Tonight I went to an invitation-only meeting, whose sole purpose was to destroy Ron Paul's effectiveness in Washington's Clark County Convention on March 31st.
First, a little back story. It is no secret by now that in other areas of Washington, and probably around the country, the GOP establishment is scrambling to deny Ron Paul any delegate slots. In Washington there is an organized effort to create a "Unity Slate" that consists of Romney, Gingrich and Santorum delegates, and to get supporters of all three candidates to vote as a bloc for this slate of delegates. The primary force behind this scheme is the Romney campaign, and it should be no surprise that they always end up with the lion's share of delegates listed on the slate.
I can't spill all the details of how I ended up getting into this thing, nor all the details of the meeting itself, lest any information be easily traceable back to myself. I was there 'undercover.' What follows is a brief account of what I saw:
An extremely large number of people filed into a large convention room. The meeting organizers began to speak, one after the other. It was immediately made clear by the organizers that their goal was to block Ron Paul delegates from succeeding at the convention. A speaker rattled off a long list of mostly fabricated grievances against supporters of Ron Paul, calling us liars, backstabbers, and cheats. Then he went on to list the results from recent conventions in other areas of the state. In every case, Ron Paul had walked away with a vast majority of delegate spots, while the other candidates received relatively few. With each result being read, there was an audible gasp of shock and horror from the audience. With every accusation flung at the Ron Paul crowd, there were exclamations of "Oh my..." and a synchronized shaking of old gray heads around the room. Ron Paul supporters send e-mails to each other coaching on how to pretend to be republicans, or how to pretend they go to church. Ron Paul supporters unnecessarily delay conventions with parliamentary tactics for upwards of 14 hours so that supporters of other candidates will leave. Ron Paul supporters make deals and promises, then back-stab everyone. Ron Paul supporters will NOT vote for anyone except Ron Paul. The ultimate conclusion: Ron Paul supporters must be stopped, at all costs. The best way to do it? Rally behind Mitt Romney, who's already won anyway, and don't worry: we'll throw some delegates at the other guys, too.
A Q&A session was opened up. A few people asked confused questions about the agenda. Some people spoke out against those mean old Ron Paul supporters. Some people questioned whether or not this agenda helped Gingrich or Santorum at all. Then, from the side of the room, an older gentleman who had his hand raised was called upon. To paraphrase, he said, "I'm a Ron Paul supporter, and frankly I'm disgusted by this whole thing." The primary organizer told him to leave, and everyone cheered as he was ejected. I sat in silence as my compatriot left the room with dignity and honor. I wanted to yell at them all myself, go outside and shake the stranger's hand, but alas, I was incognito and needed to remain that way.
The meeting proceeded. Supporters from each campaign spoke in favor of the plan. Local politicians and GOP bosses spoke in favor of the plan. Reluctantly acknowledged from the back of the room, and given a mere two minutes or so to speak, a volunteer from Rick Santorum's national campaign spoke fervently to the crowd: This plan is NOT endorsed by the Santorum campaign, he said. Ron Paul supporters are NOT backstabbers and cheats, and he relayed his experiences in other areas of the state where Santorum and Paul delegations had successfully teamed up to block Romney, with Paul supporters fulfilling their end of the bargain to the very end. His protestations were ended swiftly as more vehemently anti-Paul GOP insiders were called upon to herd the Santorum supporters back into the fold.
Then the meeting broke into groups, organized by legislative district, where delegates for the slate were selected among the participants. Everyone voted on a limited slate. The goal was to narrow the slate and focus their votes in order to beat us on Saturday. Supporters of Romney were overwhelmingly chosen on the slate, with a fair smattering of Santorum backers, and a microscopic portion of Gingrich.
Some Santorum voters saw through the fraud. The national campaign organizer had a small circle of supporters around him, and he walked around the crowd working on them hard for as long as he could. I'm surprised he was allowed in at all - but then again, I believe the organizers would have caught major flak if not.
When it was all over I felt rather dirty. This should give you a clue as to what we're up against: the establishment has chosen Romney, and they have set their sights on Ron Paul. They are unbelievably corrupt, skilled at manipulation, and they hold the reigns of all the important power positions. But that should also tell you something else:
WE are a FORCE to be RECKONED WITH, AND THEY ARE SCARED!