Ron Paul Wins 2012 Nevada Republican Caucus Despite Fraud From Romney Campaign


At the near end of a long row of tables during Saturday morning, there was a Mitt Romney table with three or four people gathered around, one of whom was angry that the campaign had not called him. Some twenty tables away, far from the entrance to the convention hall, was Ron Paul's table. In stark contrast to Romney's table, more than one hundred Nevada delegates gathered around Ron Paul's table laughing and smiling. Some brought their children as guests to watch the convention and see Ron Paul speak to Nevada Republicans. After four years of diligently preparing for the 2012 Republican state convention, a win would be difficult to take away from these Ron Paul supporters. 

Ron Paul supporters came in the door with Ron Paul signs. A handful of Mitt Romney supporters came in the door with "yes" and "no" signs. They would be used to help people at the convention know what ideas the Romney campaign supported and to presumably have them unquestionably follow the command of the sign bearer. 

Early in the day, the heads of the Paul and Romney Nevada campaigns were called to the podium and spoke unifying words. The niceties ended there. 

Within half an hour, a Republican Party official was scolding the Romney campaign operatives quietly in the hallway, "Why would you pull these stunts half an hour into a convention?"

The scolding came after a maneuver commonly pulled by the Romney camp of circulating forged slates meant to look like official correspondence from Paul's campaign, in an attempt to fraudulently manipulate election results. Eyewitness reports indicate the Romney campaign has done the same in Colorado and in Maine.

The team circulating these slates was initially believed to be in possession of forged convention credentials, calling into question whether the Romney campaign might attempt to stack the convention as a way of falsify voting results in its favor in this hotly contested state. 

When asked if the Romney campaign's dirty tricks would come to hurt Romney, Nevada Lt. Governor and Romney state co-chairman Brian Krolicki responded, "There are no dirty tricks."

The occasionally tense convention, scheduled to end by 9 p.m. Saturday, went late into the night. The counting process lasted all night. Counting the 1,487 ballots for national delegates and other party positions,completed according to stringent rules on paper ballots and using numerous fail-safes,was done by approximately 50 volunteers.   

According to Election Committee chairwoman Jennifer Terhune, counting, which started Saturday night, lasted until 8:30 a.m., just in time for the end of recess scheduled for 9 a.m. Election results were announced Sunday morning with Paul taking 22 of the available 25 delegates to the Republican National Convention starting August 27 in Tampa, Florida – effectively winning the state of Nevada. 

Sunday the state convention will deal with the state party's official platform, which is often a lengthy and lively debate in which a very broad set of ideas are discussed and whittled down to an official statement of the views of the body, the highest legislative body of the Nevada GOP. Until the convention adjourns, all issues raised by the convention may be revisited. Party leaders hope to adjourn the convention today.