Ron Paul supporters are preparing to come out strong at Idaho's State Convention on Thursday, as they cling to hope that they can stage a major upset against Mitt Romney to secure enough delegates to make a splash at the GOP Convention in Tampa in August.
The Idaho Republican convention will be held from June 21-23 at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls.
Here's how it will work: Delegates will be obliged on the first ballot at the Republican National Convention to vote for the candidate who nominated them. However, if any delegates selected are representing the "uncommitted" choice, they wil be able to cast their vote for any candidate whose name is on the ballot. Paul supporters are hoping to capitalize on this exception to secure delegates for their candidate. (See the full by-laws here).
Ron Paul supporters are hoping to seize on their grassroots delegate strategy, in which they seek to swarm state conventions to win delegates who will vote for Paul at the GOP Convention in Tampa, in order to make a splash in Idaho.
Paul supporters have filed a lawsuit against the Republican National Committee and nearly every state party, including Idaho, claiming they improperly helped Mitt Romney during the primaries while using intimidation and threat of violence towards them. While Paul does not support the lawsuit himself, his supporters are asking a federal court in California whether delegates attending the national convention can vote for any candidate they choose, even if they were won by Romney. The lawsuite was filed on June 11 by more than 100 people who are Ron Paul delegates.
PolicyMic will be covering the Idaho State Convention live. For real-time updates, refresh this page.
For live coverage of the Oregon District Convention from Ron Paul supporters, see here.
UPDATES: 6/24 3:30 PM (via Idaho Press-Tribune): "Idaho State Republican Party convention delegates in Twin Falls likely skirted a renewed, potentially messy internal fight over their party's closed primary by recommending the issue be studied, not addressed head-on."
6/21 6:20 AM Rick Martin has challenged the TwinFalls County delegation’s credentials. He is the head of the Ron Paul-supporting Republican LibertyCaucus in Magic Valley.
6:00 AM Republicans are beginning to worry about possible rifts in the party at this year's convention.Since the state primary in early May, there has been a bitter fight between House Majority Leaders as well as bitter fights over districts. According to Magic Valley.com:
"In early May, campaign finance documents revealed House Speaker Lawerence Denney and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle had given thousands of dollars to GunPAC, a political action committee that targeted Republican incumbents, including House Majority Caucus Chairman Ken Roberts. That money included $10,000 from theHouse Victory Fund, which Republican House members contributed to with the assumption that it would be used to help their colleagues, not their opponents.
Denney claimed ignorance, but Moyle told theIdaho Statesman he knew that GunPAC was targeting Roberts, who won his primary. The contribution sparked strong condemnations from Republican House members, including House Assistant Majority Leader Scott Bedke."
6/20 5:30 PM Watch Ron Paul speak at the Idaho Falls town hall in May 2012: