The long version:
The short version:
We interrupt our regular reporting on the corruption in the autism epidemic, to report on the corruption in the Romney for President Campaign.
So this was my day:
I think that the guy is an actual Romney campaign guy. After the video was finished, I saw him outside the venue and confronted him. He had changed his shirt as to become stealthy I guess? Not working.
I asked him who he was and he would not tell me. Where he got the slate and he said he didn't know. Why he put me on the slate and he said he didn't know.
Back in the convention hall I asked him again for his name, and no go. He was not wearing any credentials, which I am pretty sure is verboten.
I am sure we will find out who our friend is who thinks so highly of me that he wanted me to go to Tampa.
I really hate corruption. Seriously. It bothers me.
So Sunday at the convention Mr. Redshirt had a name badge on. I am told it was a volunteer badge, the first name was Charlie, and that the paper was folded or something so you could not see the last name.
As an aside, I did run as an alternate delegate on the Paul slate on Sunday, and was elected. So I will be going to Tampa.
The interesting thing is that the list of people running as alternates on Sunday, had not been released on Saturday, and yet several of the people, including me, who were on the fake slate on Saturday, where the ones who would be running as alternates on Sunday. So did the Romney campaign get the Paul alternate slate the day before it was released by the Paul campaign?
Romney campaign had their top lawyer there, Benjamin Ginsberg, one of Bush's laywers during Bush v. Gore. NO WONDER the convention was so delayed! I heard Romney's lawyers were arguing every point, I didn't know they had this level of commitment to ramming Romney through in Maine. News report on the event, and Romney's fight for Maine. Good information, but most importantly it contains footage of me in better lighting. ;)
And frankly, if Ginsberg is in Maine to fight like hell for our piddly little four electoral votes, you know Romney co is seriously afraid of the fact that Ron Paul is picking up so much steam.
I am told that the man at the mic who was nominating all the people on the fake ballot (not shown on the footage) was David Sorensen (http://www.linkedin.com/pub/david-sorensen/29/939/2a7), policy aid for the Maine House of Representatives. His picture certainly looks like the man I approached at the mic to ask why he nominated me. I would feel more comfortable if we had video confirmation though. Anyone have footage of him nominating people? (update... footage found)
Reading Sorensen's twitter feed, it seems likely that he is the guy. He clearly has the requisite contempt for Ron Paul supporters needed to try to sabotage their delegates.
It really bothers me that people in Maine government feel so comfortable speaking so poorly of a significant percentage of his fellow Mainers and his own political party (Didn't Paul garner a third of the votes at the Maine Republican Caucuses? Romney 39% and Paul with 34%.) I want grown ups running my government and setting policy, not contemptuous frat boys who look down their nose at the unwashed masses.
I also wanted to comment on the reception that the delegation got from Charlie Webster following the convention. Afterward, the elected delegation met outside with Webster and I was expecting it to be a bit stressful. I was pleasantly surprised at how congenial he was. He was very cheerful, said he knew that there would be a challenge to the delegation, but "that doesn't have anything to do with me," and "I will fight for this group." He said we should go ahead and start making plans to elect a chair for our delegation and make plans to go to Tampa.
I was very encouraged by this, and taking him at his word. I hope that this is a sign that the current Maine GOP leadership may warm to the idea that the Paul camp is here to stay, and hope that this will be the beginning of a better relationship between the groups. We will see! (another update: Charlie says the same thing on camera, and calls the convention, "Exciting" http://www.wabi.tv/news/29907/republican-chair-charlie-webster-answers-critics. "The way I look at this an election was held. We're going to fight to get our delegates seated in Tampa, that's our position. That's what we're ready to do.")
However it is pretty clear that the RNC has already chosen Romney, in violation of their own rules, and that they are likely going to work with Romney's lawyers to prevent the Maine delegation from being seated in Tampa.
Little ole' Maine is now the tipping point on the new guard/old guard fight. What the RNC does next is going to make or break the Republican party. They can either come to terms with the fact that The Ron Paul movement (because this is not completely about Paul or Romney) is growing exponentially and is now breaking through the barriers that the establishment politicos and media have constructed, and welcome them into the fold as equal members and partners, or the party will have to go to war with itself.
If they do the former, it WILL engender good faith and engender trust in the Republican party. It will tell the American people that they are ready do deal with the ugly and messy problems that they had a hand in creating.
If they do the latter, they will decimate the party.
Your move RNC.
I have received requests for more videos on this. I have two other pieces that are support items for this story. I was going to put them in the initial video, but was trying to keep it short and get it uploaded quickly. Testimony from two other delegates to what was happening on Saturday afternoon:
Took a closer look at this slate. Turns out it looked like a Paul slate, but had Romney's nominees on it.
Update: Confirmation that it was David Sorensen that nominated the fake slate. From Chris Dixon:
David Sorensen, a Policy Aide for the Maine House of Representatives, is confirmed as one of the Romney operatives. He took the floor to push a false delegate slate of Paul supporters in effort to divide our vote.Update:
Two Paul supporters pressed Mr. Sorensen at different times. The first one did so outside of a County Convention room and asked him why he was pushing the slate. The response was that it was a tactic to divide the Ron Paul vote and that our people did it, too. This is false. A Paul slate was introduced to kick off nominations and that was the ONLY peep out of Paul supporters on the floor next to refusing nominations that Sorensen made. When this point was made, Sorensen kept repeating this point.
Mr. Sorensen then, upon being pressed, confessed to the division tactic, as well as the tactic to stall the convention to waste time.
Another Paul supporter had pressed David Sorensen on it, asking if he had created the false delegate slates. He denied it.
Mr. Sorensen is a Policy Aide with the Maine House Republican Office, thus having a direct connection to the Maine Republican Party. Because these two discussions happened one-on-one, there is no conclusive way to prove these words. But the proof is on the books, before the entire convention, that Mr. Sorensen did advance the slates forth.
The issue was raised by State GOP chairman Charlie Webster on the second day that if we run over 6pm, the party will be on the hook for $10,000 per hour. In the end, we were there until after 8pm.
As 6pm rolled around, it became clear that we wouldn't make it. District 2 convention was still in progress and the votes from District 1, which had run all day, were still in progress. The day was also behind schedule because GOP Platform and National Committeepeople votes were scheduled to happen on the first day, but was prevented because of multiple recounts on Convention Secretary and a highly-contested Convention Chair seat.
Representative Aaron Libby promptly took the floor and urged Paul supporters to donate money on behalf to cover the fees. Because he was a different district, he was correctly asked to leave the floor. Representative Jeff Timberlake then took over and made urged people to donate a little each.
The fact still remains however:
There is question that an individual, directly associated with the Maine Republican Party, deliberately engaged in stall tactics that not only propelled the convention into chaos, but put the Republican Party on the hook for $20,000.
...but Ron Paul people are the bad guys? You be the judge.
Got an email from someone who Sorensen falsely nominated, that talked to him on the floor of the convention.
"I introduced myself to him, shook his hand, and inquired if he knew me from someplace. He said he did not. That being established, I asked him why he put my name into nomination on the floor for national delegate if he did not know me. He said, "it was a tactic to divide your vote". He then began throwing around insults..."Ron Paul will never win, because his supporters are black helicopter conspiracy theorists". He said we should get out of the party because we are "ruining it". Instead of argue in this manner, I politely inquired as to why his admitted vote dividing "tactics" were necessary if he knew we would never "win". He then accused us of doing the same thing. I asked him to provide examples of us nominating fake slates; he could not provide any.Update (Tuesday morning):
An hour or so before I approached him, our delegation chair... asked him why he nominated people from the fake slate. He denied doing it and told our delegation chair to "fuck off".
Got a note this morning with more info on Charlie. He does work for the Mitt Romney campaign according to Conor O'Brian, who lives only one town over from me:
Ginger I have posted regarding your video with the fake slate guy that indeed 'Charlie' was a Romney person. I was a volunteer Ron Paul vote counter from Bath and that dude was one of the Romney observers. I was in the counting room on every count as was he. On the last recount I (Conor O'Brien is my name), sat across from a Ron Paul observer named John Hawk Cry (or something like that) and to my left was Charlie. By this time I knew he was a fiend but wanted to dig a little bit for info. He was originally from California but now lives in the Boston area.
Update (Wed afternoon):
Apparently the RNC Parliamentarian that was working with Brent Tweed to run the meeting said that everything was done by the book, which makes the Romney challenge to seating the Maine Delegation at the RNC a bit more difficult. And as that particular parliamentarian was an editor on the book on Roberts Rules, I am guessing he has some street cred on that issue.
Safe to say that "Charlie" is employed by the Romney Campaign. This was posted to the Daily Paul today http://www.dailypaul.com/232160/charlie-the-maine-fake-slate-guy:
Charlie, the Maine fake slate guySubmitted by ph pearse on Wed, 05/09/2012 - 18:25
I just googled Benjamin Ginsberg, Romney's lawyer....I was one of a few counters left at the end of the day on Sunday. Mr. Ginsberg came over and said goodbye to our friend Charlie and even commented on him getting back to Boston. This all took place with in two feet of me. The cheating is being orchestrated by Romney's/Bush's top lawyer. Beware states yet to hold your convention, the sore losers will be coming to a theatre near you!