Ron Paul supporters took over the Nevada GOP earlier this month, so Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee have opened dialogue with the libertarian about his philosophy and policy priorities. No, just kidding, they're pouring money into a "shadow state party" and trying to make the official party irrelevant.
The Las Vegas Sun's Jon Ralston reports that national Republican party, which has already called Romney the "presumptive nominee," is transferring money to the joint effort called Team Nevada, and maybe the Washoe County party, which is still in good standing with DC headquarters the and Romney's campaign. Ralston writes that the issue is that the Paul supporters are too busy trying to push their guy's chances in the nomination process. "They are still bogged down in the minutiae of whether Romney will be the presumptive nominee,” a GOP strategist told Ralston. The new shadow party will do all the traditional party stuff: identifying voters, calling them, getting them to the polls. Basically, Ralston writes, "everything the party is supposed to do, except the GOP here can’t raise money and has the inmates running the asylum."
Even though Paul shut down campaign in future primaries earlier this week, his supporters are still scurrying to secure as many delegates to the national convention as possible by competing in the various arcane processes that state and local party committees award delegates. In Nevada, Romney won the caucuses, but the state will send to the Republican National Convention 22 delegates for Paul, and only three for Romney. (Most of the Paul fans will still have to vote for Romney at the convention, because he earned 20 delegate votes by winning the caucus.) The Clark County party, the biggest in the state, passed a resolution calling for RNC chair Priebus to resign Tuesday, saying he was helping Romney's campaign even though Romney hasn't officially won the primary.
The first Team Nevada office opened over the weekend, and more offices will open in June, the Las Vegas Review Journal's Laura Myers reports. Clark County GOP Chairman Dave Gibbs told Myers of the Paul backers, "Some are not going to quit until the gavel bangs down in Tampa."