A lone protestor stood before the Republican National Convention forum on Thursday to protest Tuesday’s enactment of a controversial new rule that gives power to Republican National Committee leaders to enact rules in the interim period between conventions.
Scott Webb an activist from Seattle, Washington who is a guest at the convention said that the rule undermines grassroots activists in favor of party leadership. Webb was an activist for Ron Paul in the Seattle area and was an official guest to the convention.
“The rule basically takes away representative governance out of the Republican Party,” Webb said.
Tom Lundstrum, delegate from Arkansas and member of the convention Committee on Rules, said enactment of Rule 12 has caused a significant change in the way in which rules can be implemented. Rule 12 allows RNC leaders to change a rule if they garner three-fourths support for enactment without needing ratification from the Convention Committee on Rules.
Lundstrum acknowledged the validity of concern some have voiced about Rule 12 since it will allow RNC leaders to make changes for the first time without the consent of delegates on the Convention Committee on Rules. He said, however, he will “trust and verify” RNC leaders and make changes as necessary during the next convention.
Kathy Hildebrand, a delegate from the Georgia delegation, said the rule takes power away from grassroots organizers and gives it to RNC leaders.
“I don’t like the idea that the RNC has that much power instead of the grass roots of the party,” she said.
Hildebrand and Julianne Thompson, also of the Georgian delegation, are concerned that Rule 12 will allow RNC leaders to reverse amendment on the contentious Rule 16 that was amended following successful implementation of minority reports disputing the validity of the rule.
If it was not amended, Rule 16 would have given the nominee with majority delegate votes the power to veto delegates in support of other candidates. The majority candidate could then elect sympathetic delegates ultimately taking delegate selection power away from the states.
Despite opposition to both rules 12 and 16 from Paul supporters, Thompson said the majority of opposition, including her own, is disconnected with the Paul candidacy.
“It’s over and I am going to trust that they never pass something between the conventions that is too objectionable,” Hildebrand said.