Skip to comments.Mitt’s Nomination Manipulation
Posted on 03/07/2012 10:16:58 PM PST by iowamark
Only twelve states have held primaries or caucuses, and shockingly, many of them have either been scandal ridden, had their dates manipulated in violation of proposed nomination calendar, or broke the delegate distribution rules set by the Republican National Committee. State GOP chairs in Iowa and Nevada have resigned in disgrace, and others have come under heavy scrutiny following the completion of their caucus or primary.
The Iowa Caucuses became the butt of too many jokes when Iowa GOP Chairman refused to declare Rick Santorum the winner of the caucuses following the state GOPs certification process, which clearly showed Santorum to be the victor. Things got worse when it took the Nevada GOP 48 hours to tabulate the results from its contest where less than 33,000 people voted. Questions also surround the results in Maine and Wyoming, but the sudden delegate distribution rule change in Michigan after Tuesdays primary might be the most egregious action of a state party yet.
The rules set by the Michigan Republican Credentials Committee, which were distributed to the campaigns and the media prior to the primary, clearly stated that two delegates would be awarded to whomever won each of Michigans 14 congressional districts. The rules also stipulated that two at large delegates would be awarded proportionally. Since Mitt Romney and Santorum each won seven congressional districts, CNN and other media outlets surmised that each would receive 15 delegates.
At issue is how the two at large delegates were actually awarded. Instead of awarding the delegates on a proportional basis based on the statewide popular vote as stipulated in a memo to the RNC and the Republican candidates for president, the Michigan Republican Credentials Committee met the day after the primary and voted to award the two at large delegates to the statewide winner, claiming that, contrary to previous written and verbal statements from party officials, they always intended that the two at large delegates be winner take all.
The Michigan Republican Credentials Committee voted 4-2 to award the at large delegates to Romney, the statewide popular vote winner. Those who supported the change are claiming that no rules were changed after the Michigan contest, but if thats the case, why was a formal vote needed to award the two at large delegates to Romney?
It is also interesting that one of the two no votes came from a Romney backer who is the states former Attorney General, and the other came from the Michigan GOPs legal counsel. One would think that these two high-profile lawyers would know something about rule interpretation. Voting in favor of the change was the Michigan GOP chair, who is favorable to Romney, and National Committeeman Saul Anuzis, who spent the last week of the campaign chasing Santorum around the state as part of the Romney campaigns bracketing effort. The fact that the state GOP chairman is at odds with his own legal counsel raises a number of red flags.
There have now been far too many incidents that have ultimately benefited the Romney campaign to believe that its all just the result of happenstance. While the jostling of the nominating calendar has happened to some extent in many presidential cycles, it has gotten worse in the two election cycles where Mitt Romney was seeking the nomination. If the calendar manipulation wasnt bad enough, there have been other questionable activities in states that Romney has either won or initially thought won.
Romney originally had no interest in competing in Iowa. In fact, Floridas decision to hold its primary on January 31st, a full week before the Iowa caucuses were slated to be held, as well as Nevadas original insistence that it would hold its contest in January, created the possibility that Iowa might have been forced to hold its contest in December of 2011. Such a move would have rendered the Iowa caucuses irrelevant. After his embarrassing defeat here in 2008, Iowa being irrelevant would have suited the Romney campaign just fine.
In addition to the shenanigans involving the calendar, there are a couple of other coincidences that explain why the Iowa GOP chairman may have been hesitant to declare Santorum the winner following the certification of the vote. The first is a number of large contributions to the Republican Party of Iowa from out-of-state individuals who also happen to have maxed out to Romneys campaign and donated in excess of $100,000 to his Super PAC.
Was there some sort of quid pro quo between the Romney campaign and the Republican Party of Iowa? Between mid-August and mid-November, the Iowa GOP received contributions of $50,000, 15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 from three such individuals from California and Florida. Why would people who are pouring money into Romneys Super PAC make large contributions to a party in a state in which their preferred candidate was not even showing interest at the time? More troubling is the question of who solicited the contributions for the Iowa GOP.
The second Iowa related coincidence is that an individual who worked for Romney in 2008 and who is currently employed by Romneys Iowa campaign chair, was paid by the Republican Party of Iowa to help with the caucus vote tabulation. It was this person who reportedly notified the Romney campaign that it had defeated Santorum by eight votes on caucus night. All campaigns are allowed representatives to oversee the tabulation process, but why were people so cozy to the Romney campaign paid by the Iowa GOP and allowed to fill official roles on caucus night?
Another incident doesnt involve the manipulation of the State GOP, but the states largest newspaper, The Des Moines Register. As the Poynter Institute points out, The Des Moines Register was one of the few U.S. papers that had Mitt Romneys slim caucus win on its front page. In fact, the website states that the paper published five different versions of the front page, and even stopped the presses, to get its final Romney Wins by 8 Votes headline on its presses.
Whats not discussed in the Poynter article is that Romney donors or Romney consultants allegedly offered to pay the Register to reprint its front page to reflect a Romney win. That information was shared in front of myself and two other journalists the night after the caucuses. Im told the Register didnt accept the payment, but it does show the heavy handedness the Romney campaign is willing to use to get what it wants. It also may explain why the newspaper never dedicated a headline to Rick Santorums eventual caucus victory. In fact, the paper never even questioned why the Iowa GOP chairman stepped down following the caucuses; instead, they published a number of flattering articles featuring interviews with him.
Manipulation of Other States Won by Romney?
In New Hampshire, Romney didnt need to wield his influence like he did in other states since he keeps a residence there and was considered somewhat of a hometown boy. The states open primary, which allows independents and Democrats to vote in the Republican primary, was also beneficial to Romney in New Hampshire. Still, forcing Iowa to hold its caucuses in December would have created greater attention for New Hampshire, and the Romney campaign campaign did employ the New Hampshire Secretary of States son. The New Hampshire Secretary of State has tremendous sway over the primary calendar, and he nearly forced Iowa into that undesirable December position.
The Florida primary didnt experience any problems with the counting of votes, but the state was the prime catalyst in causing chaos in the nominating calendar. In addition violating the RNC primary calendar, Florida also broke the rule that clearly states that any state that holds its primary before March 1st must award its delegates proportionally. Florida was not punished for breaking this second rule because the RNC rule didnt prescribe any punishment for a state that breaks multiple rules, and thus the state awarded all of its 50 delegates to Romney, the overall winner. Gingrich has challenged the winner take all allotment, but nothing can be resolved in regard to this issue until the national convention in August.
The mess that was the Nevada Caucuses was well documented. However, what went under-reported was that the consultants hired to help the Nevada GOP plan and execute its First-in-the-West caucuses were also looking out for Romneys best interests. The clearest indication of this was the initial decision by the Nevada GOP to hold its caucus on January 14th. Had the Nevada GOP not backed down from that date, the Iowa caucuses would have been forced into January.
The consultants hired by the Nevada GOP included Gentry Collins, Romneys 2008 Iowa Caucus campaign manager. Collins also served as the Executive Director of the Republican Governors Association when Romney was the groups chairman in 2006. Another consultant, Jim Anderson, worked under Collins at the RNC, and also wrote an op-ed for the Daily Caller that raved about Romneys campaign following his wins in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Maine didnt help the caucus brand following the fiascos in Iowa and Nevada. On Saturday, February 11th, Maine Republican Chairman Charlie Webster announced that Mitt Romney had narrowly defeated Ron Paul, 39 percent to 36 percent. The only problem was that the results from a number of precincts were left blank at the time of the announcement. The excuse from the Maine GOP was that the emails containing the results from the missing precincts got caught in the SPAM filter.
Additionally, Washington County had its caucus delayed by a week due to a snowstorm that never materialized. Despite the facts cited above, as well as the fact that only 84 percent of precincts had voted at the time, GOP officials in the state declared Romney the winner of the caucuses. Romney needed the win following losses in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri on February 7th. The Maine GOP clearly delivered for Romney.
The Romney campaign spent most of Election Day complaining about a robo call the Santorum campaign sent to conservative Democrats asking for their support. Never mind the fact that Romney elicited the support of Democrats in New Hampshire and reportedly actively sought an open primary in Michigan. Even after his narrow three-point win, Romney and his army of surrogates celebrated their Michigan victory by telling everyone who would listen that Santorum somehow cheated.
While the Romney campaign was blasting Santorum for a few thousand dollars worth of robo calls, the heavily Romney-influenced Michigan Republican Credentials Committee voted to change the rules to provide Romney a delegate victory in Michigan instead of an embarrassing tie with Santorum.
Even though the Wyoming caucuses took place between February 9th and February 29th, the state GOP decided to share the results of its caucuses with CNN on February 28th, before all the caucuses were completed an odd decision considering that no other state released its results before its contests were completed. Generally, releasing results, or even exit polling before the voting is complete is considered taboo because knowing the results could influence those who have yet to cast their vote.
Conclusion: A Disturbing Trend
So, how many states has Mitt Romney won where there has not been any questionable activity or overt influence by his campaign? Just one Washington. Not mentioned above is Arizona, but it helped make a mess of the calendar, too, by holding its contest before March 1st.
Many political pundits have openly discussed how damaging the protracted nomination process has been for the Republican Party and its eventual nominee. What they have ignored is the win at all cost tactics that have been employed by the Romney campaign. Its always difficult to unite a party after a contentious primary fight, but doing so after what some may view as an unfair fight will be even more difficult.
Probably should save this article because when you click on the link you get a 404 error...the article is gone.
Yes, Newt needs to hammer home the 50 Florida delegates alotted to Romney. It is VERY likely that will get a good shampoo at convention time, and come back to Newt adding to Newt’s pledged delegate lead presently.
Never mind. I finally found it. You have go through “search TIR”.
Ineligible RINO Backstabber:
"Thank Me!!!!! I cheat, I win."
The McCain/Palin ticket was up ++4 to 10 pts
in some polls, days prior to Election 2008.
So rather than helping the GOP, Romney and
TeamROMNEY and the RNME (Republican National Media Establishment)
decided to attack Gov. Palin to throw Election2008.
Romney, and the Van der Sloot RNME RINOs for Obama in 2008
Late in October, The American Spectator's The Prowler revealed:
"Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers
have been involved in spreading anti-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election.
'Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won't be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,'
says one former Romney aide
'The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney.
"Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a 'diva' and was going off message intentionally."
The Palmetto Scoop reported: "One of the first stories to hit the national airwaves was
the claim of a major internal strife between close McCain aides and the folks handling his running mate Sarah Palin."
"Im told by very good sources that this was indeed the case and that a rift had developed, but it was between Palins people and the staffers brought on from the failed presidential campaign of former Gov. Mitt Romney, not McCain aides."
"The sources said nearly 80 percent of Romneys former staff was absorbed by McCain and these individuals were responsible for what amounts to a premeditated, last-minute sabotage of Palin."
aides loyal to Romney inside the McCain campaign, said The Scoop, reportedly saw
that Palin would be a serious contender for the Republican nomination in 2012 or 2016, which made her a threat to another presidential quest by Romney.
"These staffers are now out trying to finish her off .hoping it would ingratiate themselves with Mitt Romney."
"Who's the Palin Leaker from the McCain Campaign?
National Review Online The publication of a Vanity Fair profile of Sarah Palin
appears to have opened old wounds in the McCain campaign.
... the source of the Diva leak was Nicolle Wallaces husband."
It’s certainly not the first time the Iowa state GOP HQ played dirty and loose, secretly doing whatever is necessary to crown their chosen winner on caucus night, rather than tabulate votes. (See 1996, Bob Dole vs. Alan Keyes, the next day: “No, we can’t give you the vote totals by precinct. They don’t exist anymore.”)
Ironically, their shenanigans may yet lead to our losing the coveted first-in-the-nation status. As much as I hate to admit it, that would be a fitting end.