Jul 10, 2007

South Carolina county GOP chair pulls an Anuzis

Spartanburg County Republican Committee Chair Rick Beltram pulled a Saul Anuzis when he tried to exclude Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul from all party functions in the South Carolina county, and, like Anuzis, Beltram was forced last week to extend a personal invitation to the conservative candidate.

What was Paul’s crime that he was excluded from the small, narrow tent known as the Republic Party? He dared to question the government, its foreign policy and its failed policies in the deadly occupation and civil war in Iraq. Funny, I always thought that’s what the Founding Fathers based the Constitution and government on.

According to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Congressman Paul said at the GOP debate in Columbia this year that American intervention in foreign affairs as far back as 1953 was, in part, a catalyst for the 9/11 attacks. Again, it’s funny that any criticism of the government translates to hating and blaming America for Republicans. Saying it was a reason or contributed to it in no way means it was correct, it was the proper response or the innocent people who died in the attack asked for it. Beltram, apparently, decided to boycott Paul from any future county party events. "He can stay home," Beltram told the Herald-Journal, who for months held that this county would welcome all Republican candidates. "Well, the door's closed for him."

According to Ron Paul’s campaign blog, Paul supporters flooded Beltram’s phone lines (864-542-1992) and email inbox (rick.beltram@intedge.com) with protests, and that led Beltram to extend a personal invitation with a very condescending and snotty note. The note invited him to a question and answer forum and a meet and greet before Aug. 15 “to convince us that have incorrect information about Dr. Paul's political platform.” I have no idea why Paul has to convince or prove anything to Beltram. It seems to me Paul has plenty of supporters without Beltram’s help, and isn’t the job of any party chair at any level during a primary simply to allow members the most access to candidates and get their views out to as many party members as possible so the best candidate can be chosen by the party members?

Following the same debate in May, Anuzis said he would circulate a petition among Republican National Committee members to ban Paul from more debates. However, the response was so overwhelming negative against Anuzis trying to censor Paul that it shut down his web site and email. Published reports said “party outcry was so great that it took a visit to Detroit by RNC chairman Mike Duncan to convince Michigan Republicans that Anuzis was still cut out to be their leader.” It also led Anuzis to issue a contrite but insincere letter on his unblog.

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