Virginia’s representative to the Republican National Committee has called for the party to reverse a controversial rules change he said centralized power and could potentially make the GOP less welcoming to the new, grassroots conservatives it needs to attract in the future.
Morton Blackwell wrote a letter to the RNC calling changes made to party rules in Tampa last year a “power grab” that likely hurt presidential nominee Mitt Romney in the 2012 campaign because of the outrage they caused among libertarians and other conservatives, according to a press release.
Before the RNC in Tampa, the party’s Standing Committee on Rules had adopted changes which Blackwell said would have opened up the GOP to the kind of bottom-up power structure he believes could have helped Republicans win the White House.
Instead, he wrote, representatives at the convention ignored the committee’s report and instead sided with changes recommended by Ben Ginsberg, a member of the committee who also was representing the Romney campaign.
Those changes included the number of states required for a candidate to have his name placed on the ballot for nomination at the convention - which caused controversy at the RNC, the release said.
“Since the national convention and to this day, there is vigorous condemnation of our national party for Ginsberg’s power grabs, which eliminated non-controversial reforms and deliberately (and unnecessarily) centralized our party even more,” Blackwell wrote.
“Instead of further centralizing the Republican Party, we should welcome newcomers and treat them fairly, politely, and cordially. What good is it to centralize power if doing so prevents us from recruiting new grassroots activists to our Party and building an organization which can win future elections?”
Blackwell’s recommendation would negate Ginsberg’s changes and revert back to the original report from the rules committee that included no such new barriers to involvement in the GOP’s national ticket.
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