I don’t know if all Central Committee members will get this in their e-mail, but at 12:35 this morning I received a missive (ostensibly) from Louis Pope claiming to be a “Response to Morton Blackwell’s incorrect diatribe!” When it begins with Pope asserting that:
Morton has now tried to inappropriately interject himself in the Maryland Chairman’s race. I have Never seen this type of behavior in any previous election. Morton Blackwell is the one who has recently made numerous resolutions to support of the Liberty Pack and the Ron Paul supporters trying to change several of the RNC Rules that were passes (sic) overwhelmingly by the Rules Committee in Tampa.
…you know it’s going to be a doozy.
At this point, it’s really beyond what happened at the RNC last week – the damage was done long ago, and Pope fails to mention that he was one of the 28 votes to provide the margin which killed the outright repeal of the Tampa rules as they didn’t get a majority in the Standing Rules Committee. Granted, had Nicolee Ambrose retained her membership the margin would have been 26-27 but one never knows if a vote was made to please an RNC master knowing there were 27 others to provide cover.
The other statement about Blackwell which interested me was the one where Pope denied accusing Alex Mooney of a quid pro quo involving the ascension of Nicolee Ambrose to the Standing Rules Committee at Pope’s expense. This is what Pope wrote in the original letter – judge for yourself:
Alex (Mooney) called me just before he announced his resignation effective immediately on February 22nd and said the RNC member Morton Blackwell of Virginia has (sic) asked that he sign Nicolee’s form. Alex and Morton Blackwell are in a business deal regarding the book Alex is preparing on door-to-door campaigning. He also told me in the same conversation that while he was doing this as a favor to Mr. Blackwell, Diana Waterman could reverse the situation…
Honestly, was there a need to bring up the business deal at all? Why the backhanded slap at a fellow RNC member? The point that the situation could have been reversed could certainly have been made without the insinuation that this was payback for services rendered. Obviously Morton Blackwell had a preference and a long-standing relationship with Alex, just as Pope obviously has his own (unnamed) friends in “leadership on the Rules Committee, all of who (sic) encouraged me to remain on the Rules Committee.” No word on what dealings Pope has with them.
But now Pope is doubling down, attaching a fundraising letter he considers a smoking gun of some sort. “This issue slandered No One and simply shows the connection and association and explains why Mr. Blackwell felt he has reason or right to inject himself into our own MDGOP Chairman’s race and previously the Rules Committee seat,” Pope adds in his most recent missive.
Yet Blackwell has made no formal endorsement in the race and simply reacted to what he saw in the letter as a false accusation! Morton, though, reveals something Pope failed to point out:
Your interim Chair, Diana Waterman, joined with Pope to pass the (Washington D.C. National Committeeman Ben) Ginsberg changes.
Although some members of the Convention Rules Committee, including me, strongly objected to Ben Ginsberg’s obviously centralizing power grabs, most members of that committee went along with everything Ginsberg wanted.
Mr. Pope and Mrs. Waterman have made clear that they support the radical, destructive power-grabs that occurred at the national convention.
You would be well-served to elect a principled Chairman who works in the interest of the conservative grassroots.
Don’t you want a Chairman who will work to make the Republican Party about the grassroots ultimately telling the RNC how to operate, instead of the other way around?
I know I would. But this whole affair has reminded me of the Rule 11 imbroglio in 2010: moves which directly affect the future of the Maryland GOP made without input from the rank-and-file. Honestly, there aren’t a whole lot of decisions I would ask the Chair consult with the Central Committees about making but this is one of them given the work Nicolee did at the January RNC organizational meeting.
In short, it was a failure in leadership.
While I’m on the subject of questionable decisions made by the party, I should mention that I received a note from Chair candidate Collins Bailey which cleared the air on one subject:
I was also informed that (MDGOP Executive Director David) Ferguson was not paid to go to South Carolina which I think is positive. He went at his own expense.
This refers back to the March 23 Martin O’Malley campaign stop in South Carolina, which featured Ferguson shadowing him and led to the postponement of Wicomico County’s Pathfinders event. Glad Collins cleared that up and shared it, even though I still disagree with the trip’s intent. South Carolina has a GOP which can handle itself, in my estimation – and I still haven’t heard of any Palmetto State guests at our Lincoln Day dinners.