By Bob Bennett
In a Daily Caller article from March, delegate at large and rules committee member Curly Haugland has made it very clear that delegates at the July convention should not be bound to any candidate on the first ballot. In the article, he explains in detail why this is so.
Mr. Haugland sent a letter to the RNC membership saying: All Republican delegates who participate in the 2016 Republican National Convention are unbound on each ballot round, including the first. In the letter, he writes:
“In 1976, the Ford campaign, afraid of losing “pledged” delegates to Reagan forces and having the strength of delegate numbers needed, forced the adoption of the “Justice Resolution” which amended the convention rules to bind the delegates to cast their convention votes according to the results of binding primaries. This historic event was the first convention in the history of the Republican Party where the delegates were denied the freedom to vote as they wished in the nomination vote for President… the 1980 convention rescinded the Justice Resolution entirely restoring the prohibition of binding.”
From the Counsel’s Office:
“This history has huge implications for 2016, since it calls attention to the fact that the convention rules of the Republican Party do not bind delegates to cast their votes according to the results of binding primaries.” [Emphasis added.]
Haugland concluded, “every delegate at the 2016 GOP convention is a Super delegate.”
“Super delegates at the GOP convention are afforded the privilege of choosing which candidate they can cast their ballot for in the first round of voting, unlike regular delegates from states with binding primaries who must adhere to their state contests’ results, until the second round of balloting.”
State rules are not binding
Haugland responded to an accusation that his claim is wrong from a legal stand point and the RNC rules are not the relevant rules guiding the issue of binding delegates to their primary election result, but that different state statutes are the primary authority:
“The United States Supreme Court has held several times that political parties enjoy protection from both the First and Fourteenth Amendments as they pursue their political objectives. The Republican Party is free to choose whether or not they want to be governed by state laws,” Haugland argued in a written statement.
He writes, “The case in point is the 1976 Republican National Convention that voted to bind the delegates to cast their convention votes according to the results of binding primaries. (State laws) The 1980 Republican National Convention voted to rescind the 1976 action based on testimony, stated in part, “The Supreme Court has spoken to this…they stated that party rules are supreme over state law. (Transcript of 1980 Convention Rules Committee, Page 67)”
He adds, “The Rules of the Republican Party prohibiting the binding of delegates have not been changed since the 1980 convention.”
One can readily see by the unprecedented number of candidates who were running – 17 – that the GOP’s object was to dilute the votes, so Jeb Bush could win with a lower percentage. Instead, Trump stepped in and took advantage of the setup. The GOP’s mission was, and remains, to stop Ted Cruz from being nominated.
Adding up the Don’s calls to beat up protesters at rallies; his constant complaints that the system is “crooked,” which incited supporters to issue death threats to delegates; Trump ally Roger Stone’s threat to make public delegates’ hotel rooms at the convention; and Trump’s deranged accusation that Cruz’s father was somehow involved with Lee Harvey Oswald, all make it obvious Trump is hardly presidential material.
But the GOP is preparing to accept Trump, though not unnerved by his wild statements. That’s because he’s made it clear he will make deals.
It’s as obvious as a camel in a phone booth that many people have been swayed by a massive assault from the media and a far-reaching Internet assault by the Trump camp, with hundreds of fake smear sites. The plan was to beguile voters into a distorted view of the two candidates. This has been wildly successful. At a recent Indiana focus group, all but two participants had adopted Trump’s smears of Cruz.
Therefore, many who’ve voted for Trump were unfairly swayed to choose him as the nominee. He is already dropping his mask and taking liberal positions – from hiking the minimum wage to taxing the rich – even suggesting he’d consider a Democrat VP.
Since the GOP already fears Trump’s effect on down-ticket candidates, conservatives who reject these tactics and results should let the GOP know we may not be there to support their candidates in November. The RNC is obligated to make amends for this bizarre primary. [There’s no need to actually carry out this threat.] It’s easy to tweet Reince Priebus; his handle is @Reince; email: email@example.com; phone: 202-863-8500 <1>