I hope this clears up any misconceptions or misunderstandings.
Convention Appeals Review Committee Report
Committee Members: Linwood Cobb, Russ Moulton, Brenda Campbell, Wayne Ozmore, and Jim Hale.
Presentation to SCC December 2, 2006.
I want to assure the SCC and the individuals involved that we took this process very seriously. We each read the appeals and the very detailed rebuttals. We had a two hour conference call; we met for two hours at the Homestead. We interviewed and questioned all of the principals in these appeals. We understand that what we do will impact future appeals so we considered all sides without prejudice or preconceived opinions. The committee felt it was very important that whatever recommendations we made it would be by a unanimous decision. I am happy to report that our recommendations are made with a 5-0 vote.
10th District Appeal
After a review of the 10th District convention we have serious concerns in the fair conduct of the convention including deviations from Robert’s Rules of Order and the State Party Plan.
However, it is clear that Jim Rich was elected Chairman by a very decisive margin.
The actual vote was 361 to 252, weighted vote 650 to 423, 61% to 39% in favor of Jim Rich. The above mentioned concerns did not change the outcome of the vote. The challenger conceded the election. In a separate District meeting the 10th District Committee denied the appeal by a 12-4 vote.
For these reasons we make the following motion:
We move that SCC affirm the results of the 10th District Convention held on May 20, 2006 and deny the appeal. We also direct the 10th District Committee to take appropriate corrective action to ensure fair conduct of future conventions.
3rd District Appeal
In the 3rd District the decision to not seat two units at the convention is a great concern to us. The vote for Chairman was very close and the two units (Norfolk and Portsmouth) not seated could have changed the outcome. Our review of the information presented leads us to the conclusion that only one unit (Richmond City) met all of the prefile requirements spelled out in the call for a convention. Several units failed to deliver to the Secretary the required paperwork (list of delegates on the prefile form and a copy of the mass meeting call) seven day prior to the convention. The call required the paperwork to be sent to the Chairman, the Secretary, and the Treasurer. The State Party Plan requires that the paperwork be sent to the Chairman and the Secretary. If the Call and the Party Plan rules were strictly enforced then only the Richmond City delegates should have been seated.
However, the call and delegate certification form had the wrong address for the Secretary. We agree with the credentials committee’s decision to recognize these delegations. In the information provided by the Chairman, Phil Bomershein, Norfolk was not seated because they did not include a copy of the mass meeting call in the paperwork. The Portsmouth delegation was not seated because the Chairman and Secretary received the paperwork late, three days prior to the convention. Only Richmond City met all of the requirements, the other units had technical violations of the call and party plan. Exceptions were made for some units and not others. The delegates from Norfolk and Portsmouth were denied participation in the convention due to errors by their unit chairs and through no fault of their own.
It is our opinion that all efforts should be made to seat delegates who were properly elected at their unit mass meetings and then take the time to come to the convention. The credentials committee or the convention can seat delegations when these technical problems arise. The appeal to the 3rd District Committee ended in a 5-5 vote.
Therefore due to the selective application of the prefile requirements, seating some units and denying others, we move that the SCC appoint two people to poll the Portsmouth and Norfolk delegates that were elected at their respective mass meetings and who attended the 3rd District Convention in Williamsburg on May 20, 2006, and add their votes to those taken on the day of the convention for electing a 3rd District Chairman. The polling of these delegates may be observed by the principals or by a representative they appoint.
Both motions were passed by a voice vote of the State Central Committee with only one no vote.