Late last week, Stan Lockhart, Utah GOP chairman, sent out an e-mail to the 180 central committee members (the basic governing body of the state party) saying that he had thoroughly researched the state GOP constitution, the party bylaws, had spoken with Republican National Committee officials and studied Roberts Rules of Order.
And it is his decision that he can release the Romney delegates himself, as Romney desires and has asked him to do.
In his e-mail, Lockhart said Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, in a written request recently received, asked that Utah GOP national delegates be released to vote for McCain. With that new request in hand, Lockhart decided to review whether he had the authority to release delegates as Romney asks.
"I have had many discussions with the Romney campaign on this issue," Lockhart wrote. "They are firm in their desire for their delegates to be released."
After reviewing all party "governing documents," Lockhart then writes, "I have concluded that our national delegates can be released. ... I am asking for your support of my finding to allow Utah's national delegates to be released from voting for Mitt Romney."
Utah GOP bylaws, section 7.0, paragraph B (page 5):
Allocation and Binding of National Delegation. All National Convention delegates and
alternates shall be allocated to the candidate receiving the most votes of the statewide vote in the
Republican Presidential Primary. On the first ballot, the national delegation shall be bound to
vote for the candidate who has received the most votes in the Republican Presidential Primary,
but the delegation shall not be bound on any subsequent ballots.
Maybe Stan is bad at math....