Earlier this month, the state GOP had its semiannual meeting to discuss and vote on resolutions and, more importantly, the rules that govern the Idaho Republican Party.
It was my privilege to be one of the 14 members on the Standing Rules Committee.
And I would like to make it publicly clear that I did not vote to eliminate the entire Integrity in Government section (Article X) from the GOP rules, nor did I vote to eliminate the entire Judicial Committee section (Article XI), which allows for due process for an aggrieved party.
First: Here is why I voted against removing the Integrity in Government section. This section begins:
Section 1: We, as Idaho Republicans, expect all individuals in government at all levels, including elected officials, to conduct themselves within the highest and strictest standards of personal conduct in carrying out their duties….
Section 2: The people of Idaho demand leaders who will uphold their oath of office and the Constitution and are accountable to the people who elect them.
The section goes on to say that any candidate running for the Republican Party will read the Republican Platform and sign a disclosure listing any part of the platform they don’t agree with. The only penalty is against those who refuse to read it at all. The state party chair sends a press release of the names of those candidates who were not willing to read and sign this disclosure. We have had candidates in the past who didn’t even know what the Republicans stood for.
The Integrity section ends with:
Section 5. We ask that all candidates certify they are not a candidate, officer, delegate or position holder in any party other than the Republican Party.
Although I might have been amenable to revising a couple of sentences found in this important section of the GOP rules, I believe the vote to strike out the entire section is irresponsible.
Second: Here is the reason why I didn’t vote to strike out the entire Judicial Committee section. This section came about when a county chair held an illegal secret meeting to vote in the people he wanted. An aggrieved member had nowhere to turn for justice. The rule for due process and accountability was passed and became the Judicial Committee section. A grievance could now be submitted to the state GOP chair to start a judicial process.
Although I do agree that some key revisions are very much needed and some good ones were brought to the attention of the rules committee at this meeting, the suggestion to even form a subcommittee to rewrite the section was ignored and the body of the rules committee voted instead to eliminate the entire section.
In both these incidents the majority of the state Central Committee members also agreed to accept these eliminations.
So what can you do if you think “integrity” and a “judicial process” are important in the GOP rules? You might begin by asking how your county chair and the rest of your state committee members voted recently. (Find your county chair contact information by going to idgop.org, clicking LOCAL, then clicking on your county.)
If you don’t agree with their vote, then make sure you vote for a precinct committeeman in the May primary who will be responsible enough to vote for wiser county chairs and state leaders. Or better yet ... consider running for GOP precinct committeeman by signing up at the county clerk’s office in March.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — Edmund Burke
Elaine K. King, of Sugar City, is the Legislative District #34 chair.