GOP cannibalism begins, shows why presidential campaigns wanted a primary

Here we go again.

Supporters of Rand Paul's presidential campaign have begun their attempt to cement the campaign's control of the Republican Party apparatus in Nevada by trying to elevate one of their own to the chairmanship of the largest county party, using the Kentucky senator's name to boost his candidacy.

Using a picture of Paul to motivate supporters, superimposing his likeness onto the iconic Uncle Sam Army recruiting poster, the Paulites are trying to stack a meeting next week to help elect Rob Tyree, a key cog in Ron Paul's efforts in Nevada. "Failing to participate now will pave the way for a candidate like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie to win Nevada," the breathless email blast says. "It’s up to you to stop it."

And then this: "The goal is to become a Voting Member by the July 15th meeting so you can vote for new Officers who will ensure a fair Presidential Nomination process." In this instance, "fair" means "so our guy can win as we stack the deck."

The email is a follow-up to earlier organizing efforts using a "Rand wants you" theme, including one in April that asserted:

Rand wants you...
to attend two meetings that are imperative so you can vote in the election of new Officers. The current officers are establishment/anti-liberty. Rand wants you to vote for fair minded, liberty candidates.

This is a variant of a technique that the Paulites have used effectively to take over the state and Las Vegas county parties, resulting in a majority of delegates sent to national conventions but abject failure to get their man across the finish line in first place. Ron Paul was crushed by Mitt Romney in Nevada in 2012.

Carl Bunce, who headed Paul the Elder's campaign and is now helming his son's in Nevada, is trying to pack the meeting by using the recent legislative tax increase and by putting forth resolutions (posted here) to censure lawmakers and the current county party leaders, whom he accuses of standing by while Gov. Brian Sandoval and two-thirds of the Legislature enacted the record proposal.

"The time has come for you to step forward and have your voice heard for 2016!" Bunce wrote to backers. "The Clark County Republican Party will be holding elections in July to replace the current leadership, and we have a great team of candidates that need your support. Chairman candidate Rob Tyree, a long-time leader in the Nevada grassroots movement will lead a team of outstanding officer candidates. Conservatives candidates will not be successful without YOUR support and YOUR vote. "

One censure is directed at Ed Williams, the current vice-chair who is running to succeed Dave McKeon, the current chairman and Establishment ally. It is being put forth by Jesse Law, another veteran Paulite.

If you wonder why some of the other presidential campaigns wanted a primary cutting out the state party, this is why. If you want to know why the Democrats broke their backs to kill such an idea (including a personal appeal from Harry Reid), this is why. If you want to know why Rand Paul may be running a Nevada or Bust campaign, this is why.

They might as well put up a warning beacon to all the other candidates: Abandon all hope ye who enter Nevada, unless your last name is Paul.

And, yet, judging by past results, they still may fail to win the state for Rand just as they did for Ron. But at least they may get their people trips to Cleveland!