According to several reports, there was a motion to adjourn the meeting due to a lack of proper notice to many members of the executive committee. The LCRP bylaws call for a 5-day notice of the meeting to all members of the executive committee via U.S. mail. I spoke to several people who never received the mailed notice, but who did get a last-minute phone call.
Again, according to what I was told, Chairman Jon Stainbrook ignored the required lack of notice.
It was also brought up that Stainbrook prohibited an elected state central committee woman from entering the meeting. The elected state central committee members are, according to the bylaws, members of the executive committee and, as such, are expected to participate in the executive committee.
Now, the person banned from the meeting was Joann Wack, someone Stainbrook has publicly opposed and against whom he's made several charges. His issues with her aside, she is still the state central committeewoman and he cannot ban her from participation because he doesn't like her.
Stainbrook also named additional members of the executive committee. According to the bylaws of the party, the membership of the executive committee is as follows:
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
A. An Executive Committee shall be formed after the organizational meeting of the Central Committee. Membership shall include:
1. All Lucas County Republican ward chairmen.
2. The elected officers of the Central Committee, plus three (3) additional officers to be selected by the Central Committee Chairman.
3. The members of the State Republican Central Committee who reside in Lucas County.
4. The president or designee of any Lucas County Republican auxiliary club with twenty-five (25) or more paid members that has been recognized during the previous two (2) years by the Executive Committee as an active Republican organization.
5. Past LCRP Chairmen who reside in Lucas County.
6. Any Lucas County Republican officeholder elected in a general election who requests appointment by the Chairman.
7. The Party Chairman may appoint any registered Republican residing in Lucas County to be an at-large member of the Committee. The number of the Party Chairman’s appointees shall not exceed the number of members listed in Numbers 1, 2, and 4 of this section.
8. Members who serve in more than one (1) position shall have only one vote.
So Stainbrook does have appointment authority, but his appointments cannot exceed the combined numbers of ward chairmen, club presidents and the central committee officers.
Apparently, there was a question as to how many people could be appointed, with Stainbrook making a comment about being able to appoint as many people as he wanted.
Then came the discussion of the issues. There were questions about which issues would be considered for endorsement and Stainbrook decided only issues with a representative present would be considered. It was unknown whether or not Stainbrook informed the campaigns for the issues that they would be considered at this meeting in order for them to provide a representative. And reports indicate that there was no one present to represent COSI, even though that issue was voted upon.
There was a motion to abstain from endorsing any issue. The result of that vote was an 11-11 tie, with Stainbrook voting no. Under parliamentary procedure, the motion would fail because it did not have a majority. However, Stainbrook, despite voting 'no' already, decided that, as chairman, he could break the tie - so he voted again.
The Children Services Board levy was voted on and passed. The Port Authority levy was voted on and passed. Then the COSI levy was voted on and received a vote of 10-10. Again, under parliamentary procedure, the motion to endorse the levy would have failed. However, despite voting 'yes' to endorse COSI, making the vote 10 in favor, Stainbrook decided again that he would break the tie, thus resulting in an 11-10 vote to endorse the COSI levy.
Now, how support of these levies represents the core principles of the Republican Party of limited government and lower taxation apparently was never part of the discussion.
But for the chairman of the executive committee to vote twice is beyond any distortion of parliamentary procedure - and should be rejected by all Republicans in Lucas County.
Additionally, the lack of proper notice to members of the executive committee - as required by the bylaws - should negate any action taken tonight. Didn't Stainbrook make a huge stink about proper notice prior to being elected chairman of the party? Has he now embraced the very actions he once opposed? It appears so.
When I served on the executive committee - something I did for my entire time as an elected official - the executive committee would schedule a meeting and invite all the levy representatives to come and give a presentation. We also invited any opposition campaigns to give a presentation as well. We'd have them come in, give the presentation, answer our questions and then excuse them. We'd then decide whether or not we were going to take a position on the levy and, if so, we'd vote. The chairman never voted as part of the decision, though I suppose they could have cast a vote if we had a tie.
The LCRP will suffer criticism for the way this endorsement process was handled - or, rather, mishandled. Additionally, I expect there will be a huge outcry against Stainbrook and the party for endorsing the COSI levy - except from The Blade. I expect an editorial praising Stainbrook and the party for their 'courage' to endorse COSI will not be too far in the future.
Whether or not you personally support the COSI levy, you cannot - under any distortion of principles - claim that endorsing this levy represents the core values and principles of the Republican Party. Supporting a taxation of citizens in order to fund a non-profit entity that has proven it cannot support itself is contrary to the fundamental precepts of the GOP, including limited government, individual responsibility, and limited taxation - taxation only for the constitutionally mandated functions of government.
And local Republicans, being the people they are, will probably register their objections to this abandonment of principles by not supporting the party with their labor or their funds, rather than in any public commentary. But it would be foolish to underestimate their outrage over this.