After I contacted someone with the local party inquiring about the state convention, I received a very brief, barely polite letter from the Marion County Republican Party telling me that I had been elected as a state convention delegate and unless I paid an $80 fee to the county party by the following week, I would be removed and replaced as a delegate by another person. The letter contained absolutely no details about the convention. I still have received no information from the state party providing any details about the state convention. I visited the party's website and found no information on the homepage there either. If you clicked on the Events link, you could scroll down and find a listing for the state convention. I clicked the listing for the opening day of the Indiana Republican State Convention and it gave me a contact person, the location of the event and the following information:
Sign-in for District Caucuses will begin at 5:30 p.m. (DELEGATES ONLY) in front of each district caucus room. District caucuses will convene at 6:30 p.m. Only credentialed delegates will be allowed to enter the district caucuses.
I'm not sure what delegates planning to travel and spend the night in Indianapolis are suppose to do. There is no information about hotels offering special convention room rates. I clicked on the link for the convention information for June 9th. It lists the location and time of convention (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m) and the following information:
We will be nominating the Republican candidate for: Lieutenant Governor Attorney General Superintendent of Public Instruction and Electing National Convention Delegates and AlternatesAdoption of a party platform used to be a state convention item but there's no mention of it on the website. There's also no information provided about the rules that will govern the convention or deadlines that must be met. I guess none of that's important if you assume everything has already been decided and will simply be adopted by unanimous consent by voice vote.
Late last week I received a one-page letter from the Marion Co. Republican Party dated May 28, 2012 from Bryce Carpenter, the party's executive director, advising me to consider "this letter as confirmation of your election/appointment as a delegate at the 2012 Indiana State Republican Convention." Apparently there were people elected as delegates who chose not to pay their $80 fee or there weren't a sufficient number of people who filed to run for delegate in the May primary because I also received an e-mail late last week from the county party seeking help in filling a number of vacant state convention delegate spots that still existed in Marion County.
The one-page letter from Carpenter continued, "As you are aware the Indiana Republican State Convention is on June 8th and 9th at the Indiana Convention Center . . . Below is more information on the schedule for both days." The additional schedule information tells me that I can attend an "optional" open house with Secretary of State Connie Lawson in her State House office Friday afternoon. I guess she's getting an early start campaigning for the party's nomination at the state convention in two years. There's also an "optional meet and great (sic)" at the convention center. A one-hour period is set aside for sign-in (at which I must provide an ID) and the district caucuses will convene for one hour. I guess I'm suppose to intuitively know what's on the agenda for the district caucus. Only one hour is scheduled for the district caucus so it must be a "cut and dried" agenda. The only information about Saturday's agenda is the location of the general session, the time the doors are opened and restrictions on access to the convention floor. The letter closes by thanking me for my participation "in this very important event." We value your participation and dedication to the Republican Party." Really?
UPDATE: This gets more interesting. I received an e-mail from City-County Councilor Christine Scales, who was also elected as a delegate. She sent in her $80 check, but it arrived at party headquarters about a day late because she was out of town for several days attending her son's wedding when the original notice arrived. Her check was returned to her in the mail on June 1st, and she was told that she had been replaced because she mailed her payment after the deadline. Councilor Scales had initially wondered if she had filed in the wrong district to run because some of the persons listed on the ballot in her district lived nowhere near her. Like me, she had trouble finding any information about the convention on the party's website. Before Scales received the letter from Bryce Carpenter returning her check, she learned separately in a e-mail from Melissa Thompson that she had filed in the correct district, but the districts were screwed up because of Mayor Ballard's reprecincting order that was signed after the convention delegate districts had already been certified. Thompson wrote:
You were on the ballot in the correct spot. After the districts were drawn by State Committee the Mayor signed the reprincting (sic) order and that messed up a bunch of numbers. I was on the ballot with Murray Clark who lives miles from me. You are totally legal based on the messed up system.