Friday, May 22, 2009

GOP Temporary Delegate Selection Committee in Place

Here's the press release:


WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele today announced the appointment of Ohio National Committeeman Bob Bennett, Wisconsin National Committeeman Steve King, Florida National Committeeman Paul Senft, former Maryland Secretary of State Mary Kane, former Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, former Office of Personnel Management Director Kay James, former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Brian Kennedy, former White House Spanish media spokesperson Mercy Schlapp, and former New Hampshire Attorney General Tom Rath to the RNC Temporary Delegate Selection Committee.

“I am proud to announce the appointments of this impressive group of people to the RNC Temporary Delegate Selection Committee. They are all exceptionally qualified people and I look forward to working with them in the future,” said Chairman Steele.

The RNC Temporary Delegate Selection Committee serves to review the timing of the election, selection, allocation, or binding of delegate and alternate delegates to the Republican National Convention. In accordance with The Rules of the Republican Party, the RNC Chairman appoints three RNC members and six non-members to the RNC Temporary Delegate Selection Committee, which is already comprised of four elected RNC members.

1) Was the GOP trying to keep this quiet? By releasing this on a Friday -- the Friday before a holiday weekend no less -- this news was bound to receive less coverage than if it had been broken on almost any other day. That certainly seems to have been the case. The Democratic Change Commission's announcement garnered more coverage than its Republican counterpart. Granted, I'm on the road and wasn't as on top of things today as I usually am, but still, I had to search for mentions of this announcement. Color me perplexed.

2) Take a look at the new members of the committee. All nine are from blue states. Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, Florida, Michigan and Maryland are all represented as are Virginia (Kay James) and Florida again (Mercy Schlapp). Most importantly -- to them at least -- Iowa and New Hampshire have a seat at the table, but so do upstarts Florida and Michigan. Ohio GOP chair, Bob Bennett has been pushing the Ohio Plan for a while now (see here for more). But where are Texas and South Carolina, or for that matter, any southern state? This provides at least some indication of the direction Michael Steele will take the party. It is a nod to the need to expand the party outside of the South. But to have no southern states represented? That's certainly a break from the past.

The full committee is due to issue a report with recommendations on the rules of the 2012 primary season next summer and FHQ will have an eye on the progress between now and then.

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