RNC Affirms Delegate Penalties

By an overwhelming vote, an RNC committee agreed today to sanction five states for holding their delegate selection contests before the formal windows opens in February.

They are New Hampshire, Wyoming, Florida, South Carolina and Michigan. They'll be penalized a total of 136 delegates out of more than 2,100 for all 56 states and territories.

"During the last few months, I have spent a lot of time reviewing and assessing the state delegate selection plans," said Robert Bennett, the chairman of the RNC's committee of the call. "Across the board, one message was made clear during my conversation with the members of the RNC : our party must uphold our rules. And that's exactly what we today."

RNC chairman Mike Duncan said, "After significant examination we convened a meeting today and upheld the rules that were unanimous passed by our party in 2004. I am proud of the hard work that was set forth by the RNC throughout this process."

Some chairs aren't happy.

“This is a long process and I continue to be confident that Florida will ultimately seat its full delegation. I am appreciative of the members who supported Florida’s position and I look forward to continuing this dialogue in a respectful and cooperative manner," the chairman of the Florida Republican Party, Jim Greer, said. Greer had urged delegates to allow Florida to seat all its delegates.

“In the unlikely event that Florida’s delegation is reduced to 57 members, the Republican Party of Florida has adopted rules to ensure that Florida’s delegates to the convention have an influential and prominent role in selecting the Republican nominee.”