Anuzis sips tea but hates the taste
RightMichigan has done a great job exposing the shenanigans in this week’s MI Primary delegate allocation fiasco. I am a Michigan voter for Santorum, but this isn’t about Rick Santorum. Nor is it completely about who gets that lone “at-large” delegate. This is about the integrity of the election process.
It was clear reading former MI GOP chair and Romney supporter Saul Anuzis’s Facebook in the days leading up to Tuesday that the Romney camp didn’t like Santorum’s tactic of reaching out to Democrat’s in the open primary. Never mind that it was Romney backers who wanted the open primary, Santorum used it to his advantage and they cried, “foul!” Politics and rhetoric is the game and both campaigns were playing it to their advantage in Michigan’s tight race. But at least we had the “integrity of the system” to decide the relative dishonesty and tactics of a particular candidate.
The voters gave Romney a narrow win in the state-wide popular vote and via MI-GOP rules a 15-15 split in delegates. Not enough for Romney to claim a clear victory in his “homestate.” Santorum took to the air to claim his share of the spoils and Romney backers on the MI-GOP Credentials Committee took to the backroom to “fix” an error.
What Saul Anuzis and three others on the MI GOP credentials committee have done is flush our faith in the voting process down the toilet with a post primary tele-conference call that allegedly clarified ambiguities in how the MI GOP intended to allocate delegates. The call resulted in a 16-14 split in Romney’s favor. When something is clarified it is usually made more clear not less. How the credentials committee reached this new delegate allocation of 16-14 Romney/Santorum is unclear. Giving both “at-large” delegates to Romney when the rules say they should be split proportionally to candidates receiving over 15% of the vote is wrong. (Again, RightMichigan has the best details.)
There’s a rule in politics that says, “Follow the money.” And the partisan money in the MI-GOP is on Romney. But the rule for mathematics is “follow the numbers.” And the numbers dictate a 15-15 split Anuzis and several other Romney backers on the credentials committee couldn’t stomach sharing delegates in his homestate so like a GPS they “recalculated” and viola Romney gets 2 and Santorum none. Partisan “money” or Non-partisan math. Numbers don’t lie but politicians do.
I want to believe that Anuzis and the committee acted uprightly but what I want to believe isn’t the issue. We should KNOW that this was all above board. And that happens when the sun shines. If Anuzis and his friends on the Credentials Committee are telling the truth then the paper trail of minutes and memos, will reflect it and this is all much ado about nothing and really drive a stake in Santorum for looking like a sore loser. If not, it could be the same for Romney. But every MI GOP voter (and every Republican) deserves to know the truth. Former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, a voting member on the MI-GOP Credentials committee, was one of two dissenting votes in the late-night tele-conference that allocated delegates. He was vocal in his disgust at the post-primary rules change saying.
“I supported Mitt, but the vote was clearly wrong. It’s kind of like Third World voting. We published rules and then we voted to change the rules.”
Michigan isn’t a third world country. We already suffer from economic disasters, we don’t need a political disaster to further embarrass our state. The next Presidential election is crucial and we need leaders in every state and in the RNC who will instill trust in the electoral process not third-world despots who fix elections in their favor.
When something is black and white and stinks, there’s a skunk in the house. And skunks are not welcome guests at my Tea Party or in the RNC.
(This post was eidtted and updated. Anuzis is not currently seeking RNC Chair. My apologies for the error.)