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National Republican Committee Report


February 7.

Last week I spent Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in Las Vegas attending the Republican National Committee Winter Meeting. This email will serve as my report.

NOTE: As this report was being scheduled for delivery, it was reported that Ronna McDaniel is expected to step down as RNC Chair. I will keep you updated as this situation develops.

What Is The Republican National Committee And Who Attends Its Meetings?

I answered this question when I reported last summer after the summer meeting. But I'm going to address it again for those of you who are new to the process or still might have questions. The main function of the Republican National Committee (RNC) is to assist the Republican Party of the United States. It helps to promote the Republican political platform and the "party brand" or image. It helps coordinate fundraising and election strategy. It is also responsible for organizing and running the Republican National Convention that occurs every four years.

The RNC is comprised of every Republican State Committee Chair, State Committeeman, and State Committeewoman from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, America Samoa, and the Marieta Islands. All told, this makes for 168 members of the RNC who serve as a vital liaison between the state party leadership and the national party.

There are typically three annual gatherings of the RNC where members meet. These meetings are the Winter Meeting (typically held in January), the Spring Training, (typically held in April or May) and the Summer Meeting (typically held in late July or in early August). The Winter and Summer Meeting focus on committee business. The Spring Training is focused on educational sessions and allows members to share best practices.

2024 Republican National Convention

From July 15-18, 2024, Republicans will attend our Republican National Convention to formally select our party's next presidential nominee. Hosting the National Convention is one of the primary duties of the RNC.

Idaho, with a population of about 1.8 million, will be sending 32 delegates. This is a lot of delegates relatively speaking. For example, Iowa, with a population of 3.4 million (nearly twice that of Idaho), has 40 delegates. New Hampshire, with a population of 1.4 million, has 22 delegates. Nevada, with a population of 2.9 million, has 26 delegates (Notice, Nevada has over 1 million more people than Idaho but six delegates less than Idaho!) And South Carolina, with a population of 5.5 million, has 50 delegates. Again, Idaho has 1/3 the population of South Carolina but has 64% as many delegates at 32 as South Carolina. If delegates were simply proportional based on population, Idaho would have 15 delegates compared to South Carolina's 50.

So why is Idaho so delegate rich? The number of delegates a state sends to the Republican National Convention is determined by formulas set by the RNC. The formulas take into account not only population (through the number of congressional districts or electoral votes) but also how well the party's past presidential nominee fared and the success of the state party in electing its members to office.

Importantly, the Republican formula gives each state a base number of delegates determined by the number of congressional districts and then adds bonus delegates based on three factors: whether the Republican presidential ticket carried the state in the last election, numbers of GOP elected officials, and the date of the state's presidential primary or caucus. Bonus delegates can make quite a difference in delegation size. As a result, Idaho gets 10 at large delegates, 6 district level delegates, 3 party delegates, and 13 bonus delegates for a total of 32.

Resolutions Passed At RNC Winter Meeting

A total of six resolutions were submitted at the Winter Meeting and six of them passed. These resolutions do the following:

  • Condemning Biden's Open Border Policy Deliberately Inviting a Massive & Systemic Illegal Invasion of the U.S.;

  • Supporting Israel and Calling for the Unconditional Release of Hostages & Surrender of Hamas;

  • Opposing the Unconstitutional Efforts to Remove President Trump from the Ballot;

  • Supporting a Transformative Energy Freedom Policy for America;

  • Supporting our Republican Electors; and

  • Supporting War Fighter Protection and Amnesty Resolution.

If you want to read any of these resolutions in full, you can click here to access them. I voted in support of all these Resolutions.

Here's a little explanation about the "Supporting our Republican Electors" Resolution you might find interesting. When Trump wanted to challenge the election results in battleground states, the law clearly required that Trump have selected alternate delegates who would support him. This is a standing issue found in caselaw, which clearly requires a presidential candidate to have his own set of alternate delegates if he claims that the current set were not properly elected, or the court will dismiss his claim for lack of standing. After all, if a challenger has no proposed delegates to represent him, he cannot claim he was damaged even if he were to prevail in his legal case.

As a result, people were asked in Nevada, Michigan, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, and perhaps Pennsylvania to serve as alternate Trump delegates to satisfy the standing requirement. However, now, democrat prosecutors and attorneys general are prosecuting these alternate delegates with felony charges for election interference, calling them "Fake Trump Electors." Again, case law requires a presidential candidate challenging the results of an election to have a slate of alternate electors.

In any event, these are very serious charges and could land someone in prison for years. Just the cost to hire legal counsel can be very high and bankrupt a person whereas the government uses taxpayer money (presumably paid by the very persons being charged) to bankroll the prosecutions. You can read about the unfortunate plight of some folks in Michigan by clicking here.

An issue has arisen about who foots the bill for defending these prosecutions. There are three options: First, the person pays his own bill; second, the state Republican Party pays the bill; and third, the RNC pays the bill. Chairwoman McDaniel said at the meeting that these are state delegates and the state Republican Party or state sources should indemnify these alternate delegates.

Others argued that the alternate delegates are acting for the RNC at the Republican National Convention to select a national candidate for president. Therefore, the RNC should indemnify them. While everyone agrees the alternate delegates are getting a raw deal, the state Republican Parties are pointing to the RNC as the proper source for indemnification while the RNC is pointing to the state Republican Parties to indemnify folks who really are victims of liberal prosecutorial terrorism.

The National Committeeman from Arizona, Tyler Bowyer, who is also the COO of Turning Point USA, originally submitted a much more strongly worded Resolution on this issue. Ultimately, Tyler compromised his proposed resolution to ensure its passage.

New Party Rule

The Rules Committee passed a new proposed rule that would extend the term of service for the National Committeeman and National Committeewoman to the conclusion of the first meeting in January following the November election for president of the United States. Currently, the term for Committeeman and Committeewoman ends upon the conclusion of the Republican National Convention.

Many states have hotly contested general elections between Republicans and Democrats. These states could use the help of National Committeemen and Women through the general election, especially if they have been integral in preparing for the general election. However, under the current rule, National Committeemen and Women can be replaced a few months before the general election. It was thought that continuing the term of service through the general election would provide better continuity for National Committeemen and Women to assist through the general election especially if they have been integrally involved in preparing a state for a general election.

This new proposed Rule will be considered by the 168 at the July convention. If the 168 approves, then it must be approved at the July convention by all delegates to become effective.

Budget Issues

One of the important tasks the RNC does at the Winter meeting is adopt a budget for the year. There was a lot of discussion about the budget and RNC spending and fundraising. One of the biggest issues addressed a line of credit the RNC can access for $10 million. In the days leading up to the Winter Meeting, the press wrote articles on this issue. For one of those articles, click here. If you are interested in reviewing the RNC budget, you can review it by clicking here.

Chairwoman McDaniel said fundraising was down for all kinds of nonprofits in 2023 and assured us there was no reason to be worried. Specifically, she explained that every four years when there is a contested presidential primary, donations slow down because donors want to give to their favorite candidate. For example, a DeSantis supporter may not want to give to the RNC because he does not want his donation going to help Trump or Haley if either becomes the nominee. However, once a nominee is selected, donor contributions begin to increase. We may have seen this in January because the RNC raked in over $12 million, which was much more than typical preceding months in 2023. The fact that Trump is seen as the eventual nominee after the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary may be responsible for the uptick.

However, some members of the 168 continue to express concerns over the RNC budget and what they perceive as a lack of transparency. As a result, the National Committeewoman from Nevada sought to pass a resolution "In Support of Fiscal Responsibility at the Republican National Committee," but it failed to pass out of committee. You can read the proposed Resolution by clicking here.

I voted against adopting the budget for two reasons: First, 80% of RNC donations come from grassroots donors. Rather than approve a budget that accesses a line of credit and continues business as usual that clearly turns off grassroots donors, I believe we need to listen to the voice of the grassroots, which will in turn substantially increase grassroots revenue. Here's just one example: You can rest assured that the grassroots did not want Lester Holt serving as moderator for the Republican Presidential debates. Yet, there he was moderating the Republican Presidential debates. Why not get someone like Elon Musk? The grassroots can solve the revenue issue but not if we continue to distance from them.

Second, I do not believe the budget allocates enough resources to people on the ground in battleground states. The Democrats turn their voters out in battle ground states. But that takes financial resources committed to that process. And that's exactly what Democrats do: They hire people to get out the vote in battleground states. From the best I could tell, we are not doing that at the required level.

RNC Files Lots Of Voter Integrity Lawsuits

The new reality is that litigation is now part of elections. We need to get used to it. The RNC is currently involved in 77 lawsuits in active litigation. About 60 of these involve election integrity and protecting the ballot in 22 states. The RNC General Counsel said the RNC has had some major victories.

General Counsel reported on a lawsuit in Mississippi to stop counting absentee ballots that are often counted up to 12 days after election day depending on a given state's law. There are many states that count ballots far beyond the mandated "election day," and this gives rise to major cause for concern. You can read an RNC email discussing this issue in detail below: (Click the image to enlarge.)

Some of the lawsuits also address whether states can remove Trump from the ballot because about 20 states are currently trying to keep Trump off the ballot. And other lawsuits address the concern that some states have more registered voters than residents.

The Republican and Democrat Battleline Themes

Between now and November, the battlelines between Republicans and Democrats will be very clear for the Presidential Election: The Republicans will argue that the economy is in shambles with very high inflation, and we must protect our country from the invasion occurring at the nonexistent southern border. Democrats will argue that America does not need Trump to lead America down a path of crazy Maga extremism, and Democrats will argue that they are the party who will reasonably protect women's health on the abortion issue.

RNC Bank Your Vote Initiative

As I explained last year, during the 2020 presidential election and 2022 midterm elections, Democrats "harvested" ballots as a deliberate way of gathering votes. To the extent "banking votes" in advance of election day is legal, it makes a lot of sense.

First, an early banked vote is a vote cast. Sometimes people have the best of intentions to vote on election day. But for some reason or another, they don't actually make it to the polls. If a Republican votes before election day, that Republican vote is "banked" irrespective of subsequent unforeseen circumstances that might prevent that same voter from voting on election day.

Second, in 2022, Democrats spent $600 million more than Republicans in the midterm elections. Once a Republican vote is "banked," then Republicans don't need to spend any additional money getting that voter to the polls on election day. This means no money spent on mailers or phone calls. By saving money, Republicans will have additional time and money to seek out independents and other voters to support Republican candidates.

For all these reasons, the RNC has developed a "Bank Your Vote Initiative." You can visit Bankyourvote.com to learn more. The RNC understands that many Republicans are worried that early voting either in person, by ballot harvesting, or by absentee ballots threatens election integrity. However, the RNC believes that early voting is here to stay and that we as Republicans must afford ourselves of every legal opportunity to compete with the Democrats. I encourage you to find out more at Bankyourvote.com.

Factcheckbiden.com

Factcheckbiden.com continues to provide a valuable source where you can learn about facts showing how Joe Biden and the Democrats have failed America. You might find the information useful in writing an article or for preparing for a radio or podcast interview.

Sincerely, Bryan Smith

Idaho National Committeeman


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