Gingrich's changing tune on Fla delegates
As Newt Gingrich's campaign encourages a challenge to Florida's winner-take-all primary, it's worth noting the difference between today and before the primary. On Sunday, Buzz specifically asked Gingrich if he shared the concern of some RNC members that Florida's delegates should be awarded proportionally instead of winner-take-all.
"I'm not going to get involved in an RNC prodedural fight," Gingrich said after services at Idlewild Baptist Church in north Tampa. "They've got to decide what they want to do. I'll play by whatever the rules are that are given to us."
The rules that were given to them were winner-take-all, though it's long been known to party leaders that the interpretation of those rules could be challenged before the convention. Here's the email exchange between the RNC's legal office and the Florida GOP's former executive director, Pablo Diaz where the RNC signed off on winner-take-all for Florida:
From: Leslie Rutledge - Legal
Date: Fri, 14 Oct 2011 18:07:42 -0400
To: Pablo Diaz
Subject: RE: Florida delegate allocation
From: Pablo Diaz
Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 6:05 PM
To: Leslie Rutledge - Legal
Subject: Re: Florida delegate allocation
Just for clarification, our submitted rule said that in the event we are penalized, our remaining delegates all become at-large, which we interpret to mean winner take all.
I understand that there may be a challenge down the line for a variety of reasons but as far as the RNC is concerned - we are allowed to have these at-large, winner take all delegates. Is this accurate?
Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 14, 2011, at 5:12 PM, "Leslie Rutledge - Legal" wrote:
In response to your questions regarding Florida’s preliminary delegate numbers and allocation, we have determined that Florida will have a preliminary delegate count of ninety-nine (99) delegates and ninety-six (96) alternates. If it is determined that Florida has violated 15(b) of The Rules of the Republican Party by holding a binding primary on January 31, 2012, the delegation will automatically be cut in half, which will be reflected in the Call of the Convention; thereby leaving Florida with fifty (50) delegates and fifty (50) alternates. The fifty percent (50%) loss of delegates shall include the three (3) national committee members.
The remaining fifty (50) delegates shall be allocated as set forth in the Rules of the Florida Republican Party as submitted to the Secretary of the Republican National Committee.
Please keep in mind that a contest may be filed prior to the national convention regarding Florida’s delegation. Such a contest would be filed with and heard by the Committee on Contests. The Committee on Contests will make a recommendation to the Republican National Committee as to the contest. An appeal of the decision by the Republican National Committee may be taken to the Convention Committee on Credentials.
Please let me know if you have further questions.
Leslie C. Rutledge
Republican National Committee