Earlier this week, I described a looming threat to the Republican party, the covert and overt Ron Paul putsch (read it here). James Lafferty, SIOA National Director and chairman of VAST (Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force), files this report, exclusive to Atlas:
The Republican Party here in the battleground state of Virginia is getting a heaping dose of Ron Paul’s “delegate” strategy which includes stealth campaigns in the little-noticed interparty races for delegate to the Tampa national convention.
Conservative activists in other states recognize this as a template of Paul stealth campaigns in their communities.
In the past three months, particularly in Northern Virginia, Paul’s followers or “paulbots” have run for party offices without naming their candidate. Delegates for Romney or one of the others often included that identification in their introductions and speeches. But in phone banking on behalf of “Paulistas” no one volunteers who is the sponsor of the call and only begrudgingly admit to their affiliation with Paul when pressed hard.
When cornered, Paul operatives emphasize Paul’s small government and sound currency policies. But few are willing to discuss his isolationist views on foreign policy and none will discuss his dismissal of concerns about shariah in America and the safety of Israel except to bristle at the question.
The race for delegates are often what party leaders call “beauty contests” based more on personal relationships rather than policy considerations or political credentials.
Endorsements of the Paul delegate candidates come from various “conservative” groups which seem to spring up like mushrooms with websites but no phone numbers or names.
The Paul insurgents have had an open field because the Virginia GOP, like many other state political parties, is schletoric with the exception of the Ken Cuccinelli vote-growing machine.
And the matter is complicated by the GOP’s reliance on tea party groups to do much of the grassroots heavy-lifting. Paul supporters with tea party ties use their positions to push the stealth slate of Paul delegate candidates. Where the political landscape favors institutional party candidates , Paul tea party people promote actively the most inexperienced delegate candidates because they believe they will be “easily rolled and controlled” if Paul gets any traction in Tampa.
Their rationale is that even if Romney wins on the first ballot (which all but a few say is likely) a substantial Paul cadre of delegates will have a role in the VP selection and other major decisions on the future of the party.
If the unforeseen occurs, the Paul campaign wants to be prepared to seize the nomination and advance Paul initiatives like shuttering the IRS and imposing a gold standard.
Compared to the straight-shooter national image of Paul, the local vote-getting operations rely heavily on disguise and deception.
It always make sense when talking to a telephone pollster to ask “ who is paying for this poll?” but in this campaign cycle, it is important to know something about people who are asking you to vote for a specific person.
Paul and his followers have taken the old saying about “the illusion of power is power” to an extreme and are offering voters a shabbily-constructed illusion at a time when America has a desperate need for substantive leadership.
First off, who is this clown from the “Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force” and what is his agenda? This sounds like some guy sending direct mail fundraising pieces from his basement, trying to scare old people. Second, this guy is a liar. Our delegate candidates in both the 8th and the 11th were very blunt about who they were and what they were about. Matt Burrow, who got elected as a delegate in the 8th at the convention, talked about his work with Campaign For Liberty at both unit committee meetings and the convention itself! This guy, much like Geller, sees mooselimbs behind every tree, rock, and bush. He’s just a neocon upset that his Big Government Conservatism message doesn’t wash any more.