Andrew W. Griffin
OKLAHOMA CITY – “Not for sale! Not for sale!” and “Follow the rules! Follow the rules!” That is what was being chanted by Republican delegates and attendees of Oklahoma Republican State Convention, as it moved out into the parking lot of the Embassy Suites in Norman late Saturday afternoon.
Red Dirt Report received calls from UStream viewers from around the country after our name and phone number was posted filmed at the site of the rump convention. All of the viewers (and likely Ron Paul supporters) were very polite and informative and were wanting media to cover the unfolding events.
As this political drama unfolded, emails flooded our Red Dirt Report inbox as well. Joseph wrote: “Romney tried shutting down convention. Ron Paul fighters conducting business in parking lot now.”
Marie Mentesana, a photographer for Red Dirt Report, was quickly dispatched to the scene of the parking lot convention in Norman and along with another freelance reporter were able to talk to a number of conventioneers.
As Mentesana explained: “The Oklahoma GOP was holding a delegates conference and they were not allowing everyone to vote. They shut down everything and left. They took it out to vote in the parking lot and the Ron Paul campaign sent them pizza.”
“People are mad," added Mentesana, who also sent us several photos from the scene.
In a voice memo Mentesana sent to us, one attendee explained to her that the convention was adjourned illegally and proper protocol was allegedly not followed by the party leadership.
"We had to move it outside and adjourn it ... we were electing delegates for president," explained one man.
In the background chants of "Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul!!" filled the air. Pizzas were also being passed around to the hungry crowd.
Indeed, Ustream.tv/channel/suriyahfish# was streaming the rump convention in the Embassy Suites parking lot. Everyone was excited when pizzas were ordered for the excited crowd. Some pizzas were ordered for the folks by people in the Netherlands.
Axxiom for Liberty's Kaye Beach also kept us up-to-date on developments as day turned to night and a civil rump convention was conducted in the hotel parking lot.
It is interesting to note that Mitt Romney visited Oklahoma City right before the convention, which was closed to most media. Red Dirt Report was not allowed to cover that visit, despite being allowed to cover the Romney's prior visit to Oklahoma City in October.
Red Dirt Report attempted to reach Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman Matt Pinnell Saturday night and we were unsuccessful. If we do hear from Pinnell, we will be sure to add his comments as well.
UPDATE: As we have discovered (and suspected) it was UStream viewers who paid for those pizzas, not the Ron Paul campaign. There may have been some confusion on the ground. Regardless, people were fed and people were clearly working to make things right. We hope to have more information on this political drama as it continues to develop. Thanks again to all the people who contacted Red Dirt Report today!
UPDATE II: The rump convention adjourned at a little after 9:30 p.m. Freedom and liberty is alive and well in Oklahoma, despite the actions of some at the convention. The Daily Paul and UStream audiences really came through on this one. Thanks so much!! We have learned that Scott Mitchell on News 9's Sunday morning program Your Vote Counts.Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report