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John Ryder Named RNC General Counsel

News release from Tennessee Republican Party:
NASHVILLE, Tenn.–Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus today released the following statement appointing the Republican National Committeeman from Tennessee John Ryder as the new RNC General Counsel:
“I am delighted to announce that I have appointed John Ryder as the new General Counsel of the RNC,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “I am confident that John’s legal expertise and political experience make him the ideal choice. His understanding of the inner workings of the Committee from his tenure as an RNC Committeeman and a delegate will be an invaluable asset in providing the RNC with guidance and leadership as we move ahead. I look forward to working with John as we continue to assemble the resources needed to be victorious in 2013, 2014, 2016 and beyond.”
“I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with Chairman Priebus, the members of the RNC and the RNC legal staff. I know that we can build upon the solid foundation established by Chairman Priebus and our previous General Counsel and pave a constructive path forward,” said John Ryder, who lives in Memphis.
Chris Devaney, the Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, remarked, “Today, RNC Chairman Reince Preibus named Tennessee’s National Committeeman John Ryder to the post of RNC General Counsel. Tennessee has certainly been blessed to have strong leaders at the national level and John’s appointment to this important position is another indication of that. I want to congratulate John on his new role and know that he will do an outstanding job for our national Party.”
Biography for John Ryder:
John Ryder was first elected as the National Committeeman from Tennessee in May of 1996 and served from 1996-2004 and from 2008 to the present. He was the chairman of the Redistricting Committee and the RNC Presidential Nominating Schedule Committee. He was a delegate for the 1984, 2004, 2008 and 2012 Republican National Conventions. Ryder served on the Temporary Delegate Selection Committee and currently serves on the Rules Committee.
Ryder is a member of the Memphis, Tennessee law firm: Harris, Shelton, Hanover & Walsh. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Opera Memphis, a member of the Economic Club of Memphis and a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Previously, Ryder was the co-chairman of the Southern Region and director of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. He is vice President for Judicial Affairs for the Republican National Lawyers Association and serves as Senior Advisor to the Memphis Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society.
Mr. Ryder’s appointment is subject to RNC confirmation.

Ryder Tries to Limit GOP Convention Floor Fights (unsuccessfully)

A push to limit floor fights at future Republican conventions has failed, reports Politico, despite the efforts of Memphis attorney John Ryder.
Romney campaign ally John Ryder, a Tennessee national committeeman, proposed an amendment to the RNC Rules Committee that would require candidates to control the most delegates in at least 10 states, instead of the current five, to officially compete for the nomination.
Though the measure would not have taken effect until 2016, it would drastically raise the bar for candidates like Ron Paul trying to continue their fight through the convention. It would also make it much harder for anyone to ruin an incumbent president’s coronation.
“Everyone recognizes that conventions are television events, and they have to be – just as the nightly news – on a tight schedule,” said Ryder. “We’re long past the days of smoke-filled rooms and unbound delegates. So the results are a foregone conclusion.”
Paul sympathizers on the rules committee spoke out forcefully against the change.
Morton Blackwell, a longtime party activist from Virginia, called it “a choke operation” that would have a chilling effect.
“We have got to, in this party, treat newcomers fairly, to the extent possible,” he said. “This would be taken as a slap in the face to grassroots people.”
When it became clear that Ryder didn’t have the votes, he agreed to keep the threshold at five – as long as candidates could produce written proof that they actually controlled the delegations in each of those states. That change passed.

Redistricting Assures TN Political Power Shift to Growing Midstate

As legislators prepare to overhaul congressional and legislative district lines with Republicans in control of the process for the first time since Reconstruction, population figures pretty much mandate a shift in political power to Middle Tennessee.
Population growth and shifts since the 2000 census, used by Democrats to design the current districts, also may cause as many headaches for Republican incumbents as for the Democrats now relegated to minority status statewide.
A House committee on redistricting held its first organizational meeting last week. House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, said the goal is to draft plans for approval early in the 2012 legislative session.
“People need to know where there district lines are going to be as early as possible,” he said, adding that no draft plans are on the table yet – though there are many potential scenarios and much speculation.
John Ryder, a Memphis lawyer and Republican national committeeman has been point man for the GOP in Tennessee redistricting for three decades, including involvement in lawsuits challenging Democrat-authored plans of the 1980s and 1990s.

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John Ryder: Move for Electing President by Popular Vote is ‘Simiple, Clear and Wrong’

Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson has become a spokesman for a group advocating popular election of the U.S. president. (Recent post HERE.) But John Ryder, lawyer and national Republican committeeman for Tennessee, has the opposite view.
The state Republican party thought enough of Ryder’s opinion piece in the Washington Times to email copies to reporters today. Here’s how it starts:
The proposal by some fellow Republicans for a “national popular vote (NPV) compact” is an example of what H.L. Mencken meant when he said, “For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, clear and wrong.”
The compact would subvert the Constitution by changing how we elect our president. Instead of forthrightly seeking to amend the Constitution by abolishing the Electoral College, the proposal bypasses the Constitution by creating a compact among some states that would bind all states.
Under the plan, the electoral votes of a state would be committed to the slate that is the “national popular vote winner” regardless of the vote within the state.
The Electoral College is part of an elaborate mechanism designed by the Founders to create interdependent centers of power, each balancing the excesses of the others. The Constitution balances the competing elements of our Republic: The membership of the House of Representatives is based on population. The Senate is based on equal representation by state.
This design balances the interests of large and small states.
The Electoral College mirrors this arrangement by giving each state electoral votes equal to its membership in the House plus its two Senators. Thus, California gets 55 electoral votes because of its large population, but no state, even Delaware, has fewer than three electoral votes. It reflects the Founders’ compromise between large states and small states and between electing the president by Congress and electing the president directly by the people.
Bypassing the Electoral College through the proposed compact undermines that balance by effectually erasing states’ boundaries along with those states’ sovereignty.