One of the controversies from our state convention was over The Slate and in particular, how delegates were chosen for the National Convention. I have a history with The Slate.
At the 2000 GOP State Convention I chaired the Platform Committee, but some readers may also remember that I got into a procedural shouting match from the floor with then Chairman Kayne Robinson. The procedural point is not important but the topic was the National Delegation (for Philadelphia).
At the 2004 GOP State Convention, I declined to have my name put on the slate (for New York), since my daughter had to report to the Washington DC to serve as a House Page. Instead I was slated to chair the Nominating Committee and I was the public face of The Slate.
In 2008, I had a part in developing The Slate within the 2nd Congressional District. And I have been elected as a district delegate to the National Convention.
I do not have a problem with The Slate. In my opinion the success of The Slate is simply the result of hard work and organization. The Iowa Christian Alliance has done a good job of getting their supporters out and elected to key positions like the Nominating Committee. If you have a problem with The Slate, my advice is … organize, organize, organize. Anyone who wants to can do the same thing — if they have the votes.
So, I am an apologist for The Slate. In the end, The Slate was hammered out with input from a variety of constituencies, not just ICA. A look at our delegation shows that in addition to ICA people, leaders of the McCain, Huckabee, and Ron Paul camps are well represented in the delegation.
But this week an issue has arrived related to our national delegation that I do not support. Since the convention, there have been some vacancies in our delegation. According to RNC Rule 17, in the last 10 days before the National Convention, the delegation can fill its own vacancies. Today, the leadership of the Iowa Delegation sent out an e-mail asking delegates to vote yes or no on replacing those who will not be attending the convention.
I know that the list of replacement delegates came about as the result negotiations between parties including the McCain campaign. And I want to be clear that I have no problems with any of the replacements. My problem is that sending out a list of names and asking for a majority vote by e-mail does not allow delegates to propose alternate nominees.
Unlike The Slate where any group with the votes can be effective, the mechanism chosen to select replacement delegates stifles input form delegates. As I said, my issue is not with who the replacements are, in fact I support them. I have an issue with how they are chosen.
I think the replacements will get a majority, but in protest, I am voting no.