GOP show up at mansion to find no caucus

Dozens of Republican voters showed up at the Governor's Mansion on Saturday morning looking for their party caucus site.

But there were no party officials at the mansion to tell them the caucus had been moved. Their only notice was a hand-lettered sign in front of the Nevada Room telling them the caucus would be at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center on Beverly Drive. It was too small to read from the street and gave no directions how to find Beverly Drive.

"I'm getting ready to go for Obama I'm so fed up," said Lois Kelly as she pulled away to head for the senior center.

She wasn't the only one. Over the course of the next 20 minutes, it was the Nevada Appeal that advised more than 40 voters of the change.

"For something this important, this is inexcusable," said Bob Widman. "This is pretty poor planning."

"I think they should have had somebody here to let you know," said Pam Vail shaking her head.

"Our party is going to lose valuable votes because of their lack of organization," said Debra Rodich.

Gary and Melisse Morrison checked out the senior center and said the line there was "a half-mile long" by the time they got there.

"We're changing to independent," he said. "They've taken away my right to vote."

She agreed saying the only reason to register with a party is to vote in the primary and participate in events like the caucus.

But several said they would make their best effort to find the senior center and participate.

Others were less polite one man, who refused to identify himself said the location wasn't the only thing the party has had problems with recently.

"These people are (expletive deleted) idiots," he said.

Another woman added that GOP officials in Carson City "only return your calls if they want something from you - like money."

The last-minute location change happened Wednesday after the Carson Republican Central Committee was informed they wouldn't be able to use the Nevada Room on the mansion grounds. That was after area newspapers had printed the Nevada Room as one of two GOP Carson City caucus sites and after registered Republicans had all received cards in the mail telling them where to go.

The location had to be changed because of mix-ups on the part of the party in attempting to file the necessary paperwork. They made the request early enough but were delayed in getting the paperwork filed.

In the meantime, the Democrats asked to use the room and were told no, that a purely political event wasn't appropriate for the site.

After that, the GOP got its paperwork in. But at that point, Diane Cornwall of the governor's office said she had to step in and say no because they had already told the Democrats no. She said they couldn't tell one party no, then allow the other party to use the room.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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