Conroe, June 9 – The conservative GOP Precinct Chairs in the County Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Montgomery County have proposed extensive changes to the Bylaws of the County Party. They released the full Proposed Bylaws to The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, yesterday afternoon.
Article IX is the anti-melinda fredricks rule. Ms. fredricks has been fiercely partisan in Primary Election contests. It also seems like a silly waste of money to pay her approximately $30,000 per year to perform secretary services for the Party when there are many volunteers who would perform those services for free.
Article XII includes provisions to permit the County Republican Party to endorse candidates in non-partisan contests, such as school board elections, city council races, or special purpose district boards. The democrat party has adopted a statewide strategy of running liberal democrat candidates for those positions, so it certainly makes sense for the Republican Party to have the possibility of endorsing in such electoral contests open as a possibility.
The full set of the Proposed Bylaws follows.
Bylaws of the MONTGOMERY COUNTY REPUBLICAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Enacted June 19, A.D. 2018
ARTICLE I – Name
The name of this organization shall be the “Montgomery County Republican Party Executive Committee,” hereinafter referred to as the “Executive Committee.”
ARTICLE II – Purpose
For the purpose of advancing the political interests and effectiveness of Montgomery County Republicans and complying with laws governing political parties, the Executive Committee shall:
1. Promote and support the election of Republican candidates to public office;
2. Perform such duties as specified in the Texas Election Code;
3. Supervise the overall conduct of primary elections [TEC 172];
4. Administer a biennial County Primary and manage the county primary fund [TEC 173B];
5. Observe all state and federal election laws;
6. Promote the State Republican Party platform and positions; and
7. Perform such other duties as are consistent with the objectives stated in this Article.
ARTICLE III – Membership
Section 1. Composition
The Executive Committee shall consist of the County Chairman and the Precinct Chairmen of the respective election precincts, otherwise known as the Executive Committee, in the county [TEC 171.022].
Section 2. Eligibility
To be eligible to be a candidate for or to serve as Precinct Chairman or County Chairman, a person must be a qualified voter residing within the bounds of the entity represented, and that person must have voted in the most recent prior Republican primary [TEC 161.005; 171.023].
Section 3. Term
Each Executive Committee member serves for a term of up to two (2) years, ending on the twentieth (20th) day after the next primary (or primary runoff) election day [TEC 171.022(c)].
Section 4. Filling Vacancies
Any vacancy in the office of Precinct Chairman shall be filled by appointment of the Executive Committee. The person selected to fill the vacancy must receive a majority vote of those Committee members voting [TEC 171.024] and must be eligible to serve as a Precinct Chairman.
A. Except as provided in Subsection B, one third (33.33%) of the total membership, excluding vacant chairs, of the Executive Committee must participate in the election to fill a vacancy in the office of precinct chair [TEC 171.024(c) and RPT Rule 9.a].
B. If there is only one candidate to fill a vacancy and that person was elected as a Precinct Chairman in the most recent primary election in Montgomery County and is eligible to serve in the office, only twenty-five percent (25%) of the total membership of the Executive Committee must participate in the election to fill the vacancy. [TEC 171.024(c) and RPT Rule 9.a].
ARTICLE IV – Officers
Section 1. Elected Officers
In addition to the County Chairman, the Elected Officers of the Executive Committee shall be the Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer.
A. County Chairman
The County Chairman, is the presiding officer, elected at the general primary election by majority vote of the qualified voters of the county who vote in the primary on that office or appointed by the county executive committee and is subject to all applicable laws [TEC 171.021-171.029 and RPT Rules 8 and 9].
B. Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer
1. Shall be a person who resides within Montgomery County and voted in the most recent Republican primary election.
2. Shall be elected by the Executive Committee at the biennial organization meeting.
3. Nomination: Nominations for each position shall be made from the floor. After nominations have been made, the nominees shall draw numbered lots as to speaking order. The nominee drawing the number 1 shall speak first three (3) minutes to speak, with no time for those who wish to speak on behalf of the nominee.
4. Voting: After all nomination speeches have concluded, voting shall be conducted by secret paper ballot. The Chairman shall appoint three (3) non-nominated Precinct Chairs to count the ballots. Each nominee may have one (1) teller to witness the vote counting. The candidate receiving the majority of the votes shall win the election.
5. Runoff: If no candidate receives the majority of the votes, a runoff election shall be conducted for the top two vote recipients. There shall be no additional time for speeches. A new paper ballot shall be prepared.
6. Voice Vote: If there is only one nomination for each position, the voting may be by voice vote, or the Presiding Chairman may declare the sole nominee elected.
Section 2. Officer Terms
The term of office for all officers must expire concurrently with that of the Executive Committee.
Section 3. Removal of Officers
The Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary, or Treasurer may be removed by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Committee. The quorum for a meeting to remove an Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary, or Treasurer is the same quorum as required in Article III, Section 4 (A).
Section 4. Filling Officer Vacancies
A. County Chairman: A vacancy in the office of County Chairman shall be filled in accordance with the provisions of the Texas Election Code [TEC 171.025]. A majority of the total membership of the Executive Committee must participate in the election to fill a vacancy in the office of county chair [TEC 171.024(b)].
B. Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer: A vacancy in the office of Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer shall be filled in accordance with the procedures in Article IV, Section 1 of these bylaws at the next called Executive Committee meeting. The quorum for a meeting to elect an Executive Vice Chairman, Secretary or Treasurer to fill a vacancy is the same quorum as required in Article III, Section 4 (A).
Section 5: Officer Duties
Duties of the officers shall be as follows:
A. County Chairman – The County Chairman, as the presiding officer of the executive committee, shall ensure compliance of the Executive Committee with all applicable federal and state laws, with these by-laws, and with the Rules of the Republican Party. The Chairman shall be an ex-officio member of the County standing and special committees of the Executive Committee. That office shall make available any and all information to Steering, Permanent and Ad-Hoc Committees, within a reasonable time, depending on the urgency of the situation.
B. Executive Vice Chairman – The Executive Vice Chairman shall preside over the Steering Committee and shall assist the Chairman, as requested, in performance of the office. In the event of the Chairman’s absence or inability to serve, the Executive Vice Chairman shall serve as acting Chairman until the Chairman resumes their duties or until a new Chairman is elected. In the absence of the Executive Vice Chairman, the Secretary shall preside over Executive Committee meetings.
C. Secretary – The Secretary shall carry out the usual duties of that office, keeping an up-to-date roll of the Executive Committee members and ensuring that each member receives timely notices of meetings and maintaining a permanent file containing the minutes of all Executive Committee meetings. In the event of a vacancy in the office of County Chairman, the Secretary shall call a meeting of the Executive Committee for the purpose of electing a new Chairman, as outlined in the Texas Election Code [TEC 171.025 (a)]. The Secretary is authorized to receive and preserve applications for a place on the primary ballot, as provided in the Texas Election Code [TEC 171.022 (a)(2)]. The Secretary shall preside over Executive Committee meetings in the absence of the Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman, and the Steering Committee in the absence of the Executive Vice Chairman.. At the start of each meeting, the presiding officer will direct the Secretary to do a roll call to assess who’s present.
D. Treasurer – The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping necessary and appropriate financial records for the Executive Committee, for complying with all applicable state and federal laws [statutes] with regard to reporting contributions and expenditures, and shall prepare periodic reports of the financial condition for presentation to the Executive Committee, as requested by the Steering Committee.
E. Parliamentarian – The Parliamentarian shall advise the presiding officer and the Executive Committee on proper procedure for conducting the meetings of the Executive Committee. The Parliamentarian is appointed by the Steering Committee.
F. Sergeant-at-Arms – The Sergeant-at-Arms shall be responsible for maintaining proper order and decorum at the meetings of the Executive Committee as directed by the Executive Committee. The sergeant-at-arms is appointed by the Steering Committee.
ARTICLE V – Steering Committee
Section 1. Composition and Election
The Steering Committee shall be composed of the County Chairman, the Executive Vice-Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and five (5) Precinct Chairs.. (These five (5) precinct chairs are called Executive Committee Representatives or EC Reps or EC Representatives)
A. Presiding Officer: The Executive Vice- Chairman shall preside over the Steering Committee. In his or her absence, the Secretary shall preside over the Steering Committee.
B. Voting Members: The voting members of the Steering Committee shall be the Chairman, the Executive Vice-Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the five (5) elected EC Representatives.
C. Election of the five (5) EC Representatives
1. The EC Representatives shall be elected by the Executive Committee at the biennial organizational meeting.
2. Nominations: Nominations shall be made from the floor. After nominations have been made, the nominees shall draw numbered lots as to speaking order. The nominee drawing the number 1 shall speak first, followed by number 2, and so forth in sequential number order. Each nominee shall have a total of three (3) minutes to speak, with no time for those who wish to speak on behalf of the nominee.
3. Voting: After all nomination speeches have concluded, voting shall be conducted by secret paper ballot. The Chairman, Executive Vice Chairman, and Secretary shall count the votes. Each nominee may have one (1) teller to witness the vote counting.
4. Ballots: Each paper ballot shall consist of up to five (5) blank lines, one for each open EC Representative position. Each Precinct Chair present shall be entitled to receive one paper ballot. On the paper ballot, those entitled to vote may write up to five names – one name per line. The order in which the names are written on the ballot is of no consequence. A ballot may not contain the name of any nominee(s) multiple times; in such event the name of nominee(s) shall be counted as having received only one vote per nominee on the particular paper ballot. However, if a ballot contains six or more different names, then that entire cast ballot shall be declared invalid and shall not be counted.
5. Declaring Winner: Each open position is filled in descending order of votes received, provided that the nominee so assigned has received a majority of the total votes cast.
6. Runoff: In the event that any open EC Representative positions remain after each nominee receiving a majority of votes has been assigned a position, a runoff election shall be conducted for the nominees who did not receive a majority of votes. There shall be no additional time for speeches. A new paper ballot containing lines for the number of positions remaining to be filled shall be prepared. Each Precinct Chair present shall be entitled to receive one paper ballot. On the paper ballot, those entitled to vote may write up to one name per line. A ballot may not contain the name of any nominee(s) multiple times; if a ballot contains the name of any nominee(s) multiple times, the name(s) of nominee(s) shall be counted as having received only one vote per nominee on that particular paper ballot. If a ballot contains more different names than remaining positions, then that entire cast ballot shall be declared invalid and shall not be counted.
7. Conclusion of Voting: Each open position is filled in descending order of votes received, provided that the nominee so assigned has received a majority of the total votes cast. If necessary, the runoff process is repeated until all open EC Representative positions have been filled.
8. Voice Vote: If the number of nominees is the same or less than the number of open EC Representative positions, then voting may be by voice vote, or the presiding officer may declare those nominees elected.
Section 2. Quorum, Meetings, Voting, and Proxies
A. Quorum: A quorum for the Steering Committee shall consist of 50% or more of the voting members. Matters shall only be voted on in a meeting where a quorum of Steering Committee members is present in person, via telephone conference call, or a combination of in person and via telephone conference.
B. Meetings and Voting: No meeting and no voting shall be conducted via email, except when declared open by majority vote of the Steering Committee or by the presiding officer, either in the call of the meeting or after the meeting has come to order. All Steering Committee members shall be allowed to attend any Steering Committee meeting in person or via telephone conference call. The Secretary shall keep written minutes of all Steering Committee meetings and shall distribute the written minutes to the Executive Committee with the call for the next scheduled Executive Committee meeting.
C. Proxies: No proxies are allowed for Steering Committee members [RPT Rule No. 6].
A. Any Steering Committee meeting is open to the Executive Committee or any Standing or Ad-Hoc committee member.
Section 3. Steering Committee Duties
It shall be the duty of the Steering Committee to:
A. Assume responsibility for the transaction of business necessary between meetings of the Executive Committee and to:
1. Prepare an annual budget for the County Party each year;
2. Submit that budget to the Executive Committee each year at a meeting during the fourth quarter of the preceding calendar year;
3. Execute all written contracts concerning employment, leases between the Executive Committee and any other third parties involving proceeds; and
4. Authorize expenditures in accordance with the adopted budget and as funds are available.
B. Appoint, remove, and fill vacancies with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Executive Committee present at a called meeting of the Executive Committee for positions as follows:
1. The finance committee;
2. The parliamentarian;
3. The sergeant at arms;
4. The Precinct Chair Vacancy Committee;
5. The Rules Committee;
6. The Resolutions Committee;
7. The Candidates Committee and
8. Other standing, special, or ad hoc committees as may be deemed necessary by the Executive Committee;
9. Other officers as deemed necessary.
C. Develop the agenda for the Executive Committee meetings; and
D. Adhere to election law requirements.
E. Embrace all initiatives of the Statewide party(RPT).
F. Provide full disclosure in writing to the County Executive Committee of any outside relationship with another organization that involves vetting or supporting financially, or otherwise opposing candidates in a republican primary.
G. May suggest to the convening authority, members of the EC or other eligible Montgomery County voters, a list of personnel to officiate primary, runoff and general elections pertaining to the Republican Party. The Steering Committee must refrain from arbitrarily removing experienced members from being Election Judges, without due cause, primarily resulting from actionable complaints from Montgomery County Election Central and/or the Texas Secretary of State, regarding the conduct of an election.
Section 4. Executive Committee Meeting Calls
The Steering Committee may call an Executive Committee meeting by a majority vote. (Article VI, Section 2 – Meetings, within these By-Laws).
Section 5. Steering Committee Terms
The elected Steering Committee members’ terms expire concurrent with that of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE VI – Meetings
Section 1. Frequency
The Executive Committee shall meet at all times as required by the Texas Election Code, and shall have at least one regular meeting each quarter.
Section 2. Meeting Calls
Regular and statutory meetings shall be called by the Vice Chairman or the Steering Committee. Special meetings of the Executive Committee may be called by the County Chairman, with the approval of a majority of the Steering Committee. Special meetings also may be called by written petition signed by twenty percent (20%) of the total membership of the Executive Committee delivered to the Chairman, the Steering Committee, or to the Secretary at least 14 days before the desired meeting date, or in the event of a stated emergency, two days. The purpose and order of business of the meeting must be stated in the call for any statutory, regular or special meeting.
Section 3. Meeting Notice
Notice of regular and special meetings of the Executive Committee shall be sent to each member of the Executive Committee by mail or e-mail at least 14 days in advance. Notice of meetings of standing, special or ad hoc committees shall be given at least 24 hours in advance.
Section 4. Committee Report Submission
All committee reports shall be submitted to the Steering Committee prior to the executive committee meetings at which they are presented. The draft of these reports will be transmitted to Executive Committee no later than 3 business days prior to the executive committee meeting.
Section 5. Quorum
A quorum for all meetings required by the Texas Election Code, in which only statutorily required business is conducted, shall be those members present [RPT Rule 9.b]. A quorum for the conduct of any other business except filling vacancies shall be twenty-five percent (25%) of the total membership of the Executive Committee, including the County Chairman [RPT Rule 9.a and Article III within these bylaws].
Section 6. Agenda
The agenda for regular meetings of the Executive Committee shall include New Business. The presiding officer shall respectfully give all precinct chairs an opportunity to present information during New Business.
Section 7. Discussion and Debate
Discussion or debate on any resolution or other matter of business brought before the Executive Committee or any Committee of the Montgomery County Republican Party shall be limited to a total of four (4) speakers “For” and four (4) speakers “Against”. (There does not need to be an equal number of “For” and “Against” speakers.) Each speaker will be entitled to speak not more than five (5) minutes on a main motion and two (2) minutes on amending motions , provided, however, that the limitations contained in this section may be suspended by a majority vote of the quorum of the respective Committee before which such matter is set for discussion or debate.
Section 8. Open to the Public
All Executive Committee meetings shall be open to the public. The public shall be allowed to film or record at any time.
ARTICLE VII – Committees
Section 1. Precinct Chair
The Steering Committee shall establish and appoint a Precinct Chair Vacancy Committee for the purpose of screening and nominating individuals to fill vacancies in the office of precinct chair. An individual interested in serving as precinct chair in a precinct that is vacant may apply to the Steering Committee, who shall refer the application to the Precinct Chair Vacancy Committee for review. The Precinct Chair Vacancy Committee shall report its nominations to the Executive Committee [RPT Rule 8.h] for its vote for (or taken separately for) each Precinct vacancy being considered.
Section 2. Resolutions Committee
The Steering Committee shall establish and appoint a Resolutions Committee for the purpose of considering resolutions.
Section 3. Rules Committee
The Steering Committee shall establish and appoint a Rules Committee for the purpose of considering supplemental rules that are not in conflict with the most recent Texas Election Code, Republican Party of Texas Rules or changes to these bylaws.
Section 4. Finance Committee
The Steering Committee shall establish and appoint a Finance Committee for the purpose of raising money for the party and accounting for Executive Committee funds. The committee may also plan fundraising events at the direction of the Steering Committee and with the approval of the Executive Committee. The Treasurer is required to be a member of the Finance Committee.
Section 5. Candidates Committee The Steering Committee shall establish and appoint a Candidates Committee. They shall vet candidates and/or issues in non-partisan races. The Candidates Committee shall present their report to the Executive Committee. A motion to endorse or oppose a candidate or issue in a non-partisan election shall require a majority vote of the Executive Committee members present.
Section 6. Other Standing Committees
The Steering Committee may establish and appoint such standing committees as it deems necessary, subject to the confirmation of a majority of the Executive Committee.
Section 7. Special or Ad Hoc Committees
The Steering Committee may establish and appoint such special or ad hoc committees as it deems necessary to assist in carrying out such duties not specifically assigned to a standing committee, subject to the confirmation of a majority of the Executive Committee.
Section 8. Committee Membership
Membership shall be no less than three (3) members, nominated by the Steering Committee and confirmed by the Executive Committee, both by majority votes. A member of the respective committees above, other than its Chairman, are not required to be a member of the Executive Committee, but must be a resident of Montgomery County who voted in the most recent Republican Primary.
Section 9. Transparency
When the Steering Committee recommends a committee chair and/or members of any committee(s), the names and positions for said committee(s) shall be published on the MCRP website and sent to all Executive Committee members no less than 14 days prior to the meeting to vote on said committee(s).
All committee meetings shall be published on the MCRP website within 3 business days of the meeting date/time is held.
ARTICLE VIII – Publication of Bylaws and Meeting Minutes
A copy of the Bylaws of the Executive Committee, as adopted by the Executive Committee shall be posted on the Montgomery County Republican Party website within three business days of adoption. A copy of the quarterly meeting minutes shall be posted on the Montgomery County Republican Party website within three business days .
ARTICLE IX – Paid Staff Policy
Section 1. Paid Staff Member Neutrality
Paid staff members shall remain neutral in intraparty contests for both public and Party offices.
Section 2. Hiring and Termination of Paid Staff
Authority to hire or terminate all paid staff shall rest with the Executive Committee. All employment opportunities will be considered “At-Will”. A majority vote by the Executive Committee shall be required to hire or terminate any paid staff.
Section 3. The Steering Committee shall review the performance of all paid staff at least annually and present a report on their findings to the Executive Committee at least 14 days in advance of the next scheduled meeting and presented at that meeting the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE X – Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the Executive Committee in all cases in which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these bylaws, any special rules the Executive Committee may adopt, the rules of the Republican Party of Texas, or applicable law.
ARTICLE XI – Area Chairs
Section 1. Establishment and Purpose of Area Chairs
The Montgomery County Republican Party shall establish area chairs to lead and organize Republican efforts and to assist the Precinct Chairs within their respective areas(precincts) of responsibility.
Section 2. Area Chair Election
Area chairs shall be elected by majority vote of a caucus composed of the Precinct Chairs within a geographical area comprised of precincts. Area Chairs shall appoint a vice-chair to assist them in their duties.
Section 3. Area Chair Areas
The Steering Committee shall determine the boundaries of each area chair region.
ARTICLE XII – Candidate/Issue Endorsements
Section 1. Primary Ballot Endorsement (Prohibited)
The Montgomery County Republican Executive Committee, as a collective body, shall not endorse any candidate or issue on the primary ballot. This does not preclude a precinct chair, or a group of chairs, from supporting, recommending or endorsing candidates or issues.
Section 2. Non-Partisan Election Endorsement (Allowed)
The Montgomery County Republican Executive Committee may endorse a candidate where there is clearly only one Republican or oppose any candidate(s) who are clearly not Republican(didn’t vote in the most recent Republican Primary). The Montgomery County Executive Committee may support or oppose any issue in a nonpartisan election when it is clearly spelled out in the current Texas GOP Platform.
ARTICLE XIII– Website and Social Media
The Steering Committee shall be ultimately responsible for maintaining any party websites (including mcrp.org) and any social media accounts of the party. The Steering Committee may form another committee to oversee these functions. do so.
ARTICLE XIV – Amendment of Bylaws
Section 1. Proposal of Amendments
Any person desiring to propose an amendment to these Bylaws shall submit a written copy thereof to the Secretary not less than 21 days prior to a statutory, regular, or special meeting of the Executive Committee, at which meeting such proposed amendments shall be referred to the Rules Committee for its consideration. The Rules Committee shall report its recommendation to the Executive Committee at its next regular meeting.
Section 2. Notification to CEC
All members of the Executive Committee shall receive all posed amendments. If more than 30% of Rules Committee approves a change in rules, then the Rules Committee Report shall be sent to all Executive Committee members no less than 7 days prior to the scheduled Executive Committee meeting.
Section 2. Adoption of Amendments
Amendments to the Bylaws may be made by a two/thirds (2/3) vote of the members present, a quorum being in attendance at a scheduled Montgomery County Executive meeting.
Addendum A – Definitions
The terms used throughout these bylaws are defined as follows:
1. “Executive Committee” and “EC” – both mean the Montgomery County Republican Party Executive Committee.
2. “County Chairman” – the presiding officer, elected at the general primary election [Article IV, Sec. 1]
3. “Precinct Chairman” – an elected (or appointed) Republican Party representative from each county election precinct[Article III]
4. “Election precinct” – a numbered political subdivision, determined by a counties commissioners court, that is compact and contiguous, based mainly on geography boundaries, population and access to voting[TEC Title 4, Chapter 42]
5. “Qualified voter” – is 18 years or older; a United States citizen; has not been determined to be totally or partially mentally incapacitated; not a convicted felon; is a resident of Texas and is a registered voter[TEC Title 2, Chap. 11].
6. “Primary” – a process by which the general public can indicate their preference for a candidate in an upcoming general election or by-election, thus narrowing the field of candidates. And/or to vote on issues.
7. “Primary runoff” – an initial vote did not result in a winner because it was tied or too close to call. A runoff election settles the matter, providing a final decision.
8. “Majority vote” means greater than 50%.
9. “RPT” means Republican Party of Texas
10. “Elected Officer” – elected person in charge of some work or duty
11. “Quorum” – a minimum number of members required to be present as stipulated in Article VI, Sec. 5
12. “County Party” means the Montgomery County Republican Party
13. “Standing Committee” – Committee/s with a continued existence, formed to do its assigned work on an ongoing basis.
14. “Special” or “Ad Hoc” committee – for a special purpose or end at hand; also, by extension, improvised or impromptu
15. “Area Chair” – representatives elected in caucuses that lead and organize Republican efforts and to assist the Precinct Chairs within their respective areas of responsibility[Article XI).
16. “Caucus” – closed meeting of a group of persons belonging to the same political party or faction usually to select candidates or to decide on policy.
17. “Area” – a defined, geographical boundary.