"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Republican National Committee Behind the Glut of Debates

When the RNC is involved, you can be sure the establishment is right there.  How many activists can afford to become a National Committeeman/woman since you pay for your own transportation and housing?

At least we know the RNC is the one behind the debates and organizing them.  It is absolutely disgusting to have so many debates and does a disservice to the states where candidates could be campaigning instead of getting ready for a debate where the media is out to make our candidates look bad.

Explaining The Glut Of DebatesBy Reid WilsonOctober 29, 2011 | 6:01 AM | 
Whether he's right or not, Rick Perry has a point -- there are a ton of debates planned this year. There's a reason for that: An internal agreement within the Republican National Committee means the party is using some sanctioned debates as an incentive for good behavior, and others as a tool to mollify members who might otherwise cause trouble. 
Back in March, the RNC announced it had formed a committee that would authorize presidential debates. RNC chairman Reince Priebus said the committee would help the party streamline the nominating process, and party strategists hoped it would provide guidance and allow the campaigns time to hit the road. Priebus appointed Indiana national committeeman Jim Bopp, who heads a bloc of conservatives within the RNC, to lead the debate committee. 
A side note: Bopp was a big-time opponent of then-RNC chairman Michael Steele. He endorsed Priebus for RNC chairman about three weeks before Priebus won the job. 
A parallel debate over how to handle the problem of front-loaded nominating contests has gone on within the RNC for decades. When Arizona and Michigan began threatening to move their nominating contests ahead of the approved "window," which opens March 6, the RNC had a few carrots (like, say, debates) and a few sticks (cutting the size of a state's convention delegation) at the ready. 
Some states got the stick. Florida's delegation will be halved if they hold their contest on January 31, as planned. But although the RNC swears it was a coincidence, it sure looks like they used the debate carrot to hold at least one state at bay. It was hard not to notice that Arizona was awarded a sanctioned debate right around the time the Copper State was contemplating moving their primary to late February. 
(Maybe it was a coincidence; Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced the debate in a press release in which she also said [pdf] she wouldn't announce the date of the state's primary. Ultimately, Brewer went ahead with a plan to hold the primary on February 28, violating RNC rules even after getting her debate.) 
Bopp's biggest ally on the RNC is Solomon Yue, one of Oregon's three representatives on the national committee (Yue also serves on the debate panel). So, although Portland is known as one of the more liberal cities in the country, it's not surprising that the state also got its own sanctioned debate. That event is scheduled for Monday, March 19, to be broadcast by a motley media crew made up of Oregon Public Broadcasting, PBS, NPR and the Washington Times
Perry's team doesn't want their candidate to appear in a venue in which he's clearly weaker than his main rivals. Whether he's right to skip debates aside, there are more debates scheduled this year than there have been in years past -- and the RNC is behind the increase. 
Subscribers can keep track of every debate, whether they'll happen or not, with Hotline's handy debate calendar.

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