The 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., wraps up Thursday, but not without local tea party and Ron Paul delegates and grassroots activists finishing the week with bruises from a convention rules fight on how delegates will be chosen.
Wayne Richard, who has been driving new voters into the tea party and to support the Republican Party, found himself disappointed by the heavy-handed tactics.
"After all the dust settled and the actual facts emerge, I am not happy with what transpired," Richard said. "Yes, we did eliminate an attempt to disenfranchise the peoples vote on delegates but all in all this is not a good development for the future. I will be addressing all this on a future radio show [on 1190 AM]."
What was the fight about?
FreedomWorks, which stands for lower taxes, less government and more freedom, sums up the fight: "Essentially the Rules Committee is trying to disenfranchise grassroots groups by allowing the party nominee to dismiss delegates and silence opposition."
ANGRY GOP VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1WBBgcvSmg
And that has the GOP grassroots in Collin County and Texas fuming.
Mike Openshaw said via Facebook: "They ignored every cry for recognition, call for minority report or points of order. Ayes and nays were equal volume on rules [per Michele] Malkin's tweet], but [John] Boehner ruled Rules committee motion carried (and I'm sure was not about to let the question be called.) The steamroller moves on. ... right over the grassroots. Now you all can see why I wanted no part of this farce in Tampa. I am so done with national GOP politics!
"I will not donate a minute of time, nor a single thin dime of donation to the Romney campaign after the Parliamentary thuggery that just performed on the Grassroots," Openshaw said. "All my resources will go local."
Texas State Senator Dan Patrick fought the rule changes on the floor.
Patrick said, "Our citizen Texas grassroots leaders took on the Romney team with other state grassroots leaders."
RedState, which calls itself the home of Powerful Conservative Voices, reported that the first rule proposed would give the Republican National Committee the power to change rules between conventions with a three-quarters vote of the RNC. ... The second rules change would front-load winner-take-all primaries.
Grassroots conservatives pointed to both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as reasons to stop this rule. Had there been front-loaded winner takes all primaries, neither the Gingrich nor the Santorum campaigns would have been able to get any traction.
"Tea Party Motto: It only takes a spark to start a brushfire," Angela Cox said.
Some say the GOP national leaders won the battle, but can't win the war without the grassroots activists that the Democrats, GOP and national media spend so much time casting in the role of a villain.
Grassroots activists in McKinney and across Texas say they want less top-down mandates from someone sitting thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C.
"The grassroots people are simply for more local control," said KRLD talk show host Charley Jones, citing examples of how the GOP establishment openly fought non-insider candidates such as Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. "I had suspected it and seen signs of it that the establishment Republicans wanted to hold on, but this week they really showed their hand when they tried to stomp out the grassroots. Now that they are out in the open about it, we can talk about it. ... The country club establishment Republicans are slowly losing control of their party, and the tea party is not going away. When you see something like this, you start realizing there is not a dime's worth of difference between the establishment of the two parties."
LOCAL REACTION IN COLLIN COUNTY GOP
Ann Lieber said, "Guess I'm guility as charged because I did believe the Republicans could be brought kicking and screaming to the conservative principles and actions they purport to be all about. Wrong!"
Debbie Lento wants to thank the Texas delegates, "especially the [Ron] Paul delegates, who fought so hard against the RNC rule changes! I am a Newt supporter who is independent as of yesterday!"
Corey A. Hendon cited how some GOP delegates were not available for the rules vote: Morton Blackwell, a longtime conservative activist and RNC Rules Committee expert, found himself indefinitely detained – along with the rest of the Virginia delegation. ... The RNC’s bus driver responsible for transporting delegates somehow “got lost” for well over an hour until a critical Rules Committee meeting adjourned.
WHAT DOES PALIN THINK?
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page Monday night: "We have to remember that this election is not just about replacing the party in power. It's about who and what we replace it with. Grassroots conservatives know this. Without the energy and wisdom of the grassroots, the GOP would not have had the historic 2010 electoral victories. That's why the controversial rule change being debated at the RNC convention right now is so very disappointing. It's a direct attack on grassroots activists by the GOP establishment, and it must be rejected."
NOT OVER YET
"I'm sure they [GOP establishment] don't think they need Ron Paul and the Ron Paul people or the tea party," Jones said. "The country club Republicans don't realize that Ron Paul has succeeded in planting the seeds of libertarian ideas in people that are in their twenties. In your 20s, that's where ideas take hold."
North Texas Tea Party boardmember Cindy Hyltin said, "Clearly, Boehner's ruling was wrong. So, call him at 202-225-6205 and voice your disagreement with his ruling. We have to win this election, and the GOP just drove a wedge between themselves and the people who can win it.
"We actually were the first responders to the GOP delivering a message to Steve Munisteri, state GOP chairman, that went out to national grassroots organizations and they picked it up," Hyltin said. "Family Research Council, RNC for Life, Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks and tea parties across the nation started contacting their state chairman and rules delegates. Such an outcry was swift and the backlash is still in play."
AND THERE'S MORE
According to a report late Wednesday night: Upon leaving the convention, Ron Paul, his wife and grand daughter were told by TSA at the Clearwater, Fla., airport that they would need to be screened before they would be allowed to leave because Mitt Romney might be nearby. After examining Ron Paul’s credentials, the agents demanded they be allowed to check the airplane for explosives. ... The incident ended after Ron Paul’s wife, Carol, who has a pacemaker, refused to be screened by the TSA and an aide started taking video.
Voter I.D. law ruling: State Rep. Ken Paxton, who recently won the Republican Primary for the State Senate seat, said Thursday morning: "The Texas Legislature passed a strong Voter ID last session to prevent voter fraud and ensure ballot integrity. Even though the U.S.Supreme Court has already ruled that both the Georgia and Indiana voter ID laws are constitutional and allowed full implementation of those laws, the DC Circuit Court struck down our voter ID law. I fully support Greg Abbott in his decision to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Jeff Leach, who won his state representative runoff this summer, said: "I fully support Attorney General Abbott's decision to appeal the rejection of Texas' voter ID law to the United States Supreme Court. Freedom-loving Americans of all political stripes should, at the very least, fight together to protect and preserve the fairness and integrity of our democratic process."
NEWS VIDEO OF BOOING, VOTE ON RULES
FREEDOMWORK LOOK AT LONG-TERM EFFECT
MICHELLE MALKIN ON POWER GRAB