An email sent out by longtime Rankin County GOP Chairman Greg Harkins and forwarded to appears to show an attempt at last minute rule changes by current Republican Party officials to shut out an expected large turnout for county caucuses statewide on Saturday that could challenge party leadership across Mississippi. The email instructs recipients who wish to be delegates to email the required information to State GOP Executive Director Spencer Ritchie by noon on Saturday. However, the process for selecting delegates won’t be held until 3:00 that afternoon, a full three hours later.

The original certification sheet sent out by the party shows the date for notification to be by April 29, next Friday, a week after the caucuses. 


Check in at for more details as they develop.

10 thoughts on “Email from Rankin County GOP Chairman indicates quiet rule change for delegate selection to state convention.

  1. I sincerely HOPE there’s going to be ANY hanky-panky regarding my vote in the General Election in November. If so, you may rest assured my name will be listed, along with lots of others, in a lawsuit against the Mississippi Republican Party.

  2. Err… as I understand things, this is an “unofficial” email. That makes the blog-post title misguided. In other words, the email is NOT about a rule-change by MSGOP, that would hypothetically apply to *all* delegates to the state convention, it is instead about creating a list (slate) of Bryant-and-Nosef-friendly delegates. This is a copy of a private strategy email, not a copy of a public rule-change email. As the beginning of the email makes clear, Harkin knows that this Bryant-and-Nosef slate of delegate-hopefuls, which Harking is working on compiling, will be in competition with the Trump-and-Tyner delegate-hopefuls, as well as being in simultaneous competition with the Cruz-and-McDaniel delegate-hopefuls, at the precinct level and the county level.

    In other words, Harkin and at least *some* of the names listed as recipients in the email, are trying to get enough votes at the precinct and county level (yesterday on the 23rd), so that their preferred Bryant-and-Nosef slate of state-convention-delegates wins. Thus it makes sense, that Harkin wants to have the list of pro-Bryant-and-Nosef delegate-hopefuls *before* the precinct conventions happen (as well as the contact-info for the temp-precinct-chairs which Harkin also wanted — so as to forward the pro-Bryant slate, once it is known, to the various precinct temp-chairs). *After* the precinct and county stuff is over, Harkin is hoping that his “unofficial” pro-Nosef-n-Bryant delegate-hopefuls were the winners, and get their names put onto the official paperwork which is due April 29th.

    So, the rules are not being changed, from what I can see here at least; Harkin is just trying to get a list of Bryant-and-Nosef-friendly-delegate-hopefuls, and then working to see that those people (as opposed to Trump-supporters and Cruz-supporters) are the ones with the majority of the votes at precinct conventions. McDaniel and Tyner ought to be doing exactly the same kind of legwork/prepwork, figuring out who the pro-Cruz and the pro-Trump folks are that can attend the state convention… and then trying to get as many precinct-level attendees to show up as possible, to vote their preferred delegate-hopefuls in.

    The paperwork that is due by April 29th, is still what will happen. Harkin is working to make sure that the *blanks* on that paperwork (“one-half delegate vote: name_of_state_convention_delegate_goes_here”) are filled in with pro-Bryant-and-Nosef humans, from as many counties as possible. *That* is what would allow Nosef to control the state convention outcome, and the people who become national delegates to Cleveland.

    From the infamous Nosef quote: “…this [state convention] can happen one of two ways… we [meaning Nosef-dels & Trump-dels & Cruz-dels at the state-convention] work together and include people [on the list of national-dels to Cleveland] that we trust [meaning names that *Nosef* and friends ‘trust’ as national-dels] and also happen to be Trump and Cruz supporters [but specifically excluding any people that Nosef-n-friends do NOT ‘trust’ from becoming national-dels]…” (

    In scenario#1 outlined here, Nosef is saying that, if Tyner/Trump and McDaniel/Cruz will “work together” with the people friendly to Harkin/Bryant, then a group of national-dels which happen to support Trump-or-Cruz, but are mandatorily trusted-by-slash-approved-by Nosef-n-friends, will become the official national-delegation sent to Cleveland to represent Mississippi.

    However, continuing the Nosef quote: “…or, we [meaning the Nosef-dels who are implicitly assumed to control a majority of the state convention] just put whoever we want [aka Nosef-friendly people without regard to whether they ‘happen’ to support Trump and/or Cruz] on there [aka on the list of national-dels to Cleveland], have a big fight [meaning a parliamentary floor-fight at the state convention], and end up in the contest committee [a group of nine RNC members … which might include Nosef himself or Henry Barbour … or might just be other RNC people they know] in Cleveland.”

    Scenario#2, therefore, is that unless Tyner/Trump and McDaniel/Cruz acquiesce to Nosef’s demands for control over who can be a national-del (specifically only people that Nosef-n-friends ‘trust’ are allowed and all others are vetoed), what Nosef is promising is a chaotic state convention. Specifically, Nosef is threatening to ram a 100%-pro-Nosef slate through, and use the cops to bodily remove anybody who so much as raises their voice. Now, there are two ways to take this: on the one hand, if a strict majority of state-convention dels *are* actually pro-Nosef people, duly elected at their precinct and county levels, then Nosef has the authority (albeit not the ethical mandate) to use that majority to run the state convention his way. But on the other hand, if in fact Nosef fails to have a strict majority of the state-delegates, who favor his scenario#2 and back his play, then he would NOT have the authority.

    Nosef implies (but later walks back) that he is willing to use cops to eject duly elected delegates from the vote, as a *means* of increasing the percentage of Nosef-friendly delegates, which is *definitely* not kosher… especially if Nosef-friendly dels were a minority, until Nosef ejected enough not-so-Nosef-friendly dels to *create* a faux majority. In any case, as Nosef mentions in his self-fulfilling prophecy, the most likely outcome of a chaotic state-convention where the chair is having delegates bodily ejected, is a credentials challenge, heard at the national convention by the 9-member RNC subcommittee, and then if they permit, also heard by the national convention delegates appointed to the ~112-member convention-credentials-committee from other states.

    So, in a nutshell, neither scenario#1 nor scenario#2 is very appealing! Ideally, what will actually happen is scenario#3: enough Trump-supporters and enough Cruz-supporters show up to their precinct conventions, so that a strict majority of anti-estab state-dels are chosen. That is enough to win votes at the state convention, and to control the list of national-dels… if the pro-Trump state-dels and the pro-Cruz state-dels are able to work with each other, that is. In such a scenario#3, Harkin will *not* have succeeded, and there will simply not be enough state-dels who are Nosef-n-Bryant supporters, to actually have a majority. Nosef will then have to decide, whether or not he ejects state-dels to gin up a faux majority, and hopes to win a backroom credentials deal at Cleveland, or instead opts to take the honourable route, and accept that Mississippi national-dels will be pro-Trump and pro-Cruz, and that those national-dels will be *chosen* by pro-Trump and pro-Cruz state-dels.

    It will definitely help nudge Nosef towards doing the right thing, if people are careful to record and publicize how the state convention is run, and how the precinct and county stuff is run, also. Make sure to get photos of paperwork, video recordings of the proceedings (or at least audio), and other documentation of what happened. Plus of course, work hard to turn out people for the precinct and county meetings, and get organized in advance — obviously Harkin and company are trying to do that. Finally, whether you are pro-Trump or pro-Cruz, please keep in mind that Nosef-n-friends are far more powerful, if they can instigate grassroots infighting.

    p.s. One website I found, which explains pretty well how precinct leads to county leads to state leads to Cleveland, is over here — It is incredibly important to make sure that your local precinct chairs, local county chairs, county delegates, state delegates, and state executive committee members are HONEST people who share your political stances (or as Reagan would say are at least 80% with you). That is how the republican party works: if you don’t do the legwork and organizing necessary to win the local roles, and the associated gruntwork and tedium, you don’t have the voting-bloc-strength at the county and state conventions! That is where the county executive committee is picked, where the state executive committee is picked (who picked Nosef as the statewide chair), and where the potus delegation members are selected. Get involved, and stay involved. Sorry about the humongous comment… hope it helps. Remember Mississippi, my friends.

    1. Also, I should have made clear that, officially at least, Bryant has endorsed Cruz, and may or may *not* be personally involved with Harkin (despite the “governor’s leadership team” tagline Harkin is using), or directly involved with Nosef’s threatened use of police at the state convention. It is unclear to me where Bryant’s true loyalties lie, and he may indeed be subject to multiple conflicting loyalties at present. Will be interesting to see where things end up.

    1. Hi Ed, the videos were not up when I originally commented, and now that they are up I get some kind of “flash error”. I’ll try from a different machine when I get a chance.

      But the key question is, did the pro-Harkin delegates at the Rankin County meeting have a strict majority? If so, they can overrule the chair, and it was a railroad that the RNC credentials committee (and the larger national-convention-credentials-committee) ought to recognize. If not, though, if too few people in the not-Harkin-slate groups showed up, then it is unlikely the credentials folks will hear any challenges.

      Of course, I’m getting ahead of things slightly… there will also be a credentials committee at the MSGOP state convention. That committee meets at 2pm on May 13th in MSGOP party HQ, according to *this* website at least —

      Does the video available show violations of Robert’s Rules, and/or show that a strict majority of the county-delegates were against the “approved” slate that Harkin passed? If so, then there is evidence of rules violations. I’m not familiar with how to file a credentials-challenge, but you can bet there are mandatory deadlines and mandatory paperwork! Suggest contacting McDaniel and/or Tyner, for help getting a challenge filed ASAP, with all the T’s dotted and all the I’s crossed, or vice versa. In the meantime, start collecting signed testimony from duly-elected county-meeting delegates — as many as possible and preferably a strict majority of those who attended — which states 1) who they are 2) what they saw happen 3) which specific rules they personally saw being violated.

      Harkin organizing a slate is fine, sorta, but Harkin breaking rules is not (supposed to be) fine, and ought to be overturned. But it will take speedy action to make that happen.

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