By, Michelle Hazekamp
August 29, 2022
Michigan Grassroots United!
The Michigan Republican State Nominating Convention held on Saturday, August 27, ignited a grassroots initiative when over two thousand Delegates in a united effort took control to take back their authority!
Unexpected Plans Take Center Stage in Mitigating Convention
Saturday's State Convention began with excitement and anxiety as plans began to unfold that were set in motion just a day prior to rectify issues of wrong-doing to grassroot Delegates. Unbeknownst to eachother, two individual groups were strategizing into the early hours of Saturday morning, each with separate intentions to:
Challenge the Macomb County Delegates
Challenge rules that were "quietly" added just prior to the convention by the MIGOP heads, removing delegate rights to call motions
Submit a slate of temporary officers consisting of delegates, rather than the MIGOP Chair, Ron Weisner & Vice Chair, Meeshawn Maddock and their chosen officers, thus putting delegates in complete charge of the convention.
Delegates Boo GOP Chair, Ron Weiser!
The convention started with a roar of booing that comenced from the delegate floor once convention chair, Ron Weiser took the podium. Shouts coming from the crowd calling for the removal of the chair echoed throughout the auditorium, making it evident to Ron Weiser that he lacks the respect of the delegates for the over-reaching power of MIGOP officials.
Removing Unlawful Slate of Delegates
Once the crowd settled down, the convention was called to order, and the first group took the floor, calling a for a motion in regards to the Macomb County delegates. During the April, 2022 County Conventions, the Republican Party ousted Macomb County GOP's newly elected grassroots chair, Mark Forton, and replaced him with Eric Castiglia, who then seized control of the executive committee. Forton filed a law suit in the Macomb County Circuit Court, and on Friday, August 5, Judge Matthew Sabaugh ruled that Forton is the rightful leader of the Macomb County GOP. The ruling was based on Castiglia's supporters violating bylaws which require a formal trial to remove Forton as the county GOP chair.
Boldly Ignoring the Court Ruling
During the August 11 County Conventions, Castiglia ignored the court order, thereby moving forward with holding his own county convention, coinciding with Forton's county convention. Each Macomb County GOP proceeded to submit their slate of Delegates for the upcoming State Convention, however, Castiglia's slate was the one officially approved, thus the court ruling also being ignored by the MIGOP.
Team Work Leads to Negotiations
Because of team work amongst those involved in the planning; informing delegates in every county and convincing them to stand in unity during the debate time, resulted in the MIGOP heads talking and negotiating through the issues at hand, rather than fighting.
Historical Win for Delegates!
After the terms were agreed upon by MIGOP Chair Ron Weiser, Mark Forton and the rightful Macomb County slate of delegates were given their credentials, while Castiglia and his delegates credentials were removed, thereby requiring them to leave the floor.
Re-instating Delegates Rights
The second agenda was to have rules 2, 6, 8 & 28 removed before the rules were officially adopted as written. These specific rules intentionally took control away from the delegates in making any further motions, which would be needed to secure a ballot vote when nominating the Lieutenant Governor (LG) candidate. The original decision for a voice vote for the LG candidate by the party leaders raised concerns for delegates, as some were against Tudor Dixon's pick, Shane Hernandez and chatter of voting him out to call a nominee from the floor. Also, there was already a second candidate, Ralph Rebandt, who attempted to rally the delegates for support. This pushed delegates towards warranting a ballot vote rather than voice to avoid confusion and chaos.
The goal of the second group to have the new rules removed was solely to secure a ballot vote for the LG. In doing so, removing rule #8 gave rise to concerns that a motion could be made to overturn the April Endorsement Convention, thus jeopardizing the official nominations of key candidates such as Kristina Karamo or Matt DePerno. With the evident overwhelming support for the endorsed candidates, it was agreed that a motion of such was highly unlikely to happen.
Potential Take-Over of MIGOP Leaders
Having knowledge that there was going to be a potential take-over of the convention officers as well, Weiser asked the delegate negotiators, “What would it take to not replace the convention officers?” It was then specified that if he agreed to voluntarily strike the aforementioned rules, they would agree to leave the officers as is. Ron Weiser agreed to the conditions moving the convention forward, and a motion for a ballot vote for LG was successful.
Grassroots Knows How to Follow the Rules
The entire process was followed with precise Robert's Rule's guidelines in order to ensure every step was performed according to the bylaws and therefore could not be challenged and/or denied by the temporary convention chair, Ron Weisner. For both groups to accomplish all of the above, it took 36 hours of non-stop talking, convincing, failing, praying, and more talking and convincing, continued by 2 hours of talks and negotiations between group leaders and heads of the MIGOP during the convention. What was accomplished was done with a lot of prayer and God's hand in it all, granting a Historical Win for the grassroots!
Official Nomination of the Republican Party Candidates
The convention then proceeded with the business on the agenda and to officially nominate the candidates for the Republican Party ticket. These candidates include: Kristina Karamo for Secretary of State, Matt DePerno for Attorney General, Justices of the Supreme Court: Brian Zahra & Paul Hudson, State Board of Education: Tamara Carlone & Linda Lee Tarver, University of Michigan Board of Regents: Lena Epstein & Sevag Vartanian, Michigan State Board of Trustees: Mike Balow & Travis Menge, and Wayne State University Board of Governors: Craig Wilsher & Christa Murphy. All were elected by voice vote. (For more information on the candidates and websites, click here.)
Hernandez or Nominee from the Floor?
With the final nomination for Lt. Governor candidate, Shane Hernandez, delegates voted by ballot with the options of yes, no or abstain. If Shane Hernandez was voted down (majority of 74%"no"), then a process would begin in which several rounds of voting would take place. If two rounds of voting for Shane failed, then Dixon could present a second nominee of her choice. The process would repeat, and if failed again, a nomination can come from the floor. thereby extending an already long day. However, Shane Hernandez won with over 80% of the vote in the first round, bringing the convention to adjournment.
Red Waving It & Good Times!
Saturday's convention began with tension as chaos was expected, however exciting and full of energy at the same time. It is always fun when we have opportunities to fellowship with like-minded people from all over the state, who over the last couple of years have become one huge family. Candidates such as Tudor Dixon, Matt DePerno, John Gibbs, Shane Hernandez and Ralph Rebandt liesurely walked about the crowds talking to supporters while providing photo opportunities, including Justin Barclay from Wood Radio who was present as a delegate himeself. Saturday evening after the convention, the MIGOP held a “Red Wave Party” on the Capital lawn featuring Virginia's new Governor, Glenn Youngkin, Matt DePerno, Kristina Karamo and a keynote address from Tudor Dixon.
Division Over Evil, United on Truth
The greatest take-away of the day was unity. Division has seemed to be our persona, yet Saturday we seen unity amongst “We the People” for the purpose of transparency, righteousness and integrity. I'm not so sure we have ever been divdided amongst ourselves, rather it is division between us and those who betray their oath of office, bend rules for their own gain, while having absolute disregard for the people they serve.. “Division over evil is good, Unity on truth is Godly” (Quote from an unknown source). We the Poeple seek civil servants who are faithful to God, family and country, and will do right by all. On Saturday we came together for those very reasons, thus proving we are more united than not and we are working towards the same goal.
Take Them Out & Take Back Our State!
Now that the nominations are complete and the official Republican Party Candidates have been selected, it is time to get to work, remain united and take Whitmer, Nessel and Bensen out! We have a huge fight in the months ahead. The battleground has many fronts as we are also fighting for life and election integrity on November's ballot. “United we stand, divided we fall.” God Bless my fellow Patriots!
I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.