Alaska delegates part of ‘ruckus’ over GOP rules vote

ZACHARIAH HUGHES: APRN’s Liz Ruskin is reporting from Cleveland.  What was the order of the day?

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Tuckerman Babcock left) the chair of the Alaska GOP Photo by Larence Ostrovsky)
Tuckerman Babcock, left, the chair of the Alaska GOP (Photo by Lawrence Ostrovsky)

RUSKIN: The main business of today was nominating Donald J. Trump for president. And here’s how it sounded when state party chairman Tuckerman Babcock announced the results of the Alaska vote.

BABCOCK: Alaska: we proudly vote exactly the way the people of Alaska voted. 12 votes for Cruz. 11 votes for Trump. 5 votes for Marco Rubio. The great state of Alaska reports exactly as our people voted. We support the nominee of this party, Donald J. Trump.

RUSKIN: It sounds kind of funny and old-fashioned and it seemed like the states were out-doing each other, trying to sound like they were more grandiose about their own state.

HUGHES: Switching to yesterday, one of the biggest things that happened was a speech by Donald J. Trump’s wife, Melania Trump. There’s been a little bit of controversy since she made her speech. Can you just recap that and tell us what, if anything, the Alaska delegates are saying about it?”

RUSKIN: Right, it’s been reported in the media, and certainly social media, that there’s a striking resemblance between Mrs. Trump’s speech and the one Michelle Obama delivered to the Democratic Convention in 2008. The Alaska delegates I talked to were very skeptical that there was anything unduly similar about these two speeches. I spoke to Glenn Clary who is a delegate. He’s also an assistant pastor of Anchorage Baptist Temple, and he wanted to know if the speech writers were the same.

CLARY: Do you know who wrote the speech? That’s what we need to find out. We need to get a copy of the speech to find out who wrote the speech because if that’s true that the same individual did, then that individual is responsible for that.

RUSKIN: We do know who Michelle Obama’s speech writer was and, as of very recently, she was still working for the White House, so it’s highly unlikely that she wrote Mrs. Trump’s speech. But the delegates have been in a little bubble, pretty caught up in the convention and they all did say that they hadn’t had a chance, none I had talked to had a chance, to compare the two speeches side by side.

HUGHES: You have reported on a little bit of a ruckus that happened on the convention floor yesterday among some of the delegates. Explain what happened and where Alaska’s delegates fit into that.

RUSKIN: Right, the ruckus. It was essentially about rules. About whether to hold a roll call vote or a voice vote. And some of the Alaska delegates joined some very vociferous delegates from other states demanding roll call votes and for some of the Alaska delegates I talked to, they insisted it really just was about procedure, that they wanted roll call votes because they thought voice votes, you could have ringers in there. There’s a lot of people on the floor of the convention who aren’t delegates, and they might be voting in a voice vote. And this all kind of harkens back to four years ago, when Ron Paul supporters felt that they didn’t get their say at the convention. So this is kind of trying to correct wrongs and hurt feelings that happened back then. On this ruckus, I talked to a few delegates today who thought the media has focused too much on the disruption, which was about 15 minutes. They were kind of embarrassed and thought that it showed the party was not united and they thought that was unfair to show those 15 minutes of disruption, to focus on them, because, they got over it and they got back in sync and they thought there was too much emphasis.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

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