The Republican Party's Convention Rules Committee on Friday passed stricter regulations, aimed directly at Florida, to prevent states from setting early presidential primary dates that violate the party's schedule.James Hohmann reports at Politico:
Under the new rules, if the Florida Legislature breaks the calendar in 2016 as it did this year, the state would lose all but 12 of its delegates to the next GOP convention.
This year, Florida's delegation was reduced from 99 to 50, although the other 49 were allowed to remain as "non-voting guests" with all the delegate privileges and perks except voting.
This year's penalty, committee members noted, wasn't enough to prevent the Florida Legislature from setting the Jan. 31 date for the primary, nor to prevent the candidates from campaigning here.
The Republican Party changed a series of rules Friday to significantly increase Mitt Romney’s power over the GOP and make it harder for insurgent presidential candidates to compete in future elections.
After Ron Paul used the convention process to win the most delegates in some of the states where he lost the popular vote, the Republican convention rules committee passed a measure to ensure that a candidate who wins a statewide caucus or primary ultimately controls its delegation and gets more leverage over picking his delegates. The shift to binding primaries and caucuses means the end of so-called beauty contests.The Romney campaign’s move will mean less consequential state conventions — lower-profile events that typically follow the popular vote caucuses and primaries. It also might fend off potential primary challenges from the right in 2016 should Romney win this November.