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Jul 28 2011

The Ineffectiveness of RNC Rule 11a

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Someone recently contacted us claiming that our efforts were unnecessary because the Republican Party Rules prohibit party organizations from spending money or interfering in primaries. Quite a shocking revelation considering all the meddling the RNC did in the 2010 election. If there’s a rule against it I guess none of that ever happened.

What they were referring to is Rule 11a of the RNC’s Rules of the Republican Party (PDF) which reads in part:

“The Republican National Committee shall not, without the prior written and filed approval of all
members of the Republican National Committee from the state involved, contribute money or in-kind aid to
any candidate for any public or party office except the nominee of the Republican Party or a candidate who is
unopposed in the Republican primary after the filing deadline for that office.”

That sounds great, but the problem is that its not all that difficult to get the agreement of all of the RNC members from a state as that consists of exactly three people who are usually well established party insiders who are likely to be the ones pushing for the RNC to back one of their cronies against some grassroots upstart in the first place. It’s a classic example of the fox watching the hen house and as a curb on the RNC meddling in the primary it’s worthless.

In addition this rule only applies to the RNC and has no impact on state parties, county parties or party groups like the Republican National Senatorial Committee or the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. So basically Rule 11a is almost no impediment to party insiders who want to control primaries, which explains what went on in Delaware, Kentucky and Florida in 2010.

So if you want fair primaries, the Fair Primary Pledge is still the way to go and don’t believe those who claim that the RNC has cleaned up their act. Under the current leadership we have every reason to expect them to interfere more in 2012 than they ever have before. So join us in working to keep our GOP primaries open, honest and fair.

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