08.29.2012 0

Republican National Convention Wrap-up: Day 1

NRD Editor’s Note: Each day, Bill Smith of ARRA News Service, provides us with special reports on what is happening down in Tampa. Each night, ALG staff participate in a live-chat of what is happening at the convention that you can participate in.

Tampa, FL  — Bill Smith: The delegates to the RNC 2012 in Tampa, FL had a very busy day yesterday with the events of the suspended Monday schedule being combined with the Tuesday’s schedule.  In addition to parliamentary procedures, the delegates cast their votes for the Republican Nominee.  Former Governor Mitt Romney easily grabbed the nomination.

Today, outside the security perimeter, the activity of anarchists  and  other protesters like Code Pink were very mild.  One reason could be the overwhelming presence of law enforcement and swift action when anything unusual happened.  I also noted Ron Paul supporters in subdued fashion handing out literature and talking with people outside the perimeter area.

At the convention, there was a controversy over the sitting of the Maine delegation.  And, several delegates expressed their dissatisfaction with the decision not to seat for voting purposes many of the Maine’s Ron Paul delegates.  The issue was created previously by the fact that while Romney won the popular vote in Maine, delegates are selected by a caucus system. Ron Paul supporters got involved and used Caucus system to their advantage to garner far more delegates than would be allowed under a primary where delegates are awarded based on votes cast. Last week, the RNC Credentials Committee decided to split the Maine delegation between Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. Which meant Ron Paul did not receive the majority of Maine delegates.

However, yesterday it was a change advanced by the “Romney Team” through the Rules Committee that upset numerous delegates.  In response to Ron Paul supporters using the GOP rules also in three other states: Iowa, Nevada and Minnesota, to gain control of those delegations when in fact Ron Paul had not finished first in any of those states, the rules committee approved a change that the caucus states must now change their procedures to ensure that their delegations to future conventions reflect the vote totals of the votes in actual races.  It is still unclear if the RNC has in fact killed the caucus procedure for Republicans in these states.  State law controls elections not RNC rules, so we must watch this issue play out during the next four years.

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.  During the Bush presidency, the “Bush Team” gained control of the RNC and this action weakened the development of State and local county Republican organizations.  In the last three years, it has been conservatives awakened through the efforts of TEA Party groups, Patriot groups, and yes, the Ron Paul Liberty Campaign  that has fueled and helped to expand the conservative Republican base and to influence the Republican platform.

Bill Smith is the Editor of ARRA News Service and is a guest contributor to NetRightDaily.com.

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