Not too many people paid too much attention to the Louisiana Caucus on Wednesday. John McCain won and Ron Paul logged his second second place finish of the primarycaucus season after his showing at the Nevada caucus last Saturday.
For Paul, R-Tex., Louisiana is really more of a third place finish since finishing ahead of the winner, John McCain, was “uncommitted pro-life.”
But the Paul campaign says they got second place and maybe should have gotten first.
In a statement this afternoon, they allege that Paul supporters were forced to file provisional ballots even when they were pre-registered as delegates for Paul and they accuse the Louisiana Republican party of changing the rules at the last minute.
Paul campaign statement:
The failure of the Louisiana GOP to properly determine who was and wasn’t eligible to vote threw this entire process into disarray,” said Ron Paul campaign manager Lew Moore. “The party needs to correct this mistake by counting all the votes immediately, and releasing the results.”
Due to mistakes by the Louisiana GOP, hundreds of voters were forced to file provisional ballots, including nearly 500 that could change the outcome of the election. According to party officials, caucus locations relied on a voter list from November 1, 2007 despite the fact that under caucus rules, voters must have registered Republican by November 30, 2007.
In multiple instances, state-certified Ron Paul delegates that were on the ballot were forced to file a provisional ballot despite the fact they were pre-approved as delegates.
The Louisiana State GOP also changed the rules at the last minute to allow other candidates to file more delegates. At the time of the original January 10 deadline, Ron Paul had the largest number of delegates pledged to him. The party then changed the rules to give other candidates until January 12 to file more delegates.
It’s a confusing process in Louisiana and a trip to the Louisiana Republican Party does not clear things up. They don’t even assign numerical totals to show how big the gap between places one and two and three were. In fact, at the website, a statement from party chairman Roger Villere Jr. only says Paul “appear to have captured the next highest number of delegate positions.”
But Villere did praise Paul’s supporters for having dash.
“I applaud the supporters of Congressman Paul for their enthusiasm and superior organizational ability. Our Party needs the infusion of new activists who have both political skill and a passion for protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us by the Constitution,” he said. “I left the caucus with a renewed commitment to promote our core Republican principles of limited government and individual freedom, thanks to the zeal displayed by Congressman Paul’s Louisiana supporters,” Villere says on the website.
According to the website, more than 10,000 Louisana Republicans met yesterday to elect delegates to their state convention. Those delegates, led by those currently lobbying for uncommitted, will ultimately award delegates to candidates for the Republican National Convention.
ABC News tried to speak to an official representative of the Louisiana Republican party, but the phone number listed on the website http://www.lagop.com rings busy.