Image: On June 26, 2018, both Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson (right) and his appointed Parliamentarian Jim Wiggins (left) carefully distinguished that the Montgomery County Republican County Executive Committee was adopting bylaws that evening, because the Party’s previously-adopted bylaws had expired by their own terms. Three days after Wilkerson lost the vote where the Committee adopted new Bylaws instead of the old ones, Wilkerson changed his mind and began telling the public that others had utilized underhanded tactics to win passage of the new Bylaws by a majority vote. Wilkerson’s conduct is a fraudulent disgrace for the local Republican Party.
Conroe, July 30 – Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson has disgraced the local GOP by defrauding the public with respect to the adoption of the Party’s new Bylaws. On a 39 to 32 vote, the County GOP Executive Committee (CEC) adopted new Bylaws on June 26, 2018, during a meeting over which Wilkerson presided.
Afterwards, Wilkerson met with duly-elected GOP Vice Chairman Reagan Reed and told Reed he looked forward to working with Reed as officers leading the Party during a meeting on June 28. The next day, Wilkerson reversed course and began to tell the public that the CEC had never adopted the new Bylaws at all. Only three days later, Wilkerson appeared in a video of a family of democrats who recently got out of federal prison for federal fraud against Hurricane Katrina victims wherein Wilkerson accused conservatives of underhanded tactics during the June 26 meeting.
Specifically, Wilkerson now claims that rather than “adopting” bylaws, the June 26 meeting was “amending” bylaws. The reason the distinction is important is that under Robert’s Rules of Order, which governs the issue, “adoption” of bylaws requires a majority vote, while “amendment” of bylaws requires a 2/3rds vote.
In fact, the only person utilizing underhanded, downright fraudulent tactics, which have brought a disgrace upon the Republican Party, is Wilkerson. Readers don’t need to take The Golden Hammer‘s opinion. You decide based upon the facts.
The rules that apply
Prior to the June 26 CEC meeting, the County GOP had other bylaws, which provided:
“Article V, Section 2: In the year in which the Executive Committee is elected, one of the regular quarterly meetings shall be an organizational meeting, to be held within forty-five (45) days after the term of office begins for the County Chairman and the Precinct Chairmen. (This is twenty (20) days after the Primary Run-off Election according to Subsection 171.022 of the TEC.) The meeting shall be held for the purpose of adopting bylaws, electing the Executive Committee Secretary, constituting Standing Committees, and other business pertinent to organizing the Executive Committee.” (Emphasis added.)
Additionally, Republican Party of Texas Rule 8e provides:
“Rule 8e: Organizational Meeting of a County Executive Committee – A County Executive Committee shall hold its organizational meeting within forty-five (45) days after the term of office begins for the County Chairman and the Precinct Chairmen. (The term of office begins twenty (20) days after the Primary Runoff Election according to Subsection 171.022 (c) of the TEC.) The County Chairman shall be responsible for calling the meeting however, if the County Chairman does not call the meeting, then one-fourth (1/4) or 50 of the Precinct Chairmen whichever is fewer, may, by written demand, call an organizational meeting. Notice of the organizational meeting and a copy of any proposed Bylaws and/or Rules shall either be mailed via the USPS or emailed, and be posted on the county party website, if available. Delivery will be to the last known address of the members of the executive committee at least fourteen (14) days prior to the date of the meeting. Such notice shall state the time, date, and location of the meeting and the names(s) of the person(s) issuing the call. The agenda of the organizational meeting shall include, but not be limited to, the swearing in of the newly elected executive committee members and the adoption of Bylaws and/or Rules for the biennium. Failure to adopt bylaws and/or rules for the current biennium shall enact the previous biennium’s bylaws and/or rules.” (Emphasis added.)
Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised, Section 54 (on page 559) provides that adoption of bylaws requires a majority vote, while amendment of bylaws requires a 2/3 vote. Both the CEC’s bylaws and the Republican Party of Texas Rules provide that Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised makes such determinations.
What happened before the June 26 CEC meeting
Prior to the June 26 meeting, on at least two different occasions, Wilkerson sent out the Agenda for the June 26 CEC meeting.
Wilkerson prepared the Agenda without input from anyone else, at least as far as Wilkerson is willing to admit.
The Agenda included the following item: “Adoption of Bylaws”. (Emphasis added.) Nowhere did Wilkerson mention anything about amending bylaws on his agenda for the meeting. Obviously, under Article V, Section 2, of the old bylaws of the Montgomery County GOP, the CEC meeting was held for the purpose of “adopting bylaws,” not amending them.
June 26, 2018, meeting
Now, Wilkerson and his allies seem to want the public to believe that some group of people overran the June 26 meeting. In fact, the video footage of the meeting shows that Wilkerson, as presiding officer throughout the meeting, was firmly in control from the beginning until the end of the event.
Several minutes into the meeting, Wilkerson made the following announcement: “At this time, we’ll move to adopt our bylaws.”
Wilkerson then called on Precinct Chairman Charlie Parada, who said, “I move the adoption of the bylaws of the Montgomery County Republican Party adopted on the 14th of June, 2016.” (Emphasis added.)
After some discussion, Wilkerson’s appointed Parliamentarian Jim Wiggins explained to the meeting, “This is not a replacement of a set of bylaws. This is the adoption of the bylaws. And under Roberts Rules it proceeds under a majority vote.” (Emphasis added.) Wilkerson immediately nodded his head and stated his agreement with Wiggins’ ruling.
In fact, Parada asked the question, “Would the original motion then have to carry 2/3rd since we are substituting the current bylaws with new bylaws?”
Wiggins answered, “No.”
Wilkerson answered, “No.”
Parada also asked during the June 26 meeting before the vote to adopt the new Bylaws, “Do we have current bylaws in place right now?”
Wilkerson answered, “No we do not.” In other words, the CEC had to adopt bylaws at that time, because the County GOP didn’t have bylaws at the beginning of the organizational meeting, since under both the Montgomery County’s old bylaws and under the Republican Party of Texas Rules, the old bylaws expire before each two-year biennium when the new set of elected Precinct Chairs govern the County Republican Party.
Wilkerson’s fraudulent disgrace
Wilkerson decided on June 29 that he would cling to absolute power as County Republican Chairman rather than abiding by the law, the Rules, the election, the old bylaws, the new bylaws, or the June 26 vote.
On July 23, Wilkerson sent out an e-blast to the public that stated the following:
“However, the Montgomery County Republican Party has been in existence since 1962, and there are many documents in place that display its ongoing existence. Accordingly, our bylaws are adopted and amended only after the proper procedures and a 2/3 approval vote, as required by Roberts’ Rules and by the bylaws that govern the Montgomery County Republican Party.“The dispute over the bylaws has widened the division in our Party at a time when it could threaten to affect the General election campaign. To try to solve this dispute, I asked for a legal opinion from four very reputable attorneys. They rendered a decision that says any bylaw changes must require a 2/3 vote, as I explained above.”