By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Thursday, February 12, Republican National Committee Members Paul Reynolds and Vicki Drummond addressed the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans (GBYR) at their regularly scheduled meeting at the Sidebar Cafe.
Paul Reynolds said that the Republican National Committee (RNC) is composed of 168 members; three from each state and U.S. protectorate. Reynolds said they are the Supreme Source of authority in the Republican Party. Reynolds is Alabama’s Republican National Committee man. Ms. Drummond is Alabama’s Republican National Committee woman. The Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party is the state’s third representatives. For the last four years that has been Bill Armistead, though a new Chair will be selected on Saturday.
The RNC is separate from the National Republican Senate Committee (NRSC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and the Whitehouse effort. Reynolds said, “We have no authority over the NRSC or NRCC. They don’t have any authority over us and we don’t have any authority over them.”
Reynolds said the NRC is a very conservative group, though I would send some of them back. “There is always a White House effort going on even when we don’t have somebody in the White House.”
Sometimes the other groups do something or say something that the Republican rank and file do not like, they blame us. “By and large most of the time the RNC is taking the lumps for one of those three other groups.” “Everybody is totally independent of each other.”
The RNC has a rules committee composed of one member from each state. “They write the rules that we operate under in the off years.” Alabama’s representative is committee woman, Vicki Drummond
Drummond said, “I have enjoyed being on the rules committee.” Candidates come and go but the job of the RNC is to hand down our Republican ideas to the next generation. “Our Chairman Reice Priebus has been fantastic.”
Drummond said that when Priebus was elected, “We were in shambles.” The RNC did not even have a credit card to our name. She said that Priebus has turned the party’s finances around and the party controls the House, the Senate, and 59 state legislature chambers. Drummond said that the party is on sound footing for Presidential election in 2016.
Ms. Drummond said that any proposed rule change has to come out of the rules committee by majority; but then has to pass with a 3/4s vote of the 168 member body. The rules can be changed only once every two years.
The RNC want to give our presidential candidate the best chance to win; but the RNC also represents the grassroots, and the state candidates. Drummond said that the party got into trouble in Tampa with that. The Romney campaign had perhaps too much influence over the rules at the convention.
Drummond said that the 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates sliced and diced each other up. In the 2016 GOP Primaries there will be only 8, 9, or 10 debates. Eight have already been scheduled and there are still two that might come to be. The Republican Party will control the media, the topics debated, the moderator, and the venue.
Drummond said that states that move their primaries up in the schedule will be severely punished. States with 30 or more delegates will have number slashed down to 9 and states with 29 or less delegates will be slashed down to 6 at the convention if they break the rules. “We don’t expect to see breaking of the rules.” There will be four primaries in February 2016: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
The GOP convention will be held on July 18-21 in Cleveland. The Party is doing that because the nominee can not touch federal dollars until the GOP actually nominates a candidate. In 2012 Mitt Romney had almost run out of money by the convention, meanwhile the Democrats had 800 paid staffers in Florida and Obama was spending millions of dollars.
Ms. Drummond said, “We have to have a good candidate but we also have to have a strong party not just for the next four years but generation after generation.” “We come together or we hang separately.” “We must come together to get this country on the right track.”0
Paul Reynolds said that he is on the RNC’s policy candidate. Reynold said, “A resolution is a snap shot of what a particular group is thinking on a particular issue based on the information they have at that time.” Before the RNC can pass a new resolution, every Republican member of the Congress and the Senate get a copy and the press gets a copy. The proposed resolutions are put in a file and goes to the platform committee at the convention, which determines the platform for the next four years.
Reynolds said that the Obama Administration is exponentially growing the federal government’s regulatory control over the country. “I work in an industry that is the poster child for federal regulation.” “Some part of your life is more regulated now than it was last week or last year.”
Reynolds said that the Administration is still hiring more bureaucrats. “The legislature said this industry here is out of kilter we need somebody to regulate that industry. Lets form a commission. We have more commissions in Washington than we have people in some counties in Alabama.” These commissions are usually made up of 5 people. Two members from the party out of the White House and three from the party that controls the White House. “The White House party rules the roost.”
Reynolds said that Net Neutrality sounds good; but is really, “An effort for the FCC to take over total regulation of the internet.” Reynolds said it is “Total hogwash.” “It is so they can get their nose under the tent to regulate the internet as a public utility.” There is going to be a fight between the Congress and the FCC. Frankly I hope the Congress bombs the place.
Reynolds warned that the Obama Administration has written 333 pages of new regulations that nobody has seen.
Reynolds warned that these commissions legislate because they write the rules, they are the executive because they carry them out, and they are the judicial because they punish you when you are in violation. “Does the word central committee ring a bell with you?” That is from the old Soviet Union. They are setting up an ad hoc central committee to regulate your life.
State Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) also addressed the GBYRs. Quoting from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ “Some things that should not have been forgotten have been forgotten.” Hightower praised the principles of economist Milton Friedman are timeless. We have a common enemy and we need a common vision. The ideas of Friedman and Ronald Reagan are the vision we need to bring back.
Hightower said that when he ran for the state Senate he knocked on 10,000 doors. When I find a candidate to support I will do a lot more than vote for the person. I am going to write a check and volunteer for them. “I was not the favorite child,” of the Republican Party. I spent $100,000 my GOP Primary opponent spent $700,000.
Sen. Hightower said that the legislature I going into session in March. I am waiting to hear what the Governor has to say. He has floated some trial balloons to see what is acceptable; but it seems like more taxes are coming. How much is the shortfall? We are hearing over $700 million. The budget is one crisis and much of that is caused by rising Medicaid costs. We have been having discussions about what to do to reform Medicaid.
The people don’t want to vote for a lawyer and they don’t want to vote for professional politicians. The Republicans have a majority in the Senate; but it is not a conservative majority. One Republican is a great friend of the gambling industry. Some have suggested legalizing gaming. I don’t support that. “I think it is an unhealthy lifestyle.”
The Chairman of the Greater Birmingham Young Republicans is Jackie Curtiss. Curtiss said that the Young Republicans have had a turbulent relationship with the Alabama Republican Leadership; but that they have always had a good relationship with Reynolds and Drummond.
The new meeting location for the GBYRs is the Sidebar Café on Seventh Ave. South in Birmingham near the campus of UAB.