2 votes

Ron Paul : The war against his delegates, and against his importance

Ron Paul : The war against his delegates, and against his importance

Brian Doherty | July 12, 2012

GQ focuses on the Republican Party's shoddy treatment and eventual booting of elected delegates from Massachusetts for the crime of supporting Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Highlights:

as enterprising Paul supporters in several states have discovered...Paulites [can] run for—and win—those [delegate] slots, so long as they pledge to vote for Romney on the first ballot. [Ed] Rombach and his cohorts formed what they called the Liberty Slate, and wouldn't you know it, they won 35 of the state's 54 openings. In many cases they beat out party big shots like Kerry Healey, Romney's lieutenant governor and an advisor on his campaign. Each of the Paul delegates had pledged to uphold the rules and vote for Romney on the first ballot.

All good, right? Americans getting involved in the process and following the rules to enliven and strengthen our democracy? Yes?

No. Several weeks after the caucuses, all of the winning Liberty Slate delegates got letters in the mail from the state Republican party, demanding they sign an enclosed affidavit, swearing "under pain and penalty of perjury" to vote for Romney at the convention. Signed, notarized copies were to be returned to party headquarters by a date and time certain. The Paulites didn't like the smell of this: Mass GOP had never required an affidavit before, nor had anyone mentioned one at the caucuses. And the wording of the document seemed overly severe. What if Romney for some reason were to drop out before August? Would the Liberty Delegates then be perjuring themselves by voting for someone else? They long ago accepted that Ron Paul won't be president—Rombach actually used those words with me— and their goals for Tampa were more modest. They wanted to contribute to the visibility of the Paul minority and support the addition of platform planks concerning Paul's top issues, the Fed and undeclared wars. The affidavit exercise seemed beside the point.