As reported by St. Petersburg Times last week, Mitt Romney used his personal finances to buy himself another straw poll win, this time after the Youtube/CNN debate that consisted of around 1,500 possible votes cast. Organizers allowed people to buy tickets in bulk, with each ticket costing $20. The majority of Romney votes came from people funded by him and campaign, and many voted upwards to 20 times, probably more. The establishment candidates can't come close to the enthusiasm and momentum of Ron Paul, so the only way for them to win is to buy it with cold hard money. They don't have our interests in mind, so any person conspiring with these candidates like this is equally responsible for their actions. Some Ron Paul supporters allegedly voted extra also, but one would have to wonder if it was because of what they knew. Romney managed to buy up 893 votes even though the crowd was clearly of a Ron Paul majority, and Paul came in second with 534.
Now an attendee has come out and disclosed more wrongdoing by the event organizers. It turns out that county chairman of the REC Tony DiMatteo, a Giuliani supporter, doesn't want to play by the rules, mimicking the utter disrespect for the law by candidates like Giuliani and Romney. Apparently DiMatteo didn't want the public finding out about the complete fraud of this event, so when a Ron Paul supporter decided to call him up to discuss it, he threatened her. His words: "It's too bad for you, and if you start any trouble you will be hurt." The leader of the local Ron Paul Meetup group later told her when called that the same thing had happened to him before the event. There is only one thing Giuliani supporters hate more than the constitution, and that's Ron Paul supporters. Coincidentally, Ron Paul's fourth quarter fundraising has already surpassed both Giuliani and Romney, and the big fundraising drive in 2 weeks has yet to even happen.
Mitt Romney bought himself a victory in the straw poll for Republicans at a rain-shortened barbecue in Vinoy Park.
Romney got 893 votes, besting second-place Ron Paul's 534 -- despite Paul's shuttling in supporters on a rented trolley and shuttle. The campaign had a plane sporting pro-Paul slogans and a boat touting him, too.
In fact, Paul supporters dominated the crowd, which reached an estimated 1,000 people. Tickets for votes cost $20 each.
So how did Romney do it?
"I voted 20 times," Derek Gyongzois, 38, of St. Petersburg exclaimed after casting ballots.
He said he works as a volunteer for the Romney campaign (and begged a reporter not to print his 20-vote tally). Did he buy the tickets?
"I don't have that kind of money," Gyongzois said.
He wasn't the only person voting more than once. Paul supporter Mike Wagner, 57, of St. Petersburg: "This thing is rigged."
Before rain cut short the event, Paul supporters were voting multiple times, too.
"This is the best election money can buy, anywhere," said Pinellas County GOP chairman Tony DiMatteo, a Rudy Giuliani supporter. Giuliani received 39 votes, followed by Mike Huckabee's 37 and Fred Thompson's 21. John McCain had 12; Duncan Hunter, 4, Alan Keyes, 2; and Tom Tancredo, 1.