RNC National Convention~ Floor Fight Brewing
Below is information about the RNC (Republican National Committee) power grab that is happening in Tampa Florida.
From Richard Clark~ A Summary of the Romney/Establishment Power Grab Against The Grassroots
The Romney organization and establishment Republicans are pushing new rules that would strip grassroots activists of any meaningful ability to participate in presidential politics.
The process has always been bottom-up, but Romney officials have proposed re-writting the rules so that the nominee can stifle any dissent on the platform committee and even unseat delegates.
This will weaken the process by which Republicans chose their candidate for president and push the grassroots out of the party process.
On Friday in the Rules Committee, Romney’s campaign lieutenants, led by his legal counsel Ben Ginsberg, pushed through several changes that would give Romney broad authority over the Republican nominating process.
- Ben Ginsberg is a Bush/Cheney/Rove establishment operative going back as far as 2000.
Ginsberg and other Romney loyalists tried to neuter the threat of minority reports by proposing raising the threshold of support to 40 percent.
- Minority reports allow committee members to state their position against changes. Republican Party rules stipulate that members have one hour to submit a minority report after a meeting and that it must have the support of at least 25 percent of the committee.
- The attempt was shot down by the Rules Committee as overreach, even by committee members who voted for Ginsberg’s other proposals
One rule proposed by Ginsberg would grant the Republican National Committee new powers to amend the governing document of the GOP, Rules of the Republican Party, without a vote by the full Republican National Convention:
- The Rules Committee voted 63-38 to approve the new rule; nearly any rule could now be amended by 3/4 of the Republican National Committee.
- The Romney allies waited until Friday to propose the amendment, choosing to avoid giving the opposition time to organize.
- Ginsberg, stressed that it would grant “flexibility” to Romney and the committee to adapt to changing political environments. “This is necessary for the world in which we find ourselves in,” Ginsberg told the committee, adding that it is “important for the political survival of the party in the electoral context,” for the committee to be able to change the rules as it sees fit in the intervening four years between conventions.
- It essentially offers the Republican Establishment a new tool to keep at bay Tea Party initiatives that threaten to contradict party leadership and stray from a planned message.
Another rule proposed by Romney operatives would require candidates to control the most delegates in at least 10 states, instead of the current 5, in order to have name entered into nomination from the floor. This was defeated in the committee; but is more evidence of the Romney organization and establishment Republican grab for power in the RNC.
- Proposed by Romney campaign ally, John Ryder, a Tennessee national committeeman.
- Argument was made under the pretense that it would limit floor fights at future Republican conventions.
- Ryder stated, “Everyone recognizes that conventions are television events, and they have to be – just as the nightly news – on a tight schedule. We’re long past the days of smoke-filled rooms and unbound delegates. So the results are a foregone conclusion.”
- Measure would not have taken effect until 2016.
- It would also make it much harder for anyone to ruin an incumbent president’s re-nomination.
- When it became clear that Ryder didn’t have the votes, he agreed to keep the threshold at five – as long as candidates could produce written proof that they actually controlled the delegations in each of those states. That change passed.
A third rule that was proposed, and the one that could come to debate on the floor of the General Assembly on Tuesday, would allow presidential candidates to disavow any delegates and alternates chosen at state conventions.
- Rule 15(a) currently reads:
- Delegates at large and their alternate delegates and delegates from Congressional districts and their alternate delegates to the national convention shall be elected, selected, allocated, or bound in the following manner:
- (1) In accordance with any applicable Republican Party rules of a state, insofar as the same are not inconsistent with these rules; or
- (2) To the extent not provided for in the applicable Republican Party rules of a state, in accordance with any applicable laws of a state, insofar as the same are not inconsistent with these rules; or
- (3) By a combination of the methods set forth in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this rule; or
- (4) To the extent not provided by state law or party rules, as set forth in paragraph (d) of this rule.
- Rule 15(a)(2) as proposed would read:
- 15(a)(2) For any manner of binding or allocating delegates permitted by these Rules, no delegate or alternate 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.
- Essentially, under this rule change, the presidential candidate to whom delegates are bound can decide who the delegates are that can go to the national convention. The language of the rule states that the presidential nominee and state party can disavow any delegate.
- These are essentially the people who write the platform. Think about the implications of this: If the nominee is anti-life, he or she, can essential disavow any pro-life delegate. If he is in favor of same-sex marriage, he can disavow those delegates. This gives the nominee too much influence over the party and it diminishes the grassroots who choose the delegates to send. It is a top-down approach which favors the establishment.
- This rule puts the candidate, not the state party, in control of who is a delegate from your state. By not approving or pre-certifying a delegate that delegate will be out, even though the delegate (or alternate) has been legally elected at convention. In a practical manner, no state party wants its delegates to be disavowed so they will make sure that all of the delegates are agreed to by the candidate and the candidate will have “the hammer” to make sure that is what happens.
- Currently, Texas delegates to state conventions elect three delegates and three alternates from each Congressional District. They also elect a Nominating Committee to choose the At-Large Delegates and Alternates.
- Minority reports have benn written.
- Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu, the committee chair, high-tailed it out of the building before committee members could submit dissenting minority opinions, or “minority reports.”
The Texas delegation met on Sunday and Monday. These rules changes and the minority reports were among the topics of discussion. It appears that there is unanimous consensus in the delegation to oppose the rule changes. According to one Texas delegate, “We got a report from Melinda Fredrick and Butch Davis, who are on the Rules Committee. They confirmed the rumor about the rule change. They encouraged a vote for the Minority Report, and got a standing ovation. It looks like Texas will be voting in block to follow the current rule of Texas choosing its delegates.” It also has been reported that Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri is also calling for a roll call vote on floor of the General Assembly to consider these minority reports.
When Munisteri announced this Monday to the Texas Delegation he received a standing ovation.