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Published April 4, 2022

Letter to the Editor

Written by
Gary Emineth
| The Dakotan
In the opinion of Gary Emineth
In the opinion of Gary Emineth

I have a confession to make… I didn’t expect to win the election on Saturday to chair the ND GOP convention.


I didn’t campaign, only a few knew I was going to have my name placed in nomination and I arrived at 10:50 a.m. (It started at 11:00 a.m.) Saturday to the Bismarck Event Center.

So why would I have allowed my name to be placed in nomination?

Because I felt the conservative movement needed someone to step forward and say I am with you!

While my nomination to chair the convention wasn’t clear to many delegates and why it was happening – it surely should have been handled differently by the chairman. By not allowing each to speak it was confusing and at best misunderstood.

What do I mean?

First of all this is the first time in my memory that the convention was held in a single day. Second it should have started at 9 a.m. not 11 a.m.

Why did they do it?

I can only speculate… perhaps it was to keep the debate to a minimum, silence the conservatives and/or send a message to get in line.

The convention is meant to be a deliberative body… it has become anything but.

I have a few take-aways from the ND GOP state convention:

  1. Rick Becker surprised everyone with his strong showing on such a short campaign.
  2. Senator John Hoeven is still the most popular politician in North Dakota. I might add the past 50 years.
  3. The convention needed better organization – it is unacceptable that it took over 2 ½ hours to actually get through the opening and the election of a permanent chairman for the convention.
  4. Delegates weren’t respected as a decision makers.
  5. As usually the goal was to squash and silence any debate.
  6. Republicans are still by far the only relevant party in North Dakota.
  7. There were an amazing number of first-time delegates (I hope they return).
  8. The conservative movement is gaining ground and will be a majority within 5 years (if they don’t give up).
  9. John Hoeven will be a better candidate and U.S. Senator as result of the Becker campaign.
  10. Despite establishment touting unity… it is anything but…

Since I was unable to address the delegates… if I was given opportunity… this is what I would have said…

Good Morning… I am Gary Emineth.

When I went to bed last night in Grassy Butte, I didn’t think I would be up here giving a speech asking for your vote to chair this convention (actually I wasn’t allowed to speak – in spite of delegates waiting an hour for ballots which offered plenty of time).

When I received a call to ask if I would be willing to chair the state convention, I said willing? Hmmm… Able yes…

This would be unprecedented if the delegates actually elected someone other than the state chairman to chair the convention.

I asked myself, how did we get here? What is happening? Why is this happening?

As I reflected, I thought this goes back to the state committee meeting in December when the NDGOP State Committee met, which is typically open to any Republican. Yet it was closed to anyone but the committee members (60 people), hired security, and a parliamentarian flown by the national party to insure debate would be controlled…

Then I thought NO this goes back to the Tea Party – when people rose up against President Obama’s overreach…

Then I pondered further and realized it went back further… to the Tea Party yes… but not the one of 2008 – But to Boston, Boston Harbor, when the “Sons of Liberty” rose up against the Crown’s unjust tax…

Yet maybe it could be about the 2016 election when Donald Trump was first elected, and the media pounded President Trump every day for four years…

Or was it about the 2020 election, or January 6th… or was it about Black Lives Matter – or maybe Covid or was it about Joe Biden… maybe it a little bit of each…

While the frustration is about a number of things…

The frustration and rising up against tyranny is in our DNA. When we are told what we must do, what we must think, when we called names, when we are marginalized…

It seems if anyone questions any of the establishment’s leadership… you get labeled… Clown Show, Insurrectionist, Anarchist, Rogue, Self-Serving, Bastiat Caucus, whiners…

I don’t care, call it what you want… But a lot of people feel they are not being heard, they are frustrated, they are mad…

Thomas Payne said, “Tyranny like hell is not easily conquered”.

Thomas Jefferson said “When the people fear the government there is tyranny, when the government fears the people there is liberty”… this applies to corporations, organizations as well.

While this may be about a U.S. Senate race… it was also about silencing the people – telling them to get in line…

The convention of delegates are a deliberative body and for too long this has been nothing but a pep rally. We need to come together to discuss the rules, resolutions and the party platform.

I believe we have watered down what we stand for to the point that Republican is a brand with no convictions or values.

A party is meant to have clear and defined principles – that’s why we are here – to fight for what we believe.

We have this protection under the 1st Amendment and protected under the 14th Amendment.

We have some work to do and decisions to make and I believe this group of 2,000 can work through the challenges we have before us today.

Gary Emineth
Washburn, North Dakota

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