Luxurious Hawaiian Meeting for RNC in the Midst of Recession
“No more Scozzafavas, please. No more Specters, please. No more Chafees, please,” was the statement made by RNC member Bill Crocker of Texas at a lavish gathering in Honolulu where the RNC was brainstorming over new ways to more clearly set themselves apart from their Democrat counterparts. It is a bit frightening when you consider that Crocker’s version of the new rule adopted by the RNC is the less severe and/or restrictive.
The Republican National Committee enacted a resolution by voice vote on Friday, Jan. 29, that will push GOP leaders to provide financial support only to candidates that support the party’s platform. There were no opposing voices at the RNC’s winter meeting in which the newest resolution is an alternative to a stiffer proposal that would have mandated that GOP candidates support ten (10) policy positions in order to attain financial support from the RNC.
RNC member James Bopp of Indiana sponsored the original proposal that was backed by the more conservative members of the RNC but strongly opposed by Chairman Michael Steele and other state party chairs.
Bill Crocker’s alternative doesn’t contain a “litmus test”, specifically, and gives party officials a bit more flexibility in the manner to which they vet GOP candidates seeking financial support.
The new resolution pushes all Republican leaders, local, state and national, to “carefully screen” voting records and positions of all Republican candidates that are seeking RNC support and determine whether they “wholeheartedly support the core principles and positions” laid out in the party’s platform.
According to Crocker, the newly adopted resolution would not prevent the RNC from supporting a moderate Republican Candidate but would bar funding for any candidate that is judged to be to far to the left.
Crocker’s references to Dede Scozzaafava, a GOP candidate for a House seat in New York (conservatives didn’t like her), Senator Arlen Specter, who switched his party affiliation last year from Republican to Democrat, and former Senator Lincoln Chafee, a liberal Republican, was his way of saying that there is very little room for open mindedness in the RNC…and this is the toned down resolution.
Crocker also pushed the party to “present candidates who will be attractive to the people who are really dissatisfied with our political conduct over the past several years” like those in the “Tea Party” movement. I am certain that when Crocker referred to “our political conduct” he was not including the conduct of himself or his fellow Republicans. I am also not sure that the “Tea Baggers” have a clear understanding of reality considering the “Neo-Con” roots they seem to have sprung up from, like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.
The original proposal offered by Bopp was withdrawn, with Bopp backing the alternative, agreeing that it will be more effective in giving party leaders a broader range of issues to consider, compared to his original resolution.
Bopp’s original proposal would have barred financial backing for any GOP candidate who disagreed with three (3) or more policy positions, which includes support for “market based” health care reform, climate change policies, opposition to gun control, government abortion funding and amnesty for illegal immigrants.
There seemed to be some dissention over the practicalities of Crocker’s resolution by Bopp. Bopp made a statement about it putting party leaders in a position to where they would, essentially, have to compare GOP candidate positions to the party platform.
Bob Tiernan, the GOP state chairman of Oregon, insisted that it wasn’t binding. “There’s nothing mandatory in it”, he stated.
The RNC adopts a new platform every four (4) years at the party’s presidential nomination convention.
The RNC has been criticized for choosing Hawaii as the place to hold their meeting. If you consider the ongoing recession, high unemployment (nationally) and all the recent accusations thrown by Republicans over frivolous government spending, their own venue seemed to be more than just a bit over the top.
The win of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts last week has apparently emboldened the RNC to push the boundaries and, in doing so, their fiscal hypocrisy is beginning to show. President Obama may have been born in Hawaii but to make yourself appear like you are attempting a smack down by descending on his birthplace only appears juvenile. Spending what would be a fairly decent fortune for most Americans on the trip, hotel stay and all the extras smacks most Americans in the face and gives the impression that the RNC may not actually care too much about our economic misfortune.
If the RNC is going to tout fiscal responsibility it really is not the greatest idea to have a big meeting/party at Honolulu’s Hilton when the majority of American citizens have had to seriously cut back on almost everything.
Statistics show that the Hawaiian Islands hold the highest cost of living for the United States and by choosing Hawaii for the RNC’s yearly meeting they are, effectively showing the American public that cost is not a concern for the Republican National Committee. When the American taxpayers have to cut costs and tighten our belts, the RNC reminds us that they do not have to.
Chairman Michael Steele doesn’t see anything wrong with the extravagance in their choice of venue. “We’ve got a lot of momentum, but now how do you harness that and how do you really train it to continue and to build on it?” Steele stated.
Roughly 131 RNC delegates from across the U.S. were in attendance when the winter meeting began Wednesday at the Hilton, Hawaiian Village.
Steele claimed that the were there also “to salute Gov. Lingle in her last year of her second term and to congratulate her in her leadership”.
Steele also claimed that by meeting in President Obama’s stamping ground — his “birthplace … his backyard” — Republicans were sending a signal the party was “going to compete on every inch of soil in this nation.”
He also said that meeting in Hawaii was no different from traveling to California or Florida and Hawaii is not just a resort state. “I say shame on those who look their nose down at Hawaii and see it one-dimensionally,” said Steele.
Hawaii was the first U.S. state to legalize abortion, according to Democrats, and the RNC’s anti abortion stance may not sit well, also Hawaii residents already enjoy close to universal health care, something the RNC does not appear to support.
“If they kowtow too much to the national Republicans, it might be good for their fundraising prospects, but it’s going to alienate local voters who are really appalled at the sort of hardcore, rightwing, stop Obama-at-all-costs kind of attitude that’s been undertaken in Washington,” said former Hawaii Democratic Party Chair Brian Schatz.
Hawaii’s Republican Party chairman said voters in the state won’t be turned off.
“The candidates are what get the party activated, so they’ll be looking at the candidates, versus who the party is bringing in to Hawaii,” said Hawaii Republican Party Chair Jonah Ka’auwai.