Louisiana Caucus Results Reflect Deep-Rooted Corruption...and why you haven't heard
candidate Ron Paul, R-Texas, is issuing a formal complaint against the
Louisiana Republican Party for an alleged improper handling of the voting
process for the Jan. 22 caucus.
Although, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., appears to have had the highest number of
delegates elected in district caucuses across the state. Andrew Axsom, state field director for the Paul campaign, said if
the caucus did not reflect a high level of apparent corruption, "Paul
would have taken first place in the state."
Morgan Wright, from District 6 in
Baton Rouge, was a Ron Paul delegate in the state Republican caucus. However, when
he arrived at the caucus on Jan. 22, his name was not on the roll of registered
Republicans. Wright, stunned by the
apparent corruption, said after showing his registration card that listed him
as a Republican since Nov. 29, one day before the deadline; the ballot
counters then started tallying his
Here’s how it works. At closed caucuses, registered voters from a party select
delegates to vote at the state convention for that party. Most delegate
candidates advertise their support for a particular platform or presidential
candidate. The party chooses which candidate to endorse based on the delegates'
Wright said he went to vote an hour and
a half into the caucus. He said all votes for him up to that point were
considered invalid because he was not on the roll. "I have a lot of faith in our voting system and our diplomatic
system. And when I see people doing things that undermine the system we have
within our country, I'm absolutely appalled by it," he said.
Voting at the caucus consisted of selecting 15 delegates from a list. Wright
said any ballots that contained a vote for him were considered “incomplete”. Wright
said these ballots were thrown away until he proved he was registered, even though he had registered almost a full
two months prior. Wright said he went to vote an hour and a half into the
caucus. He said all votes for him up to that point were considered invalid
because he was not on the roll. No wonder we read nothing about this in the
"The whole idea is just to preserve our legal rights to challenge,"
said Joe Becker, chief legal adviser for the Paul campaign concerning the issuing
of a formal complaint against the Louisiana Republican Party. Becker said the
campaign would wait to consider legal action.
"We finished in second already, but I suspect if the party had followed their own rules and enforced their own rules, then we would
have finished first," Becker said.
Axsom said the complaint against the party consists of three parts.
1) The first part includes a claim of a violation of party rules in failing to alert the general public two
months prior to the registration deadline. "The first time the Republican
party mentioned anything to the public about the caucus was Dec. 17,"
2) The second part of the complaint is that the party pushed back the original Jan. 10 deadline to register as a
delegate. Paul campaigners registered 15 delegates in each district so voters
could choose a full slate of delegates who supported Paul to vote for him at
the Republican state convention. Axsom said he submitted a full slate of Paul
delegates to the party on Jan. 8. He
said the list included 105 delegates and 70 alternates. Axsom said six hours
after he handed in the slate, Louisiana Republican Party communications and
political director Jason Doré sent
out a news release extending the
deadline to register delegates until Jan. 12, apparently to give his
favorite candidate enough time to wake up and catch up. Axsom said extending the deadline gave supporters of other candidates
the opportunity to fill up their slates.
Doré was, of course, unavailable for comment.
Phillip Joffrion, Republican Party office volunteer, said the deadline was
pushed back because of complaints from slacking presidential campaigns that
there was not adequate notification of the delegate registration deadline. He
said news releases sent out to major media sources were not published in time
to advertise the deadline because they figured the caucus was a wrap.
"Jason Doré did not amend the rules. He decided to arbitrarily take authority into his hands that we believe he did
not have," Axsom said.
Axsom said the only way to push back a deadline would be through the Rules
Committee at the state convention or the Republican State Central Committee.
The Paul campaign
argues any delegates registered after the original
deadline should be thrown out, and avoid the apparent infiltration of
corruption as allowed by Mr. Dore`
Now, onto the final complaint against
the party. This pertains to events that occurred at the caucus.
The caucus was closed. Meaning only registered Republicans could vote. Many
Paul supporters say they made sure their registration was complete and in by
Nov. 30 in order to vote at the caucus.
Axsom said when he filed delegates with the party on Jan. 8, he was told 70 or more of the delegates were not on the
Republican rolls. He said he was told the list of registered Republicans was
most recently updated in May. Simply
Axsom said he returned the next day with copies of voter registration cards
proving the delegates party affiliation and verification print-outs from the
Registrar of Voter's office.
On Jan. 9, Axsom said he was told the list had been updated to Nov. 1 and that
the list at the caucus would be from
Nov. 30, the last day to change party affiliation.
On the day of the caucus, about 500
voters, including some delegates, were asked to cast provisional ballots
because they were not on the list of registered voters.
Joffrion said party affiliation
changes after Nov. 1 were not entered into the Republican Party system in time
for the Jan. 22 caucus. He said it would have taken weeks to enter all the
changes into the computer. Appalling.
The Paul campaign claims and has proof the provisional voters were registered
before the deadline.
Doré e-mailed a CYA news release Friday stating that "approximately 2/3 of
the individuals who cast provisional ballots statewide have been identified by
registrars of voters as Democrats or Independents." The e-mail said these
ballots would be thrown out. Joffrion
said many of the disqualified ballots were for Paul delegates.
assistant organizer for the Ron Paul Coordination Meetup Group, said Paul
campaigners were allowed to observe the ballot tallying after the District 6
caucus and there seemed to be no foul play with the official ballots. Provisional ballots were not counted at the
caucus but held until party affiliations were verified. But to DATE they have
NOT been counted.
The Louisiana Republican Party released unofficial
results of the caucus, excluding
provisional votes, while the registration problems were sorted. They have
YET to be “officially” sorted
3) Paul campaigners want the provisional votes to be recounted by an
unbiased third party after party affiliation registration for each voter has
radicals. We're just regular people," Morgan Wright said.