Thursday, August 28, 2008

Update: Nevada Republican Delegation to the National Convention

The following is an email from Robert Terhune, one of the many faces behind the Ron Paul movement.

Hi everyone,

Here is a rundown of everything that's been going on with the Nevada Delegation to the Republican National Convention. Thanks to all who have helped with and supported this process, and please be assured that the fight is not over. I included our Press Release below.


Due to the fact that the Nevada State Republican Convention was shut down abruptly and illegally in April (when Party leaders weren't getting their way), and because the State Party leadership never intended to (and never did) complete the convention, we decided to finish it ourselves. We reconvened on June 28, and legally elected a full delegation to represent Nevada at the National Convention.

The Party leadership of course never acknowledged the June 28th gathering, and submitted their own list of delegates, appointed by the leadership. Their list was comprised of party regulars and contributers. A Party official was heard boasting at a meeting that "not one of those Ron Paul people" were on the list.

The party's list was submitted to the RNC, while we submitted an appeal to the RNC to try and stop them. The RNC's initial decision was to reject both delegations as illegal, and to seat only the three automatic delegates. The state party appealed that, and the matter was sent to the RNC's Contest Committee.

The Contest Committee heard the appeal on Sunday, August 24, 2008. The Party was represented by high-powered Washington DC attorney Ben Ginsberg, and we were represented by Mike Weber, a long-time Republican activist (and McCain supporter) from Washoe County, Nevada. The hearing was set up like a Senate hearing, with the committee seated at a table at the front of the room, with the two parties facing them, seated at their own tables. Each side was allowed opening and closing statements, and in between the committee peppered both sides with questions. The committee was obviously very knowledgeable about the situation, and seemed very interested in getting to the truth and conducting a fair process. As the day wore on, it was apparent that the committee started to realize how poorly the state party had been conducting itself. In one instance, a committee member was trying to find out how people became state delegates. Between Sue Lowden (NV GOP Chair) and Ginsberg, the State party was unable to answer the question, to the frustration on the member. In another instance, another member was trying to learn if the party knew who the state delegates were. After receiving no firm answer to several questions, she exasperatedly asked, "You accepted money to register for the State Convention, right? So there must have been some bookkeeping of some kind!" She never got a satisfactory answer.

Mike Weber closed with a stirring closing statement that basically told the committee that they could chose righteousness or corruption, and that the country was watching. No final decision was reached that day, and several smaller meetings between Weber and Party attorneys took place over the next few days. The outcome clearly was not going to be good.

So here is where the process stands now: The Contest Committee released its report on Wednesday. The report strongly chastised the state GOP, calling the Nevada GOP’s handling of the delegate selection process “flawed, inadequate, and unacceptable,” and added that they were “deeply troubled by the ineptness of the State Party in conducting its process to elect delegates."
The National Party has confirmed that, in their opinion, BOTH delegations were selected illegally, and that they would not accept either. The only exceptions were the CD1 and CD3 delegates that were elected during the original convention in April-- they will seat them. Ron Paul is represented by four of those six delegates.

However, there is a little-known rule that allows the National Party to appoint delegates to fill open slots within ten days of the National Convention. So, in order to fill all of the now-open seats from Nevada, they decided to invoke this rule and fill the vacancies. They did so using names from the State Party's appointed delegation.

So, in summary, the Nevada state party did not like what was happening at the State Convention, so they took the ball and went home, cheating the delegates out of their vote. They tried to appoint delegates to the National Convention instead. We tried to stop them and ensure the voting rights of ordinary Nevada Republicans. The National Party sided with the State Party and, after slapping them on the wrist, accepted their appointed delegates.

From now on, there is little to stop any state's GOP from ignoring the voices of it's people, and instead appointing their own cronies to attend the National Convention-- where our next potential President is selected.

Here is our press release from this afternoon:

RNC Labels NV Party “Inept,” but Seats Most of
State-Appointed Delegation

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 8/28/08 – The RNC’s
Committtee on Contests handed down a recommendation yesterday regarding the
ongoing Nevada delegate debacle. The Committee condemned the State Party’s
handling of the delegate selection process, and declined the State Party’s
ability to appoint delegates. However, the Committee then recommended seating
the majority of the State Party’s appointed slate, as well as six delegates
elected in CD 1 and CD 3 at the April 26th State

“We definitely do not consider this a just resolution,”
said Wayne Terhune, a Nevada Republican activist who traveled to Minneapolis to
support the appeal. “Despite some strong language from the Committee,
their actions have backed up the illegal delegate appointment of the State

The Committee on Contests held a hearing on Sunday,
August 24th when they heard statements from both sides. The
Committee’s statement released on Wednesday called the Nevada GOP’s handling of
the delegate selection process “flawed, inadequate, and unacceptable,” adding
that they were “deeply troubled by the ineptness of the State Party in
conducting its process to elect delegates […].”

“This game seems to
have been fixed from the start,” Terhune said. “It was obvious to
everyone at the Committee’s hearing that the State Party was inept, but the
Committtee decided to back them up anyway and seat the majority of their
slate. This is a miscarriage of justice, and smacks of
tyranny. All the Republican voters of Nevada have been
disenfranchised. ”

Thanks again to everyone who helped.
In Liberty,