14 votes

Reminder that the RNC is NOT simply a private club

I've read many posts and comments expressing confusion about the “private club” status of the GOP as well as what happens if they violate their own internal rules.
First off, technically the Grand Old Party is not a private club, but rather is a political committee, and it's activities fall within the purview of the FEC. For example, if your state uses electronic voting machines, those are not owned by the GOP, but rather your state's Board of Elections.
This is a complicated issue, and without delving too deeply into the historical roots, I would like to cite one prominent example of the relationship between a political party and the “official” government.
While this article is about the Democratic party, it is still relevant.
This law encyclopedia entry is about the so-called White Primary,

West's Encyclopedia of American Law writes:

A legal device once employed by some Southern states to prevent African Americans from exercising their right to vote in a meaningful way.
In the 1920s Southern states began using the white primary as a way of limiting the ability of African Americans to play a part in the political process. The white primary was an effective device because of the virtual one-party political system in the South that existed until the late 1960s. In all but a few areas nomination by the Democratic party was tantamount to election, with Republicans often not bothering to run in the general elections.
In order to keep African Americans out of the political process, the Democratic party in many states adopted a rule excluding them from party membership. The state legislatures worked in concert with the party, closing the primaries to everyone except party members. The Supreme Court had ruled in 1921, in Newberry v. United States, 256 U.S. 232, 41 S. Ct. 469, 65 L. Ed. 913, that political parties were private organizations and not part of the government election apparatus. Therefore, by means of the white primary device, African Americans were disenfranchised without official state action that would have triggered judicial review under the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.
Beginning in the late 1920s the Supreme Court reviewed a series of cases involving the white primary. In Nixon v. Herndon, 273 U.S. 536, 47 S. Ct. 446, 71 L. Ed. 759 (1927), the Court ruled that the state could not formally endorse the white primary, but in Grovey v. Townsend, 295 U.S. 45, 55 S. Ct. 622, 79 L. Ed. 1292 (1935), it upheld a Texas white primary that was based solely on a resolution adopted by the state Democratic party.
In United States v. Classic, 313 U.S. 299, 61 S. Ct. 1031, 85 L. Ed. 1368 (1941), the Court ruled that the federal government could regulate party primaries to prevent voter fraud. In recognizing that primaries were part of a state's electoral scheme, it overruled the Newberry precedent and weakened the Grovey v. Townsend holding. Finally, in Smith v. Allwright, 321 U.S. 649, 64 S. Ct. 757, 88 L. Ed. 987 (1944), the Court overruled the Grovey decision and struck down the white primary as a violation of the Fifteenth Amendment's prohibition against voting discrimination based on race.
Following Smith v. Allwright, Texas Democrats established a private association from which African Americans were excluded. The members of the association held "preprimary" elections to select candidates for the Democratic primaries. The Supreme Court declared in Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461, 73 S. Ct. 809, 97 L. Ed. 1152 (1953), that the preprimary device was unconstitutional, as it made the primary and general elections "perfunctory ratifiers" of the decisions made during the preprimary process.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_primary

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Substitute POST-Primary for PRE-Primary

and here's what you get:
the POST-primary device was unconstitutional, as it made the post-primary and general elections "perfunctory ratifiers" of the decisions made during the preprimary process.

Or...even better... Try this:
the postprimary pre-convention device was unconstitutional, as it made the National Convention and DELEGATE SELECTION "perfunctory ratifiers" of the decisions made during the post-primary process.

The Prosecution Rests...Await Rebuttall,(there isn't any).

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

yes the GOP is a private club

you are missing the point. The GOP doesn't even have to have primaries or caucuses or delegate conventions - they simply could name thier nominee if they wish - all the nominating hoopla is just a show, its there to control the outcome, nothing more. George Washington warned the citizens against political parties.

If there was no show, few people would be involved and thus you would have something similar to just a national committee just deciding who the nominee is.

True, but what he is pointing out is that

once you make the election to use voting machines provided by the State you have a responsibility that is regulated by the FEC.


the courts were wrong in terry v adams

Its not unconstitutional to allow a race restricted preprimary. The supreme court found incorrectly. They will still enforce it as though it is correct though.

As long as the race restricted pre primary did not lie and tell everyone it was not race restricted, they are within their constitutional rights to have such a preprimary, and to publicize the results. (AGain this is not meant to imply that the courts will abide by these opinions of mine.)

If a case were to be made that the romney campaign is doing something that the supreme court has said is unconstitutional, we should be careful to not actually claim it is unconstitutional. but only to make an argument to the effect of " according to YOUR logic, along with your other logic about disparate impact on race, wouldnt YOU then have to conclude that the romney campaaign is doing something unconstitutional"

But we should never endorse the actual shutting down of their shadow convention as that would be endorsing something that was a deprivation of liberty.

This is very intriguing indeed.

Excellent work finding this. Big Bump!

Is the FEC required to do routine checks on these machines

like the states do with gas pumps and scales for weights and measures? Can we go the FEC and document what we think is fraud and get them involved with our concerns since it is not a private club?


If the voting machines are truly rigged

And the FEC is responsible for them, it doesn't spell anything good about the FEC being trustworthy though.

Or maybe they are just incompetent and they can could do their job correctly with a simple nudge in the right direction. One can only hope.

Even if we could get a case

Even if we could get a case to the supreme oourt it would take years for this to happen. There is no way this is going to happen before august.

sharkhearted's picture

But there is a bigger question here that is being asked...

...that is not dependent upon the August deadline: The RNC is using the "private" argument to shut out video recording of the process (i.e. Mississippi and Missouri, for example).

So it is right and very prescient to raise the question as to just how "private" is the political process, after all!

I mean...the government forces citizens to jump through hoops in terms of elections (limiting what we can give to $2,500, etc)...then if the government is involved in all of that...why SHOULD the affairs of these political parties...be considered "private"??

No. They are public at least in the sense that they are vehicles to elect people to public office.

No election or delegate process or otherwise...should be "private" where the First Amendment is shut out.

That is where the shennanigans start.

Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Still, if they could actually be prosecuted,

it should definitely be considered. I always assumed that the RNC was untouchable, because they were a private organization. But if they are NOT, it opens the way for prosecution.

Even if that prosecution comes too late to matter THIS round, having it settled might still matter for the next round. And who knows, we could maybe land a few people in jail or have some unfavourable laws amended. It might matter in 2016.

The only problem is where do we get the money to prosecute?

sharkhearted's picture

Very, very interesting.

IMHO, the white primary...is a former day rough (very rough) equivalent ...to the "shadow convention"...those scalliwags are trying to pull in Nevada. Obviously there are differences where the former is based upon shutting out people because of their skin color, while the latter is based upon shutting out people because of their candidate.

And I agree the "private club" thing seems a little suspect too, especially when they are relying upon case law which turns out to be shady at best, racist at worst, rulings in 1921.

Well done on this forum! This is very important.

As always...the Paul supporters never cease to amaze me:

If you get the official "answer" to the question, then you change the paradigm a bit and start to question the veracity of the answer...something Dr. Paul has done time and time again!

Norfolk, VA

Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Correct me if I'm wrong

But I remember a Ben Swann segment stating where the RNC was a private organization. If that's untrue, it might be worth a shot to send this thread to Benn Swann.

Pertinently informative


optimystic's picture

I missed this thread on May 4

I think it deserves more attention and discussion...

I am no legal scholar

but considering what you have written on this post, it seems to me to be a parallel that the RNC is working directly with the Romney campaign. See https://secure.mittromney.com/donate/victory at the bottom of the page.

Are you suggesting that the RNC is essentially doing now what the Democratic Party did with the White Primaries and preprimaries? If so, would there be legal recourse?

Exactly, notice the last part

Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461, 73 S. Ct. 809, 97 L. Ed. 1152 (1953)
where the Supreme Court ruled on the unconstitutionality of the pre-primary construct, which served to render the nomination/general election “perfunctory ratifiers” of previous decisions.

Interesting correlation to 1920...

So what you're basically saying is that we should start backing the Establishment GOP into a corner on grounds of their racism since they are shutting out RP supports who tend to be more culturally diverse? I like it. I like it.

Sort of. The backing them into a corner is correct.

It can be done. But it is going to happen by presenting ourselves diplomatically.

The side that stays calm will eventually come out on top. Let them get the instigator and third man in penalty.

This is what I have been

This is what I have been talking about, and no one seems to get it. I think many of us should CALL for an appointment TO HQ, and meet with them concerning abnormalities with delegates and voting in various states. I am not saying to storm the place..I am saying to get in a meeting with them and find out why the CHAIR thinks it is legal to be biased in a Republican primary..? I think we need to pressure them, and we need to know the truth!

We DON'T Ask WHY...

We let them know what we know..IT'S ILLEGAL..Has Case-Law Precedence.
And Findings of Fact in the Decisions rendered by the SCOTUS.
Shadow GOP = White Primary
Followed by a NEWSPAPER-AD-MONEYBOMB to expose this..nationwide!
I, for one, don't wonder why....I just know it's WRONG!

"Beyond the blackened skyline, beyond the smoky rain, dreams never turned to ashes up until.........
...Everything CHANGED !!

PROOF the RNC is working with

PROOF the RNC is working with the Romney campaign and violating Rule 11


To arms! To arms! The Redcoats are coming!