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Monday Night Convention Update – with RNC Rules Update

August 27, 2012

Hey y’all – 

I have been receiving a good many emails throughout last night and all day today, concerned with the RNC Rules and what is happening with those. I believe I have answered all of the emails and returned the voicemails…the resort internet and phone services were down for a period of time today though, so if I missed you – call/email me back and I’ll get with you – I promise! I was up until 4:30 am this morning doing delegate business, and back up at 7 in order to start the day again, so I’m not ignoring you – I promise!

Today was not a scheduled Convention day, but A LOT happened. I will do my best to update all of you as to the goings on.

Our day started with our daily delegation briefing, where we heard from Senator John Cornyn and soon-to-be Senator Ted Cruz. Both were fantastic (as always) but, in my opinion, Senator Cornyn really hit a homerun. He reminded us of a certain Texan named Travis who, when surrounded and no where left to turn wrote this: “The enemy has demanded a surrender, and we have responded with a cannon shot!” He said he believes that we are answering the demand for surrender from the Obama administration and liberal Democrats with a cannon shot of our own – Romney/Ryan 2012!

Ted Crus spoke and energized the entire delegation. I mentioned this last night, but he will speak primetime tomorrow (Tuesday) night at approximately 8:10 TEXAS time. That’s just after 9 pm our time. I’m sure ALL of you will be watching the entire Convention, and will not miss any of it. Ted ended his energetic speech with words we all hope and pray as well – if we work hard, and don’t lose faith – “we’re going to make November 2012 look a lot like November 2010.” 

Rep. Louis Gohmert spoke briefly as well – just pumping up the crowd and touching on individual liberties and their importance – which leads me into the RNC Credentials and Rules reports.

Our RNC Credentials Committee members, Eric Opiela and Mandy Tschoepe served on the permanent RNC Credentials Committee, which oversaw three major protests, regarding the delegations of Maine, Oklahoma, and Oregon. Eric has been blogging about the entire process, which I will just briefly state here, so if you’re interested in the entire credentialing process, visit Eric’s blog here. Mandy did mention that there were more protests this year than the RNC has dealt with since the 1952 election. Some notable names from that year? Dewey…for one.

The three protests were quite different – Oklahoma was fairly straight-forward: their state party rules state a roll call vote was required, but they conducted a voice and then a standing vote. The results were overwhelming and no party was disputing the outcome, so the Committee voted to seat that delegation. 

Oregon was strange to everyone. Apparently, Oregon’s 5 Congressional Districts conduct their state convention in 5 locations simultaneously. There were, shockingly, a few problems this year. Their party rules state that the convention is to adjourn at 5 pm, and if, at that time, not all of the alt/del slots are filled, those positions will be filled by appointment of their State Executive Board. The Convention was not finished at 5pm, but, in following Party rules, 4 of the 5 CDs adjourned. One CD, however, went ahead and finished voting in their at-large alternates. They were protesting the alternates that had been appointed by the Executive Board, but the RNC Credentials Committee found that Party rules were followed and seated the delegation that included the appointed alternates. 

Lastly, Mains, which you may have been hearing about in the news. According to Mandy, this Convention was chaotic, with votes being taken before proper credentialing having taken place, the chair not recognizing points of order to remedy this “oversight,” among many other disturbing problems. Mandy reiterated how blessed Texas is to have such a talented and capable leader like steve Munisteri, because that is something Maine obviously did not have. Ultimately, because of all of the chaos, the RNC Committee on Contests chose the remaining delegates, and the RNC Credentials Committee voted to approve that, though Eric and Mandy voted against it, because they felt the Contests Committee should not have made that decision.

Now……for the rules. Last night I reported on Rule 12 and Rule 16a2. Click here for that blog post. I have a few updates that have happened throughout the day, so bear with me and I’ll try to give the details to you chronologically. Melinda Fredricks and Butch Davis, our Committee members to the RNC Rules Committee, came before our delegation this morning and read us a letter they wrote to the rest of the Rules Committee which stated our focus and unity as a state not to accept the rules presented – especially the changes to Rule 16. I’m very proud of Melinda and Butch for their leadership – they have been utterly trashed in the media over the past couple of days, and their stance on the minority reports on these two issues has been called divisive and mutiny, but they and the other 27 committee members on the Minority Report have stood firm.

RPT Chairman Steve Munisteri officially asked the Texas delegation if we were okay with him signing on to a letter with 5 other states, demanding a floor vote on these rule changes. That would mean, basically, that they would have to present these amendments to the body as a whole, and read the minority report, which would have given it a much less chance of passing.

As Melinda and Butch said in their letter, and members of our delegation have said to the media and others who are accusing us of not being in unity – it’s not that we want a floor fight about this…but this is about liberty and an “unacceptable infringement on our right!” (Munisteri). That is always worth fighting for.

AT&T hosted a party this evening for the members of the Texas and Colorado delegations, and while we were on our way home from that, we were informed that a compromise has been reached. The amendment to Rule 16a2 has been voluntarily removed, with the blessing of the RNC and the Romney campaign. Now, instead, delegates will be completely chosen by their individual states, under their state party rules. They will be bound on the first vote, and will lose their delegate privileges if they break their bound vote and choose someone else. This is a VICTORY!!! It is my understanding that the Minority Report on Rule 16 has been withdrawn, since the objection no longer applies.

HOWEVER – Rule 12 hasn’t been touched. Under the Rules up for consideration by the body tomorrow- the RNC can still change the rules between conventions, so we will have to watch that carefully. As I posted yesterday, I understand the need for a bit of leeway, but I am wary to give the RNC an inch…they can tend to grab a mile while they’re at it. I will let you know how the voting goes from the Convention tomorrow. We gavel in at 2 pm.

I conducted two TV interviews today – one with KCBD in Lubbock, which will be shown in the morning sometime, and one with C-SPAN (finally!), which will be posted to their website at some point and used as clips during their broadcasts all week. Peter Slen, one of C-SPAN’s producers, was great in the interview, and invited me to come visit him on Media Row when I get to the Convention Hall tomorrow. I’ll try to post a picture or two if I get a chance to do so. I still have 6 more interviews to do with him, so watch for those. I’m a featured”delegate” on their Convention site, so look for my tweets to show up there as well.

The Scavenger Hunt got off to a great start today, so I hope you are following along on Twitter, as our participants are having a blast with it.

My dad and I slipped out of the resort after all of the meetings and drove to a local Steak ‘n Shake for a Steak Burger and fries. To my intense delight, they had Dr Pepper! I might be able to live now! 🙂 While there, we had several people stop us and ask us what we were doing there, what was the Convention like, how did we like Tampa, etc. The most interesting and rewarding conversation, however, was an almost 30 minute conversation with Kevin Williams, a local small business owner here in Tampa, who owns a distributing business for snack foods. We talked about everything Conservative under the sun, which was great. Kevin was even so kind as to go out and make us up a “goody box” of snacks that he distributes to enjoy as a “thanks” for all the work we’re doing. We sampled a bit and then shared the rest with Chris Elam and the rest of the hard-working RPT staff. Kevin – if you’re reading this – thanks for the conversation and especially the gift box…and you were right…the sugared nuts are addicting…we’ll be calling you! 🙂 Tampa-area folks who might be reading this – please give this small business owner your business. His company is Williams Distributing here in Tampa, and I’ll share his info with you if you want to message me privately.

Lastly, the Texas delegation had a real treat. Brad Bailey, who has already been incredibly generous to the Texas delegation thus far, worked to get us a special surprise. He brought in Doug Sain, who produced the new blockbuster Obama’s America: 2016. We got a chance to hear from Doug, hear his vision, and then we were able to watch the entire movie as a delegation! It was such a rare privilege, and we appreciate Doug, Brad, and the ladies of TFRW for making it possible. Folks – if you haven’t gotten a chance to watch 2016 – DO IT! It’s the perfect way to grab those folks who don’t think we can beat President Obama and give them the needed tools to do just that. I had the opportunity to speak with Doug at length after the film, and he is so passionate about this election and our country – he encouraged me in all that I’m doing as a student leader and beyond, and I’m proud to have gotten a chance to meet and visit with him.

The only other thingI have for y’all is the topic of pictures. For some reason, my iPad isn’t thrilled with the idea of posting or taking good pictures right now, but I have been able to take quite a few, so watch myTwitter account for a few pictures, and I’ll figure out what to do with the rest when I get home to a stable internet provider.

Thank you for your patience and your attention. I know this has been a long post, but I think you deserve to know what’s going on…that’s what you sent me here for, and that’s what I intend to do.

I remain ever yours,
Kristen Vander-Plas


From → Political Posts

One Comment
  1. Debbie Quartaro permalink

    So proud of you, Kristin! You represent Lubbock so well. Enjoy!

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