Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Anti-Trump Maryland Delegation Fails

from the Baltimore Sun
Two Maryland delegates to the Republican National Convention have signed a letter opposing the convention rules that will be considered on the floor today -- arguing that party leadership missed an opportunity to give more authority to grassroots activists.

Nicolee Ambrose and Jim Crawford,
the two delegates from Maryland who served on the convention rules committee, had supported rules changes that would have given more power to convention delegates, stripping it from the RNC chairman and other party leaders.

Ambrose and Crawford are the Maryland representatives on the 112-member rules committee that is made up of delegates from each state.

"After a highly competitive primary season, the RNC leadership had the opportunity to unify grassroots activists and prove we are the party of fairness, transparency, and rule of law," the two wrote in a letter to fellow convention delegates.

"Instead, we were force fed a rules package we simply cannot support. We encourage our fellow convention delegates to vote against the majority rules report."

The issues raised in the letter are separate from the higher-profile fight that has taken place over allowing delegates to "vote their conscience" and oppose Donald Trump -- even if their state's voters supported him. Still, the concerns raised in the letter nevertheless underscore the tension that exists within the party as it prepares to formally nominate Trump.

The rules package approved last week by the rules committee is expected to win approval on the floor today despite the objections.

In the letter -- which is also signed by Kendal Unruh of Colorado and 11 others -- Ambrose and Crawford object to the "centralization of authority solely in the chairman's office," provisions that make it harder for party members to contact rules committee members and "denying RNC members the needed opportunity to review rules changes before they go to an immediate vote."

Unruh has been a leader in the effort to "unbind" delegates, allowing them to vote for someone other than Trump.

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