Last week, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign challenged the seating of Maine’s delegates to the Republican National Convention, suggesting that the takeover of the state Party convention by Ron Paul supporters had resulted in voter fraud during their selection.
This week, the Ron Paul contingent rejected a compromise offer made by Maine GOP Chair Charlie Webster in an attempt to end the conflict and seat the delegates. The agreement would have bound the delegates to voting for Romney and prevented them from voicing certain opinions publicly.
Tea Party leader and Ron Paul delegate Pete “The Carpenter” Harring even took to YouTube fully-eagled to speak out against the proposal.
Today, conservative talk show host Ray Richardson announced on Faceboook that Governor Paul LePage, the only elected member of the delegation not challenged by Romney’s supporters, has announced that he will boycott the convention if the Ron Paul delegates are not seated. From Richardson’s post:
The Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, in a conversation five minutes ago said that if they do not seat the Maine Delegation at the RNC, he will not go. These folks need to be seated.
The Governor gave me explicit permission to make this public.
This declaration ups the ante in this conflict and, if the challenge to the delegates is not resolved amicably before they arrive in Tampa, will likely make the Maine disagreement into national news.
An aside: Interesting that it was Peter Cianchette who filed the challenge. He’s a former state representative, gubernatorial candidate and U.S. Ambassador and this action would seem to preclude a political future for him in Maine’s new Tea Party-fueled GOP.