Ron Paul Wins Most Maine Delegates

AP | MAY 6, 2012

With Mitt Romney’s GOP presidential nomination all but decided, Ron Paul supporters took control of the Maine Republican Convention and elected a majority slate supporting the Texas congressman to the GOP national convention, party officials said. The results gave the Texas congressman a late state victory.

In votes leading to the close of the two-day Maine convention, Paul supporters were elected to 21 of the 24 delegate spots from Maine to the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla. The 24th delegate’s seat goes to party Chairman Charles Webster, who has remained uncommitted throughout the process.

Making the Paul takeover complete was the election of Paul supporters to a majority of the state committee seats.

“It’s certainly a significant victory,” said Jim Azzola of South Portland, Cumberland County coordinator for Paul.

Paul, the last challenger to remain in the contest, finished a close second behind Romney in Maine’s GOP caucuses in February, but those results were nonbinding. Not everyone had a chance to cast a ballot before the results were announced, and a snowstorm forced the cancellation of some caucuses, including one in a Paul stronghold. Romney won the February straw poll with 39 percent of the vote to Paul’s 36 percent. Rick Santorum trailed with 18 percent and Newt Gingrich got 6 percent.

Romney’s aides say they do not view Paul as a threat to winning the nomination. But Romney and his team have also been mindful not to do or say anything that might anger Paul’s loyal supporters.

“I think he’s being very careful because he knows how important the Ron Paul voters are — they obviously represent a very different dynamic,” said Mike Dennehy, a former top aide to Republican John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “They are the most passionate and the most frustrated of any voters heading to the polls. And many of them are independents.”

The weekend’s turn of events — in a state neighboring one where Romney served as governor — would indicate the GOP has not yet united behind the presumptive nominee, and there are indications the infighting may last all the way to the national convention.

Paul supporters accused the Romney crowd Saturday of dirty tricks to garner more delegates. “We came here to see democracy in action. We are floored by what happened, absolutely floored to see the cheating,” said Elizabeth Shardlow of Auburn, a Paul activist.

Charles Cragin, a Romney supporter who lost Saturday’s bid to chair the convention, called the turn of events at the Maine convention “bizarre.” Cragin said the Paul-led delegation may not be recognized at the national convention because of violations of rules of procedure this weekend in Augusta.

“They have so phenomenally screwed this up that they will go to Tampa and not be seated,” Cragin said.

Another Romney supporter, delegate John Carson of Kittery, acknowledged “this is a split convention.”

“The Paul supporters have had a successful process and should be congratulated on that,” said Carson, a veteran of numerous state conventions. “I think it’s important that the Romney camp and Paul camp come together and support a single candidate,” Carson said, adding that candidate should be Romney.

Despite fraud, Ron Paul Owns the GOP Election

by Grace Wyler
Business Insider
February 16, 2012

By now, it is clear that the Maine caucuses were a complete mess.

Evidence is mounting that Mitt Romney’s 194-vote victory over Ron Paul was prematurely announced, if not totally wrong. Washington County canceled their caucus on Saturday on account of three inches of snow (hardly a blizzard by Maine standards), and other towns that scheduled their caucuses for this week have been left out of the vote count. Now, it looks like caucuses that did take place before Feb. 11 have also been left out of final tally.

 As the full extent of the chaos unfolds, sources close to the Paul campaign tell Business Insider that it is looking increasingly like Romney’s team might have a hand in denying Paul votes, noting that Romney has some admirably ruthless operatives on his side and a powerful incentive to avoid a fifth caucus loss this month.

According to the Paul campaign, the Maine Republican Party is severely under-reporting Paul’s results — and Romney isn’t getting the same treatment. For example, nearly all the towns in Waldo County — a Ron Paul stronghold – held their caucuses on Feb. 4, but the state GOP reported no results for those towns. In Waterville, a college town in Central Maine, results were reported but not included in the party vote count. Paul beat Romney 21-5 there, according to the Kennebec County GOP.

“It’s too common,” senior advisor Doug Wead told Business Insider. “If it was chaos, we would expect strong Romney counties to be unreported, and that’s not what’s happening.”

The Maine Republican Party won’t decide which votes it will count until the executive committee meets next month. But Wead points out that even if Mitt Romney holds on to his slim lead, it will be a Pyrrhic victory.

“He will have disenfranchised all of these people,” Wead said. “It could be a costly victory — it is a mistake.”

The (alleged) bias against Paul may also be the product of an organic opposition to the libertarian Congressman and his army of ardent fans. Paul volunteers tend to be young and relatively new to party politics, and their presence has many state GOP stalwarts feeling territorial.

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Ron Paul to Win more Delegates than Gingrich and Santorum combined this Week

Christian Science Monitor
January 31, 2012

This week, Ron Paul is likely to win more delegates to the 2012 GOP convention than either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum. In fact, he’s likely to win more delegates than Gingrich and Santorum combined.

“Hold it”, you’re saying, “How can that be? Rep. Paul’s polling in single digits in Florida. He’s going to finish behind Gingrich and Santorum, as well as Mitt Romney, in Tuesday’s Florida primary. How can that translate into beating any of his rivals at all?”

We’ll tell you how – because he’s not winning those delegates in Florida. He’s winning, or will probably win, at least a few delegates in Maine.

Paul took a quick two-day swing through Maine over the weekend, in case you didn’t notice. He met withGOP Gov. Paul LePage. He spoke to big crowds throughout the state – in Lewiston, apparently, event organizers had to expand his conference room to handle the people who showed up.

He even landed the coveted L.L. Bean endorsement – that’s Linda Lorraine Bean, heiress of the L.L. Bean empire and a lobster roll entrepreneur in her own right. She endorsed Paul on Saturday from her restaurant in the retail outlet mecca of Freeport.

Asked why she wasn’t supporting fellow New Englander Mitt Romney, Ms. Bean said “I’ve always been for Ron Paul”, according to a statement posted on Paul’s campaign web site.

As we’ve previously reported, unnoticed by most of the DC-based political establishment, the Maine caucuses actually began this weekend. So Paul wasn’t in Maine just because he likes riding around in salt-crusted Suburus.

Most Maine towns will hold their caucuses during the state GOP’s preferred window of February 4-11. But “most” doesn’t mean “all”. Lincoln, Lowell, Burlington, Chester, Enfield, Winn, and Howland held their joint caucus on Saturday. Millinocket’s was on Sunday. And so forth.

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Establishment GOP moving Iowa vote count to ¨Undisclosed¨ Location

Note: This measure has arrived after unfounded threats against the voting process were made public in Iowa. The GOP wants to make sure they are the only ones who will know what the result of the voting really is.

By Jonathan Martin
Politico.com
December 28, 2011

Threats to disrupt the Iowa Republican caucuses next week have prompted state GOP officials to move the vote tabulation to an “undisclosed location,” POLITICO has learned.

The state party has not yet told the campaigns exactly where the returns will be added up, only that it will be off-site from the Iowa GOP’s Des Moines headquarters. The 2008 caucus results were tabulated at the state party offices, which sit just a few blocks from the state capitol.

Activist groups including the Occupy movement have indicated that they’ll attempt to interrupt rallies in the closing days before next Tuesday’s caucuses.

The AP reported today that Occupy is making plans to even attend some caucuses and vote “no preference,” but not disturb the voting process.

But Iowa Republicans are also bracing for other threats, sources say, including hacking.

Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn wouldn’t comment on the plan to move the vote-counting except to say they’re increasing security measures.

“The Iowa GOP is taking additional safeguards to ensure the Caucus results are tabulated and reported to the public in an accurate and timely manner,” Strawn said. “We are not commenting on specific security procedures.”

21st Century Culture: Free Enterprise vs Government Control

Arthur C. Brooks

This is not the culture war of the 1990s. It is not a fight over guns, gays or abortion. Those old battles have been eclipsed by a new

Free Enterprise needs to exist for the gears to move.

struggle between two competing visions of the country’s future. In one, America will continue to be an exceptional nation organized around the principles of free enterprise — limited government, a reliance on entrepreneurship and rewards determined by market forces. In the other, America will move toward European-style statism grounded in expanding bureaucracies, a managed economy and large-scale income redistribution. These visions are not reconcilable. We must choose.

It is not at all clear which side will prevail. The forces of big government are entrenched and enjoy the full arsenal of the administration’s money and influence. Our leaders in Washington, aided by the unprecedented economic crisis of recent years and the panic it induced, have seized the moment to introduce breathtaking expansions of state power in huge swaths of the economy, from the health-care takeover to the financial regulatory bill that the Senate approved Thursday. If these forces continue to prevail, America will cease to be a free enterprise nation.

I call this a culture war because free enterprise has been integral to American culture from the beginning, and it still lies at the core of our history and character. “A wise and frugal government,” Thomas Jefferson declared in his first inaugural address in 1801, “which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” He later warned: “To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” In other words, beware government’s economic control, and woe betide the redistributors.

Now, as then, entrepreneurship can flourish only in a culture where individuals are willing to innovate and exert leadership; where people enjoy the rewards and face the consequences of their decisions; and where we can gamble the security of the status quo for a chance of future success.

Yet, in his commencement address at Arizona State University on May 13, 2009, President Obama warned against precisely such impulses: “You’re taught to chase after all the usual brass rings; you try to be on this “who’s who” list or that Top 100 list; you chase after the big money and you figure out how big your corner office is; you worry about whether you have a fancy enough title or a fancy enough car. That’s the message that’s sent each and every day, or has been in our culture for far too long — that through material possessions, through a ruthless competition pursued only on your own behalf — that’s how you will measure success.” Such ambition, he cautioned, “may lead you to compromise your values and your principles.”

I appreciate the sentiment that money does not buy happiness. But for the president of the United States to actively warn young adults away from economic ambition is remarkable. And he makes clear that he seeks to change our culture.

The irony is that, by wide margins, Americans support free enterprise. A Gallup poll in January found that 86 percent of Americans have a positive image of “free enterprise,” with only 10 percent viewing it negatively. Similarly, in March 2009, the Pew Research Center asked individuals from a broad range of demographic groups: “Generally, do you think people are better off in a free-market economy, even though there may be severe ups and downs from time to time, or don’t you think so?” Almost 70 percent of respondents agreed that they are better off in a free-market economy, while only 20 percent disagreed.

In fact, no matter how the issue is posed, not more than 30 percent of Americans say they believe we would fare better without free markets at the core of our system. When it comes to support for free enterprise, we are essentially a 70-30 nation.

So here’s a puzzle: If we love free enterprise so much, why are the 30 percent who want to change that culture in charge?

It’s not simply because of the election of Obama. As much as Republicans may dislike hearing it, statism had effectively taken hold in Washington long before that.

The George W. Bush administration began the huge Wall Street and Detroit bailouts, and for years before the economic crisis, the GOP talked about free enterprise while simultaneously expanding the government with borrowed money and increasing the percentage of citizens with no income tax liability. The 30 percent coalition did not start governing this country with the advent of Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It has been in charge for years.