Ron Paul Roundup: Weekend GOP Convention Chaos, and the Paul Campaign is Cool with RNC Chair Reince Preibus
As I was blogging over the weekend, Paul-oriented Oklahoma Republicans claim the official state GOP convention was illegally adjourned, and that they continued the real business of the convention in the parking lot.
The Oklahoman's "NewsOK.com" site is reporting the results of the inside convention that the Paul forces claim was illegitimate as the real deal, unsurprisingly.
Local news from Oklahoma refers to what the Paul people called the real convention in an Oklahoma parking lot as a mere "Paul rally."
*The Indiana Republic site on the Oklahoma conflict:
Paul supporter Lukus Collins said Sunday that one person was hit in the head and another in the back during Saturday's meeting. Collins says one of the attackers wore a Romney campaign sticker.
State GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell says he saw one confrontation that was broken up by the party's sergeant at arms and a Cleveland County deputy.
Collins says party rules were violated by the holding of voice — rather than roll-call — votes for delegates to the GOP national convention. Pinnell says the voice vote was to meet the agenda's predetermined 5 p.m. adjournment.
*Kevin Kerwick of the Examiner with more on Oklahoma:
Instead of conducting a roll call vote, which is required by Party rules, the chair asked for a voice vote for a predetermined delegate slate that was favorable to Mitt Romney, despite objections from the floor. The reason provided for this decision according to the chair, apparently oblivious to influence from the audience, was that 'It was the way they always did it'. This appears to be a clear case of Establishment GOP corruption because the insiders wanted to select a slate of delegates that was not supported by the majority of attendees at the convention.
This turn of events came at the end of a long afternoon during which there was a lot of animosity in the air. This video contains a conversation with a Ron Paul supporter who witnessed some violence perpetrated against a fellow Ron Paul supporter by a person who was identified as an older 'Establishment guy'. According to this report, the older gentleman hit the Ron Paul supporter in the back of the head. The Sergeant at Arms intervened to remove the Ron Paul supporter but apparently did nothing to the man that hit him.
Later, an observer at the scene said that after the convention prematurely ended, the lights were immediately turned off and the walls to the convention center started to close in on the attendees. One person in attendance told me he believes the portable walls were rearranged in a manner that made it possible to exclude voters from affected districts from the ongoing process. Roberts' Rules of order, which are supposed to govern the convention, were flatly ignored as the GOP pushed its autocratic agenda.
*The Associated Press on the Oklahoma convention.
*A "Sooner Tea Party" man is disappointed with how the GOP powers ran the OK convention.
*Salon: do the weekend's convention hubbub prove the Paul people can bring "chaos" to the national GOP convention in Tampa in August? (The piece does complicate the simple headline narrative floating around about Paul people booing Josh Romney off the stage in Arizona.)
The video on that:
*Paul campaign advisor Doug Wead thinks the Paulites can expect eventual victory in Arizona (and also says reports of a Paul fan led booing of Josh Romney are exaggerated). Arizona GOP blogger "Seeing Red AZ" says there was no Paul victory. Besides, according to the usually reliable Green Papers, all 29 of Arizona's delegates are bound to follow the results of the popular primary vote and vote for Romney anyway. (Arizona lost half the delegates it would have had by holding their vote earlier than the Party wanted them to.)
*Long personal account from the Arizona convention from a Paul supporter, including details of overhearing Romneyites talk about how they could potentially stuff the ballot in the delegate selection process. His conclusion:
(8:10pm) So, we are now going to have to do our runoff ballets via mail? Also, we haven't received our results for the delegates yet. Oh, and Romney people were stuffing the ballets, I saw this as well as multiple other witnesses. We are now arguing over whether we have a quorum or not. I'll update you guys as more info comes out.
Edit: Wow, shit just got crazy, I'm going to have to post a vid because to much happened in the last 20 minutes to type out. Ron Paul supporters took the stage and now the mics are off and the lights are being shut off. Police are moving to the stage right now to arrest people. Fuck!!!
Edit: (9:50pm) We have been kicked out of the facilities. I always wondered how accurate these reports of convention shenanigans. Here is a link to a good video feed here. Watch it, some good footage of the chaos at the end of the convention. I learned today that our country is truly broken and that it will take a tremendous amount of effort to fix. I got into an argument with the head chairmen of the state GOP (didn't realize who is was until after) and he couldn't even debate me, he just said he didn't like Ron Paul people because they are trying to destroy Romney's chances of beating Obama. Couldn't name a policy stance Ron Paul held that he didn't like, not a single one.
*Grace Wyler, on the Paul beat at Business Insider, on how the official Paul campaign is distancing itself from some of its Idaho fans:
In recent reports from the Idaho Statesman, several of Paul's Idaho activists have detailed plans for a "hostile takeover" of the state Republican Party convention, and a "scorched earth" strategy to overturn the results of Idaho's March caucuses, which Romney won with 62% of the vote.
According to the Statesman, the strategy involves winning two-thirds of precinct elections, which select delegates for the Idaho GOP convention. If they can pull off the landslide, then Paul-friendly delegates can move to suspend the rules at the state convention, and reject Romney's slate of RNC delegates, replacing them with Paul supporters.
The plan is extreme, even by Paul standards. In a statement today, the Paul campaign disavowed the "hostile takeover" plan, which it attributed to "isolated instances of grassroots activists."
"The Ron Paul campaign's delegate-attainment strategy being implemented nationally at party processes that follow so-called 'beauty contests' is not, and has never been, meant to somehow rewrite the outcome of past nominating contests," campaign manager John Tate said in the statement. "The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign condemns efforts to expand its influence in the Republican Party in Idaho and beyond when these activities are couched as vengeful, underhanded, or markedly distasteful."
*Paul delegate and state central committee victories in Virginia.
*Many Paul fans 'round the Internet have called out the RNC for supposed violations of "Rule 11" about RNC support for any one candidate before someone has actually won the presidential nomination. The Paul campaign says it isn't concerned:
Responding to complaints that the Republican National Committee has violated Rule 11 by setting up RNC Victory Operations while Dr. Paul still seeks the nomination, the Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign issued the following statement.
Below please find comments from National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton:
"In April, the RNC asked our campaign for our blessing to begin assembling the Victory organization Republicans will require to guarantee a win in the fall. Building such an operation is no small undertaking, and our Party needed to build in a few months what the incumbent president has been building for four years.
"The RNC offered to set up a joint fundraising committee with the Paul campaign and were very clear that if Dr. Paul became the nominee, the Victory Operation would be behind him 100 percent. They also were clear that they would hold off if our campaign objected. I gave my full consent for the RNC to move forward.
"Chairman Priebus has always treated Dr. Paul and our team with respect, and we appreciate his leadership. He has been an outstanding chairman and has our full confidence."
Cross-posted at the dedicated blog for my new book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.