Ron Paul: Is the GOP Trying to Steal His Louisiana Victory?

The campaign of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) thinks so, as detailed in this account from CNN of the fate of Louisiana's contested delegation to the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August. It gets complicated, hold on tight:

The Ron Paul 2012 campaign is preparing to challenge the entire slate of Louisiana's 46 delegates selected to attend the Republican National Convention next month in Tampa, Florida. 

Paul's campaign asserts the final list of delegates released Friday that were selected during the state party's convention last month were chosen against the rules. At the time, Paul supporters held their own rump convention, or protest vote, in the same room, which composed a majority of those attending.

Paul's political director Jesse Benton gets tough:

"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."

The victory Paul's campaign says it won in Louisiana was very much a result of intelligently making use of the caucus's very republican process, not pure democracy:

During the March 24 primary, Paul received only 6% of the state vote, while Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney received 49% and 27%, respectively. While Paul didn't receive a great turnout then, his supporters organized to win delegates during selection votes in each district and the state convention.

Out of the 30 delegate slots selected at the state convention last month, about half were left open to be filled by the state executive committee at a later date, leaving open the possibility of more Paul delegates to be selected.

Under state party rules passed in May of last year, the executive committee can provide supplemental rules to the original ones adopted, as long as they aren't inconsistent with the original ones adopted. The rules leave the State Central Committee to elect many of the delegates, who must also sign an affidavit prepared by the state party. The affidavit essentially binds them to certain candidates, minimizing the opportunity for the campaign to convince other delegates to switch their vote.

The party was prepared to award Paul 17 of the delegates chosen at the state convention, but his supporters refused to participate in the selection process, instead holding their own separate vote. Benton says some of the Texas congressman's supporters were kept from voting during the selection process.

"The Louisiana GOP insiders, realizing they were in the minority, grossly and repeatedly violated their own party rules to try to railroad through their preferred delegation," he said.

Louisiana isn't the only state where Paul's people think they are being screwed:

Paul's campaign is also making challenges to delegates in Massachusetts and Oregon, though not their entire slates. Currently, he holds the majority of delegations in Iowa, Minnesota, and Maine. Under RNC rules, a candidate needs the majority of delegates in five states to enter their name into nomination.

Louisiana GOP director Jason Dore thinks the Paulites should just shut up and take it, because, Obama!

"It seems they are all caught up in these personal motives, and not focusing on the picture. And the big picture is electing Mitt Romney in the fall and defeating President Obama," Doré said.

Simultaneous with this Paul campaign efforts are a non-campaign-approved lawsuit to get all RNC delegates unbound where Paul partisans think they can be talked into actually voting for Paul and not Romney. I reported on that suit last month.

My blogging on the Louisiana brouhaha as it occurred, and the complications of Paul's delegate strategy in general from April and May.

My book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It's mutually assured disenfranchisement!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If Romney brushes off the concerns of the Paul people now, when he needs their votes, what on earth will he do if he becomes President?

  • robc||

    Romney isnt the nominee yet. That gets determined at the convention. And while, it is a foregone conclusion, thats the process, so shut the fuck up Jason Dore.

  • John Thacker||

    It is hard to rally non Paul supporters behind the idea that he should get most of the delegates despite winning only 6% of the state popular vote. Yes, there are rules, but most people are going to see it as the rules being flawed or Paul allies breaking the spirit of the rules. Even if the establishment is breaking the letter of the rules, most people are going to prefer that to a result that awards delegates all out of line with the popular vote. Tgey will accept the argument that it is "fixing" a flawed process.

    Popular vote is king with most people.

  • robc||

    If the process was so obviously flawed, why didnt they just make the percentage of delegates equal to the vote total? Ask these people that and see what they answer. Keep pressing to they admit that the party had a reason to have the rules that way and hence Paul was following not only the letter but the spirit of the rules.

  • John Thacker||

    I just don't think that you will convince the average person.

  • A Serious Man||

    Bullshit. It isn't that difficult to understand: the state GOP has a popular vote purely to get an idea of which candidate is the most popular. The assumption is that the guy with the most voters will get the most delegates working at the county conventions which will then materialize at the state convention. It's not the Paulites fault that the average Santorum and Romney voter is a moron that doesn't understand a relatively straightforward delegation process.

  • Bob in Boston||

    Thing is, there's plenty of evidence that "the popular vote" was completely fabricated. How many people do you actually know who voted for Mittens? I'm sure that to some extent you only socialize with people with similar world views, but I don't know *anyone* who voted for Romney. In Massachusetts everyone I know either voted Democrat or Ron Paul - nobody voted for Romney. And yet somehow he magically won the popular vote? I'm not buying it... I think the delegate process is a much better indicator of what informed, educated voters are thinking, and that's why Ron Paul wins the delegates even when the electronic voting machines say Romney "won" the popular election.

  • ||

    Well those Archery matches were pretty exciting.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The Republicans may not be as bad as Obama's progressives, but the GOP won't tolerate any dissent within their party either.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Get with reality "Ken".

    You either love Obama or you love Romney; there are no other choices.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Anyone who saw how the GOP treated libertarians during the Bush Jr. Administration shouldn't be surprised to find out that the GOP is hostile to dissent.

  • A Serious Man||

    Basically they have zero desire to improve themselves, they're electoral fortunes entirely depend on the incompetence of the Democrats which is why they're content with a shitty candidate like Mittens.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I think their worldview is just shaped by the single member district.

    We don't have never had to worry about that messing with our world view. If we ever had more than a few members in congress, maybe that would change...

    But then if it did? If libertarians were ever unified to the extent that Republicans are? I'd probably start calling myself something else.

    That's one of the great things about being a libertarian--if we're all in agreement that we should all be free to, more or less, do what we want? Then we don't really have to agree on much else.

  • David_TheMan||

    Now Benton and Paul want to fight? Fuck them.

  • Libertarian||

    Fuck the GOP.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    "It seems they are all caught up in these personal motives, and not focusing on the picture. And the big picture is electing Mitt Romney in the fall and defeating President Obama," Doré said.

    Because Mutt Romney would be an improvement over Imperator Barack I Obama, Assassin-King of Pennsylvania Avenue, Protector of the State, Master Builder of Roads and Bridges?

    I have yet to hear anyone successfully make that argument.

  • ||

    Look, dude, this is the most important election of our lifetimes!!! Why? Uh, because, uh...look! Elvis!

  • Gladstone||

    OT: Armond White blames Nolan for Aurora shootings.
    http://cityarts.info/2012/07/25/cultures-clash/

    I wonder if Raimondo will blame the shooting on the Wars and how TDKR is an example of our corrupt decadent culture.

  • Spokanite||

    The GOP is never going to allow the Paulites anywhere near the levers of power. If the libertarians master the rules and win fair and square, the GOP establishment will change the rules. The imagined Rand/Ron takeover of the party will never happen.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I hate sadsacks. Fact is, Ronulians are already taking over. You can either help or be useless.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "The GOP is never going to allow the Paulites anywhere near the levers of power."

    I think Ron Paul said himself he didn't want power. The point of his campaign is to change assumptions in the GOP about the military and civil liberties. Does anyone, including Ron Paul, seriously think he was after "power" or that he was going to win some prize?

  • Broseph of Invention||

    I live in Minnesota, and every time I've gone to a GOP event, the first thing someone asks me is whether I'm a Ron Paul supporter. When I say "yes", they spend the next five minutes telling me all the things they like about him, with a few caveats here and there. In other words, I find it hard to believe (not that I'm doubting the story) that the GOP doesn't want to see younger libertarians involved. They may not agree with everything we say, but I think they understand times are changing and a group that's instinctively against government is probably a pretty good thing.

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