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Grassroots Republicans Call for Opposition to Party Rule Changes

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Many grassroots Republicans were outraged by events at the Republican National Convention in Tampa last month. They feel that control of the party has been seized by a small group of elite leaders who railroaded the convention and rewrote the rules to reduce the influence of the grassroots in the presidential nomination process and the management of the party. Led by the Republican Liberty Caucus they are proposing a resolution to challenge what they believe is a powergrab by the leadership against the party membership.

The national media gave very little coverage to events behind the scenes in Tampa, but there was a pattern of abuse of process, fraud and violation of party rules from the start of the committee meetings to the final gavel. It became very clear that control of the party had been taken away from the body of members and the delegates representing them at the convention and seized by a small cadre acting on behalf of the Romney campaign and powerful special interests. They sacrificed the best interests of the party and the rights of party members to take control of the convention and restructure the party rulesto reduce the influence of the grassroots and of state parties in the future.

Legally elected delegates were unseated, rules were violated or changed retroactively, delegates were literally held hostage and votes and motions on the floor of the convention were ignored. If you didn’t follow the story or wanted to know what was behind some of the protests you may have heard about, the best way to catch up on what went on is to read the archive of first-hand reports or view the outstanding video reports from Ben Swann on WXIX in Cincinnati.

The result of these events is that a convention which should have been designed to build unity behind the presidential nominee instead helped to unify grassroots Republicans against the small group of opportunists who seem to have taken over the party. The events at the convention finally made many average Republicans realize that what was going on was not an attempt to stop Ron Paul supporters from being disruptive, but a much larger powergrab directed against all of the traditional constituencies of the party except for a small group of insiders. Republicans are starting to realize that after Tampa it is no longer their party, but one controlled buy powerbrokers who plan to use the party and use us for their own ends.

The proposed response is that the base of the party reassert itself and demand a return to bottom-up organization where authority derives from the members through their county and state parties and is not imposed from above by the dictates of a small elite. The proposed first step in doing that is to assert clearly that party members do not accept what happened in Tampa, to condemn the methods used and to reject the rule changes which resulted.

Precinct Chairs nationwide are being asked to take a resolution to their county parties condemning the abuses at the convention and making very clear their rejection of the new rules and new structure of the party. A working group of Delegates and Precinct Chairs drafted the proposed resolution, and hope that it or something like it will be passed by as many County Executive Committees as possible, sent on and passed by State Republican Executive Committees and ultimately make its way to the Republican National Committee before it meets in January.

Here is the text of the proposed resolution. If you are active in your local Republican Party and are not happy with the results of the Tampa convention, take it to your Count Executive Committee or your Precinct Chair and urge them to pass it and act on it.

Whereas, the management of the Republican National Convention in Tampa displayed a blatant disregard for the rules under which the convention committees and convention’s general business session were supposed to be conducted;

Whereas, national party leaders and agents of the Romney campaign worked to disenfranchise legitimately elected delegates, silence dissent and disregard legitimate motions and the results of votes during the national convention;

Whereas, fraud and coercion were used to pass new rules which reduce the power and autonomy of state and local party organizations, allow future rule changes without proper oversight by the body of the party and impose a top-down structure of governance in place of the party’s traditional bottom-up structure;

Whereas, most of the factional problems at the convention could have been resolved through reasonable negotiation in ways which promoted unity and cooperation, but were instead dealt with by a heavy handed incompetence which has led to greater divisions, a weakening of the party and loss of support for the presidential nominee;

Whereas, responsibility for the mismanagement and abuse of process at the national convention ultimately rests with the national Chairman;

Whereas, it is to the benefit of the party to protect the rights and interests of party members and preserve the traditional and unique practices of the state parties;

Therefore be it resolved that:

We call for the immediate resignation of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus;

We reject the validity of all of the revisions to the party rules passed at the Tampa convention and consider the 2008 rules to remain in effect;

We assert the primacy of the state parties in determining policy for conducting party elections, nomination of candidates and apportionment of delegates within their states without the interference of the national committee or any campaign or outside entities.

We urge our State Republican Executive Committee, our State Chairman and our Republican National Committee representatives to act on this resolution and vote to return control of the party to the state parties and the body of party members.

If we allow our political parties to come under the control of special interests instead of grassroots members then the parties become instruments of oppression rather than vehicles for the will of the people.

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About Dave Nalle

Dave Nalle is Executive Director of the Texas Liberty Foundation, Chairman of the Center for Foreign and Defense Policy, South Central Regional Director for the Republican Liberty Caucus and an advisory board member at the Coalition to Reduce Spending. He was Texas State Director for the Gary Johnson Presidential campaign, an adviser to the Ted Cruz senatorial campaign, Communications Director for the Travis County Republican Party and National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. He has also consulted on many political campaigns, specializing in messaging. Before focusing on political activism, he owned or was a partner in several businesses in the publishing industry and taught college-level history for 20 years.
  • Tom Bennett


    Some say they think the America system is so broken it cannot be fixed and any effort to do so is futile. Others say we have to fix the leadership in America and the rest of America’s problems will go away.

    Yesterday, a man on the internet who writes a prayer on his blog every day recorded the following prayer:

    “God I come to you this morning with a heavy heart. This lady has been on my mind for several years now. Maybe before I was to busy or dumb to notice. I have a prayer request for a great lady I’ve known since I was a child. She’s very sick. On top of that, she’s being abused by those to whom she has given everything. It breaks my heart. Seems there’s nothing I can do alone. But maybe, if we join in and lift her up together, God will heal her. She’s well over 200 years old, but way too young to die. Her name is America …and I love her. God; with this thought I pray in the name of our Lord Jesus the Christ. Amen”.

    This man’s prayer is very powerful and simply asks God to do what he feels hopeless to do himself.

    We all sense and agree that something is really wrong as we watched breaking news this week as our embassies were stormed in the Middle East and then around the world, bomb threats, university evacuations, Congress passing a Continuing Resolution to continue spending and to fund ObamaCare for 6 months, the announcement of another quantitative easing that will be indefinite rather than fixed. The problems we face as a country seem overwhelming and often times impossible.

    We ask: “What can be done and who is going to do it?” Certainly, God can fix America. But, we have a role to play, too. We can be determined to vote on November 6th!

    Determination…Dictionary.com defines determination as the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose; the quality of being resolute; firmness of purpose. Synonyms for determination are bravery, backbone, dedication, drive, persistence, and resolution.

    This definition of “determination” reminds me of a couple of Winston Churchill’s quotes: “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up”, and; “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

    The election this November is going to determine one of two different futures for our country. President Obama had it right at the DNC Convention when he said this election is, “a choice between two different paths for America, a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.” President Obama has already told us what will happen if he is elected and Congress stands in his way. We have observed him doing it already throughout his first term in presidency. Now he is being so bold that he says it outright in the Time magazine interview:

    “So my expectation is that there will be some popping of the blister after this election, because it will have been such a stark choice. Where Republicans refuse to cooperate on things that I know are good for the American people, I will continue to look for ways to do it administratively and work around Congress. And a good example of that is, for example, making sure that homeowners around the country can take advantage of these historically low rates and refinance. There’s no reason Congress can’t move forward and at almost no cost to the federal government really boost the housing market and our economy. But if Congress won’t do it, we’ll keep on looking for ways to get that done without legislation.” Barak Obama

    Will we as citizens of the United States of America elect a man this November who is very clearly saying that he will more fully implement a statist government and allow breaches in the rule of law to occur without checks or balances; where freedom will slip away at the cost of security and live with whatever the government decides we are entitled to have? Will we as citizens of the United States of America elect a man who promises to implement his agenda with or without Congressional approval? If we do, we will be giving him permission to transform America into something our founding Fathers never envisioned.

    However, we have a second choice. Our second choice is where we adhere to the Constitution, its checks and balances, and maintain the rights of the citizens as ordained by our Creator, not by our government.

    Simply put, which path we choose could very well be between freedom or serfdom. I choose freedom and encourage you to do the same. Earlier, we asked: “What can be done and who is going to do it?”

    Our job is to remind all of those around us that our Constitution and the rights guaranteed therein are what made America’s accomplishments possible. We must remind fellow citizens what is a stake and what the two choices for America’s future are. We must remind them that our choice for freedom is what they want for America as well. We must tell them not to vote for Obama on November 6th. Instead, choose Freedom and encourage all around us that we can insure Freedom by voting.

    So be determined and take on the challenge. Don’t stay home on November 6th. Take a friend or neighbor to vote with you, too. That’s how we do this…with the numbers! Then be prepared to keep fighting as soon as elections are over, because the work of accountability will be just as urgent and perhaps even more difficult.

    Let us have the determination, the boldness, the persistence, the courage, the perseverance, against all odds to create a more productive, prolific, prosperous, and plentiful America than ever before! The challenge may seem daunting, especially when looking at what has happened in America in just the past week. But, compared to other challenges America has faced in her history, this is a challenge we can meet. Remember, many said it could not be done, but we started this country against all odds when a ragtag army stood up to the greatest empire in the world and demanded freedom. Our country grew from a small nation to one capable of saving the world from Nazism and defeating communism. And, our free market system invented the modern world. Americans have consistently taken the more difficult road, beat the odds, and created a better future than most thought possible.


  • More precisely, John, I think that no new party will become politically viable if it does not come out of the wreckage of the GOP.


  • John Lake

    Nalle gives us a new interpretation of the state of the Republican party. I have been saying that the party is about to self-destruct, leading to a new as yet undefined party in America, hopefully divorced from special interest domination. Nalle still thinks the GOP can be saved.

  • pablo

    Face it Nalle, you and the other real liberty republicans got sold down the river, once and for all.

  • Kimberly,

    Immigrants used to be encouraged to come to the USA illegally as they were needed as workers who could be paid even less than minimum wage. They came and often went back home after seasonal work. Many settled; they were indispensable to the economy. They have made their homes here. They have children, some have brought their parents.

    Since 1994, US policies have forced 5 million into the illegal stream in Mexico alone.

    Let me speak about the 5 million. Imagine that the policies of some other country impacted you and your children and parents so that your devastating poverty was increased beyond endurance, forcing you to risk your life to go to that other country illegally. Now your home is raided and invaded by police who take you away in the middle of the night and lock you up without any way for your family to contact you.

    Why are you sick about giving amnesty to the illegal immigrants that US policy probably helped create?

  • While I will certainly work to get this passed (or something like it) in the Los Angeles County Republican Party, the only real, effective recourse we have is LEGAL ACTION. The RNC needs to be SUED by appropriate bodies, organizations and members of the Republican Party at various levels. We would demand a court order reinstitution of the prior party rules and the revocation of all actions taken at the convention. This of course would mean that the validity of the Romney nomination would also be in question, though no court is likely to overturn that and our focus should be on the violations of rules and process at the convention.

  • Would that be Chanel #5?

  • Kimberly Simpson

    i am sick, that an organization I support would back a candidate that allows illegal immigrants amnesty and provides their offsprings work cards VS sending these families back to their originating countries and go through the proper Chanel’s.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Dave –

    Remember, “Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line”. And any Republican politician who doesn’t fall in line will be rejected by the elite and primaried in the next election. You’ve seen it already – you can’t not have seen it.

    A majority of Republicans support higher taxes on the rich…but what happens to any Republican politician who would support higher taxes for the rich?

    A majority of Republicans support gay marriage…but what happens to any Republican politician who would support gay marriage?

    A majority of Republicans support defense cuts…but what happens to any Republican politician who would support defense cuts?

    Dave, the Republican party isn’t what it once was. It is no longer the party of Reagan. There are other ways to support your political beliefs than by clinging to a brand that has gone so far astray, that now openly welcomes the John Birch Society and scornfully rejects any Republican politician who dares work with the Democrats. The GOP of Reagan’s day was not like this at all. It’s time to walk away.