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A GOP purity test?

From NBC's Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro
First Read has obtained a resoultion being e-mailed around to Republican National Committee members for comments that proposes a conservative litmus test of sorts.

This comes on the heels of a rift in the party that was exposed in the once-obscure special election in Upstate New York's 23rd Congressional District, in which national conservative leaders, including Sarah Palin, clashed with national establishment Republicans. The so-called GOP civil war threatens to derail moderate Republican candidacies in heated 2010 Republican primaries already underway. Florida's Senate race is perhaps the best and most prominent example.

The "Resolution on Reagan's Unity Principle for Support of Candidates" outlines 10 conservative principles the group of signees wants potential candidates to abide by. The principles include support for:

(1) Smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill
(2) Market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;
(3) Market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;
(4) Workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check
(5) Legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;
(6) Victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;
(7) Containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat
(8) Retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;
(9) Protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and
(10) The right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership

"President Ronald Reagan believed, as a result, that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent," the resolution states.

But if a candidate disagrees with three of the above, then the group wants the RNC to withhold financial assistance and an endorsement from that candidate.

It's not yet clear that the resoultion will actually be formally introduced.

RNC Committeeman Jim Bopp, Jr., is the author of this resolution and general counsel to the National Right to Life.

He confirmed that he and others are considering proposing this resolution at the winter RNC meeting, which will take place in late January.

"The goal of the resolution is to take a position ... towards reclaiming the Republican Party's conservative bona fides," Bopp said, adding that there are some Republicans who favor the bailouts, spending, etc.

Another goal is to "demonstrate that we are open to diverse views," he said, "but you have to agree with us most of the time."

When asked if Ronald Reagan -- who raised taxes and increased the deficit during his presidency -- would be considered a conservative nowadays, Bopp responded, "I don't know any conservative who doesn't think that Reagan's presidency was a conservative presidency."

For some perspective, it's likely that Olympia Snowe (R-ME) would meet just seven of the 10 criteria, if she ends up voting for health care. The three exceptions: health care, immigration, and the stimulus.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) meets eight of 10. The two exceptions: cap-and-trade, immigration.

Here's the text of the resolution:

Proposed RNC Resolution on Reagan's Unity Principle for Support of Candidates

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan believed that the Republican Party should support and espouse conservative principles and public policies; and

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan also believed the Republican Party should welcome those with diverse views; and

WHEREAS, President Ronald Reagan believed, as a result, that someone who agreed with him 8 out of 10 times was his friend, not his opponent; and

WHEREAS, Republican faithfulness to its conservative principles and public policies and Republican solidarity in opposition to Obama's socialist agenda is necessary to preserve the security of our country, our economic and political freedoms, and our way of life; and

WHEREAS, Republican faithfulness to its conservative principles and public policies is necessary to restore the trust of the American people in the Republican Party and to lead to Republican electoral victories; and

WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee shares President Ronald Reagan's belief that the Republican Party should espouse conservative principles and public policies and welcome persons of diverse views; and

WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee desires to implement President Reagan's Unity Principle for Support of Candidates; and

WHEREAS, in addition to supporting candidates, the Republican National Committee provides financial support for Republican state and local parties for party building and federal election activities, which benefit all candidates and is not affected by this resolution; and

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) We support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing and denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further

RESOLVED, that a candidate who disagrees with three or more of the above stated public policy position of the Republican National Committee, as identified by the voting record, public statements and/or signed questionnaire of the candidate, shall not be eligible for financial support and endorsement by the Republican National Committee; and be further

RESOLVED, that upon the approval of this resolution the Republican National Committee shall deliver a copy of this resolution to each of Republican members of Congress, all Republican candidates for Congress, as they become known, and to each Republican state and territorial party office.

Chief Sponsor:
James Bopp, Jr. NCM IN
 
Sponsors:
Donna Cain NCW OR
Cindy Costa NCW SC
Demetra Demonte NCW IL
Peggy Lambert NCW TN
Carolyn McLarty NCW OK
Pete Rickets NCM NE
Steve Scheffler NCM IA
Helen Van Etten NCW KA
Solomon Yue NCM OR