TAMPA, Fla. – Maine’s delegation to the Republican National Convention is one of a handful of states being subjected to additional credentialing scrutiny in another apparent example of lingering tension over the bitter fight between national party leaders and Ron Paul supporters.

Delegation member said that Maine’s representatives will have to pick up their credentials to access the convention floor on a daily basis, whereas delegations in most other states can receive credentials for the entire week.

“The RNC said they are concerned about security and they want to make sure the people on the floor are delegates,” Charlie Webster, chairman of the Maine Republican Party, said Monday morning outside of the room where Paul supporters were picking up their credentials. “I think there is a concern that there are folks who could be disruptive” on the convention floor.

Webster said he has heard that delegations from “a handful” of other states were also being subjected to additional scrutiny.

Not surprisingly, the change isn’t sitting well with Paul supporters already bitter about their weeks-long battle with the RNC and Romney supporters over the 20 delegate seats won by Paul supporters during the state GOP convention.

Citing major problems with the delegate-selection process during the state convention, RNC officials last week tossed out the list of 20 delegates, re-appointed 10 pro-Paul delegates and distributed the remaining 10 seats to people likely to support Mitt Romney. As a result, the majority of Maine's 24-person delegation now supports Romney.

Brent Tweed, who was elected chairman of Maine’s delegation during the state GOP convention in May, said RNC officials have also taken over responsibility of deciding which alternates should receive seats when the named delegate cannot attend.

“I’m delegation chairman and I should be handling this but it is being dictated to me,” Tweed said. Additionally, Tweed said indications are that vacancies for pro-Romney delegates within Maine’s delegation will only be filled with Romney alternates.

An RNC spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday morning.

Finally, Politico is reporting that the delegations from Maine, Nevada, Louisiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma – all states with vocal Paul supporters within their delegations – were given less-than-ideal seat assignments on the convention floor.

“The delegation for the Northern Mariana Islands, on the other hand, is right in front behind the gang from Michigan, birth state of Republican nominee Mitt Romney,” Politico reported after obtaining a copy of the seating chart. “Other groups with pretty good seats include those from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. None has electoral votes that can impact the outcome of the election.”

 

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or erussell@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or mbyrne@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or rbillings@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or mshepherd@centralmaine.com
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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