The CPAC Organizers vs Ron Paul

WASHINGTON — The organizers of a major conservative conference here over the next three days are trying to widen participation in a straw poll, a not-too-subtle attempt to give a Republican presidential candidate other than Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) a chance to win.

For the past two years, Paul has won, by large margins, a straw poll of attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. The results have been something of an embarrassment for CPAC, organized by the American Conservative Union, which comes from a more traditional conservative point of view than Paul’s libertarian-tinged version.

This year, the American Conservative Union and CPAC are moving from paper ballots to electronic voting that will be accessible from a computer or a handheld device, said Al Cardenas, the conservative union’s current president. He told The Huffington Post that he hopes this will increase the number of attendees who participate in the straw poll.

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Jason Rink is the Editor-in-Chief of The Liberty Voice. Executive Director of the Foundation for a Free Society. He is the producer and director of Nullification: The Rightful Remedy, and the author of “Ron Paul: Father of the Tea Party” the biography of Congressman Ron Paul. See more of his work at his writing at JasonRink.com and his film production work at FoundationMedia.org.

4 Comments

  1. nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan perot carter

    February 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    No more pesky, traceable paper ballot straw poll !
    electronic vote totals are whatever we say they are

  2. Rich Birkett

    February 10, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    The real story here is that Ron Paul and other libertarians were not invited to this year’s CPAC. Only after CPAC’s selection process change was made public, did CPAC claim that Ron Paul was “unintentionally” not invited. Ron Paul was belatedly invited, but not before Paul made other committments.

  3. CURTIS

    February 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

    the more I listen to RP the more I like him.. I just wish his rabid supporters would tone it down a tad… Constructive criticism is good you don’t need to always shout someone down..

  4. Rich Birkett

    February 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Here’s the timeline for Ron Paul’s exclusion at CPAC:
    Early 2011: David Keene gives up ACU Chair to Al Cardenas. Cardenas initiates a review of CPAC’s vetting of sponsors and speakers.
    July 2011: CPAC announces speakers for 2012, inviting then Republican presidential candidates Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Cain and Perry. Ron Paul is excluded as a speaker, despite winning CPAC’s straw poll in 2010 and 2011.
    Oct 2011: CPAC claims Ron Paul’s exclusion was “unintentional” and would be corrected in a “few weeks”.
    Feb 2012: After CPAC tickets are sold out and CPAC announces its change in straw poll procedures, then Ron Paul is belatedly invited, but declines.

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