Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
This is a long article, so here's an abstract for those in a hurry: The Establishment has successfully used RONR to shut down the Grassroots in past years. The Grassroots have subsequently learned how to prevent this abuse. The Establishment, therefore, has proposed two bylaw amendments to drop RONR.
To maintain your rights as members of the AZGOP, it is absolutely essential that these two bylaw amendments (Proposal D: "Applicability of Bylaws" and Proposal O) be DEFEATED.
I knew it would eventually come to this.
It all started at the 2016 AZGOP meeting, with the introduction of two controversial floor resolutions. Those of you who were there probably remember it well. As for me, I'll never forget it. If you weren't there, here is where this fight began:
Those who are versed in Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised ("RONR" to the cognoscenti) will immediately recognize several violations in that 9-minute segment. None of the State Committeemen in the room that day quite knew how to deal with those rulings from that Professional Registered Parliamentarian (PRP). At least, none of the supporters of those resolutions recognized those violations or knew how to respond.
We got beaten on the floor.
I had not yet studied RONR, but I had a strong feeling that something wasn't quite right. All that verbiage regarding the Robert Graham Censure that the Chairman couldn't be censured without creating a committee, conducting, disciplinary proceedings, hearings, etc., was not consistent with my previous experiences.
Immediately upon returning home that afternoon, I opened up RONR to Chapter XX: Disciplinary Procedures" (p. 643) and nearly fell off my chair. There it was, right there, on the very first page of that chapter:
"It is also possible to adopt a motion of censure without formal disciplinary procedures."
Eh? How could it possibly be that a PRP, a Professional Registered Parliamentarian -- the highest possible certification that the National Association of Parliamentarians offers -- did not know about that rule?
Could it be ... that we weren't told the truth? Could it be ... that the omission was intentional?
I delved in deeper; what about that other resolution: the "Anyone But McCain" resolution. Could it be that that one was also shot down illegitimately?
For the answer to that question, see the 11-page Ethics Complaint I filed with the National Association of Parliamentarians:
In writing that complaint, I erred in not realizing that this Professional Registered Parliamentarian was not hired as a "Parliamentarian". Rather, he was hired as a "Presider". And a "Presider" -- just like a Chair -- can rule any way he wants. Apparently, an assembly that is well-versed in RONR is the only way to rein in an errant chair. And if the assembly does not appeal the rulings of the chair, the chair's rulings all stand, regardless of how illegitimate they may be. Quoting from the decision from the NAP Ethics Committee:
"As the presiding officer, Mr. [name omitted] had the rights and the responsibilities of the chair during the time he was designated as chair, including to rule on questions of order and appeals. He was not serving as parliamentarian as that role was handled by the legal counsel who was present for the entire meeting ..."
(You can see the entire decision letter on the last two pages of the above linked document.)
Not only did we get beaten on the floor, we also got beaten on the rules. That is the bad news.
But there is good news: because of that initial defeat, the grassroots have been learning. Currently, there have been several instances, in the legislative districts and in the counties, where parliamentary efforts to shut down the grassroots have been successfully overcome.
But that brings us to today. The AZGOP has apparently noticed this new trend, and apparently wants to put an immediate stop to it. By changing the rules!
The "Change the Rule and Hope Nobody Notices" Gambit
Here's how they are attempting to sneak in this change ... bylaw Proposal "O" strikes out Article III G. of the current bylaws, which adopts RONR in the usual way:
"Robert's Rules of Order shall govern the conduct of all meetings of the state committee when they are not inconsistent with these bylaws"
The rationale provided for striking this out is: "Made more sense to include in Article I." OK, that seems like a simple move. No problem with that. Let's see where they are proposing moving it:
[PROPOSED] Article I.C. - Applicability of Bylaws: "The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Arizona Republican party in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, the Arizona Revised Statutes and any special rules of order the Party may adopt. ..." [Emphasis added.]
And there is the bombshell: the wording is technical, but translated into plain English, means "The AZGOP can use ANY special rules of order it wants!"
What is especially offensive about these proposals is the sneaky way they are being introduced. The RONR bylaw provision is currently under Meetings: Order of Business. This change would move it under the heading "Applicability of Bylaws". This is absurd on its face.
So the rationale states its just a simple move, but when you look at the actual change, you notice they drop in the bombshell "and any special rules of order the Party may adopt."
Could it be ... that the "move" was intended as a cover for adding the offensive language?
It's difficult to prove deceptive intent, but I can't imagine any more deceptive way to attempt to kill RONR than this ploy.
The Principles of RONR
RONR, originally written by U.S. Army Engineer General Henry M. Robert, contains over 140 years of distilled wisdom in the running of meetings.
The January 13th MCRC meeting demonstrated just how powerful RONR can be when it is respected: Chairman Herring was respectful of multiple motions and points of order from the floor. The motions were heard and dealt with according to RONR. Debates occured, votes were taken, and after each we all moved on. The meeting ran like clockwork, and nobody left angry. It felt good to leave one of these big meetings still PROUD TO BE A REPUBLICAN.
If you haven't seen it yet, here are some highlights from that meeting. (But please read the rest of this article first.)
One final word: RONR protects the rights of members. Here are a few relevant quotes:
"A member of an assembly ... is a person entitled to full participation in its proceedings, that is, ... the right to attend meetings, to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote." RONR (11th Ed.), p. 3, ll. 1-5.
"Rules protecting a basic right of the individual member cannot be suspended. ... the rules may not be suspended so as to deny an particular member the right to attend meetings, make motions or nominations, speak in debate, give previous notice, or vote. These basic rights may be curtailed only through disciplinary proceedings." RONR (11th Ed.), p. 264, ll. 6-14.
"New Business. After unfinished business and general orders have been disposed of, the chair asks, "Is there any new business?" Members can then introduce new items of business ... So long as members are reasonably prompt in claiming the floor, the chair cannot prevent the making of legitimate motions or deprive members of the right to introduce legitimate business, by hurrying through the proceedings." RONR (11th Ed.), p. 360, ll. 13-23.
It's bad enough when your rights are TAKEN away from you; it's worse when you VOTE them away. Do not vote away your rights as a member.
Please vote NO on Bylaw Proposal D and Bylaw Proposal O.
I have only one disagreement: this didn't start in 2016, it started the day Robert Graham took over the Chairmanship of AZGOP. These goons are handled by the best POS in AZ, John McCain and his team that makes FUSION GPS look like amateurs.
Please read the above posting.
If you are a Precinct Committeeman/woman and/or State Committeeman/woman or just a republican voter you must like this posting by Joe Neglia as it is an excellent insight to what is wrong with the AZGOP. I was in the parking lot getting signatures for the McCain "anyone but McCain" censorship and one of the PCs speechless because of lack of education on Roberts Rules of Order (RRO). I have observed the lack of RRO understanding at other GOP meetings such as in Cochise county and LD14.
Recognizing the need for RRO knowledge, we held a RRO introduction presentation at our LD14 meeting conducted by a registered parliamentarian. I observed that lesson as insufficient to translate into action at a meeting with a presiding hired gun parliamentarian. My knowledge of "calling for a division of the house" or "appeal decision of the chair" is too limited to take on these hired guns. If you have never heard of such "words" then you need help. So I have been advising have your own parliamentarian stand by your side to advise you when speaking at the microphone.
Even a successful chairman such as at the recent MCR meeting may not be up to challenge this type of presiding "chair" parliamentarian. And I do believe they will attempt to sweep Bylaw Proposal D and Bylaw Proposal O through by a motion or amended motion along with other useful bylaw amendments.
One final note - There will be many Maricopa county LD State Committeemen/women with proxies who back the GOPe at the mandatory meeting.
Kudos, Joe, for learning Robert's Rules and figuring all of this out for us. It dawned on me, back in September, that something like this was going to happen. I could sense that the leadership was fed up with having to deal with our continual efforts to exert the authority that the Bylaws absolutely DO confer on the state committee. Everything these people do is part of a plan to prevent us having a voice in party affairs, PERIOD! Now, they are done playing games with us and they want to steal authoritarian power with changes in the bylaws. I believe there are more than one of these traps in the packet of changes they have proposed.
That is why I have been suggesting to everyone I can that they vote NO on EVERY bylaws change, regardless. This is NOT a year when we can take a chance and roll the dice at the annual meeting. Think about it: If they gain dictatorial powers at this upcoming meeting, the Republican Party will no longer represent Republicans. It will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the globalist movement. The AZGOP will then be able to act right out in the open to use the power of the party in a direction coge. mpletely opposed to everything we value.
Don't vote NO on the proxy resolution if it makes it from the floor, that needs to pass.
Glad you reiterated that. I will definitely vote for Archie's proxy limiting resolution. And I believe, when it is passed, someone must immediately move to amend the bylaws to include a proxy-limiting bylaw that matches the one described in the resolution. According to the bylaws, a motion to amend the bylaws can be "made anytime." So what's better than doing it now, at the mandatory meeting.
However, as I said above, ANY bylaws proffered by the leadership should be voted NO, because we won't necessarily be able to see the trick in every given one, if we try to cherry pick. Much safer to give them NO QUARTER by voting NO on every single bylaw change presented by the leadership at the meeting. If they like it, how could WE?
What is wrong with -
Proposal N stating "Article III - Proxies E. No qualified Republican elector shall carry more than two proxies to any state committee meeting."
There are two possibilities for getting proxy limitations into the bylaws. 1. Proposed by Archie which requires the petition from the floor with signatures 20% of state committeemen. 2. The one proposed by me and others and accepted by the bylaws committee - Proposal N stating "Article III - Proxies E. No qualified Republican elector shall carry more than two proxies to any state committee meeting."
Which one are you in favor of?
You may recall that I served on that AZGOP Bylaw Committee, and indeed the committee did approve the limitation of 2 proxies. However, if you read the "Rules"which came with the "Call Letter" allows items to be removed from the "consent calendar" and debated on separately, and thereafter voted on separately. It is my speculation that the"establishment" players will "move" to have this item removed for a separate vote.
As a 2/3rds vote is necessary to adopt any bylaw change, this will be an impossible thresh-hold for "we the people" to achieve. And that most especially with leadership saying in that same "call letter" that they will be conducting a voice vote. That is not possible nor is it allowable under RRO, as an accurate count by voice will not consider proxies, or will do so by trusting a room filled with partisans
by taking their "word" for how many proxies they say they have.
Jim, I caught the "consent calendar" and would not be surprised at a motion to take the proxy item out for a separate vote. Also by conducting a voice vote the chair can simply declare "passed" no matter how loud one vote is over the other. This reinforces my previous posting on countering the mischief of the RRO abuse again is in dramatic need of understanding by a solid parliamentarian speaking for and of the people. Joe Neglia maybe able to counter the Lines stand in parliamentarian acting chair/preside but experience needed.
Bylaw committee proposal on Article III - Special Meetings is another attempt to secure power and control by raising the bar from 20% of members to 30% of members. Lines is very insecure and that is the reason(s) for AZGOP illegal handling of the Navajo coup.
Agreed with your astute observations.
Bruce, I'm in favor of any way that will permit us to vote for two proxies only. I'm not sure what will transpire at this meeting that will keep us from getting this passed. Therefore, I and others will be out there collecting signatures for Archie's petition. If one thing doesn't work perhaps the other one will.