30 August 2012 at 11:42 BST

Republicans attack Romney lawyer for rule changes

Delegates at this week's Republican Party convention have fiercely criticised a Washington DC-based lawyer for pushing through rule changes that would benefit presidential candidate Mitt Romney if he ousted Barack Obama and sought re-election.

Mitt Romney: changing Grand Old Party rules?

Benjamin Ginsberg -- a partner at global law firm Patton Boggs, who serves as Mr Romney’s top campaign lawyer – led the effort to insert clauses into party rules that would allow presidential candidates to select their own delegates in states they carry – a power currently held by state Republican parties, according to members of the rules panel.

Last-minute surprise

The National Law Journal reports that a group of delegates now plans to present amendments to restrict Mr Ginsberg’s alterations before the report goes to a final vote next week.

National committeeman Curly Haugland from North Dakota said Mr Ginsberg's revisions were a last-minute surprise. ‘I've never seen anything like this,’ said Mr Haugland, who has served as a Republican National Committee (RNC) member for 10 years.

Fly swatting

RNC vice chairman James Bopp – a lawyer with Indiana’s Bopp Coleson & Bostrom -- said in e-mail to fellow committee members that the revisions amounted to ‘killing a fly with a sledgehammer’. He added that Mr Ginsberg’s actions were the ‘biggest power grab in the history of the Republican Party’.
Mr Ginsberg hasn’t immediately commented on the situation, but has previously stated that he made the change ‘to correct what we saw as a damaging flaw in the presidential election process in 2012’ -- an apparent reference to Ron Paul's candidacy in which the libertarian's delegates promised to cast their ballots for him.

 
   
 
 
 

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