Last week, the Republican National Convention Rules Committee met to discuss proposed changes to the existing RNC rules. The proposed changes would remove power from embattled Republican leadership — House Speaker Paul Ryan, GOP Chairman Reince Priebus, etc. — and return it to lower-level GOP delegates and voters.
The meeting lasted for hours. When it was over, the proposed changes had failed.
However, media only focused on one of the proposed measures — an effort to unbind RNC delegates from having to vote for Donald Trump on the first RNC ballot.
In reality, the proposed changes covered much more than an anti-Trump effort to unbind the delegates: the changes also would have stripped away rules which favor GOP leadership.
Sources now claim that Speaker Paul Ryan worked hard behind the scenes to kill the rule changes. As Robert Eno at Conservative Review explains:
Openness, transparency, and the rights of the minority lost yesterday in Cleveland. It was a rout.
Hidden under the headlines is the fact that time and time again measures to devolve power to the members of the RNC and away from the chair were soundly defeated.
Today, this issue will be brought before the delegates: state delegations will soon be voting on whether or not to accept the Rules Committee’s package of Ryan-approved, leadership-favoring rules.
This vote can either be a voice vote or a roll call vote. A roll call vote would make it much harder to push through a Ryan-favored “the ‘ayes’ have it” ruling.
A source inside the effort to get a roll call vote tells PJ Media that they have more than the necessary majority of seven states signed on to support a roll call.
However, Paul Ryan is again trying to change minds:
Speaker Paul Ryan has begun making phone calls, trying to get delegations to rescind their request for a roll call on the rules. In effect, Ryan is looking to thwart the effort to return power to the grassroots, institutionalizing the control of Reince Priebus and the D.C. insiders.
If a roll call vote were to move forward, the delegations can either accept the current rules or reject them in favor of an alternative set of proposed rules. One such rules package is the Morton Blackwell/Ken Cuccinelli-backed rules that return power to the grassroots.
George Rasley at Conservative HQ describes the battle:
This rigging the game as Donald Trump so correctly terms smells of the same corrupt tactics John Boehner and Paul Ryan use in the House of Representatives to stifle conservative opposition to their corrupt bargains with Obama …
[T]he business as usual lobbyist and professional political class … are the intended beneficiaries of the new Rules Priebus and the RNC insiders have crafted.
This is exactly the kind of heavy handed anti-grassroots behavior that fueled the rebellion that nominated Donald Trump …
[T]hese Rules changes — if implemented — show that the need for a rebellion against the corruption at the Republican National Committee is still needed.
The proposed rules package favored by Speaker Ryan includes anti-grassroots guidelines such as these:
— Keep Rules Committee member contact information confidential
— Deny committee members ability to elect their own chairperson
— Make it more difficult to bring a resolution to the floor by raising the sponsorship requirement from one member per ten delegations to two members per ten delegations
What do you think: should the RNC keep power concentrated with leadership, or should the grassroots lead the direction and actions of the party? Stay tuned to Cleveland tonight to see which side prevails.