Ron Paul supporters are making state-level headaches for the Republican National Committee, Rachel Maddow reported on Tuesday's edition of The Rachel Maddow Show. She ran down the list:
- In Clark County, Nevada, a member of Clark County Republican Party's executive board paid to raise a billboard suggesting that Ron Paul was the inheritor of the Reagan mantle, while Mitt Romney was cast from the same mold as George W. Bush. Clark County is the most populous county in Nevada by a significant margin.
- Ron Paul has won 21 of Iowa's 25 delegates to the Republican National Convention, and Ron Paul supporters have become the state party's new executive director and organizational director.
- In April, the Alaska Republican Party elected a Ron Paul supporter to be its new party chair. As a result, the current, outgoing chair urged party members to boycott the state convention, so Paul supporters don't have a quorum with which they can rewrite the party rules and give Alaska's 24 delegates to their favored candidate.
- Lastly, Ron Paul has won a majority of the delegates in Nevada, Iowa, Maine, and Minnesota. There's a chance he'll take Louisiana's delegates as well.
To make things worse for the RNC, more than 100 state party delegates from across the country are suing national party Chair Reince Priebus and various state parties in order to gain the right to vote freely at the convention.
"The Ron Paul movement has been seizing the Republican Party apparatus at the state level," Rachel concluded.
"At the end of the day, it's probably not a big deal," said Republican strategist Steve Schmidt, appearing on the show. "But it's a hassle to have to deal with." Uncooperative state parties, he argued, are nothing new in Republican politics, and the party rules are stacked in such a way as to keep the real power within the national party.
Real power accrues to groups outside the formal party structure as well, he added, saying: "Capital goes where it's welcome." Troublesome state parties become "clubhouses," while outside groups or county-level parties become the organizations to recruit candidates and raise money.