Summary of Amended Final Version 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”) completed its work in September 2017 on two proposed amendments for consideration by the January 2018 NHRSC annual meeting. After SBC members presented the proposed amendments to the NHRSC county and city committees and held a public hearing on the amendments on October 24, 2017, the SBC restructured and revised the original proposals. What follows is a summary of the revised final version 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 (Convention Timing and Annual Meetings)
This amendment would repeal and replace Article I, Section 3. It would also make clarifying, technical, and formatting changes to the introduction to Article I and conforming and clarifying changes to Article II. The amendment does the following:
- Proposed Replacement Article I, Section 3
- 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
- Proposed Amendments to Article II
- Requires that officers of the NHRSC be registered Republicans
- Eliminates language regarding the meeting for the election of officers and the biennial convention because those subjects are now addressed in Article I, Section 3.
- Amendment No. 2 (Party Loyalty and Removal of Members)
This amendment repeals and replaces the current provisions in the bylaws regarding removal of members. It defines the duty of loyalty of NHRSC members and sets forth the procedure for removal of a member for violating the duty. It also provides much greater procedural protections against removal of members than the current bylaws do. The amendment does the following:
- 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 support of the opponent of the Republican nominee
- Joining groups such as “Republicans for” a non-Republican candidate
- Signing nominating papers for a non-Republican
- Using social or other public media in a way that can reasonably be construed as favorable to a candidate opposing the Republican nominee
- 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