Stoffa: Do Republican party leaders care about the average Joe’s votes?

Gabriel Stoffa

Is Ron Paul still a factor for the Republican nomination for president?

Paul has been riding close seconds and thirds throughout the race as Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum tended to take the lead position once the field had settled down and trade off with Paul.

That made for interesting news as the race was picking up at the beginning of the year, and then Santorum dropped off the board when further conventions passed. Romney remained the lead contender as time passed, but what about Paul?

Paul’s base has not appeared to waver as the race goes on. His supporters are still in the field pushing for Paul’s radical overhauls.

At the recent Louisiana Convention, despite many news articles making it appear Romney has the nomination all but in the bag, Paul supporters popped up to take control. However, reports say the State Central Committee of the Louisiana Republican Party were not willing to let Paul be recognized as the victor.

Roger Villaire, chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party, refused to allow Alex Helwig, the newly elected chairman for the Rules Committee, to address the floor. Villaire had police escort Helwig out despite his duly elected status.

A new election occurred to put Henry Herford Jr. into the position with an overwhelming majority. But Villaire continued to refuse to relinquish the floor. Villaire then ordered police to remove Herford, according to sources at Policymic.

After the hoopla, 27 Paul supporters still were elected to cover 12 of the 18 district delegate slots and 15 of 20 at-large delegate slots. While this happened, state party leaders had another meeting with their own delegates to create a separate list of delegates.

Could someone tell me what the hell is wrong with the Republican party? I mean seriously, if you have things so far out of whack in trying to get Romney into the title fight with President Barack Obama, maybe you should consider the idea Romney isn’t your best chance to win; unlikely, but still.

Paul has been running well throughout almost every caucus, yet the news media snubs him over and over in favor of Republican candidates that lean far to the right that might have a chance against Romney.

Maine’s and Nevada’s Romney supporters were allegedly caught distributing counterfeit delegate slates. In Arizona, there were complaints of ballot stuffing and the convention was eventually shut down when it appeared likely that a Paul supporter would be elected as the national committeewoman. In Massachusetts, after Paul supporters won 16 of 27 district delegate slots, state party leaders quickly moved to try to invalidate the results, all of that according to Policymic.

Even in Iowa, I watched as Paul supporters emerged from the convention in Wapello County claiming their votes for Paul were discarded because they didn’t follow a voting procedure that was put in place without all people in the district identified of the change; nor was this a voting requirement instigated for all rooms, only a couple of rooms that contained a large number of Paul supporters. Convention leaders said this was fair because each room can decide any requirements as they see fit to allow for a smooth vote process.

By the way, Santorum ended up winning Wapello County by only a few votes. Had the Paul votes in question been counted, Paul would have won Wapello County.

Is this a conspiracy to keep Paul from appearing in the Republican limelight? My guess is yes. Party politics want someone to be in control that falls in line with most of what the party leaders desire. Paul is running as a Republican, but many classify him as a libertarian. In either case, his platform for presidency does not jive  with the basic outlook some of the far-righters in power desire; though it does appear to mesh with a great deal of voters, whether informed or not.

As the election cycle nears, it is likely that Romney will still gain the nomination, but keep in mind Paul might remain in the race just to prove a point. And that point might swing enough voters to keep Obama in office by a sizable margin. If you are a Democrat, just reap the rewards, and if you are a Republican, then ask yourself if you really trust those leading your party.

For the rest of us that don’t care for either party, at least we have something to entertain us and reinforce our dislike of the current parties of power’s practices.