And here it is, the report from what I hear was the last caucus to get their results reported (technically finishing about 30 minutes ago by the way). I now present to you my story of Iowa Precinct 5, caucus night.
Suddenly! A large line appeared outside the Lucas-Dodge room! Panic set in for the sign in people. Our temporary chair, a fellow Dean guy, came to me and asked if I would help out with getting people in. So after some randomness and waiting fifteen minutes, I was set down in a side room with the sign in sheets and proceeded to process those with last names A through L.
And then, without warning, we were informed that we were out of voter registration forms. So, with the help of a friend of mine (Charles who supports Clark but eventually becomes a Kerry stooge...) we ended up having people put their vitals down on other sheets that they would of had to fill out otherwise and eventually blue papers. I would honesty say about 90% that showed up were not registered and with how things end up, that could be a problem in relation to what eventually happened...
So, fantically signing in people left and right and moderat, we got the job done (I guess). Put our sheets with the other sign in people, and scooted over the the 2nd floor ballroom (during signing in, it was realized not everyone could fit in the Lucas-Dodge room!).
I soon discovered my good friend Mark had jumped over to the Kerry people, he did allow me to try to work him a little more, but I know his type don't do well with peer pressure (and I'm not a good enough pressure person to have him switch back). So we got the shin dig started.
Our temp chair became the permenate chair easily. Then there was the secetary thing. Then suddenly it was preference groups time. We seperated and somehow got counted. Dean's initial numbers were about 68 if I remember correctly with Kerry's pulling to 110 or so. Edwards was 55 and Dennis the K had around 48 or so. There were a couple Gephart supporters, Clark supporters, a bunch of Republicans I knew who were going for Sharpton, and one lonely Lieberman guy (who amazingly enough joined us after the first realingement).
So viable were Kerry, Edwards, and my man Dean.
Kerry gained a little, so did Edwards, and we gained only a couple. Kucinich seemed to gain the most out of the deal.
Second count, turned out Kucinich would not gain a delegate with their new numbers. Though one of the Kucinich leaders attempted to move their people to Edwards, these anti-war kids were going to have none of that! Dean, Kerry, and Edwards were each safe with one.
So, violating the rules, a second realignment was held that resulted in some rather shifty activity. The kerry people sent out a number of their supporters to boost Edwards and Kucinich so that Dean would be in the minority and not get a delegate.
A little Florida recall count shenanigans and some last minute pleas to the Kucinich people to help boost the anti-war delegate count later, Dean was still in third with a delegate, by one person.
Now the thing was, after much discussion, and from where I was (the Dean guys were the back of the room across from the Edwards 'audience' who all were sitting comfortably in chairs not moving an inch) a sudden look of solidarity between the Edwards, Kucinich, and Dean people (our captain, Devin's arms around the two other captains with the Kerry lady standing to the side) the chair, after taking to the democratic party people, that the second realignment was in violation of the established rules, declared the count after the initial realignement to be final. Kerry 1, Edwards 1, Dean 1.
Of course, the Kucinich people are pissed (either way really).
So after that annoncement, a good number of the 300 some students and 20 non-students start filing out with the exception of me, some of my friends (the Clark click who joined Kerry to screw Dean...argh...), the important people from each group excpet the Edwards guy who ran off with his audience, and a bunch of Kucinich people who were awaiting an answer about what the hell just happened. In the mean time I was made an alternate for the Dean delegate. (if Devin can't make it, I'll take his place.)
A little explaination later, a pro-veteran resolution from the Kerry people, and me drinking a 2 liter diet-pepsi, elections for county reps began. I was convinced to take the position of a rep to the committee on committees. Aka, the ones "responsible for convention arrangements, rules & nominations, and credentials". I'll probably find out more when I get to the meeting next Saturday.
I also had an opportunity, after our caucus was officially closed, to annonced my candidacy for president in 2020, hurray! (slogan: "I'm like Dean, a little more liberal, and with much longer hair") I helped out our chair dude a little more, learned the Kucinich people were going to file a lawsuit, and took the cookies and some of the hershey kisses the Kerry people left.
So in the end, there were 3 major problems that could easily lead to a sudden upset...
- Lack of preparaitions. I estimate that 90% of those who showed up needed to register, and only about 10% of them actually filled out the proper paper work because we just didn't have it. If a law suit is filed by any one, this is probably the most critical aspect and could lead to all sorts of mayhem.
- Choosing a temporary chair at the last moment. Apparantly he was selected only the night before to chair the caucus and though he did a spectatuclar job considering the mess, he was still not completely familiar with the rules which lead to some of the problems.
- Everybody left and there was no general vote to ratify the slate of delegates. This is a problem because to my knowledge, people were nominated from the Kerry, Edwards, and Dean groups to be on the slate (me as a temp! woo-hoo!) but the caucus wide vote to ratify the delegates was not to be had! Thus theoretically at one point, the Kucinich people who had stuck around after the mass exodus could of high jacked the caucus, turned down the slate, and claimed all 3 from them selves! But instead, they precicnt captain refused to sign the slate and the campaign of Dennis the K will probably have some legal action going on before too long. And if they ask me to testify, I will, because I don't like things going nuts like this either. And I kind of feel bad for my fellow anti-war friends over in the Kucinich camp who got screwed more than us from the whole thing. I tried to show some sympathy but they were a little too cross at the time to want it.
And in a surprise move, I declined going to get pizza with my friends, the anti-Dean people.
And that is my report on the caucus that reported in last. Man... Ga-Geetch Ga indeed!