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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Who's Afraid of These Ron Paul Delegates? (Mitt Romney, Evidently.)

In April, Rombach and dozens of other Paul supporters ran for delegate at Massachusetts's state-level caucuses, the gatherings where party faithful select the actual individuals who will travel to the national convention in August to represent the Bay State and officially choose a nominee. The Massachusetts primary was not close: home-state darling Mitt Romney pulled in 72 percent, while Ron Paul finished third with 10 percent. Because Romney was the only candidate to earn more than 15 percent of the vote, he gets all of the state's delegates. But as enterprising Paul supporters in several states have discovered, that doesn't mean that Paulites can't run for—and win—those slots, so long as they pledge to vote for Romney on the first ballot. 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.
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Judy Morris,
Blogger, THL
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