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Ron Paul Supporters Submit Challenge to Oklahoma GOP State Convention

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
A letter was delivered to OK GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell by convention delegates seeking to challenge the outcome of the chaotic OKGOP convention on 5/12/12.

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Attorneys representing grassroots supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul delivered a letter, dated Tuesday, May 22nd, to Oklahoma GOP Chairman Matt Pinnell challenging the “the legitimacy and legality of the purported selection of at-large delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention at the May 12, 2012 Oklahoma Republican Party Convention.” The letter contends that the election of the State Republican Executive Committee’s national

delegate slate is void because convention chairman Marc Nuttle failed to conduct the vote by roll call ballot as required in party rules. Instead, Nuttle called only for voice and standing votes, which do not take into account proportional weighting by county.

“We’re simply asking for the rules to be followed,” stated Lukus Collins, a national delegate from Oklahoma’s 5th congressional district. “This is not a grudge match. This is a black and white issue. State party rules as well as the convention rules clearly require a roll call vote by ballot for the election of national delegates, and that didn’t happen inside at the state convention.” According to Collins, a draft of the letter was presented to Chairman Pinnell over the weekend in an effort to resolve the matter privately, but the offer was ultimately declined.

The letter cites further rules violations, including improper adjournment while convention business was still outstanding.

Following the sudden and chaotic adjournment – which included the lights being turned out and wall partitions cutting off nearly one-third of the delegates from the rest of the convention – nearly 400 delegates gathered in the parking lot outside to continue business as a rump convention. During the outdoor proceedings, an alternative slate of national delegates and alternates was elected by roll call ballot, according to Jake Peters, who was elected to chair the continued convention.

The challenge letter requests that the delegates and alternates elected at the outdoor convention be recognized by the Oklahoma GOP as the legitimate at-large delegation, and that national delegation credentialing be forestalled until the challenge is resolved. The letter indicates that the petitioners are prepared to take their challenge formally to the national Committee on Contests.

Steve Dickson, a precinct chairman and state delegate, said, “It is unfortunate that we are forced to take this action compelling compliance with our own rules. I hope that our efforts can prevent more problems, in particular the seating of our full delegation in Tampa, by addressing the blatant violations that occurred now rather than later.”

For more information contact 405-371-2574 or email Lukus Collins at lukuscollins@gmail.com

UPDATE: Matt Pinnell, the OK GOP Chairman, sent us this statement: It is our position that all of the delegates elected at the convention were elected properly and majority clearly ruled with a minority voice. The delegates and alternate delegates elected at the convention are the delegates and alternates that will be certified to the RNC.  Any other people who claim they were elected as delegates in the parking lot after we adjourned at 5 pm are not delegates and will not be certified to the RNC. There are certainly provisions in the RNC Rules that allow individuals to bring a challenge to the seating of delegates.  There are specific RNC Rules that govern such challenges.  A Committee on Contests considers the challenge in the first instance.  The final decider is the Credentials Committee in Tampa Bay.

Also, learn more at RonPaulOK.com

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Andrew W. Griffin is the founder and editor of Red Dirt Report, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state.  Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics.  Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans.  Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points.  We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information.

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