Time for a challenge

After the two seminal political events of the ten weeks since the Republican Party slipped farther away from its goal of national governance, it’s become clear that we need a new approach. Lip service to this concept was paid at the Maryland GOP convention back in December, and further calls for rethinking our method of doing business were made at the Turning the Tides 2013 gathering this past weekend.

So it was interesting to me to find out that someone has stepped up to challenge Reince Priebus for leadership of the national Republican Party. You may recall there was a vote at our state convention to request the Maryland delegation withhold support from Priebus as a protest – while the vote failed to secure a required majority, a significant portion (43%) of the Central Committee members properly requested that:

…the Maryland State Republican Central Committee has no confidence in the leadership of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and advises Maryland’s three voting members of the Republican National Committee to oppose his reelection.

Obviously this would have been a non-binding, advisory resolution, which is why I voted for it and why I believe the rest of our county delegation followed suit.

But the challenge by Maine’s National Committeeman Mark Willis presents a lot to like, particularly in two key areas:

The grassroots are the lifeblood of the Republican Party – always have been and always will be. For the grassroots man the phones at the Victory centers, go door to door with candidates, organize fundraisers as well as attend speeches and events. Without the grassroots support, candidates would be standing at a podium, speaking to an empty auditorium with a few Party members off to the side and the rear.

Without the grassroots the Republican Party is an empty passenger ship at sea without a rudder, captained by a few in the bridge who never took the time to go down below deck in order to realize all the cabins were empty. The Republican Party has turned its back on the grassroots one too many times and we desperately need them to stay involved.

In addition:

(T)hose of us who were at the Tampa Convention were outraged at the “gavel up, gavel down” approach with regards to the rules that were adopted as well. Many states, such as New Hampshire, Nevada, Texas, Minnesota, and North Carolina have passed resolutions condemning these rules for if they are not changed, the grassroots will be completely cut out of the 2016 Presidential election process.

Regarding these new rules, many of you know that Rule 12 gives unprecedented power to the RNC to change party rules without the input and/or approval of state parties and their members while Rule 16 removes the rights of states to choose their own delegates by forcing all state parties to allocate and bind the state’s delegation to the National Convention through Presidential Preference Polls.

Furthermore, Rule 16 also allows the presumptive Presidential candidate to disavow (“veto”) any bound and/or allocated delegate and alternate delegate before the national convention for any reason whatsoever…

Maryland should have been another of those states to disavow the rule changes, and I thought there was to be a resolution to that effect at our last convention. But if you really, really, really want to alienate the TEA Party just go ahead and keep these rules in place.

So here’s what I’m requesting from our elected members of the RNC; I’m talking to you, Alex Mooney, Nicolee Ambrose, and Louis Pope. Do you consider yourselves conservative and want to stand up for liberty? It’s time to put your money where your mouth is.

Willis needs at least two members from three different states to put his name into nomination; so far he has commitments from a pair of RNC members in Nevada and Maine. That means one state is what stands between him and a chance for something other than a Reince Priebus coronation.

While it seems like Mark may not be the absolute perfect choice for the job, he IS a choice. I believe in contested primaries, regardless of the quality of the incumbent, and I believe that when we have the opportunity to challenge leadership it should be taken up. All three of our Maryland National Committee members are examples of this, as each had one to four challengers for their current position. In my personal case, I weighed the challengers and found some worthy and some wanting. It turned out the state party agreed with my recommendation in two out of three cases, but we had good candidates to choose from in most of the races.

Thus, I am calling on you, the Maryland delegation, to make the difference between a coronation and a choice. As it stands right now, no one else is willing to take the slings and arrows of leadership except for Mark Willis, and I believe he deserves his opportunity to state his case. Be the difference-makers and put his name into nomination and let the RNC decide whether they want to embrace the grassroots, or continue to ignore the needs and desires of those of us who crave liberty and limited government.

If you’re all for hurtling over the precipice into tyranny at a slower rate, go ahead and ignore me – at your peril.

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