Two newly elected Republican State Committee members from Gloucester County who ran on gubernatorial candidate Steven Lonegan's line, are protesting the failure of the New Jersey GOP to adopt the Republican National Committee platform.
Read the full letter from Donna Ward and Rob Eichmann to the new GOP State Chairman, Jay Webber:
Dear Chairman Webber:
First, please allow us to offer our sincere congratulations on your election, by the Republican State Committee, as its new Chairman. We hope that the Committee is open to all points of view in the Republican family, and that it conducts itself as a model of open administration and transparency.
The meeting that was held on Wednesday, June 17th, was our first as elected members of the State Committee, but we came away from it with some concerns. At this meeting, there were a number of motions made from the floor and acted upon by the Committee. These motions involved nominations for officers and adopting the minutes from the last meeting (September 11, 2008).
After the nominations were made and officers selected, one of us – State Committeeman Rob Eichmann – made a motion from the floor to have the New Jersey Republican State Committee adopt the platform of the Republican National Committee (RNC). We had read that the New Jersey GOP was one of just two State Committees that hadn't got around to doing so and we wanted to provide our State Committee with the opportunity to correct this oversight.
The State Committee's legal counsel was called to the podium and he stated that the outgoing State Committee had already done this. He is misinformed. A review of the minutes suggests that the past Committee never even discussed, much less voted on, any similar motion.
When the legal counsel was asked if he was sure of what he had just said, he indicated that he was not, but then changed tactics and said it didn't matter because the Committee needed fifteen (15) days notice for the motion. When asked to cite a source for this ruling, he claimed that it is stated in the by-laws of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. A review of those by-laws suggests that this is also not true.
After this exchange, another of us – State Committeewoman Donna Ward – made a motion to pass a resolution condemning Democrat Governor Jon Corzine's budget, its confiscatory tax hikes, and woefully inadequate spending cuts. Once again, the legal counsel claimed that this motion needed fifteen (15) days notice according to the by-laws.
It appears to us and to other members of the Republican Party that the legal counsel deliberately misled those in attendance at Wednesday's meeting of the New Jersey Republican State Committee. Just as important is the question, "Why?"
We understand from individuals conversant with the ways of State Committee – including a former GOP State Chairman – that the legal counsel involved, a Mr. Mark Sheridan, is a kind of failsafe for the GOP establishment. We understand why such a person would hold a position like that, but we don't understand why that person – or the establishment he works for – would oppose a resolution embracing the platform of the national Republican Party.
Failing to adopt this resolution is tantamount to saying that the New Jersey GOP really isn't Republican at all. That it is just borrowing the name for convenience – while passively rejecting the values and policies of the Republican Party. If that is the case, maybe someone should just have the honesty to tell us so. If not, then the State Committee should waste no time in adopting this resolution.
Adding to our concern is the failure of the State Committee to adopt the second resolution, condemning the Corzine budget and tax increases. Is this a controversial issue within the New Jersey GOP? Don't we oppose the fiscal policies of Governor Corzine? We think the State Committee should quickly clear-up the confusion caused at last Wednesday's meeting by passing said resolution.
Accordingly, we think it would be prudent of you to call a new meeting of the New Jersey Republican State Committee within the next two weeks to adopt the two resolutions proposed at last Wednesday's meeting. The mixed messages and confusion that came out of that meeting will only serve to undermine the efforts of our Party and its nominees.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Donna Ward and Rob Eichmann
Elected Republican State Committee Members