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RNC poised to reject candidate purity test in favor of platform fealty pledge

January 28, 2010 |  7:02 pm

It looks like the Republican Party won’t be taking names or testing blood samples.

Meeting behind closed doors in Honolulu this afternoon the resolutions committee of the Republican National Committee adopted a watered-down version of the so-called “purity” test advocated by insiders who wanted candidates to complete a check list—8 of 10 needed to pass—to receive financial or organizational help from the party's national controlling body.
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The precise wording remains to be worked out.

But the gist is that candidates would have to pledge their fealty to the party platform—which is a lot less stringent than the original resolution sponsored by Indiana’s James Bopp, Jr., a longtime conservative activist.

“No checklist,” Bopp confirmed outside the committee room. “There’s none of that in the resolution.”

Still, Bopp declared himself satisfied—though he reserved the right to introduce his original version on Friday when the 168-member RNC meets in full session.

“The resolution that was adopted by the committee satisfies the concerns that I have and the need I think that we have for the party to insist upon accountability of our candidates to our core principles,” Bopp said.

Privately, many members of the committee disdained the proposal as silly and unnecessarily divisive at a time the party is on a political roll. A group of about two dozen state chairmen voted unanimously Wednesday to oppose the Bopp resolution, as it came to be called, and efforts were quietly underway to kill the resolution or render it moot.

“We’ve had unanimous opposition to the excesses of [President Obama’s] agenda,” said Dick Wadhams, Colorado’s Republican Party chairman. He called the Bopp resolution  “just totally ill-conceived and misdirected.”

-- Mark Z. Barabak

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