Republican Party To Tighten Up its Primary Process

In a move that grassroots activists from the Ron Paul world were
warning me about since the Tampa convention in 2012 when the Party
decided that states would have to
allocate delegates based on popular vote and give winning
candidates veto power over specific delegates
, the Republican
Party is trying to tighten up its primary process in ways intended
(in some respects at least) to make sure no one can muck up the
official narrative.

As CNN reports

A handful of Republican Party officials is quietly advancing a
new batch of rules aimed at streamlining a chaotic presidential
nominating process that many party insiders viewed as damaging to
the their campaign for the White House in 2012….

In a series of closed-door meetings since August,
handpicked members of the Republican National Committee have been
meeting with party Chairman Reince Priebus in Washington to hash
out details of a sweeping plan to condense the nominating calendar,
severely punish primary and caucus states that upend the
agreed-upon voting order and potentially move the party’s national
convention to earlier in the summer….

It has been an insider’s gambit, designed to limit the chance
for the non-anointed “front runner” to stand out:

The 17-member special rules subcommittee tasked with
reforming the nominating process, appointed with little fanfare at
the RNC’s summer meeting in Boston….

Priebus and other top party figures have made no secret of their
desire to scale back the number of debates, which offered
little-known candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain a
chance to shine but forced Mitt Romney, the eventual nominee, to
publicly stake out a number of conservative positions that came
back to haunt him in the general election.

One proposal being weighed by the RNC members would
involve sanctioning a small handful of debates while penalizing
candidates who participate in any nonsanctioned GOP debate by
stripping them of one-third of their delegates to the national

The official line is that all factions of the party are
represented in this committee. Some of the other proposed changes
do promise to at least slow down complete victory for

— Any state holding a primary or caucus during the first
two weeks of March must award its delegates proportionally, rather
than winner-take-all.

The measure is designed to prevent a candidate from catching
fire in the early states and then riding a burst of momentum to
winner-take-all victories in expensive, delegate-rich states such
as Florida or Texas. The early March window would give underfunded,
insurgent candidates a chance to prove their mettle.

“It will allow a grassroots candidate to stay in the race and
try to raise money and score some wins,” said Smack. “If they can’t
score wins by that time, they probably need to pack it in and try
again four years later.”

— States holding a contest after March 15 can decide to award
their delegates however they see fit.

from Hit & Run

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