Is the RNC Mowing Down Grassroot Candidates On Purpose?

March 29, 2013

If you were the caretaker of the lawn, would you dump toxic waste on it, guaranteed to kill it? That is precisely what the RNC 2012 rules for nominating presidential candidates will do to any non-establishment yard…er… grassroot candidate.


Boenher_with_gavelHow did our party allow this? A video captured by Oregon delegate Duane Taylor at the Republican National Convention in August 2012 shows House Speaker John Boehner who acted as Convention Chairman, calling for the votes on the new rules changes from the delegates in attendance. Rather than an actual numerical vote, he requested a simple “aye” or “nay”. The video, trained on the teleprompter shows the vote results BEFORE the vote was made. That sure doesn’t sound like the correct order of events, though I may be unused to how these National Conventions decide things. However, this is a useful strategy if you want to be sure things go your way.


Nonetheless, this is not the way one instills confidence in the rank and file. I don’t mean to sound accusatory but, it is pretty safe to conclude the vote was fixed, possibly in an effort to block any steam from the avid Ron Paul delegates. The establishment Republican Party seems to have chosen expediency with little regard for future implications, or perhaps, even more frighteningly, knew full well that the rule changes would shut down any future grassroot candidate’s chances of nomination. Or maybe they just knew how everyone would vote and it was a time-saving measure….


Specifically, the most egregious changes are rules 12, 16, and 40.


Rule 12 allows the RNC to change these rules until September 2014, while Rule 16 allows delegates to be removed at the will of the presumptive presidential nominee. This is very disturbing as under the current rules, the nominee apparent can remove any duly elected delegate at his/her discretion, regardless  of the fact that the people of the states and districts voted for that delegate. Rule 40, according to the revised rules, requires any presumptive presidential nominee to have the majority of eight states rather than five as designated by the 2008 rules. Additionally, the 2008 rules assert that any rule changes could only occur with a vote by the majority of delegates at the National Conventions. The 2012 revision now allows rules to be changed at any time by the 100 members of the RNC Executive Committee. That Committee is comprised of a man and woman from each state, elected by the state GOP, except by those states without rules to do so. In that case,  the National Committee members are elected by the Executive Committee itself.  The disturbing effect of Rule 40 is rather than duly elected delegates voting on rule changes in open conventions, a group of 100 members can do so whenever they wish behind closed doors.


Another suggestion of the new proposal was to move the National Convention forward to June or July, thereby shortening the primary season. Obviously the candidate with more money, and more name recognition would benefit from a condensed primary period. The effect of these changes would have resulted in Ronald Reagan not being nominated in 1980, as his presidential race only gathered steam as the primary season unfolded.


From April 10-12, the Republican National Committee will be meeting in Los Angeles to discuss the 2012 rules. The decision of that committee has the potential to mow down any grassroots movement to nominate presidential candidates. (I know, the metaphor is obvious but it works. There is a reason cliches become cliche.) In essence, the 2012 rule changes have the effect of eliminating the necessary time, money-raising, and awareness-raising campaign of any grassroot candidate to such a degree than the grassroots movement will be as effectively killed as our lawns in a North Carolina heatwave. We will get more of the establishment, milquetoast candidates that never provide a distinct choice for conservatives, and never lead to victory. Please contact the RNC members to express your displeasure and ask them to revoke the 2012 rules, in favor of the 2008 rules that at least gave grassroots candidates a chance to sprout.


By: Vicky Kaseorg

Bio: Vicky Kaseorg is a published author of 7 books and writes a daily inspirational blog.

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Tags: establishment Republican Party, John Boehner, Republican National Committee, RNC, RNC 2012, RNC rules change

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