LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
The Nevada chairman of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign on Thursday dismissed a Republican National Committee threat not to seat the Silver State’s delegation at the national convention if it’s packed with too many Paul supporters.
The warning came in a letter sent on Wednesday to the Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald, who had asked for a legal opinion about delegate selection ahead of the state GOP convention Saturday.
The RNC lawyer suggested it would be “highly likely” the Nevada delegation’s 28 seats at the Tampa convention would be jeopardized if Paul delegates took up spots that should be allocated instead to Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP nominee who won the Feb. 4 caucuses in Nevada with half the vote.
Carl Bunce, chairman of Paul’s campaign, said he won’t change his strategy of trying to elect a slate of Paul delegates that could take up to two-thirds of the Nevada delegation to Tampa.
“The ‘opinion’ of an establishment lawyer that supports Mitt Romney changes nothing,” Bunce told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “In the letter he says to not change the rules then says how we should change the rules to benefit Romney. Classic establishment tactics, change the rules when they are not in their favor.”
Bunce said that under Nevada GOP rules created last October and submitted to the RNC, Nevada delegates to the national convention are first elected at the state convention and then allocated to the presidential candidates based on the outcome of the Feb. 4 caucuses.
“He left that part out of his creative writing assignment,” Bunce said of the RNC lawyer.
Romney won Nevada’s Feb. 4 caucuses with 50 percent of the vote while Paul came in third with 19 percent behind Newt Gingrich and ahead of Rick Santorum. With Gingrich and Santorum out of the presidential race, party officials say Romney should now be awarded 20 of the Nevada delegates and Paul eight.
The Paul campaign, however, is sending hundreds of delegates to the state convention this weekend in Sparks to try and dominate the national delegate election. Only eight national delegates would be allowed to vote for Paul on the first convention ballot in Tampa while the rest would have to join Romney delegates in backing the likely nominee under RNC rules. But Paul backers want to pack the Florida convention in case there’s a second ballot when they’d be free to vote for Paul
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