Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Another lawsuit and request for TRO in the quest for power in the LCRP

I've just learned that Megan Gallagher, the Jon Stainbrook-group central committee chairman, has filed suit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against the Lucas County Board of Elections and the Ohio Republican Party State Central Committee.

Her lawsuit makes claims similar to those already made by Stainbrook - that the only time a chairman of the LCRP can be selected is at an organizational meeting following the election of central committee members in a partisan primary election.

Of course, none of the filings address the party bylaws that say the chairmen of the executive committee and the central committee can be removed by a majority vote of the central committee. Obviously, if these individuals can be removed from office at any time, the party must be able to elect new chairmen other than once every two years.

Gallagher also claims that BOE members Pat Kriner and Lynn Olman are using their positions on the board for their own personal vendetta.

Of course, this completely misses the fact that Stainbrook and Gallagher are using their positions of leadership in the party for their own vendettas... I guess they believe it's okay if they do it.

Gallagher's suit claims that all the ruckus going on in the party is so that Kriner and Olman can keep their seats on the BOE. She's also claiming that any decision by the BOE to certify lists of committee members from both groups is fraudulent and means that the BOE is interfering in the intra-party struggles of the LCRP.

This, too, completely misses a point about the law that states the BOE is supposed to do just that: certify lists to the state central committee whenever two groups are vying for leadership of a county party.

An interesting tact this lawsuit takes is to claim that until a court of law rules on the issue, Gallagher and Stainbrook remain the chairmen.

I knew this was going to happen.

On January 9th, in my blog post, "Adding perspective to the LCRP power struggle," I wrote:

But then this sentence pops up:

"So far, no legal body has evaluated whether the meeting met the legal guidelines of the party and parliamentary rules."

What is the purpose of raising the issue of a 'legal body' to do any evaluation whatsoever? According to state law, and The Blade's own reporting, the proper 'legal body' is the party's state central committee. That body is charged with deciding which group to recognize.

And how are they to perform such a task? Well, they'll examine the proceedings, look at both sides' report of what happened and when, and then determine which group is 'legitimate.' They'll have to examine the parliamentary procedures that were/were not followed. They'll have to examine the bylaws of the party. They might even interview participants or have each side present to them.

So if that is the legal process, what is the purpose of this sentence in the story? Is it to promote Stainbrook's claim that the actions taken by the Simpson group are not legitimate if a court of law doesn't decide them to be so? Is it to cast doubt in the reader's mind about the legitimacy of the 'rebels' actions? Or could it be to set the stage for Stainbrook to claim that, absence such a court ruling, nothing the state central committee does is legitimate? You can decide on your own now that you know what to question.

Now you know the answer to that question, as this is exactly what Gallagher's suit claims in the request for Temporary Restraining Order.

Gallagher also states that Kriner and Olman have a conflict of interest in calling a meeting of the BOE because they're involved in voting as members of the central and/or executive committee.

This is one of the most ridiculous points I've ever heard. Here's the thing: let's suppose that Kriner and Olman do have a conflict of interest. The only way for them to announce such a conflict and recuse themselves from voting would be to call a meeting so they could then announce their conflict and recuse themselves.

So how can calling a meeting be a conflict???? It can't.

My personal opinion is that they do not have a conflict in certifying lists to the state central committee. All the BOE is doing is kicking the issue down to Columbus per the Ohio Revised Code. The BOE certified lists from both factions. Obviously, Kriner and Olman are not being partial in the matter if both factions got their lists certified.

However, Gallagher's suit claims this is all in an attempt to keep their jobs on the BOE. Since that's all Gallagher and Stainbrook are interested in doing (acquiring those same positions), I think this is more projection of their own interests than reality.

The filings also seek to prevent the state central committee from acting on any of this until after the court adjudicates the lawsuit, so a temporary restraining order against the state central committee is requested.

Unfortunately for Gallagher and Stainbrook, the BOE acted this morning prior to the judge ruling on a TRO against the BOE, so the lists have been certified and state law requires the central committee to act within 30 days.

Oh - and the suit claims Gallagher has suffered 'damages' of $25,000 so it asks for that amount and attorneys fees to be awarded.

1 comment:

biff said...

That $25,000 price tag must be what Gallagher expects to make in the next 5 years. Unbelievable.

The only body in the state that can save the Stainbrook faction and they file a lawsuit against them!

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