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News Section: Election 2012

Ron Paul Supporters Fight RNC Shenanigans

Published Saturday, September 1, 2012 12:11 am

TAMPA –  A delegate who is a rules expert detained on a bus during a critical RNC rules vote that his delegation was poised to oppose; the refusal by the chair to recognize procedurally correct calls for the floor and an almost total media blackout of the way Congressman Ron Paul's delegates were treated by the RNC. These were among the beefs of the Libertarian icon's several hundred supporters who'd made the trip to Tampa from all over the U.S. hoping to have their voices heard by their party. 

With properly-elected Ron Paul delegates having been stripped already, supporters made a procedurally-correct motion to amend the Credentials Committee Report on Tuesday, but it was ignored by RNC Chair Reince Priebus, causing several members of the Maine delegation to storm off the floor in protest.

Next came a critical vote on new RNC rules that looked like a mere formality to most casual observers watching on C-SPAN and even the vast majority of delegates. But what Paul supporters were painfully aware of was the impact such rules would have on a future grass roots candidate, eliminating the chance that they could ever get even as far as the Texas Congressman had. However, the vote seemed destined to pass and without dissent, discussion, or even an informed delegation for that matter.

Supporters finish a mural for P.A.U.L. Fest

photo by Brian David Braun

Morton Blackwell, a longtime conservative activist and RNC Rules Committee expert, found himself indefinitely detained – along with the rest of the Virginia delegation. The RNC’s bus driver responsible for transporting delegates somehow “got lost” for well over an hour, by which time the Rules Committee meeting had been adjourned.

"These rules are designed to turn the Republican Party into a top-down organization and strip power away from state parties and grassroots activists of every stripe," said Paul's campaign manager John Tate in a release to supporters the next day.

Efforts to vote down the new rules were ignored. Despite what appeared to be a clear split in the voice vote, the gavel was hammered and the next report was quickly introduced amid the protest of Paul delegates chanting, "let them speak."

On Wednesday and Thursday, Paul's supporters and delegates shifted their rallying cry in an attempt to alert other delegates and voters that had these rules been in place back in 1976, conservative icon Ronald Reagan would have never risen to prominence in the GOP at the 1976 Republican convention, which set the stage for his successful presidential bid in 1980.

In 1976, Reagan challenged incumbent President Gerald Ford, who had ascended to the presidency on Richard Nixon's resignation and had never won an election as President or Vice President, as he'd only taken the VP role after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, the only Vice President in history to resign while facing criminal charges.

Reagan failed to win enough of the early states to damage Ford, but his campaign was revived in Texas, where he swept all 96 delegates chosen in the primary, then four more at the state convention. Ford appeared close to victory as the convention approached, but Reagan pulled in more support by choosing moderate Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running mate if nominated. He gave a rousing speech at the convention and lost to Ford by a count of only 1,187 delegates to 1,070.

In his concession speech, Reagan emphasized the dangers of nuclear war and the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Most presidential historians view the events surrounding that 1976 convention as the launching pad for Reagan's ascent to national prominence and big victory in 1980, none of which may have happened had the party had such a tight grip on the way nominees were decided. 


A young Ron Paul supporter exemplifying silenced liberty

Photo by Brian David Braun

The rule changes adopted this week will bind delegates in all 50 states to vote for the winner of their state’s Republican primary at future conventions. Currently, each state party sets its own rules for sending delegates to the party’s national convention. Some state parties’ delegates are “bound” to vote for the winner of the state primary or caucus. Other state parties send “unbound” delegates, with state party rules that allow them to “vote their conscience” on the convention floor.

Many Paul supporters see little difference between

the establishment candidates.

photo by Brian David Braun

The new rules will also allow the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee to choose which delegates are sent from each state party to the national convention, instead of allowing each state party to determine its own rules and process for selecting delegates.

Let's say Mitt Romney wins the general election in November, but faces internal opposition in 2016, as Ford did in 1976 or President Carter did in 1980. The new rules would allow his campaign to unilaterally silence inside opposition by stacking state delegations to the convention with his supporters.

Former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele told the Daily Show that he saw no upside for the RNC's treatment of Paul's supporters.

"What the Republican National Committee did to Ron Paul was the height of rudeness and stupidity for this reason," he said in a Daily show interview. "Why would you alienate an individual who has the ability to attract a new generation of voters, who are already skeptical of your institution but are willing to at least listen through the vehicle of this individual and the words that he is saying? Why would you alienate them, get on the floor and not let them speak? Not have his name go up on the board and see the number of electoral votes that he receives? This is crazy! ... They are afraid of that which they cannot control."


also by Dennis Maley:

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised... or Printed... or Mentioned on the Radio


Boots on the Ground at Zuccotti Park

Follow Dennis on Facebook


see also:

Ron Paul Delegates Refuse to be Ignored at RNC

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If you think the message of Ron Paul has been squashed now, just you wait. The mainstream corporate media complex has shut it down for this election cycle and will work to complete the process for good in the next four years. Authors of articles like this will be the first to disappear when the collapse comes. Google "Brandon Raub" for a preview.
Posted by Jim Hamilton on September 4, 2012

Excellent article.
Posted by joy sujecki on September 3, 2012

I have roundly criticized much of what you write. However, this time you've got it covered. The GOP, of which I am an executive committee member, has blatantly attempted to commit suicide and in the process, just like in 1976 and 1992 and 1996 and 2008 (with an almost in 2000) proven their propensity for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
Posted by Tad MacKie on September 2, 2012

It was very evident that the reason Ron Paul acquired the number of delegates he did was because most people do not understand the caucus state processes. If they did, they would have attended the meetings and conventions to become a delegate for who they supported. But, they don't. They just pull the lever and go home thinking the winner of the beauty contest is who will be nominated by the delegates. Not true. It's all up to those who put in the time and effort to listen to the candidates at the conventions and are willing to spend the money necessary to go to the national convention. If, they change the rules so that the delgates votes no longer matter except for who the primary voters choose, then next years convention will be very empty. Or, will contain only wealthy people and no grass roots people and it won't be long after that that the party disolves due to disinterest by the public at large.
Posted by C4LCNCPLS on September 1, 2012

Thank you for your excellent article.
Posted by Milan Pivnick on September 1, 2012

Sounds like it fits the legal description of kidnapping. Has anyone considered filing a criminal charges?
Posted by Darryl Schmitz on September 1, 2012

The voice vote that should have been declared as undetermined was decided BEFORE the nays were vocalized! See the video of the teleprompter for proof
Posted by steven mcclendon on September 1, 2012

Thank you, Dennis, for a fantastic, accurate and insightful article! I would like to also note that Ron Paul will be on the Jay Leno Tonight Show, the evening of September 4th. There's much speculation of some sort of an announcement being made during his appearance. My speculation is that he may call for an audit of the GOP, specifically with regards to the 2012 primary activities. A great many others are speculating that he may announce a third party run, possibly with Gary Johnson on the Libertarian ticket. One thing is for sure... we darn sure better get back on the track of liberty and some sane economic/monetary and foreign policies before we have a monetary collapse that will make the last 8 years seem like a nice walk in the park.
Posted by David Kleber on September 1, 2012

Ron Paul. God bless you for trying to save this Great country USA. The colors of the RNC are known by the creator and their future is traveling faster and faster to the dark side, Where they will be Trapped forever. Soon We Will All Be Free thanks to Men and Women like You. Thank You from a little kid who is a remote viewer.
Posted by Gene Yukich on September 1, 2012

Finally, some COVERAGE of this horrendous RNC convention behavior! Thank you! The rightfully elected Ron Paul delegates should be filing a class action lawsuit against the RNC immediately. It's easy to see how us citizens will be "heard" by Romney and his camp after the way they blew through the split voice vote. In fact, check out the teleprompter Boehner was reading during the "vote":

This should be ALL over the news, yet it's not. Why not? Because corporations run the media and corporations have both Obama and Romney in their pockets. A man like Ron Paul would be the ultimate threat to them. Bottom line, if it's not Ron Paul, it doesn't matter who you choose in November. Obama = Romney. For them, it's all about lobbyists and money, neither one cares one bit about you or me.
Posted by Elizabeth Stouts on September 1, 2012

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