The Ron Paul slate won 20 of the 24 national convention delegates and all of the alternates, plus new pro-liberty RNC representatives who also sit as delegates to the national convention, leaving sitting Maine GOP Chairman Webster as the only sure Romney delegate and Maine Governor Paul LePage as an additional delegate who may vote with the liberty faction. Of course, The Establishment raised enough procedural issues to create potential roadblocks and is threatening to challenge the entire delegation.
At one point, the Executive Committee of the current Maine State Committee was seen in a break room around a table on a conference call trying to get the RNC to declare the Maine convention invalid. On Saturday, as the trend was evident, Romney’s top lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg was flown into Augusta Municipal Airport by private plane to advise The Establishment on the convention floor. The Portland Press Herald caught a photo of him in action trying to influence proceedings at the convention.
Youth was brought into the party with the election of young Paul supporters as National Committeeman and National Committeewoman. The National Committeewoman-elect Ashley Ryan will become the youngest member of the RNC and she has expressed interest in Republican Liberty Caucus.
Liberty Republicans, including at least eight RLC members, swept State Committee seats and, unless challenged by The Establishment lawyers, look to have a majority or better for control. The State Chair Charles Webster, who declared war on libertarians, is up for election in December.
Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage has been friendly to libertarians and was supported as a delegate on the liberty slate. He was endorsed by Maine Republican Liberty Caucus in the seven-way primary before his election.
The old guard Establishment remains the Legislative leadership, many of whom led the procedural challenges which caused the convention to run late. Several expressed open hostility to the Paul movement, libertarians and two to the RLC specifically. State Rep. Aaron Libby, who is friendly to RLC, did endorse Paul last February but is the only GOP legislator to be public.
The Maine RLC booth was extremely successful in terms of both new memberships and revenues from sales of my book and the wing-nut teeshirts, which were worn all over the convention floor by the young Paul enthusiaists.
The only drawback was an incomplete Maine RLC State Convention. We were able to convene with a quorum long enough to elect officers. Ken Lindell was reelected Chair, Vic Berardelli was re-elected vice chair, Tim McClure is secretary, Jeffrey Ellis is treasurer. Board members are David Brooks, Ken Anderson and Michelle Anderson. We were about to get into endorsement review when our “courier” said they cut short candidate speeches and were about to conduct voting business on the main convention floor. With the Romney challenges and the late hour, we were unable to muster a quorum to reconvene and will have to conclude our RLC business at a later date.