A Republican straw poll scheduled to be held in San Francisco on Tuesday December 4th, 2007 was cancelled after Fred Thompson supporters, scared because so many Ron Paul supporters showed up, exploited a technicality and complained that they were given different instructions than the Ron Paul supporters.
The controversy revolved around the cost. Gail Neira (pictured above left), the organizer of the event, told a Ron Paul organizer earlier in the day the Ron Paul supporters could either show up for the buffet, pay $33, and also participate in the straw poll afterwards, or could show up later and pay $5 just to vote in the poll. But when "later" came, and Fred Thompson supporters saw how many Ron Paul supporters showed up, the Thompson contingent claimed they weren't given the same instructions, and the organizer suddenly cancelled the straw poll despite the fact that many Ron Paul supporters offered to pay the extra $28 each to participate. Mainstream media report with video aired by KPIX Channel 5 San Francisco. Here's the account from one of the participants, originally posted on the Ron Paul Forums:
The San Francisco Republican Alliance’s Common Sense Supper Club announced that local Republicans were invited to attend a holiday buffet party and Presidential straw poll vote on the evening of Tues. Dec. 4. On the morning of the event, a Ron Paul supporter spoke by phone with the chairperson and hostess. The supporter was told that if he and any other Ron Paul supporters wanted to attend, they could either participate in both the buffet starting at 6:45pm and the later straw poll for $33, or come later at 8:15pm solely to vote in the straw poll for a discounted entrance fee of $5, provided they did not eat any food. The Ron Paul supporter then posted the event on Meetup, and we ended up with a huge crowd of Ron Paul supporters arriving at the event. At least 15 or more of the 80 guests seated at the buffet were Ron Paul supporters, while those who came at 8:15pm solely to vote for Ron Paul numbered an additional 40. These 40 people were forced to wait outside of the event standing in the lobby for at least an hour until 9:30pm or later. Finally, the 40 people were allowed into the event room after paying the previously-quoted entrance fee of $5. The total of approximately 55 or more Ron Paul supporters, who wore Ron Paul buttons and carried Ron Paul signs, made it clear to all in the room that the Ron Paul supporters outnumbered supporters of all other candidates. As a side note, the Fred Thompson supporters had during the entire event posted a huge Fred Thompson sign on the wall inside the event, and had distributed Fred Thompson campaign literature at every place-setting at every table.
When the Fred Thompson supporters saw that the room was dominated by the huge number of Ron Paul supporters, the Fred Thompson supporters complained to the hostess that the Ron Paul supporters who did not pay the $33 should not be allowed to vote. They said the Fred Thompson supporters had not been given the same instructions the Ron Paul supporters had about the opportunity to come later and vote at a discounted price. Many Ron Paul supporters offered to pay the $28 difference to vote, but this offer was not accepted. The hostess in the heat of the moment decided to cancel the poll given the disagreement in opinion as to how best to handle the situation.
A representative of the Ron Paul supporters was given the microphone for about four minutes, during which time he mentioned that there was a Revolution going on, that the Revolution has been censored at previous straw polls and in the corporate media and their debates, and at which time he also mentioned that if the Republicans continue to refuse to learn about Ron Paul and ignore the Ron Paul Revolution, they are destined to likely lose the 2008 general election to the Democrats, given the fact that 70% or more of Americans want a quick withdrawal from Iraq.
Many Ron Paul supporters expressed their anger about the sudden cancellation of the straw poll, and demanded a return of their money, and I have been told that some of the Ron Paul supporters who paid $5 to vote got their $5 refunded to them although I have not gotten confirmation of this fact. I know I personally paid $33 to get into the event, only ate a tiny piece of cheescake (almost all the food was gone) and I never got a chance to vote, yet I was never offered a refund of any part or all of my $33.
In the end, the attendance of the large number of Ron Paul supporters succeeded in demonstrating our numbers, addressing the audience for four minutes about the Revolution, and preventing what might have otherwise been a Straw Poll win for Fred Thompson, with the end result being the cancellation of the poll.
Some Ron Paul supporters expressed empathy with the hostess, as it was understood that there was no way she was going to be able to make a decision that could have pleased both the Fred Thompson supporters and the Ron Paul supporters.
Here's a YouTube video showing the moment the cancellation decision was made:
This is just one more effort by the mainstream Republicans to censor Ron Paul and to marginalize his campaign. To learn more about where Ron Paul stands on the issues, visit his official campaign website. Previous straw poll results posted HERE.
And don't forget December 16th - Ron Paul Tea Party '07.