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Steve Scheffler: RNC Spring Meeting Report

Greetings to my good Republican friends all across Iowa! We had a very interesting RNC meeting in Los Angeles last week. One of the highlights of the meeting was a visit to the Reagan Library and Museum. The site is surrounded by the mountains and indeed a beautiful setting. A person could easily spend a couple of days seeing everything–following the steps of Ronald Reagan from his birth to his death. Please put this on your schedule some day–you won’t regret it!

RULES

I serve as Iowa’s representative on the Rules Committee. The most controversial part of the meeting was the Rules Committee. As you might remember from one of my earlier communications, the National Convention Rules Committee, via Ben Ginsberg, rammed through some rules that were a slap in the face to grassroots Republicans. The efforts of many, including Morton Blackwell and myself, came up short. The goal now is to try to undo the damage that Ginsberg did last year.

The RNC unanimously rejected rule 16b that was passed by the last national convention. The presidential campaign pushed through a rule change that limited state’s rights and allowed presidential campaigns to veto duly elected delegates–all in the name of protecting candidates from “faithless committed delegates.”

There was proposed language revision to rule 16a2. It now reads as follows: “The Secretary of the Convention shall faithfully announce and record each delegate’s vote in accordance with the delegate’s obligation under these rules, state law or state party rule. If any delegate bound by these rules, state party rule or state law to vote for a presidential candidate at the national convention demonstrates support under Rule 40 for any person other than the candidate to whom he or she is bound, such support shall not be recognized. Except as provided for by state law or state party rule, no presidential candidate shall have the power to remove a delegate.” The great victory here is that each candidate’s vote totals will be announced and that the presidential candidate shall not have the power to remove a delegate.

Unfortunately, efforts to remove rule 16a1 did not succeed. The effort to remove this rule was proposed by National Committeeman Jeff Johnson of Minnesota. Minnesota, like Iowa, has precinct caucuses and conducts a non-binding presidential straw poll. My view is that this is a state’s rights issue and whether a state decides to bind or not bind its delegates, should be a decision that should be left up to each individual state–not dictated by the national party. I believe that we should have an open and transparent discussion here in Iowa as to whether delegates should be bound or not bound. Deletion of this rule passed in the Rules Committee by a vote of 31 to 20 (simple majority needed). However, when it reached the full 168 member committee, it needed a 3/4 vote (126). I seconded the motion that there would be a roll call vote, but that failed. So much for transparency. Only 49 committee members voted to delete this rule and 107 voted to keep the rule as is.

The RNC can make rule changes in rules 1-11 and 13-25 between now and September 2014. Our hands are tied because other bad rule changes (like Rule 40) cannot be changed until the next national convention. Again this was the result of the top-down dictatorial tactics of Ben Ginsberg.

GROWTH & OPPORTUNITY PROJECT

There were many good and admirable things in the RNC’s Growth and Opportunity report–such as retooling our message and the critical need to match the Democrats on our ground game, ensuring that we are at the top of our game in terms of technology and the ability to identify all those who are sympathetic to our party, then communicating with them effectively, and then turning them out in mass at the polls.

However, there were some items in the report that were not good. The report made mention of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. For many in our party, this is a code word for amnesty.

In addition, the report said that there should be more outreach to the homosexual rights constituency. There are around 9 million self-identified homosexual Americans–less than 3 percent of the American people. Then consider that only 5 to 10 percent of this group votes for Republican candidates. I am all about inclusion. If people want to vote for our candidates based on our principles and our platform–we welcome them. But we should not be pandering to such radical groups. And the report has given people here in Iowa the momentum to try to insert so-called “marriage equity” into our platform. A group dedicated to that very thing has stated that they are going to work to identify 40,000 caucus goers in 2016. If they succeed and take out the 1 man/1 woman only marriage plank in our platform–that will literally destroy the Republican Party. In addition, former RNC Chairman, Ken Melhman came to Iowa to meet with some prominent Republicans, for this very purpose. Also, a former top Romney high-level operative here in Iowa, stated that he supported so-called marriage equity even before Barak Obama and Joe Biden did.

RESOLUTIONS

I have given you quite a bit of information here, so I am going to sign off for now. I will send another communication in about a week to give you a complete update on the wonderful resolutions that came through the Resolutions Committee that I also sit on, and that were passed by the entire RNC body of 168 members.

Thank you for all that you do for our party and our candidates. Without your dedication and hard work, we would not be successful! If I can be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact me at slscheffler@aol.com or call me on my cell at 515/971-7363. I would like to hear from you and hear your input.

Thank you!!
Steve Scheffler


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