1/23/10 State Central Committee Meeting Report
A series of tasty treats from the SSC smorgasboard
By Ricky Hatch
As a small and probably unflavorful appetizer, I want to include a brief personal note about these quarterly meetings: After having attended almost every one of these meetings for about 4 years, I feel comfortable stating that the party leadership really tries hard to keep the meetings moving along. Still, sometimes we consider some pretty important issues that are fundamental to being a citizen and voter. These kinds of issues should not be hurried along, and State Central Committee ( SCC ) members should be prepared to spend several hours, if necessary, to get them resolved. I was bothered that there were 3 attempts to adjourn this meeting prematurely. I am puzzled at why people would want to prematurely end these meetings, and commend Chairman Hansen for summarily dismissing these proposals. Yes, we’re all busy, and Saturdays are such good days for getting stuff done, but SCC members are elected by fellow party members, and should be expected to get the job done, even if it cuts into our afternoon naps. We only meet 4 times a year – let’s stay until the job’s finished!
And now for the main course. Bon Appétit!
Audit Committee Report – The audit has been completed, but the report has not yet been finalized. They will present it at the next SCC meeting. Or you can look for it on the NY Times Bestseller list.
Election of Vice Chair – Morgan Philpot, elected as Vice Chair at the last organizing convention in 2009, has elected to resign so that he can focus on getting elected to the 2 nd District Congressional position (currently held by Jim Matheson). Three individuals were nominated to fill this vacancy: Kitty Dunn, Chad Bennion, and Mike Ridgeway.
The results? Kitty Dunn, who has been the State Party’s Political Director for several years, was elected by 70% of the vote (of about 120 members). Chad Bennion received about 25% of the vote, and Mike Ridgeway received 5 votes, about 4%. I know, I know, that adds up to 99%. So sue me. Kitty Dunn gave an exceptional speech and will continue to serve the party well.
Three Proposed Amendments to the State Party Constitution – They all passed , although the 3 rd amendment got most of the attention. 1) The first slightly amendment shortened the deadline that the counties have to submit their final list of state delegates before the convention, and would prevent counties from presenting last-minute replacement delegates. It should be noted, however, that if a delegate dies, or for some compelling reason cannot attend the convention, the delegates at the convention have never, at least in the past 8 years, forbid the request by a county for a replacement/alternate delegate. See? Even politicians can be reasonable sometimes. J This amendment cleans up the credentials process a little bit. 2) The 2nd amendment changed the balloting method of election of National Committee Representatives so that it was consistent with other state party election methods for single seats. 3) The 3 rd amendment removed the details of the multiple ballot process used to elect party nominees. This deals with IRV and MRV voting. If that sounds foreign to you, let me welcome you as a fellow semi-clueless citizen, and introduce you to Google. Really, what this amendment does is give the SCC the authority to fine-tune (a.k.a. change) the details of the multiple ballot voting process. This is done partly to allow for electronic voting methods, when they become affordable and reliable. Note that this change will NOT affect the upcoming nominating convention, because any changes to the voting method must be approved 6 months prior to the convention. This amendment generated a spirited debate, and was narrowly approved, 53% to 47%. Because it wasn’t passed by 2/3 of the SCC , it will require 2/3 of the state delegates to approve it at the state nominating convention, using the old voting methods, of course.
Two Proposed Amendments to the State Party Bylaws – Neither passed . 1) The first proposed that the state party “shall post on its Web site” the rules of the National Republican Party, the state party and each of the 29 county parties. Everyone there agreed that these rules should be easily obtainable by anyone, but concern was expressed over the terms used, such as what the governing rules are (constitution and bylaws are no brainers, but does this also include convention rules?). Enid Greene-Mickelson was concerned that the word “shall” might open the party up to lawsuits that could hinder the state conventions. In the end, the amendment was referred to the Constitution and Bylaws (“C&B”) Committee for further revisions. 2) Morgan Philpot submitted an amendment that related to how the C&B Committee could review and alter platform amendments and resolutions before state conventions. Here’s a primer on the process: someone creates a proposed amendment or resolution. The C&B Committee reviews the document and forwards it to the State Platform/Resolutions Committee for review. Only then is it presented to the Convention delegates, and sometimes the resulting document does not even resemble the document that was originally submitted. Mr. Philpot’s desire was to “bring the power back to the delegates” by allowing the original documents to go directly to the state convention. There was a lot of spirited discussion, and the SCC narrowly voted to send this proposal to the C&B Committee as well, which, as our own Christie Moore correctly stated, is like “sending your mouse to visit the cat.” Well said, Christie – five bucks say that the C&B Committee will not give this amendment even a wiggle of their whiskers.
Are you full yet?
Report from Governor Herbert – When he was the Lieutenant Governor, Mr. Herbert always attended these meetings. Now that he’s the big guy, well…he still attends them. This man genuinely cares about supporting this party. He spoke briefly. He had just returned from the Sundance Film Festival, which is additional evidence to him that there really is a lot of interest in what is going on in Utah. He said that his office is preparing for the upcoming legislative session, and has presented a budget that he feels is fair, reasonable, and does not raise taxes. He knows that there will be a vigorous debate on the budget, and that he most likely won’t get everything he wants, and that’s OK. The Governor also mentioned that his upcoming “State of the State” speech is 23 ½ minutes long, not counting applause. Then he made an interesting, poignant statement that evoked heavy and sustained applause: “I want you to know that it is important that we have a Republican Governor.” He explained that this is crucial right now because of Washington’s encroachment and overreach into areas of our lives where they should not be overreaching or encroaching. The states need to say “no more!”
Attorney General Mark Shurtleff’s 15-second speech created a similar response. He said that the state is legally “going after” the Federal Government on health care and public lands.
Newly elected Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives David Clark gave an eloquent discussion of the current Ethics initiative. Nobody doubts the extreme need for ethics reform, but we have to do the right things in the right way, or we’ll be in worse shape. The current ethics initiative, as currently worded, creates an ethics board that is not elected, and that is subject to absolutely nobody else’s review, even by the judicial branch. Republican leaders have instead introduced five pieces of legislation that will establish good ethics reform, but that maintain the checks and balances set forth by the Founders. Among these are lowering from $50 to $10 the limit of contributions that elected officials can accept, and setting up a truly bipartisan, independent board to handle ethics complaints. Speaker Clark also commended the Governor as having the most open door and “let’s work hard together” spirit of the past 4 Governors.
The Recruiting and Nominating Committee is looking for a few good people to run for the State School Board . We all care about our state’s children and their education, and Stan Lockhart, who sits on this committee, said that it is time to nominate good people who don’t bow to union pressure. Contact your county or state party leadership to see if there’s an opening in your district – there are a lot of openings for nominations.
Senators Bennett and Hatch were excused, as was Senator Michael Waddoups. Rep. Chaffetz had to leave the meeting early. He didn’t bring his cot to the meeting, either. Weber County’s own Darcy Kruitbosch , president of the Utah Federation of Republican Women , talked about how these women know how to work and to benefit the local parties. There are only 7 groups in Utah, and there used to, and needs to be, a lot more. Another Weber Countonian (I know, it’s not a real word, but I’ll bet you understood what I meant), Joe Reyna, is the president of the Hispanic Assembly , and he said that most Hispanics are Republican at heart, they just don’t know it yet. He described how Obama is losing the support of the Hispanic community. The Young Republicans are having several strong membership drives and are setting up new clubs throughout the state. The College Republicans , who are younger than the Young Republicans, have made great progress in the past 9 months. They have 12 active chapters in Utah. Finally the Teenage Republicans , who are even younger than the College Republicans, are working on their numbers as well. Christy Achziger, State Party Secretary, will be contacting the counties to strengthen this fun and rewarding group.
Finally, debate and voting on one proposed resolution regarding amnesty to illegal aliens was informally tabled until the next SCC meeting. After, but not because of, several disruptions from growling stomachs, the meeting adjourned shortly before 1 PM.
There, wasn’t that just tasty?
Labels: State Central Committee