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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Fred Thomson Wins NFRA Straw Poll - Giuliani and McCain Receive Resolutions of Strong Disapproval

by Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA Editor (note: I was not a delegate at the convention; only a news reporter): [Updated] The 2007 National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA) Convention was held in St. Louis this weekend. The convention began on Friday and ended Sunday evening. Over 250 people attended the convention.

Several speakers provided workshops for the delegates and guests. The Convention board had to make several last minute adjustment when scheduled Republican presidential candidates could not attend. Representatives Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul could not attend when the US House was kept in session. Others had to redirect their efforts to Iowa when ABC announced they would interview candidates Sunday morning. John Cox who had not been invited to participate in the Iowa interviews spoke at the convention. Campaign representatives for Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Duncan Hunter also spoke on behalf of their candidates.

A "straw poll" was conducted by secret ballot:

Fred Thompson 33%
Mitt Romney 15%
Ron Paul 14%
Duncan Hunter 10%
Tom Tancredo 10%
John Cox 6%
Newt Gingrich 3%
Mike Huckabee 3%

Tommy Thompson 2%
John McCain 2%
Rudy Giuliani 1%
Sam Brownback 1%

In a separate session, convention delegates took action to determine if they would endorse a candidate. Rules required that the delegates cast their votes while in session for candidates that they wish to endorse. Only candidates receiving more than 15% of the delegates votes in the first round of voting may be considered for endorsement. After this first round of voting only two candidates received more than 15% of the delegates votes. Those candidates were Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter. For a candidate to be endorsed, it takes two-thirds of the delegates to agree with the endorsement. six more ballots and spirited debate, neither Thompson nor Hunter received the required two thirds vote by the delegates in order to be officially endorsed by the NFRA.

In addition, delegates introduced resolutions to "censure" two "top-tier" Republican presidential candidates. The word "censure" was amended to "strong disapproval." The delegates voted to express their "strong disapproval of Senator John McCain because of his actions in developing and promoting immigration reform that would have in essence granted amnesty to illegal aliens. Delegates also voted to expresse "strong disapproval" of former Mayor Rudy Giuliani because of his positions on marriage and civil unions for homosexuals, favoring gun control, and having positions conflicting with the pro-life platform of the Republican Party.

The convention elected new NFRA national officers which will be reflected on their website. Of special note were the elections of Rod Martin as NFRA President and Chris Brown as Executive Vice President.

Tags: Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mitt Romney, National Federation of Republican Assemblies, NFRA, republican candidates, Rudy Giuliani, straw poll, Election 2008 To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:40 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In your article you said that the two that had 15% were Thompson and Hunter.In the results at the top it says Romney came in second. Which one is it?

Blogger Bill Smith said...

The Straw poll and the NFRA endorsement process were two different things. In the straw poll was a secret vote by convention attendees in which they expressed their individual vote for Republican candidates. In the straw poll, Fred Thompson received 33% of the votes for President.

However, when the delegates met to determine if the NFRA as a whole would endorse a candidate, only two names received in the first round of votes more than 15% of the votes of the delegates for endorsement. The actual number per person was not provided. As detailed, in subsequent rounds of voting for endorsement, neither of these two candidates received a vote of 2/3 of the delegates to be formally endorsed by NFRA.

This may be understandable; as delegates supporting other candidates may not wish to join together to endorse a candidate that was not their choice at this time.

As an observer, it was interesting that Duncan Hunter was in the final consideration for endorsement while Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were not included. The top three candidates in the straw poll accumulated 62% of the straw vote.

I guess that is the nature of politics and the NFRA delegates unwillingness to endorse a candidate at this time. As we know, Fred Thompson has not yet officially declared his candidacy.

Blogger Patrick Briney / ARRA President said...

In the endorsement election (not the straw poll vote), which required 2/3 of the delegates’ votes, all but about 14% voted in favor of endorsing Fred Thompson or Duncan Hunter. Duncan won the majority of votes (about 60%) after seven ballots and after spirited 10 minute debates in between the ballots. The majority of NFRA delegates wanted and worked hard to endorse a candidate, but could not get the 2/3 vote for one or the other.
This shows that Hunter and Duncan are the conservative favorites. They are both esteemed to hold to conservative principles and values. The greater message here for the other Republican candidates is to be more like Duncan and Hunter.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is outrageous. I thought the NFRA was supposed to be conservative. Ron Paul is CLEARLY the most conservative candidate running, and he is the only candidate who is taking the small government, conservative position on foreign policy, non-intervention. He should have gotten the NFRA’s endorsement hands down. He is a pure Constitutionalist.

If you must take the big government, Wilsonian position of interventionist foreign policy, then Tancredo is clearly more conservative than Hunter or Thompson. Is the NFRA just RINO light?

Support a real Constitutionalist, Ron Paul, and live up to your stated goal.

Fred Thompson is a neocon, globalist (CFR, AEI) who has a weak record on immigration, BTW. You should have been censuring him also instead of nearly endorsing him.

Red Phillips

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Maybe the reason is best described in the article:
The Ron Paul Movement by Jesse Walker on July 16, 2007.

To quote from the article:
"The Paul movement is different. Unlike the Jackson and Perot campaigns, it is open, decentralized, and largely driven by activists operating without any direction from the candidate or his staff. Unlike the netroots, it has no particular attachment to the party whose nomination its candidate is seeking. Paul himself left the Republican fold in the '80s to run for president as a Libertarian, and he still has friendly ties to that party. When he returned to the GOP and to Congress in the election of '96, the national party establishment threw its weight behind his opponent in the primaries, an incumbent who had originally been elected as a Democrat. Paul turned to independent sources to fill his campaign coffers, raising substantial sums from the libertarian, constitutionalist, and hard-money movements. Those have always been his chief base of support.

Barring a complete meltdown of the party gatekeeping apparatus, Ron Paul will not be the Republican nominee next year. And he says he has no plans to run as an independent. But you can't erase all the traces of a self-directed, transpartisan, idea-driven movement..."

Also check out Why some libertarians don't want to join the Ron Paul revolution by Brian Doherty on July 27, 2007.

Maybe, Republican conservatives are confused or a little hesitant. As a former candidate for the Libertarian party, they seem confused.

Blue Dog

Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the main problems with the modern conservative movement is that it has, from nearly the beginning, conflated conservative with Republican. The current conservative movement, what little is left of it, is totally partisan.

There should be almost no difference between a "constitutionalist" and a conservative. (What part of the Constitution is no longer applicable?) All conservatives should be hard money advocates. That those forces are considered alien is an indictment of conservatism as it is currently conceived.

That Ron Paul is viewed skeptically for putting ideas ahead of party is similarly an indictment.

(Along with the partisanship issue is the related purist vs. pragmatist issue.)

I understand the point of the NFRA. It seeks to advance conservatism within the GOP. Fine. I have no problem with that. Sincere conservatives clearly differ on whether it would be easier/more effective to reform the GOP or bolt from it for a third party, most likely the Constitution Party. Ron Paul would not be making the splash he is if he was running for the LP or CP nomination.

But they should know better than to make the mistake that the fortunes of conservatism and the fortunes of the GOP are one. They are not. For example, would the NFRA regulars vote for Rudy or McCain, who they rightly censured, if either gets the nomination? If so, then they have no real bargaining power. They are in the bag.

Argue over the best vehicle (GOP, CP, LP, America First) all you want, but the strategy of endorsing the eventual GOP nominee no matter how bad is a proven loser.

Red Phillips

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! What a huge endorsement for Fred. That tells me all I need to know. If Louden is for Thompson, I won’t be supporting Fred. Note to Louden and Kinder - Fred isn’t running yet and I guarantee he won’t be.
You are going to feel really stupid in Nov. of 2008 because of this endorsement.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can see why the NFRA was not willing to endorse Ron Paul, he is a RINO. Not to be confused with all the liberals in the Republican party, he is a libertarian and only comes to the GOP because he know a third party can't win. He does stand on principles and I am glad to see that. But he is a RINO.

I wish the NFRA could have been able to endorse a real conservative like Hunter or Tancredo


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