Cheers to Gov. Paul LePage for standing by his pledge not to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa next week.
He is making a solid, appropriate and very public point about political fairness and representation by the people.
Given that LePage is a Mitt Romney supporter, it couldn’t have been an easy decision to make. After all, as a Republican governor, LePage could have been a convention celebrity.
But, LePage made it clear just after Romney Campaign Chairman Peter Cianchette and Jan Staples, a former RNC committee member, challenged the slate of delegates elected to represent Maine at the national convention that he wouldn’t attend if Maine’s Ron Paul delegates were not seated.
Cianchette and Staples based their challenge on a lack of credentialing at the state convention, which they believe may have led to illegal votes and lack of quorum for some votes. And, then, there were the violations of party and parliamentary rules.
Another way to look at it is they couldn’t get Romney delegates elected when they had the chance and wanted to quash the victor.
“Chaos” was the word used to describe the two-day convention in May. It was, agreed all who attended, a holy mess.
On Friday, after weeks of speculation, a national GOP committee sided with the Romney supporters’ challenge and rejected the Maine delegates elected to attend the convention.
We’re not talking about a few delegates, either.
Of Maine’s 24 available delegate slots, state Republicans filled 21 with Ron Paul supporters.
The NRC has decided, instead of seating the delegates elected by Maine people, to split the delegation and seat an equal number of Paul and Romney supporters, reducing the elected number of Paul delegates and tilting support toward Romney — who is already locked in as the presumed presidential candidate.
For a political party so committed to the sanctity of elections, it’s beyond curious for its national committee to toss out election results of Maine people and decide for us who should best represent our interests in Tampa.
Charlie Webster, chairman of the Maine GOP, reacted with an “I-told-you-so” response.
“I tried to explain to the Ron Paul activists that they were not going to win because the RNC Contest Committee believes that Maine was the worst case in the country and the most likely one to lose,” he told the Bangor Daily News.
Maine had the worst case in the country because Webster failed his party with poor convention planning and even worse convention execution.
The RNC Committee on Contests based its ruling on “serious problems” at Maine’s convention, namely credentialing problems and ballot and floor security issues “affecting the election . . . of delegates.”
All of these were things that should have been — but weren’t — better organized in the convention’s planning stages.
If there’s anyone to blame about Maine’s lack of fair representation at next week’s GOP convention, blame Chairman Webster. Not Ron Paul supporters.
Let’s not delude ourselves. Social Security and Medicare are not sustainable programs as they currently exist.
Financial and social adjustments are necessary to best provide continued assistance to the nation’s oldest and sickest people, and there is no single correct solution.
On Thursday, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security & Medicare, along with the Maine People’s Alliance, hosted a community forum at the Lewiston library on Social Security.
The purpose of the forum was to dispel myths and dispense with polarizing debates, and we encouraged you — our readers — to pay attention. And, you did, as dozens of people attended the forum.
Unfortunately, some people left with more questions than answers because what had been a chance to be a pure information session crept left toward posturing and then never righted itself.
That’s how polarizing this debate has become. Even those who see themselves as independent are not.
The best-looking solution to the woes of Social Security and Medicare depends on personal circumstances and where you stand politically and, at least right now, there is no clear answer. There are only questions and a critical need to take action.
Do your part and get informed. And then vote.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.