Last week Romney supporters sought to try and challenge the seating of Maine’s delegates to the Republican National Convention. Team Romney has been behind the scenes in various states, including Nevada, Arizona and Massachusetts trying to remove official delegates in an attempt to silence those of the liberty caucus who support GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul.
However Maine GOP Chair Charlie Webster made an attempt to compromise with the Ron Paul contingent, but those supporters rejected the compromise. The agreement really was one sided in the fact that it would have bound delegates to vote for Mitt Romney and prevented them from voicing their opinions publicly.
The compromise laid out to Maine National Delegates is as follows:
1. A majority of the delegates sign a statement agreeing that, if Ron Paul is not on the ballot, they will vote at the Convention for Mitt Romney.
2. Instead of Brent Tweed, Charlie Webster or Paul LePage would serve as the spokesperson for the delegation and announce the votes cast for president. That spokesperson would also handle all media on behalf of the Maine delegation.
3. There will be nothing negative said about Mitt Romney or positive said about Obama (especially to media)
4. The Delegation will be admitted to the Convention, and to all committee assignments, without barrier.
5. The Contest brought by Jan Staples and Peter Cianchette will be withdrawn
Now ladies and gentlemen, this is no compromise at all. This is only to benefit Mitt Romney and that is all. It is a stifling of these people’s First Amendment rights to speak their consciences in public and on the floor of the RNC. Personally, I find it offensive that such a thing would even be presented as a “compromise.”
Not only that, but Romney supporters are apparently in favor of unseating Paul delegates, though they are not making the same attempts with Santorum or Gingrich delegates. A.J. Higgins writes:
(Charles) Cragin is a government affairs counselor with an Augusta lobbying firm who has extensive experience in Washington in military affairs and national security. He lost his bid to become chair of the GOP state convention this spring when Paul supporters elected Tweed. He said the Maine challenge to the Paul delegates is the result of a failure between members of the Romney and Paul organizations to reach a compromise. Romney is the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, but Paul’s supporters maintain their candidate still holds a plurality in at least five states. That’s the minimum threshold he must meet in order to be on the ballot at the convention. Paul has not endorsed Romney, nor has he suspended his presidential bid and his supporters want him to have a prominent speaking role at the convention. Cragin said Romney’s supporters do not want their candidate’s victory diminished by a competing message from Paul.
“This is Mitt Romney’s convention,” Cragin said. “He’s the presumptive nominee and he will be the nominee and therefore his folks are very engaged in making determinations as to who will speak at the convention, when they will speak at the convention and to a great extent what they will said when they speak at the convention. So when you’re dealing with outliers, there’s a substantial negotiating process that takes place.”
Outlier is hardly a word that Matt McDonald, a GOP national convention delegate from Belfast and Paul supporter, would use to describe his candidate. He expects all 14 of Maine’s unbound delegates who support Paul will be seated by the convention committee. But Paul’s delegates to the national convention are facing challenges in other states and McDonald said there will be some unhappy people in Tampa if they are not allowed in.
This is the Republican National Convention. It is not Mitt Romney’s convention and the people should have their say at the convention whether Romney supporters like it or not. They don’t want people to disagree with anything that Mitt Romney would say apparently.
Mr. Tweed has it absolutely correct when he said, “The national convention was never intended to be a coronation. It was intended to be the place where the nominee was chosen.” He also went on to point out in a statement that,
“It is unreasonable for the Republican Party at either the national or state level … to attempt to pressure the Maine delegation to vote any particular way. We will not be intimidated into signing political deals under threat of being unseated. We are accountable to the Maine Republicans who elected us, not the Mitt Romney campaign.”
Tea Party leader and Ron Paul delegate Pete “The Carpenter” Harring even took to YouTube fully-eagled to speak out against the proposal.
Today, conservative talk show host Ray Richardson announced on Faceboook that Governor Paul LePage, the only elected member of the delegation not challenged by Romney’s supporters, has announced that he will boycott the convention if the Ron Paul delegates are not seated. From Richardson’s post:
The Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, in a conversation five minutes ago said that if they do not seat the Maine Delegation at the RNC, he will not go. These folks need to be seated.
The Governor gave me explicit permission to make this public.
All I can say is that the Republican National Convention will be sure to be filled with some excitement. The liberty caucus will certainly bring some fireworks to the event and you can be sure they will be heard.
Stay tuned as FreedomOutpost will have our own reporter inside the RNC. Cynthia Kennedy will be reporting for FreedomOutpost. She is not only a national delegate to the convention, but she is also on the National Platform Committee. These will be exclusive reports from from the inside you won’t find anywhere else.