Sometimes indie bloggers wait for national media to come to their senses. On Tuesday morning, on ‘Fox and Friends,’ Gretchen Carlson asked why former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was just now bringing up the matter of proportional awards of delegates based on Florida’s Republican Presidential Primary results.
Carlson overlooked the fact her own network brought this up in late September, 2011.
During an interview with Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus on Wednesday night, Fox News’ Greta van Susteren implied that proportional award of delegates is a penalty. It is not a penalty. It is a rule that kicked in because a government committee in Florida—not the Republican Party of Florida—decided to move Florida’s Primary date to January 31.
Florida already had an agreement in place to hold the Primary later than that. By moving it ahead, Florida already knew we would lose a portion of our delegates. That is also because of a rule, as I understand it.
Priebus tried to explain, but the allotment of time didn’t permit a full assessment.
In September, national committeeman Paul Senft referenced national committeewoman Sharon Day (also RNC co-chair) in a letter he wrote about the advanced primary date. State Sen. Paula Dockery also spoke out about this. Numerous bloggers and Florida newspapers ran stories.
Senft’s letter explained how rules stipulated the award of delegates. Senft’s letter was published on September 28, and he noted that Fox News had covered this matter during a 6 p.m. broadcast.
The Tampa Bay Times covered this in depth on October 1, 2011:
“New RNC rules, in addition to cutting delegates from states that ignore the sanctioned schedule, dictate that any state holding elections before April will award delegates proportionally, instead of to the popular vote winner.”
This is not new news. It is old news that national media and some Republicans in Florida ignored.
States like South Carolina were furious when Florida reneged on the agreement in place. Florida’s decision meant those states, if they were to maintain a first in line position, would have to scramble to restructure their own primaries.
SC GOP chair Chad Connelly and other state Republican chairs were rightfully angry.
“Rogue states have once again dictated the Presidential nominating calendar. I call on my fellow RNC members and all Republicans to strongly condemn Florida’s decision to hold their primary on January 31…States who have worked so hard to maintain the nominating calendar should not be penalized and the offenders, including Florida, should lose their entire allocations of delegates at the National Convention. Rules matter and the four traditional early states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) did everything they could to avoid this unfortunate situation.”
Contrary to what Carlson perceives, there are many stories still on the Web—they date to September, 2011:
Sunshine State Sarah Blog (9-28-2011): I support Sharon Day and Paul Senft
The US Report (9-30-2011): SC GOP chair condemns Florida’s early primary…
The US Report (10-2-2011): Is Florida’s early primary a positive or negative for the GOP?
Repeatedly I pointed out the complexities of the government appointed committee’s decision.
That decision immediately threw newcomer candidates at a disadvantage because of the size of the state of Florida and the corresponding size (and expense) of our media market.
Aside from that, Florida is hosting the 2012 convention, and the committee decision put the state receiving such an honor in a bad light.
There is nothing new about this. Media just refused to cover it.
On January 31, before Florida’s Republican Primary results were known, I wrote about the RNC rules again. I noted that supporters of Rep. Ron Paul had discussed this and the procedure for appealing to the RNC Contests Committee.
Many times, I mentioned via Twitter and Facebook that technically, RNC rules said Florida was not winner- take-all on delegates. A number of media are on my Twitter and Facebook lists; I know many in media through my professional affiliations. No one paid it much attention until now.
It makes sense to work this out so there isn’t a controversy at the convention.
As an aside, those of us who actually realized the impact of advancing the primary date are supporting different candidates. Rep. Ron Paul (Texas) and Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum have, to my knowledge, been silent about this. Gingrich is simply bringing to everyone’s attention a matter that will benefit all the candidates.
Why do we have rules if we are not going to honor them? What does that say about character, the big buzzword on everyone's lips when it comes to campaigns?
Carlson should visit Fox News’ archives. She can hear her own network talk about this long before Gingrich brought up the matter.
For an in-depth analysis of Romney’s winning campaign in Florida, see Romney’s Florida operation: One for the history books at Examiner.com
(Filed by Kay B. Day/Feb. 2, 2012)