September 4th, 2007
04:30 PM ET
13 years ago

RNC lays down the 'primary' law

WASHINGTON (CNN) – As the deadline approached Tuesday for state Republican parties to submit delegate selection plans to the Republican National Committee, a GOP official warned that any state disregarding party rules would face severe penalties.

If a state party does not hold its primary or caucus contest between Feb. 5 and July 28, then half of that state’s delegates will not be invited to the presidential nominating convention scheduled for Sept. 2008 in Minneapolis, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. If a state party announces its primary or caucus date after the RNC issues its “Call to the Convention” - invitations to Minneapolis - then the penalty increases to 90 percent of its delegates. The call can be made at anytime before Dec. 31.

The GOP official noted the rules and penalties governing the nominating calendar were approved at the 2004 convention. So far several states are disregarding them. Florida, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina have all announced primary and caucus dates in January in an effort to gain significant influence on the nominating process that historically belonged solely to Iowa and New Hampshire.

The Republican official did acknowledge that the eventual Republican nominee for president could intervene to help restore the stripped delegates to these renegade states. But the official added that because of the complexity in doing so, it is more likely the nominee would probably seek other accommodations to allow the disqualified delegates to attend the convention in an unofficial capacity.

- CNN Political Editor Mark Preston

Related: Chaotic, defiant calendar about to hit RNC

Filed under: Florida • Michigan • Nevada • Primary Calendar • South Carolina
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Boyd Ames - Dana Point, California

    Will someone please tell me where, in the Constitution of the United States of America – or any of the amendments thereto – the people of this country have granted to the Democratic or Republican National Committees their right to choose when they are to vote in Presidential Primaries as – or in this instance – "on whatever date" their state-wide 'elected' representatives decide to select? How is it that these two self-serving groups feel compelled to impose their "rules" when the Constitution affords these rights to the States? Can they even SPELL Federalism?

    September 4, 2007 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The RNC (like the DNC) is a private club which shows the ultimate in chutzpah when it purports to overrule matters of state election law. It is arguably guilty of RICO racketeering violations by its attempts to control elections. I don't know if this reading of the Riot Act is designed to favor the RNC's favorite candidate, if it has one, but all of the candidates should tell them to go pound sand.

    September 4, 2007 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  3. Christian, Tampa FL

    I was talking about this with my father, and he suggested that there should be a kind of national convention to decide how to effectively organize the primary system.

    I think that's a good idea. It's time for some order, and it's time to change the supremacy of the "big four."

    September 4, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. Amber, Littleton, MA

    Can someone tell me where in the Constitution we are granted a "right" to vote? Oh, that's right, there isn't one. Most states do not have a "right" to vote even in their Constitution. As long as the first and second Amendments are in place, we have all we need to decide the outcome of an election. People have more interest in changing the dates of primaries, voting laws, and gay marriage instead of the things that give us the freedom to have primaries, voting laws, and gay marriage.

    January 8, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |