Tom Miller, Chairman of the 97th Legislative District Committee, released a statement last night concerning the recent controversies:
At last night’s meeting of the 97th Legislative District Committee (LDC), Mike Reynold, who represents the Hanover Republican Chairman, and John Hubbard, Chairman of the King William Republican Committee, voted to hold a second nomination process on June 1. New Kent Chairman Mark Daniel voted against overturning the first nomination process, which was completed last Saturday.
I believe the action of the majority was in direct violation of both Robert’s Rules of Order and the Plan of Organization of the Republican Party of Virginia (Party Plan).
This was the fourth meeting held by the LDC since the delegations to the Convention were certified on April 26. At the outset of last night’s meeting, I took the time to clarify some of the inaccuracies those who sought to derail last Saturday’s convention have disseminated since the Mass Meetings concluded and the Delegates were certified.
Those who want to invalidate the Convention have claimed Scott Wyatt had a conflict of interest when he voted for a convention at our January 19 meeting. But, Scott Wyatt didn’t vote to hold a convention at our January 19 meeting. He wasn’t even there.
Although he had not announced his candidacy, Scott Wyatt disclosed his potential conflict before the January 19 meeting. Having asked the Hanover Chairman to replace him on the LDC with no result, Scott Wyatt sent a proxy to the January 19 meeting where the Convention Call was approved. And, the proxy who attended our meeting was uninstructed.
The Committee’s vote to hold a convention was made almost four months ago. Since then, no appeal has been filed to any party committee regarding that vote or the Call, which adhered to the provisions of the model convention call provided by RPV.
Much, too, has been made by those who want to invalidate the Convention about my conduct of the April 27 and 29, and May 1, LDC meetings. These criticisms have centered on my repeated rulings that motions to cancel the convention were invalid and my decision to adjourn those meetings.
Article VI, Section 36 of Robert’s Rules clearly states that a previous motion – in this case the adoption of the Call on January 19 – cannot be rescinded “after…something has been done as a result of that vote that the assembly cannot undo.”
• We could not undo the Official Call for the Convention being approved on January 19 and subsequently published and posted;
• We could not undo the filing of form ELECT-516, which clearly stated we were having a Convention on May 4 in Hanover County, with the Department of Elections on February 11;
• We could not undo having all three of our Units – New Kent on March 14 and Hanover and King William on March 21 – approve their Official Calls;
• We could not undo having two candidates – Delegate Peace and Supervisor Wyatt – properly file to be candidates at the Convention, as both did by the April 2 deadline;
• We could not undo all three units having elected Delegates and Alternates to the Convention at their respective Mass Meetings: New Kent on April 9, Hanover on April 11, and King William on April 18; and
• Without a doubt, we could not undo having those Delegates and Alternates certified to the LDC on April 26, as all three delegations were.
No appeal was ever filed to overturn any of those six irrevocable actions.
Once those delegate certifications were completed on April 26, the Delegates – not the LDC – were the Convention. Decisions regarding the nomination in the 97th District were in their hands, not those of the LDC.
Attempting to cancel a Convention after the Calls have been issued, after the candidates have filed, after the Mass Meetings have been held, after the Delegates and have been elected, and after the delegations have been certified, is abhorrent – not just to Robert’s Rules, but to the Party Plan.
There is no provision in the Party Plan to cancel a convention, and you certainly cannot cancel a Convention three days before it is scheduled to convene. If that were permitted, our Party Plan – and all party-run nomination methods – would be worthless.
At the LDC meetings held on April 27 and 29, and on May 1, I ruled motions to cancel the Convention out of order because they were.
When an illegal, invalid, or improper motion is repeatedly made – as the motion to cancel the Convention and hold a different nomination process was – that constitutes what Robert’s Rules calls “dilatory” behavior. Under those circumstances, I had no choice but the adjourn those meetings.
Now, the Convention is completed and Scott Wyatt is our nominee. At last night’s meeting, two of the three members of the LDC attempted to overturn the now-completed nomination process by issuing a Call for a second nomination process in the 97th District. Considering what has transpired over the last few weeks, I think one nomination process is plenty.
I fully expect last night’s decision will be appealed. The action of holding a second nomination contest after the completion of one that was duly-called is unprecedented. While I am confident they will decide to uphold the result of the May 4th Convention, Party committees other than the 97th LDC will ultimately determine what happens next.
I will alert you to further developments as soon as I know them.
97th Legislative District Committee