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Rule change makes way for special interests

BY DI EDITORIAL BOARD | AUGUST 30, 2012 6:30 AM

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Every election year, voters question the influence of their vote.

Voting is encouraged, because it is among the best and most influential ways to participate in a democracy. However, the Republican-nomination process has illustrated a different tale. Last week, the power of money defeated strategy and grass-root support, which silenced the will of many voters.

The Republican Rules Committee effectually disenfranchised the will of many Iowans with a new rule prohibiting states from allocating delegates to Ron Paul or any other candidate in the case of a non-binding caucus.

The rule states that the party’s nominee, in this case Mitt Romney, is allowed to overrule state caucuses and conventions and choose the whole of the delegates on his own, as reported by the New York Times.

The Romney campaign proves time and again that this election is more about the cash flow and less about the issues or the will of the American people. Though Romney lacks grass-roots support, his campaign has gained enough money to hire lawyers to change the rules to guarantee his nomination and silence the voices of those in his own party.

Iowa is the first state in the nation to caucus, and that means that there are usually more candidates in Iowa’s caucus than will stay in the race by the time of the national convention. Because candidates drop out and issues change over time, the Iowa system essentially allows active voters to caucus in January and then to decide the delegates in June after some candidates have dropped out.

Iowa has 28 Republican delegates, three of whom work for the Iowa Republican Party, and the other 25 are undeclared until the state convention, as reported by the Washington Post. At the state convention in June, 21 of our 25 undeclared delegates went to Paul supporters.

But because Paul is not the Republican nominee for president, none of those delegates could vote for him at the national convention. Iowa is not the only state affected.

States should continue to decide their own means of selecting their presidential nominee. However, now that the new national convention rule has been put into practice, the rules and votes decided by the states have been overruled and the process is ruined.

This Republican Party has made clear that in this election, money matters more that political strategy or support. Many fear now with the new rule that special interests and friends of the nominee can be filled into now meaningless delegate positions, favoring big money over pure Republican ideals.   

The Republican Party has become a party with extreme values, unwilling to compromise, and it is now showing its willingness to split its own party rather than include other valuable party platforms. The voices of all deserve to be heard — even those chanting “Ron Paul 2012.”


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