by Jamie McGee and Joel Ebert, The Tennessean, April 2, 2016 - Death threats, protests and allegations of vote-stealing didn't stop Tennessee Republican Party leaders on Saturday from finalizing a list of delegates to the GOP's national presidential nominating convention over fierce objections from backers of Donald Trump.
The raucous meeting in Nashville underscores a growing rift among Republicans and adds to party angst over a possible floor fight at the GOP convention in July.
The measure, approved by a tally of 40-25, comes a day after the Trump campaign accused the party of trying to "steal" delegates, even after he handily won the state's primary last month. On Saturday Trump's backers flocked to the party's executive committee meeting in Nashville, doubling down on allegations that officials are trying to stack Tennessee's delegation with members likely to vote for another candidate if given the chance.
.... Brent Leatherwood, executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, said the party didn’t have any agreement and accused the Trump campaign of rabble-rousing. "There was never an agreement, especially after the Trump campaign spoke dismissively about the party process and one of our female members,” Leatherwood said, ...(link)
From Bobby Patray, Executive Director of Tennessee Eagle Forum on a Facebook post: No Secret Meeting
I am seeing lots of posts this morning about the 'secret' meeting that the TNGOP held yesterday and I want to set the record straight.From Lou Ann Zelenik's, well known political activist, leader in effort to stop the Murfreesboro Mosque, former candidate for office:
I am on the Administrative Committee of the TNGO and I just wanted folks to know that our regular meeting was neither secret or closed. The dates of our meetings are published and the members of the public are usually there and welcomed. At this one, because of the alerts that went out, entrance to the room was limited and when the room when w...as beyond standing room only, it was closed. A private business has been kind enough to let us use their facilities for our meetings. The room simply is not designed for huge crowds. Just the SEC members (66 of them plus some spouses), National Committeeman and woman, Admin Committee members (some spouses), TNGOP staff, delegates who attended, representatives of the presidential campaigns, LOTS OF MEDIA, and some other guests quickly filled the small room and the walls all around the room. I understand that the media was constantly tweeting during the meeting. If some are not happy with the delegates selected, (see list posted below) that is another story. I hope this helps clarify the situation.
Below is an example of what has Trump supporters really upset. Of the Trump delegates appointed to their position by the TNGOP, who will have to vote for Trump on the first two ballots but then be free to vote their conscience if there is a brokered convention, many are not real supporters of Trump. This explains it.
This is a FB post of Melissa Gay, newly "appointed" state wide delegate for Trump. A close ally of Diane Black (who went to the exclusive private meeting at the resort to raise millions to stop Trump.); Ms. Gay also ran as a committed Rubio delegate. Her name showed up on the list yesterday. SEC members were not provided the names until minutes before the meeting this morning. When one member asked for a break to discuss, it was shot down by the Chairman. When another asked to separate out the elected and the appointed, that was shot down as well. When another asked to discuss some of the problems with Chairman Haynes appointments, that was shot down too. Ask Ms. Gay to step aside and allow a Trump supporter to represent the voters of this wonderful state as a statewide delegate. Surly Ms. Gay did not mean Trump and his supporters do not pass the "decency test".
From Rebecca Ann Burke, Member of the TNGOP SEC commenting on the above post, on Facebook:
THIS is an example of what my colleagues and I on the Tennessee Republican Party's State Executive Committee were opposing today. Chairman Ryan Haynes picked a slate of delegates for Donald Trump which included "anti Trump" individuals, like Melissa Gay. I would implore Ms. Gay to do the decent thing and step down with integrity, allowing a true Trump supporter to fill her delegate slot. This is dishonest and this undermines the Trump campaign. She does not belong on the slate. The majority of the State Executive Committee voted to accept the altered slate as presented by the Chairman. "Melissa Gay, relinquish your seat, do the right thing!" PLEASE SHARE
From Former State Rep. Stacy Campfield on Facebook: STACKING THE DECK TO STEAL TN TRUMP DELEGATES.
I just got a very interesting email from the Donald Trump campaign. It seems the Tennessee GOP is trying to stack the Trump delegates with their own hand-picked people that are not supported by the Trump campaign. The campaign is supposed to get 14 delegates. 7 that were direct vote and 7 more that were picked by the party in conjunction with the Trump campaign. The campaign said that they had agreed with Ryan Haynes on Wednesday to go with the Trump delegates who were on the ballot but not the top 7. Suddenly after Wednesday night that changed and now the party wants to pick different delegates (at Saturdays SEC meeting at 10) that are not people that Trump campaign wants. I figured something like this would happen.From CNN YouTube:
Feel free to share this.
From CNN Politics: Tennessee approves final delegates over Trump supporters' objections.
From NBC News: Trump Campaign Alleges 'Theft' as Tenn. GOP Picks Delegates.
Breitbart News: GOP Establishment Grabs Delegates in Tennessee. Of the 13 delegates allocated to Cruz and Trump today in the State Executive Committee’s vote, eight are clearly loyal to the Republican establishment and not supporters of the candidate to whom they are legally bound (Trump or Cruz) on the first two ballots. .....In any potential third ballot, all eight of these delegates are certain to vote for a candidate other than Trump or Cruz.....These “Trojan Horse” delegates, while expected to honor their legal obligation when casting their votes during the first two ballots for the presidential nominee, are expected to side with the anti-Trump and anti-Cruz establishment forces in the all-important procedural and rule votes....The 75 Trump supporters outside the room who were prohibited entry by private security were clearly outraged by the process, which they called “unfair” and “un-American.”