Last night, the Maine State Republican Committee & Chairman Charlie Webster decided to announce the "winner" of the Maine Republican Caucus Straw Poll, totally disregarding the fact that Washington County and much of Hancock County have not yet caucused & voted. Following their declaration of Mitt Romney's "victory," they affirmed that anybody who hadn't yet caucused wouldn't count, and their votes wouldn't be added to the Statewide totals; never mind that towns legally have until March 20 to caucus.
This is very questionable behavior, for the race was very tight, and Romney only has a 194 vote lead over Ron Paul. Washington and Hancock county caucuses will be held on February 18, and they could very well eat away or even eliminate that lead, giving Ron Paul a victory, but we can't have that, now can we? The Great and Powerful Chairman has spoken!
This disenfranchisement should be an insult to every voter, regardless of party or ideology. Basically, a few elites of the Republican Party are saying that those of us in Washington County "don't matter." It is a spit in the eye, and an insult to everything the Founding Fathers fought for... and it should never be tolerated in a free Republic!
Here's a draft copy of a letter I will be mailing to my fellow Republicans in Robbinston, hoping to inform them of the situation and fire them up for the caucus:
As you have no doubt heard by now, the Washington County "Super-Caucus" scheduled for this past Saturday had to be postponed due to the snowstorm. The rescheduled date for the caucus is February 18, 2012. As previously planned, it will be held at Washington Academy on Hill Street in East Machias, starting at 1:30PM. We'll have a candidate forum, where every Republican running for public office (from the Presidency, Congress, U.S. Senate, and the Maine Legislature) will be in attendance or have a spokesperson there to speak on their behalf. We'll also be electing delegates and alternates to the State Convention in May, and reform the town committee. Then, we'll be voting in a presidential straw-poll, which is perhaps the most important reason to attend the caucus this year.
As you may have heard, the State Republican Party decided to go ahead and announce a "winner" of the caucus straw-polls on Saturday night, even though most towns in Washington & Hancock County have yet to caucus. When some of us objected to our votes being disenfranchised, State Party Chairman Charlie Webster dismissed us entirely. He said there'll end up being fewer than 200 total votes cast in Washington County, so basically we don't matter, and he doesn't intend to add our votes to the statewide results!
This is an outrage, and we should all be upset. By State Law, Maine towns have until March 20 to caucus and vote in the straw poll. What Webster and the State GOP are doing is equivalent to closing the voting booths at noon on Election Day and telling us "tough luck, your votes don't count." This cannot be allowed to happen, and no American should tolerate this sort of behavior.
It is important that as many Republicans from Washington County show up as possible. We must send the State GOP a message, that we do matter out here, and that we have a right to vote! I implore you, if there's any way you can take the time on Saturday afternoon, make the drive down to East Machias and join your fellow Republicans in the caucus process. Together, we can make the entire country hear from us!
Hopefully, enough voters will show up to make Charlie Webster think twice about trying to cheat us out of our say!