The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC) will once again vote on amending the party plan to allow an unassembled convention. Chairman Rich Anderson called for the meeting on Monday, after last week determining that an in-person parking lot convention would not be possible at Liberty University. The agenda for the Friday evening meeting includes three potential amendments to party rules that would allow an unassembled convention.
Vice-Chair Kristi Way proposed one such amendment allowing an unassembled convention; Way is one of the leaders of a faction of the SCC that has previously blocked such amendments, hoping for a primary or a canvass. However, the SCC will have to pick one of the three amendments or approve another plan.
Delegates to the unassembled convention will go to one of a number of party-operated polling places. The three amendments differ on who controls the process and how many polling places will be used. Both Anderson’s and Way’s plan allow local GOP units to designate polling places. SCC member Mike Ginsburg, who has been leading the pro-convention majority of the SCC, proposed an amendment where the amount of polling places is limited to specific numbers in congressional district, based on the size of the district.
Pro-convention SCC member Willie Deutsch told The Virginia Star, “The Kristi Way [amendment] is unit committee controlled, with a ton more locations.”
Deutsch said under Way’s plan, there would likely be 60 to 80 locations. However, since it allows the local units to choose their locations, more are possible. Deutsch said that plan would be similar in some ways to a canvass.
Ginsburg’s amendment would limit the unassembled convention to 34 locations.
Deutsch said, “[Anderson’s plan] is somewhat of an amalgamation of both. The Ginsburg [amendment] is really the unassembled convention we’ve started with from the get-go back in December.”
Until now, the nomination debate in the SCC has been split between a minority of the party leadership that blocks a three-fourths vote to approve an unassembled convention and a majority that blocks attempts to have anything other than a convention. Way’s amendment suggests that the minority is now open to discussing an unassembled convention, but after months of infighting, its not clear how much either side is willing to compromise.
After Anderson’s Monday letter calling the meeting, several chairmen of local GOP units exhorted the SCC to come to a compromise. “Dismount your high horses, abandon your personal ambitions, and shroud yourselves in your responsibility to represent the best interests of this Party and the millions of Virginia Republicans who desire to win again,” they wrote, according to Bearing Drift. “Be the leaders and problem solvers you told us that you were. Do not be afraid to negotiate and come to an agreement.”
Deutsch said that despite the three proposed amendments in Anderson’s call, discussion about the amendments continues.
“There’s an amendments package behind negotiated behind the scenes that may end up being able to pass to facilitate a version of an unassembled convention,” he said. “We’ll see if there’s a version that people can come together on.”
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