It comes as no surprise that the legal challenge launched, seeking the voiding of the delegates chosen in the 2012 Clark County GOP convention for the 18th Legislative District, amid allegations of irregularities and fraud was not well received by same, most notably the Ron Paul supporters who came out in the majority on delegates and face the danger of not being seated in the State GOP Convention to be held in Tacoma.
As I showed in the previous post, Delegate Vote Challenged, 18th District Could Lose All GOP Delegates, supporters of candidate Mitt Romney were not pleased with the convention outcome and have cried foul to the WSRP, launching the effort to void the delegates selected in the 18th Legislative District.
In a continuance of the exceptional organizational skills seen in Paul’s supporters, that was used to discover the weaknesses in the system and legally exploit them to their advantage, Washington state co-chair for the Ron Paul campaign and Clark County Delegation Chair, Katja Delavar has fired back, along with her husband, former Washougal City Council Member Michael Delavar both drafting their own rebuttals to the challenge and to be sent to the WSRP, here and here.
In an email sent out to delegates, Ms. Delavar states, “I am offering the following for anyone who wishes to ‘sign on’ to our drafted rebuttals. If you agree with the content of the responses, let us know, and we can add your name to the signature page. You are still free to create your own response. You are in no way obligated to respond to these challenges either,” offering delegates the opportunity to join in and show their opposition to the challenge.
Others have drafted statements calling on the WSRP Credentials Committee to not uphold the challenge as well.
Michael Cummins who served as the presiding chair for the Clark County portion of the 15th Legislative District at the convention calls upon the credentials committee to not uphold the challenge citing,
“[the] main point of contention, with regards to the 18th Legislative District seating, is the credentialing issue. Our experience in the 15th was very similar to that in the 18th in that our second credentials committee report was patently incorrect. In our case, in the 15th, we were fortunate enough to have ‘credentialed’ our own delegation since there were only 21 possible delegate seats total. It was easy enough for us to do the job of the credentials committee, and we did. Therefore, when Ms. Ferris reported a patently incorrect number, the delegates of the 15th were able to understand that the error lay with Ms. Ferris’ report, not with the count of people in the room. Ms. Ferris herself apparently lacked confidence in her committee report, since she did not state that we should initiate the process of possibly seating alternates even though there were alternates available to be seated.”
“Given my experience in the 15th LD caucus, I am confident that the single error that led to so much confusion over establishing the credentials reports was the tallying of the duly elected and seated delegates. That error is easily understood in light of the chaos that surrounded the credentials committee in Clark County and the convention registration process. Furthermore, I am unaware of any substantiated allegations of people acting as delegates who were not duly elected.”
Another, Daniel Patrick Rupp who I believe to be the delegate videotaped with multiple ballots in his hand, submitted his statement explaining that he was helping his 72 year old disabled Korean War Veteran father and had punched the wrong number on both his and his father’s ballot. He further states that the multiple ballots were of two that had been voided due to being wrongfully punched and that when shown to those close by him who witnessed him with 4 ballots, they calmed down. But, others further away couldn’t see the voided markings and videotaped him with multiple ballots in his hand.
An unsigned copy of an email I received, purporting to be from a Santorum supporter called “Denying Romney delegates at the WA state Republican state convention the right thing to do” listing several reasons to justify denial of Romney supporters as delegates.
Among the reasons listed were “The establishment must go” and “Republicans not for Romney the easy majority.”
They also listed 4 reasons they considered as justifying the actions were not unfair to Romney supporters,
1. Overcoming Romney’s name recognition from prior candidacy and years in public view.
2. Romney’s large financial resources from personal wealth, well oiled donation machine, and establishment influence to generate donations (by the way – driving a highly negative campaign — full of inaccuracies about opponents).
3. Republican establishment and old media press support—constantly backing up the ‘inevitability’ message.
4. Romney having no competition in some states based on opportunistic rules that confounded the less strong candidates (e.g Virginia).
Although I am not a fan of Ron Paul, believing him to be completely wrong on many issues and having had many run-ins with the more militant supporters he attracts, I cannot fault his supporters in the 18th for rebutting the challenge.
As annoying as it might have been, they did do their homework on seeking out the weaknesses in the system to use to their advantage, doing so in what appears to be a legal fashion.
The main bone of contention remains the very basis of the challenge, the large discrepancy in credentialed delegates versus the number of ballots cast, some 70 more ballots cast than credentialed delegates.
By all appearances, the Clark County GOP was completely unprepared for the convention and was very late letting the rules be known as well as incomplete credentials list.
The challenge seems to be firmly planted on that point, but it is now in the hands of the WSRP Credentials Committee as to whether or not there is reason to invalidate the slate of 18th Legislative District delegates to the State Convention.
As this post was being written, word arrived that Ron Paul is suspending his campaign for votes in states where primaries have not yet been held. In a letter to supporters, he claims, “We will no longer spend resources campaigning in primaries in states that have not yet voted. Doing so with any hope of success would take many tens of millions of dollars we simply do not have,” but vowing to continue to seek delegates saying it is a way to “make his voice heard at the Republican nominating convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.”
While it is doubtful to have any outcome on the decision of the credentials committee in regards to this challenge, it does “essentially confirm Mitt Romney will win the Republican presidential nomination.”
If Paul is denied a speaking position at the convention and does as he did in 2008, recommending non-support of the GOP and instead encouraging his supporters to back third party candidates that included bombastic Cynthia McKinney, he will do no service to anyone other than Barack Obama, who his supporters claim must be defeated.
I’m not that impressed with Mitt Romney either, but seeing he is the likely nominee will hold my nose and vote for him, actually more of a vote against Barack Obama.
Whether we like him or not, we need to swallow our pride and unite behind the GOP candidate in order to oust Barack Obama.
It is also time for the Clark County GOP to get their act together and prevent another fiasco as was seen in the convention that brought this challenge & rebuttal out.
Our goal is to defeat Obama, not continue beating each other over the head and further dividing our votes.