wasson as the Team Leader.  Not Mike Dupree. 

Now, they have found a section of Robert's Rules of Order which states that the Secretary keeps the records of the membership list.

So, they decided to replace the Team Leader again with someone else this time--the Secretary.

The Central Committee, by a resounding margin, rejected this and reaffirmed Mr. Wasson as the Team Leader.

This was almost a year ago.   

Yet, it now seems they have decided upon a new tactic.

We had recent precinct caucuses, and the Form As have all the new committee persons listed.

The Executive Committee has not seen fit to deliver this information to the Membership and Meeting Setup Team, which was given the duty by the Central Committee to handle:

Membership records, meeting setup, credentialing for voting  

Recall that this is the wording of their own motion to the body, which was adopted, and now they do not wish to abide by it.

I head some muttering that the Form As need to be..."credentialed?"

Anything resembling "credentialing" is accomplished when the Caucus Chair and Secretary sign them.

No, this is yet another blatant power play by the Executive Committee, which chooses not to follow the County Constitution, where it says:


The Executive Committee is subject to the orders of the Linn County Central Committee, and none of its acts shall conflict with actions of the Linn County Central Committee.  

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 10:21 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 14 February 2016 11:29 PM CST
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Friday, 12 February 2016
Is That The Ice Cracking I Hear?



I just got an interesting  IM on Facebook


Xxxxx wants to know when the next GOP central

committee meeting is so he can go talk about caucus

fiasco. I showed him your blog this morning. I don't know

if he had time to read it thoroughly. Yyyy 


So we have somone who has never read this blog and because they need to know when the Linn County Central Committee meet is, they have not much experience with the Committee meetings
I do not know how much experience they have had with Caucuses but from the wording of the message they are not pleased with what they have had.
I for one would be interested in they have to say, Shoud they attend.
Our meeting may be a tad like Fat Tuesday



Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 10:46 PM CST
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Thursday, 11 February 2016
Byzantine Book Keeping


The Numbers associated with this Years Caucuses certainly were as convoluted as any complex book keeping in the Byzantine Empire 

From someone associated with the last Caucus I got the news that this one only took in 12K which meant it was 10K below what was in the bank account when our Present County Chair took over

But then someone associated with the Present Caucus said No it was the 2012 Caucus which took in 12K.


Dan Lincoln bag donations increased about $7000 from 4 years ago and exceeded the 1.50 per person threshold.  You may want to correct your recent post.  I believe the Lincoln bag number from 4 years ago was around 12k.  The number you are thinking of includes delegate fees that were collected caucus night 4 years ago.


 What they had in common was each was wrong about the other Caucus

I did get some accurate figures on this Caucus from the Treasurer


 Total funds depostited after the Caucus $27,503.17 and he

informed me the split in funds were about 19K for LCRCC donationa

and 8K for the Convention Fees. 

My Correspondent for this years Caucus did provide me with the DR-2 forms for the 2012 Caucuses.

You can access them HERE 

He also informed me there were more Cedar Rapids Sites than I mentioned in a previous article

Also there were 6 sites with Cedar Rapids precincts.  In addition to the 3 you listed you have New Covenant, New Life Church, and King of Kings. 

I stand corrected on the number of Cedar Rapids Caucus site, but in truth I do not think that has any bearing one the pandemonium and chaos of he Mega-Caucus sites and I recall NO ONE who was happy with the situation

As a matter of fact I was almost not elected to be a Central Commitee Person because one person made the claim that anyone who had been previously on the Committee should not be re elected

I told them I had nothing to do with the Disaster of the Double Tree Caucuses and had tried to prevent it. 


A young friend who has been active in the Central Committee weeded out the information for the 2012 Caucuses from the DR-2s for me, for which I gratefully sprung for a steak dinner

The results from 4 years ago were 


The following is information regarding financials from the 2012 caucus:

    • Unitemized pass the hat money on caucus night - $16,113.26
    • Itemized pass the hat money on caucus night - $2682
    • Total contributions on caucus night - $18795.26
    • Total paid on caucus night for conventions - $4950
    • 25 people paid for convention at the following monthly meeting. Many paid shortly after that and we accepted payment at the door.

Also something worth noting, pass the hat in January of 2012 was $225.81 which was a fairly typical amount every month back then.


It would appear donations to the Committee were about the same.  Pre-paid Convention fees were up

That latter point is very welcome because this time any unused seats of the 167 allocated for Linn County must be paid for,

I am however confused on what we will pay,  I seem to remember the State figure for the District and State Conventions being $50 and what was collected for that Feb 1 was $60 .

So do we owe RPI $60 per seat or did our Executives just decide to charge our members an extra $10 for collecting the State's Fees?

We can find out how much we got stuck for at next weeks Central Committee meeting

It will also be interesting to see how close we come at the meeting to the bucket collection of 4 years ago of  $225.81

That's about 3 times what the bucket has been collecting

And yes I know we have made the $125 dollar room fee for quite a few months.

But I also know there is a member of the Committee who each month writes a check to cover what the bucket does not and that is why I say $225.81 is about 3 times what the bucket has been collecting. 

Still we need to keep in mind the real problem is not that we did not take any more money in than 4 years ago while we spent at least 10K more but it is the total chaos that ensued

And the number of people who got frustrated and left

If anyone needs to be reminded or was fortunate enough not to Caucus at a Mega site let me remind you.


 And if a picture is worth a thousand words, I wonder that a video is worth


Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 2:22 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 11 February 2016 2:26 AM CST
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Friday, 5 February 2016
Pig In A Poke

 It will not come as a surprise to anyone that the Tea Party was not the first to object to excessive Taxation.

 In order to avoid taxation on piglets farmers and their customer used to rendez-vous in the dead of night to make the transaction,

The pig was often in a poke,

Problem was sometimes it was not a pig but a cat that got let out of the bag later. 

The Linn County Republican Central Committee just recently had a similiar experience with the outcome of our Leadership's new concept of how the Presidential Caucuses should go.

I refer to the Pig in the Poke meme because with the exception of two of our members almost everyone who had REAL experience with setting up Caucuses was shut out of the planning

The rest of the  Committee was also shut out,

We were told that the Caucus Team Leader was invoking his "Singular Authority" to declare the Caucus Team Meetings closed.

Oh and  two member that did have experience?

It was not deemed necessary to allow them to have a vote on the Team

Central Committtee members will recall when the new Team Organization was rushed through committee hidden was the detail that only 5 Team members on a Team could vote and it seemed like the Exectuives decided who they would be. 

 That describes the Pig we thought we were buying

And what can describe the Cat that was let out of the Bag during the Caucus debacle? 

Well first as our Chair Cindy Golding told us at our last meeting before Caucuses

There WAS a rumor that all the Precincts would meet in ONE location

That was NOT the case as our Chair Cindy Golding pointed out

But like Mark Twain's description of the "Best Way to Tell A Lie"

Ms Gokling left a few things out.

Which was for the first few months of their deliberations the rumor that all  of the GOP Precinct in Linn County would met in a single location came from

The Caucus Team

Who were asked that quesiton on several occasions

Until another rumor emerged that to have it in one location would cost several times what we had in the Bank account. 

So we ended up with quite a few locations in the County most having 2 or 3 Precints in one location

And 3 for ALL of Cedar Rapids

One at Bethany Lutheran.

Some at Kirkwood

And 30 Precincts at the Double Tree (in 3 rooms) 

Other things which emerged like Cats being let out of a bag was  the intense frustration many felt at the crowded and chaotic conditions.


 There were thousands of people at the Wreck of the Double Tree who were very upset with the process. Among the problems were the inability to check-in, trouble finding your caucus location, way too few seats available, starting more than 30 minutes late, not getting to break out into your precinct until 8:30pm, no one could hear their caucus chairs because of all the surrounding noise, no place to count ballots, limited to no handicap and elderly accessibility, poor signage, too few check-in people, and the list goes on.



I sure hope you do not do this horrible caucus system again
for a presidential caucus. It was too disorganized, did not
start on time and many potential caucus goes left because
they could not get registered to vote? More than anyone
would want to admit.


If anyone wants to know if the statement many potential caucus goers left because they could not get registered to vote is an exageration.

Well they do way a picture is worth a thousand words


 And if a picture is worth a thousand words, I wonder that a video is worth


What is really sickening is to run the numbers for this event

Last time we spent about twice what Johnson County did which is not surprising as we have twice their population

THIS time we spent about TEN THOUSAND Dollars more than we did last time

To put that in REAL perspective we spent around One Thousand Dollars TOTAL last time. 


And what did we get for our extra Ten Thousand Dollar expendature?

The Buck Bags we sent around for donations were





Yes our Pig in the Poke  Mega Caucus Media Event

Cost 10K more and took in 10K less.

You do the rest of the Math 

The ONLY thing that keeps Linn County Iowa from being the laughing stock of the Nation is what happened in Polk County

The lets decide a Precinct Caucus by flipping a coin. 

For those involved in the planning of Monday Night there is one bright light

That this was an event held by the Linn County Republican Central Committee.

Had it been run by say the Mafia?

Those responsible might be resting at the bottom of the Cedar River with brand new shoes on. 

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 2:04 AM CST
Updated: Friday, 5 February 2016 2:58 AM CST
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Wednesday, 3 February 2016
A Successful Iowa Republican Caucus


This was our ONLY single Precinct Caucus site and is a good example of how 

thigns SHOULD go. Reported by Bill Dahlsten 


Linn County Republicans in Cedar Rapids precinct 24 (CR-24) caucused on Feb. 1, 2016.  It was a large caucus. It was a presidential caucus. It was a successful caucus.

Other Republicans in Linn County say their caucus the same evening was not successful. Why did CR-24 have a successful caucus?

Republicans in CR-24 ran a standalone caucus. About 15 Republicans in CR-24 organized and ran the caucus. CR-24 was not part of a mass forced together beyond the critical point of chaos. This almost did not happen.

CR-24 was originally supposed to be part of a mass caucus site at Cedar Rapids downtown Double Tree Hotel. As the word of this spread, some Republicans in CR-24 were not pleased. Bruce Lindholm and I looked at sites ourselves and found Bethany Lutheran Church was available as a caucus site.  

Bethany Lutheran is CR-24's polling place. Bethany Lutheran has a large events room. Bethany Lutheran has a good sized parking lot.  CR-24 Republicans filled Bethany Lutheran on Feb. 1st. .

A precinct caucus is not held to convenience office seekers. A precinct caucus is not held as a circus to draw media attention. A precinct caucus is held for residents of the precinct.




What the presidential candidates themselves had to say had already been paid broadcast and blast called to all. A member of the caucus got two minutes at the podium to advocate for each presidential candidate.

What mattered to the advocating speaker was heard. It was what each caucus speaker believed their candidate could bring for the good of all. It was a fresh take on the message in contrast to consultant provided sound bites tested before focus groups.


All in CR-24's caucus heard what the speakers said. There was no cross talk over another caucus, or worse yet multiple caucuses jammed in together. 




Balloting commenced a little around 7:30. Bruce Lindholm thankfully discarded the tiny, blank ballots supplied in the caucus kit. Blue paper ballots with names preprinted produced by Bruce expedited ballot counting.  Just before 8:00 Dr. Don Nelson reported CR-24's  presidential results to Des Moines. 




280 and presidential ballots were cast in CR-24. Most of those present left after the announcement. About 15-25 stay for electing county central committee and other party business.  That is about the same number of CR-24 Republicans who caucus in off years. 




$806 was collected in the Lincoln Bag. Required reports were filled out and turned in.

Many who caucused in CR-24 expressed gratitude they were not mass caucusing in downtown Cedar Rapids. Many said they never would have attended such a caucus. That number included a few of approximately 15 people who volunteered to help run the caucus.

The most rewarding aspect of single site caucusing was seeing the elderly participants. Bethany Lutheran was easily accessible for them. The distance to walk from the front door to a chair was short.

I attended my first Iowa Republican caucus in 1972. That caucus was a small gathering held in the living room of Fred and Sally Bell in Burlington. Other than the number caucusing, my 22nd Iowa Republican caucus at Bethany Lutheran Church in 2016 was much the same.

Republican neighbors gathered within their precinct to caucus. They got down to business. They debated and discussed issues in an orderly manner. They kept the caucus process moving and went home happy at a decent hour.

William H. Dahlsten


CR-24 Linn County Republican Party Central Committee 


The Republicans of CR-24 commenced their caucus on time. The caucus flowed at a steady pace. Candidates did not interrupt CR-24's caucus. There was better candidate advocacy to be heard.  

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 6:08 PM CST
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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Charge of the Infernal Caucus



In the annals of the human race, there are instances of situations where if those involved had been given a choice beforehand, they might have declined altogether.

Among these are the Charge of the Light Brigade, Dante's Inferno, and the 2016 GOP Linn County Iowa Caucuses. 

For those who think my use of the image of a herd of stampeding Elephants is hyperbole, may I present this link to a video of the pandemonium? 

THAT is what you get when you try to squeeze 30 Precincts into one location. 

Most people would realize that your average person might show up at the last moment, and if your expected numbers are going to be between 3500 and 4000 at that location?

It will not be tidy. 

I told all my friends, in particular, the ones who told me they had been informed to arrive about 6:30,

"No NO NO!

"5:30 or earlier!" 

As for myself, I took a cab downtown at about 4:00, got a bite to eat, and then went and checked things out. 


Sometimes things are even worse than you imagined.

I counted the seats for my precinct and thought,

Not enough.

I was right.

People for my precinct and others ended up standing. 

 It seemed like it took until about 8:00 for the Presidential addresses to start.

By the time they finished the Presidential addresses, it was around the same time we had finished the entire Caucus four years ago.  

Then the question was,

Where to count the ballots?

It wasn't like there were tables available to place them on and count them.  

How could there be tables, when there wasn't even enough room for all of the chairs we would have needed? 

I spotted a bare portion of wall with some space in front of it.

Our candidate witnesses and counters knelt down, much like a football huddle. 





They put the ballots in the middle and counted them there.

While they were counting, almost everyone left.

At our last presidential year caucus, OVER 90% of ours attendees stayed for the rest of the business.

This year I don't think 10% stayed.

To put this in persepctive:

Presidential polls did not take place during Iowa Caucuses until the 70s.

Their original purpose was to conduct party business:

To elect County Central Commitee persons to represent the precincts for the following two years;

To appoint members of the County Convention committees: Organization, Credentials, Rules, and Platform;

And to appoint delegates to the County, District, and State Conventions.

As far as fulfilling the original purpose of the caucus in Linn County--at least, at the Doubletree--this year was an abysmal failure.

As for the Presidential poll?

Considering how many people decided to leave and not participate even before the Presidential voting,

There is no way of telling how much damage was done and to whom. 

I do not know how others may view the Doubletree Cataclysm.

But as for me?

I give our leadership a score of ONE DUMP.



Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 9:10 PM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 3 February 2016 12:37 AM CST
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Wednesday, 20 January 2016
Executive Orders

There has been some discussion in Republican, or maybe Conservative and Libertarian circles;

About the decision of our current President to handle with Executive Orders things which he feels are not being handled the way he wishes by Congress.  This is, in the opinion of many, side-stepping the Constitution and the Rule of Law. 

It would seem this attitude is not limited to Barack Obama on the Federal Level, but can also be seen in the attitude and activity of the Linn County Republican Central Committee Chair, Cindy Golding.

Two months ago, at our November meeting, a motion was made to continue holding our monthly meetings at the Longbranch, where our committee has met for the better part of several decades.   The motion was tabled, as the time was approaching 8:30--the chair's firmly enforced adjournment time!

However, at our January meeting, our Executives announced that rather than honoring the Motion in Force to debate and vote on the status of where our meeting should be held, they had instead DECIDED;

That they were going to do a "SURVEY" of the subject after the Caucus.  

On the surface, there might be some logic in this, as after the Caucus, there will be a brand new Committee.

Of course, if it were not for their insistence that we adjourn at a set time, rather than after the business we have before us is finished, this issue would have been dealt with months ago. 

But the REAL issue is that the Executives DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY to override a decision of the Body with one of their own.  

And doing so is a VIOLATION of the Constitution of the  Republican Party of  Linn County, which states:


The Executive Committee is subject to the orders of the Linn County Central Committee, and none of its acts shall conflict with actions of the Linn County Central Committee.


It was, in fact, the right of the Committee to make that decision rather than the Executives.

I rose on a Point of Order to bring this out,

And the above-mentioned requirements of the Constitution were ignored by the Chair, Cindy Golding. 

That was not the only dubious action by the County Chair, Cindy Golding, at the January meeting.

She also kept bringing up the subject of previous rumors of the Linn County Caucuses being held in a single location.

It is true that there WERE in the past rumors to that effect.

The source of those rumors were the Caucus Team, whose members were asked several times in the first few months if this were true, and answered in the affirmative.

We later heard that after they determined that the cost would be two, maybe three times the amount of money we had in our entire treasury, it was decided to have some Caucuses in more than one location.  Of course, that was also just a rumor.

Still, all of Cedar Rapids' 44 precincts will be in a very few locations, the largest of which being the Downtown Double Tree Hotel and Convention Center, with a whopping 30 Precincts packed into three rooms. 

It should be an interesting Caucus.

As to the Constitutional issues that arose at the LCRCC January meeting, there are several campaigns who seem to have very good ground games.

They might end up placing some of their people on the County Central Committee.

The Candidates seem to honor the Constitution and the Rule of Law.

I hope to see that their supporters, should they end up on the Central Committee, choose to Walk the Walk rather than Talk the Talk;

And also honor Constitutions and the Rule of Law.  

Especially since it appears that the Linn County Republican Central Committee Chair, Cindy Golding...

Does NOT. 

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 2:14 AM CST
Updated: Wednesday, 20 January 2016 3:31 AM CST
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Saturday, 16 January 2016
First Ever We Are Breitbart - Cedar Rapids Meetup


We Are Breitbart - Cedar Rapids
Thursday, January 21, 2016
5:30 PM
Porkys Bar & Grill
4617 J St. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Are you going?
20 Happy Warriors going, including:
"I'm a God fearing, conservative, red headed, full bearded, red blooded Texan. I..."
"Intl law & trade, food/water/property/human rights and health interest me. Avid reader,..."
Had enough of Obama’s trampling of the Constitution and squelching of American freedoms? Join like-minded conservatives and make new friends as we discuss and share ideas about liberty, politics, and culture at the first-ever We Are Breitbart - Cedar...

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 12:06 AM CST
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Saturday, 9 January 2016
GUEST SUBMISSION: Choose to be Better















The following is a guest post written by LCRCC member Althea Cole as a follow-up to Friday's post, "The Meaning of Corruption."   


The intention had been from the beginning to help out with my precinct at the 2016 Linn County Republican Precinct Caucuses.  

I’m an elected member of the Central Committee.  It’s my job.  

It remains my job, regardless of my feelings about the chaotic mess that has been made of these caucuses by the leadership of the Linn County Republican Central Committee.

It doesn’t mean, however, that one should remain silent about the poor decisions made by our executive leadership during the planning of the 2016 Precinct Caucuses.  I was always taught to speak up about things that are not right, and I’ve had plenty of opportunity to do so in the months, now weeks, leading up to February 1st.  

It is not right that our caucus team has been instructed to cram 30 (yes, 30) precincts and 4,000 caucusgoers and guests into a single site location in downtown Cedar Rapids.  

It is not right that many of the 80 well-placed locations our party used in 2012 have been taken over by the local Democrats, because our party and its leaders opted to ignore the pleas of past experienced caucus leaders, who begged our executives not to consolidate our 86 precincts into large, crowded locations.

It is not right that the caucus planning team was not opened to experienced, willing volunteers, or that the leader of the team has conducted the vast majority of its meetings as closed sessions, under what he described at the August 2015 meeting as his “singular authority” to do so.

And it is not right that instead of incurring dramatically lower costs by seeking caucus sites at more of Linn County’s 80+ public schools, LCRCC Chair Cindy Golding is reported to be seeking corporate donations to offset the staggering costs of running the caucuses in large, expensive locations.  The Central Committee treasurer’s recent estimates show that the 2016 Linn County caucuses are projected to cost around $11,800.00, more than 37% over the $8,000 budget approved by the Linn County Republican Central Committee.  (The downtown site alone is projected to cost $6,300.00, more than 75% of the total approved budget.)

Like many other dedicated volunteers on the Linn County Republican Central Committee, I’ve been very frank and unreserved with my opinion of the mess that has been made of the 2016 Linn County Republican Caucuses since the very beginning.  But sooner or later, time runs out, are we are left with the circumstances we’ve been dealt.  The show must go on.  The show will go on.  Come hell or high water, the 2016 Caucuses will happen on February 1st at 7:00, and as I said at the beginning of this essay, it has always been my intention to lead my precinct in the 2016 Republican Caucuses.  

So, on Thursday night, I emailed our “records guy” to request a copy of the Republican voter registration records for my precinct.  Our central committee pays a yearly fee of $200.00 to the Linn County Auditor’s office for all of the voter registration, which may then be disbursed to our members to start reaching out to potential caucusgoers.  

Two hours later, I checked my email to see two responses.  

The first was from our “records guy,” Bruce Bernier:


Several other LCRCC members have requested and received a list of their precinct Republicans.
In fact, I produced a master list of the registered Republicans in all of the county precincts and sent it to the Caucus planning team lead (Paul Pelletier), and all LCRCC officers in hopes that they could assist in getting such precinct lists disseminated. Any one of them can easily break out individual precinct lists from this master list.

I have copied them on this response to your note. They can accommodate your request.

The second response was from the Linn County Republican Central Committee Co-Chair, Brett Mason:

Ms Cole,

The last time we had any significant conversation was at the end of a meeting last year. You jumped to your feet and ran to the front after the meeting was adjourned, and you were screaming over and over that you felt I was corrupt more than anyone else ever.

Others commented that it was the best meeting we had held in over a year.

In such a context, I can see no manner in which any list could be provided to you which you could possibly trust.  Regrettably I see no path forward for our committee to fulfill such a request. I am certain that you could possibly purchase a list - maybe from the County Auditor's office?

Brett Mason

Now, regardless of the exaggerated manner in which Mr. Mason apparently chooses to recall the event in which I accused him of being “corrupt” (and yes, I did,) I must urgently point out:

It is not right that the Co-Chair, Brett Mason, chose, out of personal animosity, to deny a Central Committee member access to resources that were purchased for their use.   

At the same time, I can’t help but be puzzled at Mr. Mason’s version of the event during which he claims that I was “screaming over and over” at him.  

Surely, I would have been noticed by others if I truly were “screaming over and over.”

Luckily, I have a friend who collects a recording of all of the Central Committee meetings, and he has provided me with a copy, to which I recently listened, keeping an ear out for my own screaming voice.  

The recording of the end of the October 20th, 2015 meeting plays out exactly how I remember the event itself.  Caucus Team Lead Paul Pelletier receives questions about the upcoming caucuses, and although the recording cannot verify this, there are quite a few hands raised with more questions.  Yet Mr. Mason, acting in the absence of the chair, interrupts Pelletier at the stroke of 8:30, saying, “Folks, it’s 8:30, we’re gonna call it on time,” and adjourns the meeting.  

This act of ending the meeting before all caucus questions were answered--and before all caucus business had a chance to be completed--was, in my opinion, an act rooted in corruption.  Not only did the Central Committee not have the necessary opportunity to be advised and informed of the caucus team’s progress, they also did not have the opportunity to bring forth any items of business related to the caucus, or provide any orders which the caucus team, and the Executive Committee, would be subject to carry out.  

And when the committee as a whole is not in session, it is the Executives who have the power to do the business of the committee in the interim.  

I would think that someone who has such an important task of executing the will of the Central Committee would want to continue the meeting until business is complete.  I don't know how they could understand what business it is that they need to carry out if they don't have the opportunity to hear it from the committee as a whole and its subcommittees.

Each time our chair, or, in this instance, our co-chair, ends meetings abruptly without completing, or even addressing important business items, I can’t help but wonder if they intend for the Central Committee to be unable to instruct them on conducting their affairs, so that they may instead carry our their own agenda.

For those reasons, I did feel that Mr. Mason was corrupt in his actions that evening.  

But regardless of what I think of Mr. Mason, or what he thinks of me, I repeat:

It is NOT RIGHT that the Co-Chair, Brett Mason, chose, out of personal animosity, to deny a Central Committee member access to resources that were purchased for their use.

Especially when it prevents almost 300 registered Republicans from hearing from their elected precinct representative about important changes to their upcoming caucus.  

As for Mr. Mason’s insistence that I was “screaming over and over?”

While the recording of the Central Committee meeting indicates that several individuals were vocally upset with Mr. Mason for cutting off the meeting, my screaming female voice cannot be plainly distinguished. 

I can, however, be faintly heard among a sea of other voices giving a stern admonishment to Mr. Mason, which I now find to be particularly ironic:

“You could do this better, and you are choosing not to…”

I deeply wish Mr. Mason would have considered these words and chosen to be better in his actions when he decided out of spite that the Executive Committee would not be providing me with the resources I need to contact the members of my precinct.  

If that was not to be, I still wish that Mr. Mason would have chosen a better course of action when I presented him with this option in response to his petty obstinance:

“If you are to apologize for your egregious lapse in judgement and conduct, and assist me with obtaining the records to which I am entitled as a Central Committee member, I will consider this issue as one that needs no further attention.”

Were he to have done the right thing, it would have saved me a lot of time--and not just with writing this guest submission for Kentucky Dan.

It would also save me the money that I will have to spend on obtaining the precinct records myself if Mr. Mason enjoys continued success in preventing me from doing my job as a precinct chair.  

But Mr. Mason is not the only Central Committee member with a choice, here.

I have a choice, too.  

As long as I participate in politics, there will always be people like Brett Mason around.  There will always exist boisterous egos over which to trip and hubris so thick one could slice right through it, courtesy of folks who prioritize power, control, influence, and the fulfillment of their own agenda over engaging the grassroots whose only skin in the game is their lives and their futures. 

I must choose to be better.  

I must choose to always be the grassroots.  

Therefore, I will find a way to obtain the resources I need.  

I will collect my fellow precinct committeeperson, and we will work together to engage and involve the members of our precinct in the upcoming caucus.  


I’m an elected member of the Linn County Republican Central Committee.  

And it’s my job. 


****UPDATE:  Miss Cole wishes to thank Linn County's "Records Guy" for helping her finally obtain the resources she was seeking, especially after The LCRCC Co-Chair reiterated his refusal to allow their provision in multiple follow-up statements.  



Althea Cole is a volunteer for the Linn County Republican Central Committee, representing Cedar Rapids' 7th Precinct.  She first got involved in politics during the 2012 Presidential election and hasn't given her brain a rest since.    

Posted by ky/kentuckydan at 11:34 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 10 January 2016 1:27 AM CST
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