Choosing Rhode Island’s GOP Presidential Delegates.

Two technical issues regarding the Rhode Island Presidential primary are being considered by the RI Republican State Central Committee tonight…

  1. Will Rhode Island apportion its delegates to the Republican Presidential Nomination Convention on a proportional basis, or on a winner-take all basis?
  2. Will the majority of delegates who represent a specific candidate be chosen before or after primary day?
Delegates could be appointed by the state party chair after the primary has occurred, or the names of the delegates who would represent a specific candidate could appear on the primary ballot and be formally chosen by the voters as part of the primary. The important difference is that under the direct-election system, everyone wanting to be a delegate has to declare who their candidate is by the time the ballots are printed.
Some members of the Rhode Island GOP would prefer the appointment system, but Rhode Island Republican Party Chairman Gio Cicione does not appear to be one of them. Here is an excerpt from his statement on the proposed changes…
There is before you a proposal to change our delegate selection process that was prepared at my request by an ad-hoc group including, Mia Caetano, David Talan, and John Clarke. Their proposal modifies or most recent rules in two key ways: First, it goes from a winner-take-all system to a proportional representation process, as is being considered in many other states. Second, it provides that all delegates are elected rather than allowing the chair to appoint the majority of the seats as was our recent practice…
I want to remind the State Central Committee that our Executive Committee reviewed the proposed amendment and voted July 12th in favor of it and that due weight should be accorded the actions of that committee and the ad-hoc drafting committee.
That being said, as Chair it is not my intention to dictate the process for delegate selection upon the full State Central Committee. That is why I am asking the full State Central Committee to review the amendments, engage in a discussion and then move to a vote.

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Anthony
Anthony
13 years ago

This doesn’t affect me, but I would offer the following thoughts-
1. Dividing delegates proportionately will weaken Rhode Island’s position relative to the presidential race. Presidential candidates already pay little attention to RI given its small size. This will only further dilute RI’s influence.
2. While dividing delegates proportionately reduces RI’s overall influence, it should help conservative presidential candidates. RI Republican voters are more moderate than Republican primary voters in other parts of the country, so moderates benefit under the winner-take-all approach.
3. Electing delegates at the polls may lead to mini-campaigns for delegate spots requiring money to be spent. This favors wealthier individuals and those who may already have some level of notoriety, particularly those who hold or have run for public office. “Grunt” GOP activists working behind the scenes may get locked out of the process. On the other hand, it should elminate charges of favortism.

perry ellis
perry ellis
13 years ago

It doesn’t affect you, why Anthony? Because you’re still “healing”. Still can’t get over the fact that you lost your cozy position as suck-up to the worst U.S. Senator, ever.
If you think its all about you, Anthony…but this post isn’t about you… then why don’t you just shut up?

Anthony
Anthony
13 years ago

“If you think its all about you, Anthony…but this post isn’t about you… then why don’t you just shut up?”
Congratulations, perry, you just proved Carcieri’s point that RI needs to improve its educational system.

SusanD
SusanD
13 years ago

The changes proposed by the ad hoc committee were passed resoundingly. The Chairman no longer has the ability to appoint these delegates and the delegates will be proportioned, not winner-take-all.

Will
Will
13 years ago

Concurring with SusanD — who was kind enough to grace us with her presence this evening in Barrington — the good guys (and gals) won this fight big-time. We not only outsmarted them, but frankly, we had momementum very early on and it never let up. Bernie Jackvony and a few of the “old guard” types had probably their best chance in a long time tonight to completely scuttle any meaningful change for another 4 years, but they lost by humiliatingly large margins over and over in their desperate attempts to gut all of the proposed reforms. I really think they thought they had some support going into tonight, and were definitely humbled by the complete lack of any for their POV. I almost felt bad! Basically, under what we approved tonight, 17 of the 20 delegates will be elected, instead of 14 (of 20) being appointed by the Chair. We will also have a proportional representation system which guarantees representation for any candidate receiving at least 15% of the vote statewide. This should encourage more candidates to try to compete for Rhode Island’s delegates, since the threshhold to receive them will be more realistic to obtain, especially considering the wide open field. The original proposed rules, with a few slight wording corrections passed overwhelmingly, after approximately 2 1/2 hours of considerable discussion, debate, amendments, parliamentary procedure, skullduggery, personal attacks, more than a little yelling, and other standard political stuff (Media, you missed a good one!). It was a real breath of fresh air and a hopeful sign of a better future ahead for us. It was also a big show of support by the grassroots representatives of the party for the more open and transparent style of leadership that Gio has been exercising in his short time as Chair… Read more »

Tom
Tom
13 years ago

Words that I never thought would be spoken (or written) by Will:
“Rules are meant to be changed”
I don’t know why, but somehow that just doesn’t sound “right”

Will
Will
13 years ago

I was going for irony, or something like that, I think. The saying usually goes “Rules are meant to be broken.” My attempt at humor, but it also has some truth to it to. We’re not writing the Ten Commandments. If something doesn’t work, we can always modify them at a later time based on what we’re learned.

Scott Bill Hirst
Scott Bill Hirst
13 years ago

Hi! I am EUPHORIC about last night’s vote.I just learned about this through the blog.I planned to go but the delegate did not attend at the last minute as well as an alternate who would not be attending. A couple of observations as you know I was very annoyed about how the delegate selection process was done in 2004,.Only Bernie Jackvony and I are the only people who ran as Bush delegates in the 2ND Congressional District BOTH in 2000 and 2004.Despite the fact of my Bush loyalty and I was a sitting Hopkinton Town Council member I was NOT selected as a delegate or alternate delegate. Patricia Morgan promoted an “open contest” which was a farce.I with others became embroiled in a related court case because of it.We put a slate together and challenged the “anointed slate” of at large delegate and alternate delegate candidates for the national GOP convention at the state GOP state convention in June,2004; and while we lost we stood up to the state GOP establishment. I realize this change has pluses and minuses.I realize that it decreases Rhode Island influence perhaps as far as delegate process goes with a particular Presidential nominee but seriously when we last a “king maker” in a race to The White House? Remember the General Assembly NOT moving the primary date to February? That did not do Rhode Island well as the victor(s) in primaries/caucuses before then will be likely favored to win BOTH Rhode Island Presidential Primaries.The primary will be in March. At the end of the day this may very be the best to come out of it: More internal harmony in the Rhode Island GOP.I and a number of others were ticked off about the 2004 delegate selection process.By taking virtually all delegate selection process out… Read more »

perry ellis
perry ellis
13 years ago

Wow! Anthony! You got me on grammar in an ad-hoc forum! I surrender…you win! Everything’s great in Rhode Island! Chafee’s a genius!

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