Green Room

Coup? RNC Tries to Marginalize Grassroots Groups in Tampa

posted at 7:15 am on August 28, 2012 by

RNC Convention 2012

What is going on in Tampa?  Apparently, the RNC and the GOP Establishment are content with trying to marginalize the grassroots efforts by amending portions outlined by the Rules Committee.  Jim Hoft and Shane Wright posted on Freedomworks yesterday that:

Buzz Feed explained this new rule:

The Republican National Convention Rules Committee voted 63-38 to approve a new rule allowing granting the Republican National Committee — and Mitt Romney — sweeping new powers to amend the governing document of the GOP.

The move came at the encouragement of Mitt Romney supporters on the committee, including Romney’s top lawyer Ben Ginsberg, who stressed that it would grant “flexibility” to Romney and the committee to adapt to changing political environments. The rule allows the RNC to amend the party’s rules without a vote by the full Republican National Convention. And it offers the Republican Establishment a new tool to keep at b[a]y Tea Party initiatives that threaten to embarrass or contradict party leadership and stray from a planned message.

Richard A. Viguerie of ConservativeHQ also posted yesterday that:

The Rules changes would:

  •     allow presidential campaigns to, in essence, “fire” duly elected delegates they don’t like and replace them with individuals of their own choosing;
  •     allow changes to the Republican Party Rules between Conventions, without a vote of delegates elected by the grassroots of the Party; and
  •     undo the rules regarding the primary calendar that were designed to stop the trend toward front-loading the primary season and preserve the opportunity for Republicans across the country to have a say in who their presidential candidate would be.

As a result, “Indiana’s National Committeeman, James Bopp, who also serves as Vice Chairman of the Republican National Committee, said in an email to delegates, This is the biggest power grab in the history of the Republican Party because it shifts the power to select delegates from the state party to the candidate. And it would make the Republican Party a top down, not bottom up party.”

To RNC members:

On Tues., the Convention Rules Committee will report the revised RNC Rules for adoption.  A minority report will be presented to delete an amendment which has the effect of allowing Presidential candidates to select his bound delegates in all of the states he carried by allowing him to “disavow” any of them.  They are then not certified as a delegate.

Here is the amendment to be deleted by the minority report with the disavowal language:

Add a new section 15(a) and replace as follows and renumber accordingly:

“(1) Any statewide presidential preference vote that permits a choice among candidates for the Republican nomination for president of the United states in a primary, caucuses, or a state convention must be used to allocate and bind the state’s delegation to the National Convention in either a proportional or winner-take-all manner, except for the delegates and alternate delegates who appear on a ballot in a statewide election and are elected directly by primary voters.”
(2) For any manner of binding or allocating delegates permitted by these Rules, no delegate or alternate delegate who is bound or allocated to a particular presidential candidate may be certified under Rule 19 if the presidential candidate to whom the delegate or alternate delegate is bound or allocated has, in consultation with the State Party, disavowed the delegate or alternate delegate.”

Add anew 15(e)(3) as follows:

“(e)(3) The Republican National Committee may grant a waiver to a state Republican Party from the provisions of 15(a) and (b) where compliance is impossible, and the Republican National Committee determines that granting such waiver is in the best interests of the Republican Party.”

This puts the candidate, not the state party, in control of who is a delegate from your state. By disavowing a delegate he is out, even though already legally elected. As a practical matter, no state party wants its delegates to be disavowed so they will make sure that all the delegates are agreed to by the winning candidate and the candidate will have the hammer to make sure that happens. As a result, the winning candidate controls the selection of delegates, not the state party.

This is the biggest power grab in the history of the Republican Party because it shifts the power to select delegates from the state party to the candidate. And it would make the Republican Party a top down, not bottom up party.

It would also hurt state parties because they use delegate selection as a way to honor party volunteers and party contributors. A Presidential candidate will have his own agenda for delegate selection.  As a result, this always is a threat to party regulars who make up most of our delegates.  But it is also a threat to both moderates and conservative who could be purged, depending on who is the Republican Presidential nominee.

This proposal is an over reaction to the problems in a few states where Ron Paul delegates threaten to not support the winning Presidential candidate.  I agree that they should honor that pledge, but that can be fix by a few tweaks in a few state laws. Massachusetts handled this successfully by requiring an affidavit promising to vote for the candidate, Mitt Romney, who carried the state. But the Rules change here is overkill — killing a fly with a sledgehammer.

I urge you to support the minority report.

James Bopp Jr.
Co-Chairman of the Subcommittee on Restoring Constitutional Government
Convention Committee on Resolutions
National Committeeman, Indiana
Vice Chairman, Republican National Committee

Hoft and Wright mentioned “Tom Washington, who is speaking on his own accord but serves as the Assistant Treasurer for the Republican Party of Texas, told us, If Romney, or any other candidate can select their own delegates the entire convention process will have been hijacked and eliminate the grassroots influence.”

Additionally, “Cathie Adams, the former chair of the Republican Party of Texas, told us [Hoft and Wright] that this could be destined to floor fight. Adams added, We want the freedom to elect our own delegates. It’s motivated by the grassroots influence.Adams also said Romney’s attorney may be working to influence members of the rules committee.”

Whatever may be going on down in Tampa, it sure isn’t representative of the conservative movement that roared back in 2010 to take away Obama’s credit card after his $1 trillion dollar Obamacare purchase.  Grassroots groups pushed Ted Cruz, Deb Fischer, and Richard Mourdock over the top to win their respective primaries and will continue to play a crucial role as these candidates fight on to bring common sense solutions to Washington.  It’s sad that this is the thanks they get from the RNC.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Surprise, surprise.

We (GOP voters) are a beaten wife and the GOP is the abusive husband (you know, the one that is a big man with his wife, but won’t fight any other men – think capitulation to the Dims).

Of course, with watered-down criticism from the conservative wing of the mainstream media, coupled with the eternal faithfulness of we idiot republican voters, they have no reason to change.

avgjo on August 28, 2012 at 10:29 AM

That’s too bad, RNC. The change is already underway. Thanks to the “elitists” in Washington, grassroots movements like the Tea Party are here to stay.

Either accept it, or get crushed by it.

The choice is yours.

Turtle317 on August 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM

The rule changes are more about trying to prevent shenanigans from those who are bound to Romney but have stated that they side with Ron Paul.

I mean, clearly… the Paul People tried to use the system to acheive and end they could not get with actual votes from the rest of us citizens.

But, the time for silliness is past.

These rule changes (similar to rule changes made by the presumptive nominees prior to every single convention) are not elitist or establishment power grabs… and they are not meant to marginalize the Tea Party.

They are simply put in place to prevent Paul People from trying to cause trouble.

RightWay79 on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

They are simply put in place to prevent Paul People from trying to cause trouble.

RightWay79 on August 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM

If you believe this, I’ve got some prime swampland to sell you…

landlines on August 28, 2012 at 1:31 PM

If you believe this, I’ve got some prime swampland to sell you…

landlines on August 28, 2012 at 1:31 PM

If you don’t believe this, you clearly haven’t been paying attention. Obviously the rule change is to prevent the likes of the Paultards from subverting the will of primary voters.

Hollowpoint on August 28, 2012 at 2:44 PM