BELFAST, Maine — The battle over whether Maine Republican Party delegates who support U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, should be allowed to participate in the Republican National Convention in Tampa moved to the courts Friday.
Delegates Stavros Mendros, Brent Tweed and Matthew Mcdonald filed a request for an injunction with Belfast Superior Court.
It asks that the court rule against the Republican National Committee and stop its process of investigating whether 21 Paul delegates from Maine were elected legally during the party’s state convention in Maine.
“We filed an injunction that basically states the RNC has no authority at this point,” Mendros said. “We were duly elected.”
Mendros said the injunction notes the RNC was supposed to rule on the issue last Friday but instead asked for more evidence against the Paul delegates.
“They have to rule based on the evidence given to them in the complaint,” Mendros said. “They didn’t do that; they asked for more evidence. They can’t do that. By asking for more evidence, they are admitting they didn’t have enough evidence to rule against us, which means the contest is over. They don’t get a second chance to bring in more evidence.”
Paul, a Republican Party candidate for president, gained the support of Maine delegates during a controversial state convention where well-organized Paul supporters seized control and elected their delegates to the national convention.
But leading Maine Republicans, including a national party committeewoman and the chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign in Maine, filed a complaint with the party’s national committee asking it to disqualify the Ron Paul delegates and prohibit them from taking their seats at the national convention, scheduled for Aug. 27-30.
Committeewoman Jan Staples and Peter E. Cianchette alleged:
• The failure of the credentialing process at the state convention led to illegal votes being cast and counted.
• There was not a quorum when votes were cast for at-large delegates and alternates.
• Widespread credentialing irregularities and lax floor security led to illegal votes being cast and counted.
• Convention officials repeatedly violated party and parliamentary rules.
But Mendros and other Paul delegates have said the state convention was conducted legally and within the rules. Other prominent Maine Republicans, including Gov. Paul LePage, have said the Paul delegates deserve to be seated.
LePage, a Romney supporter, last week told a radio show host he would boycott the convention if the Maine delegation were not seated.
Romney is the GOP’s presumptive nominee, but if Paul can win the support of the majority of delegates from at least five states, he will be given a chance to address the convention formally for 15 minutes, under National Republican Party rules.
As it stands, Paul has the support of the majority of delegates from Maine, Minnesota, Nevada and Utah. His campaign is challenging the results of state conventions in Massachusetts, Louisiana and Oregon in hopes of seating delegates from those states.
A message to the RNC’s media team in Washington, D.C., was not returned Friday.
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