For Immediate Release
August 25, 2012
Minnesota Delegation Reacts to RNC Stripping State Parties’ Authority to Choose Convention Delegates
“Even non-Ron Paul Delegates see move as a ‘power grab’” says Delegation Chair Marianne Stebbins
(Tampa) – In response to the Republican National Convention Rules Committee action on Friday, Aug. 24, granting the Republican National Committee — and Mitt Romney — sweeping new powers to amend the governing document of the GOP and allocate and bind state party delegates to presidential candidates based on state straw polls and give presidential campaigns final approval of delegate selections, Minnesota Delegation Chair Marianne Stebbins issued these statements.
“Gov. Romney’s campaign counsel Ben Ginsberg in today’s Rules Committee meeting adopted an attitude toward Liberty Republicans that if you can’t beat them, then beat them with a stick,” said RNC Minnesota delegation chair Marianne Stebbins, who sits on the Rules Committee. “Mr. Ginsberg and the interests he represents made it clear today that Liberty Republicans and Tea Party Republicans are unwelcome guests at this party.”
The rules changes came as, at the same time in a room down the hall, the Credentials Committee was unseating the Ron Paul delegation elected at the Maine state convention.
Stebbins noted that during the Rules Committee meeting Mr. Ginsburg made numerous proposals from raising thresholds to nominate a candidate from the floor to requiring binding of state delegates and even approval of state delegates by national presidential campaigns. Mr. Ginsburg argued that his rules, effectively gutting grassroots and state party authority to choose delegates to national conventions, were necessary to provide the RNC and Romney campaign “flexibility” to adapt to changing political conditions.
“The ‘flexibility’ Mr. Ginsberg wants is centralizing party power in the party establishment in order to prevent the discussion of issues important to Americans but that might challenge party candidates,” said Stebbins.
“Loyalty to the party or a candidate is having the courage to tell them they are wrong when they propose policy that is contrary to small “r” republican principles and bad for the country. That’s best for party and country. Apparently, Mr. Ginsberg and the Romney camp do not want that annoyance. They would prefer to put tape over the Check Engine Light rather than heed its warning.”
“Even non-Ron Paul delegates and MNGOP party officials recognize the significance of the RNC actions goes beyond its direct effect on Liberty Republicans. It’s pure and simple a power grab by Romney forces,” Stebbins added.
Craig Westover, a former MNGOP communications director and a Ron Paul delegate to the RNC noted, “The Rules Committee action is why many Liberty Republicans don’t salivate when someone rings the unity bell and why we can’t give unequivocal support to Gov. Romney. If Gov. Romney can condone a power grab by the RNC, what’s to say he won’t initiate an Obama-like power grab by the federal government when he is President?”
“The real ‘battle for the soul of America’ is taking place within the Republican Party,” Westover noted. “Is the Republican Party going to be, like the Democratic Party, a power grab party or are we going to be a party that stands for what it says it stands for – individual liberty and constitutional government. When the Rules Committee essentially and arbitraily invalidates the Republican Party Constitution doesn’t bode well for liberty and constitutional government.”
“Liberty Republicans believe that Americans live better when they live free,” said Stebbins. “And when political parties live free they are stronger parties. I can’t fathom a Republican candidate for President that would support Mr. Ginsberg’s obvious contrary belief.”