Thursday, May 3, 2012 | 1:35 p.m.
In a letter delivered Wednesday to GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, the RNC's chief counsel said if Ron Paul delegates are allowed to take too many slots for the national convention, Nevada's entire contingent may not be seated in Tampa.
John R. Phillippe Jr. said that while his letter is not binding, "I believe it is highly likely that any committee with jurisdiction over the matter would find improper any change to the election, selection, allocation, or binding of delegates, thus jeopardizing the seating of Nevada’s entire delegation to the National Convention."
Clearly, the RNC fears that mischief at the Sparks convention this weekend could result in Ron Paul delegates taking Mitt Romney slots and then not abiding by GOP rules to vote for the presumptive nominee on the first ballot in Tampa. So they are trying to force McDonald to ensure that actual Romney delegates fill 20 of the 28 national convention slots, thus removing any mystery of who they will vote for.
This could be even more fun on Saturday because — and I may be wrong — I don't think these Paul folks respect authority too much. And now the new chairman, who is close to some of the Paul folks, has to be the enforcer.
The letter is at right.
UPDATE: I have now obtained a copy of the letter from last week -- posted at right and mentioned in the missive I posted last night -- that was responding to Chairman Michael McDonald's request about whether the state convention could "un-bind" Nevada delegates to the Tampa convention -- that's what the Paul folks have been talking about. The RNC's counsel warns that such a move would be "impermissible" and indicates, as he would reinforce a few days later, that Nevada's entire Tampa delegation would be jeopardized. The second letter undoubtedly was sent because the RNC had no confidence in either McDonald's and/or the Paul folks ability or willingness to abide by the rules. But they have been warned twice.
Hard to believe the RNC would actually refuse to let the Nevada delegation into the room, but....