RNC Member Tries to Sidestep GOP Activists

Posted: Dec 29, 2008 7:18 AM
At least one member of the Republican National Committee doesn't want to hear from the grassroots. And, he only needs 16 more to shut them out.

North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth is circulating a petition among Republican National Committee members to hold an emergency meeting before a debate for RNC Chair candidates held by Americans for Tax Reform.

The purpose of the meeting appears to exclude grassroots activists from becoming involved in the race.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the public thinks; it matters what 168 of us think," the Emineth told The Hill newspaper.  Technically speaking, he is correct. Only RNC party members vote for chairman.

That vote is scheduled to occur during the RNC's Winter Meeting in late January. According to party rules Emineth needed 15 different members from 16 different states to trigger the emergency meeting. He got the other signers and a meeting has been scheduled for January 7, two days after ATR's debate.

The petition has insulted many activists who have been closely watching the race. There are feeds on Twitter devoted to RNC Chair chatter, conservative blogs like Townhall have been very interested and ATR even set up a website to submit and vote on questions to ask the candidates during ATR's event.

And full disclosure, I have been directly involved in the creation of the site www. chooseyourchairman.com that allows activsts to vote and comment on a candidate as well as send an email directly to their RNC representative to lobby them for their vote.I'm proud of it, too. With no marketing whatsoever well over 1,000 people have voted and communicated with their RNC member. (I, however, am not supporting or endorsing any candidate. I was just interested in giving people a platform to communicate with their members.)  This move by Emineth, however, seems to want to kill that entire spirit.