At the Republican National Convention today in Tampa Bay, FL, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was officially named the GOP’s presidential nominee. In a roll call of states, New Jersey put Romney over the top. Romney is scheduled to accept his party’s nomination in a speech Thursday night.
All of Romney’s former GOP competitors have endorsed him, with the exception of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who did not have enough support to have his name placed in nomination, but he got votes in roll call.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Convention has been embroiled in a proposed change to the convention’s Rule 15. Here’s the goods on this controversy:
Proposed change to Rule 15: Give the GOP’s presidential candidates the authority to remove state-elected convention delegates, and replace them with their own supporters.
Why the proposed change?: To eliminate the prospect of delegates who “go rogue” and vote for a candidate other than the one they had pledged to support. National Republican Committeeman James Bopp of Indiana explained that it is a violation of state-level regulations for a bound delegate to vote for another candidate, and that “There were Ron Paul supporters being elected as Mitt Romney delegates saying they would not vote for Mitt Romney.”
Opponents to change: Fear that the change would put too much power in the hands of party leaders, stifle dissent, and could make it more difficult for the grass roots to influence the party’s future direction.
Proposed compromise: Yesterday, Bopp successfully lobbied his fellow committee members for a revision:
- The states’ right to select their own delegates is preserved.
- The states will structure their primaries as they wish in terms of delegate apportionment.
- But bound delegates would face stiff penalties if they rebelled. They will be deemed to have resigned, they will lose their credentials. They will go off the floor, and they will not be able to participate in the convention as a delegate. In addition, their delegate vote would then be awarded to the candidate to whom it was originally pledged.
- Individual candidates would have no power to remove delegates.
But it remains to be seen whether Ron Paul’s followers will agree to the compromise. About 320 delegates are pledged to support Paul, out of a GOP total of nearly 2,300 delegates in attendance.