Monday, December 26, 2011
Was Mitt Romney tipped off about changes to the Republican Party of Virginia's ballot rules?
Was the Virginia Republican Party's ballot access fiasco an inside job?
A growing number of bloggers on the right side of the blogosphere are talking about a recent change in the Virginia GOP's method of verifying ballot petition signatures. I'm not going to reproduce or quote their arguments here because that would mean linking to a lot right wing blogs I don't want to link to. Let me summarize.
The long and the short of it is that the Republican Party of Virginia supposedly changed its own internal rules for validating signatures in November 2011, but didn't go out of its way to notify all the various campaigns. The Virginia law in question is an unusual one in that it sets a minimum number of valid signatures that must be gathered, but it delegates the task of counting and validating those signatures to the respective parties: Republicans count signatures for Republicans and Democrats for Democrats. That gives each party a great deal of latitude when it comes to accepting candidates for its own primary ballot.
Until quite recently, the GOP apparently only made the most cursory inquiry into the validity of individual signatures, but in November 2011, a decision was made to examine signatures much more closely, unless a candidate submitted 15,000 signatures--as opposed to the 10,000 minimum.
The question is, did someone within the RPV tip off the Romney campaign, but not the other campaigns?
The assumption here is that Ron Paul would have gotten his 15,000 signatures in any case because he has such an energized volunteer base. Because of this, Ron Paul seems to be getting a "pass" from righty bloggers.
No, the question seems to be whether Romney--as the establishment GOP candidate--was tipped off by someone in the RPV "establishment," while the campaigns of movement conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry were kept in the dark. So some are now asking, was the Virginia Republican Party's ballot access fiasco an inside job?