Foul Play in Maine: Rule Change Allows Establishment Second Chance in Delegate Challenge

“Are right and wrong convertible terms, dependent upon popular opinion?”

William Lloyd Garrison

Once again, the GOP is changing the rules, keeping the challenged Maine delegates in a state of uncertainty.

Maine Republicans Peter Cianchette, Chairman of the Maine Mitt Romney Campaign, and defeated former National Committeewoman Jan Martens Staples, issued a challenge to the Republican National Committee against the elected delegation last month.

Cianchette and Staples claim that issues with procedure, incorrect credentialing, and no quorum allowed for the delegation to be elected illegally.

Maine has 21 delegates with seats at risk, all Ron Paul supporters. The challenge is not supported by the majority of GOP leadership in Maine.

Challenges are handled by the Committee on Contests, who are expected to rule either in favor or against the challenge, according to RNC rules.

No evidence of fraud, ballot tampering, or cheating has been found in this case, so by National GOP rules, the delegation should be seated.

However, the Committee on Contests has failed to issue a ruling, instead changing the rules to allow the challengers a second chance to prove their case against the Maine delegation. This is a rules change that has a large impact. The change gives the opposition the opportunity to “gather” (or potentially fabricate) evidence of wrongdoing.

At the state convention, the “fraud” was from the other side. Paul delegates confronted a Romney operative after he was found to be passing out fake “Liberty Slates”. You can view the video here:

Fraud in Maine

The Committee issued a request on Friday for a full hearing.

Charlie Webster, Chairman of the Maine Republican Party, tried to “compromise” with the delegation, issuing a list of demands to which the delegates would be required to adhere to in order to be seated in Tampa. Here is that list:

First, they would have to sign a statement promising to cast their vote for Mitt Romney if Ron Paul’s name was not on the ballot at the convention.

Second, Brent Tweed (a Paul supporter) would have to step aside and Webster or state Governor Paul LePage would act as spokesman for the Maine delegation and announce its vote for president at the convention. Additionally, the newly appointed spokesman would do all the talking for the delegation, especially to the media.

Third, the delegation would be forbidden from saying anything negative about Mitt Romney or positive about Barack Obama.

Fourth, in return for the foregoing commitments, the Maine delegation would be granted full access at the convention, including to all committee assignments.

Fifth, the challenge to the delegates’ election at the state convention would be dropped.

These demands were unacceptable and the entire delegation (including the 20 alternates) refused to accede to the GOP Establishment’s demands.

(as reported by The New American)

The delegation rejected the compromise.

Convention Chairman Brent Tweed did not feel Webster’s “compromise” was in the best interests of the Maine Republican Party.

“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,” stated Tweed.

“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.”

In the caucus, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney came within 2% of each other in voting totals. Maine’s delegates are not bound to a particular candidate.

Maine’s governor, Paul Le Page, is standing by his delegates, though he does not support Paul. He told Ray Richardson, conservative talk show host on WLOB 1310 in Portland, that he would boycott the convention if the delegates weren’t seated.

Richardson told the Maine Sun Journal,””I spoke with him (Le Page)  on the phone at 9:13 a.m. and he told me if Maine’s delegates were not going to be seated, then he would not be going.”

Richardson posted this to his Facebook page:

“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 permission to make this public.”

Eric Brakey, Chairman of Defense of Liberty PAC, wants to make sure that delegates know that their vote matters.

“At this moment this is not a legal fight, it is a moral fight. It is a fight to stand up to the powers that be at the GOP and for us to tell them clearly, ‘We will not be bullied into taking a plea deal. We will not play games. We will continue this fight.’”

DOLPAC has set up a survey for delegates to tell the GOP of the sacrifices that they made to attend the convention. You can view the survey here:

Convention Survey

The fact that the Committee on Contests wants more time for evidence to be produced suggests that the case against the delegates doesn’t hold water. If the Republican National Committee and the Romney campaign are so certain that Romney will be nominated, why are they pushing so hard to disqualify delegates?

With no evidence of wrongdoing, Maine could be the tipping point that gives Paul a five state plurality and a prime time speaking spot at the GOP National Convention. With that plurality, Ron Paul could be put on the ballot for the nomination.
Will success in Maine put Paul on the road to the White House?

Human nature itself is evermore an advocate for liberty. There is also in human nature a resentment of injury, and indignation against wrong. A love of truth and a veneration of virtue. These amiable passions, are the “latent spark”… If the people are capable of understanding, seeing and feeling the differences between true and false, right and wrong, virtue and vice, to what better principle can the friends of mankind apply than to the sense of this difference?

John Adams

About angiedavidson75

mama,political activist, cat lover, free thinker
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