Oklahoma Republican delegates: should Ron Paul contest them?
The Oklahoma Republican convention ended with a contestable official
result, two delegations, and even fisticuffs. The only certain result is
more bad blood than ever between supporters of Ron Paul and Mitt
Two Oklahoma Republican delegations
The Oklahoma Republican primary was a “Super Tuesday” (March 6) primary. At the end
of it, Ron Paul got less than ten percent of the vote, and no
delegates. Rick Santorum got 14 delebates, Mitt Romney 13, and Newt
Gingrich another 13. Three more delegates will be uncommitted.
Last weekend the Oklahoma Republican Party held the convention to choose the delegates. And, as they have done in other States, supporters of Ron Paul sought to choose themselves
as delegates. They hope to deny Mitt Romney a nomination on the first
ballot and perhaps even challenge and overturn the “binding rules” from
the National Convention floor.
Mitt Romney’s supporters do not want that to happen. But after what did happen, no one can claim to have settled anything.
American Vision News has this summary of reports from NewsOK and The Manchester Independent Examiner. Other reports came in from the Associated Press, Catherine Poe of The Washington Times, PolicyMic (two reports, one from Oklahoma and another from Arizona), and The Arizona Republic.
At least 600 Ron Paul supporters (40 percent of total attendees)
showed up at the Oklahoma Republican convention. Tempers flared early.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin spoke to the convention to endorse Mitt
Romney. Ron Paul’s supporters objected to that and cried “Boo!” several
That was only the beginning. Ron Paul supporters, according to
PolicyMic, won 9 of the first 15 delegates. The dispute began as the
convention tried to choose the other 25. Ron Paul supporters charge that
the Oklahoma Republican officials repeatedly set aside the rules. This
provoked a chant of:
Follow the rules! Follow the rules!
Then things got worse:
- At least three Ron Paul supporters said later that some of Mitt
Romney’s supporters struck them with their fists, in the back of the
head or in the small of the back.
- Someone turned off the lights and moved the movable walls to block people’s view of the proceedings.
Finally, the Oklahoma Republican chairman held a voice vote to pick 25 delegates and 25 alternates. The Oklahoma Republican Party rules clearly state that the convention must hold a roll-call vote to pick delegates. They did not. And after picking this slate, they promptly adjourned the convention.
So Ron Paul’s supporters gathered in the parking lot. They contend
that the proceedings inside the convention hall were totally
illegitimate. They cited the voice vote and the highly irregular
adjournment. So they held their own “rump convention” and, according to
the Examiner article, won 95 percent of the delegates.
Will Oklahoma send two delegations to Tampa? Question: does Ron Paul have a good case to contest the "official" delegation and seat his own instead, from whatever sense you can make out of the reports coming out of Norman, OK?
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