- The Washington Times - Friday, August 4, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former presidential contender Alan Keyes, who has no formal role at the Republican convention, complained today that officials have refused to even give him access to his delegates.
Mr. Keyes has been criticized for not freeing the 21 delegates he won during the presidential primaries to vote for George W. Bush.
"For reasons I do not understand we were not given an opportunity to have access to the delegates so how could I release them," Mr. Keyes, who turns 50 on Monday, said at a pre-birthday party.
Mr. Keyes, a staunch conservative known for his absolute opposition to abortion, drew a small but loyal following during the campaign. He is especially popular among abortion opponents, many of whom attended the party wearing vests that said, "The Life of the Party." Other supporters held signs saying, "Alan Keyes: 2004 for President."
Some questioned Mr. Keyes' exclusion from the program.
"Unfortunately people like myself and Mr. Keyes are a little bit too far to the right for the party," said Martha Miranda of York County, Pa. "It's kind of a slap in the face to a well-known Republican spokesman like Mr. Keyes to not be invited. His message is what America needs to hear."
Mr. Keyes hinted at uneasy relations with the GOP. Asked why he had no speaking role, he said only: "I think you would have to ask others about that."
Spokeswoman Connie Hair elaborated, saying: "It's Governor Bush's party and they choose what they want to represent. They have invited who they want there."
Miss Hair said Republican officials refused to release the names of Mr. Keyes' delegates to his campaign, so there was no way to contact them.
Spokesmen for the Republican National Committee did not immediately return calls for comment today.
Mr. Keyes also complained about the prime-time speaking slot given Tuesday night to Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe, an openly homosexual congressman. Mr. Keyes, and the Republican Party in general, oppose homosexuality.
"I think it is a mistake for anyone to try to project to the people of this country the notion that somehow or another we can legitimize things that are not legitimate," he said. "Our platform understands that and I think the party will have to act with consistent integrity on all of these issues. To do otherwise in the name of some phony popularity is a misguided mistake."

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