Shortly after last year’s NHGOP Annual Meeting, I wrote a post entitled Identity Politics on the NHGOP eBoard. The accompanying photo cited George Orwell: All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
That was prompted by a floor discussion at the NHGOP meeting relating to a proposed bylaws amendment. Diane Bitter has presented a similar amendment every year for the past several years. If the GOP is to be the party that celebrates individual achievement and equal opportunity; then it’s time we give it more serious consideration.
The following is a letter that several of us sent out recently to members of the Republican State Committee.
TO: NHGOP State Committee Members
FROM: State Committee Members Diane Bitter, JR Hoell, Jim Kofalt, Jean Mathieu, & Steve Mathieu
RE: Proposed Amendment #1 to the Bylaws to be addressed at the State Meeting
DATE: January 17, 2020
As you know, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee will be holding its annual meeting on January 25th. At that meeting, we will discuss and vote on proposed amendments to the NHGOP bylaws.
Our bylaws currently stipulate that three specific Republican groups (NH Federation of Republican Women, the Young Republicans, and the College Republicans) are each entitled to a voting seat on the party’s Executive Committee (aka the “eBoard”).
However well-intentioned it was to allow these groups to have this position, doing so violates our fundamental belief in equal treatment under the law; or in this case, equal treatment under the NHGOP bylaws.
In addition, it leaves the door open to an increased emphasis on identity politics in our party. At last year’s NHGOP Annual Meeting, some Committee Members voiced their support for adding even more eBoard seats for identity-based groups. There is no logical endpoint to that argument. If we pursue that path, our party could face pressure to add eBoard seats for a myriad of affinity groups in the future.
Seats on the eBoard should be determined by an open, participatory democratic process; just as is done to determine party officers, regional vice-chairs, etc. Groups whose membership or member voting rights are limited by age, gender, or student enrollment status should not be afforded special privileges. We should all have an equal voice.
Bylaws Amendment #1 would address this by establishing the three aforementioned eBoard seats as non-voting positions. The amendment reads as follows:
The voting members of the Executive Committee shall be those Republicans who are elected by the members of the State Committee under Article II, 3, A, appointed to their office by the Chairman under Article II, 3, B, popularly elected to the U. S. Senate or House or as Governor of the State of New Hampshire, the designated representative of the Republicans on the New Hampshire Executive Council, and the Republican leaders of the New Hampshire Senate and House. All other members of the Executive Committee shall be non-voting members.
Amendment #1 would not remove the existing 3 groups from having seats on the eBoard. It would merely limit them to non-voting status as other state GOP organizations already do (in Florida for example).
Opponents of this amendment may argue that its passage will invite criticism from our opponents. If Donald Trump has taught us anything, it is that political correctness has run its course. We ought not to cower at the prospect of criticism from Ray Buckley and the NH Democrats, especially when that behavior violates our core principles. Let’s instead chart a course that conforms to our values as a party.
We urge you to attend next Saturday’s meeting and support bylaws Amendment #1.