Today, June 2, 2012, I was in attendance as a delegate in support of Ron Paul at the Louisiana Republican State Convention in Shreveport. Before the convention began I told someone if we make it through without someone being tazed I would feel the day was a success. As it turns out, I wasn’t specific enough. Why would I suggest such a thing? For some reason, the Louisiana GOP felt it was necessary to load up the Shreveport Convention Center with Shreveport and Louisiana State Police. I guess they thought us rowdy Ron Paul people would create a scene or something. (Apparently they’ve been reading our blogs) In that regard they were correct, but not in the way they were expecting.
First, some background. The Louisiana convention delegation is made up of 25 delegates from each of the 6 LA Congressional districts. The Louisiana State Central Committee wrote into their original rules the authority to elect 5 additional delegates for each district, bringing the Convention total to 180. After the results of the district caucuses, Ron Paul delegates won 111 seats for a 62% majority, including sweeps of the 1, 2, 5, and 6th districts. Now, the LA GOP saw the writing on the wall for Ron Paul supporters to be elected to a potential 32 of 46 delegate seats to the Republican National Convention. This of course was not pleasing to them. A humorous but sad aside; an older woman in the delegation told a female Ron Paul supporter that she knew the reason she liked RP was so he could legalize drugs for her, and what is she, 19 (because age makes her views irrelevant?). Great attitude lady. Anyway, so what do the “powers that be” do? Change the rules of course, 19.5 hours before the Rules Committee was scheduled to meet. And for good measure, they appointed their own chairmen to the 3 convention committees.
These new “Supplemental Rules” could most accurately be described as…. corrupt, power-grabbing bullshit. I was also elected to a seat on the Rules Committee. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the committee meeting to finalize the rules for the convention. However, during the meeting, the body (made up of a majority Ron Paul supporters) voted to remove the appointed chairman and elect Alex Heilwig. Rough video of this is below.
Now, back to the Convention itself. The first order of business was a prayer that I would best describe as a political admonition to just sit back and let the powers that be do whatever they want regardless of the will of the 62% majority body. 4 minutes later, self-appointed Chairman of the Convention, Roger Villere, asked Scott Wilfong, “Chairman of the Rules Committee,” to give the report from the committee. At that time, Alex Helwig, the duly elected Chairman of the Rules Committee, challenged this while contesting the legitimacy of Wilfong’s alleged chairmanship. The result? Shreveport and LA State Police assaulted him, breaking at least one of his fingers. Video of the dust-up below.
Immediately proceeding those events the delegation proceeded to nominate a new Convention Chairman. The motion carried, and as you can see in the above video, the delegates turned their chairs around to continue the Convention since Roger Villere refused to acknowledge this entirely legitimate and proper procedural move. So, what would Villere and the LA GOP do next? Of course, it’s not a real party until the cops assault 2 political activists.
What you saw in that video, was elected Chairman Henry Herford being forcibly dragged away from the proceedings before being injured and subsequently arrested by Shreveport Police. After that craziness calmed down, the majority of the delegation continued with the business of electing delegates to represent Louisiana at the Republican National Convention. Roger Villere continued to have the minority portion of the delegation proceed with their own elections.
So, what next? Now the RNC will receive both results of elected delegates and choose who to seat at the convention in Tampa in August. Ask yourself, which process seems more legitimate to you? What country do we live in where political parties can change rules whenever the results don’t seem to be going their way? What country do we live in where a political party hack can have police assault an elected member? That’s right, here in the USA. Also, I forgot to mention that the event was on private property so there is a question as to whether the police even had the authority to remove anyone.
Anyway, there you go ladies and gentlemen. This is what the Louisiana Republican Party has become. And you wonder why rLOVEution is under way…