Last April the Nevada Republican party held the state convention to elect delegates to the national convention. The convention didn't go as scripted by the party bosses and the Ron Paul faction of the party was able to pass a rules change that said all nominated delegate candidates should be voted on. Soon after that the convention chairman abruptly recessed the convention, saying it would be reconvened at a later date.
I am a state Republican delegate and since the April convention I have received announcements about two different attempts to reconvene the convention. The official party date to reconvene the convention is Saturday July 26.
Yesterday a splinter group of Republicans who feel that the state party is trying to disenfranchise them reconvened the convention on their own. Most, if not all, of them are Ron Raul supporters who feel that the Nevada Republican bosses are trying every trick in the book to make sure that the Nevada delegates to the national convention are McCain supporters.
I received the announcements about the alternate convention. I didn't want to contribute to their numbers and to their ability to get a quorum but I was curious about the convention so yesterday I went to it, got a visitor badge and listened for a while.
It certainly wasn't a diverse cross section of Republicans. There was unanimous support to nominate and elect Mike Weber as chairman. I called Weber a jerk in an earlier post. I'm sorry about that. You have to admire someone who cares so passionately about politics and who is wiling to work so hard for what he believes in.
It was very clear that Weber and his friends had scripted this convention to take the steps that they believe will allow them to make a case for their delegates being recognized by the national Republican Party. Weber said that to make the case for yesterday's convention being official they have "a small hole to get through".
They made a big deal of the fact that a list of the delegates to the April convention was never released. They announced that delegates not present at yesterday's continuation of the April convention are in dereliction of their duty and therefore the 352 delegates present yesterday constituted a quorum. I left before they elected delegates but Local So-and-So another Republican blogger who attended yesterday wrote a good post about the convention .
While I was there I did get interviewed by the Associated Press reporter, Martin Griffith and I got quoted in this mornings paper. As I said to Griffith it doesn't bode well for McCain's chances in Nevada that 352 Nevada Republicans were willing to go through all that was necessary to make this alternate convention happen.
On the other hand, there were 1,347 delegates at the April convention. If the 352 delegates present yesterday were enough to reconvene then wouldn't 5 also have been enough to reconvene. It doesn't seem to me that the delegates elected yesterday should be seated at the national convention. I wonder how many people will attend the 'official ' state convention at the end of July. This saga will be continued.
The rest of my pictures from the convention are on Flickr here.