Friday, January 30, 2015

Analysis Shows Republican County Chairman Kyle Walker Controls Over 81% of Slating Votes

A review of the records of the Marion County Election Board records from the 2012 primary election show that after that election there were are only 150 elected Republican precinct committeemen in the 600 Marion County precincts.  (Interestingly Pike only has 4 elected Republican PCs while much
Marion County Republican
Chairman Kyle Walker
smaller Decatur Township has 10.)  That means the remaining 450 precinct committeemen slots were available to be filled by the county chairman utilizing anyone who lives anywhere in the county.  Under party rules, those PCs serve at the pleasure of the county chairman and can be removed and replaced whenever the chairman dictates.  In other words an appointed PC who is unwilling to vote the way the county chairman wants, can simply be replaced.

Republican slating in Marion County also allows for the participation of ward chairman and vice ward chairman, neither of whom have to live in the area they represent.  Both positions are appointments of the county chair.  While the number varies, wards are typically made up of six precincts.

The effect on slating of the appointments is substantial.   At a county-wide slating, the county chairman would have as many as 450 appointed precinct committeemen, 100 ward chairman and 100 vice ward chairman for a total of 650.  With only 150 precinct committeemen elected by GOP primary voters that means that going into a county-wide slating contest, the county chairman can control as much as 81.25% of the vote. 

Of course, as elected PCs begin to resign as they often do before the end of their four year terms, the power of the county chairman increases with elected PCs replaced by appointed ones.  However, there is no legal responsibility for the county chairman to notify the county clerk of the resignations of elected PCs so it is unclear how many of the 150 originally elected PCs remain.

Since PCs also elect the county chairman, the county chairman is essentially handpicking his or her own voters, or at least 3/4 of them.

This imbalance not only affects slating and the election of the county chairman, but also vacancy elections.  Any precinct committeemen, elected or appointed, who has a precinct in the district where there is a vacancy can vote to fill that vacancy.   Assuming the district needing a replacement representative is compatible to the county as a whole, 75% of those PCs eligible to vote in the vacancy election will be appointees of the county chairman.

My conversation with a former high ranking party official who used to be involved in the Marion County Republican party organization revealed that, decades ago, party officials worked to get elected PCs in 100% of the county.  In the 2002 primary, there were 357 Republican PCs elected.  A consolidation of precincts a few years ago which reduced the number from 914 to 600 should have resulted in significantly more precincts having elected PCs.  Instead it resulted in less.   As noted above, in the most recent election Republicans only elected 150 PCs.

Although the lack of elected Marion County Republican PCs result in county chairman domination of slating to the tune of 81.5%, it is actually even worse on the Democratic side as that party allows vice precinct committeemen, who are all appointees of the county chairman to participate in slating.  If the Democrats have the same number of elected PCs as Republicans, that would mean at Democratic county-wide slatings in Marion County, the county chairman appoints up to 1250 (450 PCs, 600 VPCs, 100 WCs, and 100 VWCs) of the 1400 slating voters or 89.3%.

Bottom line is that anyone who thinks they can win slating in Marion County against the wishes of the Republican or Democratic chairman is on fool's errand.  It's not that the vote might be rigged against the candidate who doesn't have the county chairman's blessing, it is that it is rigged before the candidates even file for slating.


Anonymous said...

Yes, anyone who thinks either the Democrats or the Republicans are parties "for" the people must also believe in mermaids. Nothing could be further from reality that any political machine gives a shit about the voters.
All the machines care about is power and control because those lead to the very most critical concern and that is the MONEY that flows from power and control.

Should a candidate run and be elected as a PC [without kissing the ring of either machine figurehead), the elected PC is ostracized, is persona non grata, and receives only the most necessary party communications regarding PC calls to conventions. I know this for a fact up close and personal.

A few very evil people control everything. Kyle Walker is just a tool of wizards behind the curtain... Walker is dumber than dirt (apologies to dirt). He is simply keeping in the tradition of the dastardly David Brooks who continued what came before... although with more crudeness, hate, and foul language than I recall any predecessor needing to use.

Both Democrat and Republican systems are more like criminal enterprises and should be investigated. Mario Puzo wrote about the wrong syndicate... at least La Cosa Nostra insisted on honor.

Anonymous said...

Looking at Indiana Democratic Party Rules (here: It actually looks like an elected PC is afforded the opportunity to appoint their vice PC.

Anonymous said...

How many GOP PC's under the heavy thumbs of Tom John and the dictatorial David Brooks recall TJ's masterful but short-lived "area" chairs and "area" PC's?

TJ's plan so confused chairs and PCs (appointed and elected) that hardly anyone fully understood "who was who" and who was "where". TJ and DB kept the ranks in a state of uncertainty and that was surely their goal. TJ's plan was eventually junked when he, like Walker, consistently failed to elect just about any "R" in Marion County.

I use the term "masterful" because it continued the havoc David Brooks began with regards to reducing PC power while amassing it power in the former Center Township and Executive Director hands.

Center may have a newer Chair but make no mistake about it: the man now of the Disneyland-like "Village" controls a great deal more than meets the eye.

Where are the Feds? Guess it is way convenient to have a spouse once so connected. Protection.

Anonymous said...

There are far more elected Dem pc's because there are far more dem precincts even after consolidation. In fact may BECAUSE of consolidation. Yes, vpc's are allowed to in slating AND 2014 the supposed "handpicked" clerk candidate LOST in slating. AND many slating battles are a lot closer than people think. Paul I am surprised that you don't believe that the Rep organization under Sweezy didn't rig slating outcomes when he could remove even an ELECTED pc who did file through hdqrs. I know because it happened to the new elected pc in my precinct in 1976. At least Dems have a precinct review committe to adjudicate rogue pc cases AND pc's may ONLY be removed for cause i.e crime, supporting the other party etc.
BTW, SWeezy RARELY if ever lost a slating or primary battle. And because the county was so Rep, the organization could buy off factions with offices etc.
As for David Brooks, there are plenty of Reps who hate him as well because his actions only hurt the Rep cause by causing a backlash. "I" can say all this because I've a pc since 1972 and a ward chair since 1987.

Jon E. Easter said...

Precinct Committeepersons can appoint their own VPC on the D side. It does have to be the opposite gender, though. So if a female is PC, the Vice PC is supposed to be a man.

Gary R. Welsh said...

The Marion Co. GOP gives an elected PC without notice one week following his or her election to appoint a PC. If you fail to name the vice within one week, you forfeit that right to the county chairman. Suffice it to say, the overwhelming number of vice PCs are appointed by the county chairman.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Anon 929: Having been a VPC, a PC, a VWC a WC a slated candidate a candidate who lost slating, I'm intimately familiar with how slating has been done on the Republican side. This includes much of the Sweezy era.

I never said slatings weren't rigged during Sweezy's time as chairman. They certainly were. He generally allowed township chairs though to fill the PC slots with mummy dummies that would vote the way the Township Chairman wanted. Even as Ward Chairman I could fill my precincts without interference from the township chair before slating. Every township chair was different on that point, however.
Of course, Sweezy was still signing off on all appointments, but I'm not aware of his ever refusing to appoint a PC that a township chair wanted.

So things were rigged during the Sweezy level, but it was generally done at the township level where there was competition between the township chairs. There were also many, many more elected PCs during the Sweezy era.

While you're correct that elected PCs can be removed on the Republican side, it was rarely done. And there is no reason to do it now. So what if there is an elected PC you can't control the person's vote in slating...the county chairman gets to appoint 4 people to vote at slating for every one elected PC. The county chair doesn't need the elected PCs' vote.

Sweezy deserves a lot of blame because he successfully advocated changes in the law at the state legislature that led to the system we have now where it is virtually impossible to get a county chairman removed and far fewer PCs are elected neighborhood representatives of their party. (Those legislative changes were later replaced with party rules.) Sweezy's "reforms" led to the slow deterioration of the GOP grass roots and the autocratic top down system we have now.

While things were rigged during the Sweezy era, the extent to which they were rigged through appointment of mummy dummies is not even remotely comparable to how they are rigged today. During the Sweezy era, those who had the favor of party bosses got a 15 yard start in a 100 yard race. Today under Walker, it's a 30 yard start.

Sure you're right that occasionally a runner can run the race and win. But that situation is extremely rare anymore. During the Sweezy era and during the 1990s we had slating contests in virtually every open office, and even many that had an incumbent. Today, there are virtually no slating contests, even for open seats. The last countywide slating in 2012, I think there was one contested race out of nearly 20 in the county. That's because because potential candidates know that it is virtually impossible to win against the county chair who has 4 votes for every 1 elected PC.

Paul K. Ogden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul K. Ogden said...

Thanks Anon 8:35 and Johnnystir. I looked at the rule and you are indeed correct. But there is a major problem even with that rule. Only elected (not appointed) PCs can appoint their VPCs and they have to do so by midnight by certified mail postmarked no later than the Thursday after the election. See Rule 11. (Anon 8:35 provided the link.)

My guess is very, very few elected PCs do this in a timely fashion. If not, then it would become an appointed position. Not that the county chair wouldn't appoint the PC's choice. However, that makes it an appointed by the county chair position which means that that person serves at the pleasure of the county chair and not the PC. Of course, since the county chair already controls so many votes there really would be no reason to remove an appointed VPC who is an elected PCs choice.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Gary, you, of course, are referring to VPCs being appointed by PCs. You left off the "V" in the first sentence.

Look what I wrote above about the D's process for filling a VPC spot. The PC has to make the selection by certified mail postmarked no later than Thursday midnight after the Tuesday election.