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Tillis Votes With MeckGOP to Silence Local Activists

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silencedAt the Mecklenburg Republican Party Convention on Saturday, a rules change was presented and passed that essentially strips the local GOP of the ability to voice its opinion on issues. It was a move that solidifies in my mind that the Republican Party is dysfunctional and presiding over its own demise.

Since this is an off year election, participation in the Convention was at its cyclical low. Without national delegates to elect or local leadership to vote on, the convention participation was limited to just over 80 delegates. Attendees listened to hours of speeches from those running for office before the convention finally began its business session.

There wasn’t much on the agenda, but Rules Committee Chairman Warren Cooksey presented a series of convention rules changes for consideration by the body. Among them was Rule 19a, which reads as follows:

Resolutions considered by the Convention shall be in one of the following categories:

i) Resolutions in memory of Republican activists in Mecklenburg County or honoring a particular achievement or achievements of Republicans in Mecklenburg County; or

ii) Resolutions recommending that the State Convention adopt specific resolutions, platform planks, or amendments to the State Plan of Organization.

Seeing this, delegate Adam Love rose in opposition and proposed an amendment to the rules changes that would strike proposed Rule 19a. He cited that this rule would essentially prohibit the local County Party from passing meaningful resolutions designed to take a stand on issues or direct local elected officials to support or oppose specific legislative goals.

For example, under the proposed rules, the MeckGOP couldn’t pass a resolution condemning the culture of corruption witnessed with former Mayor Patrick Cannon this week.

Speaking in opposition to Love’s proposed amendment was State Representative Bill Brawley who suggested he didn’t like receiving conflicting resolutions from various County GOPs. He thought it more prudent for all of the GOP to have a single voice and only work through the State Party.

The vote was held, the amendment was narrowly defeated, and the rules changes went on to be passed as originally submitted.

Among those voting in favor of this rule was Senate candidate Thom Tillis. He was joined by many of his supporters. Purely speculation on this writer’s behalf, but those in favor were not at all happy when last year the MeckGOP passed a resolution opposing HOT lanes. Apparently the remedy was to simply remove the ability to pass meaningful resolutions at all.

Essentially, all that can happen now is that the local delegates can request the State Party take something up and hope (as what usually happens) that the State Convention doesn’t run out of time before resolutions are even heard.

This represents nothing but a smack in the face to local activists. Silencing the membership’s ability to address compelling issues through resolutions is not the way to grow a movement. The GOP told activists today to “sit down and shut up”.

Supporters say to opponents, “Well, you should have organized better”. What they apparently fail to realize, or don’t care to realize, is that moves like this just further alienate Conservative activists from even participating in the Party to begin with.

All this move does is continue to shrink the Party. The delegates present today seemingly support a Party that is made up of only monolithic, anti-activism Republicans. They want to be in complete control of a Party that does nothing.

Frankly, I say let them have it.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that if you want to take an active role in the operation of government, you don’t want to join the Republican Party, you want to join the Tea Party. Our very focus is issue advocacy, something the local GOP just proved it cares little about.

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