iCaucus admits defeat. Restores Kansas endorsement after protest.
After a week of protesting by iCaucus members in Kansas, iCaucus leaders have acknowledged they were incorrect to have withdrawn the endorsement of Patricia Lightner in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District. I’ll copy their statement later on in this article.
Let me be clear, that I have little doubt about these two things:
- iCaucus’ leaders were fully willing to hold Patricia Lightner in the 3rd District to different standards than they would apply to Jim Anderson in the 4th District. The only difference is that Kansas’ iCaucus leaders are big fans of Jim Anderson. This is bad sportsmanship on the part of iCaucus. This is dishonesty.
- If Lightner supporters had not protested the endorsement withdrawal, iCaucus leaders would not have restored the endorsement.
Because of actions made by its Kansas AND its national leaders, iCaucus has lost a tremendous amount of trust and good-will among Kansas conservatives.
To briefly review: On May 4, Patricia Lightner won the iCaucus endorsement in the 3rd District of Kansas, by receiving 63% of the vote on the first ballot in a five-way race (60% is required for an endorsement).
On May 10, iCaucus’ Kansas leader Larry Halloran withdrew the endorsement. Importantly:
- No investigation was performed. No effort was made to contact the Lightner campaign about any of Halloran’s concerns, prior to the endorsement withdrawal.
- No specific reasons were given for the endorsement withdrawal. However, passive and implied reasons were given. Here’s Halloran: ”First, we are not running a sporting event, telephone poll or journal survey where one encourages their team to flood the lines or submit multiple entries to secure the prize.” By “flood the lines,” I’m assuming he means “playing by the rules, but winning, and that frustrates Larry Halloran;” and by “submit multiple entries,” that’s a serious accusation to throw out, particularly without any evidence.
- iCaucus leaders mentioned their internal “findings.” But they offered no plans to release these “findings” to the public.
- They offered no plans for a re-vote.
- They offered no plans to treat other Kansas races with the same (lack of) standards.
- Oddly, Halloran appeared to boldly defend the notion that he was willing to apply different standards to different candidates — and even after the voting was finished. Read Halloran’s words, here: ”Perhaps now, you realize that it was not Patricia’s fervent supporters we sought for the ICaucus, it was those whose eyes and ears have been closed that we sought to bring to Patricia.” Whatever that meant, I don’t consider it to be a compliment to Lightner or her supporters.
And today, Monday, May 17, they re-instated the endorsement of Patricia Lightner. Here is iCaucus’ statement:
Results of iCaucus Review of Kansas Endorsement Voting
Section 1: Findings of Fact:
1 – In response to a challenge of endorsement voting results in Kansas 3rd district, a review of the voting results and membership records by Kansas iCaucus disclosed several irregularities.
2 – Irregularities included:
a) Multiple votes from the same IP address,
b) Votes from members who were ineligible to vote,
c) Votes from members who voted in more than one district,
d) Members who had multiple accounts established.
3 – In addition, it was noticed that some members joined just prior to the vote, voted, and then removed themselves from membership.
4 – It was observed that the majority of irregularities were committed by members who voted for the endorsed candidate.
5 – As a result of these observations, the decision was made by the Kansas iCaucus state director and the Regional Manager over Kansas to nullify the vote and rescind iCaucus endorsement in the 3rd district.
6 – During a review of this decision by National iCaucus leaders it was found that Kansas leadership in general, and Larry Halloran specifically, are committed and dedicated to maintaining the integrity of iCaucus endorsements, and in the absence of any guidelines to reference, the motivation behind their decisions was their opinion that no endorsement would be preferable to an endorsement that was clouded with voting irregularities;
7 – It was further found and determined that no candidate preferences factored into this decision by Kansas iCaucus leaders.
8 – During the review of this decision, National iCaucus leaders and Kansas iCaucus leaders reviewed all Kansas elections; and discovered more of the same irregularities in 4th district voting.
9 – All other election in Kansas, including Senatorial and 1st district, were deemed to have been free of irregularities.
10 – During a review of procedures, timelines, and notifications, it has been deemed that the voting process in Kansas had inherent flaws, and that the irregularities were the fault and responsibility of individual members or attributable to the flaws in the voting process.
11 – While rules were broken, it is the finding of both National iCaucus and Kansas iCaucus that no candidates or their campaigns intentionally broke those rules.
Section 2: Mitigating Circumstances
1 – As in all other states, Kansas iCaucus is a true grass roots organization run by unpaid volunteers. As such, no Kansas iCaucus members are political professionals and no Kansas iCaucus members had any prior experience with potential voting irregularities.
2 – As a young organization, National iCaucus leadership has not produced or provided Kansas with previously established procedures for dealing with voting irregularities
Section 3: Decision
1 – Voting irregularities that were the fault and responsibility of individuals
will be invalidated and removed from the voting tallies, and any individuals who intentionally voted more than once and/or intentionally attempted to deceive their identity and/or district of residence will be suspended permanently from iCaucus.
2 – After removing invalidated votes, Patricia Lightner in the 3rd district and Jim Anderson in the 4th district still maintained more than 60% of the membership vote, and as such will retain iCaucus endorsement for the 2010 election cycle.
3 – Voting processes and rules will be reviewed, amended, and announced prior to any further endorsement votes being conducted in Kansas.
Connect with Benjamin Hodge at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, The Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas. He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011. His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters, the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRA, Kansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).