GOP Chair Dave Hann Invalidates Otter Tail County Delegate Lists

Last week, Republicans from across the state gathered to participate in precinct caucuses. This is the process where conservative activists (and sometimes establishment shills) get together to discuss the election of delegates, passage of platform resolutions, and even favorite candidates for office.

In Otter Tail County, Republican delegates let their voices be heard.

Of this year's two Otter Tail County GOP caucus locations, Perham High School was the loudest. Party-designated convener (or, the one who presides over the precinct caucus) Tommy Merickel was ousted by delegates – a feat that rarely occurs.

Tommy Merickel has earned the ire of conservatives over the last several years. Tax filings reveal that this swamp creature sits on the board of a 501c4 group called the Minnesota Jobs Coalition. This organization also has a PAC arm.

The Minnesota Jobs Coalition spends tens of thousands of dollars against good conservative candidates for State House. For example, in 2022 – the Minnesota Jobs Coalition spent $35,000 AGAINST Mark Bishofsky, the Republican Endorsed candidate for House District 33B. They also spent a whopping $20,000 against Incumbent Representative Erik Mortensen, who was facing a primary challenge from the left. 


Delegates present at Perham High School knew just how slimy Merickel was, which was why they removed him via vote as convener. He also failed to become a delegate to the upcoming Otter Tail County BPOU convention. 

According to the Perham Focus Merickel told caucus attendees that he could not be removed as convener. This is false, as caucuses use Roberts Rules of Order -- a set of guidelines for parliamentary procedure.

On Tuesday, the Otter Tail County GOP BPOU announced on their Facebook page that the BPOU convention would be postponed. They did not provide reasoning.



On Wednesday, the controversial Chair of the Minnesota GOP, Dave Hann, issued an executive dictate claiming that the delegate list created from the caucus is invalidated. This is an unprecedented step for Hann to make. In fact, it is unlikely that the chair has the constitutional authority to invalidate this list unilaterally.

This is all because Merickel lost control of his caucus to conservative grassroots activists. Not only did the activists have the right to vote on their convener, but they are encouraged to do so.

All of this shows how unfairly the grassroots activists of Otter Tail County have been treated. Take a look at Action 4 Liberty's previous coverage in the Otter Tail County BPOU.

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  • Eric Sandberg
    commented 2024-03-09 23:31:16 -0600
    Doug Kern – “This is Hahn’s solution?”

    This is exactly my point. This man should be asked to step down, Now.
  • Doug Kern
    commented 2024-03-09 21:16:52 -0600
    Sorry it the Post is long—Ottertail Delegates unseated 2 years ago have been asking for the State GOP to intervene for those 2 years. This is Hahn’s solution?
    Re-read the GOP Preamble:
    it is the party committed to equal representation and opportunity for all and preservation of the rights of each individual…… to ensure that the Party provides equal opportunity for full participation in our civic life for all Minnesota residents who believe in these principles…….”
    Again, this was a issue of Delegates being told they had to use a form that they would only vote for & support only Endorsed Candidates—which was not the State GOP Form.
    PS. Delegates can support whoever they want to, but a Member of a Executive Committee Cannot (they must support a Endorsed Candidates or step down).
  • Doug Kern
    commented 2024-03-09 21:09:39 -0600
    Eric Sandberg, The reason Caucus Night is held for all Party’s the same night is to keep out Democrats from jumping into the Republican Party & visa versa. The issue with Ottertail is the question of using the Official State Form or one Drafted by the
    Ottertail Executive Committee.
    Minnesota GOP Constitution: Preamble

    “ ……it is the party committed to equal representation and opportunity for all and preservation of the rights of each individual…… to ensure that the Party provides equal opportunity for full participation in our civic life for all Minnesota residents who believe in these principles…….”

    Article II Membership and Dues Section 3 Rights

    “Nothing in this Constitution shall be construed to deny or abridge the rights of any voter to participate in any Party caucus, primary or convention, where is entitled by law to participate.”

    Article IV Delegation of Power Section 2 Organization

    “Opportunity for enrollment shall be open at all times to all voters who are eligible for membership under Article II.”

    Article IV Delegation of Power Section 3 Management

    “The management of the affairs of the Party within each basic political organizational unit shall be vested in the BPOU committee, subject to the direction of state and Congressional District authorities as to matters within the scope of their respective functions.”

    I believe a respective function would be the determination of the constitutionality of actions taken by a BPOU.

    Article XVI General Provisions Section 2 Removals

    “Notice of every proposal for removal by any committee or other body of the party shall be included in the notice of the meeting, and the individual concerned shall be served with a detailed statements of the charges against them at least ten (10) days prior to such meeting.”
  • Paul Bade
    commented 2024-03-09 19:45:11 -0600
    If Mr. Merickel told caucus attendees they could not replace him as caucus chair, he was either ignorant of his caucus script or being dishonest. The first item of business after calling the caucus to order is to elect the caucus chair and secretary. Normally the convener is elected caucus chair without opposition, but the caucus is free to nominate others to replace both the convener and the appointed temporary secretary.

    Unless Mr. Hann has solid evidence that the caucus acted contrary to state law, e. g., cut off the nomination of delegates prematurely or adjourned too early, he has no grounds to invalidate the election of the delegates. His authority to do so is to say the least, open to question. He has no authority whatsoever to extend the terms of the delegates elected in 2022; that is nowhere specified in any county party constitution I have ever seen. The Otter Tail County GOP is bound to honor the choices of the caucus attendees unless they were elected contrary to state law or in violation of the rules specified in the printed caucus script. They must hold a convention of these delegates in accordance with their county party constitution.

    It was bad enough when the state party chair made herself chair of county conventions in 2020 (via Zoom audio only because of COVID-19) and did not allow county delegates to debate on resolutions, but would only permit an up or down vote of all of the resolutions as a package, and would not permit the body to vote on changing the rule (she threatened to disallow all of our resolutions if we did not go along). This is worse – not permitting the delegates to vote at all.

    The State Central Committee needs to do a better job of keeping the State Party officials in line, and State Convention delegates must be more careful of their choices for party executives.
  • Eric Sandberg
    commented 2024-03-09 14:20:52 -0600
    Well, this is good to know, but I don’t see any allusion to what might be happening to eliminate this problem.

    Who in the R party is vetting these people? It seems all one has to do is claim to be conservative and our incredibly naive R leadership just opens the door and ushers them in.
  • Action 4 Liberty
    published this page in News 2024-03-06 09:27:09 -0600