Mitt Romney’s Assault on the Grassroots at the RNC (3rd Update – Floor Fight)



Mitt-in-Davenport-171-M (1)

Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

8/28/12: Continued updates here.

See updates below.

Original 8/26/12: Mitt Romney’s legal advisor, Ben Ginsburg, has been attacking grassroots activism within the Republican Party during the Convention of the Rules Committee that met Friday prior to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, FL according to a source at the meeting.  I was told late yesterday that one of the amendments that he offered and was passed by the committee changes the RNC rules so that the presumptive nominee and the state party the presidential candidate to whom delegates are bound (see update below) 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 isn’t the only assault.  Buzzfeed reports that the Romney camp executed a power grab which was passed by the committee 63-38.  It would give the Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney 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 by (sic) Tea Party initiatives that threaten to embarrass or contradict party leadership and stray from a planned message.

Romney, as his party’s nominee, exerts significant influence over the RNC, which is made up of elected party officials from all 50 states, while the larger Convention Rules Committee is larger and has a more grassroots membership.

I was told that there are plans to battle these new rules passed by the committee on the convention floor.

Update: I have the correct language for the rule that I discussed before.  In the voice mail left for me, I was told that the nominee had to approve the delegate, it is actually the presidential candidate to whom the delegates are bound.  Before I can explain that particular rule change, I have to mention a rule change that impacts this one in which I am in agreement with.

Rule 15a was changed, here’s the new language:

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 bid the state’s delegation to the National Convention in either a proportional or winner-take-all manner, except for delegates and alternate delegates who appear on a ballot in a statewide election and are elected directly by primary voters.

I agree with this change.  Ron Paul did not win the Iowa Caucus he was a distant third, but yet he won 23 of the 28 delegates.  This rule change doesn’t apply to 2012, but does apply to 2016 which means that a candidate will have to actually run a campaign to win the nomination not attempt a coup in caucus states.  Now they can still try to send delegates to the state and national conventions to influence issues, but their vote for the Presidential nomination will be bound.

They could do that, but then back to the rule change mentioned above…. 15b was also changed.  Here’s the language for that.

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 unless the presidential candidate to whom the delegate or alternate delegate is bound or allocated has pre-certified or approved the delegate or alternate delegate.

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.  It was explained to me today that at 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.

Update 2:  Welcome readers from Conservatives 4 Palin.

Update 3 (8/27/12): Rule 15 has now become Rule 16(a)(2).  There is a movement for a floor battle.   From an email sent by Kim Lehman – Iowa’s outgoing National Commiteewoman:

There is a Minority Report being circulated that would stop this change.  We need you to contact your state’s delegates serving on the Rules Committee.  These delegates and their contact information is listed below.

Take Action

Here is a list of delegates serving on the Rules Committee listed alphabetically by state.  Please take a moment to find the delegates from your state to urge them sign onto and voteFOR the Minority Report from the Rules Committee to stop the proposed change. The vote is expected to take place Tuesday.  Please only contact delegates from your state.

Jenifer Dlouhy, blogging for the Houston Chronicle said that a deal has been reached due to pressure applied by the Texas delagation (HT: Michelle Malkin)

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  • http://twitter.com/kevinsubra Kevin Subra

    I only hope that these moves are defeated. If not, there will no longer be a conservative element in the GOP. There will necessarily arise a conservative 3rd party. It would be the only way to get representation. It would also be the death toll for the GOP. They cannot survive without conservative votes.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      I agree I think will plant seeds for a third party if this does go through.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LB3LDHWZXK7GXIW6DYVOYSVPHE SJ

         Maybe it’s God’s plan for a third party to form.  As it stands, the Gangrenous Old Party isn’t worth much. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LB3LDHWZXK7GXIW6DYVOYSVPHE SJ

      Maybe the GOP’s new rallying cry should be:

      It’s our party,
      And we’ll die if we want to!
      Die if we want to!

      ;)

  • exodus2011

    Has anyone heard the saying “they have gone the way of The Whigs”?

    If this authoritarian BULLSCHMIDT is allowed to stand, that’s what we will see ….

    • HotMike

       I just wish Sarah would run 3rd party this year. Not sure this country will survive another 4 years, even if romney wins. He’s already backtracking appealing obamacare

      • wandrako

        Nonsense.  He just said an hour ago that he will repeal and replace obamacare.

      • exodus2011

         that won’t be believed when the Left tout all the connections between Obamacare/Romneycare.

        Romney is PROUD of his MA H/C, (where Services are INFERIOR and the HIGHEST Premiums are paid!)

        This guy can never bring enough Conservatives on board to win – Delegates should dump him and nominate a True Conservative WINNING Ticket – the only kind that can defeat all 3 Opponents: DEMs + DEM Fraud + Hostile Media

        Palin/West 2012

      • Negoodale

        Rombama wants Rombamacare in all 50 states! My family and friends in MA hate it! It is absolutely time now for a strong third party candidate…like Sarah Palin!!

  • Kathie

    The sentence “it would grant “flexibility” to Romney…to adapt to changing political environments” gave me chills, for some reason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Collins/100000220517250 Thomas Collins

    These are fights better fought AFTER the election.

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      I understand that, but these things can only be decided at convention and they’ll impact 2016.  We can’t let it go.

  • http://twitter.com/147DW 147DegreesWest

    My concern is that this rule change will effectively abrogate the states from ensuring geographic, occupational, gender, and cultural diversity considerations in the selection of their delegates. States need to retain control, and allow campaigns due courtesy and they see fit. This is an effort to make the rest of the US like New York, Florida, and Tennessee… and delegate slots will be for sale rather than by merit. 

    • Negoodale

      You are right, as usual, 147! And if Newt isn’t going to take the lead in fighting these rule changes…or take us in a new (3rd party) direction; then, I believe we need to convince Gov Sarah Palin to do it!!!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=801190392 Eric Wilber

    There is alot more to all this its not over yet http://blog.pollardsmind.com/2012/08/28/compromising-reality.aspx

  • GNLeisure

    Be careful about giving too much trust to leadership.  Remember the teaching about “Sheep’s Clothing”.  I’ve seen this happen in 70 years of experience.  One comes in saying one thing then when given full trust he cuts off the head of the opposition.  Remember we are a government  of the people.