Republican Liberty Caucus Urges Open Chairman Discussion
Republican Liberty Caucus Chairman Andrew Hemingway weighed on the potential removal of NHGOP Chairman Jack Kimball today. He urged the Executive Committee to open the discussion to the full Republican State Committee:
In an effort to ensure a transparent, fair and constructive resolution to the ongoing dispute with the GOP State Committee chairman position, the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire urges the Executive Committee to delay its decision and call the full Republican State Committee to order.
“When Republicans campaigned in 2010, they promised to balance the state’s budget just like families do when they sit around the kitchen table,” said Andrew Hemingway, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire. “In Concord this year, elected Republicans under the leadership of House Speaker Bill O’Brien and Senate President Peter Bragdon were able to write a budget that spends no more money than the state collects, fulfilling that promise.
“Unfortunately, now that the hard work of balancing the budget has concluded, some internal Republican Party disputes have surfaced, putting ongoing party unity at risk,” Hemingway continued. “Just like a family settles disputes by sitting around the kitchen table and talking through its problems, so must the Republican Party come together to air its grievances and find common ground. I am confident that a state committee meeting will foster the conditions necessary for a united, strengthened party, which is essential to continue the people’s work through 2012.”
On Thursday, the Executive Committee is planning to vote to remove Party Chairman Jack Kimball from his position. Besides the potential for serious party division that this type of top-down decision would engender, there is currently no legal succession plan in the party by-laws following the removal of a party officer. The by-laws specifically mention a succession plan for the “resignation” or “death” of an officer, but they do not have any plan for the “removal” of an officer. Clearly, a resignation is a voluntary action, and a removal is involuntary—two different actions that require a different resolution.
“To prevent continued upheaval and division in the party, it is imperative that the State Committee meet to pass an emergency by-law allowing the state committee to elect a new chairman in the event of a chairman’s removal,” Hemingway said. “Such a plan would ensure a legitimate succession, if one is necessary, and create a stronger Republican Party that recognizes the importance of all of its members.”
Traditionally, State Committee meetings are expensive and take time to put together. Sitting chairmen and any challengers spend months reaching out to all the state committee members, giving them the chance to build coalitions and prepare for the vote. The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire is urging an outside-the-box approach to quickly and effectively resolve the ongoing chairman dispute in a way that will bring the party together.
“We’re proposing that the state committee members come together and nominate chairmen candidates from the floor,” Hemingway said. “We think chairman candidates should stand up in front of the state committee and discuss all the problems facing the party among its members, and then we think they should propose how they intend to resolve the party’s disputes and unite the party for an effective First in the Nation Primary and victory in the 2012 elections.”
In an effort to cut costs, the state committee meeting should be held at Representatives Hall at the State House, which has more than enough seats for all the state committee members to meet. To further control costs, state committee members should be encouraged to bring or buy their own lunches.
“While it is true that this approach has never been tried before, I am confident that it will work, because it is the same approach that works to resolve family disputes,” Hemingway said. “We will come out of this state committee meeting as a stronger party united under a leader whom everyone will be able to stand behind.”