Allow me to remind you dear readers, your intrepid blogger NEVER does anything anonymously. However the anonymous author of todays delegate email gets a serious hat tip.
I’ve added emphasis to this long email because it makes salient points across the board.
The email follows and it shreds Her Majesty and the Oligarchy of Controlled Failure. Perhaps this and other issues are why I am getting reports that her majesty has been raging on people…
Dear CAGOP Delegate,
Recently a communication was sent by the CAGOP Chair regarding some upcoming activity on matters to be taken by the Rules Committee, the Executive Committee, and possibly the delegate body. In response to this communication there are a few concerns.
The second sentence in the aforementioned correspondence reads as follows:
“As I’m sure you’re aware, our bylaws currently do not outline how we can endorse a candidate in a recall election for a statewide office.”
However, this claim is not entirely accurate. The current CAGOP bylaws include Section 3.02.03 Endorsements for Partisan Elective Office in a Top Two, Special, Election or Recall Election. Under this section, “the Committee shall not endorse, support or oppose any candidate for the Republican nomination or election to any partisan elective office in such a special or top two election, or in a recall or recall replacement election, except candidates for statewide office as provided in 3.02.03(B) below.”
While there is a slight language change to state Primary Election in section (B) with the clarified introductory language referenced above, the plain-letter meaning of this section is to allow the Committee to have a procedure for endorsing candidates, including statewide candidates, in a partisan elective office in such a special or top two election, or in a recall or recall replacement election.
As such, to suggest otherwise is a rather disingenuous way to try to change the rules and lower the threshold for this endorsement, which after articulating numerous other criteria that must be met, is seen in section (7) to be stated as “achieving the sixty (60) percent threshold of votes present and voting at the commencement of any given endorsement voting sessions.”
If one were to take a different interpretation to the existing bylaws and assert that some necessity of clarification was essential to the process, then why not make this process as simple as possible with a minor addition to clearly identify special and recall elections as being governed by the same process already in place for receiving an endorsement for statewide office (which is already the plain sense understanding of what this section entails)? Why create a whole new section of the bylaws for requirements and a threshold specific only to recall elections? Perhaps, this could be a requested change to the Rules Committee when they meet and do the work of the committee for their recommendation to the Executive Committee?
Which does lead to the question of the scheduling of this Executive Committee meeting. Article V of the bylaws require that “proposed amendments to the standing rules and bylaws shall be submitted in writing to the Chairman no fewer than forty days prior to a meeting or convention of the Committee, who shall submit them to the Board of Directors within three business days. The Chairman shall refer proposed amendments to the Rules Committee for consideration.”
With this in mind, it would seem that calling for a meeting 40 days and 34 minutes before the scheduled meeting date makes it nearly impossible for anyone to have submitted matters to the Chair for forwarding to the committee if they had been presuming the next scheduled meeting of the Committee to be at the September Fall Convention. While technically there is nothing that precludes this action from being taken, it does just seem to lack full transparency or enabling of involvement by the full delegate body to be a part of the governing process.
While on the subject of involvement by the full delegate body, this raises the most logically inconsistent part of the correspondence. If the Executive Committee ends up acting on the Rules Committee recommendation (which realistically is almost a foregone conclusion), then an endorsement convention will be convened on August 7th for the full delegate body to vote on the gubernatorial candidate endorsement for the September 14th Recall Election. If a full delegate convention can be called to vote on the gubernatorial candidate endorsement, then why are they not being convened to vote on the proposed bylaw changes being recommended by the Rules Committee, particularly in light of the fact that there was almost no opportunity to respond with bylaw proposal submissions on this expeditiously scheduled meeting.
Furthermore, what is the precedent being set by the Executive Committee changing the bylaws without the involvement and vote of the delegate body? What other bylaw changes could be made in the future under a model such as this? Just because a body has the potential authority to take an action, that doesn’t always mean they should. Furthermore, this power entrusted to the Executive Committee was intended for the purpose of action when the full delegate body was unable to meet or make quorum, not with the intent to circumvent their involvement. If the new interpretation of “The Executive Committee is hereby granted all powers and duties of the Committee as provided by law” is to be taken to mean that there is no need for the delegates to make decisions if those decisions do not align with or may contradict the will of the Executive Committee, that could be deeply troubling.
Beyond the questions of the current bylaw intent and peculiarities surrounding the procedural calendar, the final issue that must be raised is that this action is just entirely self-defeating and a waste of time for the stated and desired goal. The ultimate goal is to see Newsom successfully recalled and replaced by a Republican governor.
The absolute most primary focus should be on the first question of the recall election ballot — Should Governor Gavin Newsom be recalled? While it is not what we want to hear, at present, it is an unmistakable reality that recalling Newsom is a huge hurdle and tremendous longshot to achieve. Newsom’s popularity numbers are not even remotely close to being as low as Governor Davis’s were when his 2003 recall was successful. Every ounce of time, talent, treasure, energy and effort should be on trying to broaden the number of supporters who will submit a ballot voting yes to that first question (and trying to discourage the need for any ballots to even bother to be submitted that would vote no on the question). Without 50%+1 voting yes on the first question, the 2nd question (and who should be endorsed to replace him) is entirely irrelevant (unless you are consultant looking to make money on sending out expensive, glossy mailers touting an absolutely worthless CAGOP endorsement if the first question isn’t successful).
To that end, as Republicans we should learn to stop raining unnecessarily on the parades of our fellow Republicans — while pragmatic realities should be discussed and acknowledged when necessary for the achievement of bigger picture goals — in this case if by some miracle the first question is successful, then there is absolutely no need for majority consensus on the replacement. The top vote-getter is the next governor and to that end, good capitalist principles tell us to let the candidates compete. The harder they work to turn out voters to support them the more voters should turn out to vote yes on the top question. How many times must the CAGOP support a less-than-desirable candidate or withhold support from a candidate they don’t deem worthy to drive down and suppress voter turnout and result in even more dismal results than if they just had stayed out of it?
With that in mind, in this particular race, the best thing delegates can do is vote No Endorsement and let’s drive the turnout up by not alienating multiple sections of the party before they even get their ballots turned in to vote yes for the Recall of the worst governor in California’s history.
This is one of the best anonymous emails I’ve ever seen sent in all my years around the CAGOP.
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