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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dramatic, Little Known GOP Rule Change Takes Choice Of Presidential Candidate Away From Rank And File Republicans And Hands It To Party Elite

Bill Smith, Editor: I attended the 2012 Republican National Convention as press. I was disturbed by the very events being addressed in the article  below by Rick Unger. Rick lays it out the situation. Long but worth the read. Since he reports from the left, not sure of his real concern for Republicans.

There is one variance I have with Rick's article. As I reported on the first day of the convention: "However, the most controversial issue today was a rules change voted and passed by the delegates which empowers the Republican National Committee to change party rules at any time as opposed to the having to wait for the next national convention.

"Noted conservative Morton Blackwell sent a letter to all delegates asking them to vote against this rule change because this change advanced by the “Romney Team” could place control of the GOP in the hands of the party establishment in general and Mitt Romney in particular should Romney win in November. This change and new future rules could protect him from challenges by candidates in 2016.

Former Ambassador Ken Blackwell and I discussed this issue yesterday. We and other conservatives see this latest rules change as potentially damaging and may in fact limit or reduce in the future the big tent for conservatives which is critical to fielding and supporting state and local candidates. . . ."

Rick Ungar
by Rick Ungar: There’s an unspoken storm brewing in the Republican Party—a storm whose seeds were planted in the first days of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

For those who may not recall those late August days in 2012, the Republican Party arrived in Tampa dedicated to creating a seamless launch for the national presidential campaign of its standard bearer, Governor Mitt Romney, and to do all it could to insure at least the appearance of a united party as it moved toward the November election.

To make that happen, Chairman Reince Priebus—along with a number of national committee members on the Mitt Romney bandwagon—made the determination that anyone or anything associated with libertarian Ron Paul was bad news for the GOP’s chances and, as such, were to be avoided at all costs.

To meet that goal, Paul was denied an opportunity to speak at the convention unless he promised to allow the RNC to edit his speech.

But that wasn’t all. An additional condition for obtaining some recognition at the convention for Paul and his followers required that Dr. Paul be willing to publicly endorse the candidacy of Gov. Romney.

These were conditions the Texas Republican was unwilling to accept, preferring to simply see his name left out of nomination.

With Paul refusing to play ball, the RNC moved to reject Paul’s delegates from Maine and further refused to hear the challenges put forth to the slate of delegates chosen in other states that the Paul folks strenuously believed had been rigged to benefit Governor Romney. One such state was Nevada where the caucus rules were such that all 28 delegates arrived at the convention pledged to cast their nomination votes for Mitt Romney, yet, when polled, revealed that 22 of the 28 intended to cast their vote for Ron Paul.

But there was something else the Committee did to insure that Ron Paul would receive no love whatsoever from the delegates who filled the Tampa convention center—something that would get little in the way of publicity but would come complete with serious consequences not only to future candidates but to those who desire to express their choice for their party’s nominee through the primary process.

Led by Romney loyalist and pitbull GOP lawyer Ben Ginsberg, the RNC made changes in the rules that would not only insure an orderly convention for the front-runner in 2012 but would make it extremely difficult—if not completely impossible—for an intra-party challenge to be mounted against a President Romney in 2016.

Apparently, it never occurred to the majority of the Rules Committee that there might not be a President Romney in 2016 to protect.

Take a look at how Republican National Committee Rule No. 40(b) read before the 2012 convention changes:

“Each candidate for nomination for President of the United States and Vice President of the United States shall demonstrate the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five (5) or more states, severally, prior to the presentation of the name of that candidate for nomination.

Simply put, the rule meant that any candidate for the GOP presidential nomination who showed up at the convention with the largest number of delegates in five states—or was able to twist enough arms at the convention to achieve a plurality of delegates in five states—was entitled to have his or her name placed in nomination at the convention.

Recall that Ron Paul had officially accomplished at least a plurality of the delegates from four states (Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Louisiana) and appeared to have enough delegates from Nevada, Iowa, Washington, Colorado and Missouri ready to vote for him at the convention to provide a plurality of votes in some, if not all, of these states.

As a result, it seemed pretty clear that Paul would have crossed the threshold, under Rule 40(b), to have his name placed into nomination—something that appeared to terrify the one-time Massachusetts Governor and the leadership of the Republican Party.

But the Romney and GOP honchos had an ‘app’ for that—simply amend Rule 40 in such a way as to insure that only Mitt Romney would have a sufficient number of states in his corner to have his name placed into nomination while additionally assuring that there could be no serious primary challenge to his presidency in 2016.

And that is precisely what the rules committee did.

Rather than only requiring a candidate to have a plurality of the delegates from five states in order to have one’s name placed into nomination, the rule was changed to require a candidate to have a majority of delegate votes in at least eight states as a prerequisite to nomination.

Under the new rule, only Mitt Romney would meet the test for nomination assuring that there would be no Ron Paul problem.

While this might worked out nicely for those controlling the GOP convention in 2012, the amended rule now poses a serious change in how the game is to be played in 2016. What’s more, given that the rule cannot be changed until the next round of delegates arrive at the convention in 2016 and the Rules Committee convenes to establish the new rules of the convention, the Republicans are stuck with what they have wrought in 2012.

And that represents a very significant problem for anyone who believes the voters should have something to say about their party’s nominee or those who don’t favor a convention where the bosses and delegates get to decide who is the nominee, irrespective of what home state Republicans might have to say.

Based on the RNC issued memo in 2011 ruling that ‘winner-take-all’ elections will only be permitted when a candidate receives a majority of the votes cast in the primary battle, and given the deep bench of candidates likely to seek the 2016 GOP nomination, it seems unlikely that there are going to be a whole lot of states producing majority wins for candidates.

Thus, a Republican candidate who receives 49 percent of the vote in a “winner-take-all” state will not be permitted to get 100 percent of the state’s delegates. And that means it is an almost certainty that there will not be a candidate walking into the GOP convention with the requisite eight states producing a majority of delegates supporting a candidate now required to have one’s name placed into nomination.

The rule will also dramatically change the way the primary game is played.

Given the large field of GOP candidates that appear to be gearing up for the 2016 fight, regionally or ideologically defined candidates will know, as they go through the primary process, that all they need do is deny their opponents a majority of delegates in a state contest. By playing defense when the state doesn’t line up in a candidate’s direction, all of the major candidates stand to arrive at the convention with nobody in a position to have their name placed into nomination, meaning that there is going to be one hell of a free-for-all in the 2016 Rules Committee meeting!

So, why not just change the rule to avoid this problem?

According to the GOP rule book, the rule cannot be changed until the Republican National Committee holds its convention meeting in 2016. Unlike 2012 when Governor Romney had sufficient delegate strength to stack the rules committee, absent a candidate emerging with the capability to achieve majority wins in states throughout the nation, the 2016 rules committee gathering will bear representatives from the many candidates still in the game—meaning anything can happen.

While RNC officials are downplaying the situation, the fact is that the rule adopted in 2012 virtually guarantees that the 2016 primaries will become a tangle of deals between candidates, delegates and party bosses, even as the primaries continue.

What will one candidate offer another to entice a competitor to back out of the race in order to create a majority opportunity in a state? How many candidates will hang on to the bitter end, just for the chance to blow up the convention and, thereby, create a chance to become the nominee even when the primary votes of the public say otherwise?

By seeking to rig their 2012 convention (performances by Clint Eastwood aside), the GOP has set a trap for itself that is likely to have a significant effect on their 2016 chances…and party leadership seems to want to pretend that the problem doesn’t exist.

It does…and as when we arrive into the early summer months of 2016, Republicans will begin to discover just how serious a problem this.
Rick Ungar reports from the "Left" and can be seen weeknights at 8 PM EST on “The Daily Wrap” on Newsmax TV and heard on Saturdays at 11 am on his radio program with Michael Steele on Sirius XM POTUS Channel 124. The article which first appeared in Forbes

Tags: Rick Unger, Dramatic, Little known GOP Rule, takes candidate choice, away from rank and file, Delegates, Hands It To, Party Elite To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:00 PM - Post Link


Anonymous Jeffrey Locke said...

Shows the only thing the People should fear is the power to silence and ignore We the People. We need Mike Huckabee for POTUS to be our We the People VOICE in Washington D.C.!


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