Background: At the Louisiana Presidential Caucus in April, Ron Paul (whether you like him or not) won over two thirds of the delegates to the Republican State Convention. Generally speaking, the majority at a convention is expected to govern the convention and select the delegates who will attend the national convention. One day before the convention, the executive committee of the Republican Party of Louisiana sent out an email communication to delegates stating that "temporary rules" would be used for the convention. Theses new rules, un-ratified by the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee, placed incredible restrictions on the convention, including the following:
The Rules committee would not be allowed to create Rules for the convention (their entire purpose for existence)
The Platform committee would not be allowed to operate under the May 2011 adopted rules for the convention; only the "temporary" rules would be allowed.
The quorum for the convention would only be 30% of the delegates (Note: the State Central Committee requires that "a majority of the elected Members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. RSCC Bylaws Art VIII. Sect. 3)
2012 Rules for the Caucus and Convention had been adopted by the State Central Committee on May 21st, 2011. These are still online unless they have been taken down. These rules, duly adopted, would now not be used.
The RSCC members were not privy to the issuance of the last minute May 30th "temporary" rules.
The party chairman, rather than an elected convention chairman, would run the convention.
Delegates were asked to sign potentially-illegal affidavits issued under the "temporary" rules.
Irony: When the RSCC met in the afternoon following the convention, a quorum was not present, so they were unable to conduct business! The "temporary" rules could not even be debated.
Here is what I witnessed today as a delegate to the Louisiana State Republican Convention.
The state convention was opened by Louisiana Republican State Central Committee Chairman Mr. Roger Villere who announced that the convention would be operated under (last minute, unratified) rules that gave the executive committee nearly unlimited powers. He then announced that he was assuming the chair and leadership of the convention and appointed officers.
At this point, three duly-elected delegates rose, in turn, to deliver "points of order" on this announcement, asking to receive clarification on this unexpected and unusual set of changes.
Mr. Villere addressed two questions from the lectern (one was affirming that the quorum for the convention had been changed to one third of members present), but chose to ignore further requests of the delegates.
According to Roberts Rules of Order, a chairman may only ignore three requests of a member before the elected body may choose to remove him. [See New Roberts Rules of Order,11th Edition, Provision for Abuse of Authority by the Chair Â§62 (new) p. 650-651]
Continuing to ignore delegate requests, Mr. Villere then called for the report of the Rules Committee. Mr. Alex Helwig, the elected chair* of the Rules Committee rose from his seat in the delegate section and approached to deliver his report. Mr. Villere improperly called him out of order and had this gentleman forcibly removed from the convention and arrested (during this false arrest, the police officers broke his finger and injured his leg).
(click through to read the rest of the account)