Summary of Bylaws Amendments for 2018 Annual Meeting Proposed by the NHRSC Standing Bylaws Committee
In February of 2017, Chairman Jeanie Forrester appointed ten members of the NHRSC to serve on a standing (or permanent) committee to study the NHRSC bylaws, recommend amendments to the bylaws, and review and comment on any bylaws amendments proposed by other NHRSC members. The Standing Bylaws Committee (“SBC”) has completed its work on two proposed amendments for consideration by the January 2018 NHRSC annual meeting. What follows is a summary of these two amendments.
- The Issues Addressed by the Amendments
There were two issues on which the SBC focused for the 2018 annual meeting:
- Timing of the NHRSC Convention. The convention is now held every two years in October of election years. This means that it falls between the state primary and general election. As a result, candidates and party activists are taken away from campaigning for the general election to attend the convention. In addition, the convention frequently has to debate controversial and divisive issues as part of the adoption of the party platform when the party should be coming together to support Republican nominees.
- Reforming Procedures for Removal of NHRSC Members. At the 2017 NHRSC annual meeting there was a confrontation arising from the then-Chairman’s summary suspension of a member of the Strafford County Republican Committee for alleged misconduct. Regardless of whether that suspension was justified, it became clear that summary suspension by the Chairman is not in the party’s best interests and that we needed to create greater procedural protections for our members if the Chairman decides to seek their removal for misconduct.
III. Summary of The Amendments
- Amendment No. 1
This amendment would repeal and replace all of Article I. Some of the language is taken verbatim or with minor editorial changes from the current Article I, but the new and revised language in the amendment is so pervasive that the SBC decided that the amendment should simply replace Article I. The amendment does the following:
- Convention Timing and Annual Meetings (Proposed Article I, Section 4)
- Moves the convention from October to May of each election year
- Places all provisions regarding annual meetings and conventions in one section of the bylaws
- Clarifies the purposes of and differences between annual meetings and conventions by comparing the two
- Allows individual notice of meetings and conventions by e-mail if a member has authorized it
- Requires at least thirty days’ general notice of a meeting or convention on the NHRSC website
- Tightens the requirements for a special meeting of the NHRSC so that they take place only in extraordinary circumstances
- Removal of Members (Proposed Article I, Section 3, C)
- Repeals the provision giving the chairman the power to summarily suspend a member
- Explains the purpose of each member’s duty of loyalty to the party’s nominees
- Describes specific acts of disloyalty that warrant resignation or removal. These include
- Public opposition to the Republican nominee
- Joining groups such as “Republicans for” a non-Republican candidate
- Signing nominating papers for a non-Republican
- Deliberately undermining a Republican nominee in social or other public media
- Contributing to a candidate, PAC, or organization that opposes the Republican nominee or supports an opposing candidate
- Displaying campaign paraphernalia of a candidate opposing the Republican nominee publicly
- Protesting or disrupting a Republican nominee’s campaign event
- Creates procedural protections for a member whose removal is sought by the NHRSC Chairman. These include
- Requiring a vote of at least a majority of the total membership of the executive committee to remove a member after a hearing
- Requiring the Chairman to provide a petition for removal to the member and the executive committee within 30 days of learning of the alleged disloyal act
- Requiring the Vice Chairman to state in the petition whether he or she concurs with the member’s removal
- Requiring the Chairman to provide the member with any physical evidence at least two days before the executive committee hearing. Prohibits consideration of any evidence not provided.
- Requiring that the hearing take place no more than 45 days after the petition has been provided to the member
- Making a neutral Regional Vice Chairman selected by lot the presiding officer at the executive committee hearing
- Upon removal, the member is disqualified from membership for the rest of the biennium following the election in question
- Amendment No. 2 (Conforming changes)
This amendment makes changes to Article II of the bylaws to make it consistent with the new Article I. These include:
- Requiring that officers of the NHRSC be registered Republicans
- Eliminating language regarding the meeting for the election of officers and the biennial convention because those subjects are now addressed in Article I.