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The Great Terhune Temper Tantrum

Let’s recap:

Nevada delegation chair Wayne Terhune and his daughter, Jennifer Terhune scream on the convention hall floor.
PHOTO: Karoun Demirjian/Las Vegas Sun

The established rules plainly and clearly stated that 20 of the 28 delegates from Nevada to the Republican National Convention in Tampa were “bound” to vote for Mitt Romney on the first ballot. Instead, 17 of those delegates – led by delegation chairman Wayne Terhune – cast their votes for Ron Paul.

Paul supporters who are trying to rationalize the Great Terhune Temper Tantrum are pointing to a convention decision related to disputed delegates from Maine. But as Dave Buell, Chairman of the Washoe County GOP and convention delegate put it, “What they’re saying is two wrongs make a right.”

Buell added: “They sit there and scream about the rules and then they turn around and break them. They’re awfully totalitarian for being such liberty-minded people.”

Now, keep Buell’s words in mind as you read the rest of this story…which has a very interesting twist.

Sooo…

Who’s ultimately responsible for the Great Terhune Temper Tantrum? Well, according to Reno blogger Orrin Johnson: Nevada GOP Chairman Michael McDonald!

Here’s what Orrin wrote Tuesday night (h/t RalstonFlash):

“State Chair Michael McDonald was not at the convention, due to an illness in his family. To his credit, he seems to share my disdain for these lawless thieves who stole the votes of our fellow Republicans, and I have no doubt he would have cast his vote for Romney had he been there. But he was elected by these Paul folks because they knew he would not and could not stop them. His inability to lead and lack of credibility predictably led to this embarrassment, and the Nevada GOP is dead in the water so long as he stays at the helm.”

Orrin’s personal disdain for McDonald is well-known, so trying to blame McDonald for Terhune isn’t exactly a surprise. Nor is it going to be much of a surprise to learn that Orrin is wrong…again.

Traditionally, the state party chairman also serves as the delegation chairman at the national convention. However, a vote among Nevada’s delegation was held and Terhune was elected delegation chairman over party chairman McDonald by…ONE VOTE.

And I have now been advised by two reliable sources (neither of whom is Harry Reid’s source on Mitt Romney’s tax returns!) that Washoe GOP Chairman Dave Buell (see above) abstained from that vote, while Washoe Republican National Committeewoman Heidi Smith voted for fellow Renoite Terhune.

As one of my sources put it: “Heidi and Dave did this in an attempt to embarrass the Nevada Republican Party because of their prior landslide losses for National Committeewoman and State Chair. They, in essence, placed a bet that Terhune would ‘act-up’ and they guessed right!”

So sorry, Orrin. You can’t lay the blame for the Great Terhune Temper Tantrum at the feet of Chairman McDonald. If you want someone to blame, look in your own back yard at your own establishment GOP leaders for putting that yahoo in charge.

UPDATE: A tally of the vote has reportedly been obtained by a Reno blogger that shows McDonald lost by two votes, not one.  However, with Buell and Smith’s votes, McDonald still would have won, 14-13.