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Ron Paul delegates very upset by GOP rules change

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.”

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?

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Comments (23)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 08/29/2012 - 06:45 am.

    Libertarian: a less embarrassing way to say you are Republican.

  2. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/29/2012 - 07:57 am.

    I was shocked to learn that the party of Lincoln cared more about big-money politicking more than the fair hearing of different ideas.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/29/2012 - 08:16 am.

    It’s just funny

    First, everyone seems to forget that the Libertarians until recently were their own party, NOT part of the Republican Party. Second, the Republicans brought them in in thinking they’d be useful idiots instead of a threat to the parties establishment. And third, it’s ironic that the traditional Republican “wedge” issues are now driving libertarians and independents away from the party.

    • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/29/2012 - 08:29 am.

      Nonsense

      The republican party has always had a libertarian wing. The large “L” Libertarian Party differs from the GOP libertarian wing in that the LP’s foreign policy position is too pacifist for republican military veterans to stomach. I happen to be one of those who made that calculation to vote republican versus LP for that reason.

      As a baby doctor, Ron Paul is staunchly pro-life, which caused him to affiliate with the republicans instead of the LP.

      Bottom line is, anyone who wants to live in a free sopciety will not be voting for Obama and that’s all that matters.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/29/2012 - 08:22 am.

    What’s instructive about the young libertarians

    is that in the past they would just vote democrat. But as upset as they are with the party establishment, it appears that voting for Obama isn’t their alternative.

    And that fellow on Facebook who’s an “independent” who finds the social conservative wing “terrifying,” should just vote democrat and be done with it.

    But bottom line, Ron Paul has been able to get 3 or 4 of his issues onto the party platform, including auditing the fed, so he’s not only succeeded in bringing young people into the party who otherwise wouldn’t be there but he’s managed to parlay that support into actual governing issues.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/29/2012 - 09:33 am.

      What?

      I’m not sure where you get the idea that young libertarians would have voted for Democrats in the past. As a commentor has noted here today, there is/was a Libertarian Party that fielded its own candidates for office. I suspect most of the Ron Paul supporters now shut out of the process either voted for them or just sat out the process altogether.

      I am intrigued by the idea of Rep. Paul’s “acutal governing issues” in the Republican platform. I look forward to the results of the study on returning to the gold standard.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/29/2012 - 12:09 pm.

      Huh?

      A real libertarian would laugh at that. There was a Libertarian Party. The reason there isn’t any more isn’t because they agree with Republicans, but because there’s no viable way to get a candidate from the party to the White House without being in one or the other of Republican or Democrat. I think that was a mistake. Most young libertarians are NOT Republicans. On the other hand, most old republicans are not Republicans, either. If any third party would succeed in this climate, it would be a Libertarian Party.

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 08/29/2012 - 02:22 pm.

        excuse me

        but the Libertarian Party is alive and well. I was almost a member until they wanted me to sign the non-violence pledge. I don’t think so.

        Their presidential candidate is Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico. I would recommend to all young people who ran screaming in fright from the GOP because religious freedoms are considered just as important as economic ones, that Gary Johnson would be a good person to vote for if you’re still young and naive enough to be idealistic but not stupid enough to believe that collectivism and economic freedom are synergistic ideas.

        http://www.lp.org/

        • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 08/29/2012 - 05:26 pm.

          Non-violence pledge

          Not willing to send soldiers to war. The history of republican candidates!

        • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/30/2012 - 08:55 am.

          Ron Paul

          Is the only “libertarian” candidate with a shot in hell at the job of president. He knows that. So, to increase his chances, he sidled up to the Republican Party. Pretty much making the Libertarian Party meaningless. So, not so alive and well.

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 08/29/2012 - 09:12 am.

    What is funny about Paul libertarians is that they somehow they believe that legalized drugs, government out of people’s personal lives , and ‘shut down big-military’ will somehow fit into the modern Republican party.

    Although, I suppose, anything is possible with Mitt the Pander Bear (you can tell him by the giant flip-flops he wears).

  6. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 08/29/2012 - 09:46 am.

    Not completely accurate Dennis

    I actually know a half dozen young people who went to the GOP caucus knowing little about Paul other than his notions of “.freedom”. Interestingly enough, when they actually got deeper into the entire Paul philosophy, 5 of the 6 couldn’t run away fast enough. Granted, 6 people aren’t a representative sample, but it certainly should make everyone ask to seek YOUR sources.

  7. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/29/2012 - 10:14 am.

    I Guess the Republicans Are Finally Catching Up

    It’s amusing how it takes the Republicans around 50 years to get where the Democrats already were all those years ago. They’re not quite there, yet, but I suspect the Ron Paul supporters will help them arrive at their own Chicago 1968 convention scenario in 2016 or 2020.

    Since the unholy alliance between the 1%er-corporatist and the “conservative” “christian” supremecist white men means they still control all the levers of power within the national Republican Party and their sense of invulnerability and security in that position leaves them completely unwilling to cede even a small amount of power, let alone offer any real compromises or influence to those outside their own, smoke-filled rooms,…

    it’s inevitable that those younger, fiscally-conservative, socially libertarian Republicans will find themselves completely excluded in the future (rather than partially excluded as they were this year),…

    and the Republicans will have their own Humphrey/McGovern split which will leave the younger Republicans rioting in the streets and the party torn asunder.

    Just as was the case with the Democrats back in ’68, the party leaders will never believe such a thing is possible and will thus guarantee that it happens,…

    (and being the “law and order” types that they are, they’ll, likely, even enlist law enforcement to bust a few heads in a vain effort to bring the rioters under control and sweep the whole mess under the rug).

    It would be ironic if it came down to a battle between two Republicans from the same region, as it was with the Democrats back in 1968 (Rand Paul and one of the more mainstream 1% Wealthy, Corporatist, Southern Republicans – Rick Scott, for instance?).

    This year’s rejection and marginalization of the Ron Paul Republicans almost guarantees that the Republican’s own “Chicago ’68” is on its way.

  8. Submitted by Kent Klinger on 08/29/2012 - 12:20 pm.

    TEA Party Irrelevance

    Just another slap in the face of the people that energized the 2010 mid-term landslide. The Establishment RINO’S don’t like having this group of limited government types threaten their relevance. The difference between Dems and RINO’s is that the R’s are just a little bit slower at Socializing the country. But you can bet they will do their part if they get in there. What flavor are you or maybe the milk toast is more your style?

  9. Submitted by James Hamilton on 08/29/2012 - 12:31 pm.

    Charged yes, convicted?

    No.

    So, why the outrage over the fact that the man continues to collect the vacation pay he’s already earned? For that matter, what law permits the State to place an employee on unpaid administrative leave (lay off) when charged with a crime unrelated to his or her duties?

    We’re all still innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, by whichever party we may be employed.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/29/2012 - 01:55 pm.

      Selective outrage

      The Republican leadership has been calling for Rep. Gauthier to resign, even though what he did was not a crime (skeevy as all get out, but not a crime). Letting their staffer stay on seems to blunt their moral high-ground, don’t you think?

      • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 08/30/2012 - 08:58 am.

        True

        I do agree with the “accused, not convicted bit,” but yes, the moral high ground has been pretty well leveled.

  10. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 08/29/2012 - 12:40 pm.

    Nixon

    Remember who won that 1968 contest? But Humphrey was beginning to back away from supporting the Vietnam war and was picking up steam. If the campaign had gone on a little longer, Humphrey would have won–and imagine what would have happened then.
    Nixon promised that he had a “secret plan” to end the Vietnam war and apparently many voters believed he did have something up his sleeve. It turned out to be a blank paper.

  11. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 08/29/2012 - 01:09 pm.

    Typical Zellers

    The term “responsibility” applies to everyone, except republican legislaters, staff, party leaders, and him. Pathetic

  12. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/29/2012 - 01:15 pm.

    The GOP even does it to their own kind

    Ironically, the “Paulites” are finding out what the GOP’s strength is – “manipulation”. It is “manipulation” just as they are trying to do with all the Voter ID nonsense being pushed by the GOP nationwide. No voter fraud in Minnesota but they tell everyone they “think” there is. Notice, no proof is provided. It is “manipulation”, just as the GOP is doing about speaking the truth, and in reality they only speak “manipulative” double speak with no specifics or facts to back up what they say. They say they are not waging war against women and yet the women aren’t even allowed to be heard in congressional committee meetings about women’s issues such as rape and trans-vaginal ultrasounds. The GOP does not have a moral core. Voters, it is your choice in November.

  13. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 08/31/2012 - 06:30 pm.

    The lobertarian wing of the Republican party

    This practice of making up history to support Republican fantasy is amusing and appreciated Mr. Tester. Neither the John Birch Society (with which Ron Paul has an interesting relationship) nor Ayn Rand atheism have been part of the Republican party’s agenda until very recently.

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