Minnesota Delegation Reacts to RNC Stripping State Parties’ Authority to Choose Convention Delegates

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.”

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Message out of the RNC Rules Committee: Minorites Not Needed

Mr Ginsberg of the Romney campaign, fellow member of the Rules Committee, has put up amendment after amendment to stifle any hint of minority opinion over the morning and afternoon.  From raising thresholds to debate or nominate to requiring binding of state delegates and even approval of delegates by the campaign, Ginsberg makes it clear that certain elements of the party — and presumably their votes — are not welcome here.  His latest amendment apparently fatigued the body.  His proposal to raise the threshold of submitting a minority report from 25% to 40% failed.

Mr Ginsberg may be able to control his little fantasy world convention, but he is pushing away a growing movement of the independent liberty voter.

Ginsberg at RNC Rules Committee

Ginsberg at RNC Rules Committee

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Done. National delegate election process gutted.

All delegates to the national convention will be hereby and forever allocated and bound. Return to your couches with your potato chips.

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Rule 15 proposed amendments seek to gut our delegate election process

Seeking specifically to go after Ron Paul delegates, top-down  proposals are being made on the Rules Committee to allow candidates to appoint their own delegates and to bind delegates nation-wide to be bound.

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Conference Call to RNC Delegates from Bob McConnell/RNC

They’re basically treating us to infomercials by cell phone.

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Arrived in Tampa for Committee Meetings Today

Pretty tame so far.  No TSA groping, no flight delays, no substance to the Rules Committee orientation.  I eat walnuts from CVS for dinner — Rules Comm had only cookies, which are decidedly NOT low-carb — and listen to rowdy RNC members plot, plan and imbibe from my hotel room overlooking the bar.

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Ron Paul on the ‘Supreme’ Court Edict

Ron Paul on the ‘Supreme’ Court Edict.

“I strongly disagree with today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised. The Court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.

“Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a ‘mandate.’ The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance,  or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t.  The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of  a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute.

“Those of us in Congress who believe in individual liberty must work tirelessly to repeal this national health care law and reduce federal involvement in healthcare generally. Obamacare can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs, and reduce the quality of care. Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity, and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens. Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so.” (Thanks to Jeff Deist)

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