Thursday, August 2, 2012
In four states, the question of how many delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in late August will end up dedicated to Paul is embroiled in challenges and appeals to the national party.
Last week, the Paul campaign challenged all 46 delegates sent to the RNC by the state party in Louisiana. The party honored the delegation of a small, rump anti-Paul faction that broke from the Paul majority during the state party’s June convention. As CNN reported:
“We believe that they grossly and blatantly and repeatedly violated their party rules and elected a delegation that was improper,” said Paul’s campaign chairman Jesse Benton. “We believe that our rump convention is the legitimate delegation and they have a right to be seated at the Republican National Convention.”
Even some Romney partisans from the state are telling the RNC that the delegation the Louisiana state party is trying to send to Tampa is illegitimate.
Earlier in July, the Paul campaign challenged the Oregon Republican Party’s attempts to unseat—illegitimately, the campaign insists—some Paul alternate delegates.
Sixteen duly elected Paul delegates from Massachusetts who had their status stripped from them for refusing to sign affidavits (or in some cases supposedly filing them too late or with insufficiently specific language) swearing to vote for Romney even though they prefer Paul are challenging that action by the state party with the RNC. An affidavit from a stripped delegate, Brad Wyatt, explains that he was told by the state GOP chairman that he just didn’t trust Wyatt and that the Romney campaign had “just cause to refuse to certify you.”
From the other direction, in a state whose delegation Paul firmly controlled, Maine, a prominent Republican, Peter E. Cianchette, last week filed a challenge with the RNC to de-Paulify the delegation. He claimed, as the Associated Press reported, that “there were illegal votes at May’s state Republican Convention, that a quorum wasn’t present when votes for delegates were cast, and that convention officials violated party and parliamentary rules.”
These various challenges go before the national party’s contest committee in the next couple of weeks, and can be then considered by the credentials committee. What does all this state delegation tumult say about relations between the Paul campaign and the rest of the GOP? Clearly, on the state level, existing party apparati are not afraid of fighting Paulians outright. Paul fans are collecting grievances about sketchy party actions that worked to Romney’s favor across the nation.
USA Today a couple of weeks back ran a story—whose theme was supported by on-the-record comments from Paul’s political director Jesse Benton—spinning without much substance the idea that “the national party is welcoming Paul and his supporters to the event with open arms.”
The story didn’t have many concrete facts to support the thesis. It spun as a big favor to Paul that the party didn’t use its control over most of the available gathering spaces in Tampa to prevent Paul from holding a rally but in fact helped him find a venue. As Paul activist (he was the mastermind behind the famous Ron Paul Blimp in 2008) Trevor Lyman wrote in reaction to the USA Today story:
The RNC is offering Ron Paul a location for his own rally one day before the actual convention. This is NOT a speaking role, nor any kind of role, at the convention itself. This is NOT an offer to influence the party platform, nor an opportunity to influence the debate. Rather, this is an offer to put Ron Paul and his supporters into a ‘Freedom of speech zone‘, a place where you’re allowed to protest and speak out, and that also happens to be at a location where no one can hear you.
Full article: http://reason.com/ar … e-fight-with-the-gop