Overview of Winter RNC Outcomes

Friday, the RNC passed a packet of sweeping rule amendments. There were 9 votes against. All other committee members’ votes went in favor of the rule changes, as the votes in opposition were subtracted from the entire number of committee members in order to calculate the affirmative vote total.

From witness accounts, the opposition votes were: Virginia committee members Morton Blackwell, Pat Mullins, and Kathy Terry, Ashley Ryan of Maine, Tamara Scott of Iowa, Marti Halverson of Wyoming, Diana Orrock of Nevada (by proxy), Mike Kopp of Colorado (by proxy), Chanel Prunier of Massachusetts, and Ed Martin of Missouri. The witness count makes 10 votes in opposition; however, there were only 9 opposition votes announced by Chairman Reince Priebus. Witnesses speculate that perhaps Mike Kopp’s vote went unnoticed, as the proxy remained seated during the vote while raising the proxy card.

The changes implemented amount to another step in the RNC effort to abolish a representative republic-structured party in favor of the implementation of a centralized, top-down decision making structure. The following link is my prior report on the packet of amendments: http://carolinalibertypac.com/2014/01/rnc-rules-what-are-they-doing-to-our-election-process/

Of note: A couple of minor changes were made to the packet prior to passage. The changes include a clarification on the 50/20% rule, specifying that the method of proportionality may be applied to district-level proportionality in addition to statewide proportionality, as well as an amendment allowing for states to receive a waiver on new election timing guidelines if they are controlled by a non-Republican legislature, preventing the state from changing its election law.

32145_10151366034302390_1173192467_n-300x225On a more positive note, the RNC finally passed the Resolution to Renounce the National Security Agency’s Surveillance Program. Thank you goes to Bryan Daugherty of Maine for crafting this resolution, and thank you to Committeewoman Diana Orrock of Nevada for sponsoring the resolution for hearing.

After the resolution was blocked in a closed-press meeting of the RNC Resolutions Committee months earlier, Committeewoman Orrock secured enough cosponsors prior to the winter meeting to bypass the Resolutions Committee entirely, ensuring that it would be brought directly before the body of the RNC for a public hearing. The cosponsors of the resolution are as follows: James Smack NCM-NV, Linda Herren NCW-GA, Ed Martin Chairman-MO, Marti Halverson NCW-WY, Vicki Drummond NCW-AL, Betti Hill NCW-MT, Bruce Ash NCM-AZ, Melody Potter NCW-WV, Ashley Ryan NCW-ME, Glenn McCall NCM-SC, Steve Scheffler NCM-IA, Shawn Steel NCM-CA, Peter Goldberg Chairman-AK, Pat Longo NCW-CT, Dave Agema NCM-MI, and Peggy Lambert NCW-TN.

North Carolina committee members were asked to sign onto the resolution in advance of the meeting, but neglected to do so.

RNC Rules Committee Today: What Are They Doing to Our Election Process?

Boenher_with_gavelThe Republican National Committee has finally released the language of controversial rule amendment proposals to its committee members, just hours before the RNC Rules Committee is asked to cast their vote on the changes. So what exactly is it that they will be voting on at 3pm today? The six amendment proposals coming from the RNC Rules Subcommittee are as follows:

1) Rule 17(f)
Strike Rule 17 (f) in its entirety

Rule 17(e) specifies that the RNC may hold a hearing if the RNC Chairman does not act upon a violation of the rule governing election timing guidelines and allocation of delegates (rule 16c). During the hearing, a vote of the body will be taken as a final determination on whether a legitimate violation that has taken place. Under the rules as they stand, Rule 17 (f) then follows to state:
17(f) If a state or state Republican Party is determined to be in violation: (1) No member of the Republican National Committee from the offending state shall be permitted to serve as a delegate or alternate delegate to the national convention. (2) After the Republican National Committee members are excluded from being part of the offending state’s delegation to the national convention, the state Republican Party shall determine which of the state’s remaining delegates (and corresponding alternate delegates) are entitled to serve as part of the state’s reduced delegation to the national convention.

Broken down: The striking of 17(f) would ensure that committee members are not excluded from their state’s delegation to the National Convention in the situation that a state incurs a loss of delegates for violating election timing or delegate allocation guidelines. This amendment would serve to eliminate a discrepancy within the rules in that elsewhere it is determined that if a state is penalized for violating election timing guidelines, the state’s reduced delegation shall still include the state’s RNC committee members.

2) Rule 20(a)
Amend Rule 20 (a) to change the words “thirty-five (35)” to “forty-five (45)”

Rule 20 (a), in its current form, reads: All delegates and alternate delegates shall be elected or selected not later than thirty-five (35) days before the date of the meeting of the national convention.

Broken down: This amendment would reduce the length of time that states are allotted for holding their delegate selection process. In a letter sent to RNC members requesting support for the subcommittee’s proposal, RNC Special Counsel member James Bopp indicates that this amendment is meant to provide an increase to the time allotted for the delegate “certification period.” When acting in conjunction with an earlier National Convention schedule, as Bopp states is the intention of the proposal, the date by which states are required to hold their delegate selection process would change from mid to late July to as early as mid-April.

3) Rule 16(c)(2)
Amend Rule 16(c)(2) to strike “April 1” and insert “March 15” and strike the word “may” and insert the word “shall.”

Rule 16(c)(2), which pertains to primary election timing and delegate allocation guidelines, currently reads:
(2) Any presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other process to elect, select, allocate, or bind delegates to the national convention that occurs prior to April 1 in the year in which the national convention is held may provide for the allocation of delegates on a proportional basis.

Broken down: The stated intention of changing the language “may” to “shall” is to prohibit states from engaging in a “winner take all” election result process; however, in effect, the amendment determines that the early-voting states must bind their delegates to the state’s straw poll or preference poll. This would force states such as Minnesota and Maine to eliminate their tradition of sending their delegates to the National Convention unbound. Note, though, that elsewhere in the rules, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada (referred to as the “carve-out states”) are exempted from the binding/timing provisions of this rule. Also of note is that another of the proposals later outlined (amendment proposal #5) counters the intention to avoid winner-take-all elections.

4) Rule 20 – Create Rule 20 (d)
Amend Rule 20 by adding Rule 20 (d) to allow for a waiver:
“The Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee may grant a waiver to a state Republican Party that is out of compliance with the deadlines imposed by Rule 20 as of the date the start of the convention is set and, where, after reasonable efforts were made to comply, the state as of the date set forth in Rule 16(f)(1) remains out of compliance with the deadlines imposed by Rule 20 and the Executive Committee of the Republican National Committee determines that such a waiver is in the best interests of the Republican Party.”

Broken down: Rule 16(f)(1) determines that a state must file their convention/caucus/primary course of action plan by October 1 of the year before the National Convention. This proposed new rule 20(d) would specify that if the plan set forth at that time (on or before October 1, 2015) is out of compliance with the provisions on delegate selection timing for the 2016 process, the state may be granted a waiver from the selection process timing guidelines if it is determined that there is a beneficial reason to do so.

5) Rule 16 – Create Rule 16(c)(3)
Amend Rule 16 by adding Rule 16(c)(3) to define proportionality:
Amended Rule 16(c)(3) would read:
Proportional allocation of total delegates as required by Rule 16(c)(2) shall be based upon the number of statewide votes cast or the number of congressional district votes cast in proportion to the number of votes received by each candidate.
A state may establish a minimum threshold of the percentage of votes received by a candidate that must be reached below which a candidate may receive no delegates, provided such threshold is no higher than 20%.
A state may establish a minimum threshold of the percentage of votes received by a candidate that must be reached above which the candidate may receive all the delegates, provided such threshold is no lower than 50%.

Broken down: Though the changes outlined throughout this packet determine that delegates will be bound to a straw poll or primary result, the proposed new rule 16(c)(3) would allow the state party a great amount of leeway in determining how they determine their binding, and will certainly lead to a greatly skewed calculation of “proportion.”

For example, North Carolina’s primary results in 2012 were as follows: Mitt Romney 65.62%, Ron Paul 11.12%, Rick Santorum 10.39%, Newt Gingrich 7.64%, No Preference 5.23%. NC’s 55 delegates would have been proportioned as follows: Romney 36, Paul 6, Santorum 6, Gingrich 4, no preference 3. If the proposed new rule had been in place at the time, North Carolina could have determined that since Paul, Santorum, and Gingrich all fell under the 20% threshold, they would receive none of North Carolina’s delegates, and since Romney received greater than the 50% threshold, he would receive all of North Carolina’s 55 delegates, giving one candidate a gain of 19 delegates from a single state. If the state party decided under the new rule to make such a determination, the delegates of the state would be required to cast their votes accordingly.

The amendment also specifies the two different data sets that a state party may use to calculate their proportionality, specifying that the delegates must be bound proportionally to the election results either on a congressional district basis or by the data from a statewide election. The likely purpose of this amendment is to prevent a state party from attempting an alternate method of binding calculation.

6) Rule 17(a)
Amend Rules 17(a) to strike the following language:
The amended rule 17(a) reads:
“If any state or state Republican Party violates Rule No. 16(c)(1) of The Rules of the Republican party, the number of delegates to the national convention shall be reduced for those states with 30 or more total delegates to nine (9) plus the members of the Republican National Committee from that state, and for those states with 29 or fewer total delegates to six (6) plus the members of the Republican National Committee from that state. The corresponding alternate delegates shall also be reduced accordingly.

Broken Down: Rule 16(c)(1) directs that a state may not hold its election process prior to March 1; the current form of rule 17(a) imposes a penalty for violation of 16(c)(1), but is in conflict with the rule in that it presents the prohibited election period as anytime prior to the last Tuesday in February; the proposed amendment rectifies this discrepancy. The amendment also eliminates prior language which specified the penalty for a violation of rule 16(c)(2), the rule on delegate binding for states whose conventions are held prior to April 1 (or March 15 by subcommittee proposed amendment #3), excluding the carve-out states. The provision specifying a separate penalty for violation on states with fewer than 30 delegates is also new and aims to impose a penalty of greater impact for violating timing guidelines, as the smaller-delegation states would be less affected by a delegation reduction to 12 members than would a state with 30 or more delegates prior to the cut.

Nullification Candidate Announces Intent in NC Senate Special Election

On Tuesday, January 7th, the NC-GOP Executive Committee of the 31st district (Forsyth and Yadkin counties) will hold a special election for a suggested Republican Party candidate to fill the now-open seat of NC Sen. Pete Brunstetter. In a statement released today, pro-Constitution executive committee member Mitchel Farris has declared his candidacy intent. The letter released by the campaign overviews topics that he considers to be the most pressing issues facing North Carolina and the Republican Party in the years ahead. Farris says that his stances on Obamacare nullification, the full rejection of Common Core, Constitutional Carry gun rights legislation, and the 2016 presidential primary date legislation changes made last session differentiate his candidacy from the others in the race.

See the full announcement from the campaign below:

Fellow 31st Senate District Republican Party Executive Committee Members,

As you are aware, there is an upcoming election to fill the vacancy of Sen. Brunstetter’s N.C. Senate seat. There are several qualified individuals who have declared that they are willing to serve, and I feel confident that any of them would help to further North Carolina’s conservative values if elected. That being said, there are a few key issues of which it is critical to the state of freedom for North Carolina residents that they be brought before the North Carolina Senate in 2014, and/or their path paved for hearing in 2015. It is imperative that the people of the 31st district elect a senator who is willing to be a champion of these issues, and it is for this reason that I have decided to declare my candidacy for the position. Here are a few policy stances that differentiate my candidacy from any other candidate currently in the running:

Obamacare Nullification.  Several weeks ago, the North Carolina Republican Party Executive Committee passed a resolution which communicates the little-known fact that North Carolina residents and businesses are actually exempt from the mandates and penalties of the Affordable Care Act due to the failure of the federal legislation to attach mandates to federal exchange states. The committee requested that the North Carolina General Assembly also pass a resolution in recognition of this fact, in order to inform NC residents of their legal ability to refuse the mandates in 2014. If elected, it will be my first order of business to submit this resolution to be heard before the Senate. No other candidate currently running for this position has expressed a willingness to bring the resolution forward before the Senate, if elected.

We must also completely nullify Obamacare within the state of North Carolina. The NCGA took the steps to refuse the state exchange and the medicaid expansion in 2013, but North Carolina still needs to further adopt full nullification measures, such as the legislation that South Carolina expects to sign into law later this month. In order for NC to fully defeat Obamacare, we must adopt legislation that affirms that if any attempt is made to enforce the unconstitutional (and technically illegal) Obamacare mandates upon the residents of North Carolina, this action will be in violation of North Carolina statute. I am the only candidate that has advocated that the North Carolina General Assembly bring about full nullification measures to address Obamacare.

Rejection of Common Core in its entirety. North Carolina conservatives are realizing that there are serious problems with the Common Core Standards that were implemented in North Carolina, but when solutions are discussed, we see that there is a great discord over how much of a problem Common Core is. When the NCGA held their first Common Core Study Committee hearing last month, several suggestions were made to imply that NC should simply change the name in order to eliminate the copyright and make some tweaks to the standards. It was recently stated by one leading North Carolina opponent to Common Core that 95 percent of the Common Core standards are great, indicating that the problems lie in only 5% of the standards. My position on Common Core, in no uncertain terms, is that 100% of the Common Core standards are unacceptable for North Carolina, because 100% of the standards were crafted by special interests without input from North Carolina teachers, parents, or representatives, and were then pushed onto North Carolina from the federal level for implementation.

In order to fix the problem, federal controls over North Carolina schools should be fully rejected. The process should start at the local level, with local education districts rejecting the use of the Common Core-associated curriculum. There are state-level actions that must also be undertaken, but a state solution could take years unless North Carolina Republican legislators begin to declare in solidarity and with certainty that Common Core must be rejected in its entirety. If elected, I will adamantly push for substantial action to be taken to repeal the Common Core continuation mandates upon the State Board of Education, and instead adopt an acceptable alternative to the standards, but we simply cannot ignore the children within the public education system in the meantime. State Superintendent June Atkinson has reiterated several times that local boards may reject the use of the State Board of Education-suggested curriculum, and Common Core opponents should encourage their local boards to do so. Local boards should also reject the use of the Pearson Power Schools federal data-sharing program within their district, in order to protect the privacy and the identities of the children enrolled in the North Carolina public school system. I am the only candidate who advocates that local education boards invoke local controls over curriculum, and who has publicly rejected the sentiment that 95% of the Common Core standards are great.

Constitutional Carry. No law-abiding resident should require government permission to protect themselves, whether openly or discreetly. Vermont, Montana, Alaska, Arizona, and other states have eliminated hindrances to their residents who wish to engage in their right to bear arms. A gun that is locked in the vehicle glove compartment on a college campus wouldn’t do a young lady much good if she is attacked outside of her car. Republicans adamantly agree with the Constitution that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, yet unconstitutional liberal hindrances to self-protection remain within the general statutes in North Carolina. I am the only candidate for this position who has declared that it will be my priority to bring Constitutional Carry legislation forward.

2016 Presidential Primary Date Review. Several great changes were made to the statutes governing North Carolina elections in 2013, but there is one change made that is detrimental to the Republican Party of North Carolina and must be reconsidered immediately. The 2016 presidential primary date was amended and tied to South Carolina’s presidential primary date, though the other primary dates were not amended to match. This means that, as it stands, North Carolina will hold one primary election for the 2016 presidential candidates only, the date of which will be contingent upon South Carolina, and a separate election for all other primary races. The stated purpose of moving our presidential primary date forward is for North Carolina to have a greater presence within the national election; however, this change will actually dramatically decrease North Carolina’s influence due to a penalty attached to the violation of the RNC rule on election dates, which decreases our representation to the national convention from our 60+ delegates to only 9 delegates!

As it stands, North Carolina is likely to hold our presidential primary on February 16, though we won’t know for certain until South Carolina determines their election date. This is in clear violation of the RNC rules on election timing, which state:

RNC Rule 16(c)(1) … No primary, caucus, convention, or other process to elect, select, allocate, or bind delegates to the national convention shall occur prior to March 1 or after the second Saturday in June in the year in which a national convention is held. Except Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada may conduct their processes no earlier than one month before the next earliest state in the year in which a national convention is held and shall not be subject to the provisions of paragraph (c)(2) of this rule.
RNC Rule 17(a) describes the penalty for violation of this rule … If any state or state Republican Party violates Rule No. 16(c)(1) of The Rules of the Republican Party with regard to a primary, caucus, convention or other process to elect, select, allocate, or bind delegates and alternate delegates to the national convention by conducting its process prior to the last Tuesday in February, the number of delegates to the national convention shall be reduced to nine (9) plus the members of the Republican National Committee from that state, and the corresponding alternate delegates shall also be reduced to nine (9).

Aside from this factor, holding a lone presidential primary election will surely have a dampening impact on voter turnout for the second primary, in which party candidates for every other race will be chosen. We should avoid actions that are seen as being meant to discourage the North Carolina Republican electorate from participation in the election process, and if this change is not revisited, it will be detrimental to the North Carolina Republican Party. I am the only candidate running for this position who has stated opposition to the consequences that this date change will have on the North Carolina Republican Party.

The issues listed are urgent and critical to the state of freedom for North Carolina residents, and the constituents of the 31st district simply must have a senator who is willing to lead the charge on these issues. The decision to run is not in any way meant to slight any other candidate. I feel that there are several great candidates for the job; however, it is for the key issues listed above that I have determined the need to run for the position of the next North Carolina District 31 State Senator.

So who am I? I am just a working, family man. I served for 15 years in the US Army, working in Satellite Communications and Avionic Radar Repair. My wife and I have lived in Forsyth County for the past 8 years, raising our four children. I’m not a politician, but I am a dedicated Republican Party grassroots activist who cares about the future of the state of liberty that his children will grow up knowing. If you feel the same as I do about these issues, please consider voting for me at the executive committee meeting on Tuesday, January 7.

Thank you and God bless,

Mitchel Farris

Candidate for N.C. Senate, District 31

Greensboro, NC Marches Against Monsanto

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October 12, 2013 GREENSBORO, NC – Outside of Deep Roots Market, activists participated in the ‘March Against Monsanto’ protest, part of the global March Against Monsanto initiative held in observance of World Food Day.

The organizers hoped that the protest would serve to educate people about the health benefits of eating organic food as opposed to genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan of Vaughan Integrative Medicine spoke at the anti-GMO event, telling rally-goers, “(People) aren’t getting the nutrients they need out of the foods that they are eating. Every single time you eat Roundup Ready corn, Roundup Ready soy, you are getting a dose of glyphosate. That glyphosate is binding all of your trace minerals, so whatever you’re getting in the food, you’re not really getting. When I test people and I put them on minerals … they come back, they haven’t improved at all. It’s because they’re still eating the genetically modified food, because they should be absorbing those minerals and they’re not.”

Event organizer Michael Norbury says that the march was held in solidarity with the YESon522 November ballot initiative for mandatory GMO labeling in Washington State. “522’s passage will lead to nationwide GMO labeling on food products because it’s too difficult for companies to label products specific to one state only,” says Norbury.

Link to photo album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.382636891870275.1073741847.163929423741024&type=3

Dr. Vaughan speaking at March Against Monsanto:

No Escape from Defunding Obamacare for US House Republicans from NC

There are no excuses for NC’s Republican US House delegation to vote to allow for including Obamacare funding in the Continuing Resolution being voted on this week. Not only was a resolution passed by the National Republican Party, calling upon Republican House Reps to defund Obamacare, but the North Carolina Republican Party also passed a state-level resolution in June, calling upon all of North Carolina’s US House Reps to work to exclude Obamacare funding from the CR:

stateobamacareresolveclip
The reason this needs to be stated is that it has come to our attention that the Mecklenburg County Republican Party is attempting to justify Rep. Pittenger’s refusal to represent his party’s will to defund Obamacare in the upcoming continuing resolution. Though the resolution passed by the Republican National Convention specifies not once but twice that it is the will of the Republican Party for House Reps to take every effort to defund Obamacare, the Meck. Republican Party sent an official email claiming that there is nothing in the RNC-passed resolution which holds our Republican House Reps accountable to defunding Obamacare specifically this year in the upcoming continuing resolution. This from Meck GOP:

“Please take particular note of the “RESOLVED” clauses calling for Obamacare to be defunded. The attached, officially passed resolution calls for defunding efforts without tying it to one specific bill or expressly insisting on a move to force a government shutdown. Early drafts of the resolution expressly included language discussing a government shutdown and specifically called for amending appropriations prior to January 2014. However, these provisions were not carried over to the final resolution and were not passed by the RNC.”

Note that while the Meck GOP is technically accurate in that the resolution is not tied to one specific bill, the resolution as passed would actually apply to every bill that would potentially provide funding for Obamacare:

RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee wishes to ensure that our Representatives are aware that it is our will that they make every effort defund Obamacare, including its implementation or enforcement; and, be it further
RESOLVED, the Republican National Committee hereby petitions our Republican Representatives in Congress to make every effort to not only defund Obamacare, but to support legislative efforts to return the student loan program to the private sector; and, be it finally

Has the meaning of “every” been changed recently? “Every effort,” to my understanding, doesn’t mean, “no specific effort, not applying to the next effort, but perhaps some effort in the future.” Every effort! Meaning every time that the subject is broached! To be clear, there is an effort in progress to defund Obamacare by not proposing the funding in the upcoming continuing resolution, being led by NC Republican Rep. Mark Meadows.

Talking to you, Robert Pittenger & Renee Ellmers: if a state resolution, a national resolution, and endless phone calls, faxes, emails, letters, & social media posts from your constituents doesn’t give you a clue as to what it is that you are to do in order to properly represent your constituents & your party, then you are beyond hope of EVER representing your constituents. Don’t fund it. Stand with Republicans Mark Meadows, Walter Jones, and Richard Hudson, who have stated unequivocally that they will vote to remove Obamacare funding language, and that they will not vote for a CR placed in front of them that includes Obamacare funding language.

Link to full NCGOP-passed resolution HERE.  Link to full RNC-passed resolution HERE.

Join the facebook action alert page dedicated to the fight to defund Obamacare HERE.