Wednesday, December 11, 2013
(Updates in italics)
2 p.m. - U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, is speaking now at the convention. Collins is hammering Obama Administration and policies she says are increasing the regulatory burden and hurting the economy.
Collins also gave a tip of the hat to the Republicans currently in control of state government.
Meanwhile, the Ron Paul insurrection is temporarily on hold.
So far delegates have already elected Paul supporter Ron Morrell of York County as the convention secretary. In the vote for convention chairman, Brent Tweed edged Charles Cragin 1,118 to 1,114. However, questions have arisen about whether another vote should be retaken to reaffirm the result.
That's put the GOP Chairman Charlie Webster in a bit of a pickle. He doesn't want to surrender control of the convention to Paul's people, a result that could hurt the party's chances to receive national money for legislative and congressional races. At the same time, he doesn't want to appear as if he's spurning or being unfair to Paul supporters.
Webster's handling of the Maine GOP caucuses this year has heightened the tension.
2:52 p.m. - It's official, Tweed is appointed convention chairman. Webster hands over the gavel.
Romney's people object and push for an offiical delegate recount. Tweed overules. That's the significance of winning the chairmanship.
2:55 p.m. - The nomination of 15 delegates to the naitonal convention is starting.
3:28 p.m. - The procedings have been taken over by Paul supporters, but the prolonged delay is throwing a wrench into the procedings. Few are happy about it.
Tweed has rearranged the agenda and cut in half the time the congressional candidates will have to deliver their speeches to the convention.
State Sen. Deborah Plowman, R-Hampden, isn't scheduled to speak until tomorrow, but she said it was unfortunate that the parlimentary proceedure took six hours.
"The convention is designed to showcase your congressional candidates," said Plowman. "That time has been cut down significantly."
Kathie Summers-Grice, the campaign manager for 2nd District candidate state Sen. Kevin Raye, said the campaigns put a lot of time and effort into the convention and the speeches.
"All of that planning pretty much went away in the blink of an eye," Summers-Grice said.
She added that some seasoned candidates could adjust to the change, but it could hurt less experienced candidates like state Sen. Jonathan Courtney, R-Springvale, who is running in the 1st Congressional District and candidates who need to boost their name recognition.Tweet
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.