A few words from a differing perspectives in regards to the latest Sussex GOP meeting:
Mary Spicer is the President of the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club. Ms. Spicer released the following letter to the media:
Screaming women and character assassinating men dominated the GOP meeting at Del Tech’s Carter Hall Wednesday evening, February 16, 2011.
The double standard and dichotomy began when the Acting Chairman, Vance Phillips, stated that he needed a Parliamentarian and immediately appointed Brent Wagaman, an individual many people thought was a Registered Libertarian, not a Republican. There was no review of Brentâ€™s credentials, no motion to permit him to serve. Yet when Chairman Ron Sams did the very same thing prior to the January, 2011 meeting, Mr. Sams was verbally castigated and the Parliamentarian, Bruce Fitzgerald was pressured to resign for “the good of the Party”.
Motions were made, a substitute agenda approved and the character assassination of Chairman Sams began. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud! The very same actions, or “lack thereof” had been practiced by the 3 previous Sussex County Regional Chairs!!!
So, what was different now? A hidden agenda had to be fulfilled! The media were invited whereas in previous situations, the media were asked to leave and the doors were closed. The hidden agenda became very obvious. Media were present to record the character assassination and the walk out when Tom Ross began to speak in an effort to publicly disgrace them and to force elected officials to resign from their non-paying jobs. Does anyone remember when the Primary election results became available in September 2010?
Vance Phillips telephoned WGMD to say that Ron Sams, Tom Ross, State Party Chair, Priscilla Rakestraw, National Committee Woman and Laird Stabler, National Committeeman, “had to go” and that the “Delaware Republican Party will never be the same”. Aren’t those the same words that came out of the mouth of Christine Oâ€™Donnell when she lost the Senate seat in the election?
Having witnessed the effort to embarrass Sams and Ross, I wanted to hear the additional chapter in the effort to dismantle the Party. WBOC carried the planned character attack on the 11:PM news Wednesday evening.
The following afternoon, I even turned on WGMD after the 3pm news to hear what Bill Colley would say. Colley stated that he led a “walk-out” when Tom Ross began to speak, and indeed he did, a half dozen or so folks followed him out the door, and as Colley stated, they left the door open to hear what was being said. Colley’s rude behavior and continued character assassination seems to be the new norm for those few who choose to follow him. Several dozen of us turn the dial or literally turn off WGMD after the 3PM news.
On the positive side, it is very exciting to see the passion and increased numbers of people interested in Republican politics. I do, however, wish the thug tactics (with actual threats of bodily harm or in the case of Sams and Ross, character assassinations) would stop. Does “praying” behavior apply to politics or are they only words to be spoken? I wish that civility and respect for others would return to Sussex.
Mary Spicer, President,
Delaware Federation of Republican Women
Jeannette Taylor is a registered Republican. She has a response for Mary Spicer:
WOW! You must have been at a different meeting. I was at the one at Del Tech in the Carter Partnership Center auditorium. As a new ED and a long time member of the GOP, I was terribly impressed that there was actually business conducted at this meeting. That is something I haven’t seen done anytime lately. The meeting was quiet and well ordered, (thanks to the incredible job done by Vance) . Oh yes, there was a lady yelling just prior to adjournment – but I’ll get to that.
There was no “double standard” or “dichotomy” that I saw. Vance Phillips was elected Chairman Pro Tempore by a majority vote. I did notice, however, that you failed to mention the first vote with 104 ballots cast by a voting membership of 78 (apparently two voters abstained) that required a second vote done by roll call ballot because somebody was a-cheatin’, which is kind of sad don’t you think for those who have tried everything in their power to keep any business from actually being attended to for months now at Sussex GOP meetings? I wasn’t even going to mention how juvenile that was, as that kind of goes without saying , but, oh what the heck, it’s time to put on our big boy and girl panties. Since we (the conservative group) knew going in that we already had the votes needed to get some actual business done and as I know most of them personally and can attest to the honesty and integrity of THAT particular group, it pretty well stands to reason that we know who was behind the cheating shenanigans.
Now, to get back to the dichotomy and double standard. Vance, according to the existing rules, was entitled to appoint a Parliamentarian Pro Tempore and he asked for any objections – THERE WERE NONE from the voting body present. (Unless of course, those 26 ghost voters were simply not heard by us mere mortals) Brent Wangen is a registered Republican and is very well versed in Robert’s Rules of Order and standard Parliamentary procedure. The existing rules state that the Chairman may appoint a Parliamentarian “unless the committee has provided otherwise”. We were not provided the opportunity to provide otherwise as the current chairman unilaterally chose Bruce Fitzgerald as his appointed Parliamentarian. Oh yes, I know he said he got the majority vote of the Advisory Board for his appointment. There are only a few small issues to be taken up with that. Hmmmmmm, where should I start? Well, the Advisory Board has no capacity or in legalese – jurisdiction – in this matter. If you read the existing rules, the Advisory Board’s sole function is to maintain relationship with Republican voter elected officials at all levels. Also, based on the behaviors exhibited by Mr. Fitzgerald at the previous meeting, he is NOT well versed in Robert’s Rules of Order nor standard Parliamentary Procedure. Also, Mr. Fitzgerald resigned of his own accord publicly – I believe the next day on WGMD and also called for Mr. Sams to step down. I could be wrong, I didn’t hear it – only heard about it. Oh, but enough of that, let’s move on.
The “substitute” agenda contained ALL (that means every single item) from the original agenda but was in a different order to prevent yet another filibuster to prevent any business from being attended to by the voting members present. This has been an ongoing tactic at past meetings and our purpose was simply to be able to conduct new/old business of the Sussex County GOP. There was nothing hidden – the agenda was passed out to all voting members for review and comparison to the old agenda.
“Character Assassinations” are not exactly what I would call a resolution to ask for a resignation of a Chairperson who is lacking in true leadership skills and has received a majority vote of no-confidence. I have heard very few people say they dislike Ron Sams, on a personal level; most everyone likes him. But the facts are there for all who are interested to see. There has been NO REAL BUSINESS accomplished in the Sussex GOP for months!
I can’t address the media being asked to leave and the doors being closed at past meetings – I have always seen members of the media present at our meetings so I’m not sure where that is coming from. I do know that the media didn’t lead the exodus when Tom Ross rose to speak as those recording the event captured every word that he uttered. A rather large contingent from the gallery (that means spectators) rose and exited when Tom Ross rose to speak. A few of the voting members joined them. Others (myself included) tried to stick it out just as a matter of respect. I did notice, however, that although he made some rather nasty comments about our request for Ron Sams’ resignation (an ongoing issue for months now) that he said absolutely nothing about the 104 ballots cast by 78 present voting members. You would think that cheating would be an issue, wouldn’t you?
More spectators and members left when Ross started mudslinging at Christine O’Donnell – who by the way,( if you were listening to the Treasurer’s report) has made significant contributions to our operations. That’s when I had enough and left. This party has shown little or no regard for the VOTERS’ choice in this state and has gone about choosing the candidate they wish to support prior to the primary. In case you have forgotten, the conservatives in this state won our first and main initiative last year in eliminating Castle. O’Donnell was the PEOPLE’S choice in the primary (by a 65-35% margin!) and the GOP is charged with carrying forth the VOICE AND VOTE of the people of the Republican party – NOT THEIR OWN AGENDA. I guess not everyone has quite gotten the message that we are tired of the good ole boys (and girls) politics at every level.
Most of you aren’t aware of the many previous attempts to get Ron Sams to resign over the last several months but it has been well documented. He was contacted by a great many people in an effort to get him to resign so that we can pull this party together and move it forward as a voice of the Republican voter in the State of Delaware . Ron was presented with a significantly large number of signatures from voting members of the SCEC and offered the opportunity to resign with grace and dignity. Hell, we even offered to throw him a party, tell everyone what a great job he had done in the past and how hard he had worked. He was also told that failure to resign would result in the resolution and public attempts to strip him of his title due to the lack of confidence by a majority of the voting membership. Please note the word M A J O R I T Y, it’s important.
As to embarrassing Ross – well, I can say we really didn’t have to – he just opens his mouth and embarrasses us.
So far as publicity goes, WBOC and WGMD are actually kind of small potatoes; I understand much of what Ross had to say is posted on YouTube for anyone with a computer to view, anywhere .
As for “thug tactics”, well, I haven’t seen or heard any of that either so I’m not sure from what quarter that is coming but it isn’t coming from the conservative voting members of the SCEC. To my knowledge, none of us have threatened anyone with bodily harm. We strive to set a higher standard for our activities and the conduct of business. So far, we have succeeded in doing just that as the meeting was quiet, orderly and well conducted – we actually got through Old and New business without a filibuster from one or more elected representative who only wishes to hear himself talk. That was the ONLY purpose in moving Ross to the end of the meeting on the revised agenda. Both Vance and Brent did an outstanding job of maintaining the rules of order and abiding by the existing rules of the SCEC.
No one started yelling until after Ross began his rather insipid and petulant tirade against the Sussex County Republican voter. This occurred just prior to adjournment of the meeting at 9 pm
So, gee, I don’t know what meeting you were at but it wasn’t the Sussex County GOP meeting on February 16, 2011 at the Carter Partnership Center auditorium on the Del Tech Community College Campus in Georgetown, DE.
And, by the way, I thought that I might pay a visit to the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club monthly meeting so I started looking for a calendar and meeting times. Unfortunately, I, like most of Sussex County Republican Voters – WORK FOR A LIVING and, therefore, can’t attend a Wednesday luncheon.
Perhaps if you were more accessible to the voting public, you may be more in tune with their voting habits and political attitudes. We are pretty much fed up with the elitist and self-serving attitudes of the old guard and we’re going to take our party back to the people, where it belongs. I’m glad you are happy to see a good turn out and a passion for change. Baby, you ain’t seen nothing’ yet!
For the readers, if you live in my district and wish to be heard, call me. As a representative of the district, I intend to be accessible.
2nd ED 41st District
Side by side which story do you believe? Of course we also have video of the entire event. A more prudent course for the future may be to, in fact, focus on the future. What is in store for the Sussex GOP? Is the walrus swimming upstream or chilling on a block of ice? Which side are you on?