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After complaints about "illegal" activity, Ron Paul faction takes GOP convention to parking lot

Marie Mentesana / Red Dirt Report
Ron Paul supporters flooded the Embassy Suites parking lot in Norman at the conclusion of the OK GOP state convention. The rump convention was formed because of alleged "illegalities" related to proper procedure not being followed.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – “Not for sale! Not for sale!” and “Follow the rules! Follow the rules!” That is what was being chanted by Republican delegates and attendees of Oklahoma Republican State Convention, as it moved out into the parking lot of the Embassy Suites in Norman late Saturday afternoon.

Red Dirt Report received calls from UStream viewers from around the country after our name and phone number was posted filmed at the site of the rump convention. All of the viewers (and likely Ron Paul supporters) were very polite and informative and were wanting media to cover the unfolding events. 

As this political drama unfolded, emails flooded our Red Dirt Report inbox as well. Joseph wrote: “Romney tried shutting down convention. Ron Paul fighters conducting business in parking lot now.”

Marie Mentesana, a photographer for Red Dirt Report, was quickly dispatched to the scene of the parking lot convention in Norman and along with another freelance reporter were able to talk to a number of conventioneers.

As Mentesana explained: “The Oklahoma GOP was holding a delegates conference and they were not allowing everyone to vote. They shut down everything and left. They took it out to vote in the parking lot" ... and pizzas were provided by Ustream viewers.*

“People are mad," added Mentesana, who also sent us several photos from the scene.

In a voice memo Mentesana sent to us, one attendee explained to her that the convention was adjourned illegally and proper protocol was allegedly not followed by the party leadership. 

"We had to move it outside and adjourn it ... we were electing delegates for president," explained one man.

In the background chants of "Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul!!" filled the air. Pizzas were also being passed around to the hungry crowd.

Indeed, Ustream.tv/channel/suriyahfish# was streaming the rump convention in the Embassy Suites parking lot. Everyone was excited when pizzas were ordered for the excited crowd. Some pizzas were ordered for the folks by people in the Netherlands.

Axxiom for Liberty's Kaye Beach also kept us up-to-date on developments as day turned to night and a civil rump convention was conducted in the hotel parking lot.

It is interesting to note that Mitt Romney visited Oklahoma City right before the convention, which was closed to most media. Red Dirt Report was not allowed to cover that visit, despite being allowed to cover the Romney's prior visit to Oklahoma City in October.

Red Dirt Report attempted to reach Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell Saturday night and we were unsuccessful. If we do hear from Pinnell, we will be sure to add his comments as well. 

UPDATE: As we have discovered (and suspected) it was UStream viewers who paid for those pizzas, not the Ron Paul campaign. There may have been some confusion on the ground. Regardless, people were fed and people were clearly working to make things right. We hope to have more information on this political drama as it continues to develop. Thanks again to all the people who contacted Red Dirt Report today!

UPDATE II: The rump convention adjourned at a little after 9:30 p.m. Freedom and liberty is alive and well in Oklahoma, despite the actions of some at the convention. The Daily Paul and UStream audiences really came through on this one. Thanks so much!! We have learned that Scott Mitchell on News 9's Sunday morning program Your Vote Counts will be discussing this incident and showing pictures taken by our crack photographer Marie Mentesana.

*Our photographer said in the chaos and excitement of the situation, she misunderstood who provided the pizza dinners. 

Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from John Brown University in... read more

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. read more

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