Monday, August 20, 2012
The CRAZY hat!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
THE CRAZY HAT!
by Steve Fair
On Friday, I leave for the Republican National Convention in Tampa. This will be my third straight GOP convention. The last two I have served as a national delegate, but National GOP Party rules do not permit me to serve three consecutive times as a delegate, so this time around I am the Oklahoma GOP delegation aide.
In May, I was honored to be elected Oklahoma’s National Committeeman at our state convention. The Friday after the convention, I will participate in the reorganizing of the GOP National Committee. There are just 168 members of the National Committee- 3 per state and territory. The job of the RNC is to establish the rules for how the GOP operates as a Party, craft the message of who we are as a Party, and provide leadership for the grassroots. I am excited about my new role and look forward to the challenge.
A national political convention is like the Super Bowl for a political junkie, but it’s not all fun and games. Delegates travel to the convention at their own expense. While in Tampa delegates will have a seat on the convention floor and are expected to attend and participate in the various convention sessions. The sessions you see on television are largely keynote speeches. If you want to see more of the nuts & bolts of the convention, watch C-Span. What is not seen in prime time is the actual Party business that is conducted at a national convention. Here are the four major committees that will function at the GOP national convention.
First, there is the credentials committee. The Credentials Committee examines and rules on the accreditation of state delegations to the conventions. The credentials committee handles disputes and challenges from the various delegations. Polly Hawke from Logan County and Allie Burgin from Garvin are the Oklahoma GOP representatives on credentials. As a member of the credentials committee, they have to be at the convention nearly a week early. Credentials are the first thing the national convention delegates will vote on. Until the 2,286 delegates are credentialed, no official business can be conducted. Oklahoma has 43 delegates to the 2012 national convention.
The second committee is the Rules committee. This committee establishes the ‘proposed’ rules by which the convention business will be conducted. They also meet several times prior to the convention and craft rules that are designed to facilitate business in a fair, equitable manner. Rules are designed to insure the will of the majority is ascertained while giving a voice to the minority. The rules are ‘proposed’ until the convention delegates approve them. That is the first order of business. Stuart Jolley, from Oklahoma County and Linda Lepak from Roger Mills County are Oklahoma’s representatives on Rules.
The third committee is the platform committee. This committee meets several times prior to the convention. Members of that committee take all the resolutions that have been submitted by the State GOP organizations across the country and craft them into a proposed GOP Party platform. The proposed platform is then voted on at the national convention by the delegates. The GOP platform resolutions in the platform had their beginning in a GOP precinct meeting somewhere in America. Our platform is crafted from the bottom up, not the top down. That’s why it is important to get involved in your precinct meetings. Our next scheduled precinct meetings/elections will be in January of 2013. Oklahoma’s representatives on the Platform/Resolutions committee are Carolyn McLarty, our current National Committeewoman from Woodward County and Tony Lauinger, State Chairman of Oklahomans for Life from Tulsa County..
The fourth committee is the committee on Permanent Organization. This committee’s primary role is the selection of convention officers. Trent Shores, from TulsaCounty and Lonnie Lou Anderson from Pittsburg County are Oklahoma’s representatives.
Starting Monday the 27th, watch the Republican National Convention. It will be on every major network and cable channel. Governor Chris Christie will be keynoting Tuesday night and I expect will deliver a powerful speech. Watch for me-I will be the one in the crazy hat!