Advice to GOP Convention Bloggers: The action starts early


Scott Sala of Slant Point is one of the bloggers given official press credentials by the RNC for the Republican National Convention. One of his recent entries has an up-to-date list of credentialed bloggers. He also asks for ideas:

I still am soliciting ideas for angles to cover. Lots of people recommended issue that are getting sidelined - like choice, religion and others that may not portray such an Urban Republican message. Let me know any thoughts. Thanks.

Here's an angle for the convention bloggers: Any controversy likely to be associated with the convention will happen the preceding week, during the platform and rules committee meetings. Plan to attend and cover these meetings and talk to the delegates who are on the committees. I don't have a complete schedule, but I understand that Platform Committee sessions begin Tuesday, August 24, and will continue daily through the week. Rules Committee is only scheduled to have a single meeting on Friday, August 27.

The issues Scott mentions above, and many other contentious issues, will be discussed in the Platform Committee and its subcommittees. Committee members will be working with the 2000 platform, platforms submitted by the state Republican parties, and input provided to the convention website. The aim will be to keep the base happy while avoiding any public show of disunity during the convention proper. While a major challenge to the President's positions on the issues is not expected, any of the members of the committee (two from each state) could take the initiative on a pet issue.

One issue that may not be on your radar screen is immigration. There is a lot of grassroots discontent with the President's immigration policy. It was evident in resolutions submitted by precinct caucuses to the Tulsa County Republican Convention Platform Committee (which I headed this year) -- it was one of the three most often expressed sentiments, the other two being support for a strong pro-life plank in the platform and support for the President's execution of the War on Terror, including military action against Saddam Hussein. Oklahoma's state platform reflects the same concern about the consequences of Bush's immigration policy, which many consider an amnesty, for all practical purposes, which will encourage a surge in illegal immigration. Any disconnect between the President and the grassroots is where controversy is likeliest to erupt.

The Rules Committee will recommend a set of rules to govern this convention and the rules which will govern the party until the 2008 convention, including the rules for the presidential nominating process. At the 2000 convention, there was a detailed proposal for reforming the process which had been hammered out by a special task force over several years and was going to be recommended by the Republican National Committee's permanent Committee on Rules to the convention's Rules Committee. At the last minute, the Bush campaign pressured the committee to pull the proposed changes off of the table. I hear that the permanent Committee on Rules isn't making any recommendations for significant reforms this year, but that doesn't preclude a group of the convention's Rules Committee members from taking the initiative and making a proposal of their own. In my opinion, it would be a lost opportunity if the issue wasn't debated at all.

To prepare yourselves for covering these committee meetings, be sure to review the rules and platform adopted by the 2000 Convention. And feel free to e-mail this delegate and long-time party activist with any questions you may have. (And don't miss this entry on what being a delegate is all about.)

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 16, 2004 1:29 AM.

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