August 29, 2012

Republicans say treatment of Maine's delegates could hurt party

Members of Maine’s delegation tried to object to the removal of 10 elected Ron Paul delegates, but their microphone had apparently been turned off.

By Kevin Miller
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Afterward, Maine's Paul supporters lingered in the hallways off the convention floor, talking to media and commiserating with Paul's backers from other states. Although disappointed, they promised to stay involved in Maine Republican politics.

"We are 10 times stronger now than we were an hour ago," said Mark Willis, one of the 10 displaced Paul delegates and the incoming national Republican committeeman.

The experience appears to have left wounds on both sides, however.

Pete Harring, another displaced delegate and founder of Maine's tea party, predicted "it is going to play out bad in Maine for the Republican Party."

Asked whether he had regrets about being part of a dispute that could harm the party, Harring said absolutely not.

"I am at a point, and so are a lot of other people, where I am not willing to compromise my principles any longer," Harring said before the floor action. "And if that means losing the majority (in the Maine Legislature), so be it."

Staples, meanwhile, said she was extremely disappointed by the hostility she faced from some Paul supporters.

"I have been personally threatened at home and here," she said. "They are harassing our people and calling us scabs. This is really unfortunate."

Paul made an unannounced visit to the convention floor on Tuesday, about a half-hour before activities began.

Thronged by supporters and media, the longtime congressman from Texas visited the delegations of Maine and other states where he had stronger support.

Tweed told Paul about the delegates' plans for the afternoon's session, to which Paul replied: "Give it your best shot."

Washington Bureau Chief Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

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Additional Photos

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Delegates from the state of Maine protest during the presentation of rules during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)


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