Politics As Usual in Summit County

The other weekend, the Summit County Republican Party leadership attempted to hold an endorsement meeting that only a small select group were informed about a week ago would be happening. 

Most county Republican parties’ bylaws establish a procedure for endorsements. If no bylaw exists, there is at least a standard set of rules that govern how county parties conduct business, like Robert’s Rules of Order.

In Summit County, the party’s bylaws include an explicit process for candidate endorsements.

The other weekend, some members of leadership purposefully and blatantly disregarded the rules to advance their own political agenda.

You deserve to know the truth. 

The party’s bylaws are clear in requiring endorsements to occur after the filing deadline, but leadership “suspended the rules” at the beginning of their Saturday meeting. What they didn’t understand or hoped to sneak by was that suspending the rules does not suspend or change the bylaws. A change to the bylaws requires a 60% vote of the Central Committee at a meeting called specifically for the purpose of amending the bylaws.

Basically, no one can just bypass the bylaws. Rules are rules. They have to be changed by a vote of the Central Committee with full transparency.

During their Saturday meeting in Summit County was an Executive Committee meeting called for the purpose of endorsing a candidate for governor, where it was announced that a simple majority, not the 60% required by the bylaws, would be the threshold for an endorsement.

A motion to vote by secret ballot was properly made, but members instead forced a voice vote. One man speaking against the endorsement called for a secret ballot vote "to make sure no one is ostracized or loses their job." Neither he nor his concerns were acknowledged.

In leadership’s rush to secure the endorsement they wanted, they failed to actually vote on an endorsement. Hard to believe, but the committee voted to end debate and proceed to an endorsement vote, but then abruptly adjourned the meeting without ever holding that final vote. 

Regardless of which candidate we support in the governor’s race, I hope we can all agree that it is important for county parties to follow the rules and ensure a level playing field. Unfortunately, the Summit County Republican Party fell victim to one candidate’s supporters who stooped to a new and shameful low in exploiting the death and legacy of former Chairman Alex Arshinkoff.

So many Ohioans distrust government and its leaders today. It’s unfortunate, but when things happen like they did this weekend in Summit County, it’s really no question why. 

It's going to take common sense, honest leadership to change the perception of politics today and earn back the people’s trust.

Ohio needs a real conservative for a change, and honest, genuine party endorsements are key to nominating the right candidate to lead Ohio.

We can’t allow one candidate or one county party to comprise the integrity of our party as a whole. No more politics as usual!