(Find background information about this issue at THE EL PASO FIASCO.🔗)
(See previous letter from Maurice Below.)
Recently I circulated information about the efforts of a disaffected group in El Paso County to take some undefined action against the chair of the El Paso County GOP. I itemized reasons why I believe it is inadvisable for other counties to be dragged down into the muck and mire of El Paso County political theater. Additional reasons have occurred to me.
1. The Whiners of El Paso County are circulating a petition calling for a meeting of the Colorado GOP Central Committee to consider some charges against the El Paso County GOP chair. The charges might seem grave based on the one-sided account in the petition. But the state GOP Central Committee does not have unfettered authority over “controversies” arising from a county organization. Article XV D. of the state GOP bylaws set forth the procedure for dealing with county and other controversies. It states:
"Section D. Procedure.
A controversy must be submitted to the CRC Chairman within two weeks of the meeting in which the controversy arose, or if the controversy did not occur at a meeting, within two weeks of the reasonably determined state of the controversy. If no controversy is submitted by the two-week period deadline, any controversy or points of order regarding the controversy expire. In the event a controversy is appealed to the Executive Committee or CRC, the State Chairman may call a Special Meeting. The call may be made electronically and shall be sent no less than 3 days before the Special Meeting. The Special Meeting may be held electronically. Each party to the controversy may send materials to the Executive Committee or CRC members. The quorum for this Special Meeting shall be the members present. Proxies shall not be allowed. The only agenda item permitted at this Special Meeting shall be the determination of the controversy."
The CRC is the Colorado Republican Central Committee. If an attempt is made to call a meeting of the CRC to consider a complaint, counties should insist on seeing the complaint with documentation that it satisfies the two week requirement. Otherwise, no such meeting should be convened.
2. I've thought it curious that the Whiners are stirring this pot less than two months before the normal organizational meeting will be held. The reason could be to circumvent the normal process of conducting an organizational meeting at which officers will be elected. The Whiners seem to fear they cannot control the outcome of a normal organizational meeting. Therefore, they are trying a workaround. But this is a dangerous workaround. Not only is it not authorized by the Colorado GOP bylaws, if tolerated it will establish a precedent and pattern that Whiners in other counties will emulate. If the Colorado GOP wants to commit suicide by lawlessness, this looks like an opportunity.
It has come to my attention that a group in El Paso County is circulating a petition among members of the Colorado Republican Central Committee (CRCC). The object of the petition is to call a special meeting of the CRCC to dissolve the El Paso County GOP CC. The petition makes it clear this is for the purpose of depriving the current chair of the the El Paso County GOP, Vickie Tonkins, of her elected office for the remaining 2 to 3 months of her term.
Many know of the rancor that long has ruptured the El Paso County GOP. From my perch, it appears there is plenty of blame to go around. Sort of like Sodom and Gomorra: hard to find 10 blameless souls in the miserable saga of the El Paso County GOP.
Now some who probably are not less to blame than the current chair seek to pull all the other counties in the state into their drama. And for what? So other counties can wallow in the slime of the El Paso County GOP?
I urge the other counties to decline the invitation. Here are some reasons:
1. The petition’s only reference to the state GOP bylaws is to the rule on calling a special meeting of the CRCC. There is no mention of the CRCC’s having the power to dissolve a county’s central committee. That’s because the CRCC does not have that power. Do not be sucked in without clear and convincing citation for authority to dissolve a county central committee.
2. By the time any special meeting can be called and held, it will be late January. Only two months later El Paso County will hold its organizational meeting. Why can’t the El Paso County Rebels wait to run a slate at the organizational meeting in March? Why do the EPC Rebels have to make life miserable for the rest of state just before statewide organizational meetings?
3. If this effort is successful, will your county be next? How many disaffected groups in other counties would be energized by a successful attempt to dissolve the EPC county organization? How many other counties would see dissidents try the same maneuver to throw out the current bums just so some other bums can take over?
4. Our state GOP leadership has refused to challenge open primaries for years over an alleged fear it would damage the party’s public image. How would this bonehead move affect the party’s image? Have the EPC Rebels thought about that?
If you are asked to sign the EPC Rebels’ petition for a special meeting of the CRCC, please politely decline. If a meeting is held, please attend and vote down this silly scheme.
Colorado Revised Statutes
1-3-106. Control of party controversies.
(1) The state central committee of any political party in this state has full power to pass upon and determine all controversies concerning the regularity of the organization of that party within any congressional, judicial, senatorial, representative, or county commissioner district or within any county and also concerning the right to the use of the party name. The state central committee may make rules governing the method of passing upon and determining controversies as it deems best, unless the rules have been provided by the state convention of the party as provided in subsection (2) of this section. All determinations upon the part of the state central committee shall be final.
(2) From the time the state convention of the party convenes until the time of its final adjournment, the state convention has all the powers given by subsection (1) of this section to the state central committee, but not otherwise. The state convention of the party may also provide rules that shall govern the state central committee in the exercise of the powers conferred upon the committee in subsection (1) of this section.
I would be obliged if someone could point me to the place in the bylaws or in state statute that empowers the state central committee to dissolve a county GOP organization.
CLICK HERE to view the Colorado Republican Party Bylaws.