Tea partyers push for a GOP floor fight over 2016 rules

TAMPA — Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of FreedomWorks, one of the top organizations behind the tea party movement, was at the Monday morning meeting of the Georgia delegation – attempting to foment a revolt that could undo GOP efforts to keep tea partyers happy, and quiet.

That’s one reason why Georgia’s delegation meeting was closed to press. The other: State GOP Chairman Sue Everhart on Tuesday wants to pledge all of Georgia’s 76 delegates to Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich has cut loose his delegates, and Rick Santorum has done the same.

But four Georgia delegates refused to sign a document that would allow their votes to be cast by proxy – despite the pressure of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” chanting by other delegates.

Ron Paul won no delegates in Georgia’s primary. But three of the four holdouts have now declared themselves Ron Paul supporters, despite signing pledges to support the party’s nominee.

Which brings us back to the rule change up for approval by the convention on Tuesday, which — in 2016 — would give the Republican nominee the power to vet delegates to the national convention. In other words, the rule change would allow the nominee to pick those who will pick him/her.

“We’re asking activists to talk to every state party leader. The worry here is that you’re flipping the whole process on its head. It used to be that the grassroots chose the delegates, and the delegates choose the candidates. They’re essentially creating a rule where the candidate can disavow any delegate that doesn’t toe the line,” Kibbe said.

“If you disenfranchise the delegates, you create a real threat of splintering the party,” he said. “Presumably the goal of the Romney camp is to prevent any sort of dissent going into 2016.” But Kibbe added that there would be a higher likelihood of disaffected grassroots and perhaps even the creation of a third party.

The measure was one of several adopted last Friday by the convention’s rules committee. Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he opposed the change in dispute, which would negate laws currently in place in several states that bind delegates to a specific candidate.

However, Kemp said he didn’t sign the minority report that protested the change, and which tea partyers will attempt to bring to the full convention for a floor vote. (The minority report also makes changes to the election calendar that could boost Georgia’s influence in the next primary, which Kemp supports.)

Kemp told delegates that he anticipates a floor fight tomorrow.

Six state delegations must insist on bringing the measure forward before it becomes eligible for a roll call vote. However, the chances are slim that convention delegates would reject the entire GOP platform if it is put forward in a single piece.

“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.

Here’s a letter that Julianne Thompson, a Romney delegate from Georgia, has fired off to Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee this afternoon:

As a National Delegate to the 2012 RNC, I am extremely disappointed that a rule would be passed through committee that essentially strips the grassroots of all of it’s representative power by ridding State Parties of their ability to choose whom they will send as delegates and alternates to represent their State to the Republican National Convention. The rules change would allow the Presidential nominee sweeping new power to override that process and choose their own National Delegates. The rule also allows the RNC (with only a 3/4 vote) the power to amend the party’s rules without a vote by the full Republican National Convention.

The GOP is the political Party of the grassroots. Our national delegates are the boots-on-the-ground that get Republicans elected. We are there for County meetings, State Conventions, National Conventions, and most importantly we spend our time and money canvassing our neighborhoods, going door to door, making phone calls, writing personal endorsement letters, and getting-out-the-vote for Republicans. We are the worker bees, and we are the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

We have always believed that our Party is the one who best represents what it means to be an American…freedom! With your current attempt at this rules change, you are essentially striking the first blow that chips away at that freedom, and you disenfranchise the very people that turned the tide for the GOP in 2010 by returning power in the U.S. House of Representatives to Republicans.

I would like to hope that our nominee is unaware of the skullduggery that occurred with regard to this attempt at shutting out the people that have unified to help him win in November. The audacity of creating a firestorm when there is an opportunity for unity and peace that is needed to win back the Senate and take back the White House is irresponsible and I seriously question the motives of those behind this attempt.

Why the change in rules? That is the million-dollar question, and it is fairly easy to answer. There are still those in place in the GOP and on campaigns that would like to use the delegate and alternate seats as rewards for donating large checks to campaigns and the RNC.

If your desire is to win elections, then I strongly suggest that you engage the grassroots and show respect to those who help put you in power.

During a time that should ring of unity, you have put the GOP at a crossroads. Do you want to win this election and future elections? Now is your opportunity to prove it. Either take it to the floor and let us vote it down, and better yet, pull this insulting attempt to disenfranchise the heart and soul of our Republican Party!

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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51 comments Add your comment

gadem

August 27th, 2012
11:50 am

well…this should be interesting.

Jeff

August 27th, 2012
11:54 am

Really not a surprise coming from the GAGOP.

stacey barnhill

August 27th, 2012
11:57 am

I like Ron Paul, but… the people of Georgia did note vote for him. He did not win any delegates. The delegates are there to represent the vote of the people. Ron Paul needs to put his support around Romney/Ryan otherwise he is just sending his support to Obama.

Scott Haimowitz

August 27th, 2012
11:58 am

I’m sorry, but isn’t this EXACTLY the kind of thing that we are sick of the current occupier of the White House doing? Stop screwing around with things that shouldn’t be screwed around with! Or, yes, there may well be a 3rd viable party in the next elections.

Jeff

August 27th, 2012
11:59 am

It is a KNOWN fact that Everhart passionatly dislikes Ron Paul, and any of his supporters!

brent

August 27th, 2012
11:59 am

How ironic that Debbie Dooley of the GA tea party says not to cut off your nose to spite your face.

Shar

August 27th, 2012
12:02 pm

It would be great if the Tea Party founded it’s own third party. The Republicans could return to being a rational political force by ridding themselves of the necessity of kowtowing to extremists, and the far right would be faced with the repudiation of the rest of the country.

Aquagirl

August 27th, 2012
12:02 pm

Is it the end of the world if 4 Georgia delegates vote for Paul? Or the vast Nevada delegation goes all rebel? Oh lawdy, this calls for closed-door indoctrination sessions and a complete restructuring of the rules to silence dissenters. Way to indulge those fascist tendencies, Goopers.

Sallie

August 27th, 2012
12:05 pm

PoorTampa. Having to host the largest gathering of xenophobes since Hitler on parade must blow.

Why am I not surprised

August 27th, 2012
12:06 pm

Keep it up GOP and you will get Obama re-elected because of your short sighted selfishness. As long as you continue your iron fisted tactics and try to legislate your religious views the independent voter will go somewhere else. And you CAN NOT elect Mitt without the independent vote. Nor can Obama be reelected without the independent vote. DO NOT give the independent voter a reason to not vote at all.

Retired Soldier

August 27th, 2012
12:07 pm

AQ-

Sort of remids you of the gestation of Obamacare, guess we should have known better.

Drew

August 27th, 2012
12:08 pm

Debbie Dooley is a hack. She had about as much to do with starting the Tea Party as the tooth fairy had to do with The Nativity.

The will of Georgia voters was that Newt Gingrich be the nominee… now that no other state agreed with Georgia, the delegates get to exercise their own free will – and should be able to do so without the interference of a political madam.

Drew

August 27th, 2012
12:11 pm

correction: South Carolina agreed.
clarification: Madam Everhart

Doug adams

August 27th, 2012
12:13 pm

So let me get this straight you like crony capitalism ? If so why not stay with O-Boma let the ship of state and it,s captain gone down in flames.Then we could hunt up all the progressives on both sides and do something painful with em.If you are against Ron Paul then you are against liberty & freedom not just for us but our kids as well.

DannyX

August 27th, 2012
12:14 pm

“Sort of remids you of the gestation of Obamacare, guess we should have known better.”

Speaking of gestation and Obamacare, did you know that Romneycare includes $25 abortions?

Aquagirl

August 27th, 2012
12:16 pm

Sort of remids you of the gestation of Obamacare, guess we should have known better.

Bunch of elected politicians twisting each other’s arms =/= rigging convention so presumptive nominee can silence grassroots delegates.

And long time no see, RS, glad to see you’re still wrong as ever. :)

Marlboro Man

August 27th, 2012
12:33 pm

Those t pads still have nothing to show for their confusion.

Kris

August 27th, 2012
12:35 pm

Typical good ole boy Georgia politics “Georgia’s delegation meeting was closed to press” and when this happens its the citizens that get the shaft…

@ Scott ” there may well be a 3rd viable party in the next elections.”

I agree fix the things that mater…Education…Employment not 5 or 10 jobs here and there over 5 years. We need good paying jobs. NOW…thats NOW. To Name a few.

Paul 2012 or OBAMA 2012

yuzeyurbrane

August 27th, 2012
12:41 pm

I never thought I would be agreeing with FreedomWorks but they are right on this one. A lot of Tea Party supporters have just learned that they are not really welcome at the country club.

see no evil

August 27th, 2012
12:42 pm

The new proposal sounds so much like GA GOP politics!!! Ask Casey Cagle what he thinks of toeing the party line in GA. Ask anyone in the media what happens when they disagree with anything Deal does. Those in charge in the GOP just want everyone to be good little sheep, stay in line and don’t have a mind of your own – it’s dangerous for you.

Ostrich Racer

August 27th, 2012
12:45 pm

If they don’t work out a deal of some sort, what will the roll call sound like? How do they split them up?

“Mister Chairman, the great state of Georgia — Empire State of the South! — proudly casts 72 votes for the next President of the United States, Mitt Romney! . . . and 4 votes mmblmmblmmbll….”

Devil's Advocate

August 27th, 2012
12:51 pm

I just think it’s funny that people keep waffling on what type of government we have. When it suits them, we are a democracy and elected/appointed representatives should always carry out the will of the people (majority rules).

On the other hand, when it suits them, we are a constitutional republic and representatives should generally do what the people want but are free to make decisions they feel would be best for their base (preventing mob rule).

And now the GOP wants the presumed nominee to appoint delegates?

Which is it going to be? Are we going to allow politicians to enact laws/rules that prevent opposition?

Frank

August 27th, 2012
1:05 pm

FOCUS!! WE MUST FOCUS ON DEFEATING OBAMA. Everything else is less relevant. When the house is on fire, you rescue the folks inside, call the fire dept and worry about the redecorating later. FOCUS! It is vital!

Why am I not surprised

August 27th, 2012
1:08 pm

@Frank…..AMEN!!!!!!!!!

Drew

August 27th, 2012
1:13 pm

I’m focused, very focused, on voting for someone who actually represents me… which rules out both the current Republican and Democratic options.

The GOP had a chance with Ron Paul, but now another four years of President Obama seems no worse than eight years of Governor Romney’s exploding military spending and expeditionary foreign policy. Let alone the fact that a Romney administration would NOT bring medical liberty.

intowner

August 27th, 2012
1:19 pm

After reading a NY Times article on how Romney functioned as governor, and then his meeting last election cycle with Rupert Murdoch, I knew that he’d stonewall most all folks out of the Oval Office. I think P.Ryan is just a cover to/for the Tea Party; Romney has been/is a high paid large corporation CEO and will continue to operate like one. The Tea Party will not grace the doormat, and he won’t even learn the names of the Democrats. He will never be “inclusive” to anyone outside his ruling circle. That the Tea Party’s just figuring out that they’re getting treated the same way Karl Rove plays the social conservatives…. yer a day late and a dollar short.

Dr. John Trotter

August 27th, 2012
1:42 pm

What’s wrong with some Georgia delegates voting their consciences? Goodness. This agreement without dissent mentality reminds me of totalitarianism. Unity in diversity is the only genuine type of unity that there is. Otherwise, it’s sheer conformity.

honested

August 27th, 2012
1:44 pm

Whatever it takes to speed the slide of the gop into irrelevance and oblivion.

The gop is unable to provide conditions enabling the average American to improve their lot and the pretense we are ‘taxed enough already’ is patently absurd.

The choice is still clear, OBAMA-BIDEN 2012!

Bernie

August 27th, 2012
1:46 pm

Mitt – “Oh! Nooooo! Who left open the DOOR for the Crazies to get in.”

Paul, “ahhh.. ah, Mitt….. that was ME!

Did I DO something WRONG?

Ann – “Well Paul, SO Far that has NOT BEEN The smartest MOVE YOU MADE!”
“Its OUR TURN! do not ever FORGET THAT! Do you UNDERSTAND?”

Road Scholar

August 27th, 2012
1:49 pm

Frank: The repubs have been focused on beating President Obama the last 3.5 years, esp the House and it’s leadership. They have been focusing so hard, they should be able to levitate things freely! And now you want them to focus longer? When Pres Obama wins, will the repubs fire Boehmer and McConnell? Try focusing on that!

Bernie

August 27th, 2012
2:06 pm

Dr. John Trotter @ 1:42 pm – Sir, with all due respect! These individuals must FIND Their CONSCIOUS and Their Minds FIRST! Typically with this crowd, It can be FOUND in the REAR area in the part of the body, that they usually SIT DOWN ON!

You Know the Very LARGE SWOLLEN PART, that follows them around wherever they GO!

Yep! ……. You Got it……that’s the PLACE!

citizen

August 27th, 2012
2:07 pm

It looks like this new “Republicanism’ will be the catalyst for a third party. I’m a fiscal conservative but I do recognize that the U.S. is a benevolent society in that we take care of the poor and needy. I just don’t want that group getting larger. This new ‘Republicanism’ of crony capitalism believes in welfare for the rich in governemnt contracts which just feeds their addiction to wealth but at the expense of the taxpayers.
If Romney wins, you can be assured a new ‘war’ will be started to milk the Department of Defense funds back to their campaign donors.

Stac

August 27th, 2012
2:08 pm

All Ron Paul is doing is hurting the GOP. If he was President, we would have no military and we would be controlled by Russia. Oh wait, if Obama wins we will also be controlled by Russia. So Paul is trying to help the Democrats.

Drew

August 27th, 2012
2:13 pm

@Bernie… conscience, I believe is the word you were seeking. It takes a very strong conscience to stand against an entire state’s political machine with a whole delegation chanting against you and, yet, still refusing to sign. That sounds like a conscience (and courage) of steel to me. That’s actually the kind of resolve that party leadership should seek to tap into, not exclude.

[...] Nathan · 0 comments TweetJim Galloway over at the AJC has an article about a new rule that would allow the presumptive nominee for the Republican presidential ticket to vet any [...]

Bernie

August 27th, 2012
2:29 pm

Well , we ALL know just How much in LOVE the AJC and Jim is with The Georgia TEA Party! This is one of the very few places, where DEBBIE DOOLEY and her group gets a FREE and Supported Reign to spew there Hateful and Racist Vengeance of their brand of American Politics of many who live around the METRO Atlanta area.

Nothing More than a Political Correct version of the DIXIECRATS of the 1950’s, Updated!

Drew @ 2:13 pm – Thanks I forgot to ADD the WORD “CONSCIENCE” TOO! the initial word was intentional! These people are void of that as well and Morally BANKRUPT on ALL Levels!

[...] Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks is on the scene. Many Romney supporters are now coming forward to disavow the Romney campaign-led effort: “We’re asking activists to talk to every state party leader. The worry here is that you’re flipping the whole process on its head. It used to be that the grassroots chose the delegates, and the delegates choose the candidates. They’re essentially creating a rule where the candidate can disavow any delegate that doesn’t toe the line,” Kibbe said. [...]

Village Idiot

August 27th, 2012
3:08 pm

Hey! These are the same people who passed voter ID legislation to insure that poor and elderly people couldn’t vote in the general election. Why is anyone surprised that they won’t allow members of their own party to vote the way they choose? The Obstructionist Party (oops! I meant Republican) can’t come to grips with the idea that not everyone is in love with a billionaire who thinks the best way to save American jobs is to send them overseas. I think there is so much hot air in Tampa this week that even the hurricane couldn’t compete so he headed farther up the coast!

[...] Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks is on the scene. Many Romney supporters are now coming forward to disavow the Romney campaign-led effort: “We’re asking activists to talk to every state party leader. The worry here is that you’re flipping the whole process on its head. It used to be that the grassroots chose the delegates, and the delegates choose the candidates. They’re essentially creating a rule where the candidate can disavow any delegate that doesn’t toe the line,” Kibbe said. [...]

Phil Wolf

August 27th, 2012
4:04 pm

Debbie Dooley is no “tea party activist” she is a sold out, establishment supporting, hack. Recall at the GA state GOP convention when she said politicians should not have their feet held to the fire for supporting NDAA. That would have been a black mark against Willard. Party over principle, eh Debby?

MikeO

August 27th, 2012
4:20 pm

This is a disgusting power grab by the RNC elites in DC, trying to make a mockery of the Republic part of the Republican name. They pull this off and most of the Tea Party leadership will find something else to do (and somewhere else to send money to) that the national ticket and the national party. http://wp.me/pygru-1h3

Kris

August 27th, 2012
4:33 pm

@ honested
“Whatever it takes to speed the slide of the gop into irrelevance and oblivion.”
Preach on, Messa Kris is with ya…..

The choice is still clear, OBAMA-BIDEN 2012!

[...] Galloway over at the AJC has an article about a new rule that would allow the presumptive nominee for the Republican presidential ticket to vet any [...]

Romney Rules Change

August 27th, 2012
5:05 pm

[...] appeal but you get the drift. Michele reports that the Texas GOP delegation, Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks, Julianne Thompson of Georgia’s GOP delegation, and others are outraged. Mostly, [...]

Pam Davidson

August 27th, 2012
5:28 pm

excellent letter!

Former Tea Partier

August 27th, 2012
6:50 pm

Way to go Kemp! At least you could sign the minority report. Oh wait, that would require you to fight for anything on principle or need.

[...] Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks is on the scene. Many Romney supporters are now coming forward to disavow the Romney campaign-led effort: “We’re asking activists to talk to every state party leader. The worry here is that you’re flipping the whole process on its head. It used to be that the grassroots chose the delegates, and the delegates choose the candidates. They’re essentially creating a rule where the candidate can disavow any delegate that doesn’t toe the line,” Kibbe said. [...]

Aaron

August 28th, 2012
8:34 am

In Nevada where I live, and in many other caucus states, the Ron Paul supporters were able to flood county conventions and the state conventions to create a small majority at the conventions. They used their majority power to elect a full slate of Paul delegates with no representation for other candidates or points of view. The people of Nevada voted for Romney with 51% of the vote, and Ron Paul only received 18%, but all but 3 of the 28 Nevada delegates are Paul supporters. Many of these “Republicans” are so extreme that they have publicly stated that they will never vote for Romney in the general election and some have openly stated that they will be voting for Obama. I am not making this stuff up. There are national delegates in Tampa right now that will be voting for Obama in November.

In Nevada, I have argued within the party that we should seek proportional representation so that all points of view can be represented at conventions, but ALL Paul supporters here in Nevada that I know have passionately argued that they believe in the concept of MAJORITY RULES THE DAY. If the majority wants to change the rules or monopolize the process then it is acceptable. Their goal is to use a small group of committed supporters to manipulate the process so that they can shut out all other points of view. I have warned my Liberty Minded neighbors and friends that the same tactics used and justified by them can just as easily be used by the majority to shut them out.

These new rules weren’t aimed at cutting out the grassroots, but instead the goal was to bind delegates to honor the will of the people and to prevent the shenanigans experienced in the caucus states. I believe there is a better way to accomplish this goal, and there are unintended consequences of these new rules. However, I have zero sympathy for the liberty minded Paul zealots. These fellow “Republicans” in some counties of Nevada used outright deception and underhanded schemes to “earn” their delegates and they justified their actions by saying, “it wasn’t against the rules.” I understand the concern expressed by the minority report some honorable Republicans, but I can’t help but laugh at the angst and hypocrisy coming form the Paul camp. What goes around comes around.

[...] conservative groups including Morton Blackwell, Phyllis Schlafly, the Republican Liberty Caucus, FreedomWorks, and Sarah Palin have come out strongly against them. The New York Times reports an acceptable [...]

[...] presidential campaign is much diminished, given a compromise reached last night. See the background here and [...]