Posts Tagged ‘RNC’


DC Circuit “the First Amendment cannot be encroached upon for naught”

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Last month I wrote about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v FEC and its impact (or lack of) on Mississippi elections. In the column I wrote about three more upcoming cases that could impact campaign finance laws nationwide. One involved an organization known as SpeechNow.org.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is currently reviewing SpeechNow.org v FEC in which plaintiffs are challenging the $5000 contribution cap from PACs to organizations making independent expenditures for or against federal candidates.

Today the D.C. Circuit, in a unanamous 10 judge decision, struck down federal contribution limits from individuals to an organization wishing to make independent expenditures. It upheld organizational and disclosure requirements for that organization. The WSJ Law Blog has the background on the ruling.

A seperate case decided today involved soft-money fundraising for party building efforts. I wrote:

Republican National Committee v FEC in federal district court seeks to strike the McCain-Feingold prohibition against soft-money for efforts unrelated to candidate advocacy (party building, redistricting efforts). The Court could use such a case to strike or ease contribution limits.

In this case, the AP is reporting a loss for the RNC:

In a case brought by the Republican National Committee, a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington said it lacks the authority to overturn a Supreme Court ruling that upheld the ban on soft money fundraising by national party committees. That ban is a cornerstone of the so-called McCain-Feingold law and one of the few major parts of the law to survive court challenges.

The RNC had argued that it should be able to raise soft money for state elections, congressional redistricting, legal costs and other activities that it said had nothing to do with federal elections. The Federal Election Commission contended the soft money ban should be upheld.

The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling, including whether it will appeal to the Supreme Court.

Both of these rulings, along with Citizens United earlier this year, increase or reaffirm the opportunity and ability of organizations to participate in elections while leaving political parties, coordinated political pacs, and candidates restrained under more burdensome rules.


RR: Resurgent Republic

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

I usually blog on my columns after I write them, this week’s column actually came out of one of my most recent post on the new center-right idea factory called Resurgent Republic. I won’t cover the same material as before, you can read the full column at The Neshoba Democrat: Perry / Resurgent Republic - ideas matter

You might also enjoy these two pieces I quote in the column from The Ripon Forum:

Why Ideas matter (February 2007) by Haley Barbour
It Begins with Ideas (December 2006)by Louis M. Zickar


Haley Barbour and the RNC Chairman’s race

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

This week’s Reasonably Right discusses the race for RNC Chairman. The Chairman will be chosen at the RNC meeting next weekend (Jan 29-31).

Six declared Republicans seek the chairmanship: Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson, incumbent RNC Chairman Mike Duncan, former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, and former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chip Saltsman. Saltsman’s campaign has vanished: a disappearing trick performed by the “Barack the Magic Negro” satire controversy.

There are 168 RNC members so 85 votes will win.

Mississippi has three votes for chairman. Republican National Committeeman Henry Barbour and Mississippi Chairman Brad White are voting for Dawson of South Carolina. Mississippi’s Republican National Committeewoman Cindy Phillips of Madison is supporting Duncan.

In 1993, Haley Barbour was elected on the third round of balloting. At publication, tallies at YourRNC.com showed Duncan leading with 23 endorsements, Anuzis and Steele in second with 14 pledges each, Dawson with 13 commitments and Blackwell with 12 supporters.  [Those numbers have already changed.]

In a couple of e-mails to the members, supporters of Duncan have invoked Governor Haley Barbour’s - a former successful national chairman - name as if to somehow link his name to the Duncan camp. But Barbour has said he is not for or against anyone, but that he questions the symbolism of maintaing the status quo.

Henry Barbour elaborated to this column his uncle’s meaning of symbolism, “It’s not about whose fault it is, it’s about moving forward. Our leadership in congress did not change. If we do not change the leadership of the party, what does that say to the electorate? It says we didn’t hear you.”

Henry Barbour continued, “I like Mike Duncan personally, but this can’t be about personal friendships. It’s about getting back on the right track. We’ve got to make a change: a real change and the perception of change. We can’t do that with the same chairman. The symbolism and the substance are very important. After a season of catastrophic defeat, you might like your coach and he might be a good coach, but to keep him invites further disaster.”

White, who also endorsed Dawson, had this to say of the Duncan campaign.  “It’s a simple question of effectiveness,” White said.  “Mike Duncan, while a fine person, can no longer be effective.  Perception alone has killed him.  Let there be no mistake, we are at war over the heart and soul of America.  The Republican Party must elect a leader who can communicate our message to the American people in a manner that will resonate.  Duncan has proven he cannot do that,” said White.

The chairman’s election next weekend will determine the tactical and operational direction of the national Republican party. “It’s no secret that the Republican brand has real problems,” Henry Barbour said, “and I can’t imagine going back to our grassroots and telling them that the National Committee decided to keep our same leadership.”

You can read the full column at the Madison County Journal: Perry/The Republicans have problems


RR: Playing the race card

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

At the end of this month, members of the Republican National Committee (the Chairman, National Committeeman, and National Committeewoman from each state), will meet to elect a the chairman of the Republican National Committee. There are several candidates for the seat including the incumbent Mike Duncan, Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, former Tennessee Republican Chairman Chip Saltsman, former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, Katon Dawson of South Carolina, Saul Anuzis of Michigan, and others. I wrote about how the race turned nasty this week in Reasonably Right. Here are a few excerpts:

On March 19, 2007, the Los Angeles Times published a column titled “Obama the ‘Magic Negro’” by David Ehrenstein, a writer on Hollywood and politics, who is black. Ehrenstein wrote, “The Magic Negro is a figure of postmodern folk culture…there to assuage white ‘guilt’ (i.e., the minimal discomfort they feel) over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history…Like a comic-book superhero, Obama is there to help…. For as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn’t project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him.”

The column wound up in Rush Limbaugh’s “stack of stuff” and conservative satirist Paul Shanklin composed a parody to the tune of “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Shanklin performed it in the style of Al Sharpton equipped with a bullhorn: “Barack the Magic Negro lives in D.C.; The L.A. Times, they called him that; ‘Cause he’s not authentic like me. Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper; Said he makes guilty whites feel good; They’ll vote for him, and not for me; ‘Cause he’s not from the hood. See, real black men, like Snoop Dog,; Or me, or Farrakhan; Have talked the talk, and walked the walk.; Not come in late and won! Oh, Barack the Magic Negro, lives in D.C.; The L.A. Times, they called him that; ‘Cause he’s black, but not authentically. Some say Barack’s ‘articulate’; And bright and new and ‘clean’; The media sure loves this guy; A white interloper’s dream!”

The song ridiculed blacks who questioned Obama’s “authenticity” and whites who need a black trophy friend to prove their non-racism. He quoted now Vice President Elect Joe Biden for the “articulate” and “clean” remarks, but the rest simply paraphrased Ehrenstein’s column.

Former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chip Saltsman gets the joke. As part of his campaign for Republican National Chairman, he bought a copy of the CD for every member of the Republican National Committee. Saltsman is a grassroots guy. A Rush Limbaugh Republican. A non-establishment type, he ran Mike Huckabee’s campaign for president and publically opposed his own Republican governor’s tax hikes in Tennessee.

Washington Republicans know how to play the race card against other Republicans. Mike Duncan, a banker from Kentucky who was George W. Bush’s pick to run the Republican National Committee in 2007 is seeking reelection. Under his leadership, Republicans lost the White House, Senate seats, House seats, and gubernatorial seats. Now this CD (and possibly Saltsman’s momentum) has Duncan “shocked and appalled.” He condemned Saltsman and created a national story on Republican racial insensitivity.

Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, one of two candidates for chairman in the race who are black, said his “concerns are minimal” and blamed “hypersensitivity in the press.” He disagreed with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who said this should disqualify Saltsman from contention.

Saltsman buys a CD of political satire promoted on the Rush Limbaugh Show. One track on the CD satirizes a column written by a black man that criticizes whites who demean Barack Obama. For this, RNC Chairman Duncan attacks him, and the press is happy to spread the news.

Saltsman is likely thinking, with Republicans like this, who needs Democrats?

You can read the full column at the Madison County Journal: Perry/Playing the race card


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