- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Don’t expect changes to the convention rules when the Republican National Committee holds its spring meeting next week in Hollywood, Florida, a party official said Wednesday.

Members agreed in a recent conference call that changing the rules now with the looming possibility of a contested convention would give the impression that they were trying to rig the process, said Peter Feaman, a RNC committeeman from Florida and a member of the party’s rules committee.

“The consensus was that the RNC rules committee is going to specifically steer clear of any proposed convention rules changes because we don’t want the RNC perceived as somehow wanting to manipulate the process one way or another,” he said.

The quarterly meeting next week will be the last time RNC members get together before the Republican National Convention in July in Cleveland.

However, that doesn’t mean the rules won’t be tinkered with before convention ballots are cast. The convention’s own rules committee, which is made up of delegates as well as party officials, will be able to make changes before the convention doors opens.

“Our inclination is to let them do their thing at the convention, and we’re just going to leave it alone next week and not even go there,” Mr. Feaman said.

The rules have become a focus of the Republican contest as the GOP establishment tries to block front-runner Donald Trump from securing the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination, forcing multiple ballots in Cleveland for rivals Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich or maybe others from outside the race to seize the nomination.

Much of the speculation about rule changes have focused on Rule 40b, which was adopted at the 2012 Republican National Convention and says candidates must come in with a majority of delegates from at least eight states before they can be nominated and put to a vote.

Only Mr. Trump clearly qualifies right now under Rule 40b, though the other candidates say they will meet the threshold by the convention.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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