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Rules mavens: Tougher penalties on the way if Florida GOP tries that again

If Florida Republicans think they were treated harshly for moving up their 2012 presidential primary to January, wait until they try something like that in 2016.

Under new rules passed by national party officials Wednesday, Florida Republicans would see their delegates hacked by 90 percent if they leapfrog the GOP’s four kickoff contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

That’s a far stiffer penalty than what Florida is getting this year. Party leaders cut the state’s voting delegates at the Republican National Convention next week in Tampa from 99 to 50 and stripped them of more than 160 guest passes.

During a meeting at the Marriott Waterside, the Republican National Committee Rules Committee voted that future rogue states would have their delegates reduced to nine — the bare minimum required for a state to attend and serve on committees at the national convention.

"Half is not a big enough punishment," said South Carolina delegate Glenn McCall, who made the motion for the more severe penalty. "Obviously it’s not, because there are states that still want to take that penalty and move up. So we need to make it really punitive and stick to it." More from Mike Van Sickler here.