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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Just how badly will Florida be punished by RNC for primary schedule?



Hundreds of media representatives converged in Tampa today to check out the facilities for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

For all the excitement over the convention, a cloud hangs over it for some GOP activists: How severely will the national GOP penalize the state party for violating for scheduling its Jan. 31 primary earlier than party rules allow?

The state already has had its allotment of delegates slashed in half to 50, and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said nothing will change that. "Jeb Bush could be (RNC) chairman and Florida would lose half it's delegates," he said.

But in addition members of the RNC rules committee could inflict other penalties, such is limiting the number of guest passes Florida receives or perhaps distant hotel rooms. Or it could require the state the divvy up its delegates proportionally based on how the candidates perform Jan. 31 in Florida, rather than award all Florida delegates to the primary winner, as the state party plans. That would further dilute Florida's influence if the nomination contest drags on several months.

[Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 5:26pm]


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