Update: 8/29/12: The rules were adopted by the party under John Boehner. The party united behind Romney despite the discontent among Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party members. The concern with the rules change is that it is a way of the National party forcing its will on state parties.
While the rule number 12 change is the one causing the concerns and is the most upsetting to conservatives, it also allows for it to be changed in the ensuing four years.
Rule #12 changes the timing of rules and leaves them open to an “evolving” process, conservatives warn. No one should want party bosses choosing delegates but this is a structural matter that can be handled later.
For now, we MUST win in November.
Original Story: What started out as an effort to control Ron Paul supporters has turned into a larger battle which includes conservatives. This type of battle is not unusual but a win by one proponent over the other will unalterably change the Republican Party for the worse according to conservatives.
A floor fight looms at the Republican National Committee over rules that give the presidential nominee more control over how individual states choose their delegates to the national convention.
The problem started with supporters of Ron Paul trying to manipulate the rules at all levels (local, county, state) to win delegates they didn’t get during primaries and caucuses.
As a result, Romney campaign lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, introduced new rules to give Mitt Romney, the presumptive nominee, significant control over the delegation-selection process. The rules will continue beyond this election to all future elections.
Conservatives believe it is a way of shutting down conservative voices.
One South Carolina delegate, Drew McKissick, said that Ginsberg and other party insiders are using the Ron Paul situation as an excuse and it is unnecessary to make what he believes are drastic changes. He said the states will tweak the rules themselves to prevent the Ron Paul problem from happening again.
McKissick is a Romney supporter and would not speculate on motives but he said that the rules diminish the influence of conservatives in the Republican party. If the rules go through, the person controlling delegates also controls the platform. It will lead to a situation in which professional campaign consultants, not grassroots activists, will rule the delegate selection process.
Candidates will not really get to pick delegates given their other responsibilities, consultants will. Donors and other insiders will become delegates under these new rules, McKissick believes, leaving conservatives in the dust.
McKissick does not blame Romney, rather he believes Beltway insiders and consultants ran amok with these rules on Friday, giving people little time to review them.
Morton Blackwell, who is a leader of the conservative opposition, said:
“I will not pretend that the deck is not stacked against us,” Morton Blackwell, a longtime conservative leader and Virginia delegate, wrote in an email that’s rapidly making its way around Tampa.
The object of the rule change is to prevent state delegation takeovers in states like Massachusetts and Nevada, where Romney delegates were nearly erased by Paul enthusiasts.
“We know what it’s aimed at, but you don’t cut off your nose to spite your face,” said Georgia delegate Debbie Dooley, a tea party activist.
The Texas delegation doesn’t want a floor fight but they will mutiny if the rules aren’t changed or withdrawn.
If Team Romney withdraws the proposal, all will end well and this will be quickly forgotten.
Michelle Malkin wants conservatives to contact their state GOP and tell them they oppose the rules change. She also suggests people contact their delegates. A third suggestion is to contact the CONVENTION RULES COMMITTEE member for the state (each state has two) and ”tell them they want them to SIGN THE MINORITY REPORTS before Tuesday’s session at 2:00PM. You can find a copy of the list here.”
Read more at the Washington Examiner