RNC insurgents in futile bid to depose Mel "Amnesty" Martinez as chairman

The convention starts tomorrow. The delegates are supposed to rubber-stamp Bush’s pick but some of them have other plans. Plans that involve the most lethal weapon at their disposal — Robert’s Rules of Order.

Unhappy committee members say that, in the past, Republican presidents and RNC leaders have successfully run roughshod over the rules, because the RNC officer presiding over votes at committee meetings have simply overruled points of order and other objections from the floor, with no accredited professional parliamentarians to exercise a check.

This time, the organizers of the rebellion say, their strategy will rely in part on having a parliamentarian present. And violations of Robert’s Rules of Order and of the RNC’s written rules — adopted at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York — could result in legal challenges…

Mr. Pullen pointed out that Mr. Martinez, who served as Mr. Bush’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development before winning a Senate seat, is not an RNC member. RNC rebels say the rules are clear that the person who heads the committee must be a member of the committee.

Outsourcing our leadership at this critical time is not an option,” Mr. Haugland said.

Bush wants Martinez in as “general chairman” and Robert Duncan, the current RNC treasurer, as the national chairman. Rule 5(a)(1) does provide for co-chairmen — but by gender, not by responsibility. There’s no such office as “general” chair versus “national” chair, unless the delegates vote to create one. Which, let’s face it, they probably will.

There’s not a hope in hell of getting Martinez bounced, but let’s enjoy the Mel-bashing while we can. Your first stop: StopMartinez.com.