Tribal Circus Acrobatics at the Hoggetowne Medieval Faire in Gainesville, FL. (2011-01-30)
Sixteen Republicans elected to represent Massachusetts at the national convention in Tampa next month have filed a formal challenge with the Republican National Committee, saying they were unfairly disqualified based on state GOP leaders’ concerns about their fealty to presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
The group of delegates — originally supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul — were elected in April caucuses at which they unexpectedly defeated many of Romney’s chosen delegates, but they have been since disqualified by state party officials.
“In short, the Massachusetts Republican Party changed the rules,” the delegates wrote in a letter to the national committee.
The filing sets off a formal but uphill process for the would-be delegates, who hope to convince national party officials that they are being unfairly excluded from the Republican National Convention, to be held Aug. 27-30 in Tampa. An RNC committee is expected to consider the challenge by mid-August, but the party is not expected to make a decision until the week before the convention.
Any appeal to that decision could be considered by the convention’s credentials committee when the event begins.
Friday and a committee spokeswoman declined to comment. A spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican Party referred calls to the RNC.
“This matter is currently before the RNC and we await their decision,” spokesman Tim Buckley said.
In their letter, the so-called liberty delegates say they were duly elected in April, but disqualified after failing to provide timely affidavits pledging their support to Romney. They argue that the affidavits were not called for in state or federal rules and they received them “less than one week before an arbitrary deadline” to return them notarized — during the Memorial Day weekend.