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Oklahoma GOP State Convention

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 ofOklahoma GOP 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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So let me start off with the 1st complaint… Credentials… 

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

About LD Jackson

LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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  • Driftforge

    Part of the problem that I see is that RP supporters, being an internet phenomenon, are affected by events distant to them. They see – literally watch – what happens in Iowa, in Maine, in Nevada, in Oklahoma, in Arizona – everywhere. So they turn up to these events with a history that is personal but not local, of the ‘establishment’ being set against them, expect that, and see that in everything that happens.

    An attitude builds that simply would not have happened in the pre internet era, and it is something that needs to be thought through.

    Also, worth reading further down the comments to the post linked above and reading what Brady Wright had to say as well.

    • That’s why I mentioned the comments to the Facebook post myself. I felt it was important to read them to get a little context from both sides.

  • I’ve been battling with these people lately as one of my posts made the rounds on a Ron Paul message board. What these people don’t understand is that they’re destroying their own movement. They have no sense of perspective, no sense of the long term damage they’re doing. The commenter above has it right, they’re internet people with a distant relationship to events. Everything has to be immediate, gratification has to be now. That’s not how things really work in politics, it’s not how you build the sort of coallition that can win the White House.

    • Drift forge

      Just to clarify: it’s not that they have a distant relationship to events, it’s that they have a relationship with distant events. So much so that they can’t see the trees for the forest at times.

      • Right, I misstated what you said as I was in a rush out the door.

  • The more things change, the more they stay the same – 1976

    Ron Paul is stealing delegates – Reagan did it.
    Ron Paul supporters are taking over Republican State Organizations – Reagan did it.
    Ron Paul supporters want to cause mischief – Reagan supporters did
    Ron Paul supporters are trying to circumvent the system – Reagan did it
    Ron Paul supporters are trying to win through the backdoor delegate process – Reagan did it

    Folks it wasn’t called the Reagan Revolution for nothing.

    Check out this from the brokered 1976 convention. Ford ultimately won, but it wasn’t made it easy for him.

    And the best, savory example is 1964’s brokered convention

    The biggest thing coming out of the r3volution is the taking of the local and state republican party positions by what I would call hard-core conservatives. Others would call them libertarians. But the main thing is these people aren’t sold out. This has a will have a lasting impact on the next round of elections, God-willing we have them.

    • Driftforge

      I think a lot of people haven’t really caught on that this is what is happening. In the shadow of the presidential campaign, the nature of the Republican party is being reshaped. It isn’t, if it even ever was, about the presidency.

      If Romney is the politician he is made out to be, watch to see him fight this behind the scenes all the way to the convention, but run with it if the movement breaks through regardless.

      The benefit of a flip-flopper is that he can flip your way really quickly if the political need arises.

  • Isn’t politics grand. Even the good guys can be bad guys.

  • It does seem odd that a candidate can win a state but when the delegates are awarded they don’t seem to go by the results of the states. In Maine Ron Paul ended up with a majority of the delegates and in Mass. Ron Pual delegates won a bunch of seats at the convention. There is something afoot here and I think the Paul delegates have something planned a the convention, I don’t know what is is but I think there is a surprise coming.

    • I don’t know what to expect at the convention. I don’t think Ron Paul can garner enough delegates to broker the convention, but I also don’t think his supporters are going to sit idly by. There may be a surprise in the making, who knows.

      • Driftforge

        Imagine for a bit that, presidential candidate aside, Ron Paul picks up 40%+ of the delegates. Based on current convention outcomes, not at all impossible.

        Those delegates are bound only for the presidential vote.

        As is being found in the state conventions, a whole lot other than the presidential campaign is going on. And when the Ron Paul delegates gets dominant ( or even close to dominant ) those votes aren’t going as expected.

        RNC memberships.

        More and more, especially with today’s announcement, it is not about Ron Paul. He is just the ‘beacon on the hill’…

        • I believe that is one reason why Ron Paul made his announcement. Couple that with financial concerns and he really had no choice.

      • Driftforge makes a great point below, perhaps the Paul delegates can’t do anything to stop Romney but maybe they are looking to have a big say in VP or another spot.

    • lou222

      I am not sure what to expect, either. I don’t like underhanded politics from either side and I am seeing some of the Paul people doing things I don’t approve of. I do not think that he was given the same consideration from the Republicans as the rest of the candidates, so I can somewhat understand they feel short changed, but not to go so far as disrupt the convention if that is their plan. I am getting pretty sick of all the negativity coming out of this political process. I will be glad when we can finally get a candidate and this political season is over. Then we can maybe start to repair the damage being done. Where have the adults gone????