TAMPA, Fla. — Even before John Sigler and Laird Stabler arrived on the convention floor, the Delaware lawyers had left their mark on the Republican National Convention.
Sigler, a former president of the National Rifle Association, was on the GOP convention's Platform Committee working on a section related to "Restoration of Constitutional Government," which details the party's position on things like gun rights (for them), gay marriages (against them), campaign finance reforms (also against).
While there was little debate on those issues, Sigler said the process was still "intriguing" because there were clashes about how pejorative the final wording in the final Republican Platform should be.
"There's a lot of esoteric constitutional theory debate," said Sigler, who is also in-house counsel for a health care company.
Sigler's contribution appears under a section describing the GOP platform's position on the Ninth Amendment. Sigler had this sentence added: "This provision codifies the concept that our government derives its power from the people and all powers not delegated to the government are retained by the people."
Stabler, a lobbyist in Dover, Del., spent three days in Washington and five more in Tampa on the Committee on Contests, which decides controversies about whether delegates were elected properly and whether they can be disqualified.
He was one of eight people acting as a quasi-judicial panel, which became a hot topic when Ron Paul supporters sought to cast votes at the convention for their candidate instead of Mitt Romney, in hopes of affecting the platform. Republicans wanted to replace them to avoid problems.
In Massachusetts, for example, the Republican Party sent out an affidavit to each delegate, attesting under penalty of perjury that they would follow the rules and support Romney. Several of them did not return that form and instead filed an alternative affidavit.
Stabler and the committee decided the delegates hadn’t complied and disqualified them.