Wednesday, December 19, 2018

'Should Constitution Party National Committee Members be "Sovereign"?'

by Gary Welch

Do you know why the GOP is a corrupt party? Is it because of large donors who manipulated deals behind closed doors? Is it because of power-hungry politicians lied and cheated their pay to power? Actually, the reason why the GOP is corrupt is something more alarming:

The members allowed it to be corrupted .

The fault of the GOP turning into a party of debauchery lies in the members not doing their duty and ensuring that they maintained control of the party. They delegated their responsibilities and authority to the Republican National Committee (RNC) in the name of expediency, laziness, and naivety. They allowed the RNC  to conduct fundraising at a national level in the name of expediency. Being lazy, they did want to spend the time to carry out the day-to-day work that was required to manage such a large organization, so they said, “Let the RNC run it, they know what to do.” They naively felt that a unified national party, with no dissent nor local uniqueness, would be preferable to strong local organizations.

At that point, it was inevitable that corrupt and evil people would take over the RNC and use their power to wield control. Soon, they used the millions of dollars that they raised to bribe and force state organizations to bend to their will. As they consolidated their power, they made sure that all state party decisions would have outcomes that they wanted. Conventions and Committees were subverted and manipulated to ensure that “their” people were in charge. Now, for the regular member of the GOP, it is too late for them to get their party back. Dissenters and challengers are quickly silenced and thwarted in their efforts to reform the party. Their only choice is to submit or to leave.

Let this be a warning to the Constitution Party. We are already on our way to becoming the corrupt party like the GOP. Even now, the membership of the party is allowing others to make decisions without any accountability to the party membership. Even now, resolutions and decisions are being made and the vast majority of our party members are not even aware of them. Currently, National Committee Members go into the National Committee Meetings with only their own agendas and desires to guide them. While most of these members go in with the best intentions of the party, there are a few that are only desiring to consolidate their own power and are willing to sacrifice party growth and success to ensure they remain in charge. Even those with good intentions may still be making decisions that are contrary to what the membership wants because they have no guidance or direction.

This is not what our party founders wanted. Our party was designed to prevent this kind of corruption. Based on the same organizational structure that our Founding Fathers created, ours is an organization that puts all the power with the individual member and their state organizations. Because of that fundamental structure of our party, we can prevent our party from going down the path of the GOP. That requires, however, that we take the necessary steps to ensure that our leaders are always held accountable and that they know their job is to carry out the will of the members, not their own agenda.

Because of our structure, it is very easy for the members to ensure control of the party and keep the power diversified among the state organizations. All it takes is a simple process that is currently not being practiced by any state that I know of. What is that process?
We need to treat National Committee Members like State Representatives. They are there to carry out the will of the members, are accountable to the members, and must subjugate their own desires and agenda to that of the members of their state party.

Right now, I do not know of any state that has any process to provide members’ direction to their National Committee Members nor provide for any accountability for when they come back from a National Committee Meeting. When I spoke to several state leaders about this issue, they actually stated that they had a policy of the "Sovereign Committee Member" – that the Committee Member was selected only on their personal traits and that they had full power and ability to vote strictly on their conscience and good judgement. I find this thinking to be very dangerous. Even if the Committee Member is of impeccable character, giving anyone that kind of decision-making power is dangerous and foolhardy. Like I said, even people with good intentions can make wrong decisions.

Other states simply allow anyone that volunteers, and has the funds to make the trip, to be their National Committee Member and provide no instructions or guidance at all. When the members leave for the National Committee Meeting, they have no instructions, no guidance, and no direction from the state membership on how to vote on the resolutions and decisions that are being made. To me, this is just asking for bad results and for a party that will reflect the will of a small minority, rather than the majority.

To correct this situation, I would like to suggest that all state affiliates of the Constitution Party adopt the following process when it comes to selecting and holding accountable our National Committee Members:

  1. All National Committee Members should swear an oath or make a promise that they will faithfully carry out the will and desires of the members of the state party as directed to them.
  2. Resolutions for the National Committee are posted 30 days prior to the National Committee Meeting. These resolutions should be distributed to all State Executive/Central Committee members and to every County Chairperson.
  3. Prior to the National Committee Members departure to the meeting, the State Chairperson should then either (a) call a State Executive Committee meeting, (b) hold a conference call, or (c) send an email request to all state leaders. The purpose of this meeting (or email) will be to get a consensus from the majority of the leaders of the party on the resolutions and to provide instructions and clear guidance to the National Committee Members on the will of the majority of the membership.
  4. The National Committee Members do have the authority to modify their votes or change decisions based on modifications and amendments that are made on the floor of the meeting. They also can use their best judgement for any resolution that is called from the floor. However, they should still use the directions from their state organizations to guide them in their decisions.
  5. After each National Committee Meeting, the National Committee Members shall provide a report to the membership about their votes. This can be done at the next State Executive/Central Committee meeting or via email. They shall report how they voted for each resolution and provide justification for any vote that went contrary to their instructions.
  6. State Parties should be very diligent in sending National Committee Members. It is actually better not to send any National Committee Members rather than send members who will not faithfully represent their state. Should a National Committee Member fail to demonstrate that they acted on behalf of the state membership, they should be excluded from being selected for future National Committee Meetings, even if they are the only one that can attend. Having them not vote is better than having them vote for a resolution that the state members oppose.

By implementing these processes, I feel that we will be able to ensure that our party will be constantly holding our leadership accountable to the members and will ensure that the power, and ultimate authority of the party, remains in the hands of the members, not a small minority.
I would also like to promote that state organizations that are not currently participating with the National Committee Meeting, should be making a very strong and concerted effort to do so. Instead of depending on individuals funding their own travel expenses, the state organization should be working on fundraising efforts to ensure that at least one representative be there to vote. At the last National Committee Meeting, only 32 individuals decided the fate of a resolution that had a major impact on the party. Those 32 individuals represented only about 13 states. Hardly are representation of the entire membership of the party. If all the affiliated state parties were represented by at least one person, the outcome may have been different. It would have at least been a decision that would be more acceptable of being the will the members of the party rather than just a very small minority of the party.

The direction of the party is now up to our members and our states. Do we have party representatives, or do we have party leaders? The former will ensure the will of the members is enacted. The latter will ensure that we end up like the GOP. 

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Link to original article here.

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