Capitol & State

Likening himself to Solomon, GOP Chairman Peterson sets Aug. 9 meeting

Idaho GOP Chairman Barry Peterson says a bitter dispute over whether he'll continue as chairman will be resolved by the State Republican Central Committee Aug. 9.

Peterson said in a news release that he faced a Solomon's choice as factions of the party have split over whether he remains chairman another two years.

The GOP convention adjourned June 14 without taking action on electing officers. Peterson and the GOP Rules Committee say he remains in office; the GOP Executive Committee says he's out. The Republican National Committee also says Peterson is out as one of three Idahoans on the national committee.

Twenty members of the Central Committee petitioned last week for a special meeting to decide the matter and suggested Aug. 2. Peterson set the meeting seven days later "at an Idaho location to be designated by the Chairmen of the various counties," according to a news release late Monday morning.

"Based upon the outcome of the Central Committee Meeting on August, 9, 2014, the Idaho Republican Party will have resolved all pending issues as related to the status of party leadership," says the release.

The  full release follows:

For Immediate Release:

August 9, 2014 State Central Committee Meeting to Resolve

Status of Party Leadership

Boise, ID --

Statement by the Chairman: "As I have reflected on recent events at the closure of the Convention to now, it seems to me that much can be drawn from the story of the two mothers who brought their claims before King Solomon. Each had a child; one was born alive and one dead. Both claimed the living child. When Solomon proposed to divide that child in two so each could have her half, only one showed a mother's love by offering to give up her child to save his life. My decision to convene the Rules Committee was motivated solely by my desire to preserve the integrity and rules on which our party was established, and to safeguard the rights of all of our members who, as delegates, voted at the Convention, and reasonably expected that their votes would be honored."

Consistent with the views expressed above, in response to a request by some members of the Republican State Central Committee, I have issued a Call for a Special Meeting of the Republican State Central Committee to be held on August 9, 2014, at an Idaho location to be designated by the Chairmen of the various counties.

The Central Committee will be provided the findings and resolutions passed by the Idaho Republican Party Standing Rules Committee, which met on June 19, 2014. All members of the Rules Committee from the seven regions of the state were in attendance at that meeting.

The Rules Committee determined that the Convention Delegates chose to retain the current party officers for an additional two year term until the next Convention.

"On Saturday, June 14th delegates of the convention voted that the party officers would remain in office until the next election. Chairman Barry Peterson, 1st Vice Chair Mike Matthews, 2nd Vice Chair Todd Hatfield, Secretary Marla Lawson, and Treasurer Chris Harriman, were all re-elected to those positions to serve until the next convention election regularly scheduled for June or July of 2016."

"The election of these officers did comply with the Rules of the Idaho Republican Party.

The Rules Committee also determined the following with respect to a purported meeting of the Executive Committee to elect new officers:

"The meeting of a few State Executive Committee members held on June 18, 2014 was not a duly called and legitimate State Executive Committee meeting of the Idaho Republican Party. The State Chairman did not call the meeting and proper notice was not given. Thus, any actions or decisions from that meeting are null and void."

The Central Committee will be asked to accept or reject the findings and resolutions of the Idaho Republican Party Standing Rules Committee as set out above.

Based upon the outcome of the Central Committee Meeting on August 9, 2014, the Idaho Republican Party will have resolved all pending issues as related to the status of party leadership. For more information, contact the Idaho Republican Party Chairman, Barry Peterson, 208-343-6405.

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