Iowa delegates to the Republican National Convention didn’t make it to the opening of the convention this afternoon, so they nearly missed Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds’ first appearance on the podium as convention secretary when she read the formal “call” of the convention.
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. Alternate delegate John Bowery of Shenandoah is an emergency room doctor.
“People would die if this is how I ran my ER,” Bowery said. “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 later today, 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 said. “We need to be there to represent our viewpoints.”
A series of rules changes are being decided upon by delegates this 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 this 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 today. John Archer, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s second congressional district, is scheduled to give a two-minute speech to convention delegates shortly after 2:30 Iowa time.
The roll call of the states — the process for formally nominating Mitt Romney — is scheduled to begin at about 4:30.