RLC Chapter News
In support of the Palm Beach County 8-year county commission term limits law, the Palm Beach County Republican Executive Committee approved a pro-term limits resolution 170-0 at their Aug. 10 meeting. The resolution was written by Philip Blumel, a Florida RLCer and president of the Fairfax, VA, based U.S. Term Limits.
Half of Florida's 20 "home rule" charter counties have adopted term limits via a direct vote of the people, as you can see on this chart. A gaggle of politicians in Broward County challenged their term limits law -- passed in 2000 with 80% of the vote -- and found a local judge to strike down the law. The decision was written by Judge Carol Lisa Phillips, wife of the term limited former mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, who couldn't resist editorializing against term limits in her decision. An appellate court overturned the flawed Phillips decision, unanimously and unequivocably, on Aug. 10. But the politicians have appealed and the case is going to the Supreme Court. You can follow the case on Blumel's statewide term limits blog.
To read the Palm Beach County resolution in its entirety, go here.
If any RLCers are members of their local REC in a county with term limits, you are encouraged to submit a similar resolution in your county. If you would like help drafting it, contact Philip Blumel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In preparation for the 2012 election cycle, the Miami-Dade RLC is kicking into gear after reforming last year. Finishing up the affiliation process for official recognition by the state RLC, the group on Sept. 6 held elections and made plans for running candidates for public and party officies and participation in the upcoming Presidency 5 straw poll.
The Southernmost RLC club has some pedigree to live up to, as prior to statewide revival of the RLC in 2004, the Miami RLC was the flagship Florida RLC organization.
At the Tuesday meeting, at The Bar in Miami, it was determined that the following members present would form the pro-tempore executive committee:
Marcus Rivchin, chair (pictured)
Emmanuel "Manny" Roman, vice-chair
Alex Stauber, secretary
Ira Paul, treasurer
It was determined that the following members present would form the by-laws committee:
The next meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 at Sushi Cafe & Shilla Korean Restaurant, 7917 NW 2nd St., Miami, FL 33126, (305) 261-4266. To be alerted of future Miami-Dade RLC activities, join the Miami-Dade RLC online Meetup here.
CONCORD, N.H.―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.”
Like Governor Rick Perry I was a cheerleader, and I’m excited about the opportunities to lead the growth in the liberty movement during the coming election year. So I sent out a letter to our state chapters to stir things up a bit and get us rolling as we go into this new season of amazing possibilities – DN
State Chapters, Let’s Get Moving!
RLC State Chapter Leaders:
It’s time for me to check in with some news and important opportunities.
First the news. As you may have heard, RLC Vice Chairman Aaron Biterman resgined last week. Aaron has a been a huge asset to the RLC in recent years, but he decided to leave so that he could pursue other interests which were incompatible with a prominent role in the organization. We really appreciate his contributions and we’ll all have to work harder to make up for his absence. A lot of that slack will be taken up by our outstanding Regional Directors who will be providing enhanced direct support and assistance to chapters in their regions.
In this long election season there are great opportunities and we need to step up on the state and national level to take advantage of them. A good example of this comes from the recent efforts of the Texas chapter to publicize some of the problems with Governor Rick Perry’s record through a press release which we picked up and promoted on the national level. The timing was excellent and it resulted in extensive media coverage, about 6000 shares of the press release on social media and a spike in traffic to the RLC website which has more than doubled the number of hits we’re getting per day.
To take advantage of the added exposure and potential for organizational growth we want to upgrade the national RLC website in a couple of ways.
First, we’re undertaking a redesign to make the site more accessible and more interractive. You can see the first phase of this in our new front page at www.rlc.org, though it’s still a work in progress and we’d welcome your suggestions.
We also want to upgrade the content on the site and this is where you come in. We need more news and more articles and more coverage of our chapters, with photos and videos if possible. If you’ve got some skilled bloggers in your area who write on liberty issues, we want to run their articles in our opinion section, so put them in touch with us. Even more important, we want news about your chapter and events in your state so we can promote them through the site and get your chapter the kind of attention our Texas chapter has been getting over the last week. Coverage on the national site drives traffic back to your site and helps grow your chapter.
We’re making this easy to do by configuring the national site to pick up any news you post on your state website from your RSS feed. For this to work you need to post new content to your state site on a regular basis and you need to have a site with a functional RSS feed. Right now too few states are updating their websites with news and other content on a regular basis and that needs to change. Nothing discourages interest in the organization more than going to the local chapter site and finding out of date information and old news.
Your chapter should be engaging in activism and promoting issues and you ought to be publicizing your efforts through your website. If you’re not doing this aggressively that’s a serious problem. If you’re only doing it face to face or through social media, then you need to take the time to put activity reports and important items on your website too. If you don’t have anything to report, then you need to start getting more involved in local activism and speaking out on issues. Don’t tell me there’s nothing to protest and nothing to raise a ruckus over. Government is exceeding its proper authority in every state and liberty is always under threat somewhere nearby.
Every chapter ought to have a member whose specific job is to promote the activities of the chapter, posting to the website, posting to social media and getitng the word out about what you’re doing. You also ought to be cultivating contacts in the local press. I’m tired of reading about Andrew Hemingway of the New Hampshire chapter on Google News every week. I want to see articles about other chapters and their prominent activists there too. If you need help with this, drop me a line and I’ll be glad to give some advice.
One very important opportunity for chapter activity is promoting the campaigns of liberty candidates in your state. We had over 400 state and federal endorsees in 2010 and from what I’ve seen so far we’re going to see even more promising candidates running for office in 2012. We need to get off our asses and start working on endorsements right now. There are going to be so many candidates to assess that we’re going to need every chapter working as hard as they can to find the good candidates, get them interviewed or have them fill out your state or national surveys and get the good ones endorsed before the primary season gets too far along.
If you don’t already have a survey to give to candidates running for state office, check out the examples from some of our other state chapters. And start getting the national survey out to candidates for federal office right away. We want to take at least as many seats in Congress as we took in 2010 and ideally twice that many more, so we need to find the candidates, sign them up and get them endorsed. A very useful resource in finding candidates in your state who have declared for office is politics1.com. Not only does it have pretty up to date candidate listings for top offices, but it also has links to your state governments pages which list filings for lower level office.
It’s time to do more than talk about liberty. This election is a time of extraordinary opportunities which we can’t afford to pass up. If we can’t grow the RLC into the dominant force in the liberty movement in the next 18 months we will have thrown away the greatest opportunity we’ve ever been given. As the RLC grows, liberty grows and it starts in the grassroots and rises to the national level. It all depends on you and your chapters. You are the movement, so get moving.
We're very pleased to see the success at the polls this week in Wisconsin. Despite an overwhelming amount of outside money, the Republicans were able to hold onto the State Senate. RLCMN is proud to have played a part, albeit a small, grassroots one. See our mention in this press release.
Beyond control of the WI state senate, the election victories are significant as a repudiation of the outside influence as well as the precedent of recalling an elected official because people disagree with him or her. Although the Wisconsin Constitution doesn't specify grounds for recall, i.e. criminal activity or malfeasance, those are more common and more reasonable causes for removing someone from office. It does not appear that much thought went into the consideration of the precedent of a recall election due to disagreement or dissatisfaction with positions or votes. It has the effect of negating the last election and thereby disenfranchising the majority (sometimes the plurality) of the voters who selected that candidate. Congratulations Wisconsin Republicans - and its citizens.
MNGOP Congratulates Wisconsin Republicans on Recall Election Success
Scores of MNGOP activists supported Wisconsin Republicans
St. Paul – The Republican Party of Minnesota congratulates Wisconsin Republicans on maintaining control of the Wisconsin Senate by prevailing in the majority of recall elections across the state.
“Tonight’s election results are vindication that Gov. Scott Walker and Republican legislators have the support of the people of Wisconsin when it comes to making tough decisions necessary to reduce the cost, size and scope of state government,” said Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Tony Sutton. “Like our Minnesota Republican legislators, Wisconsin Republicans are not just talking the talk of structural reform of state government; they are walking the walk.”
College Republicans, the Republican Liberty Caucus, area Tea Party organizations and scores of MNGOP activists have been in Western Wisconsin for the past three weeks making get-out-the-vote phone calls, doing literature drops and door-knocking on behalf of Wisconsin Republicans.
At Republican National Committee meetings last week, Gov. Scott Walker noted the contribution of the MNGOP to the Wisconsin Recall effort.
WAUSAU – At the 2011 Campaign For Liberty Annual Conference, which was held at the Patriot Center in Wausau, WI. on April 30, 2011, RLC-WI Chairman, Michael S. Murphy, was invited to be a panelist to discuss “Outreach in the Liberty Movement.” Murphy’s co-panelists were ACORN Whistleblower, Anita Moncrief, and Wisconsin State Secretary of the Libertarian Party, Paul Ehlers.
[UPDATE 8/10/11 -- Florida's 4th District Court of Appeals rule today IN FAVOR of county term limits. Thanks to the Broward County attorney's office and all the RLCers and others who rallied behind their voter-approved term limits laws!]
In Palm Beach County, two county commissioners – Burt Aaronson and Karen Marcus, a Democrat and a Republican -- have announced they intend to defy 70% of the voters by running again in 2012 in spite of a voter-approved and initiated term limits law. RLCers and others are not taking this news sitting down.
Citizens – including RLCers Rick Shepherd, Bill Skinner and George and Philip Blumel – met on Monday to plan a response. The meeting, called just two days before, drew over 20 activists, most veterans of the successful campaign to impose term limits in 2002.
Earlier this year a new local website was launched to track this issue, www.pbctermlimits.com. At Monday’s meeting, activists raised some Monday and decided to buy ads in local media and start a 93,000 home robocall informing voters of the commissioners’ intentions and directing them to the website.
A poll has been created on the site, allowing readers to weigh in on the controversy.
Palm flyers were created for distribution at public places and citizens are encourage to participate in the current charter review process, calling for retention and defense of the people’s term limits law.
On Thursday, Philip Blumel spoke to the Palm Beach County Young Republicans and distributed the flyers.
The goal of the so-far unnamed group is to educate voters about the law and discourage Marcus and Aaronson from running against the clearly expressed will of the people. Both commissioners are pinning their hopes on a legal challenge to the Broward County term limits law, but the citizens committee is echoing the Palm Beach Post’s call for commissioners to stand down in accord with the clearly expressed will of the people.
The term limits law is typical of those in home rule charter counties throughout the state. It imposes an 8-year consecutive term limit and passed with 70% of the voter. Activists collected over 60,000 petition signatures to put the idea on the ballot for a vote.
The term limits went into affect in 2010. In the eight-year period before the limits went into effect, four members of the commission have been indicted and three have gone to prison for corruption.