AZ and OK state conventions end in chaos as insiders try to derail Paul delegate strategy
Source: Steve Watson
GOP state conventions in Arizona and Oklahoma ended in chaos this past weekend as establishment insiders did everything within and beyond their power to prevent Ron Paul walking away with more delegates to the national convention.
With Paul picking up recent victories at state conventions in Iowa, Nevada, Maine, Louisiana, and Massachusetts, Romney supporters, along with GOP committeemen set out to stop Paul supporters from having any influence over the delegate election process by shutting down the conventions and falsely claiming victories.
In Arizona, Romney supporters accused Paul activists of booing Josh Romney, Mitt Romney’s son, and disrupting his speech. The mainstream media ran with the claim, suggesting that boisterous Paul fans forced Romney to cut short his speech, jeering him off the stage.
In reality, as this video proves, Romney received respectful applause when he ‘officially’ ended the speech, and was only booed when, in blatant violation of party rules, he attempted to return to the podium and promote his father’s officially endorsed slate.
As the convention progressed, the dirty tricks against Paul supporters, who were present in vast numbers, gathered pace.
Paul supporters complained that they were being moved back and forth between convention halls and the main floor in a deliberate attempt to confuse the proceedings. During this confusion, several Paul supporters complained that Romney supporters were engaging in ballot stuffing.
It was also reported that two attendees standing as Ron Paul delegate candidates were physically assaulted by Romney supporters on the convention floor.
As it became more clear that Paul supporters were extremely well organized and prepared to win the day for their candidate, strange occurrences began to happen.
Warren Woodward, an attendee at the convention writes:
I was elected as a delegate. This was surprising since no one, not even me, voted for me.
Another person was also elected for whom no one voted. Leadership was reluctant to do anything about this anomaly at first but enough people yelled. I heard something about how the Republican leadership had cheaped out on the voting tabulating equipment. I don’t know if that’s true but in any case the ballots had been misread and in both cases the election really went to the person below the “winner”. So from there on everything had to be hand counted which took forever and was not performed in plain view.
Woodward also noted that all candidates were listed in alphabetical order except Romney’s slate which always appeared at the top on all ballots.
The establishment backed chairman then decided that enough was enough and shut down the convention altogether before voting had finished, saying that it would be finished at a later date, possibly by mail.
This caused chaos and prompted the remaining attendees to elect a new chairman and hold a new vote outside the building:
Voting from this gathering indicated that Ron Paul won 11 of the 18 available delegate slots, however, no one knows the official results from the Arizona convention, and it is unclear if they ever will.
If you thought it couldn’t get any worse you’d be wrong, as the convention in Oklahoma reached an even more farcical conclusion.
Paul supporters, who made up around 50% of the attendees, complained that entire sections of the convention hall had been walled off and they couldn’t get any access.
Paul campaign senior adviser Doug Wead also noted on his blog that several other dirty tricks against Paul supporters came into play, that eventually caused the convention to adjourn in much the same fashion as the Arizona meeting:
“Frightened that the Ron Paul delegates had become the majority in the convention, the establishment GOP, running the event, used its own errors in the Credentials Report to stall the convention for several hours. On the premise that the time for the convention hall rental was coming to an end they refused to hold a final vote on credentials or to acknowledge the calls for a roll call vote on the Delegates and Alternates as required under the rules.”
The GOP insiders essentially ignored votes from the floor altogether, shut down the convention, and claimed that they had won 96% of the vote, despite the fact that Ron Paul supporters made up around half of the attendees.
“Paul delegates who had give up weeks and months of their lives to get elected as delegates at the precinct and county levels were scandalized… Challenges will surely follow.” Doug Wead wrote.
Just as in Arizona, another symbolic convention was held in the parking lot:
It was also reported that during this time some Romney supporters physically assaulted Ron Paul supporters:
As we reported last week, two separate incidents captured on video revealed desperate attempts by Mitt Romney operatives to divide and disrupt official Ron Paul endorsed delegate slates by handing out fake ballots to attendees at the state conventions in Nevada and Maine.
It is clear that GOP insiders are frightened to death that well organized Ron Paul supporters are operating within the rules to win delegates for their candidate and ultimately influence the national GOP convention.