Chaos at the Convention

Posted Tuesday, August 28, 2012 in Politics

Chaos at the Convention

Ron Paul on the convention floor.

by Gina Hamilton

TAMPA, Florida -- Ron Paul supporters attempted to nominate their candidate, in accordance with Republican National Committee rules, on the floor of the nominating convention on Tuesday.  Five state committees had a plurality for Ron Paul, with two other states' delegations being kept out of the convention center and held on buses.

Ron Paul walked into the convention hall at 2 p.m., to chants of "Liberty!" and "USA!" as well as "Let him speak!"

The chants also came as the Romney campaign was still trying to put down a grassroots rebellion against the Romney campaign's effort to change arcane party rules that, activists say, would protect “establishment’’ presidential candidates from insurgent challengers ... like Ron Paul.  In the end, the committee allowed the changes to proceed on a voice vote, despite persistant calls by Paul supporters for the parliamentarian to rule on points of order.

Five states or voting bodies are required to place a candidate's name into consideration, according to current rules.  The Ron Paul supporters say they have a plurality of votes in six voting bodies: Nevada, Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon, Alaska, and the Virgin Islands.  The Secretary of the Convention, Kim Reynolds, was presented with the forms over an hour before the call for nominations. Two other states' (Virginia and Rhode Island) delegates were refused admittance to the convention during the attempt to change the rules to exclude challengers from being nominated. 

In the meantime, 10 Maine delegates, who had supported Ron Paul, abruptly left the convention around 4:20 p.m. Twenty delegates who backed Paul were elected during the state convention in May, but their election was challenged by Romney supporters who claimed that party and parliamentary rules were violated.  The committee awarded 10 of the Paul delegate seats to Romney supporters. 

The Maine delegates had hoped to take their case to the full convention, but they were denied the opportunity, as the Credential Committee report was passed. The Ron Paul faction then walked off the floor of the convention.

Minutes later, during the roll call, the remaining delegation voted 14 for Romney, and 10 for Paul, even though those delegates had already left the building.

So far, the Republican Convention has not been the unifying event the Romney camp hoped for.  The first day was canceled by Hurricane Isaac, and the second day has been met by protests outside the convention hall, in spite of the weather, and protests within the convention hall.

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