Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

What Happened To Kalamazoo County Republican Delegates
At The MIGOP Convention On Friday Night

Delegates from Kalamazoo County traveled to Lansing on Friday February 17th to attend the MIGOP State Convention and to participate in their elected duties per MIGOP bylaws and rules.

The eighty-three (83) counties in the State of Michigan are broken into thirteen (13) congressional districts. On Friday night each district broke out into their own caucuses to conduct official business of electing district officers along with a district executive committee to represent the member counties.

The 4th Congressional District is made up of portions of Kalamazoo, Van Buren, Allegan, Calhoun, Berrien, and Ottawa Counties. Weeks leading up to the convention the County Chairs (or representatives) had multiple meetings to discuss the District rules and the county chairs had come to a unanimous agreement of each county’s number of districts and state seats.

At 7:00 pm on Friday Night the 4th Congressional District Caucus meeting was called to order by acting Temporary District Chair, Chairman Kenny Clevenger of Allegan County. Within minutes of the meeting starting a delegate from Kalamazoo County made a motion to “set aside” or amend rule 9 of the district rules, but only for Kalamazoo County.

9. Nomination Process for State (6) and District (15) Committee openings.

Each County will caucus and its voting delegates shall elect the nominees for each State & District position assigned to said county, as available (per schedule – section 5).

County chairs will announce their nominees to the District delegation at large. The District delegation shall accept as final, each counties nominees.

If a County does not fill all of their allotted nominees for State and or District seats, those empty seats (lacking a county nominated representative) shall be
(rule 9 continued)

filled by the District Delegation.

The District shall hold nominations and vote to fill those unfilled seats. The county shall have the right to reject any nominees they feel will not represent their county properly.

The proposed rule change was to allow the entire District (5 other Counties) to vote on Kalamazoo County’s allotted three (3) District Executive Committee and two (2) State Committee seats. In effect, all 174 delegates would vote on those seats, rather than Kalamazoo’s 39 delegates being the sole voters of their seats, while all other counties would break out into caucuses as prescribed by rule 9 and vote on their seats.  Five counties would vote only on their county seats, and they would all vote on Kalamazoo’s seats, two votes.  Kalamazoo only had one vote, and was not allowed to vote on any other counties seats.

It became very clear that the small group of delegates from Kalamazoo County who were running for District Executive Committee and State Committee seats had likely orchestrated this apparent “coup d’état” with the help of factions within other counties.  This move seemed expressly for the purpose of getting elected at any cost, and in this case it was likely the sovereignty of their neighbors and fellow member delegates from Kalamazoo. 

The small group of delegates likely knew they did not have the majority support within the Kalamazoo County caucus and would not have been elected. So essentially, they decided to disregard their fellow delegates rights, which consequently resulted in their own personal benefit.

The delegates of Kalamazoo County had their votes “diluted” through this parliamentary move, resulting in a potential equal protection violation.  And in the end the rule change was passed, over the objections of those opposing it in Kalamazoo County, but the District went ahead and over-whelming voted to trample on the rights of Kalamazoo County delegates.