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January 03, 2011

Politico's Headcount of RNC Members Has Majority Opposed to Steele; Gentry Collins Drops Out of Running

Most are agin' him.

Voting occurs is several rounds of balloting, if no one manages a majority, which is very very likely. So it then becomes important to ask if any of the people opposing Steele would support him as a second choice. But it turns out that none of the 88 opposing him say he's their second choice.

That still leaves the possibility of his being a third choice (and balloting could come down to third choices), but it seems that the 88 are pretty sure they'd favor anyone but Steele.

Fifty-five members, some of whom have endorsed one of Steele’s challengers, have signaled that they will not support the chairman under any circumstances. An additional 33 pledged their support elsewhere.

Just as telling, not a single member of the committee said that Steele was their second choice in the race – a grave indicator in a contest likely to be decided in multiple ballots.

Steele could still win since the politicking is hot and heavy, with lots of negative attacks directed at his challengers (not all from Steele, since they're attempting to beat each other, too). Reince Priebus' law firm (not he himself) takes the position that ObamaCare is constitutional -- which I don't think is very surprising, since, well, lawyers. We know how they lean, generally. More is being outed about Priebus -- none of it, I think, really all that disqualifying -- but some may be put off by the fact that as a clerk in law school he worked for the NAACP's defense fund, and or worked, supposedly, as a lawyer (at the direction of his client) on the "wrong side' of an eminent domain lawsuit.

This seems very weak to me. A "principled conservative" is not, as Dan Riehl implies, against eminent domain generally. Eminent domain is permitted by the Constitution, by seriously strong implication. (Fifth Amendment: no property shall be taken by the state for public purposes wiithout fair compensation, which unavoidably suggests it can be taken for public purposes with fair compensation. Kelo wasn't about eminent domain generally, which is unassailable as a constitutional principle; it was about seizing private property for private, not public, benefit. The suit Priebus was an attorney on seems to involve the taking of property to create a street ("a new street design") which seems to be the classic use of eminent domain. Streets and railway lines? That's the whole point of the power.

Maria Cino, meanwhile, is being attacked for being pro-abortion, supposedly, because she served on the board of directors of the WISH List, a group (as I understand it) which attempts to elect pro-choice Republicans women.

She says she was only serving there to help Republican women achieve office, whether pro-choice or not; that is, she says she didn't care about the "pro-choice" part but was just trying to elect Republican women of any stripe. She says she later tried to correct the whole pro-choice thing:

“In 1997, they asked me to help them,” Cino said. “I told them that I was, in fact, as they knew, pro-life. They understood that. And they asked me to help them with women candidates. I did that for one year.”

“My involvement with WISH List was for one reason pure and simple, to use WISH List as a vehicle against Emily’s List (a pro-abortion Democratic outfit) to elect Republican women,” she said. “After a year, it became clear to me that, unlike the 80s and 90s, we had alot of pro-life women that were now running and we needed to get more women to run.”

She said she began to limit her involvement with WISH List and founded VIEW PAC, a group that made it possible to give to pro-life women as well.

“I wanted a vehicle to help more of the pro-life females who were beginning to run,” she said.

Dannenfelser asked a follow up question about how, with her deep pro-life conviction, how could she set aside those views to work directly with a group that advocates for abortion and elected only pro-abortion candidates.

“I didn’t look at it as a pro-choice or a pro-life organization,” Cino said. “I have been committed for the last 20-some odd years to electing Republican women. Rightfully or wrongfully, I looked at it purely from a standpoint of electing Republican women.”

She also says that she's pro-life, but I don't know if that's going to help her. A close connection with a pro-choice group seems close to disqualifying in a party that's overall 75% strongly pro-life.

Gentry Collins, the former political director at the RNC who quit and released that scathing report about Steele's spending and such, also dropped out, apparently just due to failure to get any traction in the race, which leaves the big candidates as Priebus, Cino, and Saul Anzunis, who I think got the furthest in balloting against Steele last time 'round.


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posted by Ace at 12:40 PM

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