“How lucky are we to have the General Counsel of the national Republican party on our Shelby GOP steering committee?” asked Chairman Justin Joy at Thursday’s steering committee meeting.
Applause broke out as John Ryder stepped up to brief us on what the RNC is doing in Washington.
“What we’re about to do is a thorough review of the primary process,” he said of the RNC. “In Boston two weeks ago we adopted a resolution not to have our debates on CNN or NBC if they go forward with that Hillary movie propaganda piece. It’s part of a broader process of getting control of the debates,” Ryder said.
“In 2012 it was flawed. There were too many debates. The moderators were chosen from media that does not share our views.” Ryder went on to give the example of George Stephanopoulus whose out of the blue question about birth control to Romney smacked of “a memo from Obama campaign director Jim Messina.”
In the next six months “we want to look at time. We’re going to address the primary calendar; when it starts and when it stops. We want to move up the convention to June or mid July. We had gone to August because of the requirements of the campaign finance law. But since Obama demonstrated that there is no point in these laws and he raised lots of money in other ways, there is no point in holding off to September 1st.”
“The second big thing to look out for is a case I’m working on for the Supreme Court. It’s the McCutcheon case.” The genesis of it started in February 2012 at the CPAC convention. There, a political donor named Shaun McCutcheon raised concerns about campaign contribution limits. The Huffington Post reported
A little more than a year later, McCutcheon, now joined by the Republican National Committee, is bringing the biggest campaign finance case before the Supreme Court since the controversial 2010 Citizens United decision. If the justices rule in their next term to toss the overall limits, it would mark the first time the Supreme Court had found a federal contribution limit unconstitutional and would open the door for even more money to flood the political system.
Ryder believes the limits are a violation of freedom of speech. He also sees McCain Feingold “has accelerated the diminution of the power of parties at the state, local and federal level. Money is moving away from super PACs and they are less transparent over time.
“One of the critical roles of political parties is they represent coalitions of different groups. The McCain Feingold law is driving out not just their money, but their interests out, too. It’s a systemic problem, not just a constitutional one,” Ryder said.
Anther project at the RNC which we will see here in Memphis is an “increase in our efforts to put ‘boots on the ground’ around the country. Obama had people embedded in locales for four years. Romney did not do it until six months before the election and couldn’t match Obama’s effort. We at the RNC are already up to 75% of staffing we usually have in a presidential year. One of these offices will be in Shelby County.”
Ryder then thanked local Republicans for all our efforts. “If we can win on the local level, it builds from the ground up.”