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The Terhune Hangover

Waters continue to roil over the Nevada GOP delegation at the Tampa convention – bound by rules to cast the majority of its vote for Mitt Romney – instead casting its lot for Ron Paul because a Paul delegate sneezed and a Romney delegate didn’t say “God bless you” – or some equally silly perceived slight.

(Yeah, yeah…I know. It was because of how the Maine delegation was supposedly mistreated and Robert’s Dumbass Rules of Order allegedly weren’t followed on a floor vote. It’s still no excuse.)

Anyway, there’s this government employee/moderate Republican blogger in Reno named Orrin Johnson – who delights in slamming conservatives, tea partiers and Ron Paul supporters – who’s trying to lay the blame for the Nevada delegation going rogue at the feet of Nevada Republican Party Chairman Mike McDonald – who was, at the time, 2,500 miles away at his ailing father’s bedside rather than partying in Tampa.

The problem with Johnson’s finger-pointing at McDonald is that McDonald was NOT the leader of the delegation. It was some wingnut dentist from Reno named Wayne Terhune.

As I noted last week, Terhune was elected by the delegation to lead the delegation thanks to Republican National Committeewoman Heidi Smith casting her vote for Terhune and Washoe County Chairman Dave Buell – who lost to McDonald for the state chair position a couple months back in a landslide – abstaining.

It was my point that if you want to point fingers at who was responsible for Terhune being in a position to embarrass Nevada Republicans, you need to point your fingers in the direction of Smith and Buell, not McDonald.

However, Johnson reportedly has obtained a copy of the tally sheet of the secret ballot which reportedly shows 14 votes for Terhune, 12 for McDonald, 1 abstention (Buell) and 1 vote for some other crazy guy/delegate named Carducci (who reportedly stood on a chair in Tampa and flipped the RNC chairman the bird; a real class act).

So McDonald lost by two votes, not one. Which changes absolutely nothing as far as Buell and Smith being responsible for Terhune’s election is concerned. Just do the math…

Had delegates Smith and Buell both voted for McDonald to chair the delegation (as they should have), the vote would have been 14 for McDonald, 13 for Terhune and 1 for the crazy guy.

(SIDE NOTE: By the way, I’m also told the crazy guy didn’t vote for himself; he voted for Terhune. It was actually some other crazy guy who voted for the crazy guy. And had the crazy guy dropped out of the voting, the vote would have been 14-14…which means the ALTERNATE delegates would have been brought in to break the tie. And the alternates were loaded with Romney/McDonald supporters. Terhune would have lost that vote in a landslide.)

So even though McDonald technically lost to Terhune by two votes, not one…the fact remains that Wayne Terhune led the Nevada delegation thanks to how Heidi Smith and Dave Buell voted. And no matter how Orrin Johnson tries to lay the blame at the feet of McDonald, that dog just won’t hunt.

Two additional points:

1.) Buell is said to have “gone Swiss” and stayed neutral so as not to anger either the Romney or Paul camps. Sorry, but ducking a tough vote is not how most people would define leadership, no matter how badly Orrin Johnson tries to make Buell out to be a hero in this mess.

2.) One of Orrin Johnson’s readers pointed out that Orrin sits in the peanut gallery criticizing McDonald without ever having actually been in a party leadership position himself. “Orrin, what have (you) done to help beside blame (Mike) McDonald for everything?” wrote John. “If you thought he was so inept where were you to run for State Chairman?”

To which Johnson replied (and I’m not making this up): “Start with the caucuses, which I’m proud to say ran very smoothy (sic) here in Washoe.”

Sorry, but volunteering to organize a set of caucus meetings doesn’t even come CLOSE to getting elected party chair and actually running a party organization. Orrin should be embarrassed by such a lame apples-to-oranges back-pat.

And if Orrin thinks he can do so much better, maybe he ought to put on his big boy pants and do as John suggested…run for the position himself. But don’t hold your breath waiting. OJ is all hat and no cattle.