In a better world, this media whirlwind would end with an admission that an honest mistake had been made and everyone would let it drop. In the world we live in, so much emotion has been invested in the narrative that an average joe was cheated out of his opportunity to cast a vote for Trump that that narrative has to be salvaged somehow. Especially now that it’s been at the top of the Drudge Report.
This weekend Lindsey claimed he was duly elected as a delegate to the state Republican convention but had been barred from the proceedings by the powers that be to prevent him from casting a vote for Trump’s slate of national delegates. Mollie Hemingway debunked that, claiming per local GOP officials that Lindsey had been elected as a delegate to his county caucus, not to the state convention, and that he’d never showed up at the county caucus to run for state delegate. He was barred from the state convention, in other words, because, er, he wasn’t a delegate to the state convention. Could that explain why Lindsey, seemingly uniquely among Trump supporters at the Colorado convention, had trouble getting his credentials? Well, no: Like I say, the narrative calls for chicanery somewhere in this process, so the new story is that Lindsey may well have missed a meeting — but only because shadowy operatives loyal to Cruz wanted him to.
[A] sign-in sheet from his county’s March 19 assembly, the second step of the process where delegates were elected to the statewide assembly, reveals that Lindsey never showed up to that meeting, and an alternate signed in for him instead.
Lindsey admits he may have missed a meeting, but claims that his point person for navigating the party processes was among the many Cruz supporters who deliberately tried to mislead him on several occasions, including on dates and times of meetings…
No record of the woman Lindsey named as his point-person — Jan Morgan — exists among the Colorado Republican Party’s listings of activists and operatives, and a GOP spokesman said they haven’t been able to confirm the person exists. Lindsey couldn’t provide their contact information, and couldn’t remember the last time he spoke with her.
Who is the mysterious “Jan Morgan” who steered Lindsey wrong? Lindsey claimed in a Facebook post last night that she approached him at the precinct caucus, told him she was his precinct captain, then called him later to claim that the county caucus had been canceled and that he’d already been chosen as a delegate to the state convention and should show up there this past weekend. That sounds like … a lot of subterfuge to disqualify one county-level delegate, especially when (to my knowledge) no other pro-Trump delegates to the state convention in Colorado have claimed elaborate shenanigans designed to deter them from attending key meetings. Lindsey himself writes, “Apparently, there was no lack of knowledgeable counsel available for Cruz supporters, since it seems only Trump supporters had problems with the rules.” He attributes that to some sort of conspiracy (“Since I don’t believe in coincidence, it reeks of something more”), but what’s the likelier explanation? That Team Cruz was running an elaborate con targeting all manner of Trumpists at a granular level — and somehow it only worked on Lindsey — or that Team Trump didn’t have its own act together enough to provide proper instructions to its supporters in the state on how to become delegates? Remember, no less than Paul Manafort told “Meet the Press” this weekend that the campaign wasn’t playing in Colorado.
Anyway, if Lindsey had been told, erroneously, that the county caucus was canceled, then he was indeed deprived of his chance to become a state delegate. But … what if Lindsey did have reason to know that the county caucus was being held as scheduled? Hemingway dug a little deeper today and got in touch with another local Republican official from Douglas County, where Lindsey lives. Patrick Neville is a state representative for one of the districts within Douglas and wanted to run for reelection; the way to do that is to be nominated at the county caucus, where Lindsey was a delegate. So Neville did what any politician would — he dialed up Lindsey and asked for his support. And he has the records to prove it.
In the weeks leading up to the county assembly on March 19, Neville called delegates to ask for their support at the county assembly. According to phone records, he had an eight-minute phone call with Lindsey. Neville says that they talked about his positions and areas of shared concern, as well as the importance of showing up at the assembly. Indeed, that was the main purpose of the phone call — to ensure delegates showed up at the county assembly and voted on the HD-45 race. Neville was surprised when Lindsey didn’t show up. (Neville ended up winning the nomination by acclamation.)
One open question, I guess, is whether Neville called Lindsey before or after “Jan Morgan” supposedly told him that the county caucus was canceled. But that brings you back to the more important open question of why other Trumpers haven’t come forward claiming this same scenario happened to them. A disinformation campaign doesn’t work unless it’s broad in scope. And even if someone wanted to do this, why would they try to mislead delegates to the county caucus rather than delegates to the state convention? There are many more of the former than the latter; if all you wanted to do was to keep Trump’s fans away from the big vote to elect delegates to the national convention, you’d be dialing up state delegates and telling them not to attend the state convention for whatever reason. You wouldn’t bother with lower level delegates like Lindsey.