(Chuck Muth) – It matters not to me which Republican presidential candidate you might be supporting.
Good, conservative Republicans are supporting Trump. Good conservative Republicans are supporting DeSantis. And good, conservative Republicans are supporting other candidates in the race.
I’ll take any of them over Biden.
But when the official party apparatus tries to tilt the scales toward one candidate over the other, that’s a horse of a different color. And that’s exactly what the Nevada GOP is doing by insisting on holding a separate party-run “caucus” two days after the official state-run primary.
I’ve already detailed the insanity of this decision in a previous column, so I won’t repeat the arguments against it here. Yet party leaders continue to deny the undeniable that they’re rigging the game on Trump’s behalf.
The fact that the party’s executive director recently stepped down to take over the Trump campaign in Nevada is the most obvious.
But a pair of resolutions that’ll be voted on at the Nevada Republican Central Committee meeting on September 23 in remote Winnemucca – a decision itself made to advantage Trump – demonstrate just how far the party is going to stack the deck in 45’s favor.
Let’s take a look…
Resolution #1 requires that all GOP presidential candidates must file with the Nevada GOP and pay a fee “to be determined by the NRP Executive Committee.” While the fee isn’t set in the resolution, media reports confirm candidates will have to cough up a whopping $55,000 each.
That will certainly discourage challengers to Trump who don’t have his warchest.
Worse, the resolution states that any candidate who agrees to participate in the state-run presidential primary “will be declared ineligible to participate in” the caucus.
Many, if not most – and maybe all – of Trump’s challengers are likely to participate in the official presidential primary on February 6 and, therefore, will be banned from having their names appear on the caucus ballot two days later.
Indeed, it’s entirely possible that, with this rule in place, Trump will be the ONLY candidate whose name appears on the caucus ballot. Talk about rigging the system!
The resolution also stipulates that every Republican voter who wants to participate in the caucus must have registered as a Republican at least 30 days prior to the caucus.
So let’s say DeSantis or any of the other GOP candidates do well in Iowa and New Hampshire before Nevada votes. Excitement builds. And new voters want to register and participate in the caucus within the 30-day window.
Sorry, Charlie. No can do.
The resolution continues…
“Only employed representatives and official surrogates of presidential campaigns who have requested and received pre-approval from the NVGOP will be allowed to speak at any precinct meeting…”
Sorry National Rifle Association, Right-to-Life, Americans for Prosperity and Club for Growth – all of which actively participate in elections on behalf of candidates.
And let’s say Nikki Haley decides to participate in the caucus and wants to send surrogates to the caucus meetings to speak on her behalf. No can do…unless, again, the Haley supporters “have requested and received pre-approval from the NVGOP.”
Mother, may I?
And if such campaign surrogates don’t get permission and dare to show up at the caucus and try to speak to voters anyway, they “will be subject to a minimum fine of $5,000 per instance.”
Speech suppression. Somehow, I couldn’t find that in the GOP platform.
Now let’s say the super-PAC supporting Tim Scott wants to get a list of likely caucus attendees based on past voting history. Fuggetaboutit.
“Under no circumstances,” the resolution reads, shall any such lists be “released to or made available to any Super PAC, PAC, or other organization claiming to support or represent any Presidential campaign.”
In addition, the resolution also says PACs and other organizations “shall not be permitted to display, promote, or distribute literature, or take any other similar actions either outside or inside the” caucus locations.
More speech suppression.
Then there’s Resolution #4, which establishes the criteria that must be met to become an official delegate to the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.
To become a delegate, you must meet 4 of 6 requirements. They include…
- Being a registered Republican voter for “no less than the past 5 years”
- Voting “in at least two of the last three statewide Republican primaries”
- Voting “in at least two of the last three statewide (general) elections”
- Being “a member in good standing of their county central committee”
- Being “a member of the NRCC (Nevada Republican Central Committee)”
- Performing “at least 24 hours of volunteer work on behalf of the NVGOP over the past 12 months”
This isn’t just absurd; it’s obscene.
It immediately excludes ANY Republican voter who moved to Nevada after 2018, even if they’ve been a Republican voter for over 50 years in their former state.
You know who else that disqualifies? John Lee.
Lee left the Democrat Party plantation in 2021, re-registered with the GOP, and ran for governor as a Republican candidate in 2022. There’s also a good chance he’ll be the GOP’s nominee next year for Nevada’s 4th congressional district against Democrat incumbent Steve Horsford.
At best, Lee might be able to meet three of the requirements; probably only one.
Oh, and I’m banned as well…not that I have any interest in being a delegate.
Despite being a former Clark County GOP chairman, a former Nevada GOP executive director, and a former Republican Liberty Caucus national chairman, I’m ineligible because Resolution #4 also prohibits anyone “who has made a public statement of support or who has endorsed a non-Republican candidate in a contested election where a Republican candidate was running.”
So much for free speech.
Sorry, but sometimes there are bad Republican candidates on the ballot (see: Sigal Chattah). Often, they’re RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). Real RINOs.
In those cases I’ve supported a number of principled Libertarian and Independent American candidates over the GOP nominee. And I’m not alone.
Oh, and what if a Republican has made a “public statement of support” for a non-Republican candidate in a non-partisan race, such as school board or judicial races? Are they DQ’ed?
And does a donation to a non-Republican candidate constitute a “public statement of support” – even if they also gave money to the GOP candidate – since their donation is publicly disclosed?
The Nevada GOP could screw up a two-car funeral. I can only imagine the PR disaster that awaits it on February 8 if members of the Central Committee don’t kill this dumbass idea at it meeting on September 23rd.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“It’s not true that independent schools have ‘no accountability.’ They are accountable to parents, which is better than being ‘accountable’ to sleepy government bureaucrats.” – Columnist John Stossel
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.