The Freedom Fighters

A small, but growing group are refusing to accept McCain as the GOP nominee… at least not without a fight.

Republican leaders are having to face a determined group of Ron Paul supporters at their local and state conventions. And they’re learning, sometimes the hard way, that these Ron Paul activists are well-organized and self-educated about the delegate-choosing process.

The LA Times’ Top of the Ticket blog reports:

“Largely under the radar of most people, the forces of Rep. Ron Paul have been organizing across the country to stage an embarrassing public revolt against Sen. John McCain when Republicans gather for their national convention in Minnesota at the beginning of September.”

In the last three months, Paul’s forces, who donated $34.5 million to his White House effort and upward of a million total votes, have, as The Ticket has noted, been fighting a series of guerrilla battles with party establishment officials at county and state conventions from Washington and Missouri to Maine and Mississippi. Their goal: to take control of local committees, boost their delegate totals and influence platform debates.

At the Nevada convention, the party leaders abruptly ended the meeting when it became obvious that the Ron Paul delegates would not go unheard.

From the Las Vegas Sun-

They [Ron Paul supporters] seemed to make up more than half of the 1,300 or so state delegates to the convention. They won a key procedural vote on the rules, and their boisterous presence created significant delays, causing the convention chairman, Bob Beers, a state senator from Las Vegas, to recess the convention without selecting delegates to the national convention. The state convention is to resume at a later date.

Although it is largely papered over by the GOP establishment’s unifying behind McCain, party regulars are debating the future of the party, and especially whether to return to the small-government principles of the late Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential candidate.

Republican conventions are usually well-organized, rather staid affairs for bashing Democrats and rallying around the presidential nominee, in this case, McCain.

Not so this time, as many of the more than 1,300 delegates were Paul supporters who viewed themselves as insurgents taking on the establishment.

Boston.com remarks-

In Minnesota, Paul loyalists captured seven delegate slots at congressional district meetings,

and,

last weekend in Maine, McCain’s forces were well organized, but Paul’s activists nevertheless managed to pick up one of the 18 delegates at stake.

also,

In Missouri, where activists will elect at-large delegates at a state convention at the end of May, a credentials challenge to as many as 300 Paul supporters is underway after his acolytes nearly swept several big county conventions that chose delegates to the statewide gathering. On some Internet sites, Paul supporters have contended they are being discriminated against by the party’s establishment.

There have been similar shows of strength for Paul at some county conventions in Washington state, where Republicans will also hold their statewide convention at the end of this month.

Will these admirable efforts force a Paul nomination? Highly unlikely. But might they garner Dr. Paul a speaking spot at the National Convention or positive changes in the GOP platform?

Let’s hope so.

Read more-

ajc.com


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