If You’re A Grassroots Republican, Listen Up And Be Concerned

August 27, 2012 14:18 pm

by Nathan · 38 comments

Jim Galloway over at the AJC has an article about a new rule that would allow the presumptive nominee for the Republican presidential ticket to vet any delegates elected from each state and disavow them if they weren’t really behind him or her.  My initial reaction channels Madea:  “aww hell naw.”  If you’re a Ron Pauler (or even someone supporting a candidate other than the presumptive nominee), then you should be most concerned, because it essentially shuts you out of the process.  I’m not sure what sort of narcotic may have been slipped into one of the Romney folks’ drinks, but I believe that this is the EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE IDEALS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.  This seems to me like a form of the spoils system.  I don’t know if the national GOP folks read our blog, but I know a lot of influential folks in the state of Georgia do, and I hope they are making alliances with other states.  I am thankful that both Secretary of State Brian Kemp and Georgia Republican Party Legal Counselor Anne Lewis, both members to the rules committee for the national convention, voiced their opposition to this as this would stifle the voice of grassroots Republicans.

I spoke to Brian a few minutes ago concerning this rule change.  He said that the process for the rules committee was very open and allow anyone who wanted to propose a rule change to be heard.  Even though the controversial rule change was brought up twice in the 10 hour meeting, there was enough support from the majority of the rules committee to keep it in the committee report.  He also said that he would sign onto the minority report if the rule in question were the only thing on there, but there were about four or five additional items on there, so he was uncomfortable to sign it without reading through it, but time wasn’t available for him to do that.  However, there are enough people that have signed onto the minority report to move it forward.

There is a new rule in the national rules that would benefit Georgia.  We had to allocate our delegates proportionally since we moved our Presidential Preference Primary back to early March.  Georgia would be allowed to return to a winner-take-all system without being penalized…which would mean that we could be an even bigger player in Republican presidential primaries in 2016 and beyond.  There are other rules changes that would increase penalties for states that try to move back their presidential primaries earlier and earlier (a so-called “nuclear option”).  I haven’t seen a copy of the rules, but I’ll be sure to post them if I see them.

The rules now goes to the convention tomorrow where we may see a fight on the floor.  Brian said there may be an up-or-down vote on the rules as a whole, but he’s still trying to find out what will go down tomorrow.  He assured me that he and Anne will both be on the side of grassroots.  Who said that conventions couldn’t be fun?

::UPDATE 2::

I’ve found a site that looks to have some information concerning the proposed rules and the minority report.

::UPDATE 1::

A letter from Georgia delegate Julianne Thompson (also Tweeted out by Michelle Malkin):

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
By: Julianne Thompson – National Delegate, Georgia

Chairman Reince Preibus, members of the Rules Committee, and the entire voting delegation of the 2012 Republican National Convention:

As a National Delegate to the 2012 RNC, I am extremely disappointed that a rule would be passed through committee that essentially strips the grassroots of all of it’s representative power by ridding State Parties of their ability to choose whom they will send as delegates and alternates to represent their State to the Republican National Convention. The rules change would allow the Presidential nominee sweeping new power to override that process and choose their own National Delegates. The rule also allows the RNC (with a 3/4 vote) the power to amend the party’s rules without a vote by the full Republican National Convention.

The GOP is the political Party of the grassroots. Our national delegates are the boots-on-the-ground that get Republicans elected. We are there for County meetings, State Conventions, National Conventions, and most importantly we spend our time and money canvassing our neighborhoods, going door to door, making phone calls, writing personal endorsement letters, and getting-out-the-vote for Republicans. We are the worker bees, and we are the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

We have always believed that our Party is the one who best represents what it means to be an American…freedom! With your current attempt at this rules change, you are essentially striking the first blow that chips away at that freedom, and you disenfranchise the very people that turned the tide for the GOP in 2010 by returning power in the U.S. House of Representatives to Republicans.

I would like to hope that our nominee is unaware of the skullduggery that occurred with regard to this attempt at shutting out the people that have unified to help him win in November. The audacity of creating a firestorm when there is an opportunity for unity and peace that is needed to win back the Senate and take back the White House is irresponsible and I seriously question the motives of those behind this attempt.

Why the change in rules? That is the million-dollar question, and it is fairly easy to answer. There are still those in place in the GOP and on campaigns that would like to use the delegate and alternate seats as rewards for donating large checks to campaigns and the RNC.

If your desire is to win elections, then I strongly suggest that you engage the grassroots and show respect to those who help put you in power.

During a time that should ring of unity, you have put the GOP at a crossroads. Do you want to win this election and future elections? Now is your opportunity to prove it. Either take it to the floor and let us vote it down, and better yet, pull this insulting attempt to disenfranchise the heart and soul of our Republican Party!

Sincerely,
Julianne Thompson, National Delegate for Mitt Romney – Georgia

*** ATTENTION NATIONAL DELEGATES: A minority report was put together, so this change could be brought to the floor and voted-on by the entire delegation. Despite attempts to pressure rules committee members into not signing-on to the report, signatures are still being actively sought, so this report can be brought forward.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR RULES COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVES TODAY AND TELL THEM TO OPPOSE THIS CHANGE AND SIGN THE MINORITY REPORT.

slyram August 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Conservative purists would like prefer that Madea isn’t reference regarding the GOP convention because Tyler Perry has hosted fundraisers for Obama but I love it. Did anyone here notice that Obama Law School classmate, former U.S. Rep. from Alabama Artur Davis has switched to the GOP and will be speaking in Tampa. He will hope fully be a seed that regrows the moderate section of his new party. Dude is as smart as a whip (not a slave reference.)

http://www.bookerrising.net/2012/08/davis-this-isnt-democratic-party-that-i.html

Ken August 27, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I watched his interview by Mike Huckabee. Mr. Davis is a reasonable man who knows what he believes. I’m more conservative than he is, but I can say that for most of the rest of the GOP anyway.

Chris Huttman August 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I believe the Democrats have the ability to vet their delegates for some time now. I remember it being a fairly big issue in ’04 when I was involved with the process.

Mrs. Adam Kornstein August 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Chris, same in 2008.

The Obama campaign was very sensitive to the folks who were not “their” people and thus possibly Clinton folks. Recall that the DNC delegate selections were in April and the DNC Rules and Bylaws committee hadn’t yet met about seating the renegade Florida/Ohio delegations. That meeting wasn’t until late May.

The nomination was still a bit up in the air, although most reasonable people understood that Obama would be the nominee. There were people who were questioned and struck from roles, only to be re-instated as at-large or alternates I believe.

I think the Paul folks have more of a case than the Clinton folks did. Plus, seriously they waiting till you all were already there? Tacky if nothing else.

GOP Delegates aren’t they supposed to “fall in line” ?

Interesting.

caroline August 28, 2012 at 10:43 am

Kind of. What happened was that Obama and Edwards pulled out of the MI primary in order to pander to the IA voters who were upset about the primary schedule being changed. Hillary was the only major candidate to have her name on the ballot in MI and won the primary. The RBC then decided that to take her MI delegates and give them to Obama something he did not even earn because they did not want to nominate the person with the least number of delegates and the the nominee was going to be decided by the Super Delegates either way because neither Obama nor Hillary had secured enough delegates through the primary process. The RBC broke their own rules.

Calypso August 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

“…allow the presumptive nominee for the Republican presidential ticket to vet any delegates elected from each state and disavow them if they weren’t really behind him or her.”

Then why the hell even go through the charade of a convention? Which is, admittedly, about where it now stands. Just apply the ‘Nominee’ tag on the guy once he reaches 1,144 delegates during the primaries.

saltycracker August 27, 2012 at 3:28 pm

C
Did you have other expectations of a select committee ? Again.

Calypso August 27, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Expectations, no. Yearnings, yes. Though I don’t remember them first-hand some of the floor fights at conventions in the 60’s were notable, I’ve been told.

seenbetrdayz August 28, 2012 at 12:29 am

I’m much to young to have witnessed those conventions first-hand myself, but, from what I’ve seen of the archived footage on youtube, the GOP was apparently alive at some point.

John Konop August 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Calypso,

You are not a TEAM player! A team player only chants/spews the talking points without caring about facts. Did you not get the play book? It is all about winning, hell ask joe pa. Get in line and stop asking tough questions or neither party well ever invite you to another event. :)

Calypso August 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm

“…or neither party well ever invite you to another event.”

Well then can I at least swing by and pick-up a to-go box of cold-boiled shrimp, some Swedish meatballs and those little weiners wrapped in a tiny crescent roll? A Thermos of J&B would be nice, too.

saltycracker August 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

All three of the edibles you request has a right to life. And 12/18 age single malt Scotch is all that is available. You’re having a tough time with this aren’t you !

Calypso August 27, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I’m not sure the ingredients that comprise those little wieners were ever actually living things. Ok, if I must, I’ll take the single-malt, though I do prefer the blends.

I’m still trying to learn how being ostracized is carried out with aplomb.

saltycracker August 27, 2012 at 10:36 pm

good play on words – answer……by burying ones head in the sand….

Ken August 27, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Nathan is exactly right. The change to allow the nominee to choose his electorate at the convention. Ummm, there are all kinds of things wrong with this.

If you’re still unclear, pretend it’s Governor Deal telling you who your next state chairman will be. Though the real parallel would be Governor Deal telling your county convention that you – by name – cannot be a delegate to the state convention.

And please remember choosing a delegate is not all delegates do. They write the rules we will play by for the next four years. It’s kind of a big deal.

rrrrr August 27, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Would a representative of the “pro side” of this issue care to explain the rationale behind it? That would be entertainment…

Ken August 28, 2012 at 9:04 am

That should have been:

And please remember choosing a candidate is not all delegates do. They write the rules we will play by for the next four years. It’s kind of a big deal.

I miss the edit function.

Calypso August 28, 2012 at 9:18 am

In days of yore, the storytellers in the village spoke of a magical Modify feature. But, as the legend goes, for reasons yet unclear, the one known as the EDITOR removed the Modify feature. The inhabitants of PeachPundit have ever since been in a state of anxiety and anger at its demise.

The story goes on to say that if the EDITOR was sated by drink, the Modify feature would once again be returned to its rightful place in PeachPundit land. It is said that the demands of the EDITOR have been fulfilled, yet the Modify feature remains hostage in the infamous Tower of Icarus. Its return in doubt, though many yearn for its release.

Ken August 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

The moral of this yarn is as follows:

1 – Make your presence known at the next, uncancelled, Peach Pundit Road Show.
2 – The One, known as Charlie Harper in this current incarnation, will likely be at said event.
3 – After climbing past over-indulgent bar patrons, seek out the Charlie Harper individual.
4 – Ply him with his favorite adult beverage.
5 – AFTER and only AFTER that event shall you, with due caution and reverence, bring forth the topic of the modification utility.
6 – Speak sparingly yet truthfully of its wonder in reducing miscommunications and typographical errors. Let the sincerity and wonder shine forth from the windows of your soul.
7 – In this manner, if the wind blows from the South and the stars are aligned rightly in a fashion found favorable, Vegas says the odds are 4:3 in favor.

rrrrr August 29, 2012 at 12:27 am

Or one could simply deploy the HOLY Hand Grenade of Antioch.

Counting to 3 after pulling the pin – no more, no less…

Jimmie August 27, 2012 at 9:58 pm

This is nothing new this year. The GOP Mass Precinct Meetings were vetted at the respective County Credentials Committee. The RP people showed up in overwhelming numbers in many of the big Counties. Many of them were disqualified as a few of the sitting Precinct Chairs took one for the “Team” and didn’t sign the delegate papers. 20-30 county citizens who attended in good faith and signed the delegate sheet were disqualified because they went ahead and elected a sitting chair. Even though the registered Chair was sitting at the table, quiet as a peep. When you actually pay attention to all the inconsistencies and outright immoral, illegal behavior (Clarke County) that took place at the local and county levels, how is this surprising. Many here mocked all the Ron Paul people who complained about these practices. Now it gets more attention when the RNC mafia threatens the Fringe Party elements. While a very unorganized and often misguided bunch, the many different Tea Party groups here in GA have the numbers to feel the backlash. Why go through the charade, this is what I have called it since the County Convention, of actually having citizens think they are selecting and becoming the delegates? In the end the insiders will cheat, lie, make new rules just to get the RNC people pushed ahead. It’s all a dirty charade. I’m glad the RNC had to be exposed for what it is. All just to keep the RP people and any others ducks out of the circle jerk they call the National Convention. The RNC can kiss my ass. When Obama wins you only have yourselves to blame. I will be voting Gary Johnson. Won’t matter anyway in this corrupt Red State. At least I won’t be voting for a guy that no one wanted in 08, and no one voted for in 2012.

Harry August 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

It doesn’t speak well for Romney that he is evidently in concurrence with these rule changes that will result in a command and control Republican Party hierarchy.

Ken August 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

Jimmie,

The GOP Mass Precinct Meetings were vetted at the respective County Credentials Committee.

That is NOT true for all counties.

Nathan August 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm

During our county convention, as I have said previously, a slate of names is submitted to the county convention as a whole. The report can be adopted and the slate elected to the district and state conventions or can be modified by the convention. Our county tries to send folks who will best represent us to the district and state conventions…usually people who are known in the party, those who have worked within the party…sometimes years and sometimes just a few months, and those who are new but show interest in growing the party. You can read my comments on this from previous posts about conventions….I don’t have enough time to just retype what I said months ago.

Ken August 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Bottom line, in your county, there is no ultra-secret conspiracy to disenfranchise people.

The same can be said for Dodge County, as well. Jimmie needs to get a much smaller brush. Not every county did what Clarke did.

Jimmie August 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

So why not state before the convention starts that To be eligible to be a delegate you have to do this amount of service to the party. You have to be a member for “X” amount of years. The charade of having any precinct resident show up and in good faith try to become a delegate is ridiculous. In the 3 biggest delegate counties in the state, republicans who happened to favor congressman Paul far outnumbered any other group. Newt supporters were many but not even close to pauls. The county committees saw this and acted accordingly. Do away with that nonsense and just flat out pick who will be a delegate. It ends up that way anyway. It will eliminate all of the rule breaking and deceit.

Ken August 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Because my county party does not do that in any form or fashion.

Get a smaller brush before you paint. I encouraged Paul supporters to show up at our county convention because we’re trying to grow the local party. We ran local ads in addition to the required legal notice. No Ron Paul supporters came. Not a one. I was disappointed.

I was the Dodge County GOP Chairman at the time (I stepped down to manage a congressional campaign) so my cordial invitation should have meant something. Apparently not.

Jimmie August 28, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I must have missed your County! We did a lot of grass roots work to organize like did. Can’t wait till we can do it again. This time I think the passion will be a lil deeper and we may even have earned some disenfranchised Tea Party folk too. Now if we can just get them to stay out of People’s bedrooms and end the Wars we’ll do alright.

Ken August 29, 2012 at 10:30 am
seenbetrdayz August 27, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hell, from what I saw at the GA state convention, having a handful of people hand pick a slate of delegates or over-ride a popular resolution (by withdrawing it) is nothing new for the GOP.

Maybe folks are just now realizing it, and if so, I’m cautiously hopeful. But, you gotta know, there were plenty of warning signs before this.

seenbetrdayz August 27, 2012 at 11:21 pm

And . . .

Remember how, at the last minute, they decided that they weren’t going to do interviews? Why? Because there were too many applications for delegates? That was their excuse, anyway.

—No. More likely it was because they wanted to push ahead with inserting the names of politicians and former politicians they were already planning to put on the slate. Those spots belong to Sonny Purdue and his wife; the nomination committees seem to think the grassroots GOP can go **** themselves.

There’s nothing ‘grassroots’ about the delegate process. It’s a system of rewards and political favors.

seenbetrdayz August 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

I meant to say Deal and his wife. But Sonny Perdue is on that list too. I’m not saying that politicians should be barred from delegate slots, but let them throw their hat into the ring and actually have to run for those slots, rather than basically being appointed by some committee.

Harry August 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

Republicans reach rules change deal to avert floor fight
http://blog.chron.com/txpotomac/2012/08/republicans-reach-rules-change-deal-to-avert-floor-fight/

This appears to be a good development. I’m sure folks in Tampa will post more in the morning.

Harry August 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm

“This represents a brazen move by several Washington Beltway consultants and party insiders to diminish the power and influence of conservatives over the party.”
http://michellemalkin.com/2012/08/27/floor-fight-grass-roots-activists-battle-attempt-to-rig-gop-convention-delegate-rules/

HisIdeas August 28, 2012 at 12:06 am

I have heard GA delegation leaders made a decision, that if they can’t report a unanimous total vote for Romney, they just won’t report. GA delegation has 4 hold outs on signing the pledge to vote Romney. Kudos to all who choose to vote their conscience. As Gingrich officially released his delegates 6 days ago, Georgia delegates are legally unbound. Therefore it is unconscionable to demand delegates to sign the pledge to vote Romney. After all, it is not a crime to dissent. It is an asset to be able to dissent.

I appreciate NATHAN for writing this article for points of discussion.

I Miss the 90s August 28, 2012 at 12:29 am

I have got to ask, if the topic at issue is too far…what do you think of the GAGOP’S Oath required to run under the party label?

Exact opposite of the ideals of the Republican Party? Hardly. We are talking about a political party whose history is practically defined by the exclusion of ‘undesirables.’. Face the facts, unless you are a conservative WASP, there is no room for you in the GOP.

Although, it is about time the GOP booted a group of free loaders. Tea Party, you are on notice.

cheapseats August 28, 2012 at 8:40 am

More stuff like this is happening in both major political parties – and always has. I still can’t understand why intelligent and informed people align themselves with either of these groups. A two-party system in a nation as large and diverse as the USA? Only two schools of thought here?

How did we ever allow ourselves to get fooled so badly?

I know there are other parties but the point is that most people don’t and the media likes to keep it simple for the masses so…

Blake August 28, 2012 at 9:25 am

The thing is, at least as much as people letting themselves get fooled, or the media being complicit, it’s that the two major parties have erected roadblocks to any competitors. As many PP commenters already know, Georgia is one of the worst states for third-party ballot access in the country, but that isn’t saying that much–it’s hard for third-parties to get on the ballot pretty much everywhere. So the Ds & Rs made themselves the only games in town, and most bright, ambitious politically-minded people in turn, for decades now, have simply hitched themselves to one wagon or the other, entrenching the duopoly to the point that it has become almost impossible to dislodge. I still think it’s possible, but it will be very, very hard.

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