I am moving this resolution today rejecting the RNC rule changes out of concern for our party’s long-term health and success. Since I can remember — even from my memories as a child when my parents were Republican activists — the Republican Party has been the bottom-up party of the grassroots.
But now, through the recent RNC rules changes in Tampa, we have borrowed the organizing structure of the Democrats—removing control over the rule-making process from the grassroots delegates to the party elite who can change the rules under which the party operates at any time.
If we allow the changes to Rule 12 to stand, no longer will the rules shaped at the convention be a protection for input by grassroots conservatives. Like the Democrats, our party will inevitably spend its time between national conventions fighting in the national committee over rules changes to benefit certain factions. But most importantly, in stark contrast to our past primary elections where the rules of the game were set in advance, the RNC in Tampa just opened up the door to party bosses changing the rules in the middle of the game—the results of which could be anything from benefitting a particular candidate to even removing New Hampshire’s First in the Nation primary status.
To add insult to injury, the process by which these rules changes took place was highly suspect. Delegates in Tampa reported that party leaders were nowhere to be found in order to file minority reports, that some delegates were coerced into removing their names from petitions, that there was no debate on the contentious rules changes, and despite the fact that there was no clear winner on the voice vote (I’ve watched the video), it was gaveled as passed with no opportunity to request a roll call vote.
For these reasons, I ask all New Hampshire Republicans here who value the grassroots and their voice in the party to vote in favor of this resolution rejecting the RNC rule changes.
This speech was delivered, in part, by Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the RLCNH, at the New Hampshire Republican Convention on September 29, 2012.