One of the major items on the agenda for today at the #RNCinCLE was the approval of the Rules. Two of our contributors were on the floor and liveblogging what occurred, Steve Albertson and Mick Staton.
There were attempts on the Rules Committee prior to the convention to 1. reform the rules to allow a stronger grassroots national party, and 2. to unbind Delegates. Both were soundly defeated on the Rules Committee, but the effort to unbind was resoundingly defeated.
Fast forward to Monday July 18. Those seeking to alter the rules to reform them per item 1 above sought a roll call vote on the rules to at least know where the Delegates stood on the proposed Rules. In order to obtain a roll call vote the majority of seven delegations needed to submit petitions asking for a Roll Call vote. This is per RNC rule 39.
Although there was word that eleven states may have submitted such petitions. It appears verifiable that nine states did: Colorado, D.C. (legally not a state…), Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.
At approximately 4:00 PM Steve Womack took the stage as Chairman and called the vote on the rules. The voice vote was completely indiscernible. Womack stated that the Ayes have it and attempted to move on to consideration of the Platform.
Amid chaos on the floor Womack left the stage until about 4:21.
Upon retaking the stage he called for the vote on the Rules again. This time the Vote was easier to hear. He stated the Ayes had it and attempted to proceed with the next order of business.
The microphones for the delegations were turned off. Eventually Womack recognized Phill Wright of Utah who moved for a Roll Call vote.
Womack announced that nine states had submitted signatures asking for a roll call vote but that sufficient signatures had been withdrawn from three of them, so no roll call vote would be held.
There was lots of shouting from the floor but the microphones were off. I next saw Wright attempt to do the smart thing. Wright tried to make a point of information. This is a privileged motion that supersedes most other business under Roberts Rules. He likely would have asked for identification of the states that no longer had sufficient support for a roll call vote, and would ask for them to be polled or otherwise verified.
Ken Cuccinelli was seen seeking a point of information as well.
Womack refused to recognize either speaker. The Colorado and Iowa delegations walked out. Womack instead recognized representatives of the Platform Committee. For the next 15 minutes representatives of the Platform Committee spoke about Republican values, ironically discussing the top down closed process of the Democrats. At the end a vote was taken on the Platform. Once that vote was concluded, the Rules vote could no longer be procedurally challenged.
Trump Delegates from other states were being told this was an attempt by the #NeverTrump movement to derail the Convention. Instead they solidified centralized power at the RNC for the next four years. And this was done by ignoring parliamentary procedure.