July 28, 2012

Romney Maine Campaign Chair Does Not Want Me To Go To Tampa

So former Bush Ambassador, current Mitt Romney Campaign Chair in Maine, Peter Cianchette, and current Maine RNC Committeewoman, and Jan Staples, who was unseated at our convention in May by Ron Paul supporter Ashley Ryan, have filed a challenge to have me and my fellow delegates yanked from the national convention in Tampa.  The sent me a copy of the complaint today.  Coverage here.

As I documented in my reporting on the Romney campaign's Maine convention shenanigans, the GOP parliamentarian noted after the proceedings that the rules were followed.  Staples and Ciancette claim that they weren't, so we should not be seated.  Unclear if they think that no delegation from Maine should be seated, or how one should be chosen.

I sent a personal letter back to them:

Dear Ms. Staples and Mr. Cianchette,

Today I was disheartened to receive your notice that you were contesting the seating of the Maine Delegates and Alternate Delegates elected by our party to the GOP National Convention, and I am writing to ask you to reconsider your actions and rescind your request.  I am an alternate delegate to the convention, elected in Augusta that day, and I have been very excited about having the chance to represent Maine in Tampa.

I am a lifelong republican, the daughter of a career Naval officer, I was born in Brunswick where my father was flying P-3s, I hold a Master of Science in Clinical Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and most significantly, I am the mother to a little boy living with autism.

In the eight years since my son's neurological regression, I have unfortunately had to learn first hand how broken our current system is, how much corruption in our country is harming those who are the least able to avoid and recover from it, and most grievously, how the party that I have been loyal to my entire life, has not only failed to address that corruption, but has helped to maintain it.  I have personally briefed our state health commissioner and the head of Mainecare on the way that the federal government has defrauded our state and some disabled families of tens of millions (hundreds of millions?) of dollars, and have had to sit back and watch no action be taken, while families, school systems and state services buckle under the financial strain that is the federal governments (shirked) responsibility.  It is a very difficult thing for a mother to suddenly find out that those that she has trusted and supported for a life time, are deaf to calls from her to bring an end to harm that is being caused to her own child, and children like him, because it is not politically expedient. 

Because of my experience and my loss of trust in what the Republican Party had become, I disengaged from politics (and the party) for many years, but returned recently because I saw that, because the Obama administration had been so egregious in their power grab and so brazen in their corruption, and because the consequences to our economy and society had been so grave, that people were beginning to wake up to how broken the American system had become, and that earnest men were again willing to fight for this country.  They wanted to bring it back to the values it was founded on, to implement a true system of checks and balances, to bring real accountability for misdeeds and to bring actual freedom back to individuals... well it gave me hope that we might be able to resurrect some of what we have lost in the last twenty years. 

So I got back into politics, advocating in issues of free choice in health care, of allowing corrupt systems to collapse in a free market that was able to see that they had little value, and to call out those who would cheat the American people by buying their legislators and lying to the public.  I came back to the Republican Party, because it looked again like it may become the party of Reagan that it once was.  Better even.  Not only was I excited that the liberty movement was taking hold in our party, I was relieved!  Finally conservatives were seeing that the root causes of the problems had to be attacked!  No more rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, now we could start to have real conversations about how to put sound financial systems in place that would make it harder for the corrupt to gain quick access to the easy money that they were using to basically buy the American people, their rights and their labor!  We could actually focus on actual constitutional issues!

And having the chance to do that in Maine... amazing!  I cut my teeth on politics in DC, where one sees the most cynical part of American politics for sure, how wonderful to be here, where people are closer to one another, more accountable to one another and not so tainted by the things that go on inside the beltway.  Being at the convention, and seeing that so many Mainers were showing up to participate in the REAL work to get our country back, that so many had become so passionate about the true values of the Republican party, it was really healing to me, and gave me a great deal of hope.  I was very proud to be a part of that process, and very proud to be elected as an alternate delegate for Maine, because those voting knew I would to go Tampa to support Ron Paul and his values.

But what I have seen at the convention in Augusta and since then have both discouraged and truly baffled me.  Rather than seeing the coming together of Republicans at the convention, I saw (and still see) a bad faith process that I would have expected to see in DC or Chicago, but never here.  I recorded one of Mitt Romney's paid employees, wearing a Ron Paul sticker on his shirt, passing out fake slates of known Paul supporters, who were not running for delegate, in an attempt to trick his fellow republicans.  I had others report to me that a second fake slate being circulated, printed to look exactly like the Paul slate, but with the names of Romney delegate nominees on it, to further divide the vote of those who came in an earnest attempt to vote their conscience for Paul.

That day my father was also a delegate at his GOP convention in Nevada, where the Romney campaign attempted the same deception.

Since then I have followed the state GOP conventions and have been devastated to see the kind of horrible tactics that our party has been using to push out liberty minded candidates in state after state.  I am also completely mystified by it. 

We are a party that lost the last presidential election, and since then, due to the abuse of power and poor judgment of our current president and his officials, people are starting to get it.  They understand how corruption and bad policy destroy our country.  They are clamoring for honest government, open government, accountable government, good faith government... a government that is not going to lie to them or coerce them or steal from them or defraud them.  And so the Republican party has a chance to answer that call and we offer them... this?

Cheating our own members? 

We have young people flooding into the liberty movement, and then into our party, and our response is to douse their enthusiasm, shut them down and shove them out?  What a truly bizarre response!  Would not a wiser, more loving and more productive response be to welcome in the liberty movement, its energy, its ideals and its young people?  To educate them on difficult political realities that they may not have had experience with, and use the resources of the party to put them to work on our issues in the state and nationally?

Why in the world is the Republican party fighting the liberty movement so brutally?  Why are you contesting my credentialing in Tampa?  You don't know me, you have not called me to see if I might be an asset to our party, you don't know what I have to offer or how I might build the party.  You have merely made up some excuses for me not to be seated, because... well because why?

I am earnestly looking for an explanation as to what is so great about Mitt Romney, and what is so horrible about Ron Paul, that some republicans would actually destroy the party rather than just play fair and see where the chips land by allowing those who were elected at their conventions to vote their conscience in Tampa.  Especially when it does not appear that Paul has the votes to win in Tampa any way.

As I have walked through this process, I see the actions by long time Republicans, like you are doing here in contesting our seating in Tampa, and I am constantly reminded of the story of the two mothers who came to King Saul to settle a dispute.  The two women had been sleeping with their infant children, and one had accidently smothered her child during her slumber.  Both women came before Saul and claimed the surviving child as their own.  So Saul declared that the baby be cut in half to be given to both mothers.   Saul then knew who the true mother was, as the other woman did not love the child and was content to kill the child to win the dispute.

More than a third of Maine Republicans voted for Ron Paul in our caucuses (Romney 39%, Paul 36%), and more than half voted for his endorsed delegates in Augusta.  You would actually cut those people out of the process?  You are happy to split the baby to win a dispute?

Everyone who was in Augusta Civic Center that weekend knows full well that the liberty movement was in the majority during those elections.  And if there was any problem with credentialing, which I have seen no evidence of, then it can only be the fault of the party leadership, which both of you represent.  The election was fair and everyone knows it. 

So making this claim, and worse, winning it, will only destroy the baby.  If those in the GOP who are cheating their own people so obviously actually succeed in this, they will be left with the party, but it will be worthless.  When my liberal friends attack my party and claim it is corrupt, I will have no response to them, other than to agree, because I have seen it with my own eyes and am experiencing it first hand.

Tell me what is worth doing this?  What is the worth of acting out the corruption we are calling out in the Obama administration, here in our own state?  And if we are just as corrupt as the current administration, do we deserve to win?  Should we be entrusted with power?  Will we not just screw the country up just as bad, merely differently than Obama Co is now doing?  Is "win at all costs, stab your brother in the back" a republican value?  Because the Republican Party I became a part of was about duty, honestly, hard work, fair play, and holding the big guy to the rules so the little guy does not get stepped on.

And all for Mitt Romney?  Because, if you have not noticed, he is not exactly the embodiment of Mr. Reagan.  I have talked to other conservatives who are supporting Romney, and the only reason they can give for that is because they think he can beat Obama, and, "We have to get Obama out."  I am with them on the last part.  Obama is a terrible president almost any way you measure him.  But why in the world, in this present climate, does anyone think that Mr. Romney has a better chance against President Obama than Dr. Paul does? 

I have a difficult time believing that many self-respecting liberals are going to cross over to our party to vote for Mitt Romney.  Why would they?  But people of all backgrounds are supporting Dr. Paul.  Yet rather than seizing that opportunity, the Republicans don't just ignore them, they actively go to war against them, even inside their own party?  It is like the world has turned upside down.  I don't understand this at all.  Do we want to destroy the party AND loose the election in the process?

Or am I wrong in my estimation of our party?  Is it truly unredeemable?  It is really the cold, corrupt, corporation dedicated to money and power that my liberal friends think it is, with merely a thin veneer of "freedom and justice" talk as a marketing ploy to conservative Americans who want to believe the party of Reagan is still alive?  Who are we?

These questions that I am asking you are not rhetorical.  Both of you hold yourselves out as leaders in my state and national political party, and feel comfortable making leadership decisions for our state party to throw out the votes of thousands of members, so it is safe to say you are morally accountable to answer my questions.  If it has a question mark after it, in this letter, I actually want an answer to it.  A few more specific questions:

1.  Since everyone who was at the Maine GOP Convention in May knew that the liberty movement outnumbered Romney supporters on the floor that day, and the election results were what the majority wanted, why are you contesting the results, knowing full well that it WILL create dissension in conservative ranks, crush morale for those who are working to bring conservative values to our state and local governments and kill trust in our party?

2.  I have reported that Romney's paid employees were caught and video taped deceiving their own party members on the floor to impact the outcome of the election.  The video has had tens of thousands of views on YouTube.  Does this concern you?  Will this be addressed in any way?

3.  Why is my credentialing, me personally, being contested?  Why don't you want me representing Maine at the GOP National Convention?

4.  If indeed this is not just a cynical attempt to change the outcome of elections that you both lost, and you are concerned that the true Maine Republican Delegates did not have their say that day in Augusta, then what do you propose be done to make sure that delegates do have their say?  If the delegation as elected, is not seated, how do you propose that it be replaced?  With individuals appointed by party membership?  If so, how will that better reflect the will of the delegates that were elected in their home towns?

5.  If you believe Maine should be represented by a delegation, and that delegation should be appointed by the party, then how do I hold myself out for consideration by the party for the seat I have already been elected to?  If this is about "Unity" as we are repeatedly being told, then would not the best solution before the party to merely appoint those whom have already been elected?  That way we can be sure that both the will of the people, and the rules of the party have been followed as best we can, right?

6.  If this is not really about rules, or fair play, and this is just your attempt to circumvent the will Maine GOP State Delegates to win an election that you lost, then why should anyone participate in this party any more, knowing that the game is rigged, the power players are just going to cheat, push, bully and bribe to get their way, and that we are merely participating in another broken and corrupt political mess? 

7.  If this is the way that republicans treat republicans, why should we follow your leadership and why should anyone support this party?

Because I am sick to death of political hardball.  I have had enough of behind the scenes strong arming, threats and bribes followed by smiles and bullshit calls for "unity" for the cameras.  The whole country is.  Enough already.  No one is buying it any more.

Things are bad right now.  Any republican will tell you that, but being the mother of a disabled child, who has not had the resources she had before her son's regression, I can attest to the fact that they are much worse than our current party leadership will even face.  There are good reasons that people are beginning to revolt and demonstrate on an international scale.  It is because corruption has become so ubiquitous, and has trickled down so far. 

If the US were a ship, then you are first class passengers complaining that the Captain has steered us into bad weather and rough seas, and a change of course is needed.  I am the woman who got lost down in steerage and is screaming to high heaven that the hull is rotting and collapsing from decades of neglect, and that no matter how fair the seas you seek, the ship is going down unless drastic measures are taken now.  Telling people like me to pipe down and locking us below decks is going to sink this ship.

Have you made any consideration of what the long term consequences of doing this might be?

I appeal to you to stop fighting the liberty movement, get on board with us, rescind your challenge to the current delegates, and start fixing what is broken.  Even the things that we republicans had a hand in breaking.  Things in this country are coming to a head, our current path is unsustainable, the status quo will not maintained for much longer, and everyone knows it.  The way I see it, we can either continue the futile attempt to hold on to a decaying paradigm, or we can let go of the past, change, and be a part of shaping what will come after whatever reset is coming our way.  The resets in the Middle East and Europe are not what I want for my country.  If that is not what you want, then stop battling people like me, and join us to become a part of the revolution that is going to fix this mess that we are in.

I look forward to hearing from you on all that I have written about here.  I live at 11 High Street, in Brunswick, my phone number is 207-729-6757, and you can call me at any time, or visit me at any time, day or night, so we can work this out in good faith, between party members, as should be done. 


Ginger Taylor
Maine Alternate Delegate to the Republican Convention in Tampa, Florida.
UPDATE: A Statement from fellow delegate, Bryan Daugherty:

"It is a great honor and my privilege to represent Maine Republicans at the RNC in Tampa this August. I received the 5th highest amount of votes (958) from over 2200 Delegates at our State Convention in May. As a republican for more than 18 years, I have supported our party's principles and continue to do so. I support the Maine GOP platform and seek to help the Republican Party maintain the majority in the state legislature.

I have marched in parades for Republican candidates and have helped on Republican campaigns. I give up several days a month to attend various GOP committees, including the State Committee, Penobscot County Committee, and the Bangor Committee, as well as various town committees in my county.

I want to say that my entire family has sacrificed to make sure that I could attend the upcoming national convention, all of us knowing full well that this is the most important election of my generation and that in the balance hangs the future of my children -- and their children.

While I have been busy trying to fulfill my commitment to the party, this bitter woman, indulging her own self-interest, has filed a challenge to the validity of every national delegate and alternate delegate, trying to unseat each of us. If she is successful, she will have unseated every delegate for the state of Maine.

Why would she do this, you might ask. It might be because she was not re-elected to her current position of GOP National Committeewoman.

Or it might be because she did not get the committee seat she wanted on the Rules Committee in Tampa.

Or it might be that she believes that despite the fact that the majority of those who bothered to go to and stay at the state convention support a candidate which she does not support, so she believes that subverting the democratic process of the Convention is a viable remedy.

But whatever her reasons, she clearly misunderstands the definition of “unity,” which is the opposite of what she is doing.

That is why I am asking you to support the National Delegation that our party duly elected at the 2012 Maine Republican State Convention.

I need you to support our petition to ask Jan Staples and Peter Cianchette to withdraw their divisive challenge against the Maine Delegation and recommend that the RNC Credentials Committee seat the duly elected delegation from Maine.

Use the link below to sign right now! Your Support is appreciated!


When my copy arrived in the mail, it had no return address on it.  But fellow delegate Matt McDonald just noted something:

Ok, maybe this isn't as big as I think it is, but today I got my official unmarked letter from Peter and Jan telling my Delegation Seat is being Contested....notice the postmark address..02109.

02109 is Boston, Mass.

Boston, Mass is where Romney HQ is.

Just saying.

Mitt Romney for President's headquarters is at 585 Commercial Street, Boston, MA 02109.

July 11, 2012

The Obama Administration Makes Contact After Last Week's AoA Article

Last week, the Age of Autism ran stories on the upcoming meeting of the federal Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, and the vast  complaints from our community on the wasted time, money and lives that have been the result of the incompetence and malfeasance of Tom Insel and the Department of Health and Human Services in their "search of the real killers" in the autism epidemic, Age of Autism announced that members of the autism community would be showing up in DC on Tuesday to make their voices heard. At the time, we were planning on holding our press conference in front of the DHHS building, but changes to the IACC schedule necessitated holding it at the hotel, so that our families could participate in public comment and hear their reaction to our input.

I can finally report that after holding a press conference in New York in April, after a letter to Kathleen Sebelius voicing our demands for an appropriate response to the autism epidemic and the government failures that have only served to compound the problem, and after announcing our plans to come to DC, we were finally contacted by the administration last Friday.

But it was not the Department of Health and Human Services calling to find out how they can serve our children, it was the Department of Homeland Security calling to find out if we were planning on chaining ourselves to the building.  As one of the coordinators of the event, I then carried out the somewhat humiliating task of assuring the men with the guns that parents bringing their severely, neurologically injured children (who can barely tolerate traffic noise) to the DHHS building were not planning a violent protest.

Because apparently the administration is reading the Age of Autism, but rather than tasking DHHS with acting to protect our children, they chose to task DHS to protect DHHS from us.

It is clear that we have been heard, and that the Obama administration has decided that we are to be ignored.