At Take Back Our Republic Action, our top focus is on the rules that govern elections. As Republican Chairs and top officials from all 50 states convened to elect the next Republican National Committee Chair, TBOR Action joined the winter meeting to talk about these important rules and advocate for their consideration.
Before I go in-depth on our work at the RNC, I want to highlight my exclusive radio interview with Scott Sands, in which I covered many of the election rules TBOR Action asked Republican leaders to consider, in addition to talking about the election for RNC Chair. Click here to listen to my full radio interview.
The four election rules TBOR Action discussed with GOP officials were:
1). The need for the RNC Chair to be a fair referee during the Presidential nominating process.
2). The need to defend Voter ID against attacks from major liberal donors including Soros- backed groups as seen in Michigan.
3). The need to tweak, rather than throw out, all versions of Instant Runoff elections.
4). The need to work diligently and together to implement under current election rules, even when the preference is to change the rules in the future (as done by the California GOP’s incredible success in the process of nonpartisan redistricting that led to a 2nd straight cycle of Congressional pickups).
Election Rule 1: RNC Chair Must Be Fair Referee
After a couple of days talking with leaders from many of the 50 states, I expected the re-election in a few hours of Ronna McDaniel as RNC Chair. However, many of my closest friends in various states strongly support Harmeet Dhillon, whom I consider a great friend of several years and who had a strong showing. The third candidate is Mike Lindell, owner of My Pillow, who has campaigned as the only candidate already endorsing President Trump in 2024. My problem with this boils down to the necessity that the RNC Chair be a NEUTRAL referee to ensure a fair nomination process—as the great RNC Chair Reince Priebus was in 2016, despite unfounded media attacks that he was going to change the rules to help one candidate over another. McDaniel or Dhillon would be a fair referee. Lindell would not. Election Rule 2: Voter ID Is Necessary - Soros Attempt to Eliminate it is a Threat to Democracy Many of my conversations centered around my recent NewsMax piece regarding the $23 million effort by Soros’ Open Society and allies to fool Michigan voters into making Voter ID laws unconstitutional. This was done by literally tricking them into believing a “Yes” vote supported Voter ID. In fact a “Yes” vote made enforcement Unconstitutional. The Soros-backed effort to trick voters was conducted to thwart Democracy and the 80% of voters who support Voter ID. The deceitful wording imposes the will of the 20% who do not support Voter ID. The rest of this case as it appeared in Newsmax can be read by clicking here. Election Rule 3: Resolution Opposing Ranked Choice voting. One decision this week was a vote for the Republican Party to oppose all ranked choice voting. While I have not seen the final wording, I believe a vote for blanket opposition should be amended: 3a. A half dozen Southern Legislatures allow overseas military officials in runoff states to use Ranked Choice ballots rather than have them try to mail another ballot overseas before the runoff election six days later. I’d urge that exceptions stating that this type of Ranked Choice Voting, which TBOR Action successfully passed as part of the Georgia election reform bill, would continue to be supported to make voting easier for those defending our freedom. 3b. A Ranked Choice Convention in Virginia last year produced the excellent Youngkin/Sears/Miyares Republican ticket, which won back the state and carried in a House of Delegates majority. I’ve talked to many Virginia GOP County chairs over the last couple of weeks as they decided among primaries, conventions, or Ranked Choice Conventions; some liked the process and some did not – an exception saying Republicans can still choose Ranked Choice Voting in certain cases could be a good future amendment. 3c. Another variation outlined here would have resulted in a Republican winning in Alaska, so that could also be another exception. Many leaders told me this week they did not realize that both Republican candidates in the Alaska Congressional disliked each other so much they were telling voters NOT to pick the other Republican as the second choice until a report from Alaska GOP Chair Ann Brown (not to be misconstrued as an endorsement of the system, just an unusual factor that should be considered in future “tweak or ban” discussions). 3d. One of the valid concerns raised by many I talked to this week were the very confusing ranked choice races in places like, for example, New York City, where voters had to rank 13 candidates. We oppose that type of system and believe the arguments are valid that this kind of election is simply too confusing. A future amendment might be to indicate that any Ranked Choice Voting with more than five candidates is opposed by the Republican Party. 3e. The second valid concern I heard this week was that, in Alaska, having multiple Republicans on the ballot was confusing to voters, and that anyone was allowed to be listed as whatever party they thought would help their election chances simply by “self-identifying,” no matter what their beliefs are or who the actual members of the Republican Party considered the Republican (or Democratic) standard bearer. However, this system would work to eliminate spoiler candidates (3rd party pro-life, Libertarian, Constitutional Party, etc.) that could take votes away from Republicans if the resolution was amended to simply say: "The Republican Party opposes any system that allows any candidate to be listed
as a Republican candidate except the one selected as THE Republican nominee by the
party." If this is followed, you could still have Final Five elections, but the word “Republican” and “Democrat” would appear by only the candidate whom the party endorsed by convention or primary. You would then add an “unaffiliated” primary to let candidates run in any of those three primaries, with the winner of the Republican and Democratic primaries getting the “R” or “D” by their name to differentiate the primary winners, but these next three highest vote-getters make the ballot. I keep pointing out to my independent friends, who claim they are now the plurality, that only about 10% are true independents – in other words, believing in neither party. According to Gallup, bout 45% say they like the Republican party and about 45% say they like the Democratic Party. Why, then, would independent groups want to deny voters the information to know which candidate is supported by which party? The 10% true independents will be likely to support one of the three candidates on the ballot with neither an “R” or a “D” by their name. The 45% Republicans will be likely to vote for the candidate with the “R” by their name, and the same for the Democrats. Election Rule 4: Even if Working to Change Rules, Work Within Them, As Seen In CA Redistricting If TBOR Action gave an award for an organization that best understood the need to work within the rules to best serve voters, even if you want to change them for future elections, it would go to the California GOP Chair Jessica Patterson – one of John’s first meetings this week. Many Republicans have rightly complained about nonpartisan redistricting commissions such as the one in Arizona that was actually controlled by Democrats. However, the California Republican Party understood the process. Instead of complaining, the CA GOP worked to make sure that the California Citizens Redistricting Commission truly was nonpartisan. It also insisted the commission abide by other important rules such as not slicing up key areas. Aa a rough example, below are two pie graphs representing a typical metro area, with the blue being heavily Democratic Milwaukee or Los Angeles, surrounded by the red, more Republican outlying areas. Ignore, for the moment, that if this were Los Angeles, the Republican areas at 6 o’clock and 8 o’clock would be in the Pacific Ocean, but you get the idea:
If Democratic legislators control redistricting, they want the graphic on the left. This redistricting cuts up Los Angeles, or Milwaukee, like a pie so Democrats win all nine districts. What most Americans want, however, is a grid like the one on the right, which is going to create some overwhelmingly Democratic districts in the city, but more competitive, or Republican-leaning districts outside of the inner city. When the US Supreme Court threw out the maps drawn by Wisconsin Democrats, they did so because, with Milwaukee’s population dropping, they ruled Democrats could not cut Milwaukee up like a pie to control MORE districts with LESS of the population. The California GOP accomplished the same thing by making sure the commission had a fair breakdown and was not controlled by Democrats, then pointed out that the rules in California stated that you could not carve up areas like the Democrats would have liked in the city of Los Angeles to control surrounding areas. By using the rules in place instead of just complaining about them, California Republicans picked up Congressional seats for the second straight cycle. We were in Virginia hoping for the final votes to pass non-partisan redistricting when Eric Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee went quiet on the legislation realizing that with Democrats in charge it would hurt Democrats instead of Republicans. Only once they realized passage could not be stopped did they send out messages asking for a YES vote leading to groans within the Virginia Capitol at the obvious hypocrisy. With Democrats unable to draw the lines, Republicans took back the House of Delegates. Meeting GOP Chairs and Great Leaders While the above recap does cover the work we did on election rules, I would be remiss if I didn’t also highlight some of the great leaders and good friends I came across during my time at the winter meeting. In addition to meeting with many of the 50 State GOP Chairs, I met with Vernon Jones (3rd from left) who, as a Democrat, made a surprise endorsement of George W. Bush in 2000 based on his faith when I ran the national faith-based effort for George W. Bush 2000. I also met with PragerU star CJ Pearson (2nd from left) and Advance guru John Hiller (right), who pretends to not be important:
I also had a great time meeting Stokes Nielson at the RNC Luncheon. Stokes is the Grammy-nominated lead singer for The Lost Trailers, a well-known country band. I believe one of his first big gigs was Milwaukee’s Summerfest even though he is Nashville-based. Great place to close this report with this great song by the guy who led off for the Eagles when he was 15 years old: