Removing Moral Planks From the Republican Platform

On April 12th the Nevada Republican Party stripped two important planks from its state platform.  After spending a long day discussing endorsements and other business, and with only half the delegates remaining on the floor, the NRP voted to remove long-standing planks that supported marriage and opposed abortion.  Should we in Pennsylvania be concerned that a demographically small, geographically removed state made this move at this time and in the way it did?  Yes, we should!


  • In unsettling circumstances that occur too often, the decision came during a time that precluded a robust discussion.   By 7:30 pm half of the GOP delegates had left the meeting, many to attend the associated Lincoln Day Dinner.  Conceivably, some also left due to the length of the day with the meeting having begun at 7 am.  By evening, after a day of wrangling over the endorsement process itself and individual endorsements, many delegates were not as attentive as they could or should have been.
  • Transparency and accountability were lost without a roll call vote.  On such an important decision one would expect delegates to be on the record and accountable to the constituents that sent them to the convention.
  • Members of NRP’s platform committee said they were choosing not to deal with social issues this year.  They fool only themselves.  By supporting a change of the party’s official position they certainly addressed social issues in a way that hasn’t been seen since the 1980s.
  • The proposed changes originated in the less conservative Clark County Republican Committee representing the area around Las Vegas.  Were such a resolution put forward from a county with many state committeemen, would the conservative rural “T” of Pennsylvania fare differently in having it voice heard?  How would PAGOP respond?
  • Similarly to the situation in Pennsylvania, the State Attorney General has refused to defend Nevada’s constitution which declares marriage as between one man and one woman.  In Pennsylvania AG Kathleen Kane has also refused to do the job she was elected to do, instead refusing to uphold laws that she finds objectionable.
  • It should be noted that the Nevada GOP is the second state party to remove the social planks from their platform.  In 2012 Indiana Republican Party made a similar change.  Using the language of President Ronald Reagan the 3-legged stool of the Republican Party includes fiscal conservatives, foreign policy/defense focused conservatives and religious conservatives.  What will become of a 3-legged stool that continues to saw off parts of one leg?  Eventually it will topple.  What remains may be named the Republican Party but the dynamics will have changed as to exclude those of us who stand for social conservatism.  What then?


Unregulated Abortion is the Beginning and End-All

An interesting development in PA politics is happening in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Even though it is happening on the other side of the aisle it bears notice for Republican women.

You may remember State Representative Margo Davidson’s statement on the House floor referring to death of her cousin, a victim of Kermit Gosnell and his horrific Philadelphia clinic.  Rep. Davidson joined others in supporting measures to regulate abortion clinics under the same standards as other free-standing medical clinics requiring what most of us expect when we access medical care:  sterile instruments, clean rooms, and properly trained personnel.

It turns out Rep. Davidson committed a crime, at least in the eyes of Planned Parenthood and similar pro-abortion organizations.  And they intend to make her pay by removing her from office.  Rep. Davidson still supports abortion rights, but that no longer matters to the degree it did when Pennsylvania affiliates of Planned Parenthood endorsed her in 2010.  This year her primary opposition enjoys the support and endorsements of the pro-abortion crowd.

Now we don’t agree with Margo Davidson on very many policy issues, but we can recognize when PP, NOW and other advocates of unrestricted abortion out themselves in spite of all their well-framed lines about caring for women.  Their definition of caring for women is looking the other way when women are victimized and punishing those who won’t.

Republican Women Councils May Not Endorse

Primary season is upon us as more contenders announce their candidacies to gain the Republican Party’s nomination. This is a good time to review the relationship between the Republican Party and Republican Women to highlight a major difference in our operating procedures.

Councils of Republican Women are affiliates of National Federation of Republican Women, an organization aligned with the principles of the Republican Party, but not a part of the Republican Party structure. Republican Women on all levels – national, state and local – are governed by rules established by NFRW.

One important difference is conveyance of endorsements in the Primary Election cycle. While RNC, PAGOP or county Republican committees may choose to endorse candidates before the May 20th election this practice is strictly prohibited by NFRW.

NFRW and its state and local councils follow a non-endorsement policy in all primary campaigns. No club may endorse any candidate for any position with more than one Republican candidate. Further, clubs may not promote one candidate over another and must offer equal opportunity to club activities and events. NFRW instructs Club Presidents to remain neutral during the Primary election cycle.

Individual members may work for the Primary candidates of their choice. In fact, they are encouraged to fully participate in the Primary process. However, they must be careful to inform voters that theirs is a personal choice which does not reflect the views or opinions of the Republican Women’s Club where they are members. At no time may an individual member use the council’s name or identification when helping a primary candidate.

The non-endorsement policy is sometimes confusing, especially when women are active in both the Republican Party and their local Republican Women’s Council. In that case, it is even more important that we follow our rules and hold ourselves to high standards as we advocate for good government.

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