Posted by: Ann Corcoran | September 5, 2012

Who is Benjamin Ginsberg?

Update January 24th, 2013:  Ho hum, now month’s too late the GOP will have to deal with the split in the party that Ginsberg helped create, here.

Not a household name yet, but he will be.

Ginsberg is the Romney lawyer who pushed through the controversial rule change in Tampa that limits Tea Partiers and other groups like the Libertarians from challenging a possible Romney second term in 2016 with a more conservative candidate.   We told you about it here the other day.

In a must-read post late last night Richard Falknor at Blue Ridge Forum asks ‘why kick the hornet’s nest now?’, presents a very plausible theory, and directs us to Ginsberg’s resume, here, in the New Republic (emphasis mine):

Over the past few decades, Benjamin Ginsberg has constructed a career as perhaps the preeminent Republican election-law expert in the country. In the early ’90s, Ginsberg was chief counsel for the Republican National Committee, where he led the Republicans’ redistricting strategy after the 1990 census. The key moment in Ginsberg’s career came in 2000, when he served as a legal adviser to George W. Bush’s team during the Florida recount, helping to land his candidate in the White House. Formerly a campaign lawyer for Florida Governor Charlie Crist and a key member of the legal teams of Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman and Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski (both of whom faced high-profile electoral controversies), he is now counsel to the Republican Governors Association. In 2008, he served as national counsel to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and has remained with Romney this time around.

This is not the resume of a man who has any love for the Tea Party.

Here is more on Ginsberg (“The Tea Party’s  enemy No. 1 “) where Sarah Palin says this rule change was a “direct attack on grassroots activists by the GOP establishment.”

Late Monday, Romney aides told reporters that a compromise deal had been reached—which only enraged the activists even more. Sarah Palin, the party’s erstwhile 2008 vice-presidential candidate, urged them on via Facebook, calling the proposal “a direct attack on grass-roots activists by the GOP establishment.”

“This attempted coup by the consultants and the national party elite would completely disenfranchise all rank and file Republicans,” wrote Cindy Lake, a longtime Ron Paul supporter who is chairman of the Clark County, Nev., Republican Party, in a press release decrying Ginsberg by name. “The Clark County Republican Party refuses to stand idly by and allow this Marxist style power grab to go unnoticed.”

Making sure no one like Pat Buchanan ever challenges the establishment again!  And, that the Bush family continues to hold power in the party.

By Tuesday afternoon, the issue threatened to pitch the convention down a worm hole into the 1992 campaign, when firebrand conservative Pat Buchanan launched a primary challenge to President George H.W. Bush, who at the time had Ginsberg and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu working for him. “This year, John Sununu and Ben Ginsberg are with Team Romney,” wrote Erick Erickson, editor of the conservative news site RedState. “The guys who’ve been old hands at this for a long time have gotten it in their heads that these rule changes Team Romney keeps coming up with is payback from Ginsberg and Sununu going back to 1992.”

Here is more from Erickson on Bush’s boys:

One of them laughingly told me, “They had Phyllis [Schlafly] [Eagle Forum—ed] give her seal of approval to the platform. Now they’ll make sure they never have to listen to her or the rest of us again.”

You can bet this is not going away.  If Romney doesn’t win in November, the Tea Party will not be the reason why because they have been effectively kicked out of the GOP.   The loss will be directly blamed on this ham-handed and unnecessary power grab by Ben and the boys that is serving to chill grassroots worker-bee’s enthusiasm.

One more thing:  who thought it was a good idea to bring back Bush’s team—Rove (let’s get Todd Akin), Sununu and Ginsberg—leading credence to the Dems charges that Romney is just warmed-over Bush?

And, I would bet a lot of money that a third party forms (beginning on November 7th) as a result of the Romney/RNC power grab that can only be characterized as STUPID.


  1. Why wait for November 7th? The decision to form a third party has already been made for us.

    • Lynn, I don’t know whether you have an idea on how to realistically (rather than symbolically) do that, but I don’t.

  2. OK, here is the new plan: We TEA party conservatives have been left with only one option. Stack the Senate and the House with TEA party conservatives and, as distasteful as this sounds, vote for Romney.
    I know this may sound like a strange strategy, but hear me out.

    We have to get rid of Obama, thats a given. The only way we can do that is to elect Romney, the establishment republican. If we introduce a third party candidate, it will be Ross Perot all over again (obama 40%, Romney 30%, third party guy 30 %… Obama wins,) let’s not go there.
    But our ace in the hole is: stacking the senate and the house with TEA partiers. If the establishment republicans want to cheat to hold the whitehouse, go ahead, be president, but I promise that you’ll have nothing to sign into law, or veto, your choice, but what we the people’s elected senators and delegates introduce and offer up.

    The establishment can be president, but we can hold the power.

    • No Greg, I am not going to vote for gun-grabber Romney.

  3. Lynn, We can form a third party, but the date for legally filing for presidency has long passed for this election, we can work on that for 2016, but not for this election.

  4. […] fingers Ben Ginsberg (we wrote about him here yesterday) as the hit man for the RNC establishment, but are we expected to believe that Ginsberg is […]

  5. […] foolish rule-change trick on Tea Partiers and conservatives generally at the RNC Tampa convention, here.  By unnecessarily chilling grassroots enthusiasm for Romney, it makes us all wonder if Ginsberg […]

  6. […] Judy).  The Tea Party was right and Mitt was wrong; or more accurately Mitt’s advisors (I’m pointing at you Benjamin Ginsberg) were […]

  7. […] Tampa travesty engineered by Romney lawyer Benjamin Ginsberg (with help from at least one of the Maryland delegation) also played a role in Romney’s […]

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