By Kim Singhas
I urge you to read the blog posted on The Bull Elephant written by Ken Cuccinelli which outlines the controversial rules changes proposed at the RNC Convention in Cleveland by a minority in the Republican Party. The Bull Elephant’s Co-Founder Steve Albertson, some of his Conservative Fellowship members, along with some other Virginia delegates formed an allied front with former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s floor fight for rules changes at the convention. Albertson blogged live from the floor of the convention http://thebullelephant.com/rnc-live-blog-day-1/ in case you missed it.
Breitbart called this staged rebellion the end of Cuccinelli’s political career. The floor protest was broadcast LIVE on every network and cable news outlet in America in order to portray a divided Republican Party to millions of Hillary Clinton voters across America. How very patriotic of Constitution loving Senator Mike Lee, Ken Cuccinelli, and Steve Albertson and their so called “conservative fellowship.”
As you read the proposed RNC rules changes put forth by this unified merry band of brothers and sisters, I ask you to focus on these three little words: [rad-hl] incentivizing closed primaries[/rad-hl].
Here is the one paragraph version: We proposed changes in seven subject areas: RNC reforms, incentivizing closed primaries, getting rid of the most rigged parts of our nomination system, clearly addressing how binding will be decided by states in the future (not 2016), spreading out the nomination calendar so more states will matter more and requiring a majority for winner-take-all, changing aspects of the national convention rules to be more transparent and accessible to the grassroots, and changing the delegation allocation formula to be based on GOP performance rather than population.
[New] Rule 14(9) – Bonus Delegates for Closed Primaries
This proposal provides for a 20% bonus for the total number of delegates allocated to states that hold closed primaries/nominations (not including RNC super delegates). For example, Virginia has 49 delegates – 46 without the three RNC super delegates. If Virginia closed its nomination process (it used an open primary in 2016), then Virginia would receive 10 more delegates (all fractions are rounded up).
46 x 20% = 9.2
The standard is that all participants in the primaries have to be either registered as a Republican in party registration states, or “deemed Republicans” under state party rules, 30 days prior to the commencement of voting. There are numerous ways to encourage Republican participation that are being publicly discussed, but the “bonus delegates” approach had the broadest support among delegates of every stripe.
“Benefits include: Encouraging a system within which Republican voters – not Democrats and Unaffiliateds–choose the Republican nominee.”
What? This from Ken Cuccinelli who advocated for Conventions over PRIMARIES in Virginia when conventions favored his run for Governor against Bill Bolling in 2013? These proposed rules changes provided an [rad-hl]Incentive for Closed Primaries[/rad-hl] as Ken was telling his Virginia Delegation that the proposed rules changes strengthened CONVENTIONS?
Truth be told, Ken Cuccinelli is a rabid Cruzer along with many of his Virginia Delegation “screamers” who were advocating for Party Registration and Closed Primaries with the proposed RNC rules changes: the very Rigged System Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump supporters railed against with their populist uprising in the 2016 presidential primaries against the Establishment operated crony capitalism in both parties which are fueled by Lobbyist Money.
These rules changes are Incumbent Protections for the Political Ruling Class in Washington and coming as bill proposals to Virginia in the next General Assembly session.
If you are an insider, you see this for what it is: a contrived scheme in preparation for a Hillary Clinton- Tim Kaine victory in November to set up a Ted Cruz 2020 presidential bid.
Let us have the frank discussion one final time- Ted Cruz’s political career is over. Texas Republicans are working night and day to primary Cruz in the next election according to one Texas congressman who said that ON THE RECORD.
Cruz violated his oath to support the Republican Nominee and that is a deadly sin in the eyes of the Republican Party fathers. Last week, in an act of retribution, Republicans removed former Virginia Delegate Dr. Mark Berg, a strident Conservative with a voting record to prove it, from membership and his Chairman’s role in his own Frederick County GOP Committee for not endorsing the man who primaried him in 2015, Chris Collins, and who went on to win the seat last November.
Ponder that hypocrisy for a moment in light of Ted Cruz’s “non- endorsement” of GOP Presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. Add John Kasich and Jeb Bush and the entire Bush Dynasty to that equation.
As a result of the failed attempted coup at the RNC convention, Ken Cuccinelli’s acolytes are making the rounds in Virginia attending the Tea Party and County GOP Committee meetings in Damage Control Mode attempting to salvage their “grassroots and conservative” base. Why? What is Ken Cuccinelli planning to run for in the future? Is he betting on Tim Kaine’s victory to open up a US Senate seat for a campaign in 2017? Or does he plan to run for Governor, AGAIN?
Well, I am a Virginia grassroots activist. I am a fiscal conservative, a Patriot, was a College Republican, am a lifelong Republican voter, and I’m not drinking their Kool Aid. Ken Cuccinelli and his So-Con delegation don’t represent me and failed miserably to represent me at the convention in Cleveland.
I urge you to oppose Voter Registration by Party and Closed Primaries in Virginia when they come to your local meetings attempting to indoctrinate you.
A Closed Primary is code for Voter Disenfranchisement. You can’t ask independent voters to vote in November for your “Republican Candidate” when you didn’t allow them to vote in June in the primary. These are the same people in the “behind the scenes” Republican Party Leadership who introduced the idea of a loyalty oath to keep Donald Trump voters from participating in the March Primary in Virginia. If you want to blow up the Republican Party of Virginia once and for all and insure no Republican will ever be elected in a state wide election again, go ahead and introduce that bill in the General Assembly in 2017.
Another argument to be made against Closed Primaries can be made at the local level where one party Democrat or Republican may dominate the slate of Constitutional Officers at the county level. Every single voter in a county, Black or White or Brown, Democrat or Republican, Independent or Libertarian in their political ideology, should have the right to vote in a primary election for Sheriff, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Clerk of the Court, Treasurer, and Commissioner of Revenue or any other elected position even County Supervisor regardless of that candidate’s party. If the Republicans go down this road of Party Registration in the General Assembly it will backfire on them and brand them the Party of Voter Disenfranchisement and they will never win another statewide election in Virginia.
As a door knocker and phone caller and activist for decades I will share with you what many federal employees, state employees, law enforcement officers, military service voters in all branches, veterans, teachers, and business owners have told me over my many years of campaigning: they will not register to vote by political party because those records are Public and they privately fear retaliation by unions or the party in control- targeting their careers, threatening their promotions, or businesses especially where contracts are involved. I’ve been told this for years and I have lived and worked all over the country. It is a pervasive fear everywhere and helps explain low voter turnout in Primaries in Virginia. These people don’t vote because they fear the exposure of their names on public voting records. The average citizen would be surprised to learn that very data is sold in Virginia by the State Board of Elections to potential candidates and those who operate the campaigns.
The Government should fear its people, The People should not fear its government. But that’s a topic for another day.
Let me remind you that Congressman Dave Brat couldn’t have been elected and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor couldn’t have been defeated in a Closed Republican Primary in June 2014. And that fact, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the reason establishment Republicans who still control the Virginia Republican State Central Committee are lobbying for Closed Primaries. They fear the Grassroots ability to organize to defeat incumbents especially in light of Trump’s victory in Virginia in the presidential primary on March 1st. They never saw that coming.
Eric Cantor’s defeat was the reason Amnesty for Illegal Aliens was immediately taken off the table in Washington in 2014. Cantor’s epic defeat rocked Washington to its very core. The hushed voices in the halls of Congress said “We better start listening to the voters in our district if we want to stay in power,” a quote from a congressional staffer to me. That was the first shot across the bow in the revolution that has led to Trump’s nomination.
Now it appears they have decided with Trump’s victory that Party Registration and closed primaries are their only salvation to maintain their power and the lobbyist money flowing into leadership’s campaign coffers.
Are you a Patriot? Does the nation’s $20 trillion dollar debt concern you? What about the ninety four million unemployed Americans who are not contributing payroll deductions to the Ponzi Schemes of Social Security and Medicare projected to go bankrupt in ten years if not sooner? Did you support Dave Brat and his message of a pending economic catastrophe if action isn’t taken in Washington? Then I urge you to OPPOSE Closed Primaries in Virginia in favor of Open Primaries and communicate your position in writing and with your phone calls to your state senators and delegates because they support this “Rigged System” to which Mr. Trump alludes. Party registration and Closed Primaries favor the “insiders” who will profit from the lucrative campaigns and the Big Money Pacs who will more importantly control the nominees and elected officials.
Look at the members of the State Central Committee? Do they earn their livings as campaign consultants and advisors? If so- they must be forced to resign immediately for their conflict of interest promoting Closed Primaries where they earn their living working for candidates in that system for which they are now advocating.
Go into these meetings being staged with your eyes wide open. The Word “Conservative” coming from the microphones of these political operatives is meaningless.
You are the Grassroots voters of Virginia. Don’t allow your elected officials and party leaders whether they be Democrat or Republican to steal your participation in the election process with these Incumbent Protection Insurance Policies.
A very wise Ben Franklin warned us :
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money that will herald the end of the republic.”