BREAKING: Maine’s Ron Paul Delegates Reject Webster’s Compromise, Setting Up Messy GOP Convention

Posted on August 7, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

“I say: SEAT MAINE’S DELEGATION … Enough is enough … Republicans are supposed to stand against wrong and stand up for right … The idea of standing up for right is what gave birth to this Party.

Seat our delegation … Do what is right and then let’s focus on the target … Restoring our economy to prosperity, returning to the Constitutional principles that founded this nation and served her well until the 1930s and regaining the moral authority that made the Republican Party something I was proud to be a part of.

We have a choice. We can either be the Party of principle, or we can be the Party of pettiness.

I am watching and so are many others … Seat our delegation and save this once Grand Ole Party”
Ray Richardson

A few weeks ago, the Maine Ron Paul delegates sent a notice of contest to the RNC (see pdf below). The RNC, via Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster, responded to those delegates over the weekend with the following compromise offer:

1. A majority of the delegates sign a statement agreeing that, if Ron Paul is not on the ballot, they will vote at the Convention for Mitt Romney.

2. Instead of Brent Tweed, Charlie Webster or Paul LePage would serve as the spokesperson for the delegation and announce the votes cast for president. That spokesperson would also handle all media on behalf of the Maine delegation.

3. There will be nothing negative said about Mitt Romney or positive said about Obama (especially to media).

4. The Delegation will be admitted to the Convention, and to all committee assignments, without barrier.

5. The Contest brought by Jan Staples and Peter Cianchette will be withdrawn.

Now comes word that those same delegates have said “no deal” to Webster:

Supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul rejected a compromise from the chairman of Maine’s Republican party, raising the stakes in a political showdown that could result in the state losing its coveted delegate seats during the upcoming Republican National Convention.

In May, Ron Paul supporters showed up in large numbers to the Maine GOP and elected 20 Paul backers to the state’s 24 delegate seats. But Mitt Romney and some members of the state GOP are challenging the results, and say in-fighting could result in Maine delegates not being seated at the Republican National Convention later this month.

Later this week, a committee of Republican leaders from around the country will meet in Washington, D.C., to begin considering what role, if any, Maine’s 24-member delegation will play at the GOP national convention where Mitt Romney is expected to be formally nominated.

CD Maine Delegates and Alternates Notice of Contest

The press release from the Ron Paul delegates:

Maine’s Elected Republican National Delegates Say “No Deal” to Their Challengers

Portland, Maine, August 7, 2012 – By unanimous vote of those present, the 40 contested members of the Maine Delegation to the Republican National Convention being held this month in Tampa, Florida, did not accept a deal put forward by Charles Webster, State GOP Chairman.

Brent Tweed, the elected Chairman for the Delegation, notes that the proposal would have required the delegates to sign a binding pledge to cast their votes for Mitt Romney at the Republican National Convention if Ron Paul did not appear on the ballot.

Speaking on the decision, Tweed said, “We were rightfully elected by the Republicans of Maine to represent them as unbound delegates in Tampa. It is unreasonable for the Republican Party at either the national or state level, or for any campaign for President, to attempt to pressure the Maine Delegation to vote any particular way. 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.”

Additionally, the proposal would have required elected Delegation Chairman Tweed to relinquish his responsibility as spokesman for the Delegation. According to Tweed, the Delegation Chair is traditionally the individual who announces the votes cast by the State Delegation, but the proposal requires that the responsibility be given to a delegate who supports Mitt Romney.

Webster said the contest would be withdrawn providing the Delegation members agreed to a deal he reportedly brokered with the Mitt Romney Campaign, according to Tweed.

Both Governor LePage and National Committeeman Rick Bennett have stated their support for the Delegation. LePage’s office stated last week, “Governor Paul LePage stands behind Maine Republican National Committeeman Rick Bennett’s position that all Maine Delegates should be seated at the Republican National Convention.”

Many elected members of the State Legislature have signed a petition requesting the withdrawal of the contest, including Senator Lois Snowe-Mello (R-Auburn), Rep. Aaron Libby (R-Waterboro), Rep. Rich Cebra (R-Naples), Rep. Beth O’Connor (R-Berwick), Rep. Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester), Rep. Ryan Harmon (R-Palermo), Rep. Mike McClellan (R-Raymond) and Rep. Stacey Guerin (R-Glenburn).

Snowe-Mello was on the Romney slate of Delegates at the State GOP Convention in May but states, “I feel that we should allow the people who were elected to attend the National Convention to represent our State Republicans. These are folks who believe in the founding principles of our forefathers. We should be proud that they are Republicans and are our future. I stand by the Governor and Rick Bennett.”

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