Lewiston GOP delegate for Ron Paul says vote 'railroaded'

A former state lawmaker and the vice chairman of the Maine GOP's delegation at the national convention in Tampa said  he was deeply disappointed with the way his party treated his fellow delegates from the Pine Tree State on Tuesday.

Alternate delegates from the state of Maine place clothespins on their noses in protest against new Republican party rules that
JASON REED

Alternate delegates from the state of Maine place clothespins on their noses in protest against new Republican party rules that will affect the impact of grassroots movements during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 28, 2012 REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

"It was railroaded through," Stavros Mendros said. Mendros was talking about a procedural vote from the convention floor where Maine's delegation, largely supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, were ignored as they attempted to protest a ruling that stripped half of them of their rights to participate in the convention.

"I expected more out of my Republican Party," Mendros said. He pointed out that Paul supporters at the convention from other states' delegations, including Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Alabama and Nevada, supported the Mainers.

They had formed a new rallying cry, "Remember the Maine 20," Mendros said. "That's what people are saying about the way we were dealt with here in Tampa."

Part of that delegation, and supporters of Texas Congressman Ron Paul, walked out of the Republican Party's National Convention in protest after a last ditch effort to be recognized from the convention floor was ignored.

A national GOP committee on credentials ruled last week that only half of Maine's 20 Ron Paul delegates would be allowed to take their seats and vote at the convention. The same committee decided that the 10 who were being ruled illegitimate be replaced with 10 supporters of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Romney was easily nominated Tuesday to the presidential ticket.

Some of those protesting from Maine wore clothespins, embellished with miniature plastic lobsters on their noses as they walked out.

Despite their absence, 10 Paul delegates were included in Maine's roll call vote, with 14 for Romney and 10 for Paul, Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster said.

Mark Willis, a Paul supporter from Dennysville, said it was a "travesty" that the Maine vote didn't include all 20 delegates elected at the state convention.

Webster said that both the state party and Paul supporters made mistakes at the convention in May in Augusta. But Webster said Paul supporters were unwilling to compromise either with the state party or with the national party.
 
"At some point your candidate loses and you have to accept the other guy, or sit it out," Webster said.
 
Willis said there was no need to compromise, or to sit it out.
 
"We were duly elected at the Maine convention," he said. "We played by the same rules and we had the numbers and we won. We never gave in, never wavered, never compromised."
 
Before the roll call vote, Paul showed up on the convention floor, signing autographs and posing for photos.
 
As he left the arena, he declined to say if he felt his delegates were being treated unfairly. "I'll let you know when it's over," he said.
 
The flap created hard feelings in Maine, and Republican Gov. Paul LePage chose to skip the convention.
 
Mendros, who had supported Paul, said many Paul supporters had already made travel plans before the challenge, which he described as "vindictive and bogus."
 
Late Tuesday, Mendros said he hoped the party in Maine could pull it back together within the next two and a half months but that it was apparent the rift was deep, even at the national level.
 
"It's been building nationally," Mendros said. "When you think that of 153 delegates for Ron Paul, more than half of them walked out Tuesday. That says something."
 
Mendros said the next watershed moment at the convention for Paul supporters would be when Ron Paul's son Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, addresses the convention Wednesday.
 
"That will be the big indicator of where we are going," Mendros said. "How his speech is given and how it is received will tell whether we can pull this thing back together. He really needs to hit it out of the park for that to happen."
 
Mendros said he will support Romney and noted that at least one of Paul's primary issues — an audit of the Federal Reserve — was added to the party's platform for 2012. Mendros also said it was telling that Maine Gov. Paul LePage had decided to skip the convention in protest to the ruling against Maine's Ron Paul delegates, even though LePage is a Romney supporter.

"The governor knows who won that election at our convention in Maine," Mendros said. "He's the ultimate arbitrator and he refused to come to the convention over what happened."

sthistle@sunjournal.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Comments

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Is it just me????

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it difficult to support anyone seriously, who has "clothespins" hanging from their noses? I haven't seen anything like that since I gave up gravel pit, keg parties back in the eighties.

 's picture

All Politics is local

Dear Republican Party

In light of your treatment of your fellow Mainers who were elected as delagates then denied that privalige by the established republician machine. I will be dening you any support in this election. I command the Governor for standing by his conviction and not attending such a sham.
Perhaps a time-out untill 2016 is in order for you.

Garry Robitaille

DANNY FITZSIMMONS's picture

Stavros Mendros

Did Stavros Mendros have the gonards to walk out.. I doubt it as it may cost him cash when rummy wins the GOP since Mendros is a lobbist then you can count he was looking for HIS best interest, thogh he can moan and grown did he put his money where is mouth is? i seriously doubt it.

Mark Elliott's picture

One minor detail to

One minor detail to mention....the media wants us all to believe it was only those "crazy Ron Paulers" that caused the stir.....it was NOT. There were supporters from ALL the candidates the dissented......it was the conservative base that was speaking out collectively! It's just easier to blame the Ron Paul supporters instead of recognize the truth......

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