UPDATED: Challenge filed against Maine’s delegates to the GOP National Convention; LePage “stands behind” Paulians
On July 28, 2012 At 3:03 pm
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A post at Daily Paul, a website for supporters of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, states that a challenge has been filed against nearly all of the delegates from Maine to the Republican National Convention. In all, the eligibility of 28 delegates and alternates have been challenged by Janet Staples of Cape Elizabeth. Peter Cianchette, a long-time party leader in Maine, is also part of the challenge.
The delegates were elected at the Maine State Party Convention in May. The convention saw a spirited contest between backers of Paul and Mitt Romney, with the Paulians carrying the day, electing one of their own as chair of the proceedings.
Not listed in the challenge is one delegate who was elected at the convention: Gov. Paul LePage.
The challenge, which can be found below, lists several grievances:
That the credentialing process was so lax as to allow persons not entitled to do so to vote;
That the votes for delegates were done by county, not the body as a whole; and
That a quorum was not present at the time of the elections;
Should the challenge be accepted, the Republican National Committee (RNC) can penalize the State Party by reducing the number of at-large delegates, even to the Maine’s allotment of 15. The RNC may also choose to deny eligibility to any or all members of the slate of delegates. Any such determination by the RNC is not subject to an appeal.
Maine Republicans are guaranteed at least three delegates to the convention: the State Party Chair, Charlie Webster, and the two National Committee members, Jan Staples and Rick Bennett. Both Staples and Bennett will be replaced by Paul supporters at the end of the year.
The National Republican Party Rules can be found here.
Of interest is what would happen should the RNC deny some delegates, leaving there seats vacant. National Republican Party rules state that if the State Party nor state law provides a method for filling vacancies to the National Convention, then the State Party’s executive committee will elect new replacement delegates. The Maine Republican Party will not hold any meetings prior to the National Convention, although the executive committee can do so. It is stacked with folks loyal to Charlie Webster.
Edited to correct executive committee meeting error.
Update: In a posting on Gov. LePage’s facebook page, Brent Littlefield, and adviser to LePage, wrote:
Governor Paul LePage stands behind Maine Republican National Committeeman Rick Bennett’s position that all Maine Delegates should be seated at the Republican National Convention.
The Governor also understands that he does not have a formal role in the process of determining Delegates to the Tampa Convention. Therefore he has made his position known to Maine’s members of the Republican National Committee: Chairman Charlie Webster, Rick Bennett and Jan Staples.
In November the Governor looks forward to joining a united Republican Party in voting for the candidate who can help restore our economy, Mitt Romney.
Rick Bennett’s statement, to which Littlefield refers, is not available at this time.