Atlantic’s Wiederstein among Iowa delegates who were not happy about a late bus in Tampa

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August 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Iowa delegates to the Republican National Convention didn’t make it to the opening of the convention this afternoon. Iowa delegates, alternate delegates and Iowans who have guest passes gathered at noon at their hotel on Treasure Island, Florida, to be bused to downtown Tampa, but the bus was 50 minutes late. Atlantic Attorney Dave Wiederstein, an alternate delegate,¬† said the delegates “Are helpless when it comes to stuff like this.” He told Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson they could “Wake up at Five in the morning and be ready to go,” but they have to go on a specific bus, for security reasons. Wiederstein said “It makes you a little bit leery of the security of the United States, if these are the same people that are in charge of the security of the President, that let this kind of thing happen.”

Alternate delegate John Bowery, of Shenandoah, is an emergency room doctor. Bowery said “People would die if this is how I ran my ER. I’m really disappointed and I’m verging on angry now, you know, because this our entire state delegation, not just the alternates. I mean, they can do without me. They can’t do without the delegates here. They need to be there and this is the most crucial vote of the week.” Since most of these delegates are Ron Paul supporters and intend to vote for Ron Paul instead of Mitt Romney, the group started speculating that there was a plot to keep them away from the convention.

“We being there late is not good enough,” Bowery says. “We need to be there to represent our viewpoints.” A series of rules changes were being decided upon by delegates Tuesday afternoon. Kim Lehman¬† — Iowa’s Republican National Committeewoman — argues the changes would endanger Iowa’s Caucuses and allow presidential candidates of the future to dictate which delegates get to attend future national conventions. “We want to protect Iowa first-in-the-nation (status),” Lehman said Tuesday morning. “We want to protect delegates to be able to be delegates to the convention from the grassroots level, not from the top down.” The majority of Iowa delegates are attending their first-ever national convention and Lehman has urged them to be attentive.

“When you get there, it will seem fun and you’ll want to get out of your seat,” Lehman told the group at the delegation’s morning meeting, “but I would ask to find out if there’s a vote coming up because we need every single vote in their seat.” The start of the convention was delayed by a day. The convention’s opening business session started at one o’clock Iowa time, Tuesday.