August 27, 2012

Mainer, 21, brings rally for Ron Paul to its feet

Ron Paul and his supporters vent their frustration with the Republican Party leadership.

By Kevin Miller kmiller@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Ashley Ryan of Maine speaks to Ron Paul supporters at the "We Are the Future" rally at the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday. She urged the crowd to "keep fighting" and stay engaged in politics despite frustrations.

Kevin Miller/Washington Bureau Chief

Ashley Ryan

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Peter Cianchette (Romney campaign chairman in Maine)

Bill Schneider (Maine attorney general)

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Note: Some of the Romney delegates are expected to be replaced by alternates.

Judging by the angry rhetoric directed at the Republican establishment, the small but vocal and well-organized "Ron Paul army" feels as if they and their candidate have been badly mistreated by the larger party. Over and over again, speakers insisted that Paul and his constitutionalist supporters are the true conservatives while the mainstream GOP has lost its way.

"Simply hating the other side is not a political ideology," said Jack Hunter, the Paul campaign's official blogger. "It is partisanship, it is childish and it is useless."

As a result of the challenges filed against Maine and other states, Paul has failed to win a plurality of delegates in five states that would trigger an automatic nomination and earn him a prime-time speaking slot during the convention. But because of that battle, Maine's delegation received loud applause from the crowd Sunday every time it was mentioned, as did Gov. Paul LePage, who opted to skip the national convention due to the flap over the delegates.

Some of Maine's Paul supporters were easily identifiable Sunday by their Paul "Maine 2012" hats as they gathered in special VIP sections reserved for delegates. Many of those from Maine who lost their seats as delegates or alternates will still be able to attend the convention thanks to Iowa's delegation, which has listed them as guests.

But the frustration and anger were still there.

"We would like to get back to a limited, constitutional government," said Bryan Daugherty, a longtime Republican from the Bangor area who was one of the 10 Paul supporters to retain his delegate seat. "All of the shenanigans pulled here is discouraging because we are part of the Republican Party."

John Logan Jones, one of the 10 Maine delegates who lost his seat at the convention, was nonetheless thrilled about Sunday's rally. A candidate for the Maine House this year, Jones said the experience has made him more intent on staying involved in state politics.

"I wear it as a badge of honor that they tossed me out because I am part of this change they are trying to resist," said Jones, who in addition to his Paul hat was wearing a button of Romney that read: "Not my candidate."

Although the GOP convention officially begins Monday, planners have postponed the first day's events due to the threat posed by Tropical Storm Isaac. 

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


Twitter: @KevinMillerDC

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Additional Photos

Mary White
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Mary White of Rathdrum, Idaho, shows her support for Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, at a rally at the University of South Florida Sun Dome on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday.

The Associated Press


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