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Ron Paul delegates very upset by GOP rules change

What young Republicans want; All-Star Game announcement due; Verizon tops service providers; legislative aide’s status at issue; and more.

I remain baffled by what Minnesota’s Ron Paul delegates expected to get out of their trip to Tampa. Baird Helgeson of the Strib paints a rather dramatic picture of the action: “Minnesota’s delegation made up the largest single bloc of Paul support on the convention floor. … The insurgent Paul delegates were vastly outnumbered and constantly beat back by the Romney campaign and convention organizers who did not want a public and embarrassing fight on the convention floor. …  Both sides were locked in frenzied back-room negotiations in the hours leading up to the roll call vote. As a concession, Romney’s campaign offered a prime speaking slot to Paul’s son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. But that was hardly enough — and many Ron Paul supporters remained furious at the convention floor maneuvering by the Romney campaign. Moments before Minnesota delegates cast their votes in front of the cameras and a national audience, Romney supporters came over to hand out campaign blue and white campaign signs that said “Mitt.” Many Minnesota delegates rejected the signs, shaking their heads no. Yelena Vorobyov, a 30-year-old delegate from Apple Valley, said she was furious that convention officials told them they could not bring Paul signs during the floor session, yet hundreds of Romney signs suddenly emerged on the convention floor. ‘They cheat at every level,’ she said.” But now it’s time to fold your tent and support them …

At the Duluth News Tribune, Mike Creger is saying: “Count the grassroots Republican pastor from Mountain Iron as one of the delegates at the Republican National Convention who was livid Tuesday after new convention rules were adopted despite dissent from groups from Minnesota and other states. ‘They absolutely had an unfair process,’ said Kevin Erickson during a break from the floor of the convention in Tampa. ‘I feel like I’ve been thrown by a horse and stomped on by a bull.’ … Paul’s supporters shouted and booed when rules were adopted that would hinder the kind of grassroots campaign that carried Paul to the national convention. In short, Erickson said, those supporting minority candidates are no longer welcome.”

For MPR, Mark Zdechlik writes: “Party leaders say they are confident that now the nomination process is finally over at the convention in Tampa, Fla., the party — even the Ron Paul wing — will unite behind Romney to defeat President Barack Obama in November. But some of the Minnesota delegates say that’s wishful thinking unless the Romney campaign starts to make serious overtures to them. … [Ron Paul state campaign chair Marianne] Stebbins said she thinks the sour relationship could cost Romney the election. ‘The liberty people are watching this, and I know they can control what goes on at the convention; they can script it up and wrap it up with a bow, but they can’t control what’s going on in the street and the liberty movement’s watching this,’ Stebbins said. ‘And a lot of them are still undecided about who they’re going to vote for in November.’ The ‘liberty people’ are the libertarian wing of the Republican Party, the wing that Paul energized with his campaign for massive government budget cuts, elimination of foreign aid and foreign wars, and a hands-off approach to drug enforcement.” Thanks for the clarification.

Michael D. Shear of The New York Times describes the reaction to Speaker John Boehner’s voice vote … but can’t quite ID the noisy crowd in the far-off corner: “Mitt Romney’s supporters passed new rules governing future primaries over the loud boos of Ron Paul supporters and other conservative activists who had objected to what they said was a power grab by the party’s establishment leaders. The House speaker, John A. Boehner, called for a vote on the rules on Tuesday afternoon after Mr. Romney’s advisers said they had reached a compromise with activists on Monday night. When Mr. Boehner called for the ‘ayes,’ the crowd roared in the affirmative. But when he called for the ‘nays’, an even louder ‘no’ echoed through the convention hall, led by supporters of Mr. Paul. Mr. Boehner ignored them, pressing ahead by saying the rules would be adopted ‘without objection,’ even as the crowd continued to roar its disapproval. … The loudest protests on the floor came from the back of the Texas delegation, from delegates in Lone Star shirts and white cowboy hats, and from a group adjacent to them at the far end of the hall to the right of the podium.” I think he’s talking about our people.

Seema Mehta of The Los Angeles Times writes: “Ron Paul supporters at the Republican National Convention erupted in fury Tuesday over decisions that weakened their delegate count and other rule changes that will make it harder for non-establishment candidates in future elections. … Wiselot Rouzard, a delegate from Nevada and a Paul supporter, compared the situation to Adolf Hitler taking power in Germany. ‘There’s nothing American about what just happened,’ he said. ‘This is the death of the Republican Party.’ As the roll call of states commenced, several states listed votes for both Romney and Paul. When repeating back the count, those at the podium cited only the Romney votes.” Come on! “Wiselot Rouzard”? Who’s scripting this thing? J. K. Rowling?

MPR’s Emily Kaiser asks what young Republicans want: “In order to compete with President Obama’s turnout in 2008, the Republicans need to woo younger voters — many of whom don’t fit the traditional idea of the party’s values. Many young Republicans are leaning more moderate on social issues while voicing conservative economic views. In a recent Pew poll of young Republicans, more than a third said they support same-sex marriage. Young Republicans also cited interracial marriage and more women in the workforce as changes for the better in America. … Kevin, a caller from Minneapolis, said he now considers himself a Libertarian because he thinks social issues are taking over the party. He said social issues don’t matter to him. ‘As long as you have a completely healthy relationship with whatever you’re doing in your own home, I don’t care,’ Kevin said. ‘Unfortunately the Republican Party is spending way too much time on that. They’re not talking about economic issues like they should be’. On Facebook, Jeff Hall called himself an independent, but has veered away from the GOP because of social issues. ‘I feel they’re trying to dictate individual rights too much, they want states rights, but continue to push restrictions — usually based on religion — on people,’ he wrote. ‘I support many of their ideas for fiscal conservatism and a balanced budget, but the parties’ constant war on women, health rights, and individual rights is terrifying.’ ” Those last two obviously hate freedom.

It’ll be officially official this morning. The 2014 All-Star game will be played at Target Field. John Shipley at the PiPress writes: “Baseball commissioner Bud Selig will be at Target Field on Wednesday … to announce the Minnesota Twins will host the 2014 All-Star Game. Talks between the Twins and Selig’s office in New York have ‘ramped up’ in recent days, according to Twins owner Jim Pohlad, and an official announcement has been expected soon for the past few days. Selig’s imminent arrival, as well as a guest list that includes Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, Hennepin County Board of Commissioners chair Mike Opat and Hall of Fame former Twin Rod Carew, all but seals it.”

Under “Stuff You Actually Want to Know” … Julio Ojeda-Zapata at the PiPress reports: “Verizon Wireless remains the mobile-phone wireless carrier to beat, according to findings by a Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless-analysis company that evaluates voice, data and text services in the Twin Cities. RootMetrics recently completed its third metro-area pass with an arsenal of Android phones that performed 22,377 call, data and text tests to replicate what average consumers experience with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon devices. The upshot: For voice-call reliability, they seemingly can’t go wrong with any of the carriers, based on the RootMetrics findings over time. But for best data and text service, one carrier stands out: Verizon.”

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A bit of blowback on the Kerry Gauthier story, specifically in the context of GOP demands he resign. Tom Scheck of MPR notes: “While Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, and other Republican leaders call on Rep. Kerry Gauthier, DFL-Duluth, to resign because he brought ‘dishonor’ to the Legislature, an employee of the Minnesota House is drawing a public paycheck even though he’s been charged with 12 counts of possessing child pornography. House GOP leaders put Rory Koch, 39, of St. Paul, on paid administrative leave on March 7 after learning he was charged by Ramsey County prosecutors on March 5. Koch served as the Committee Administrator for the House Government Operations and Elections Committee. Koch was put on unpaid administrative leave on June 7 but continues to draw down his vacation balance and receives health benefits, according to officials within the Minnesota House Human Resources Department. ‘He was paid on Aug. 15 and without a change in status we’ll continue to pay him,’ said House Comptroller Greg Crowe. Koch has collected $14,814 in salary since he was first put on leave in March. He’s collected $1,200 of that since he started drawing down his vacation balance in June.” Uh-huh. And what’s the Brodkorb legal tab up to now?