Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Team Romney Still Trying To Shut Out Conservative Grassroots With New Rules

Starting yesterday afternoon into the evening, an alarm was sounded over proposed delegate rules changes by the Republican Party that amounted to an attack on the conservative grassroots and Tea Party activists.

Michelle Malkin has been on top of this at her blog. She noted that a compromise had apparently been reached late last night to avoid a floor fight.

However, Erick Erickson at RedState says the GOP Rules Committee is looking to shut out the conservative grassroots at 2:00 p.m. today.

At 2:00 p.m. today in Tampa, the Republican National Committee, led by Team Romney, is moving to shut down conservative grassroots activists. I’ve been on the phone with several individuals involved in the fight who tell me that the fight is not over, it is only just starting.

Specifically, the media is reporting that the rules fight is over because Team Romney is abandoning Ben Ginsberg’s effort to allow candidates to control delegates. Under an initial proposal, delegates would, in effect, be chosen by the presumed nominee’s campaign and not based on votes in the states and delegate selection processes in the states.

That issue appears resolved, but several people I’ve spoken to make clear that Team Romney and the RNC establishment are using that compromise as a red herring to distract from two major rules change proposals that would decimate Republican grassroots and prevent upstart political campaigns.

The first rule to be proposed is one that would give the Republican National Committee the power to change rules between conventions with a three-quarters vote of the RNC. One source tells me, “With a Republican President, of course this is doable. Everybody will roll over if a President Romney asks them too. They’ll be able to get Ben Ginsberg’s proposal next year.”

In other words, if Team Romney prevails in this rules change, they don’t have to worry about Ben Ginsberg not getting his way today on the delegate changes. They’ll be able to do it later when the press and grassroots are not watching.

The second rules change would front load winner takes all primaries. Grassroots conservatives point to both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as reasons to stop this rule. Had there been front loaded winner takes all primaries, neither the Gingrich nor the Santorum campaigns would have been able to get any traction.

“This is going to be a fight on the floor if they don’t back down. They have too much pride to back down and we’re going to humble them,” said one delegate to the convention.

Another tells me, “They’ve gotten social conservatives comfortable with the platform and now that they’re placated [Team Romney] is going to undercut them with this change.”

Speaking to one person familiar with the rules changes who supports them, I’m told a number of people support the changes because they see the current rules as efforts by Michael Steel to “liven up” the process, but all it did was run up the cost and drag it out. “Are we really going to keep the status quo because the guy who brought the convention to hurricane country in hurricane season thought they were a good idea?” the delegate asked.

The Rules Committee will meet at 2:00 p.m. today in Tampa to consider the rules changes. If they make it through the committee, delegates are telling me they promise a huge floor fight and there’s no guarantee Team Romney will get its way given the current make up of the delegates in Tampa.

The Romney campaign and his allies at the RNC are making a big mistake if they are trying to shut out conservatives. The last thing they need to do is alienate conservative/Tea Party voters in the most important election where every vote will count.

Make your voices heard....Contact your state Republican Party offices and ask them to oppose any rule that shuts out grassroots activists:

Alabama (205) 212-5900
Alaska (907) 276-4467
Arizona (602) 957-7770
Arkansas (501) 372-7301
California (916) 448-9496
Colorado (303) 758-3333
Connecticut (860) 422-8211
Delaware (302) 668-1954
District of Columbia (202) 289-8005
Florida (850) 222-7920
Georgia (404) 257-5559
Hawaii (808) 593-8180
Idaho (208) 343-6405
Illinois (312) 201-9000
Indiana (317) 635-7561
Iowa (515) 282-8105
Kansas (785) 234-3456
Kentucky (502) 875-5130
Louisiana (225) 389-4495
Maine (207) 622-6247
Maryland (410) 263-2125
Massachusetts (617)-523-5005
Michigan (517) 487-5413
Minnesota (651) 222-0022
Mississippi (601) 948-5191
Missouri (573) 636-3146
Montana (406) 442-6469
Nebraska (402) 475-2122
New Hampshire (603) 225-9341
North Carolina (919) 828-6423
Oregon (503) 595-8881
South Dakota (605) 224-7347
Vermont (802) 223-3411
Wisconsin (608) 257-4765
Nevada (702) 258-9182
New Jersey (609) 989-7300
North Dakota (701) 255-0030
Pennsylvania (717) 234-4901
Tennessee (615) 269-4260
Virginia (804) 780-0111
Wyoming (307) 234-9166
New Mexico (505) 298-3662
Ohio (614) 228-2481
Rhode Island (401) 732-8282
Texas (512) 477-9821
Washington (425) 460-0570
New York (518) 462-2601
Oklahoma (518) 462-2601
South Carolina (803) 988-8440
Utah (803) 988-8440
West Virginia (304) 768-0493

Mark Levin writes on Facebook:

Tell RNC chairman NO to undermining grassroots participation in the GOP delegate process and YES to amendments to Rules 12 and 15 in the Minority Reports.

Chairman Reince Priebus's office can be contacted by phone: call 202-863-8500, then press 9, and then press 4 for the Chairman's office. PLEASE BE POLITE AND CIVIL AT ALL TIMES.

His twitter handle is @reince as well.

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