Idaho gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell believes the U.S. Constitution is “hanging by a thread” and wants to gather Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to talk about it, though the conference wasn’t intended to be made public.
In an exclusive interview with IdahoReporter.com, Rammell, who is a member of the LDS Church, confirmed the conference, entitled “The Battle to Save the Constitution,” will take place on January 19 from 7 pm to 8 pm at the Hampton Inn in Idaho Falls. Rammell is slated to be the only speaker at the hour-long event and only LDS Elders will be allowed to attend. Typically, Elders are males who are over the age of eighteen and have usually served two-year missions for the church, though such is not always the case.
The Republican candidate for Governor hadn’t intended the conference be made public, but that didn’t stop one of the invitations from being posted on Facebook.com. Rammell said he passed out “fifty or so” invitations to some very close friends and was surprised by IdahoReporter.com’s request for an interview on the conference. Rammell wanted to make clear the conference is not sponsored by the LDS Church.
Contrary to a report released earlier today by the Standard Journal in Rexburg, Rammell will not be discussing the so-called “White Horse Prophecy,” but will be discussing the U.S. Constitution and the federal government’s failure to adhere to it.
“I think it’s pretty obvious the federal government is not complying with the constitution,” said Rammell, who is anticipating a fair amount of criticism for the event. Rammell plans to keep the event closed to the general public and press.
“I see nothing wrong with asking other Elders to listen to my plan to save the constitution,” said Rammell. Asked about the closed-door nature of the meeting, Rammell replied that “If I felt like they (the general public) would feel comfortable being there, I would invite them.” He went on to say, “There is nothing secret about this meeting.”
This isn’t the first time Rammell has mixed politics and religion in Idaho. During the 2008 Senate campaign, Rammell accused opponent and then-Governor Jim Risch, a Catholic, of “pandering” to Idaho’s LDS population by using former-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a Mormon, in a campaign advertisement. The Risch campaign didn’t admit to “pandering,” but did admit to “following the numbers” concerning the state’s heavily-Mormon demographics.
Rammell said he plans to have more than one conference, though no dates other than January 19 have been set. The gubernatorial candidate also noted that no church leaders have been invited.
The Public Affairs Department for the church declined to comment on the conference.