Inability to make amendments should lead delegates to vote “No” on three of them
On Aug. 15, when Republicans who registered as state convention delegates vote – – if you paid the $35 fee or pay at the voting locations – will be asked to vote on a new party chair, Republican National Committeewoman, 2 electors to the US Electoral College – plus four proposed changes to the Party Plan, each impacting the formation and function of the Republican Party of Virginia State Central Committee.
Let’s look at each one by one:
Question 1 offered by the “Republican Change Committee” would eliminate 24 positions (votes) from the SCC, dropping it to a total of 54. Click here to read the full proposal.
The group’s goal is stated in this email: “We need a leaner SCC governing body, pulling in our skilled resources on committees as needed, to develop and action, effective and sustaining processes, programs, and protocols that drive success and win elections!”
RCC argues the SCC (78 individuals in all ) is too large, meetings go on too long and the grassroots elected representatives’ voices are muted by the appointees and affiliate groups.
However, the RCC amendment has drawn hackles from three key affiliate groups (Republican Women, Young Republicans and College Republicans) because it reduces their votes from three each to two. As a result, the members of these organizations are very much opposed. These organizations are very helpful to the GOP! They raise money and furnish volunteers. Taking away from them is NOT good policy or good for the party. I also believe the chairman, whom we all elect, should be allowed to appoint some people to SCC, but that ends if this is adopted. Hence, I recommend voting “no.”
Question 2: This amendment, fostered by the group Grow Our Party (initials GOP) proposes creating a Unit Chair caucus and having 3 of them serve as voting members of the SCC.
A Unit Chair advisory group is a good idea, assuming one can be put together among the 126 unit chairs and they actually meet and devise plans to win seats for Republicans, versus polemic debate on the party plan and rules. However, there already are unit chairs who sit on the SCC, or past unit chairs, so they all should have a pretty good idea how to convey concerns from their units (the grassroots already. In addition, I am unsure how much RPV staff time it will take to ensure this Unit Council meets and provides input. Again, this is another “no” vote.
Question 3: This amendment, also presented by the GOP group, would increase from three to four the number of representatives of each of the Republican Women, the Young Republicans and the College Republicans. It would also make the leader of each group a full voting member of the State Central Committee. Click her to read the full text and their arguments
In brief, GOP argues: “These party affiliate groups have long been among the strongest leaders in the Party. Every candidate whose sought office in Virginia can attest to the strong, well-organized support of affiliate group members. By expanding their representation and giving them a vote on the Executive Committee, they would have a status similar to each of the Congressional Districts.”
In essence, if this amendment passes, as well their group’s Question 2, 12 new SCC members would join the SCC, bringing the membership to 90.
In this case, I am convinced by pro question 1 supporter Reagan George, who wrote on these pages that adding new SCC members is not going to grow the party and will just increase the number of “interactions” that will make SCC meetings go on forever.
Has the GOP group added constituency group seats on the SCC, i.e. prolife, pro-2A, Latino and African American Republicans, Asians, I may have supported it, but all it does is add votes for the CRs, YRs and Women’s Clubs. I recommend voting “no” on this one.
Question 4, also propagated by the GOP group, would require SCC voting members to disclose if they have a conflict of interest on an item before the committee. To me, this is a sensible amendment. So, I recommend voting “YES.”
Why should there be a “no” vote on the first three?
Each proposed party plan amendment has some merit, but because this is not an in-person convention, but an “unassembled” convention where delegates vote at one of 11 polling places and leave, there is no opportunity for discussion, making amendments and debate. Had that been the case, this would be a good discussion for a state convention.
By and large, it’s the candidates for RPV chair and RNC National Committeewoman who are driving delegates to vote this Saturday and my concern is some will show up and not spend a lot of time studying the party plan questions while sitting in their cars. I think there’s a risk Questions 1 and 3 would get adopted.
In that scenario, how does RPV reconcile the differences? A new convention, or does the SCC get to decide? And, if one is adopted and doesn’t work well, RPV can’t amend it without a new convention it would seem.
Do we want the next RPV chair, paid staff in Richmond and SCC spending time on SCC structure vs. really growing the party and winning elections, particularly given the fact Democrats have won every statewide election in this state since 2009? I think not.
The full ballot is here.