This is something that has been on my mind for some time. From the beginning of this primary election season, there seems to have been a lot of contention over how the process works. Personally, I believe the entire process needs to be revamped, but for the time being, it is the only process we have. We have heard and read the stories coming out of the different states. They usually go something like this. The primary or caucus has been held and a winner has been declared, but the process isn’t over. The conventions still have to be held and that means the winner of the primary or caucus votes may not be the winner of the slate of delegates to be sent to the GOP National Convention. That was the case at the Oklahoma GOP State Convention, held in Norman over the weekend.
This has been the main undertaking of the Ron Paul campaign. For the record, most of you know I voted for Ron Paul in the Oklahoma primary, but he received very few votes. Even though he was drawing large crowds to his campaign events, he pulled only 9.6% of the vote. In other words, it wasn’t even close. However, his supporters thought it okay to try to force the Oklahoma GOP State Convention to approve their slate of delegates, instead of the delegates for the candidates who had many more votes in the primary.
I know this will may not set well with the supporters of Ron Paul who read this blog, and I mean no disrespect to you, or to Ron Paul, but I contend that this is not the way to win more people over to the side of limited government and more freedoms and liberties. To that point, I want to include a portion of a Facebook post by David Tackett. He does his best to tell both sides of what happened at the Oklahoma GOP State Convention, even though he does not support Ron Paul.
You know, conventional wisdom says I need to keep my mouth shut. I’m a candidate for State House and I don’t need to upset anyone inside the party lest they won’t help me.
But I just can’t be quiet. And let me summarize it by saying this… Ron Paul people, you were right in principle, but wrong in execution.
First, let me try and say before the RPers completely ignore the rest of my diatribe… Remember, I was the one who stood with you at the 1st Congressional convention, not because I’m a RP supporter, but because I believe in the rule of law.
So let me start off with the 1st complaint… Credentials…
I was one of the volunteers who helped check in people. So I can answer exactly what the problem was…. new software, delegates who pre-registered incorrectly (we had several who registered as guests or typed their name differently than what was provided by their County Chair), and volunteers who entered in data wrong during the check-in (entering people as guests instead of delegates).
It was, frankly, insulting to hear people from the RP clan suggest fraud was committed by the credential volunteers. (I.e. badges weren’t secured, etc.) I know each and every single one of the volunteers who helped with the process and not one has EVER done anything unethical.
Could the badges been designed where they couldn’t be easily forged? Sure. But let me belabor this major point. ALL of the populous counties (Tulsa, Oklahoma, Cleveland) and the other 20 or so counties that had off numbers, verified their delegates registered against the master delegate list. And the two counties where the fraud could have been perpetuated the easiest because of their sheer size, Tulsa and Oklahoma, had each delegate verify, in person in the main hall, their status.
And don’t forget the sheer size of this convention. This is by far a record-breaker in attendance. So were there problems? heck, yes? Was there fraud? No. Was their a conspiracy by the “establishment” to stack the delegates? No. In fact, I will argue that the delegates in question was about an even split between the 2 factions.
I would urge you to read the rest of the post on Facebook, as well as the comments. I wasn’t at the convention, but it seems to me that David Tackett has tried to be fair and open-minded about his assessment of what took place.
I’ll be the first to tell you how disappointed I am at how the process works, as well as the candidate we seem to have chosen. I would have much preferred Ron Paul over Mitt Romney. However, that isn’t going to happen this year and the attempts by some supporters of Ron Paul to change the outcome is not doing us any favors. Their tactics leave much to be desired and may very well be causing trouble for us in the years to come. Speaking as a supporter of Ron Paul and the ideals he espouses, that troubles me greatly. Burning bridges is something I don’t like to do and that seems to be exactly what is happening.