Florida Independent Voting.Org normally sticks to straight fact based reporting on the pro and con arguments on Top 2 Open Primaries. We are a non-partisan movement and do not endorse candidates or take positions on current issues. However a recent interview of Reince Priebus (Republican National Committee Chair) on Morning Joe brought into the open an interesting and not surprising view of the thinking of the Republican Party. What does that have to do with Top 2? Read on - -
Recently, Chuck Todd (NBC News Political Director and host of “The Daily Rundown”) spoke out on the plans for NBC Entertainment to air a mini-series on Hillary Clinton. Todd labeled the new NBC miniseries a “total nightmare for the network’s news division” — adding another voice to the increasing backlash against the project. He went on to say “No matter what, only we are going to own it, because people are going to see the peacock, and they see NBC, and they see NBC News, and they think, ‘Well, they can’t be that separate.”
Now enters Reince Priebus. He says several things that align with Chuck Todd’s statements. Paraphrasing Priebus’ interview comments - - We all know that Hillary is going to run for President. The NBC mini-series and CNN documentary are just promotional material. The fact that NBC is doing this now is to not be in conflict with the “fairness doctrine” says it all. He called NBC News and NBS Entertainment “a distinction without a difference”. He and Todd are in agreement here. They have a point. Voters need side by side comparisons of candidates, their experience; their views on meaningful issues, etc. not entertainment and not what Priebus is advocating. NBC and CNN must be so worried about their ratings that they would pursue such a blatant political move. Wait until after the election and do a “Game Change” type of movie. Now it gets interesting. The conversation between Priebus and the Morning Joe team is very telling.
Priebus said, “I can’t have the same companies that made the promotional movies come in and then I’m going to have bring those people in to depose the candidates running for President on the Republican side of the aisle. It’s ridiculous.”
Top 2 Open Primaries are about fair and equal treatment of candidates; ALL candidates not just the Republicans squaring off in tightly controlled comfortable questioning by friendly moderators. The word choice “depose” indicates that somehow asking candidates tough questions isn’t what parties want. Minor parties and independents should welcome the tough questions to differentiate themselves from major party candidates. Top 2 places all candidates in the spotlight with a little help from the media to get the word out. The last thing Reince Priebus wants is to have his candidates face off with Democrat, minor party and independent candidates out in the open. It’s about control.
Nicole Wallace (Republican activist and McCain campaign adviser) chimed in to help Priebus, “How do we fight against this cabal of the liberal media and the liberal Hollywood?
Priebus responded, “Our party never actually had control over the rulemaking authority on these debates” (2012 Republican Primary Presidential debates). He then turned to Mika Brzezinski (Morning Joe) and said, I’m not going to have you (Mika) moderate the Republican debate.
Mika responds “Why Not?”
Priebus: “Because you – (Mika) are not interested in the future of the Republican Party and our nominee. I have to choose moderators that are actually interested in the Republican Party and our nominee.”
Time for a commercial break!
What does this have to do with Top 2? Two words “Party Control” While this was about a Presidential primary and Top 2 doesn't extend that far, the entire soap opera was focused on party, not the voters, not on “vetting” vs “deposing” candidates. Not being “in control” of rulemaking must be terribly important compared to “God forbid” letting voters decide how to conduct debates or who to support. Top 2 shifts control to the voters by having all candidates stand before all voters to answer questions whether moderated by those nasty liberal media types (?) or by Town Hall style voter questions. Shouldn't voters expect candidates to have the courage to stand behind their statements, not be able to dodge tough questions or not even have to answer? Neither party should be in control of anything having to do with our elections. We need voter control. Top 2 is one way of putting voters in charge.