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video: Republican Party Blocks Local Delegates

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

 

A branch of local Republicans are accusing the MassGOP and team Romney of breaking party rules, by preventing seventeen delegates from rightfully attending the National Republican Convention. Massachusetts Liberty Caucus members say that their delegates were discriminated against and that those responsible for this game change did it out of fear and concerns about the party’s image.

Two local delegates, Brad Wyatt and Carol Claros won their nominations to go to the convention from Mass voters, beating out other candidates like Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, Rep. Paul Frost, Rep. Brad Jones, and Charlie Baker.

Thanks to MassGOP’s newly established rules, the delegates are now barred from going to the convention, despite already declaring their vote and allegiance to Mitt Romney.

“It’s a toxic subject to Republicans,” said Wyatt, who was booted from his seat at the convention. “Usually if a group wants control over an election, you see that in third world countries, not here.”

“I feel that I’m being discriminated against. They’re looking for minorities to join the Republican party and women and mothers. I’m all three. Check,” said Carol Claros another local delegate in the same position. “And they tell me I’m not allowed to participate. They talk about wanting to re-elect Scott Brown. I phone banked for Scott Brown. My desire to do that has gone down quite a bit.”

GoLocal attempted to contact mainstream Republicans Ed McGrath, Peter Blute, Brad Jones, Sheriff Evangelidis, and MassGOP for statements. The latter declined to make a statement, while the others were not able to be reached.

Sudden Changes

Delegates at the April 28th caucus were given little notice about the new rules for going to the national convention. According to Wyatt and Claros, two weeks after the caucus election, they received poorly written affidavits requesting them to sign, notarize and return the statement in order to receive their already earned seats.

“Team Romney came out with this, and MassGOP sent it out. They said these are the people we want. You have to be registered,” Wyatt said. “We went against some very heavy hitters. They did auto calls to general Republicans to get votes. We made personal phone calls. We got more liberty supporters there than Romney supporters. There were about 2,000 that showed up to these caucuses.”

Delegates voted to go to the convention already take a pledge in front of the caucus to vote for the party selected candidate, and previously no other action had been requested for them to keep their seats.

For Claros, the challenge of replying to the affidavit was even more difficult. The request was sent to the wrong address.

“Ten days after those caucuses, we received an affidavit to sign to vote. Mine in particular was mailed to the wrong address and was to be notarized and sent certified mail,” she said. “I only had two days, because I got it later than everyone.”

Still, despite taking an oath in front of their caucus, signing the affidavit, sending it on time, and even drafting their own rewrite, stating state laws, these delegates were not recognized.

Why Delegates Got the Boot

For these two of the seventeen delegates who have been unrecognized, they say that they were not selected because they weren’t the usual faces of the Republican party.

“Team Romney wasn’t very pleased that their state reps who would have been there talking to the media, weren’t going to go. They were disturbed that their plan was shaken up,” Wyatt said. “I think they were looking for a way to minimize the damage, and were worried that we would say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing.”

“I think it’s because we’re regular people,” Claros added. “I’m not a sheriff. Brad’s not a state rep. They have the idea that Mass is going to be put out there on the news, and they will be interviewing the delegates. I don’t think they want us being the reps. They want the sheriff and Charlie, and we beat them.”

Ron Paul Rumors

Wyatt said that there were rumors circulating on the internet that liberty-minded voters, Tea Partiers, and Ron Paul supporting delegates would undermine the Republican party, by abstaining from voting at the convention.

“In reality we were elected to go, and we will support the candidate. They bounced 17 of us and refused to recognize ballots,” Wyatt said. “[The rumors are] absolutely false, but this did generate a minor amount of fear. Also because it’s prime time programming they want to choreograph the event and are afraid of anything that might change the message.”

Wyatt said that the state committee “said they had unanimous support that we wouldn’t support Romney,” using that as their reason for barring them from delegation.

Party Support

Claros says that in this fight to keep their positions recognized, she has received minimal support from Republicans.

“I haven’t received any support from Republicans in my state saying this is wrong,” she said. “I’m a first generation citizen from Columbian born family. We were always told because there was no opportunity in Columbia that was why we left, for future generations. My family came here with desire for the future. It’s corrupt.”

Plans to Fight it

The group is currently considering filing an injunction if they cannot settle the issue with MassGOP.

“We’re trying to work with MassGOP to avoid party embarrassment. If they’re not willing, we will go ahead and proceed with injunction,” Claros said. “Hopefully a judge would make that move. I purchased my plane ticket. We’ll still be down there, appealing their decision. I’m working with some of the delegates still listed, as their guest. Either way I’m going down there to get my message across.”

“We are contemplating filing an injunction at the state level including twenty challenges that this is unfair. We’re not just going to roll over. We will play by the rules,” Wyatt added.

Why the Liberty Caucus Needs to be There

Wyatt and Claros believe it’s crucial to have the Mass Liberty Caucus there to represent their voters and their ideas.

“It’s a historical moment when the potential next President is nominated. We’re the home state,” Wyatt said. “We want to make it the party of Reagan, the party of Lincoln – for equal rights. The party that helps out regular people. It’s a rallying cry that’s making our movement even stronger.”

Despite what she calls discrimination and a corrupt situation, Claros says that she isn’t holding any ill will with the Romney camp.

“I don’t hold any ill will there, but it has inspired me to become more active at the local level,” she said. “I’m working to establish a ward committee and looking forward to running for school committee and getting other liberty-minded folks to join. We’re not to take over the party but get involved.” She says the party is hurting itself from turning away "door-knocking, phone-banking grassroots supporters."

Video below from the Massachusetts Liberty Caucus to MassGOP

 

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