Kieschnick & District Presidents Steal 2004 LCMS Convention Election

By: Rev. Jack Cascione

 To qualify as a Circuit that can send two delegates to the national LCMS Convention, a Circuit must have at least seven congregations and a total of 1500 confirmed members.

However, according to the LCMS Handbook By-law 3.03 "Voting Delegates" the LCMS President has the right to accept delegates to the Convention that do not have seven congregations or 1500 confirmed members in the circuit.

The By-Law reads, "Exceptions to these requirements and limitations can be made only by the President of the Synod upon request of a District Board of Directors."

You ask: "Which Districts asked for exceptions because circuits in their districts didn't have seven congregations and 1500 communicant members and how many delegates did they send to the LCMS Convention from circuits that did not meet the required number of churches and confirmed members?"

The following list of delegates from circuits that do not meet the constitutional criteria:

Atlantic District 12 delegates
California/Nevada/Hawaii 10 delegates
Eastern District 12 delegates
English District 22 delegates
Florida/Georgia District 16 delegates
Kansas District 04 delegates
MidSouth District 04 delegates
Northwest District 10 delegates
Oklahoma District 08 delegates
Pacific Southwest District 10 delegates
Southeastern District 02 delegates
Texas District 28 delegates
Total +138 delegates

There were 1237 votes cast for the office of President.  President Kieschnick was elected on the first ballot by 653 votes with 584 votes going to other candidates.  He won the election by a margin of 69 votes.  A simple majority of 1237 is 619 votes.  If 35 delegates had changed their ballot, Kieschnick could not have been elected.

It is true that LCMS Presidents have always allowed exceptions for special circumstances, geographic locations, etc.  For example, one of the circuits from the Eastern District with only six congregations has 3187 confirmed members.  Maybe one of the seven congregations merged with another.  This would seem to be a reasonable exception.

But what about circuits in Texas with nine congregations and 782 confirmed members, or seven congregations and 553 members, or the English District Circuit with five congregations and 758 members?

The point is, that President Kieschnick never met an exception he didn't like, and just by coincidence the districts sending delegates from circuits that don't meet the requirements just happen to be his "Jesus First"/PLI/Daystar buddies.  The Atlantic District had delegates from circuits with nine congregations and 667 confirmed members and another with 6 congregations and 876 confirmed members.

The rule is, if you are going to steal an election, sin boldly, because
there isn't anything anyone can do about it.  The LCMS Board of Directors could fire Kieschnick, which I think they should, but then they would have to suffer the embarrassment of being overturned by the Commission on Constitutional Matters, staffed with Kieschnick's appointees.

As they say, "That's politics."  Anyone who expected anything better from the LCMS just isn't dealing with reality.

Congratulations President Kieschnick and COP, on a down and dirty election. You cheated a lot of lay people, but how many will ever hear about it?

 Thursday, September 02, 2004

More documentation coming soon.

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