After two and a half days of platform subcommittee meetings and full committee meetings, we finished the platform report late Wednesday night. Overall, I think most will be happy with the final product. It is significantly shorter yet maintains almost all of the conservative statements we all expect to have in our Republican Party platform. This year’s platform in its final printed form will be under 60 pages as compared to over 100 pages in 2004.
The two members of your Arizona platform committee, Shiree Verdone and myself, were assigned to the sections of the platform entitled: Protecting Our Families; and Defending Our Nation, Supporting Our Heroes, Securing the Peace, respectively. My section of the platform included the subsection entitled: Immigration, National Security and the Rule of Law. I and several other members of the committee worked hard to insure we had an immigration plank that reflected the conservative position of the Party. This also was the longest section in the platform.
The immigration debate in subcommittee took up the majority of the time and was heavily attended by the press. The final product included the following key points:
• Border security is essential to national security;
• Uphold the rule of law;
• Complete the border fence;
• Secure the border;
• Enforcement is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration;
• E-Verify must be renewed and made mandatory nationwide;
• Requiring cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement;
• Penalizing sanctuary cities by withholding federal funds;
• We oppose amnesty, and
• English is the official language of our nation.
This subsection of the platform was approved by the entire platform committee with little debate, and will be voted on at the convention this coming Monday. It is the toughest plank on immigration ever approved by the Platform Committee and I fully expect it will pass on Monday.
Senator McCain’s platform staff did a great job of working with the Committee to help produce a solid platform for the Party.
On other matters, the Ohio Presidential Primary Plan was rejected by the Rules Committee. The process used in 2008 was modified for 2012 by moving the first primary date back to the first Tuesday following the first Monday in March. New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries were exempted from penalties for going before that date. So essentially, the only change was to move the first primary date from February to March.
More on the happenings in Minneapolis later this week.