Over 120 delegates to the Republican National Convention have joined a lawsuit against the GOP arguing they have been illegally coerced into choosing Mitt Romney for the party’s presidential nominee and demanding they be “unbound” to vote for another candidate instead.
The federal lawsuit, filed this week in U.S. District Court in California by mostly supporters of Ron Paul, demands the delegates be freed to “vote their conscience” for presidential nominee at the party’s August national convention in Tampa, Fla., rather than being “bound” to vote for a certain candidate, as many state party bylaws require, based on the primary elections and other delegate selection procedures.
You are about to see why I started saying in 2008, that Obama will be nearly impossible to remove from office if allowed to complete his first term, no matter how ugly his first term record would become. Here’s why I was saying that…Mitt Romney is a lock for the GOP nomination based upon 53.2% of the popular primary vote and 73% of the official GOP
Courthouse News Service reports at least another 40 additional national convention delegates have asked to join the lawsuit.
Supporters of the effort say there is “evidence that the voting rights of Ron Paul Republican delegates and voters … have been violated by nearly every state GOP party and the RNC during the 2012 primary election phase.”
The delegates claim the party violated federal law by forcing them to sign loyalty affidavits, under threat of perjury, to vote for Mitt Romney, though he is not yet the official nominee.
“They don’t want to be bound to any candidate, or even be forced to vote for the nominee,” Richard Gilbert, of Gilbert & Marlowe, attorney for the delegates, told Courthouse News. “To have a real convention, the delegates must have free will so that when they meet, they can persuade each other and then decide who to vote for.”
The courts have typically allowed political parties leeway in the nomination of their candidates, but this case asks the court to consider the choice of presidential nominee a “federal election,” subject to laws that would free delegates from party procedures to vote their conscience.
Beyond merely asserting delegates’ “right” to vote their conscience, however, the lawsuit asserts the GOP has engaged in a racketeering-like scheme to push Romney as the candidate.
“The Republican National Committee and its chairman have been aiding the Governor Romney campaign for at least six months,” the lawsuit asserts. “The RNC and its chairman, defendant Reince Priebus, have … combined with a particular candidate with all of the aid the RNC can possibly, but improperly give … to obstruct, intimidate and harass delegates from voting their conscience.”
Specifically, the lawsuit charges Republican officials and operatives have used threats of violence, certified unlawful slates of delegates, demanded affidavits of loyalty to Romney under penalty of perjury and have even altered ballot results to make sure the national convention is stacked with delegates who will vote for Romney.
“Some campaigns act like organized crime syndicates – and I mean organized crime, no doubt about it,” Gilbert told Courthouse News. “In Arizona, the voting machines were rigged so that Ron Paul votes were counted as Mitt Romney votes. It was so intentional that a Romney delegate refused to certify the vote count, and for that he got thrown off the convention.”
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- RNC Legal Counsel: All delegates are unbound (examiner.com)
- GOP Delegates Revolt Against Romney & RNC (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Ron Paul or No One at All (lewrockwell.com)
- RNC Legal Counsel: Delegates are unbound, Ron Paul poised to win the nomination (runronpaul.com)
- Is there a Ron Paul putsch under way? (wnd.com)
- Lawyers for Ron Paul File Civil Rights Lawsuit (musicians4freedom.com)
- Ron Paul scores surprise delegates in New Mexico! (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Breaking: Ron Paul Wins Delegates In New Mexico! (dailypaul.com)
- Massachusetts GOP upholds election of Ron Paul delegates in Mitt Romney’s congressional district (boston.com)