Louisiana Voters Disenfranchised with Republican National Committee Ruling

Voters in Louisiana are being stripped of elected delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, according to a ruling issued by the Republican National Committee-On-Contests on August 10th.

That ruling allows the delegates that were elected by the establishment LA GOP to be seated at the convention, rather than the duly elected delegates that represented the voters of Louisiana in four of six districts.

Rick Santorum was initially the winner of the primary, while Ron Paul finished fourth. However, the state has a bifurcated caucus and primary system, and Paul preformed extremely well in the caucuses that were held in April. Paul supporters dominated the 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th Congressional Districts.

Under Louisiana party rules, these results were to have guaranteed Paul 17 of 46 delegates to the National Convention. But the establishment had other plans.

The State convention was chaotic. Rules were broken, and rules were changed. Some of the rule changes were completely ridiculous, causing the delegation of Paul supporters to turn their backs on the farce and conduct their own by-the-rules convention. Rule changes had been released to the delegates the previous day.

“When those rule changes were released to several of the delegates on Friday, they were not in keeping of ideas of liberty and democracy,” said Connie Barnard, vice chairman of the “rump” convention of Paul supporters. “For example, one of the rule changes was that 1/3 of the delegation would constitute a quorum,” she said. “Nowhere does any public body or any seated body say that 1/3 constitutes a quorum.”

Louisiana Convention Credential Committee Chairman Jeff Giles said that the rule changes were submitted to keep Paul supporters from “stealing” Santorum and Romney delegates. The problem with this reasoning, of course, is that Paul supporters were in the majority, winning four of those six caucuses in April.

At the convention, 113 of the nearly 180 delegates voted to remove the former LA GOP chairman when he refused to respond to points of information or other motions from the floor. Nearly 2/3 of the delegation turned their backs on the chair. Chairman of the Rules Committee, Alex Helwig, made the motion to remove the chair and was arrested by Shreveport police. In the process,