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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

RNC: Retreat and Rules

The Los Angeles Times reports on an RNC retreat in Hollywood, along with a potential conflict over party rules:
With a symbolic visit to blue California, and an announcement Tuesday of new RNC hires who will try to forge ties with Asian American voters, [Chairman Reince] Priebus is attempting to show his party's commitment to campaign in areas that have been hostile to the GOP.
"The Republican Party has done a lousy job reaching out to communities across the country, but I am committed to changing that," he said. "This process starts in places like Los Angeles, where we need to be in every community, not just for a couple of months, but a lasting presence."
California Committeeman Shawn Steel called the decision to hold the meeting in Hollywood "bold" and a "visceral statement" about how serious the party was about rethinking its course.
"The great educator is the pain of a very close election, and that has really led to lot of soul searching," Steel said.
Republicans will gather Thursday in closed meetings and workshops meant to push the party's presence in Democratic-leaning communities. But such efforts may be overshadowed by a battle Wednesday over rules that prompted a fight at the national convention last year.
In the Tampa, Fla., gathering, Romney operatives led a push to change the rules in a way that they said would strengthen the party's position in 2016 — measures that bolstered the chairman's authority over hiring and budget decisions, and moves aimed at guaranteeing that a state's delegates supported the candidate that voters backed in their primary or caucus. The latter was seen as an attempt to avoid a repeat of what occurred in 2012, when Texas Rep. Ron Paul's supporters took advantage of arcane local and state party rules to take over several state delegations.
Some RNC members have insisted that the rules enacted in Tampa were a "power grab" that would favor establishment candidates like Romney over insurgent contenders like Paul and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. The first battle of this week will be at the rules committee Wednesday, where Virginia Committeeman Morton Blackwell will attempt to reverse all the rule changes made at the 2012 convention.