Your Georgia Desk:
SPECIAL From Randy Evans: GA GOP National Committeeman at the RNC Meeting in DC
UPDATE on Proposed RNC Rules Changes
For those who are interested in the new proposed Rules changes, please let me give some background. It starts, unfortunately, with one inescapable fact that we must all face: we have lost two consecutive Presidential elections – in some part due to the rules that govern our nomination process.
Indeed, there has been a steady growing consensus among all camps, supporters, and fellow Republicans that we need to look carefully at our rules for selecting a nominee so that we don’t put our Party and candidates at a dangerous disadvantage before we even get started on the General Election campaign.
Of course, anyone on the RNC can propose changes to the rules – including those who served on the subcommittee of the Rules Committee. I serve on that subcommittee. Contrary to any suggestion otherwise, the subcommittee was not vested with any power greater than any other Member or group of Members with good ideas about how to improve our rules.
With that in mind, a broad cross section of Members consisting of folks from every group within our Committee, including Members from larger states and smaller states, long time Members and newcomers, and differing philosophies came together as a subcommittee of the Rules Committee to thoroughly vet any proposals before presentation to the full Rules Committee and the RNC.
As everyone knows, changing our rules is tricky business because every change has the potential for triggering another or creating unintended consequences.
To avoid the potential chaos that could result from haphazard changes, the subcommittee reconciled the various proposals so that they accomplished their purpose in a consistent and legal way.
Why Change The Rules?
This question is almost like asking Mrs. Lincoln “how was the play?” We have lost and there is a strong consensus that some part of the problem is our nomination process.
By delaying our convention, Democrats can beat our nominee’s brains out from late June until August.
By stringing the process out, our candidates inflict irreparable injury on each other, making it extremely difficult, if not almost impossible, to win in November. The media has created a term – “presumptive nominee” – which really means the media knows who has won but they can attack our candidate and divide the party until the nomination is official. And, by delaying the final nomination until August, we deny for weeks our nominee much needed resources to compete because of the way the federal election laws work.
There are no good reasons to continue to do stupid things. And so, as we move to make our rules better and enforce smart changes to help us win, we need strict, harsh penalties to assure compliance.
What Do The Rules Changes Do?
Basically, the changes recommended by the group of our Members who studied these problems are very narrowly crafted to do four things: (1) move the Convention up from August until late June/mid July; (2) move the start date for states other than the four carve out states back to February 1, 2016<x-apple-data-detectors://0>;
(3)move the end date up from the end of June until the middle of May, 2016; and
(4) maintain a slow-down period in the middle so that there are no runaway nominations with candidates that have not been thoroughly vetted.
What Do The Rules Changes Not Do?
The changes do not impact Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada (known as the carve-out states).
The changes do not eliminate the slowdown period in March (known as the proportionality period when states must allocate delegates proportionately).
The changes do not put states controlled by Democrats at risk through no fault of their own.
Instead, the carve out states remain in the same order; the proportionality continues in March; and states put at risk by Democrat controlled state governments can be protected by a waiver.
What Is The Overall Impact of the Changes?
The most significant impact is compression – meaning that the time from the beginning until the end of the nomination process is shorter in duration, with a corresponding shorter proportionality period. It is still a long time: approximately 75-105 days. But, that is significantly less than the six months when our candidates use up all their resources inflicting irreparable damage on each other only to find that they are left defenseless from late June until the August convention.
What Happens Next?
The full Rules Committee will consider the recommendations of the group of
Members that worked with lawyers, rule wizards, and others to make sure that the proposed changes do exactly what is intended and nothing more.
If there are improvements through amendments or changes, they can – and should – be offered and considered then.
Once the Rules Committee passes them, then the full RNC will consider them. In order to pass the full RNC, 75% of the Members must vote for them.
The fact is these rules are actually not particularly controversial once understood. There may be other rules changes down the road on which there is not such a strong consensus of folks who have studied them and vetted them.
But, these are not.
To illustrate the point, notwithstanding the diversity of opinion, background, and make-up of the subcommittee, the proposed changes were passed unanimously.
There was agreement on the subcommittee that we must be unified behind these changes so any potential conflicts were ferreted out from the beginning. To get everyone on the subcommittee to agree unanimously on anything should say a lot.
Not surprisingly, Democrats are fearful of these proposals and have started to explore ways to undercut them since they will give our eventual nominee the advantage. We have considered this risk and prepared for it.
Having served as Senior Advisor to the Newt Gingrich presidential campaign, I was not involved in the various machinations described in some of the communications by other members about the prior rules changes. As everyone knows, Newt insists on vigorous debate and complete transparency and I have expected nothing less in this process.
Thank you for your thoughts and I look forward to any additional improvements that anyone may suggest.