Monday, June 23, 2008

"Well that's No Way to Promote Unity within the Party"...

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The Staunton NewsLeader reports that the Augusta County Republican Committee will be selecting a new Chairman this week. It also reports that new Chairman will be selected by the new committee that was formed from a list of people who stayed after the original mass meeting and excludes many prior ACRC members.


"On Saturday, Shirley said that a new chairman will be elected based on a procedure outlined in the county committee's bylaws. When a chairman resigns, the bylaws require the group's executive committee to meet and establish a meeting date for the larger committee to elect a new chairman, he said."


"At Thursday's meeting, Shirley said nominations for the position will be taken from the floor. Only committee members will be eligible to vote and be nominated for the position, he said."

This procedure of selecting a new Chairman to the Augusta County Republican Committee in effect ignores and disregards the majority of the votes that were cast by those Republicans who attended the mass meeting back in April. The resulting argument was that the original mass meeting was closed abruptly and not by correct procedure, but this occured after the voters had made their clear choice for Chairman and they chose Dr. Roller over Kurt Michael by a vote of 141 to 103...


"However, when temporary Chairman Jim Bailey adjourned the meeting without a vote, Michael said the meeting was invalid and held another election. Though Michael won this second election easily, a majority of mass meeting voters had left the premises at the time of the second vote."

The present and "New" ACRC committee is made up of the people who stayed for the second meeting and excludes numerous prior members of the ACRC committee. The "New" executive committee was selected by members from the "Second" list and thus ignores approximately 3\4's of the original Augusta County Republican membership...


"Shirley said the committee's membership list includes the people who stayed for the second half of the April 10 mass meeting and some additional people who were added during a May meeting. Because Larry Roller is no longer a member of the committee, he cannot be nominated for the chairmanship, he said."

By selecting a new Chairman in this manner the new ACRC committee ignores and disregards the majority of the prior ACRC Republican membership that they claim they are reaching out to for "Party Unity". This entire episode has gone on for way to long and Republican members working towards a common goal would have and should have found a solution that included all members involved. The RPV Republican Party of Virginia should have called for another Augusta County Republican mass meeting that could have been conducted by a third party entity to ensure fairness to all involved and the voters could have elected a Chairman by the people's vote.


"After the state party ruled in favor of Michael in May, Roller said he might appeal to the legal system."

When asked about further legal action I replied that I do not feel this conflict belongs in the courts and should have not been presented to the court system in the past. The Republican Party of Virginia needs to bring both "extremes" together and provide a solution that includes the entire Republican membership of Augusta County. Otherwise having a select few, made up from a list that excluded the majority of the membership, calling for "Party Unity" carries little weight...

7 comments:

zen said...

And what about this continued fiasco would suggest that this group can actually govern?

RightsideVA said...

The ongoing problem is that there are two extremes (groups) to this situation.

Dr. Roller could have brought some "unity" to the party if he had the chance but as you can read he, like many people involved in the party for a long time, are being excluded from the party and process. The Republican Party of Virginia has their sights set on higher and bigger issues\projects but they need to address the message being sent to the GOP voters in Augusta County.

It is probably obvious to know who the "New" committee will elect as their new chairman and that person will have an interesting time when it comes for their "call for unity"... "Unity" after excluding so many from the process will be a true challenge...

John said...

Steve,

We had the same situation up here when it happened and many of the long term members were turned off by the exclusion that they were seeing.

Attendence to the meetings went down as expected but the real problem came when the NJ Republican party called asking what happened to MCRC and it's members. Donations and support fell off for the next council and district elections and that got the attention of the delegates.

The false leader and his committee claimed they wanted unity but their actions were viewed for what they were. It took time but the party eventually made the change and got a leader in there that could bring all of the groups together and brought us back to the strong committee we now are..

Don't worry, True conservatives see these people for what they are and will be there for the party when needed and called upon.

kwise said...

But with all due respect RightsideVa., wasn't it the lack of rules that started this whole mess? I myself asked what the rules were that we were voting on at the beginning of the mass meeting and never did get a clear answer. Obviously, the rules weren't followed and the State upheld Kurt's chairmanship. He stepped down as he promised and from my understanding of the bylaws a new chairman will be elected. And the part about all the voters that had left the mass meeting, no one made them leave. They did so on their own. If their argument is that they thought the meeting was over, shouldn't they have realized that the delegates had to be voted on before the meeting was adjourned? If they had stayed, those people could just have easily been on the committee now

RightsideVA said...

Kwise,

Thank you for your comments and I take this is “wise” from two streets over…

There was a obvious problem with a “lack of rules” during the mass meeting and the agenda should have been turned over to and used by whoever the temp chairman was. It was the responsibility of the Chairman, Kurt Michael, to provide a working agenda for the meeting for that is the responsibility of the chairman and the agenda is the property of the ACRC is it not? Otherwise we have the “My way or No way” attitude that has resulted in the divided party we now have. By not providing a working agenda to the meeting was that “Inclusive” or “Exclusive”?

Also if you note the mass meeting was opened with a very quick nomination of Kurt Michael as temp chairman, followed by an immediate 2nd, and a succession call for close to nominations all happening within 2-3 seconds. Kurt then attempted to prevent Shrewsbury from making another nomination by telling her that nominations had already been closed but was prevented by many, including myself who objected and pointed out that Shrewsbury was in fact standing and making a nomination during the process. This issue is ignored by many and you do not see this in the videos provided by Michael supporters but in fact happened. By quickly closing and ignoring other nominations for temp chair is that a tactic of “Inclusion” or “Exclusion”?

I welcome your comments and addressing the issues with an open mind and not walking in “Lock-step” as many are. There are numerous issues and tactics being used by both sides of the party that will keep this local party from getting together. Even with the problems of closing procedures we, ACRC, and RPV, must not ignore the votes and intentions of the Republican voters at the mass meeting. Before there were any problems noted of how the mass meeting was closed the voters had and made a clear choice between the two candidates in Dr. Roller and Kurt Michael. Before they had any knowledge of procedural problems the voters made the choice of Dr. Roller (141) over Kurt Michael (103) and that should not and can not be ignored. The voters from South River also made their decision for South River District chair before any problems in how the meeting was closed but yet their votes here too are ignored. We can debate procedure problems for a long time and we both know there were problems with how the two sides conducted the meeting but we must also acknowledge and respect the votes and intentions of the voters. By ignoring the voters and their votes we are now a party of “Exclusion” instead of “Inclusion” and the election of a new chairman by a select few will just further the “Exclusion” of many from the Augusta Republican Party.


There are many references to how the “Hanger” side changed the rules from a electoral vote process to one of popular votes during the mass meeting. Many have said this was done and was not legal and violation of the rules. But yet during Kurt’s 2nd meeting he used the same popular vote process? It was then legal and why did he change to that process?

The investigation by the 6th district committee found that the 2nd meeting was in fact a 2nd meeting and was not properly announced. The voter came to the mass meeting, sat for three hours as both sides showed their “Ass”, voted and were told the total vote count as counted by representatives by both sides. The voters then saw Kurt Michael yelling and claiming the votes, that removed him from Chairmanship, as invalid. Why didn’t they see this objection before they voted? To many, including myself, they saw Kurt’s actions for what they were and I believe this is also why the Republican voters of Augusta County turned out and voted Kurt out by majority.

“If their argument is that they thought the meeting was over, shouldn't they have realized that the delegates had to be voted on before the meeting was adjourned?”

The voters in attendance did not have a agenda provided by the ACRC chairman as it should have been and they had cast their votes, saw the results, saw the temper tantrum by Kurt Michael who lost by the vote count, and heard the meeting closed by the temp chairman. Would you have stayed after seeing the eruption after three hours and not having an agenda to know that the Delegates had not been voted on? Both sides are responsible for this debacle. RPV should have at least called for another announced mass meeting if they truly wanted a “Inclusive” election and party in Augusta County.

“If they had stayed, those people could just have easily been on the committee now”

Was that properly offered or announced to the Republicans that turned out to the mass meeting? And why were only the select few notified and advised of the ACRC meeting and election of a new executive committee? Why were approximately 3\4’s of the prior ACRC not notified of this meeting and thus ignored by this meeting? Many long term Republicans who had been on the Committee were excluded and ignored by this tactic. I as a District Chairman was not notified and excluded from this meeting. A Republican State Delegate who was part of the prior committee was also ignored and not notified of this meeting. Was this tactic of not notifying and ignoring those of the prior committee a “Inclusive” procedure or “Exclusive”? By only contacting and notifying only the people from the 2nd meeting does this “Include” or “Exclude” the 244 voting Republicans that attended the three hour mass meeting?



Kurt Michael did step down from the chairman position but if you view and acknowledge the clear intentions and votes cast by the Republicans at the mass meeting before any noted procedural problems, did he really have any position to step down from? If we are striving for a party of “Inclusion” should he have not provided the prepared agenda to the meeting that was property of the Augusta County Republican Committee? Should not a party of “Inclusion” consist of all Augusta Republicans and not just a select few from a list? Should a new leader be picked, selected, or elected by a “Inclusive” party of many or just a select few from a list of people who only voted for Kurt Michael?

“Inclusive” or “Exclusive”

Several have suggested that I should just acknowledge the decision of the 6th District committee and that was upheld by RPV and become part of the committee. But I was not notified of the committee election as noted and thus removed from the committee. I was also voted and re-elected the South River Chairman by the majority of the SR voters at the mass meeting but yet not notified of any ACRC meetings. Was this “Inclusive” or “Exclusive” by the “New” ACRC party that will surely call for party “Unity” after the upcoming selection of a new chairman? I can not and will not “Roll-Over” on these issues and go along with the new party as long as they tactics are continued and ignored by the 6th district and RPV.

Sore loser? No. Just somebody who will not continue to allow tactics like this to “Divide” the party and the majority of the Republican voters of Augusta County…

Spank That Donkey said...

Rightside:
You know how I feel about the elected's trying to hijack that meeting.

They screwed the pooch, and the RPV has backed that up...

We all need to move beyond this episode. Kurt resigned, and wasn't that ya'lls goal to remove him from Leadership?

Everything else is sounding like sour grapes, because committee slots are being made open, and others will probably become open soon enough.

For those of us in the middle, and from some party members who say we will just get run over...

We are waiting to see who it is that will just drop the damn feud and get together now...

RightsideVA said...

Yes we have discussed how many feel that the “elected’s” efforts were to hijack the meeting and we also have discussed how I, like you did not want the meeting to take the route it did. Unfortunately, as discussed in the prior comment to Kwise”, the mass meeting took a “Left” turn with the immediate efforts to elect Kurt as Temp chair while ignoring any other nominations. From there it took a “Whoever has the most Votes” turn that divided the party even further. But in fact the majority of the votes did not end up making the final decision as we all know…

The “Elected’s” should have been better prepared but ran into problems once Kurt refused to turn over the prepared agenda to the mass meeting. This brings up an interesting question in was it not the responsibility of the chairman and the executive committee to provide a working agenda for the meeting and is not that agenda the property of the Augusta County Republican Party? Instead if ended up looking like if we don’t play the game my way I’m just taking my marbles out of the game… The new leadership at RPV is more responsive and is making efforts to get the two extremes of the party to work together and I welcome their help and offer my support. But the fact remains that the old RPV, and 6th district committee, should have at LEAST called for another mass meeting and one officiated by an outside entity so that the voters of Augusta County, not RPV\6th district, could elect their next chairman.

Kurt did resign and many view that resignation in different aspects and motives and that will always remain no matter what we or RPV does. As far as I being included with “ya’lls goal” that also has been viewed differently by several people. I will tell you I supported the change in leadership and have numerous reasons for doing so and we have discussed that also. I saw a change in direction and leadership after the Sayre\Hanger primary and a division within the party that needed to be addressed much earlier then the mass meeting but due to the party history, attitudes, ego’s, agendas, and hurt feelings, that had occurred this “unity” never happened. We both know of the tactics used prior to the mass meeting by both sides and the ever present “Party Paranoia” that has resulted in many good people, who have done many good things for the party over the years, not being trusted and excluded from many party building processes.

It is good to see slots opening on the new Augusta Committee at this time but the question remains why was the new committee formed only by those who stayed for the 2nd “Meeting”, 57 of the 59 who voted for Kurt Michael during that “meeting? I know that I was advised of the new committee meeting but would I, or other former members of the ACRC who were not on the “official” credential list, have been eligible to become a new member by these rules? And why were many prior members of the ACRC not notified of this meeting and party building procedure? I believe we know the answers to that…


It may also be viewed as and sound like “Sour grapes” but in my case I prefer a “Sour Taste” being left in my and others mouths after this entire incident. As with memory of touching a hot surface when we were young a sour taste in the mouth reminds us of prior incidents and increases awareness of repeat instances in the future.

I do agree that there are many in the middle who are waiting to see who it will be to drop the “feud” for real, and not just by hollow actions, to move the party along in the right direction. I understand that Chairman Shirley is a good man and is interested in the party as a whole and is not taking the “marching orders” as some believe. I hope this is true and that he includes all prior and present members in the make up of the party but with a understanding as to how the party has gotten to where it is now and who is responsible for that…