Monday, November 13, 2006

Senator Mel Martinez To Head RNC

Conservative bloggers are sounding off on the Martinez announcement. Here's a sample:

--On Redstate:
"The Harriet Miers of RNC chairs."

--Tom Blumer's letter to the GOP:
Dear GOP,
As a member of the base you appear to be abandoning, allow me to make two points:
- The current apparent pick is a sitting Senator, and no matter how worthy he may be as a person, putting someone who actually is voting on laws and resolutions is inappropriate bordering on irrational.

- Michael Steele ran such a stellar campaign to get as far as he did in the Maryland
Senate race. He is a passionate and outstanding spokesperson that the party could rally around. Frankly, selecting anyone else would be foolish.

I am surely supported by millions of other Republicans BEGGING you to PLEASE select Michael Steele

--Ian at HotAir has a poll up: "Who Should Be Chairman of the RNC" - Cast your vote here. (Steele has a big lead!!)

--Michelle Malkin: "Yes, a squish on border security is now the RNC chair. Has the GOP learned anything?"

--John Little of Blogs of War with a little advice for Mel: "My advice to Senator Martinez? I think you and Ken should schedule a blogger conference call ASAP. Although, I’m not sure damage control is going to help. We’re looking at a grade-A shitstorm created by a party seemingly hellbent on implosion. That’s the nicest thing I can say at the moment. "

--Mary Katharine Ham at Townhall: "A Steele chairmanship and a Pence/Shadegg House leadership takeover would really have helped me warm back up the Republican Party in this cold, cold time, but the first is a bust and the second ain't looking great. Guess I'll remain chilly, as will much of the base."

Believe me, there are many more. Is it too late to back-out of this situation? We'll keep following it. For now, contact your state committee member. They'll be voting in January. Floridian readers of the Tallahassee Sentinel - don't count on Florida to vote against Martinez - call anyway (850) 222-7920.

AP (via NewsMax) is reporting the Sen. Mel Martinez has agreed to lead the RNC, taking over for outgoing Chairman Ken Mehlman. Martinez will retain his Senate seat, while Mike Duncan, current RNC general counsel, will oversee day to day management.

This news takes the Sentinel by surprise, as we had expected Maryland's Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to take the GOP top job. For conservatives this should be seen as a missed opportunity. Martinez has been soft on illegal immigration, and has generally disappointed during his first term. (see Michelle Malkin)

The following is the Summary from the Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the Hagel-Martinez Immigration Bill:

The Hagel-Martinez bill is the most far-reaching immigration bill ever conceived by Congress. In addition to the amnesty provisions of the bill, it dramatically increases green cards in the future and changes immigration law in numerous other ways. This Backgrounder focuses only on the size and scope of the three amnesty categories in the legislation. We estimate that if the bill becames law, almost 10 million illegal aliens will legalize, 2.6 million of whom will do so fraudulently. In addition, nearly 4.5 million family members of illegal immigrants currently living abroad will be allowed to join their newly legalized relatives for a total of 14.4 million people who will benefit from the bill’s amnesty provisions. We also estimate that, of the 14.4 million who gain legal status, some 13.5 million will eventually be awarded Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR), which means they can stay in the country as along as they wish
and apply for citizenship.

It must be remembered that illegal immigration is always very difficult to quantify, so although the estimates in this report are based on the best available information, they are still subject to the high level of uncertainty that surrounds illegal immigration. It is also worth noting that there are no numerical limits on the number of people who can benefit from the amnesty. This fact, coupled with the high rate of fraud that already exists in the immigration system, means that the number of people who ultimately use the amnesty provisions in Hagel-Martinez could turn out to be much larger than estimated here.

This is not a promising start to GOP reorganization plans. More as it comes available.

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