On May 20, 2008, the Officials Committee of the State Republican Executive Committee reviewed many complaints, including one from Griffin T. Spell and eleven (11) other delegates and alternates who are supporting Congressman Ron Paul’s presidential race.
According to a letter sent on May 21 by the committee, it decided that the Spells “challenge was not valid because it did not meet the requirements listed in Rule 27(b). Therefore the challenge will not be forwarded to the credentials committee at the state convention.” Also, according to the letter, “They do not analyze the validity of the allegations stated in the challenge.”
Griffin T. Spell, Sean Bollock, Daniel McCarthy, Vanessa Adams, Eric Brillhart, Derrick Villalongin, Will Compton, Taylor Dianne Meek, Sam Bagot, Stephen Sheftall, Dillon Jones and Carson Greene (all delegates or alternates to the Hays County Republican Convention), alleged in their complaint that Linda W. Kinney, Christine Pogue, Robert T. Mooney, and Johnna L. Cunningham “intentionally violated the Rules of the Republican Party of Texas (RPT)” specifically Rule 14.
Rule 14 states in part that “All meetings of any committee or sub-committee of any convention … shall be open to any delegate or alternate to that convention, any State or County Republican Party Officer, any elected Republican Public Officeholder or any Republican Candidate. These same people shall have the right to appear before any convention committee or sub-committee and make recommendations for the committee’s consideration or testify concerning any item under purview of the committee.”
The complaint alleged that “[t]he temporary and permanent Nominations Committees for the Hays County Convention held no public meetings.” The committee meeting “was held at a private residence” while “[t]he membership of said committee was not public knowledge to potential delegates.” The complaint said as a consequence, the alleged violations “resulted in the disenfranchisement of many potential delegates.”
In a letter to the Republican Party of Texas about the complaint, Linda Kinney, Robert Mooney, Christine Pogue and Johnna Cunningham said in part that “[e]ach member of the Committee and the former County Chair [Kinney] will testify that none of the complainants identified themselves in calls made to them in regard to the Committee or to the Committee meeting. Individuals who made inquiries were given the time and place of the Committee meeting.” Further, “[t]he meeting during the County Convention by the Permanent Committee was held on the stage in front of the entire delegation. The complainants had the opportunity to attend the Temporary Nominations Committee meeting (as others did) and they had the opportunity to voice their opinions and make nominations to the Permanent Committee and they voted on the delegates chosen at the County Convention.” The letter concluded that “[t]his complaint is a futile attempt to discredit us as delegates. We ask that the complaint be handled as a frivolous allegation pursuant to Rule 27b(2) and dealt with accordingly.”
Craig Young, the new chair of the Hays County Republican Party said “so this situation doesn’t happen again, I’ll see that all party committee meetings are posted on our party web site.” According to Young, the Officials Committee met in executive session so delegates and alternates who wanted to attend the meeting were not allowed to do so.
Appeals of the Officials Committee decision must be filed by June 2, 2008. A decision has not been reached yet about filing an appeal.
By ED MIHALKANIN, Ph.D