NHGOP Exec Committee Backs Off

by Steve MacDonald

NH GOP Executive Committee Backs Off Fee for Committee members

Back Off Varmint!

The NH-GOP Executive Committee (EC) met recently (last night I believe) and bye-bye a vote of 11-8 decided to waive the committee participation fee, referred to by most opponents as the poll tax.

This $25.00 “formerly known as almost-sorta-kinda-mandatory” donation will get a wavier from the Establishment for 2013.  Voting committee members will not be strongly encouraged (required) to pony up the dead presidents for the privilege of voting party matters, the most important of which is for the next party Chairman.

The original measure to extort donations from voting committee members was approved by unanimous EC vote.

A by law change will likely be recommended to ensure that any future ‘fundraising mandates’ of this nature will be put before the entire state committee for a vote.  Spec Bowers, who posted these details on Facebook, noted that while some Executive Committee members did like the idea of a by-law change, because it was not discussed at that meeting there is no clear sign of how much support the measure might actually have.

We at the Grok, many of whom are voting committee members, are happy to offer our support for your idea, and will gladly apply whatever leverage we have to keep the poll tax dead and buried until such time as the entire state committee votes differently.

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  • Gregory Carson, Esq.


    Most of us on the Executive Board (e-board) feel the biggest problem with this entire concept was the way it was communicated, or more particularly, not communicated at all to the members. ??

    This news should not be a shocker to anyone, it is obvious to the most casual observer this issue clearly demonstrates a communication gap/gulf between the e-board, the members, and the activists – this lesson needs to be addressed by the new board as the first order of business.

    But to address the present issue, It costs the state committee a few thousands dollars to hold each of the three mandatory meetings held during the biennium, that money has to come from somewhere.

    That is, someone has to raise nearly $10,000 just to cover the expense of the members getting together, electing the officers, voting on the Platform, voting on by-laws and conducting whatever other business comes before the committee (facility charges etc… but mostly direct mail for notices).

    Before I carry on with the remainder of that discussion, however, I want to mention another concept that needs to be discussed, not just on-line but at the actual meeting. What does it mean to be a state committee member and what responsibilities come with running for a position?

    1. Being an elected member of the state committee is not an “honorary”
    position; showing-up for the three meetings is not fulfilling your duty as a

    Now for the most part,people running for a spot on the state committee put in many hours of time volunteering by supporting candidates or causes or holding elected positions. As almost to a person, all the members on the e-board have held elected office (state rep, senator, town councilors, school board etc…) so no one is discounting or disrespecting the many hundreds/thousands of hours people put in to the effort.

    Again, many of the e-board members have put in decades of volunteer service and many thousands of dollars into the NHGOP as activists, as committee members long before they joined the e-board.

    2. There are roughly 500 positions for the thousands of volunteers who serve the Republican cause so there is competition to get elected onto the state committee. With membership comes responsibility and it’s just not electing the chairman and then going home – elected committee members also need to be actively engage in fundraising for the committee.

    No one on the e-board expects every elected member write a big check to the state committee. What is expected, and is part of the responsibility of having been elected, is to help raise money.

    3. It costs money to run the state committee even before we support a single candidate or a single plank of the Platform…and the Dem’s do it far better than us.

    The state committee has on average two or three full-time employees; two of them in relatively low paying jobs without benefits. The Dem’s average 12 full-time employees with benefits. We have rent, taxes, and utilities to pay along with contracts such accounting fees, IT and data costs, normal legal fees (FEC compliance software is $18K/yr. alone), plus capital costs for computer hardware, office equipment and maintenance. It adds up roughly to….$360,000 per year or $720,000 for the biennium term.

    I think it would be unreasonable to ask every elected member to write a check for
    $700 a year (please note there are several members donating $5,000 per year) but
    I do not think it unreasonable to ask every member to help raise $1,500 over the two years they serve on the committee. And it is certainly not unreasonable
    for each member to kick-in $25 twice a year to cover the costs of the meetings with a couple of caveats:

    a. Unlike our Democrat counterparts (they charge a $100 fee) we are not the club of exclusive rich people. There are I’m sure a few people who cannot truly afford the $25 fee and we do not want to exclude them. Therefore the e-board needs to create a waiver request policy for those few.

    b. There are many ways each member can help raise $1,500 over the two year period which is also a key to getting a more registered Republicans invested and actively involved.

    For example, if each committee member asked enough people to
    get 6 friends/family/strangers or other activists in their hometown to join our
    small donor program over the course of the two-year term (1 person every 2
    months) and we would raise $864,000.

    (The small donor program is a $12 per month automatic credit
    card deduction ($12x24mos = $288 times 6 people = $1,728 times 500 members =
    $864,000 or roughly $150,000 more then our current operating costs for the

    It’s not rocket science, the NHGOP needs the participation of all Republicans statewide, but more importantly it needs elected members to actively participate beyond showing up and voting two or three times over the two-year term.

    Now some people are going to attack this logic as being “pay-to-play” or in this
    case pay-to-vote, but if you can’t see the simple logic that all 500 of us have to help raise the money to run the NHGOP not just the volunteers whom participate on the Finance committee then you need to be part of the discussion at the Annual Meeting and explain how fundraising is not YOUR responsibility.

    And before any more people take cheap shots at the current Finance chairman Jim Foley or the committee members, you need to know each of them have agreed to raise or donate between $2,000 and $5,000 per year and Mr. Foley has personally crossed the $20K line in total donations and Mr. Binne far in excess of that number.

    Of course there is the snarky retort; “only Democrats expect others to pay their way.” Freedom isn’t free and neither is running the NH Republican State Committee.

  • Gregory Carson, Esq.

    Steve and Skip, if you think this comment is reasonable I would like you to post it as a story so a constructive discussion can be had so we can get all sides of the issue.

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