Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Oops: 'Disenfranchised' Colorado Trump 'Delegate' Who Burned Voter Card...Was Neither

As Donald Trump attempts to distract from his campaign's myriad failures in Colorado by cynicallystirring the "rigged corrupt game" pot, one of the public faces of this phony outrage is a gentleman who earned himself prime Drudge real estate when he dramatically burned his voter registration card on camera -- claiming that he was wrongfully turned away from the state party convention because he's a Trump fan. It's a disenfranchisement conspiracy cooked up by the elites, he argued, torching his Republican documentation in protest.  The Federalist's Mollie Hemingway was skeptical of the man's version of events and dug into the back story.  She discovered that rather than being the victim of shadowy subterfuge, Douglas County resident Larry Wayne Lindsey didn't understand the rules, shirked his own responsibilities, and leapt to inaccurate conclusions:

According to a series of conversations with party officials, while Lindsey did show up to his precinct caucus and was elected as a delegate to the county assembly, he never showed up to the county assembly, or, at the very least, never signed in for his credentials. On Facebook, he erroneously claimed he’d been elected as a delegate to the state assembly from his precinct caucus, something that is not possible under the rules in Douglas County. “Since Mr. Lindsey did not attend the County District Assembly he was not elected to be a delegate to the State Assembly, nor could he have been, so there is no way that he would have been listed as a delegate to the State Convention when he tried to check in on Saturday morning,” Tanne Blackburn, chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, explained in a press release. He’s blaming his own comprehension failures on the Colorado Republican Party and claiming the party targeted him for being a Trump voter. In truth, he wasn’t even a delegate to the state assembly to begin with.Nevertheless, he promises that he “will raise holy hell” and is “sick to death” of Douglas County Republicans and “ashamed” of being a Republican.

In other words, he was elected as a delegate to his county convention, not the state convention, which is where presidential delegates were selected (resulting in a Cruz sweep). Furthermore, party officials say Mr. Lindsey was a no-show at the county gathering. What gives? Back to Hemingway, who's followed up on the story today.  She details how this individual has admitted to missing the key county meeting in question, blaming his absence on a variety of shifting explanations -- including that he was actively misled by a mysterious 'establishment' figure. Allahpundit explains why Lindsey's half-cocked conspiracy claims make almost zero sense logically, but Hemingway goes a step further. She discovers that given his role as a county delegate, Lindsey was contacted by a public official seeking his backing at the gathering Lindsey ended up skipping. That (very conservative) State Representative, a man by the name of Patrick Neville, says he personally spoke with Lindsey to solicit his support and to underscore the importance of attending the county convention. Hemingway's conclusion, after gathering the facts that most media organizations ignored in favor of credulously highlighting Lindsey's theatrics:

Lindsey’s story is a great anecdote for helping explain why Trump’s operation was not up to snuff in the delegate game for Colorado, but it’s not the story of disenfranchisement that national media are running with...Not showing up to an event that other delegates had no problem getting to — among them quite a few Trump supporters — isn’t disenfranchisement. Particularly when elected officials have had detailed phone conversations with you about the importance of the event. Perhaps the media should consider the prudence of running with a story that is false.
None of this information will even remotely dissuade Trump, who is intentionally casting aspersions upon the legitimacy of the process in order to tide the media's appetite for controversy and storylines over into next week, when the celebrity mogul is expected to notch a strong victory in New York.  Once the news cycle becomes more favorable, this sound and fury will recede.  Until it's needed again, of course.  As we mentioned earlier, this is a pattern of behavior with Trump, who blurts out nonsense allegations of fraud and malfeasance as a means of misdirection.  He distracts the press (look at this new thing Trump is screaming about!) while giving his followers a shiny object to rage over, so they don't have to think too hard about questions like this:

That was one piece of a tweet storm from Colorado Republican US Senator Cory Gardner last night, who pointed out that his state's rules were well known by all campaigns for months in advance. Gardner asked a series of questions that undermined central premises of Trump's campaign: All I do is win because I pick the smartest, most competent people, and make the greatest deals -- unlike all the moron slobs who hold elective office in this country today.  In Colorado, all Trump did was lose because he picked clueless incompetents who proved incapable of getting basic information correct, let alone pulling off savvy deals.  And he was soundly defeated by one of the supposedly clueless politicians over whom he routinely claims superiority.  The author of 'The Art of the Deal' keeps getting fleeced because he can't handle basic campaign blocking and tackling.  Please ponder what that might portend about a mythical Trump presidency.  I'll leave you with our discussion about this "controversy" from today's Outnumbered, which features Cruz aptly accusing Trump of whining as a jumping off point. Via Right Sightings:

As I say, I agree with Trump that the system Colorado Republicans have instituted is unpalatable.  An electorate that's broader than a few thousand activists at a party convention should have a say in the presidential nominating process.  But if Trump really had a beef with that course of action on principle, he could and should have spoken up when it was first determined, said his piece, then adapted to the rules in order to win.  He did none of those things, and only began whinging about the process after he lost. 

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