Ron Paul Delegates Fight to Get to the Republican National Convention Getting More Difficult
As you may recall from my blogging recently here and here, the Ron Paul campaign and its delegates are involved in various fights and disputes over whether certain state delegations to the Republican National Convention in Tampa at the end of the month will contain Ron Paul supporters.
The latest news in that fight is bad for the Paulites, as the RNC's Committee on Contests rejects the Paul people's contention that the delegation that the state GOP in Louisiana sent was illegitimate, and that another slate of Paulites should be recognized.
More, as reported in the Times-Picayune yesterday, on counteraccusations between Paul folk at the party establishment:
"The LAGOP executive committee again submitted false information in an attempt to mislead their fellow Republicans," said Charlie Davis, who led the Paul campaign in Louisiana. "I'm not really surprised by the preliminary ruling and I'm looking forward to finally presenting our case in Tampa. The wheels of justice move slow and I remain hopeful that when all the facts are presented the truth will win out."
But, Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere said he thought the issue was pretty much settled. "This was their best shot," he said.
"This decision simply confirms what we've been saying from the beginning—that we followed the rules," stated LAGOP Executive Director Jason Dore.
The Paul people's challenge said that the Party issued an illegitimate "supplemental rule" at the Louisiana state convention that allowed them to send on a non-Paul delegation; the RNC decided that rule change was legit. My blogging on the Louisiana convention chaos as it occurred in early June.
The other big delegate fight ongoing is in Maine, where a Paul-controlled delegation is being challenged by prominent state-level Republicans Janet Staples and Peter Cianchette. A "compromise" was offered last week that would require, as reported in New American:
First, they would have to sign a statement promising to cast their vote for Mitt Romney if Ron Paul's name was not on the ballot at the convention.
Second, Brent Tweed (a Paul supporter) would have to step aside and Webster or state Governor Paul LePage would act as spokesman for the Maine delegation and announce its vote for president at the convention. Additionally, the newly appointed spokesman would do all the talking for the delegation, especially to the media.
Third, the delegation would be forbidden from saying anything negative about Mitt Romney or positive about Barack Obama.
Fourth, in return for the foregoing commitments, the Maine delegation would be granted full access at the convention, including to all committee assignments.
Fifth, the challenge to the delegates' election at the state convention would be dropped.
These demands were unacceptable and the entire delegation (including the 20 alternates) refused to accede to the GOP Establishment's demands.
Thus, the challenge from two state Republican officials against the Paul delegation continues. They are claiming, much as Paul's people claimed in Louisiana, that proper rules and procedures were not followed at the state convention that gave 21 of 24 seats to Paul supporters. The entire Maine delegation risks not being seated if the challenge succeeds.
The New York Sun editorializes that Romney's forces should graciously allow Paul delegates to be Paul delegates if they want, riffing off the Maine conflict. The Washington Post last week noted how dangerous it would be for the Republican establishment to give Ron its speaking imprimatur in Tampa.
But the real important victories for Paul people within the Republican Party won't be necessarily apparent at the Romney/Ryan coronation, but are still happening at the local level, such as this insurgence of 13 Paulites to the Boone County, Missouri, GOP Central Committee. Also encouraging are the continued primary victories of Paulite Republicans, such as Kerry Bentivolio in Michigan's 11th district.
*In other Ron Paul news and chatter:
Ken Walsh at U.S. News and World Reports sees the Louisiana defeat as a sign of waning hopes for the Paul revolution to impact the GOP in 2012. Juan Williams at the Hill recognizes the GOP shutting him out of the RNC in Tampa, but says that Paul's impact on issues like curbing the Federal Reserve and cutting military spending means we "live in the age of Ron Paul."
Forbes writer John Tamny talks up the value of Ron Paul's notion of competing currencies.