Paul plot

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John McCain has enough delegates to win the Republican nomination on the first ballot. All other candidates have either withdrawn or suspended their campaigns, conceding to McCain.

That appears to be the case, based on primary results and on the rules, which vary from state to state, that allocate delegates based on the primary results. But some hardcore Ron Paul supporters don't see it that way. They still have hope of getting the nomination for "the only man who can save America," and they have a strategy for making it happen.

You see, in Oklahoma and in many other states, there's no connection between the primary vote and the selection of the men and women who will go to the national convention as delegates and alternates. State law requires that our delegates vote at the national convention for the candidate supported by a plurality of primary voters in the state or in each congressional district. Based on that law, six members of the Oklahoma delegation are bound to Mike Huckabee and 32 are bound to John McCain.

But the campaigns don't select the delegates who will cast those votes. The delegates and alternates are elected by the five congressional district conventions (3 delegates and 3 alternates each) and the state convention (on May 3, electing 23 delegates and 23 alternates). For example, if I ran for delegate in this Saturday's 1st Congressional District Convention and was elected, I would be bound to vote for Mike Huckabee at the national convention even though I had been a Fred Thompson supporter. If Huckabee formally withdrew and released his delegates, he would encourage his delegates to rally around McCain, but I would be free to vote for Thompson, myself, or anyone else.

The Ron Paul plan is to exploit this situation by flooding these conventions, being stealthy about their intentions, running for delegate positions but not identifying themselves as Ron Paul supporters. They will try to elect their people to uncommitted seats (principally in caucus states) or to delegate positions that are bound to candidates that have withdrawn or suspended their campaigns. In some states they will seek to alter the party rules so that all delegates are unbound, notwithstanding the primary result, then elect their people to the delegate positions. In other states, the delegates will be unbound if no candidate has a majority on the first ballot at the convention. If they can break off enough delegates from McCain using these strategies to deny him a majority on the first ballot, many more delegates will be released to vote for whomever they wish. This web page, "Ron Paul will STILL win, the GOP can't possibly STOP US ALL!" lines out the strategy:

So, lets lay it out REALLY simple. How can YOU become a delegate? FIRST thing you need to do right NOW is to call your local county GOP, pay up your dues ($25/yr for me), and tell them that you want to become a delegate. Tell them that the reason you want to is because you don't want to see either Hillary or Obama as your president. The last thing you want to do is mention Dr. Paul. If you have to LIE, tell them you support McCain, then if you make it to state just say you changed your mind! Be cordial, and ask also if there is any way you can help or volunteer. My last meetup group was VERY informative. It was explained to me that the GOP is just a SHELL of itself. The APATHY of the voting process in many states has taken it's toll on the Republican Party. What this means is that voter apathy, while once thought of as our biggest obstacle, is now our ACE IN THE HOLE my fellow revolutionaries! We can TAKE OVER the Republican Party, quite easily, and UN-BIND the delegates in our respective states (this is one of the policies that delegates vote on) and nominate Dr. Paul at the Republican National Convention!

A reader has forwarded to me a link to a site called Ron Paul Exposed, with a list of the members of the Oklahoma Ron Paul Meetup group and excerpts from some of the group's chats about convention strategy. So far the Ron Paul people have dominated two congressional district conventions here in Oklahoma, getting several of their people elected as delegates and alternates to the national convention.

Remember that Paul only received 3.34% of the vote in the presidential preference primary. He received about 20% of the vote in a straw poll taken during the Tulsa County precinct caucuses. His supporters will succeed in getting elected as delegates only if the non-Ron Paul supporters don't bother to show up at the convention, assuming that this year's conventions will be like past years'.

Less than 5% of Republican primary voters nationwide supported Paul. It would take years, probably decades, of concerted effort to transform public opinion to line up with his views. Paul's supporters should run for office, volunteer for campaigns and to man party headquarters, and otherwise participate in public life. They should ally with other political groups when a common goal can be found. It took 16 years for conservatives to get from Barry Goldwater's landslide defeat to Ronald Reagan's landslide victory and even then Reagan's ability to change Washington was limited.

Ron Paul's supporters are welcome to participate in the convention process. If they do so in a constructive and open way, they can have an influence on the future direction of the party. If they instead use stealth and deception, they will fail and in the process demolish any possibility of building coalitions and moving incrementally toward the kind of changes they seek.

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A subdued mood prevailed Saturday as 857 delegates convened at FirstMoore Baptist Church for the 2016 Oklahoma Republican Convention. (The 2012 convention drew approximately 1,400 delegates.) The state convention in a presidential year has a national f... Read More

14 Comments

meeciteewurkor said:

Good comments, Michael.
I think Paul supporters are utilizing this strategy, because they - like me - think we're fast approaching a crisis in our country. It's almost like a war without arms.

They believe we're standing at a cliff and the whole nation is about to fall right off it.

Paul supporters are not the only Republicans that lie, cheat, present half-truths, or play politics. My experience suggests that any Repub that's been in office more than a year plays this silly game.

If I see Ron Paul on my ballot, he will get my vote. This country needs a good shake-down.

Paul Tay said:

Paul Plot?! Where at? BRING IT. It's really no different than the scam on the American voters perpetuated all these years by BOTH the Repugs and the Yellow Dogs.

We've been fed a hall of smoke and mirrors. All the power to the Paulies.

D said:

Why are these tactics any more or less valid than the tactics of party old-timers who have run the party into the ground? Look at your party platform and see how closely those elected to office actually follow it.

Did you know that during the American revolution, the country was roughly evenly divided 1/3 pro-revolution, 1/3 against, and 1/3 pro-British? Sometimes it takes an activist minority to spur necessary change.

I agree that Paul supporters also need to run for offices at all levels government, not just the presidency, if they wish to have a long-lasting impact. That is, in fact, where the majority of government should be performed, at the local and state level.

Orat said:

It is the right of every member of the Republican Party, of which I have been a member since the beginning, to participate fully in "the official affair and government of the Republican Party" (Oklahoma GOP rule 3(a)).

You wonder at why Ron Paul supporters are being "stealthy". Perhaps it is precisely because people like you act like they are "invading" by exercizing their right to participate. I will have you know that party officials around the state, from as early as BEFORE the precinct caucuses, would ask Republicans who they supported for President, and if they answered Ron Paul, would fail to call them back with the information they needed to attend their meetings. That is exclusionary and violates rule 3(a) of the Oklahoma GOP rules, and under such rule is grounds for the removal of any such official.

As soon as this began to happen, they realized that the only way they would be allowed to participate equally is to not say who they supported.

On the other hand, I have been to 3 District conventions so far, and have not seen a single candidate for National Delegate state who they supported as President -- not a single Huckabee, Romney, or McCain supporter. So why do you accuse only Ron Paul people of being deceptive by not saying who they supported? The only explanation for this double standard is that you view Ron Paul supporters as second-class Republicans.

This brings me to the subject of how many claim the Ron Paul supporters are splitting the party. I submit to you that it is people like YOU who are splitting the party. Ron Paul supporters are trying to reach out to other true, principled, conservative Republicans within the party. A close friend of mine joined a Republican meetup group full of Huckabee supporters. She openly identified herself as having been a Ron Paul supporter, and stated her intention to unify with other principled conservatives. In a short time, she was told that she was part of a deceptive movement and compared her to a terrorist, then kicked her out of their group.

THAT is who is splitting the party. We are life-long Republicans being pushed away because certain people don't think we have a right to support a certain other Republican candidate. I for one am fed up with this kind of division.

We have done nothing dishonest or deceptive. We have done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment from fellow Republicans. Yes, there are millions of us and eventually you'll be able to find some post somewhere on the internet from someone saying whatever it is you'd like them to say to support your little conspiracy theory about Ron Paul supporters. But I can tell you that we as a group have no deceptive agenda, nor have we conducted ourselves in such a manner. If we have not been open about our support for Ron Paul, it is only because we have been persecuted and excluded for that support.

Those in the party who are excluding us, however, have broken state rules, RNC rules, have lied about us in the press, have forged documents and then blamed them on us, the list goes on. But I don't see you writing any blog posts about that.

I'm not sure that Rep. Paul would support this effort (disclosure: he got my 1988 presidential vote) but it would make the Republican convention more interesting. And I really like a good televised "knife fight", as this week's Newsweek called the Democratic convention.

I'm still voting for McCain, because he served in a combat zone and I think that's valuable in a commander-in-chief. Of course, that means he will lose since the combat vet hasn't won since 1988.

D said:

I just had to post again after reading the paranoid diatribe at the Ron Paul EXPOSED link in Michael's article.

It is EXACTLY this kind of comment that proves the need for dramatic change in the party:
"Being a newbie IS NOT the proper qualification for such a public position... we don't know what they might do!!!"

So "newbie"s to the convention procress need not apply? The blogger also bravely posts the names of Ron Paul meetup members so that the party regulars can be on the lookout for the scoundrels.

Please - ask yourself what the "grand" old party has done for smaller government and individual liberty since the Repbulican revolution of 1994. Six years of Congressional control, and another six of both Congress and the White House. When I see the results, I fear the status quo more than anything.

Twatch said:

Michael:

If a stealthy method was being employed by some of those in the 65% that didn't vote for McCain then it’s wrong. But I think this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black given the stealthy actions of the rules and credentials committee run by the Party stalwarts of which my information says you were a part.

Ken, there was no stealth involved. I was appointed as a member of the rules committee. The rules committee is appointed by the 1st District Chairman, who has no obligation to appoint someone to the committee just because he or she signs up for it. The job of the rules committee is to ensure that things are done "decently and in order," that everyone has a fair opportunity to be heard, and that at the end of the day the will of the majority of the delegates is accomplished. When additional people requested to be on the committee, they were added, which has now given them the opportunity to present a minority rules committee report to the convention.

The only significant change in this year's rules involves the requirement to submit a declaration of candidacy in advance of the convention. This has not been a hindrance to participation: There are 25 candidates for delegate, 28 candidates for alternate, and 15 candidates for elector, compared to 5, 5, and 3, respectively, in 2004. Having an advance list of candidates is making it possible to provide the candidate bio sheets to the delegates, to allot enough time for all the candidates, and to have the ballots printed and available at registration. In 2004, I had to zip out to Kinko's during the long lunch break and hope everything could be ready by the time we reconvened.

I hope that every candidate for delegate and alternate will declare for whom they intend to vote if Mike Huckabee releases his delegates. (Our three 1st District delegates are bound to Huckabee.) I hope every candidate for elector will declare whether or not they will vote for the Republican nominees for president and vice president.

BuckeyeState said:

Well Mr. Bates, whomever you are, thank you for letting me know that as a Republican, I'm not wanted and I'm acting "sneaky" because I decided to choose a Republican nomination that the mainstream media was telling me not to vote for.

The Republican party was split long before Dr. Paul ever entered the race and it's insulting for anyone to say that he will split a party that's already split! Quit being delusional and accept it!

Ronald Reagan once said that he didn't leave the Democratic Party, the party left him. I feel the same way about the Republican party. I didn't choose to leave, the party left me. The Republican party is nothing like what it used to be before. The Democratic party is being overtaken by extreme-left wingers and the Republican party has been hijacked by extreme right wingers with an agenda.

Harry Rockefeller Author Profile Page said:

Mike, I appreciate all the hard work and long hours you put into the republican party. Without capable volunteers like you the GOP wouldn't get off the ground. Your posts on Tulsa politics are not just insightful but essential. I want to thank you even for this post and agree with you about "rule of law" being most important. However, I find myself believing, like meeciteewurkor who said "They [Paul supporters] believe we're standing at a cliff and the whole nation is about to fall right off it." A student of history understands that voluntary cultural change which includes all positive steps takes place incrementally. The only sudden ones are the 'falling off a cliff" changes.

Thinking outside the box, what if the Stearns banking/mortgage problem had already caused an economic meltdown? What if China and the rest of the world decide to sell their "dollars"? What if a huge skeleton is pulled out of McCain's closet, or he contracts a terminal illness (not highly improbably considering his age), or worse yet, he dies a sudden, maybe mysterious, death (not too far fetched considering the Clinton's past)? Who will be in a position to run against the democratic nominee?

Put yourself in a college-student's shoes. What money will be required in 50 years for a 20-year old today to retire securely? Can any of us predict what inflation effects will be in 50 years? What will government social security provide for retirees then? What other presidential candidate has credible answers?

Gary said:

Hi Michael,
You said:
"Ken, there was no stealth involved."
I must respectfully disagree with you. There was much stealth involved. The first meeting of the rules committee was held entirely in secret where the committee thought it necessary to violate state rule 15(c) and change the process by which a delegate must apply after Sept. of the previous year in a presidential election cycle.
The second meeting was also in secret. It was by pure chance that we out about it and where its location was. My wife was one who attended and arrived there early. She was treated like a leper by most of the committee when they arrived and sat by herself until other non-invited guests showed up. The only reason the other guests were allowed to join the committee is because there was no representation from any of the other counties in the district in the commitee. Only a few hand picked Tulsa County delegates were assigned to this commitee. Mr Tidwell from John Sullivan's campaign was EXCEPTIONALLY rude to my wife and the District Chair gave them nothing but dirty looks and a bad attitude.
Had the others not shown up and forced their way into the committe, the committee would have passed retro-active binding rules on all the delegates who wanted to run for national delegate. The deadline proposed by the committee was set to be 10 days before the convention, which would have been 4 days after the meeting. No minutes were kept which was also a violation of state rules, and none was produced at numerous requests by other delegates.
If there is a reason why Ron Paul supporters/delegates have had to be covert, it is exactly because of these types of unethical actions by leaders in the GOP. People in our group have been kicked out of positions in Washington County. We've had people spray painting our candidates name all over town in attempt to tarnish our image. We've been persecuted and treated like unwanted step-children by some in the party. And do you really wonder why we've reclused to ourselves?! It was not by choice, I'll tell you that. We have reached out to the party on more than one occasion and the only people who haven't bit our hand off and slammed the door in our face were Joy and Don.
While I have a great respect for your writings, I have always enjoyed them and agreed with your views most of the time, I am surprised that you would defend illegal actions, rule violations, secrecy, exclusionary tactics, and a lack of moral integrity. I really am surprised. Don't tell these people something that isn't true. My wife and several people I know were at that meeting and I got to hear all about it when she got home, so don't deny that stealth was not involved in this committee. It most certainly was.

Gary said:

I also wanted to comment on the end of your article which reads:
"Ron Paul's supporters are welcome to participate in the convention process. If they do so in a constructive and open way, they can have an influence on the future direction of the party. If they instead use stealth and deception, they will fail and in the process demolish any possibility of building coalitions and moving incrementally toward the kind of changes they seek."

How about we rewrite that to suit the people that it should really apply to.

"Certain leaders and members of the GOP are welcome to participate in the convention process. If they do so in a constructive and open way, they can have an influence on the future direction of the party. If they instead use stealth and deception, they will fail and in the process demolish any possibility of building a coalition with Ron Paul supporters (and anyone else with integrity in the party) and move toward the kind of changes they seek."


Nevertheless, Gary, you were included as a candidate for Delegate, Alternate, and Elector. You and your fellow candidates were all given an equal opportunity to address the convention. What I'm wondering is why you and your allies weren't completely open about your intentions when you spoke to the convention as candidates. Why not come right out and say, "If elected I intend to vote for Ron Paul at the Republican National Convention / in the Electoral College"? Or "If elected I will support a platform plank calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq"? At the point that you're a certified candidate for party office, it makes no sense to claim that you have to be secret about your allegiance for fear of being cheated out of an opportunity to participate. Keeping your intentions secret at that point does a disservice to the voters.

I'll also mention that you, your wife, and a number of other Ron Paul supporters were full participants in the Tulsa County Convention Rules Committee, which I chaired. I even allowed Ryan Underwood to participate as a member, even though he wasn't on the list of committee members.

One more thing: Are you claiming that some GOP leader has been spraying Ron Paul's name on bridge abutments in an attempt to smear Paul and his supporters? Wouldn't it be more reasonable to assume that some overenthusiastic Paul supporter was committing vandalism?

Gary said:

And I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate in that process. It was one of the most wonderful experiences in my adult life. I am proud to be a member of this party. If I had not run out of time there would've been no doubt whom I would've supported if Huckabee releases his delegates. In fact, several people asked me before I gave my speech and I responded honestly and truthfully. Besides that I was passed a flier that had all the names of the Ron Paul supporters running as national delegates during the convention and my name was at the top of the list. Not only that, there was a Huckabee supporter yelling out "GO, Ron Paul" after each one of us spoke. I knew I was "outted" as a Ron Paul supporter days before and I was honestly relieved. So, given all that information I don't think there was any disservice to the delegates voting.
The Rules committe fiasco was a clear example of what we have been facing over the last few months. The spray paint comment was in NO way directed at the GOP, but was just to show what trials we have had to deal with in fighting for credebility. Some in the party have been absolutely wonderful to us. Some have not.
It doesn't make any sense to be secretive, you're right. I hope we never have to operate under the radar. I hope the party will except us with open arms and support us as we support them. I hope we can run for local offices and have the support of the GOP without qualms. I hope I never have to feel like an unwanted step-child because I support the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, fiscal conservativism, economic security, protection of the unborn, family values, nutrition not pharmaceutical addiction, national sovereignty, trade that not just free but fair, and, yes, a strong national defense.
I appreciate your fairness in allowing us to be part of the Rules committee and all you have done for the party. I know you worked very hard tallying the votes at convention and I appreciate your dedication. You were one of the nicest people to work with throughout this convention process and it isn't unnoticed. I look forward to being a part of the future of the GOP and working with you again.
Respectfully yours,
Gary

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 3, 2008 11:45 PM.

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