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"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Communist Tyrant Josef Stalin

August 8, 2000 NA (Network America) e-wire
Battle in Long Beach

Today is the National Committee Meeting which had been brilliantly called by Robert Bowes, Reform Party Chairman of Maryland, and his allies -- in a pre-emptive strike to take the offensive against the disruptive Verney Wrecking Crew which was and is trying to destroy the Reform Party, -- now that it has been transformed from an insincere third party “blind alley” to a constructive force run by grassroots patriotic Americans.

By gathering the signatures of a percentage of the National Committee (I think it was 51 out of the 162, or about 30% of the Nat-Com delegates that were needed to call the special meeting) -- a national committee meeting could be called whether or not the leadership went along with it or not. It was called, and this was the day.

The point man for the Verney wrecking crew was the loud-mouthed Buchanan-hater Jim Mangia. Mangia, for some reason, felt that he should “come out of the closet” as a homosexual activist right before he kicked into his high-gear efforts to destroy the Reform Party which he had been part of for the 8 years since its inception in 1992.

The doors were closed to the press and observers until the national committee was completely seated, including legitimately disputed delegations. This was probably a mistake, as it would have been instructive for all to see the absurd Mangia antics. The closing of the doors gave the impression of secrecy and that the Buchanan forces had something to hide, which was not the case.

Eye-witnesses inside told this reporter exactly what happened.

Mangia, the Secretary of the Party, tried to take over the entire proceedings. He filibustered for two hours. Gerry Moan, the Reform Party Chairman, let this go – probably to make every attempt to be fair to the woefully outnumbered dissidents.

Outside the closed doors, where your reporter was standing with about 500 others, Russ Verney, Perot’s point man, showed up with his contingent of “Perot Systems” body guards – complete with arm patches to let everyone know for sure who was backing the Verney Wrecking Crew.

Verney also had an earpiece through which he was listening to the goings on inside the meeting through sophisticated Perot-provided radio devices.

Verney had been ousted a week or so earlier by the Texas Reform Party, so he wasn’t even allowed in the meeting. As the Mangia harangue dragged on inside, at one point, Verney, the former Democratic operative in the state of Connecticut, theatrically pushed his way toward the doors through a sea of microphones and cameras booming that he had every right to be in the room, and he would be arrested if necessary to gain entrance. In fact, he then retired to the back of the fray; obviously he had no intention of being arrested, but was merely providing a sound bite for the media.

At several points, a Mangia spokesman would come out of the meeting and make an announcement to the locked-out press – and at one point Mangia came out and screamed at the top of his lungs, making the sound bite and scene that has been used on every newscast covering the Reform Party Convention in the Big Newsmedia’s attempt to convey “disorder” in the Reform Party.

Inside, Mangia was making a totally childish argument. Fifty state Reform Party National Committee delegations came to this August 8th meeting as recognized as “legitimate” by the Reform Party and listed as such on the Reform Party website. The “basis” of Mangia’s harangue was that the Verney wrecking crew had made frivolous challenges against about half of these recognized delegations. Mangia was holding – per the absurd -- that because of these last minute frivolous challenges, all the challenged delegations were automatically unseated, and that therefore it was impossible to get a quorum, so the meeting could not convene.

By this puerile logic, 50 Democrats (one from each state) could still file frivolous challenges against the 50 seated Democratic Party delegations about to meet in Los Angelus at the end of the week, -- and the Democratic Party would never be able to hold their 2000 convention due to lack of quorum. By this standard ANY hostile group could stop any meeting just by filing frivolous challenges. The whole idea is too ridiculous for words.

That the Big Media is still touting this silliness as a “split” in the Reform Party and as a “serious challenge” to the Buchanan nomination – is another example of deliberately dishonest Big Media reporting – and another piece of evidence that the Big TV Media is the greatest enemy the American people have ever faced.

Finally, after two hours, Chairman Moan asserted himself. A Verney Wrecking Crew spokesman burst out of the doors and announced, “The secretary has declared there is no quorum, so the meeting cannot convene.” (Of course, secretary Mangia had no authority to make any such declaration.)

But this time the Mangia mouthpiece had been followed out of the room by the soft-spoken Robert Bowes of Maryland. Bowes immediately intoned in more restrained fashion: “The Chairman has declared that there is a quorum, and the meeting will go forward.”

Bowes announcement was immediately followed by a chant started by Michael Flynn of Washington State, which grew into a thunderous crescendo: “Go, Pat, Go! – Go, Pat, Go! – Go, Pat, Go! – Go, Pat, Go!

It was over. The Mangia-Verney wrecking retreated in ignominy. They repaired to an already rented hall (why did they rent that hall in advance if they didn’t know they were outnumbered at the real convention?) and spent the rest of the week “playing at” convention – a total sham and farce.

The real National Committee meeting then convened, the proper national committee members were seated, and the business of the week was underway.

Jim Condit Jr.
Director, Citizens for a Fair Vote Count

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