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Constitutional conservative and delegate Qadoshyah Fish explains what happened at OKGOP convention

Sussex County Angel
Qadoshyah Fish spoke to Red Dirt Report about the chaotic OKGOP convention.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s been over a week since the Oklahoma Republican Party held what turned out to be a thoroughly chaotic convention at the Embassy Suites hotel in Norman. Red Dirt Report was on the scene covering the events that took place in the hotel parking lot in the form of a “rump convention,” largely led by constitutionally-conservative Republicans and Ron Paul supporters.

And while your Red Dirt Reporter was in Oklahoma City during the convention, Red Dirt Report photojournalist Marie Mentesana was on the scene and got a lot of on-the-spot coverage, which we featured here. That coverage led to what would be a record number of page visits for this online newspaper.

Since then we have spoken to Qadoshyah Fish, a 23-year-old Cherokee County, Okla. state Republican delegate who will be going to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida in August. Fish, and her sister Suriyah (who ran the camera that featured the Ustream livestream coverage followed by this reporter and many, many others) were part of the “parking lot patriots” who held the rump convention that resulted when the main convention organizers and leadership allegedly failed to follow the rules.

Fish, 23, comes from a large, Christian family where she was homeschooled. When she spoke to Red Dirt Report late last week she explained that she is attracted to Ron Paul’s message of truth and liberty and following the U.S. Constitution.

“I want people to be able to believe what they want to believe,” Fish said. “I’m a Christian and I believe in God. I want to be able to believe that. I want my kids and siblings to live in a free America.”

And running a ranch in rural, eastern Oklahoma, Fish said being able to use and consume milk from their livestock is important, among other issues. But with the main issue being the May 12th convention, Fish continued.

“There were multiple problems with credentials,” she said. This included what was explained as 22 delegates from 6 counties being added but that as the day went on, “200 additional names” were added from out of nowhere. Fish said that delegates she knew explained that these new “delegates” were not familiar faces.

“Why there was such a problem, I don’t know. Just a lot of speculation. I don’t want to say it was fraud. I just don’t know,” Fish said, adding that the vice-chairwoman of OKGOP, Pam Pollard, told the delegates to “trust her” and “it has been taken care of.”

Fish and others found it peculiar that there were issues of computer glitches throughout the day and that while the party leadership said there “was a mess-up,” no evidence was offered to the delegates to put them at ease.

Fish said that voter ID and driver’s licenses were not requested during the signing-in process and that “four or five Ron Paul supporters volunteering at the registration table” saw that “time and again.” She said the folks registering the delegates simply “took their word for it” and let them in.

Fish also said that many delegates were disappointed with Marc Nuttle, a Norman attorney who was chosen as the convention chairman.

“We elected Marc Nuttle because we were promised he would be fair,” Fish said. “We wanted to be fair and square to everyone.” She said that as the convention progressed, however, “it became clear that (Nuttle) was not interestedin following the rules.”

Fish said Nuttle refused to hear a “minority rules report” and refused to hear a “District 1 convention complaint.” There was also an issue regarding the slate of delegates and that a point of order was raised and Nuttle refused to hear it, despite an appeal.

When Mitt Romney was endorsed by Gov. Mary Fallin and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a convention guest, there was “a lot of distaste for what they said.”

Their support of Romney, Fish said, “may be why we saw the negative stuff that we saw on Saturday.”

Fish also said the hotel staff told delegates that the party decided to wall off parts of the convention hall at the end of the day, despite the party alleging the hotel was the one that was instructing the party to shut things down.

The biggest issue at hand, Fish said, is that the old guard is “afraid of Ron Paul supporters.” She said that Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell was somehow behind thwarting the efforts of Paul supporters. Red Dirt Report spoke with Pinnell and featured comments from him in this story.

Fish said the Ron Paul supporters and constitutional conservatives are not giving up and are taking the high ground by pointing out how the rump convention – the “parking lot patriots” took the high ground on Saturday.

“Things were not done according to the rules” during the main convention,” reiterated Fish. “So we had to do that rump convention in the parking lot. There were two conventions done that day. The first one did not follow multiple rules. The other one followed almost every rule to a T. It’s about who did it right, according to the rules.”

Red Dirt Report has also spoken and/or emailed a number of delegates who also echoed Fish's observations from that day. We may have a follow-up story soon.

Read more about this at Sussex County Angel's blog and conversation with Qadoshyah Fish.

Copyright 2012 West Marie Media

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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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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