Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Matt McDonald, who was among the delegates selected to attend the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., wrote on the Daily Paul site Saturday that his seating at the convention has been challenged.
McDonald, a Ron Paul supporter, posted an email from Peter Cianchette, a renowned member of the Maine Republican Party and former ambassador appointed by President George W. Bush. Cianchette is contesting McDonald's election as a delegate, according to the email.
McDonald believes that other delegates have received similar challenges. If so, the contesting of the Paul delegates seating in Tampa is another chapter in the battle for control over the Maine GOP. The battle dominated the GOP state convention when Paul supporters wrested the proceedings from the party establishment and Mitt Romney backers, and then proceeded to elect a slate of delegates that are supportive of Paul.
Romney backers vowed at the time to challenge the delegate selection, arguing that the Paul supporters broke convention rules and procedures. In his email to McDonald, Cianchette cites one of those rules as the basis for his challenge.
The challenge now goes to the Republican National Committee which will likely have to rule on similar cases from Maine and other states, where highly organized Paul supporters took advantage of arcane rules to take control of other state conventions and elect delegates.
The end game for Paul appears to be the opportunity to obtain a prominent speaking role during the national convention. However, it appears that the RNC is uncomfortable with Paul assuming that position during what the party hopes is a public unity event that will galvanize support for Romney.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.