Idaho Ron Paul Supporters Plan To Take Control of State Convention

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Word out of Idaho is that the Ron Paul bloc in the Gem State's GOP, perhaps encouraged by recent events at the Nevada and Maine state Republican conventions, plans to attempt a similar strategy.

According to local media, many supporters of Ron Paul in Idaho are u201Cso disgustedu201D with their man's third place finish in the Idaho caucus that they are anxiously engaged in righting that wrong.

How serious are the backers of the libertarian-leaning Texas Congressman? u201CI'll do the scorched earth if I have to,u201D declared Ryan Davidson, third vice chairman of the Ada County Republican Party and a grassroots Paul campaign organizer.

The plan as it's been revealed is for the Paul camp to use state party rules to their advantage and wrest control of the GOP state convention in June through the accumulation of delegates in the little-publicized precinct committee meetings to be held statewide on May 15.

In a video posted to YouTube, Davidson boldly describes the scheme:

If two-thirds of the delegates to the Idaho State Convention are Ron Paul supporters, they can vote to suspend the rules, overturn the results of the caucus and award all the national delegates to Ron Paul.

An attempt to link to the video in this article reveals that it has been removed.

As readers may recall, Mitt Romney (the RNC's u201Cpresumptive nomineeu201D) carried Idaho, winning 62 percent of the vote at caucus on March 6.

This was Idaho's first presidential caucus (the state previously held a primary in late May), and over 44,000 Republicans participated in the inaugural process.

Official results of the caucus indicate that Ron Paul received 8,086 votes (29 votes fewer than former candidate Rick Santorum), or 18.1 percent of the total. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich brought up the rear winning just 940 votes.

As was the case in Maine and Nevada, there are those who argue that the delegate-targeting strategy is invalid and that any delegate elected at the state convention must commit himself to cast a vote for the eventual Republican nominee (read: Mitt Romney) at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August.

Much of the debate over whether these so-called u201Crogue delegatesu201D can vote their consciences rather than be bound to vote for the candidate who won the state's popular vote centers on the interpretation of a Republican Party rule.

Republican National Committee Rule Number 38 states: “No delegate or alternate delegate shall be bound by any attempt of any state or Congressional district to impose the unit rule.”

The Unit Rule is a rule requiring all delegates from a state or congressional district to vote as a unit, that is to say, for the same candidate.

Some argue that the states get around this rule by not technically binding all of their delegates. States will bypass the strictures of RNC Rule 38 by binding all but a few of their state's delegates, thus obeying the letter of the law if not the spirit.

But is such a technical tactic permitted by the Republican National Committee?

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