Ed. note: Rules discussions can get esoteric pretty quickly.  Curly Haugland, a longtime RNC member from North Dakota and a member of the RNC Rules Committee, makes some interesting points in the communications below.  He favors a stronger role for the RNC and its members in the selection of the party's nominee. Whether he can persuade the wider RNC of his arguments remains to be seen, however.

From: Curly Haugland 
Date: December 3, 2015 at 9:19:06 AM CST
To: Reince Priebus 
Subject: Fwd: Call of the 2016 Convention

Hi Reince,
As you know, I attended the conference call meeting of the Committee on the Call which met November 30 and voted to approve the Call of the Convention, a copy of which is attached.  Chairman Gleason, in presiding over the meeting, delivered comments and led a discussion of the meeting.

At one point in his comments, Chairman Gleason stated that once the call has been issued, "States and territories will then proceed to elect, select, allocate and bind their delegates based upon their process certified to the RNC by the October 1 deadline required under Rule 16(f)".

Reince, that statement is in conflict with Rule 13 where it says "The Republican National Committee shall issue and promulgate the call in a manner consistent with these rules". (Rules 13-25)

As I pointed out in my email to the RNC members November 25, the Rule 16(f) filings of the states and territories contain many provisions that are contrary to many of the Rules 13-25.

So, while I did not provide specific examples of violations in the earlier email, I will do so now to make my point with respect to each of my allegations.

1.  Numerous states plan to allow non-Republicans to participate in delegate selection events. They are NH, SC, AL, AR, TX, VT, VA, MS, PR, OH, IL, AS, UT, WI, RI, IN, NE, and NJ.

2.  Numerous states plan to allow the "winner" of their primary to hand-pick the delegates. NH, CA, CT, OH FL and several others.

3.  Some states allow alternate delegates to be selected at a completely different time and in a different manner than the delegates are selected.

4.  Numerous states plan to assess fees as a condition of standing for election or serving as a delegate.  CA, $900; AR, $250 to RPA for each candidate filed under; and several others.

5.  Some state plans allow the chairman of the delegation to cast a delegate's vote contrary to the wishes of the individual delegate.  AL, FL


Under Rule 13, the Republican National Committee shall issue and promulgate the call in a manner consistent with these rules.  That would be Rules 13-25, Reince.  Further, Rule 13 says the call "shall include the text of the rules relating to the convening and the proceedings of the national convention..."  Rules 13-25 deal with the convening of the convention.  It certainly must be reasonable to assume that compliance with the rules is expected and assumed.

Reince, it is the duty of the chairman to see to it that the rules are complied with. Obviously, Chairman Gleason's directive that States and territories may now proceed to select delegates base upon Rule 16(f) filings is a complete substitution of rules!

As I have pointed out, there is substantial deviation from the rules in many of the Rule 16(f) filings.

Also, as you know, I have been a member for a long time.  The Committee on the Call is the one committee of the RNC that all members are to be a part of, by the terms of Rule 13, which says the "Republican National Committee shall issue the call...".  This time, for the first time that I recall, you appointed a sub-committee to act for all of us.

It is interesting to note, as well, that the only rule to draw a "statement of intent to enforce" in the RNC Press Release on the call, is the one "binding" members of the RNC that were not bound by state rules.  That is obviously to support the desire to be able to increase the "hard count" in an attempt to get a "presumptive nominee" prior to the convention.

Just let the record show, I vote Nay!

Please take immediate steps to correct this mistake!

Curly Haugland 

National Committeeman, North Dakota

Curly Haugland
National Committeeman for North Dakota
Box 1473
Bismarck, ND 58502

March 11, 2016

Fellow Republican National Committee Members,

NEWS FLASH:  All Republican Delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention are Unbound!

As most of you know, I have been defending the right of the delegates to the Republican National Convention to vote according to their personal choice in all matters to come before the Republican National Convention, including the vote to nominate the Republican Candidate for President, for several years.

Here is something I recently discovered that most of us did not know, including me!
Binding delegates to the results of presidential preference primaries first appeared in the Rules of the Republican Party in 1976.

I write about this in the next chapter of my “Owner’s Manual for Delegates” entitled “Spinning Straw Into Gold”.

“Select, allocate and bind. The fraudulent addition of these three words to the Rules of the Republican Party in the 2008 Convention, as detailed in Chapter One, is the political equivalent of "spinning straw into gold".

Without the use of force to bind the votes of delegates to the results of the primary process, primaries are nearly worthless "beauty contests". 

This chapter explores the history of "binding" in the Republican presidential nomination process, and reveals some stunning facts.

Delegates have been bound only once in the history of the Republican Party.
In 1976, the Ford campaign, afraid of losing "pledged" delegates to Reagan forces and having the strength of delegate numbers needed, forced the adoption of the "Justice Resolution" which amended the convention rules to bind the delegates to cast their convention votes according to the results of binding primaries.

This historic event was the first convention in the history of the Republican Party where the delegates were denied the freedom to vote as they wished in the nomination vote for President. And, 1976 was also the last time delegates have been bound by convention rules to cast their votes according to the results of binding primary elections, since the 1980 convention rescinded the Justice Resolution entirely restoring the prohibition of binding.

This history has huge implications for 2016, since it calls attention to the fact that the convention rules of the Republican Party do not bind delegates to cast their votes according to the results of binding primaries.

Therefore, as "spinning straw into gold" is to primaries, "Rumplestiltskin" is to conventions.  Delegates to the 2016 convention are not bound.”
Before you rush to ask “what does the Counsel”s Office say about this” I offer this statement from that office:

“One of the important  rules changes over the last 50 years has been the unit rule prohibited…that change was made so that an individual delegate can vote his or her conscience.”  (transcript, RNC Standing Committee on the Rules, January 19, 2006 pp 93-94)

That statement was made by Tom Josefiak to the members of the RNC Rules Committee as part of an orientation session for Rules Committee members.  Mr. Josefiak was part of a panel of expert presenters that also included Ben Ginsberg, Mike Duncan, and Morton Blackwell.  The meeting was presided over by David Norcross, chairman of the RNC Rules Committee.

And, the rule Mr. Josefiak referred to is current Rule 38, Unit Rule.

That’s right.  Every delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention is a completely free agent, free to vote for the candidate of their choice on every ballot at the convention in Cleveland in July. Every delegate is a Superdelegate!

In Chapter One, I discussed the fraudulent process that was employed to insert the words “select, allocate and bind” into the section of the Rules of the Republican Party that deal with the election of delegates to the national convention.

The rest of the chapter, Spinning Straw Into Gold, will provide much more detail to expose the actors and the methods that have been employed over the past several presidential nominations to Spin Straw Into Gold by stealing the right to choose the party’s presidential nominee and transferring that right to the Political Industrial Complex who have turned primaries into gold.

We are the Republican National Committee, this has been done on our watch and there is nothing we can do about it until the 2016 convention.

What happens then is an open question that can only be answered by the delegates that will constitute the highest authority of the Republican Party of the United States, the Republican National Convention of 2016.

Curly Haugland

Republican National Committeeman for North Dakota