Weeks after the “St. Patrick’s Day Massacre,” many voters in St. Charles County, Mo., are probably wondering whether or not the upcoming second attempt to conduct the county’s 2012 Republican presidential caucus (a.k.a., “CAUCUS 2.0″) will produce better results.
According to a convention center official with whom I spoke this morning, the caucus will take place in the exhibit hall — a room capable of accommodating 3,000 — and has been booked by state GOP officials for five hours, 7 p.m. through midnight.
Not surprisingly, state GOP officials — namely spokesperson Jonathon Prouty — have yet to respond to questions I posed about the caucus this morning:
1. Why was the event scheduled to take place on a weekday evening instead of on a Saturday when more people are likely to be able to attend? One might conclude that they are, for some reason, again trying to limit participation in the caucus.
2. How will this event be managed differently than the first attempt to caucus? I wanted to know whether or not fairness, transparency and adherence to rules would be paramount in the proceedings.
3. Please describe the time elements involved in the contract via which state GOP officials booked the exhibit hall at the St. Charles Convention Center (i.e., start time and estimated end time (not including teardown). In reality, I wanted to know the answer to question #4.
4. Is there a contingency plan to allow use of the room if the caucus does not end prior to the original contract end time? I wanted to know if they took any time to think ahead and consider the possibility that the caucus might drag on past midnight.
Consider what might happen if CAUCUS 2.0 follows the lead of other caucus events that were held across the Show-Me State March 17:
• If it goes the way of the Boone County GOP caucus in Columbia or the Christian County GOP Caucus in Ozark, it won’t get started until 9 p.m. at the earliest and will likely run well past midnight;
• If it follows the same paths as the Greene County GOP caucus in Springfield or the Jefferson County GOP caucus in Hillsboro, it will last more than seven hours and conclude sometime after 2 a.m. Wednesday; and
• If it follows the lead of the first St. Charles County caucus, it will never get off the ground.
Do I hope things go wrong? Of course, not! Instead, I hope thousands of St. Charles County Republican voters turn out for the caucus and help ensure a fair and just outcome.
UPDATE 4/11/12 at 7:21 a.m. Central: Ron Paul wins do-over St. Charles County caucus.