A deeply divided contingent of more than 1,200 Republicans has gathered at a Sparks casino to elect delegates to the national convention in Tampa, Fl.
Within an hour of the convention being gaveled open, accusations of fake ballots, scuffles over seating and brief disagreements over rules erupted.
Overall, however, business proceeded rather smoothly with a delegation that seemed tipped toward Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who is scheduled to speak this afternoon
But that's only the start of it. Check #NVGOP on Twitter for more updates. So far, it looks like late arriving Romney delegates will be allowed to vote, so the Ron Paul folks are bummed... But they're still refusing to give up.
Rather, they're now trying to remove the convention chair! And there's all sorts of yelling and screaming going on inside John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks. Oh yes, the revolution is in full force now.
It looks like Twitter may be overloaded here in Nevada, so I'll keep trying to find more updates for you.
UPDATE 3:50 PM:
So what's happening in Sparks now? Everything. And nothing.
Long story short, they're still fighting over the process. Nevada Republicans just barely adopted the rules for the convention, and it still looks like they're nowhere near delegate selection. At last check, it looked like close to an even Paul v. Romney divide... But now that the convention can go on without a quorum, Ron Paul supporters are essentially out to "rope-a-dope" Team Romney into exhaustion, hoping they'll leave before national convention delegate selection begins.
We'll have to wait and see how this works. So far, the ones who've been exhausted the most are the journalists covering this!
UPDATE 4:45 PM:
Finally, the delegate selection begins! And in a stunning turn of events, it looks like the Ron Paul approved RNC rep candidates have become the early favorites. Heidi Smith sounded really drunk, and apparently both she and Bob List are now "not conservative enough" for the crowd at Sparks. Never mind that Smith called President Obama a "SOE-SHUL-IST!!!!!" and List regurgitated "tenther" nonsense. I guess one must now burn Obama in effigy, make love to a cardboard cutout of Ron Paul, vow to destroy all government, and dissolve our 21st century economy to have any kind of future in the Nevada G-O-TEA.
No wonder why Dean Heller, Joe Heck, and Brian Sandoval stayed away today.
UPDATE 7:50 PM:
Finally, the Nevada Republican Party has new RNC committee members. James Smack and Diana Orrock beat incumbents Bob List and Heidi Smith by a landslide. Not only is this in and of itself big news, but it's also a key test vote for the delegate selection votes soon to come. Incumbents List and Smith back Mitt Romney, while Smack and Orrock support Ron Paul.
Steve Sebelius noted the real irony here, which is that List and Smith both upped the ante on the "tea party" crazy, yet they still lost. Wow. What does that say about the future of the Nevada Republican Party? Especially that a former Governor (albeit a disgraced one term Governor) could lose his RNC position to some rural dude who likes Ron Paul and lost his Congressional primary 86-14?
So as we look forward to the delegate slate competition, it looks like Ron Paul's campaign may ultimately have the upper hand tonight. And the caucus fracas that began in January won't be ending any time soon.