RNC

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Today in Liberty is a daily round up of recent political news and other interesting stories presented with liberty-minded commentary. We frequently keep tabs on liberty-minded politicians and candidates in these updates. We also inject some humor on occasion. Click here to receive Today in Liberty every morning via email.

— Establishment strikes at Amash: Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-MI) primary challenger, Brian Ellis, released the first ad of his fledging campaign, falsely attacking Amash for supporting “gender-selection abortion.” Amash’s campaign says that the measure in question “would not have made a single abortion illegal,” rather his spokesman said that it “would have created a thought-crime.” Amash has a 100% rating from the National Right to Life for the current session. Politico recently reported that donors are abandoning Ellis’s campaign, so take the ad for what it is: desperation.

RNC denounces NSA’s “unconstitutional surveillance”

In the latest example of the growing libertarian influence inside the GOP, the Republican National Committee (RNC) passed a resolution on Friday renouncing the National Security Agency’s phone metadata collection program:

During its winter meeting in Washington, the committee on Friday overwhelmingly approved a measure calling for lawmakers to end the program and create a special committee to investigate domestic surveillance efforts.

The resolution, which declared that “unwarranted government surveillance is an intrusion on basic human rights,” among other condemnations, passed the committee on a voice vote with near-unanimous support. Only a small minority of the 168 RNC members dissented.

The committee criticized the government’s bulk collection of records about all phone calls, which emerged as one of the most controversial programs revealed in leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. That NSA effort “is in itself contrary to the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution,” the RNC said in the resolution.
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The resolution called for Republican lawmakers to create a new panel “to investigate, report, and reveal to the public the extent of this domestic spying” and to develop recommendations to end “unconstitutional surveillance” and hold officials responsible for the snooping “accountable.”

RNC targets vulnerable Democratic senators on Obamacare in new radio ad

The Republican National Committee has taken to the airwaves in several states and congressional districts in an effort to remind voters that Democrats lied when they promised Americans that they could keep their health insurance plans under Obamacare.

The ad is  It plays off the PolitiFact “Lie of the Year” dishonor recently given to President Obama for his now-infamous health plan promise. It’s worth noting that the promise was also repeated by a number of House and Senate Democrats, including Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who is among those targeted by this ad.

“So what’s your New Year’s resolution? Here’s one you can keep. Resolve to keep Senator Mary Landrieu honest in 2014,” says the narrator. “President Obama and Landrieu said if you like your insurance plan you can keep it under ObamaCare. They lied to you. Big time. PolitiFact called that the “lie of the year.”

“Millions will lose their insurance—and their doctors,” the narrator notes. “2014 is your chance to hold Landrieu accountable. Tell her this is one New Year’s resolution you’re sticking to.”

RNC hits Obama on exchange glitches and problems

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The Republican National Committee (RNC) released a new ad last weekend mocking the launch of the ObamaCare state exchanges, which were plagued with glitches and problems, making for a frustrating experience for those who tried to buy health insurance coverage.

The RNC’s ad showed video of President Obama touting the exchanges, which were launched last Tuesday, cutting to news reports documenting the glitches, not just with the website, but also one reporter’s frustrating experience calling into the 800-number provided on the exchange website. At the end of the ad, the RNC notes that President Obama “gave big business a break from ObamaCare,” a reference to the administration’s delay of the employer mandate, and asks, “Why not you?”:

RNC offers to pay for security to keep World War II Memorial open

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The Republican National Committee (RNC) has offered to put up enough money to hire five security guards to keep the World War II Memorial open to the public for the next 30 days or, presumably, whenever the government shutdown ends.

“The Obama administration has decided they want to make the government shutdown as painful as possible, even taking the unnecessary step of keeping the Greatest Generation away from a monument built in their honor,” said RNC Chairman Priebus at the memorial dedicated to the brave soldiers who fought in World War II.

“That’s not right, and it’s not fair. So the RNC has put aside enough money to hire five security personnel to keep this memorial open to veterans and visitors,” he said. Ideally, I’d hope to hire furloughed employees for this job.”

The World War II Memorial has become ground-zero of the government shutdown. The National Park Service closed popular attractions around the country, including monuments and memorials in Washington, DC.

On Tuesday, a group of World War II veterans from Mississippi, some of whom were in wheelchairs, visited the memorial, pushing aside the barricades blocking their entry with help from members of Congress. A group from Ohio was threatened with arrest if they crossed the barricades. Both groups were on trips sponsored by the Honor Flight Network.

NBC follows CNN, scraps Hillary Clinton miniseries

Following in the footsteps of CNN, NBC announced on Monday that it would scrap a planned miniseries on the life of Hillary Clinton, who is thought to be the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination:

NBC has scrapped its controversial Hillary Clinton miniseries project.

“After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/miniseries development, we’ve decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton miniseries,” the network said in a statement Monday.
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NBC announced in July that it was developing a four-hour miniseries based on Clinton starring Diane Lane, with plans to air the effort before Clinton was likely to announce her candidacy for president. The project was due to be written by Frozen River’s Courtney Hunt and would have recounted Clinton’s life as a wife, mother, politician and cabinet member from 1998 to the present. The script would have started with Clinton living in the White House as her husband Bill Clinton is serving the second of his two terms as president and would have included her likely run for president.

Despite pressure from the Republican National Committee (RNC), NBC explained that the decision to end the project was a financial move. CNN canceled its planned documentary because of a lack of cooperation from the Clintons and their associates.

Director cancels CNN’s Hillary Clinton documentary

Hillary Clinton

In a post at the Huffington Post on Monday, Charles Ferguson, who was slated to directed a documentary on Hillary Clinton for CNN, announced that he has canceled the project because of lack of cooperation from Clinton and her allies:

The day after the contract was signed, I received a message from Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton’s press secretary. He already knew about the film, and clearly had a source within CNN. He interrogated me; at first I answered, but eventually I stopped. When I requested an off-the-record, private conversation with Mrs. Clinton, Merrill replied that she was busy writing her book, and not speaking to the media.

Next came Phillipe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s media fixer, who contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor (as nearly all documentaries and news organizations are). When I contacted him, he declined to speak with me. He then repeated his allegations to Politico, which published them.
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Next came David Brock, who published an open letter on his highly partisan Democratic website Media Matters, in which he endorsed the Republican National Committee’s position, repeating Reines’ conflict of interest allegations and suggesting that my documentary would revive old, discredited Clinton scandal stories.

Ferguson — who gushed over Clinton-era “reform” proposals, including a carbon tax and government-run healthcare — noted that the answer to his inquires for an interview with Clinton were denied. Since he wouldn’t get the documentary he wanted, he decided to cancel the project:

RNC bans CNN, MSNBC from 2016 presidential debates

The Republican National Committee (RNC) followed through on Chairman Reince Priebus’s threat to ban CNN and MSNBC from participating in the party’s 2016 presidential debates during its quarterly meeting this weekend in Boston:

“We don’t have time for the media’s games,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said before the vote at the RNC summer meeting in Boston. “We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other news outlets.”

According to the resolution, called “In support of media objectivity and accountability” and obtained by The Hill, the RNC called the planned films “political favoritism” and accused NBC and CNN of airing “programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton.”
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In addition to voting on action against the networks, the resolution says the RNC “shall endeavor to bring more order to the primary debates and ensure a reasonable number of debates, appropriate moderators and debate partners are chosen, and that other issues pertaining to the general nature of such debates are addressed.”

The resolution passed unanimously without much, if any, discussion or debate, outside of Priebus’s remarks to committee members.

Earlier this month, Priebus sent letters to executives at both networks threatening them with retaliation if they moved forward on planned shows about Hillary Clinton, who is thought to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

RNC threatens television networks over Hillary Clinton shows

Hillary Clinton

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had strong words yesterday for CNN and NBC, demanding that the two networks to drop their plans to run planned shows about Hillary Clinton or the RNC wouldn’t partner with them in 2016 Republican presidential primary debates.

NBC recently announced plans to produce a four-hour miniseries about Hillary Clinton. Just days later, CNN revealed that they would produce a documentary based on her life. Clinton is thought to be a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, which is the reason for the RNC’s protest.

Though the networks deny that they are trying to influence voters ahead of Clinton’s likely run for the White House, Priebus isn’t buying it. In letters to Robert Greenblatt of NBC and Jeff Zucker of CNN, Priebus expressed disappointment in the networks and called their actions a “thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 president election.”

“As an American company, you have every right to air programming of your choice. But as American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election,” wrote Priebus to the two network executives. “This special treatment is unfair to the candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2016 who might compete against Secretary Clinton and to the Republican nominee, should Clinton compete in the general election.”

RNC Trashes Grassroots in 2012 Election “Autopsy”

Reince Priebus

The Republican National Committee released its long-awaited “autopsy” of the 2012 election, which is supposed to help the GOP determine a way forward in future elections. Let’s just say that the report is disappointing if you view the grassroots as an important part of the process:

The GOP’s prescription to cure the ills that helped bring on yet another disastrous presidential cycle would revamp its presidential nominating rules in ways to benefit well-funded candidates and hamper insurgents - a move that quickly heated up the already smoldering feud between the Republican establishment and the tea party-inspired base.

Tucked in near the end of the 97-page report, formally known as The Growth and Opportunity Project, are less than four pages that amount to a political bombshell: the five-member panel urges halving the number of presidential primary debates in 2016 from 2012, creating a regional primary cluster after the traditional early states and holding primaries rather than caucuses or conventions.
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The recommendations are also a nod to the party’s donor class. Several donors bluntly told RNC Chair Reince Priebus at meetings right after the election that they wanted Iowa, with its more conservative base, to have less of a role in the process.

 


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