Congratulations to the new State ORP officers. This year's selection of candidates was truly cream of the crop. For Chair we had Art Robinson, John Lee and Suzanne Gallahger; Vice Chair was Bill Currier, James Buchal and Tim Smith; Secretary was Chris Barreto, Wendy Frome and late to enter the race Stacy Rejaian; and the single candidate for Treasurer was Ken Taylor.
The election meeting was filled with a mixture of emotions, victories and defeats. The biggest area of debate was a proposed Special Rule to be allowed for this meeting only (was not a change to the Bylaws) whether to allow the present ORP Executive Board members (Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, National Committeeman and Committeewoman of the Oregon Republican Party, and each Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the 5 Congressional Districts) to vote in the election of the new officers.
ORP's Bylaws (Article VII, Section C) state: "In the election of officers, only duly elected delegates to the ORP State Central Committee, their alternates or proxies, may vote." For all other matters, ALL members of the State Central Committee may have a vote (all members of the SCC include the EB officers).
The original ORP Bylaws were set up to allow only the people representing each county to vote for the State Officers - giving a true representation of the People. The proposed Special Rule adoption for yesterday's meeting opened the voting pool to include ALL members in the ORP State Central Committee. This added 14 more vote counts to the pool. There were 104 duly elected delegates and proxies present at the meeting; adding the extra members resulted in a grand total of 118 voters.
Two hours of debate ensued on this topic alone. Those arguing for the change said previous elections had been done this way, was precedent, so why not do it one more time? They also said each State ORP Executive Board member had worked hard to get to their position therefore they should be allowed to vote on who the new officers would be.
Those arguing against allowing the Special Rule pointed out that "duly-elected delegates" are the people who were directly elected by the Precinct Committee People (PCP's) in each county at last November's organization meeting. Those PCP's were elected by their neighbors to represent their communities in the Republican Party. This is how the People have a voice in what goes on in their political arena. They also argued that the Bylaws were very clear in who votes for the ORP officers and that precedents are only used when bylaws are not clear.
Two of your delegates voted in favor of allowing the Special Rule, and four voted against. The simple majority of ALL members voted in favor. Because of the time taken to debate this issue, it is in the opinion of this participant that all minds did not have a clear understanding of the implications this would have and that Special Rule changes of this magnitude should not be allowed to be proposed only hours before such a meeting.
After all the debates and reports were finished and the voting took place, the newly elected officers are: Chairwoman - Suzanne Gallahger, Vice Chair - Bill Currier, Secretary - Chris Barreto and Treasurer - Ken Taylor.