In a chaotic convention split in two, with the Paulites having a reporting majority, two different delegations are issued from two different Louisiana state Republican Party conventions. Two different Paul supporters–and convention officials–were injured by police on the way to this state of affairs.
Reports from hither and yon from folk on the scene:
*Hamdan Azhar at Policymic has a lot that tells most of the heart of the tale:
The Louisiana State Republican Convention descended into chaos Saturday morning, with several delegates being arrested and the convention chairman being thrown to the ground by police. Sources report that state party officials panicked when it became clear that Ron Paul delegates commanded a decisive majority of the delegates on the floor – at least 111 of 180 (62%).
The convention began peacefully with a prayer and invocation. Roger Villere, Chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, then attempted to recognize the former Chair of the Convention's Rules Committee who had been ousted from his position last night. When Alex Helwig, the newly elected Rules Committee chair, rose to address the delegation, Mr. Villere ordered him removed from the floor. Video footage shows Shreveport police dragging Mr. Helwig out of the room despite his protests that he was a duly elected delegate.
At this point, a motion was made to elect a new convention chairman. Henry Herford, Jr., was elected by an overwhelming majority. Nevertheless, Mr. Villere – who had appointed himself the convention chairman – refused to relinquish control of the gathering. As the delegates began turning their chairs around, Mr. Herford, the newly elected chairman, rose to call the convention to order. Sources report that, in an act of desperation, Mr. Villere and state party officials then ordered police to attack Mr. Herford.
Video footage shows an older gentleman in a blue shirt being violently dragged away by police and then shoved to the ground. When Mr. Herford protests that he is handicapped and would like to press charges for assault against the police officers, a Shreveport police officer is seen smirking in response. Sources report that Mr. Herford, 57, has a prosthetic hip that was dislocated during the assault….
After Convention Chairman Henry Herford's arrest, the delegates proceeded to elect a new chair and continuedwith the business of the convention. They reportedly elected a slate of 27 Ron Paul supporters to fill 12 of the 18 district delegate slots and 15 of 20 at-large delegate slots, before certifying the results with the RNC.
Meanwhile, state party leaders held their own convention in one corner of the room with about 30 delegates in attendance. Local media is reporting that the minority convention also elected a slate of delegates, although it is unlikely that the legitimacy of their slate will be recognized by the RNC.
According to a statement released by the national Paul campaign, the newly elected delegates met with Scott Sewell, the Louisiana Chair of the Romney campaign, who said "he would do everything he could to make sure the delegation was seated." The State Central Committee also met after the convention but reportedly disbanded due to lack of quorum.
The Paul campaign's press release on Louisiana. Highlights:
LAGOP officials ignored the vast majority of duly elected delegates and attempted to use illegally adopted rules to deny Ron Paul supporters an opportunity to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Louisiana has 46 delegates. Five were pledged to Mitt Romney based on the March 23rd primary result and Rick Santorum received 10, meaning most delegates were contestable at the state convention.
"Delegates to the state convention were chosen at caucus meetings on April 28th. Ron Paul slates won four of six congressional district contests. Of the approximately 180 delegates attending the state convention, 113 voted to remove the LAGOP chairman when he failed to respond to requests for information and other motions from delegates. Nearly two-thirds of the delegates began physically moving their chairs, literally turning their back on the GOP chair appointed by the party hierarchy.
"In another instance, State Central Committeeman and Ron Paul supporter Henry Herford Jr. of Franklin Parrish was attacked by some security officials who didn't realize that the body had voted out the previous chairman. Mr. Herford has a prosthetic hip and according to a doctor at the scene it appears as though the prosthetic was dislocated and may require replacement. The injury occurred as he was beginning to call to order the newly re-formed convention.
"In yet another instance, Ron Paul supporter Alex Helwig, Chairman of the Rules Committee who made the motion to remove the chair, was arrested by Shreveport police and released. During his brief detainment, some of his fingers were broken and when he returned to the event he was walking with aid of a cane.
"By 10:50 a.m. today, the newly formed convention completed its work. Newly-elected national delegates met with the Romney campaign's Louisiana Chairman, Scott Sewell, who graciously said 'that he supported the effort and would do everything he could to make sure the delegation was seated' in Tampa.
Video of one of the Louisiana police assaults: