One Maine Man’s Dream To End What Ron Paul Has Started

…As plucked from the only authoritative source of information, this opinion leader certainly seems to have barked up the wrong tree in Maine…

The Uncertain Future of the Maine Ron Paul Movement
by Chris Dixon on Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 3:52am ·

By now, it has gotten around a little bit that I have resigned my post at the Maine Campaign For Liberty, where I have served as Androscoggin County Co-Coordinator for a short while. Many of the individuals associated with this organization are people I truly like and consider friends, and have since I became involved with the Ron Paul movement. It has become increasingly clear to a significant number of Ron Paul supporters that something is wrong however.

The Delegation strategy was the key to the campaign success and it worked well in Maine. Last Spring, a State Delegate created a secret Facebook group for Ron Paul delegates to allow for private communications among themselves and coordinate the spreading of the message. Over the last week, that very group has become a very tense location. Originally, I felt that the confidentiality of this group was necessary to preserve the secrecy. But after recent events and enough fellow supporters convincing me to come forward, some things need to be said.

A controversy has grown from a number of questions that have been left unanswered and avoided. While a focus on the November elections is critical, it was clear that the lingering uncertainty was becoming a problem for the future of the movement. It was also becoming a problem for the liberty candidates going into November. People were refusing to support certain candidates because of their questionable affiliations, for example, thus threatening some liberty candidates’ chances and setting back the liberty movement quite a ways.

The controversy featured a number of questions. The questions were on the following topics:

1) The National Delegation was a nationally covered story. It was the heroic battle of a wronged Delegation who stood up against the establishment, even when the Republican National Committee violated its own bylaws and stood against them. Internally, the original National Delegation authorized by vote to allow National Committeeman-elect Mark Willis to be the public spokesman, going to the media and telling them the official stance of the Delegation was “all or nothing.” There was no internal dispute or issue raised when Willis went to the media with this. It was understood that either the entire National Delegation would boycott if the original delegation were not seated, and not waver.

A compromise was offered by the RNC, to seat half of the delegates and have an establishment half put on. It was unanimously refused by the Delegation. Come the Friday before the National Convention, the Ron Paul delegates held a conference call to discuss matters. On that, the boycott was questioned, the entire “all or nothing” line that Willis had been sent to put all over the local and national media was being recalled. A vote occurred on whether a boycott should happen. The boycott was shot down, and they would instead go to convention to face the Rules and Credentials Committees, and make a stand. It was then decided that the seated half would go and attempt to reseat the other half.

Uncertainty lingered over the weekend, and come Monday morning, a meeting was called in Tampa of the National Delegates. While they would not boycott, should they walk out when everything at both committees is exhausted? This was just the vote that was called. The vote ended up in favor of walking out, but with still approximately a third of the Delegation opposing the walkout. A second meeting was called that evening to again vote on that same topic, a move made by opposition to the walkout in an attempt to swing the vote in the other direction. Walkout still won.

The predictable outcome occurred at Convention, Reince Priebus railroaded the entire convention, and the whole thing was a joke. The Republican establishment’s kangaroo court rulings stood and the delegation would not be seated. Most of the delegates then proceeded to walk off after Brent Tweed’s attempt to be heard failed, although a few would return to the floor. For the others, they would remain in guest seating for the remainder to watch the events unfold.

Now, fast forward to now, questions remain about who voted how and why. It became clear quickly that the questions could not be answered. Insults were fired towards those who were curious, claiming that they were counterproductive to the movement and they were wasting precious time. Many of these individuals however, were and still are, hardworking members of the movement and have been active in Maine for years. It got ugly quick.

The concerns of those raising questions were important for them because some of those National Delegates were also running for office or were in positions of power in the liberty movement, leading organizations for example. They couldn’t, in good conscience, support certain individuals until they knew for sure where they stood. Instead of solid, straightforward answers being provided, the point was dodged and people were insulted.

2) Rumors were circulating that Defense of Liberty PAC chairman Eric Brakey had chosen a candidate for State Chair already and was running him around already. Charlie Webster is still the chairman and has not been removed, although he faces reelection in December. This individual is David Jones, an individual who has little background in politics and is unheard of in the Republican Party. His only claim to fame is being an Independent candidate for Governor in 2006, instead of supporting Republican candidate Chandler Woodcock against Democratic incumbent John Baldacci.

The concern was that Brakey was not being forthright with people and when questioned, he stated that Jones was “actively considering” a run. He also stated he would enthusiastically support him, in the event he decided to run. Yet, multiple State Committee members confirm not only receiving calls from Brakey about Jones, but also even receiving calls from Jones himself. People felt deceived and lied to. It also began to circulate that Brakey had tried to pitch Jones to Governor Paul LePage, to little avail.

The core concern was the strategic ignorance of the move, as many felt that a Ron Paul supporter for State Chair would not be well-received, and it would fracture the party. There are plenty of people who are friendly with Ron Paul supporters and would give them a strong voice, and have a known name in Maine politics. If a Ron Paul supporter were to be run for chair however, it would have to be someone fair who has a name and is respected, so there would be little leadership doubts.

David Jones’ minimal background in Maine politics, Republican politics, or politics in general, led to another question being asked: why him? Other than Jones, one of the six on the Board of Advisors for DOLPAC, being the father of DOLPAC endorsed State Representative candidate John Logan Jones, roommate of David Boyer, Executive Director of DOLPAC, why him?

Questions were dodged. And things got worse.

Now there are a number of other problems that came to light, but these were the two major points. The appearance of a takeover of not only the Republican Party, but of the movement itself. Numerous supporters have raised concerns about possible ethics problem relating to certain organizations and felt that, to maintain the integrity of the movement, these issues needed to be addressed.

Discussions, heated at times, carried on for days, until the night of October 20th, a Saturday, when everything hit a peak and a major rift was created.

To put the next part into context, I received a call from Maine Campaign For Liberty state coordinator and friend Brent Tweed, a hero in the movement for leading the State Convention as chair, about an individual in the group who was persistently attacking DOLPAC. After telling him I would speak with this individual and take things from there, we spoke about the perception problem related to the two topics highlighted above. It was a nice, civil chat. We connected. And I have always had the utmost respect for Brent Tweed. He’s done more than enough for the liberty movement, and then some.

Return to the night of the 20th, Tweed became uncharacteristically aggressive and cold. Multiple people remarked at how it was not Tweed’s character to be so harsh and controlling. It’s unnatural for any proven leader in a libertarian movement. The groups, which were moderated by myself, Tweed, and at least one other person, saw a power consolidation. Brent Tweed had kicked everyone and left himself sole arbiter over everything.

Once this became evident, dissenting individuals began getting kicked from the group. This power grab happened in other Maine Ron Paul groups and people were getting kicked there, too. The defense offered by Tweed at first, was that in order to remove this individual we spoke about, he would have to become the only administrator so he could take sole responsibility. As opposition mounted, Tweed then justified himself by stating a fair moderator was required to clean up the group, stating that personal attacks had to be stopped. Personal attacks were minimal however, and a lot of the questions were fact based. People wanted answers.

Tweed refused and still refuses to open up control and have diversity in leadership. He has taken over everything. It stands here.

The issue at hand is more than a Facebook group, beyond happened in the past. It’s a trust issue. Leaders cannot lead if the followers do not trust their leaders. It has become increasingly clear that trust issues were there and that they were not being addressed. While it is absolutely critical that the focus be on the elections, it is increasingly difficult to focus on the elections when a number of the candidates you are told to support have connections to these unanswered questions. Furthermore, it is more difficult when a number of questions linger relating to the leadership that is pushing these candidates. Overall, the lingering uncertainty distances people from those who have taken the leadership positions. This is bad news for any movement.

Tweed, being a good friend for a couple years and an honorable supporter of liberty, completely shocked myself and others by his actions. Given his position as Maine Campaign For Liberty state coordinator, I have decided it is time for me to leave. My resignation is in protest of the continued problems in the liberty movement, the refusal to address the lingering issues, and the uncharacteristic conduct of Tweed. I  sincerely wish things were different.

This is not to say that the future of liberty is burning out or that I am running from the fight. I continue on and liberty is strong. Every movement has it’s problems. I’m working hard to push legislation to advance freedom and elect candidates who I feel are going to carry this message. All the while, attempting to educate the population on what I feel is right about the world, the message of liberty.

It is time for change. Internally and externally. Politics is a dirty game. But we need to get politics cleaned up and begin turning our world around.

In liberty,Chris Dixon

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One thought on “One Maine Man’s Dream To End What Ron Paul Has Started

  1. Pingback: The Thoughts Of A Libertarian-Leaning Republican « Hegelian Dialectic

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