If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

A faction of the North Dakota Republican Party has moved to define what it is to be a worthy republican candidate for state office and it sure hints of bribery.

Saturday December 18th, the North Dakota Republican party state committee met in Bismarck to discuss amendments to their current rules.  The most controversial is buying your way into a nomination.  On the website TheDakotan.com, Greg Demme has done some excellent writing on the power grab taking place in North Dakota's Republican party.

The most controversial is buying your way into a nomination.

Want to run as a Republican for Governor Or US Congress?  That'll be $5,000 upfront.

Statewide executive officer? That'll be $2,500 upfront.

A steal of a deal is only having to pay $1,000 to be a National Committee person.

Back to the great coverage from The Dakotan.

Underwood farmer/rancher Bob Wheeler blasted the idea of these fees. “This is bribery, this is blackmail,” said Wheeler. “You have to pay them to run. This is not the way this country was ever set up to run from day one.”  

Amen.

The grassroots of any political machine must be the younger energetic up and coming members of the party. Under new changes, the ND Young Republicans and North Dakota College Republicans have both been deemed

"ex officio members of the committee but without any voting rights"

Which is better than the initial proposal to remove the youth group's reps from the state committee entirely.

They're also looking to mandate that no candidate can have been affiliated or sought the endorsement of another party within the last ten years.  I don't know how the timelines of these two would have applied, but both John Hoven and Donald Trump dallied as Democrats.

Also after paying off the machine, candidates would have to get the endorsement of 20 district chairs in the state to run.  Up to this point, it has been only five.  Claus Lembke, District 7 chair Bismarck discusses the purposes of the change.

District 7 chair and Region IV chair Claus Lembke, Bismarck, countered that idea, saying, “It doesn’t really hurt anything. In the past, it was so easy to get five signatures, you ended up with some candidates who were not truly Republican.” 

 

When asked to clarify what it meant to be truly Republican, Lembke explained, “There should be some kind of record of activity that they have been involved.”  

 

He also added that there should be more checking into someone’s background. Lembke stated that when he himself was a candidate for office years ago, “Nobody asked me if I was a citizen or not.” Lembke believes that with the need to get 20 district chair signatures, maybe someone will know a little more about a potential candidate’s background. Perhaps even a criminal background check could be conducted, although Lembke did not necessarily think that was needed. 

These changes were not lost on Ron Shaw of Mandan who wrote a letter to the editor in the Bismarck Tribune.

I had read on the computer that there was going to be a meeting for Republicans Saturday morning at 9 at the ND Republican headquarters in Bismarck on some, what I thought and determined were going to be some dramatic changes in our Republican Party guidelines, rules and operations.

He was met with security that turned him and others away from the meeting Saturday morning.  Going as far as calling the police on the party members that were not invited to the closed-door meeting. Ron adds this...

This is our Republican (Communist thug-leaning) party! And what are these dramatic changes to our party behind closed, security guard protected and secretive doors? You'll hear more on that from others! I am angry! We've been high jacked!

If you are a concerned member of the Republican Party, you should dive into the stories and updates that have been posted on TheDakotan.com.  I can't comment much on any of this, I'm a member of no political party and certainly recognize the rights of any club to come up with their own rules. It just seems that things are getting especially chippy inside a party that holds a 7 to 1 supermajority in North Dakota.


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