Monday, August 20, 2012

Seat the delegation

My political thoughts have begun a couple of weeks earlier than I wanted, but, as I said the other day, events have caused election thoughts into my head.  I still believe the season shouldn't start until its traditional one, Labor Day. 

The Republican National Convention is coming right up and by the time you read this, the decision on the seating of the Maine delegation probably will have been made.  I'm sure anyone interested in these sorts of things already knows the delegation has been challenged.

The vast majority of the delegation consists of delegates supporting the candidacy of Ron Paul for President.  Paul had already dropped out of his run when Maine held its state convention last May.  His supporters, however, continued to believe, and believe to this day, he could sneak in for the nomination in Tampa.  It would be the longest of long shots.

This year's story actually began two years ago during the last Maine convention.  The Paul delegates then were snubbed by the so-called Republican traditionalists as some of the Paul people's suggestions for party reform and platform were ignored.

Not being a "Paulite," I don't know how much planning took place in the last two years, but as local caucuses began last winter, it became apparent the Paulites had become well organized.  I read stories of disruptions in other caucuses, but the one held in our town, which I did attend, did exhibit good planning and organization by the supporters of Ron Paul. 

I know one of the goals of the Paulites was to get delegates elected to the state convention.  Because fewer than the available seats from Scarborough were nominated so the delegation was elected as a whole.  I have no way of knowing how many, if any, of the delegates were Paul people. 

I did not attend the state convention and my only knowledge of events there comes from media reports and other forums and blogs.  If what I read was accurate, and it appears it was, the Paul People took over the convention.  They had the organization, enough delegates, and poor traditional party leadership to easily get their supporters elected as nearly all of the Maine delegation.

A challenge has been filed by a couple of Maine delegates questioning  the legitimacy of the Maine delegation's election.  The Republican National Committee, which is in charge of the Convention in Tampa, will decide this week on whether or not the delegation will be seated.

As I said, I am not a Paul supporter and I did not attend the state convention.  The delegates there, however, did select our representatives to the National Convention.  These men and women, Maine men and women, have paid out a lot of money that many of them didn't have but had to borrow, to be able to attend the Convention and support their candidate.  The RNC should seat them.

The challenge has come from two non-Paul delegates but the others were selected by the Maine convention goers as well.  The pair claims the election was flawed, that the delegate credentials were flawed.  I can't speak to those allegations, but the whole thing now smells a lot like sour grapes.  The Maine Republican Party isn't looking too good over this debacle.

Again...if it hasn't already happened, the delegation should be seated.


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