Yesterday, the committees had their final meetings at the GOP National Convention, before the results of their work were put to the vote of the body on the convention floor.
For delegates who were outraged by the new rules approved by the Rules Committee last Friday, this was a last attempt to defeat them before they went to the floor. Morton Blackwell, delegate for Virginia and long-respected member of the Republican party, who is not a part of the liberty delegation, was one of the few fair-minded people who spoke out against the new rules, had issued a strong memo on Monday, warning the party of the dangers of these rules. But, where was Mr. Blackwell? The 2pm meeting had started, but apparently Blackwell’s bus was circling the convention center, not once, but four times before allowing it’s passengers to disembark. In fact, the Virginia delegations’ bus was ninety minutes late in picking them up at their host hostel!
So, Kurt Criss, delegate from Nevada, rose to address the committee:
“Mr. Bopp has done a good job at attempting to provide a compromise, but what he is offering simply trades one bad rule for another bad rule.
Mr. Chairman, I am in opposition of the compromise. Starting last night at 3 am, I have received call after call from Republicans back home in Nevada, begging me to vote against the compromise and to remain signed on to hearing the Minority Reports. Republicans across Nevada are very concerned with the attempted power grab going on by the RNC.
Mr. Chairman, it is already difficult to get volunteers at the local and sate party level. How much more difficult do you think it will be after we effectively tell them we are not interested in letting them get to the national convention level as a delegate in the true sense of the word?
Mr. Chairman, as you know, a delegate has been delegated the authority to represent those specific electorate that selected him to represent their ideals as they advance to the final vote at the national convention. This compromise prevents those delegates from doing that by allowing others to dictate how they will vote – which is completely against our American ideals.
Mr. Chairman, this compromise pits the representative delegate process against a process that is effectively a national primary process. These two processes cannot work together without party members being opposed to each other. This is not what we want! We want republicans to work together under one process.
Mr. Chairman, I urge members of the committee to keep delegates as representative delegates, by voting against the compromise. Vote to hear the Minority Reports on the convention floor!”
The vote for the rules changes were 78 for, 14 against. Mr. Criss’ words had fallen on deaf ears, and the Rules went to the floor.
When the rules came before the body of the convention, they passed within seconds with no chance for the nay votes to be heard. In fact, the Teleprompter already read: “the ayes have it,” again in advance of the nays. The aye votes were scripted, as the rest of this convention has been all along.