Ron Paul vs. the Nevada Political Machine

I realize that every time I cover issues within the Democratic Party or the Republican Party on this site, someone (reasonably) asks what this has to do with third parties. In this case, I’ll respond in advance that there is a tie between Ron Paul supporters and several alternative parties. Many members (and even party officials and candidates) of the Libertarian Party and Constitution Party are indeed strong Paul supporters. Also, what happens within GOP with respect to the Ron Paul movement will have some impact on the third party movement.

Las Vegas Sun title: “Ron Paul campaign dominates convention”

Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican with a libertarian’s heart, followed his second-place finish in Nevada’s January presidential caucus by out-organizing the state’s Republican establishment. In the process, the Paulites embarrassed the campaign of Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

They seemed to make up more than half of the 1,300 or so state delegates to the convention. They won a key procedural vote on the rules, and their boisterous presence created significant delays, causing the convention chairman, Bob Beers, a state senator from Las Vegas, to recess the convention without selecting delegates to the national convention. The state convention is to resume at a later date.

Paul supporters occasionally shouted down the chairman, then rocked the convention with noise when Paul, their diminutive doctor icon, appeared to rally them. [...]

As Kelly Edinger, a delegate from Washoe County, put it: “On one side you’ve got a candidate with principles, on the other, Tammany Hall,” referring to the corrupt New York City political machine of the 19th and 20th centuries. It was a wildly exaggerated accusation, but a reflection of insurgent attitudes.

Reno Gazette-Journal title: “Meeting reveals party in disarray”

In the big picture, it’s unlikely that Texas U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s capturing of the majority of Nevada’s state convention Saturday will change McCain’s trajectory to the nomination.

But the ability of Paul’s followers to push party leaders to abruptly recess the convention until an unknown date showed the disarray of the Republican establishment and a party largely without leadership, said Eric Herzik, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and a Republican. [...]

“My question is, where was the McCain campaign?” asked Heidi Smith, chairwoman of the Washoe County Republicans and newly elected national committeewoman. “And where were their signs? If Ron Paul’s people walked in with signs, why couldn’t the McCain people walk in with signs?” [...]

After the recess, chairwoman Sue Lowden said she will try to reschedule the GOP convention in Las Vegas. Her written statement said the convention would reconvene with the same delegates, making it impossible for McCain to recruit more support in the interim.

For some additional insight into how the Nevada GOP machine has treated libertarian-minded candidates (in this case, it was Aaron Russo’s failed gubernatorial bid) in the past, you may wish to read this article.

13 Responses to “Ron Paul vs. the Nevada Political Machine”

  1. Deran Says:

    I’m still very interested to learn what the GOP did, threatened or offered to keep Dr. Paul from really taking his presidential campaign as seriously as his many supporters did? As in; I am sure his people would have worked for him all the way to Nov, as a Lib or indie. I realize the GOP would probably take away his seniority in the House, but how many more session does he want to stay in the House?

  2. Dan Says:

    sorry for the off topic comment:

    Did anyone hear the Michael Medved show today?

    He was slamming Alan Keyes, calling him a nut case. He said that he was so pathetic that he couldn’t win the nomination of the constipation party. After slamming keyes, he said that keyes lost to someone even more bizzare than keyes - chuck baldwin. He said that he was a 9/11 truther nutcase.

    It was brutal.

  3. Joseph Marzullo Says:


    inept staff

    not a great speaker

    that’s what hurt the campaign.

  4. Richie Says:

    Medved is a liar. Baldwin is not a truther. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  5. Sivarticus Says:

    Who’s to say Ron Paul won’t get angry and end up in some sort of independent or third party run? I admit, it’s highly unlikely, but he never has out and out said no (except in that crap e-mail after Super Tuesday that wasn’t written by him). From what I hear in recent interviews, it’s still “no intentions” or “no plans,” the same wiggly line he’s always given on the third party question.

    I do know one thing: Ron Paul’s chances of at least endorsing a third party candidate from the LP or CP will rise dramatically if they deny him a speaking spot at the National Convention.

  6. disinter Says:

    Ron Paul tells CNN’s John Roberts he is still in the race and gaining support from delegates every day:

  7. Catholic Trotskyist Says:

    Congratulations to the Nevada Ron Paul campaign. This is causing confusion in the Republican Party and thus helping the Obama Revolution. Hopefully, if Hillary wins the Dem nomination the Libertarians will reject whoevr they nominated and allow a Paul/Obama or Obama/Paul ticket to run. Or the libertarians could nominate Paul/Gravel at their own convention.

    Please pray for the pope and please pray for Barack Obama.

  8. Gene Berkman Says:

    Ron Paul does have third party connections in Nevada. Congressman Paul was a featured speaker at the 1986 state convention of the Independent American Party of Nevada.

    Also speaking at the 2006 IAP convention was St. Sen. Bob Beers, who was chair of the Nevada GOP convention that just took place, or just broke up.

  9. Gene Berkman Says:

    Excuse me, both references to the Nevada IAP convention should say “2006 convention of the Independent American Party” - clearly not the 1986 convention.

  10. Nexus Says:

    “Her written statement said the convention would reconvene with the same delegates, making it impossible for McCain to recruit more support in the interim.”

    That’s a lie. They will change the rules and exclude Paul supporters. Mark my words.

  11. Libertarian Joseph Says:

    Catholic Trotskyist,

    what is with you and Barack Obama? Just supporting him because he’s black? That would be the mantra of most of his supporters.

    the three camps of Obama:



    and, stupid people

  12. Cody Quirk Says:

    Bob Beers never spoke at the 2006 IAP convention!

  13. Cody Quirk Says:

    And its the actions of the GOP Establishment in Nevada that continues to empower the IAP.

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