Did the Michigan Republican Party pull another fast one with RNC delegate allocation?
Those of us who’ve been hanging around RightMichigan since prior to 2014 likely remember well the Michigan Dele-Gate Fiasco of 2012. As a quick refresher, on Tuesday, February 28th of that year, Mitt Romney defeated Rick Santorum in the statewide popular vote, 41.10% to 37.87%. However, because 28 of Michigan’s 30 post-penalty delegates were awarded on a district-by-district basis (Romney and Santorum splitting the state at 7 districts each), and because the statewide vote totals were so close (requiring the two at-large delegates to be split one each), the resulting 15-15 delegate tie didn’t exactly square with the RNC/GOPe’s preferred media narrative that Romney won his native state. Thus, in the telephonic equivalent of a late-night, backroom deal, the MIGOP Credentials Committee (then consisting of Bobby Schostak, Sharon Wise, Saul Anuzis, Holly Hughes, Bill Runco, Mike Cox, and Eric Doster) voted 4-2 – Hughes was not present at the meeting – to creatively interpret State Party Rule 19C, and award both at-large delegates to Romney. The resulting backlash fueled an eleven-week effort that culminated in a two-day Showdown in Motown, with the end result being the ballot box blowout ouster of the national committeeman regarded as the chief engineer of the ex post facto railroad job.
It’s probably not going to draw much attention (likely because damn near no one noticed), but the potential for a Grand Theft Delegate con job similar to the Michigan Dele-Gate Fiasco of 2012 was averted, largely due to one person explaining a key state party rule in a way that eliminated the possibility of applying that rule by political discretion, and instead imposed a resolution rubric according to plain mathematics.
Before I continue, let me point out that a similar situation to Michigan 2012 happened in Vermont this year . . . with one very important exception. Of the eleven states participating in republican primaries on “Super Tuesday” this year – March 1st – Vermont is one of the seven states listed in the victory column for Donald Trump. Yet, upon closer review, the reality is that the only way that Vermont was a win for Trump was by virtue of beating John Kasich in the popular vote, 32.72% to 30.39%. Per the rules of the Vermont Republican Party, Trump and Kasich evenly split the state’s convention delegation, 8 each. The actual results are plainly displayed for everyone to see, but so far as I know no one is challenging either the media narrative or the delegate count. No one is claiming that Vermont was actually a tie for the two republican contenders, nor is anyone trying to rig the delegate count ex post facto so that Trump would have 9 delegates to Kasich’s 7. Nope, the official results in Vermont are what they are, and we’ve all moved down the calendar . . . an interesting contrast to Michigan four years ago.
By way of making my first point, allow me an illustration. Suppose that you and I are sitting across from each other at a card table; between us is a dish, containing 172 marbles, and a single coin. I tell you that we’re going to flip this coin to determine the ownership of the marbles, winner take all. However, there’s a catch. The next thing that I do is pull three marbles from the dish, set them on the table, and inform you that the first coin flip is going to determine the ownership of only those three marbles, winner take all, and that we’re going to repeat this process 52 more times, three marbles at a time – and then flip the coin one more time for the thirteen marbles remaining in the dish. Does this still seem like “winner take all” to you? I submit that, to a reasonable person, this would not seem like “winner take all,” except in the improbable occurrence that only one of us won all 54 of the coin tosses.
Yet this is precisely how California’s Republican Presidential Primary – being conducted on the last day of the 2016 republican presidential primary calendar, Tuesday, June 7th – is being popularly categorized; ditto for the republican primaries in Indiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. Every single delegate tracker being used in or referenced by the conventional media has all five states listed as “Winner Take All.” Yes, each congressional district is winner-take-all (three delegates each), and the at-large portion of the states’ delegations are winner-take-all, but these five states themselves are not, in a true sense, actually winner-take-all, except in the improbable event that a single candidate actually “runs the table” in the state in question (as Donald Trump did in South Carolina back on Saturday, February 20th).
When most people hear the term “winner take all,” we tend to think of a “one coin toss takes all the marbles” scenario, such as Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Northern Marianas, Ohio, and South Dakota. No proportionality, no separate totals for district and at-large, no rubric with trigger, none of that. All eight states, and one protectorate, are each an absolute winner-take-all to the plurality winner of the respective statewide (or territory-wide) popular vote . . . period. Yet, the politically disingenuous would have us consider all fourteen of these states and territories the same, for no other reason than because the conventional media so says, and both the intellectually lazy and the low-information voters willingly accept the assertion, without bothering to do even the most basic research.
Correctly understanding what “Winner Take All” means is extremely important in the context of a republican presidential primary, because Rule 16(c)(2) of the Rules of the Republican Party clearly states:
“Any presidential primary, caucus, convention, or other process to elect, select, allocate, or bind delegates to the national convention that occurs prior to March 15 in the year in which the national convention is held shall provide for the allocation of delegates on a proportional basis.”
. . . and Rule 16(c)(3) clearly states:
Proportional allocation of total delegates as required by Rule 16(c)(2) shall be based upon the number of statewide votes cast or the number of congressional district votes cast in proportion to the number of votes received by each candidate.
. . . so, by the plain language of the rules, “winner take all” is prohibited prior to March 15th. This means, unless the Republican Party of South Carolina has a waiver on file that isn’t common knowledge, they’re at risk of drawing the penalty specified in Rule 17(a), which states in relevant part:
If any state or state Republican Party violates Rule No. 16(c)(2), the number of delegates and the number of alternate delegates to the national convention from that state shall each be reduced by fifty percent (50%). Any sum presenting a fraction shall be decreased to the next whole number.
. . . but that hasn’t happened, or it would have been a big media to-do. Applying Occam’s Razor, the most logically straightforward conclusion is that the RNC considers “Winner Take All” to mean the absolute sense, as applied in AZ, DE, FL, MT, NE, NJ, MP, OH, and SD. Following this logic, the method used in SC, as well as CA, IN, MD, and WI must not meet the winner-take-all standard under the applicable portions of Rule 16. Thus, South Carolina is probably considered a “proportional” state, with the “proportion” being “all to the plurality winner” allocated independently by district.
Keep this distinction in mind. Just because a particular state is being reported as “winner take all” doesn’t mean that it actually is winner-take-all. (And yes, that’s a subtle hint to do your homework on Pennsylvania, voting on the same day as Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland, and which is being billed as “winner take all” in spite of having a delegate allocation rubric identical to Illinois, which was also incorrectly billed as a winner-take-all state.)
According to the Michigan Republican Party’s “Rules for the Selection of Delegates and Alternates” – as adopted 20 Sep 2014 (backup copy filed here), specifically Rule 19C, in relevant part:
If the total vote cast in the Presidential Preference Vote for a particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) equals at least fifty percent (50%) plus one of the total statewide vote cast for all Republican presidential candidates (and, if applicable, uncommitted) at the Presidential Preference Vote, allocations for National Convention delegates and alternate delegates shall be made as follows:
- That particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) shall be allocated three (3) National Convention delegates and three (3) National Convention alternate delegates from each congressional district.
- That particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) shall be allocated all of the National Convention at-large delegates and at-large alternate delegates.
. . . which is pretty straightforward, and except for lowering the absolute winner-take-all trigger (it was 60% in 2012), is very much unchanged from the previous presidential election cycle. Continuing, again in relevant part:
If no particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) receives fifty percent (50%) plus one of the total vote cast for all Republican presidential candidates (and, if applicable, uncommitted) at the Presidential Preference Vote, allocations for National Convention delegates and alternate delegates shall be made as follows:
- The Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) who receives the most votes in the Presidential Preference Vote for a congressional district shall be allocated the three (3) National Convention delegates and three (3) National Convention alternate delegates for that particular congressional district.
- National Convention at-large delegates and at-large alternate delegates shall be elected on a basis that insures that the proportion of the at-large National Convention delegation that is committed to each Republican presidential candidate equals, as nearly as is practicable, the proportion of the statewide vote that was cast for each respective presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) at the statewide Presidential Preference Vote. The determination of these proportions shall only include the votes cast for that particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted), if the total vote cast for that particular Republican presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted), equals at least fifteen percent (15%) of the total statewide vote cast for all Republican presidential candidates (and, if applicable, uncommitted) at the Presidential Preference Vote (hereinafter the “Threshold Vote”).
. . . not particularly complicated on this point, either. If no candidate exceeds the 50%+1 statewide threshold, then the national convention delegates are allocated and bound precisely as they were in the 2012 election cycle. I don’t remember anyone saying back in 2012 that this was a winner-take-all approach; everyone involved seemed to understand that this approach is best categorized as a hybrid method, which method was and is perfectly acceptable under the relevant provisions of RNC Rule 16.
This was the delegate apportionment rule that was put forward by the MIGOP Policy Committee, over the objections of party leadership that wanted an absolute winner-take-all distribution, and ratified into adoption, in a 64-to-39 stand-and-be-counted vote, at the State Central Committee meeting on Saturday, September 20th, 2014. This preserves a delegate allocation rubric that has been in use since at least the 1992 election cycle (according to Eric Doster), and gives any serious campaign an opportunity to secure at least some pledged delegates, which would make the state worth the investment of time and resources by such campaigns.
So, based upon Michigan’s results, as published by the Michigan Secretary of State (which are still listed as PARTIAL because Detroit has some . . . issues . . . regarding vote counting), Donald Trump wins ten congressional districts, Rafael Cruz wins three (excellent work by the Southwest and Central-West Michigan Cruz Crews), and John Kasich wins one. (You’d think that, rather than a metro-Detroit district, Kasich would have done well in CD-07, the district that abuts the Ohio state line. One might understand how this could be viewed as not portending favorably for the Ohio primary election, in which the final polling had him in a statistical dead heat with Trump.) Apportioning the 17 at-large delegates proportionately to Trump, Cruz, and Kasich – Rubio didn’t clear the 15% threshold – we should have a result that looks like this:
So, if Michigan’s national convention delegation were allocated and committed per Rule 19C, then Donald Trump adds not only 37 Michigan delegates to his front-runner total (and will finish the night at about 110% of his target for a delegate majority at convention), but also adds the sixth of eight states that he needs to satisfy RNC Rule 40(b). (Mississippi and Hawaii will get added in later on the same night, completely satisfying Rule 40(b), with only 42.718% of the delegate count awarded.) Cruz and Kasich finish respectably, but in a distant second and third delegate-wise. Rubio not only can’t win even one district, but can’t even crack double digits statewide, let alone the 15% threshold needed to secure at least one at-large delegate. (Perhaps the junior senator from Florida wasn’t really a serious candidate.) We’re on to the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, and Guam, then.
And yet, this is not how the Michigan results were reported. Rather, the Republican Delegate Count, according to RealClearPolitics, FiveThirtyEight, The Green Papers, and others, are all reporting this republican delegate count for Michigan:
- 25 delegates to Donald Trump (36.50% of the statewide popular vote, 42.644% of the threshold vote)
- 17 delegates to Ted Cruz (24.88% of the statewide popular vote, 29.048% of the threshold vote)
- 17 delegates to John Kasich (24.23% of the statewide popular vote, 28.308% of the threshold vote)
. . . yup, straight proportionality statewide, which is inconsistent with Rule 19C. Now, to be absolutely fair, I hadn’t noticed that the delegate allocation plan that was being used was different from the one actually approved by the State Central Committee . . . until I checked up on the election results on the night of same. But once I did notice the discrepancy, I did some quick digging, and learned that the delegate allocation rubric is absolutely consistent with the delegate allocation plan as submitted by the MIGOP and filed with the RNC:
Getting the impression that something was amiss, I promptly contacted Tony Roza over at The Green Papers to let him know what I’d found (ultimately e-mailing him a PDF copy of the Rule 19C-compliant version of the primary-night results, a PDF copy of the MIGOP rules, and the link to where the rules are available over on the state party website). The gist of the conversation was thus:
“When I phoned the party, beginning October 1st, all I got was confused. It was not until January 27th that I spoke with someone who told me what was going on. Andrea Bommarito told me 59 delegates were bound statewide with a 15% threshold. The delegates are elected in CD per the vote in each CD. The difference is made up with statewide delegates. She said the WTA aspect only applied if the primary was after 3/15. Now, it looks like it is all up in the air again.”
. . . and for the record, according to her LinkedIn profile, Andrea Bommarito is currently the Convention Coordinator for the Michigan Republican Party. Remember Ms. Bommarito’s explanation of how the math is supposed to work, because we will be referring back to it.
The morning following the election, I reached out to Ronna McDaniel, the state party chair, to advise her of the discrepancy. A paraphrase of our 07:30 text conversation is thus:
“We didn’t release the delegate allocation, because we’re waiting on the final election results from the Secretary of State. There have been no changes to rules section 19c that I know of, but I want to verify with my staff. We have to get it right if we are going to keep our party together for a win in November.”
. . . after which, I e-mailed her a PDF copy of the state party rules and a PDF copy of the Rule 19C-compliant version of the primary-night results. About an hour and a half later (a little before 10:00), Ronna texted me back, with an update, paraphrased thus:
“ When these rules were passed, the legislature had not set the March 8 date yet. When they did, we had to switch to proportional from winner-take-all. So, basically, Rule 19C is null and void. We were following the rules so that all of our delegates can be seated. We kept our rules RNC-compliant so as to seat delegates. We also released a memo to the candidates prior to the primary to inform them of the rules well in advance. No one complained or raised any concerns.”
. . . which I flatly told her I didn’t buy, as nothing in RNC Rule 16 required Michigan to abandon the clear wording of MIGOP Rule 19C. (South Carolina is the example that I’ve already cited of a pre-3/15 state that allocated its district delegates exactly as we were supposed to, without penalty.)
Remembering that Eric Doster (still the General Counsel for the Michigan Republican Party) was the person who had drafted Rule 19C. I reached out to him by phone two days later, hoping to get his insight on this matter. We wound up exchanging voicemails, the paraphrase of his (at roughly 16:39 that afternoon) is thus:
“The discrepancy is that our rules weren’t proportional, according to the RNC. Therefore, we could not use our Rule 19C as it’s written, because it wasn’t considered proportional. So we had to revise to a completely proportional system, and that was the memo that all of the candidates received back last May. We also had to revise our method again in January, because the RNC required us to bind our three RNC members. We have been led by the nose by the RNC on what our rules can look like. If you don’t have a copy of those memos, then please call me or e-mail me and I’ll make sure you get a copy.”
. . . which I did, and received Eric’s reply the following evening. His response directed me to MIGOP Rule 19A, which reads, in relevant part, thus:
“… If the legislature chooses a date before March 15, 2016, then the winner-takes-all provision does not apply and the proportion process will be implemented. …”
. . . which, besides the same rule also inaccurately referring to the Presidential Preference Vote as a “closed primary” (“modified open primary” would be the honest designation, because Michigan doesn’t register voters by party affiliation), creates the significant issue of failing to explain precisely how a proportion process would be implemented. Prima facie, the MIGOP Credentials Committee (currently consisting of Ronna McDaniel, Jeff Sakwa, Dave Agema, Kathy Berden, Bill Runco, Gary Howell, and Eric Doster) was placed in a tough position, not only because of RNC heavy-handedness, but also because of, at a bare minimum, intellectual laziness and shortsighted advance planning (not necessarily their own).
Now, the problem with a straight-up statewide proportional allocation is that, according to MIGOP Rule 13, the District Caucus portion of the April 2016 state convention – Friday, April 8th – is intended for the purpose, in part, of:
- electing three (3) National Convention delegates
- electing three (3) National Convention alternate delegates
. . . which means that the three national convention delegates from each congressional district are to be allocated and committed at the Friday night district caucuses. And so here’s where we revisit Andrea Bommarito’s explanation of how the district results are going to translate into statewide proportional allocation, essentially a three-step process:
- First, determine what the statewide binding totals are supposed to be, according to the process outlined to the RNC back in May of last year.
- Second, apportion the congressional district delegates according to the popular vote in the district (all three to the plurality winner, because there isn’t another explanation that’s been provided).
- Third, backfill the candidates who clear the qualifying threshold, from the at-large portion of the delegation, so as to arrive at the binding total.
. . . got it? Okay, now we apply this method to the three candidates who cleared the qualifying threshold:
- John Kasich, assuming that the 14th district results hold up, won 1 district × 3 delegates per district = 3 district delegates. To achieve his statewide binding total of 17 delegates, he’ll need 14 delegates backfilled from the at-large delegate pool.
- Ted Cruz won 3 districts × 3 delegates per district = 9 district delegates. To achieve his statewide binding total of 17 delegates, he’ll need 8 delegates backfilled from the at-large delegate pool.
- Donald Trump won 10 districts × 3 delegates per district = 30 district delegates. To achieve his statewide binding total of 25 delegates, he’ll . . .uh oh . . .
. . . oops . . . Lansing we have a problem. Not only are there not enough at-large delegates available (only 17) to cover both Kasich and Cruz, but Trump has too many delegates! Now what?!? (Damn good thing that Rubio didn’t win any districts, because that’d be a real headache right now.) Since Ms. Bommarito’s proposed solution essentially results in a case of Grand Theft Delegate, how did the Credentials Committee propose to resolve this little snag?
As it would happen, back in May of 2015, after Public Act 2 of 2015 was signed into law by Governor Snyder on February 23rd of that year, the MIGOP Credentials Committee unanimously agreed upon how to actually apply Rule 19A, and sent a memorandum to the RNC accordingly, specifying the following method for apportioning the delegates within each congressional district:
- In each congressional district, the first National Convention delegate and alternate shall be allocated to that presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) having received at least the Threshold Vote, having received the highest percentage within that congressional district. That candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) shall then have his or her total percentage within that congressional district reduced by thirty-three and one-third percent (33-1/3%).
- The second National Convention delegate and alternate within each congressional district shall be allocated to that presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) having received at least the Threshold Vote, having received the highest number of the remaining percentages, including the reduced percentage of the candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) receiving the first National Convention delegate and alternate. That candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) shall then have his or her total percentage within that congressional district reduced by thirty-three and one-third percent (33-1/3%).
- The third National Convention delegate and alternate within each congressional district shall be allocated to that presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) having received at least the Threshold Vote, having received the highest number of the remaining percentages, including the reduced percentage of the candidates (or, if applicable, uncommitted) receiving the first and second National Convention delegates and alternates.
. . . which clears things up considerably. And once the district apportionment is determined:
The total number of National Convention delegates and alternates received by a presidential candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) from within the congressional districts shall be subtracted from the total number of National Convention delegates and alternates that candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted) is to receive statewide, and the resulting number shall be the number of at-large National Convention delegates and alternates elected committed to support that candidate (or, if applicable, uncommitted).
. . . and thus we see that Ms. Bommarito’s explanation really only suffers from a lack of clarity, specifically in the second step:
- First, determine what the statewide binding totals are supposed to be, according to the process outlined to the RNC back in May of last year.
- Second, apportion the congressional district delegates according to the popular vote in the district, effectively awarding one delegate each to the top three finishers in that district.
- Third, backfill the candidates who clear the qualifying threshold, from the at-large portion of the delegation, so as to arrive at the binding total.
. . . which explanation provides us with a district allocation and binding that looks like this:
. . . and a resulting statewide apportionment that looks like this:
. . . which means that, at the Friday night district caucuses, one national convention voting delegate and one national convention alternate delegate each will be elected and bound to Trump, Cruz, and Kasich. And at the Saturday morning general session, three national convention voting delegates will be elected and bound to Kasich, three to Cruz, and eleven to Trump. However, only fourteen at-large alternate delegates will be elected on Saturday morning (not seventeen), but how they are bound will be an open question. The reason for this is also set forth in the Credentials Committee memorandum:
“According to Rule 16(d)(6) of the RNC Rules, alternate delegates shall be equal in number to the number of delegates, except that no alternates shall be selected for the three (3) RNC members. … In order to be consistent with the RNC Rules, Michigan’s three (3) RNC members shall be apportioned as at-large delegates. According to Rule 14(b) of the RNC Rules, no alternates shall be selected for Michigan’s three (3) RNC members.”
. . . which means that, in order to figure out how the national convention at-large alternate delegates are to be apportioned and bound, we first have to know to whom our three RNC members (Ronna McDaniel, Dave Agema, and Kathy Berden) are going to bind themselves, so that we know where the three “gaps” are going to be in the alternate portion of our at-large delegation.
This is the point at which we might posit, cui prodest scelus is fecit, if in fact we could establish that some villainy had actually been perpetrated. Yes, we can safely attribute much of the culpability to an unjustified heavy-handed approach from RNC Headquarters, as it was they who demanded that we bind our three national committee members (which we historically haven’t done), and they who refused to acknowledge that our district delegate allocation method clearly isn’t winner-take-all, demanding an improvised proportionality methodology. However, rather than speculate upon the RNC actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, we also, consistent with Hanlon’s Razor – “Do not attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by ignorance” – ought to attribute the cause at least in part to the idiocy of the MIGOP Policy Committee, in the form of either intellectual laziness or philosophical dishonesty, back in 2014, when the current wording of Rule 19 was approved (which gave the RNC an opening in the first place). Having said all of that, there is some benefit / damage calculus that can be performed here, even if the results cannot be shown to be intentional.
That John Kasich made out like a bandit almost goes without saying. The Rule 19A total delegate award is just over double what he would have received under Rule 19C. Further, rather than receiving only the three delegates from the district that he won, plus the five that he would have been entitled to from the at-large portion of the delegation, he instead receives one delegate from each district (counterbalanced by receiving only three delegates from the at-large backfill).
Ted Cruz gets a bit of a balanced draw from this forced change. Yes, he pulls a delegate from each district (counterbalanced by a reduced at-large delegate award), and receives three more delegates in toto under Rule 19A than he would have under Rule 19C. However, the drawback is that the Cruz Crew efforts in the central-west and southwest regions of the mitten are diluted almost to pointlessness because of this switch. (So much for three Friday night caucuses being miniature Cruz victory rallies.)
Donald Trump, on the other hand, gets schlonged by this change, on at least two counts. First, his total delegate award under 19C is reduced by twelve, primarily because the 30 district delegates that 19C would have awarded him are reduced to just less than half of that total under 19A (counterbalanced by receiving half again as many at-large delegates as he would have under 19C). Second, whereas under 19C, Trump would have earned a “delegation majority” toward RNC Rule 40(b), yet under 19A that does not occur. (Realistically, given that Trump now has delegation majorities in 11 states and territories, this is a somewhat moot point.)
Now, so far as I know, no one’s making a stink out of this, nor do I have any intention of doing so. But I do think that the comparison of delegate allocation and binding methodologies is interesting, especially in light of other considerations.
Let me be as clear as possible about my take on a core concept of Rule 19: Two simple points of intellectual and philosophical honesty, by the MIGOP Policy Committee back in the fall of 2014, would have gone many miles toward proactively avoiding even the need for this discussion (by at least not providing the RNC with an opening, and thus forcing their executive-grade arm-twisting out into the open).
In the first place, until and unless Michigan Election Law (specifically Chapter XXIII – Registration of Electors) is amended to require the recording and tracking of party preference (which sections 168.495a and 168.506a appear to have required prior to repeal), there is no such thing as a “closed primary” in Michigan!!! I don’t care how you parse it; any primary where voters don’t have to publicly register their party affiliation concurrent with their voter registration (so that the entire world knows which primary ballot they’ll be receiving) is an OPEN PRIMARY . . . period. The only difference between our biennial statewide primary (every other August) and our state’s quadrennial presidential primary (every fourth spring) is that in the presidential primary we actually have to request which party ballot we want to mark up and have tabulated. The Policy Committee ought to be intellectually honest and philosophically truthful, and amend Rule 19A so that it identifies Michigan’s Presidential Preference Vote as precisely what it is – a modified open primary – and the State Central Committee ought to reject any of their other recommendations until such time as that change is made.
Secondly, the Policy Committee ought to plainly designate Michigan’s national convention delegation allocation and binding rubric as a hybrid methodology – proportional at-large, winner-take-all by district – and knock off the waffling over whether we’re winner-take-all or when that provision should apply. (Rule 19C, as is, is not winner-take-all any more than South Carolina’s method is winner-take-all.) If the Policy Committee thinks it wise to include an “absolute winner-take-all” provision, then that’s fine, but I think that the trigger ought to be set between 60% to 70% (requiring at least a three-fifths vox populi supermajority), and then left there. Again, if the Policy Committee cannot be intellectually honest and philosophically truthful, then the State Central Committee ought to make their life difficult until they are.
Finally, the MIGOP “Rules for the Selection of Delegates and Alternates” should plainly state that our three national committee members, by virtue of their offices, shall attend the national convention as unbound voting delegates (without corresponding alternate delegates). Prior to this particular election cycle, leaving our national committee members unbound has been our status quo, and for good reason, but I don’t think that was ever spelled out and codified. It should be.
These three suggestions presume, of course, that anyone on the MIGOP Policy Committee is interested in my input, let alone intellectual honesty and philosophical truthfulness. Nevertheless, the recommendations are here if the Policy Committee is interested.