Viva Paulistas!

They’re stirring up some trouble in theLone Star State.

Want a fresh political surprise?

How about supporters of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul for president staking a lasting claim in the Republican Party of Texas?

As Democrats tussled over their presidential candidates at recent regional conventions, Paul backers unexpectedly took control of a GOP convention in Austin and the Victoria County convention.

The results at Travis County’s state Senate District 25 convention left old-guard Republicans wondering who lost the party’s car keys — and worse.

Gail Suttle, active in GOP circles since the 1980s, watched the takeover in horror. Suttle e-mailed Republicans afterward: “This group is NOT Republican and they will not work together — remember this when you do have to be in contact with them.”

At the confab at a local middle school, she’d likened the Paulies to Hitler youth, saying they were to the right of Attila the Hun.

“I am sorry,” her subsequent e-mail says, “but I meant it all!”

[snip]

Delegates also whacked at typical Republican positions.

They voted in favor of deleting language in the state party’s platform dealing with family matters such as a call for a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. They said the U.S. Supreme Court should leave abortion rights to individual states; the state platform calls for a constitutional ban on abortion.

“Abortion is not an issue that affects most people in this country,” McDonald said. “Foreign policy, the economy, personal freedoms affect everybody. … Those are the things we need to concentrate on.”

Delegates approved a resolution honoring Gov. Rick Perry. They scuttled a commendation of President Bush.

“A lot of people feel like he’s let his party and his country down,” McDonald said.

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