John Myser, a Mendota Heights resident and professional mediator, spent the past week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL, serving as an alternate delegate for Minnesota’s second congressional district.
“It’s interesting how much free stuff they give you,” said Myser, who identifies as a libertarian and supported Ron Paul in the presidential race. “My sense is, it’s a distraction.”
This is Myser’s first experience serving as a delegate. In fact, prior to November 2011, his only previous political involvement was as a grassroots activist supporting a legislative proposal that would allow for the sale of raw milk.
Ten months ago, however, Myser met Marianne Stebbins, head of Minnesota’s Republican delegation, at a campaign meeting for Paul supporters. From there, his interest in the delegation grew.
In February, Myser was voted into the position of state delegate. Later that spring, he was elected to represent Congressional District 2 as an alternate in Tampa. The second congressional district sent six delegates and alternate delegates to Florida, all of them in favor of Paul.
In fact, Paul supporters comprised the majority of the Minnesota Republican delegation. During Tuesday’s roll call of delegates at the RNC, Minnesota gave 33 votes to Paul, 6 votes to presumptive nominee Mitt Romney and 1 vote to Rick Santorum.
Myser supports Paul because of the politician’s vocal stance on the defense of constitutional freedoms, which Myser feels are increasingly restricted by today’s government.
“Why is my choice being limited?” said Myser. “They just put up barriers to how I want to live free.”
While in Tampa, Myser had the opportunity to cast a few ballots, although not on the presidential vote.
Myser also witnessed the adoption of a controversial rule change regarding the state delegate selection process. According to the Washington Post, the rule change would
require states to allocate delegates according to the statewide vote and would allow the RNC to change its rules without a full convention vote.
Myser felt the rule change, which passed by a voice vote, was a power grab on the part of the Republican National Committee.
“It was just stunning,” said Myser.