Morton Blackwell, founder of The Leadership Institute and longtime conservative activist, responds to the RNC rules compromise. His letter to delegates appears below.
Dear Fellow Delegate,
You have heard the growing controversy regarding a number of new power grabs in the Rules of the Republican Party as proposed for adoption in the report of the Convention Committee on Rules and Order of Business.
That committee report will be considered by the convention at today's afternoon session.
Do not be fooled into believing that a good "compromise" has been reached which is even near acceptable.
The Minority Reports are alive and well. Although ferocious efforts have been made to get Rules Committee members to withdraw their names from the Minority Reports, grassroots outrage actually persuaded additional Rules Committee members to sign onto the Minority Reports since the Rules Committee meeting last Friday.
The Rule 15 "compromise" affects only one of the three most damaging changes which the Minority Reports would correct. That is the proposal that presidential candidates would be given the power to disallow and remove delegates elected under state party rules or state law.
Unchanged in the "compromise" are the gutting of the currently-in-effect reforms which succeeded this year in stopping the trend toward a national presidential primary and the very worst change proposed in the national rules, the proposed new Rule 12, permitting the Republican National Committee to regularly amend the national party rules between the national conventions.
The Minority Reports would solve both problems.
Proponents of the "compromise" ignore the enormously destructive problem of the proposed Rule 12. Rule 12 would enable 75% of the Republican National Committee later to eliminate their "compromise" and to destroy or make drastic changes in dozens of other rules which have served our party well over the years.
In practice, Rule 12 would enable an RNC chairman to enact almost any rules change he or she desired, because an RNC chairman already has so much power and influence that he or she can almost always can get 75% or more of the RNC members to vote for or against anything. A chairman already has the enormous "power of the purse," and should not have also the power to change party rules at will.
There is already quite enough power flow from the top down in our party. Instead of approving more power grabs, we should be looking for ways for more power to flow from the bottom up. That's how to attract more participants into our party.
The media's picked up on this series of last-minute manipulations by D.C insiders and consultants, and I'm sure you've been bombarded with contacts from both sides.
The truth is, this isn’t a compromise. It’s far from it.
This is insider establishment politics at its worst – and they’re dealing furiously against grassroots conservatives like you and me.
And no change to Rule 15 will mean anything if a party chairman decides to use the powers given under a new Rule 12 that allows the RNC to change the Rules of the Republican Party between national conventions.
So I’m asking you to support the full Minority Reports on the Rules – and to not be fooled by any so-called “compromise.” I especially ask you to take a stand in your delegation for a roll call vote on the Minority Reports.
National Committeeman, Virginia