GOP County Conventions started across the state over the weekend, and will continue to April 10th. At those conventions, county party boards will elect delegates to the state convention. Who will in turn elect delegates to the National Convention in Cleveland.
Who will in turn nominate Paul Ryan to be President.
Ok, ok, that is just the latest Twitter CW. But stranger things could happen. As they say about electing the Pope, “He who enters conclave a Pope, comes out a Cardinal.”
So are we to understand that these lowly party stalwarts going to their county conventions are going to decide who goes up against Hillary?
OWH’s Robynn Tysver did a nice job of giving the basics in her article this morning: County conventions elect delegates to the state convention. Nebraska sends 36 delegates broken down as:
- 9 delegates, broken down as 3 from each Congressional District, voted on by delegates from the district.
- 3 automatic delegates, Committeeman, Committeewoman, State Chair
- 24 at-large delegates voted on by all 400 delegates at the state convention.
The delegates per county are there based on a formula written in Aramaic using a grease pencil on a Wendy’s drive-thru window. But it is basically based on the % of votes each county gave to Mitt Romney in 2012 (but at least one per county).
And then what happens at the state convention?
Well, in past years, the party leaders (i.e. the Governor and his politicos) would put together a slate of the 24 at-large candidates they wanted to win as delegates. And for the most part, those peeps would get elected (you vote for 24 on your ballot). However, in 2012, there was a strong Ron Paul contingent, and they got a number from their slate elected as delegates as well.
But THIS year? One would think Governor Ricketts and his staff will have their own slate, who will, in theory, be loyal to the Governor.
But that begs the question, right?
Who will the Governor support?
All the delegates HAVE to vote for whomever wins the state primary — on the first two ballots in Cleveland. (And even THAT rule isn’t unchangeable.)
But, if Donald Trump (or Ted Cruz, in theory) doesn’t get to 1,237 delegates prior to Cleveland, on the third ballot all heck breaks loose. And EACH delegate at the GOP convention would be free to vote for whomever they want.
So, getting back to the Nebraska convention, state delegates are going to want to know who you, National Delegate candidate, would support on that third ballot. And further, who is your second choice, assuming your first choice doesn’t work out.
Are you a #NeverTrump? Are you a #NeverCruz (you know they’re out there)? Who else are you #Never?
This is such a strange situation, because it is one of the first times this has ever made a difference.
Who do you support?
Here is a weird little quirk for potential Nebraska delegates.
In order to be a candidate for national delegate, (after you’ve been elected at the county level) you have to file this paper:
Gives basic instructions.
But notice the end section:
Essentially, you’re declaring who you will support for President.
Now note that if you’re elected as a delegate, you have to support Nebraska’s winner on the first two ballots in Cleveland anyway. After that, you are still able to vote for whomever you want (as far as I can tell — but Lord help us if this ever gets contested). But a delegate candidate can STILL put who they want to be “committed” to, maybe to try to increase votes.
Does a Pete Ricketts — who wants to be a delegate — list…Ted Cruz as his guy? Does he list…Scott Walker?! How about the aforementioned Paul Ryan?
The guess here is that the Gov just says he’ll support the winner. But what about others running for the gig? It makes things just a tad more interesting.
An oh by the way, one would think the Ted Cruz peeps are trying to make sure they have a slate to put out to the delegate voters.
And, in theory the Trump people (if they’re that organized).
How about the #NeverTrump/Cruz peeps?
Do they bother with a palm-card to delegates to know who they want?
It will make for a VERY interesting scene at the convention.
And just because I’m way way way way behind on this one, but it’s funny/interesting nonetheless…
I caught an old ESPN 30 for 30 documentary that I had been wanting to watch for some time: Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?
It is a short history of the USFL — the league that featured Herschel Walker, Mike Rozier, Jim Kelly, Steve Young and Doug Flutie all before they played in the NFL.
The gist of the documentary is that Donald Trump, the owner of the New York / New Jersey Generals, killed the USFL by trying to move the season from the spring to the fall.
That conclusion, presented at the very beginning, doesn’t necessarily hold up. The league would have had major problems anyway. But it is another look at The Donald.
The one that most Twitter followers would recognize today, is this one:
Charlie Steiner, ESPN host, and then New Jersey Generals radio play-by-play guy was talking about Trump as a USFL owner. He suggested that Trump became a USFL owner so that he could buy his way from the back page of the New York Post, to the Gossip Page (Page 6) and ultimately to the front page.
So Trump is presented with Steiner’s analysis, in a present-day interview for the documentary. Except the interview took place in 2009. And here was Trump’s response:
“Charlie Steiner was nobody. Charlie Steiner couldn’t get a job, and we put him on the USFL. I hope he said that in a friendly way, because if he didn’t I’d love to take him on just like I take everybody else on. So I hope he remains loyal, and if he doesn’t let me know and I’ll attack him.”
2009 Donald Trump is IDENTICAL to 2015/16 Donald Trump, yeah?
Steiner could be a candidate or office holder or political reporter, and Trump would give the same response.
Funny, yeah? You can catch the whole thing on ESPN from time to time, and any time on Netflix.
Oh, and Wisconsin votes tomorrow, and many think this could be the real beginning of the open convention in Cleveland.
Follow along with @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter!