In a move destined for criticism moving closer to the 2012 GOP convention, it appears the Republican National Committee (RNC) has upheld the Republican Party of Louisiana’s “supplemental rules” which deemed Ron Paul’s delegates ineligible in favor of Romney delegates. The GOP’s desire to win over Paul supporters is sure to take a hit with this underhanded move.

Report from US News & World Report:

Ron Paul suffered a setback in his effort to have a major impact on the Republican National Convention when an arm of the Republican National Committee rejected a slate of Paul delegates from Louisiana to the national gathering later this month.

The RNC’s Committee on Contests dismissed Paul’s challenge to the delegation chosen by party regulars in Louisiana at the state party convention in Shreveport during early June. The committee decided last weekend that the state party’s executive committee had the authority to issue “supplemental rules” that resulted in therejection of Paul delegates and the seating of delegates backed by the party regulars who support presumptive nominee Mitt Romney.

“We are disappointed and are fighting tooth and nail,” John Tate, Paul’s campaign manager, told me in an E-mail. “This was but the first step. We are appealing their wrongheaded decision and will be taking it to the credentials committee.”

Paul supporters, however, argue that the regulars broke the rules by rejecting Paul’s delegates. The Paul forces can now challenge the Committee on Contests decision before the Credentials Committee or before the full convention, although neither tactic is likely to work because Romney controls a majority of delegates.

Paul supporters had been hoping that he would be given a major speaking role at the convention to disseminate his libertarian views as a presidential candidate. But the RNC hasn’t announced any such speaking slot, although Ron Paul’s son, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, will speak at the convention. Rand Paul endorsed Romney once it became clear that Ron Paul couldn’t win the GOP nomianation.

Clearly the GOP establishment is working to maintain control of the convention and avoid too many Paul delegates causing any upheavals. I am not sure that the Louisiana delegates would have made any difference but this might come down to the principle of the matter as to whether retroactive rule changes are indeed fair practice when voters and convention goes have already had their say.

I am reminded of the controversy coming out of the Maine caucus back in early February.