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GOP Committeeman: Primaries Don’t Matter, We Can Change the Rules Anytime

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Republican National Committeeman Curly Haugland of North Dakota sent a letter on Friday to fellow RNC officials arguing that current party rules allow 2016 Republican National Convention delegates to vote for the presidential candidate of their personal preference during the first round of voting, rather than voting along with the will of voters in their states.

Haughland wrote in a letter published by The Daily Caller that the party’s Rule 38, also called “Unit Rule,” specifically allows Republican convention delegates to vote their conscience in every vote at the convention.

Every delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention is a completely free agent, free to vote for the candidate of their choice on every ballot at the convention
Curly Haugland, RNC committeeman

Every delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention is a completely free agent, free to vote for the candidate of their choice on every ballot at the convention in Cleveland in July. Every delegate is a Superdelegate!” claimed Haughland, who also pointed out that he has “been defending the right of the delegates to the Republican National Convention to vote according to their personal choice in all matters to come before the Republican National Convention, including the vote to nominate the Republican Candidate for President, for several years.

Haughland, who is a member of the RNC’s Standing Rules Committee, claims that convention delegates were only bound to vote along with primary results at the 1976 convention and that the requirement was repealed in 1980.

He said that Tom Josefiak of the RNC’s Counsel’s Office gave a 2006 presentation to the Standing Rules Committee in which he counseled, “One of the important rules changes over the last 50 years has been the unit rule prohibited… that change was made so that an individual delegate can vote his or her conscience.

Haughland, who told The Daily Caller that he believes Trump will not obtain enough delegates to win the nomination, said, “The nominee of the party must receive a majority of the votes of the permanently feted delegates of the convention. That means it doesn’t make any difference what has happened in terms of primary voters, because they don’t count at the convention. It’s only the delegates at the convention whose votes matter.

News of Haughland’s effort to convince the RNC of his interpretation of convention rules comes on the heels of a Truth in Media report that the GOP establishment is working to force a brokered convention by attempting to deny frontrunner Donald Trump the delegates necessary to clinch the nomination during the first round of voting at the convention in hopes that another candidate will prevail in a subsequent round.

Editor’s note: This article, written by Barry Donegan, originally published on Truth in Media on March 14, 2016, and has been modified slightly for publication on IVN.

Photo retrieved from U.S. News.

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177 comments
Joe Cucchiara
Joe Cucchiara

If Congress is hated  for fu#@ing up our Country for the last 7+ years  trying to make the POTUS look bad, they just shot themselves in the foot. WE THE POEPLE WILL WIN this pissing contest with those egotistical  Pigs. The GOP is so out of touch, it's like they are from URANIS  !!!!  We will send them all home in 2017 by the toe of our shoes.

TomStangel
TomStangel

If these people do not follow the will of the people there will be a revolution in this country.

KMack68
KMack68

We need to over throw the corrupt 2 party system. Both parties are so wrought with corruption. They don't care what the people want. They have us so busy fighting amongst each other that people don't seem to notice the are robbing us blind. Taking all our tax money & giving it out in Corporate welfare & to private defense contractors instead of using the money on things that benefit us. That is what taxes were intended to be used for. Things that benefit us. Roads, bridges, trash removal, social security, education, national parks, police & fire, etc. Not trillions of tax payer money that is missing from the Dept of Defense because they are pocketing it, billions on a plane that are not useable or billions in Corporate welfare who pay no taxes & hide all their profits overseas. Those of you that want Trump are clueless because he is a huge part of the problem. He uses overseas workers, has his goods made overseas, dodges paying his taxes & under pays his workers. He is everything that he says he will fight against. How can anyone believe that ridiculousness?

KareniaTarolli
KareniaTarolli

We need to become a 4 party system.

Democrats, Republicans, Green party, and Independent party.

When 40% of your population is listed as independent they need to be represented fairly. The Republicans and Democrats have become so corrupted that there doesn't appear to be any way to fix those two parties. The only chance they have at Redemption is the threat of losing the remaining voters that they have.

GregRickard
GregRickard

America is not a democracy. It is not ruled by the people. It is ruled by the two main parties: Republican and Democrat. This is becoming more and more obvious as the GOP establishment continues to do its best to guarantee that Donald Trump will not be the Republican nominee. That Mr. Trump is clearly and overwhelmingly the people's choice is absolutely a don't-care issue to the GOP elite. They're rich, they're comfortable, they know best. Moreover, most of the Independent voters are shut out of the primaries: over 40% of the US population, a staggering amount.  The two parties monopolize the office at all levels of government. 

C T Weber
C T Weber

If parties are private organizations, they can do anything they want to do. In the old days parties did all of this behind closed doors. The people forced the parties to hold primaries so that the rank and file members would have a say. Now with anyone being able to vote in a party primary, the party bosses are trying to regain control. Put party rank and file back in control. It is good public policy to have party primaries under control of the government.

PaulLillebo
PaulLillebo

If Haughland is right, that the rule was changed decades ago, it's remarkable that the press and "experts" seem to have been unaware of this. So the primary voting is merely advisory. (That's how primaries started out, 50-odd years ago.) The nasty part will come when they actually choose the individual delegates. If that's done by the GOP leadership, Trump is Toast. And the GOP will have their biggest scandal ever on their hands, probably resulting in losing everywhere in the fall.

Octobereyes
Octobereyes

Sounds like a communist country...

If the votes don't matter, then why are we going through all of this?!

It is DISGUSTING how the rules keep changing!

17 yr Olds voting...but..oh well..their votes won't count either. .

Guess the Republican party want hillary to win..

Stupid!

And! The media is CROOKED too!

They need to stop saying we are angry ..

We are SMART

GONNA MAKE A CHANGE!

Howard Levings
Howard Levings

WE are also allowed to not vote if you screw with our wishes and you can go to the bank on it

Paul Jones
Paul Jones

Let's play "take obvious statements out of context!!!" You don't have a party!!! That's the point of being independent remember?

Kathleen M. Condon
Kathleen M. Condon

HOW ABOUT THE WILL OF AND FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE USA, YOU KNOW THE ONE WHO ACTUALLY PAYS THE BILL?

Mike Arthur
Mike Arthur

Both Dem and Rep parties are an insult to U.S. citizens ! We need open voting without party affiliation in this country and the 2016 election proves why !

Brian Shank
Brian Shank

Yes, an establishment zombie that can beat Hillary and prevent her from creating a hard left-wing court in addition to all sorts of other horrible things. Better to have an establishment zombie than a leftwing zombie.

Henry Leatherman
Henry Leatherman

Corruption galore ! Why vote if the delegate picks whom he wants as is currently the program. This current corrupt election system needs a complete overhaul

Brian Shank
Brian Shank

Let me also remind you that Gore and Democrats had the presidency stolen from them because Nader acted as a spoiler. Democrats should all demand abolishing the vote-for-only-one rule to avoid this from ever happening again, but very stupidly, no one ever demands this very simple electoral reform.

Woodie Thompson
Woodie Thompson

Why don't we just skip the primaries and let the delegates vote then ?

Brian Shank
Brian Shank

The hijacking of the Democratic Priamary by an outsider like Trump is doing to the Republican Party could happen as well. Bernie Sanders would lose in a landslide because he has used the term socialist to describe himself. If he were beating Clinton right now, he might guarantee the election of someone like Cruz. I think that would be a big mistake for Democrats. Trump supporters are doing the same thing to the Republican Primary right now. Threat of being a spoiler has allowed Trump to hijack the Republican primary. Please advocate voting method reform. Voters and the whole electoral system are VERY badly harmed by forcing each voter to pick only one candidate.

Michael Rew
Michael Rew

RNC to the people: It doesnt matter what you want!

Brian Shank
Brian Shank

Those participating in the R primaries, independents, Democrats, those who have never voted before and Republicans, are stupidly choosing candidates that have likability and favorability ratings that are so negative that they are breaking records. It may be a minority view for those participating in the primary, but for those of us who THINK, Kasich is the best choice for Republicans. I am terrified of Clinton choosing Supreme Court justices. Trump is very similar to Sharon Angle. Primary voters are STUPID, and they are destroying the country!

Nicolas Golato
Nicolas Golato

This election has really put a spotlight on how both parties have hijacked the vote from individuals. We need to let them know it is not acceptable.

Edith Shaffner
Edith Shaffner

Replace this RNC official NOW! WE THE PEOPLE are the ones who decide and the delgates must vote the way the people deicded.

Auby J Curtis
Auby J Curtis

Love trumps Hate Trump=Hate Bernie equals =Love

Anatole Evans
Anatole Evans

Looking like things have to get worse before they get better! No Bernie Sanders to make it better, I vote Trump to make it worse! Tough Love! Change is coming! Getting very top heavy! Will not stay home and will not vote HRC! Anyone not shouting about our corrupt and broken political system is part of the problem! When I see HRC smile and pay lip service to what Bernie Sanders has been fighting for his whole political career it makes my blood boil! Clinton's done more damage to black families than the KKK! Do your home work on the private prison industry and the get tough on crime legislation and the resulting militarization of the police! HRC and Bill Clinton as guilty as sin!!! I think the notion that congress will work in harmony with HRC has been completely dispelled! Yes I think that revolution is going to be necessary!!! Without a revolution nothing changes! Question is who is energizing voters! Who is growing the voter base? Who will turn out young voters? Who will get voters out that traditionally don't vote? Who is getting the independent vote? By far Bernie Sanders is the best hope for meaningful change and HRC is the best candidate for more status quo and republican obstruction! Look at the polling trajectory of where Sanders started and how far HRC has fallen! Amazing and totally missing from the discussion! Hillary Clinton is asking us to believe the corrupting influence of money does not change congressional bills and votes! She is asking us to believe the one percent are spending billions in lobbying for no reason! If you are buying this I got some things I would like to sell you!!! Yes the media blackout is in full effect! Check out Trump coverage Vs. Sanders!!! Guns and abortion! Keeping the people distracted and stuck on stupid! Divide and conquer! Only rich lives matter? Stand up to Hill first!! Trump is next! About as fair and balanced as the Corporate media! Feel the Bern! The two party system has been playing the same game for forty years! The only ones benefiting and getting what they want is the one percent! Just a trending news story brought to you by repetition creates reality inc. Also brought to you by just ignore Bernie Sanders inc. Not all that different from how Bill Cosby handled these questions! Bill Clinton is just a much better liar! Check out the list of allegations and the number of women making them! I believe victims and I don't trust the Clintons! Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby used power, intimidation, and a persona larger than life to silence a lot of women! Just wrong! Rape was part of the allegations and money was paid out! How many women need to come forward before we believe them? HRC is enabler in chief!

Jim Heminger
Jim Heminger

Well he has won a State now, but he is not the people's choice anywhere else. If they try to manipulate the convention to make him the nominee all hell will break loose.

Jim Heminger
Jim Heminger

Brian, I think you hold a minority view.

Jim Laughlin
Jim Laughlin

That's BS if you ask me.. How did our electoral process ever get so far off track?

Dennis Hiser
Dennis Hiser

If our so called Superdelegates don't choose the candidate that the voters chose it time to round them up on treason charges & hopefully hang them on the White House lawn.

Dennis Hiser
Dennis Hiser

When the people's vote doesn't matter then it's time to scrap our system & try something better!

Bernard Libby
Bernard Libby

Representative government in America is a lie.

Bernie Valentine
Bernie Valentine

I believe the interpretation being used by Haugland is incorrect. The rule only applies to delegations voting as a "Block" or as a "Unit"....particularly when the Delegates are NOT bound by their state law to vote under "the winner take all" application. In other words, a delegate can not be made to "go along with" a majority vote of the other members (delegates)......UNLESS IT WAS DETERMINED BY STATE LAW UNDER THE WINNER TAKE ALL APPLICATION. RULE NO. 38: Unit Rule No delegate or alternate delegate shall be bound by any attempt of any state or Congressional district to impose the unit rule. A “unit rule” prohibited by this section means a rule or law under which a delegation at the national convention casts its entire vote as a unit as determined by a majority vote of the delegation.

BernieValentine
BernieValentine

I believe the interpretation being used by Haugland is incorrect. The rule only applies to delegations voting as a "Block" or as a "Unit"....particularly when the Delegates are NOT bound by their state law to vote under "the winner take all" application.   In other words, a delegate can not be made to "go along with" a majority vote of the other members (delegates)......UNLESS IT WAS DETERMINED BY STATE LAW UNDER THE WINNER TAKE ALL APPLICATION.
 RULE NO. 38:  Unit Rule
No delegate or alternate delegate shall be bound by any attempt of any state or Congressional district to impose the unit rule.           A “unit rule” prohibited by this section means a rule or law under which a delegation at the national convention casts its entire vote as a unit as determined by a majority vote of the delegation.

Karen Sweatman
Karen Sweatman

If they nullify the voters voices, they will be handing the election to Clinton. They are fools.

Chenyn Allen
Chenyn Allen

I think that if these "superdelegates" try to thwart the will of the people, there's going to be a horrible backlash the likes this country hasn't seen in decades. Whether it will be 1960s bad or 1860s bad has yet to be determined.

William Scully
William Scully

Time for we the people to tell the delegates, PACs etc., you're wrong .... We want your authority and our money back.

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh

And they call this a democratic process?

James Gitsas
James Gitsas

No Problem... If the nominee is NOT who the voters have chosen by virtue of most votes - the GOP will fail to exist... PERIOD!

Samuel Bernard Johnson III
Samuel Bernard Johnson III

My fellow Independents its time to get FIRED UP! We are going to rock the establishment during the primaries and come November 2016. We've got Democrats leaving the Democratic Party like never before thereby joining our grassroots movement of Moving Forward! We are going to take our Congress and the Office of the Presidency back! No to the establishment during the primaries and come November 2016!