Proposed Amendments to Utah Republican Party Constitution, Bylaws & Caucus Handbook

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Submitted March 29, 2013 by Cherilyn Eagar, State Central Committee, Salt Lake County

Rules of Order During Meetings and Conventions

1. Only a neutral and independent registered parliamentarian/s shall be retained at the organizing and nominating conventions, state central committee meetings and executive committee meetings. Parliamentarians that are active Utah Republican Party members, central committee members, party officers or delegates shall not be retained as parliamentarian in the same county, state meeting or convention in which they reside.

2. Robert’s Rule of Order Newly Revised (RONR) shall not be suspended during official conventions, central committee or executive committee meetings. The agenda or a motion may be interrupted according to RONR in order to clarify a misunderstanding, to ask for a point of information, point of order, parliamentary inquiry, to resolve a decorum matter or to address a violation of the rules. The chair or presiding officer shall leave the delegate microphones on during the convention so that delegates may access the microphone and be heard and recognized by the Chair or designated Presiding Officer.

3. The Chairman or designated Presiding Officer in a meeting or convention shall act as a neutral facilitator during discussions, debates and motions. If the Party Chair or designated Presiding Officer desires to speak in favor of or opposed to a motion or agenda item, that officer must yield to the Vice Chairman or, if not available, to the Secretary, to chair the meeting during that motion.

4. An executive session shall be called to discuss legal and personal matters or censure or employment affecting individual members of the Party.

5. The minutes of the conventions, Executive Committee and State Central Committees shall be posted and made accessible to the committee members and delegates.

6. An independent annual audit and financial report of the Utah Republican Party and Elephant Club shall be made available for review to members and delegates upon request of executive committee members, central committee members and/or state delegates.

Duties and Responsibilities of Officers and Delegates

7. At least eight weeks before the posted filing deadline/s, the Party shall post online and, where applicable, provide paper copies of:
a. The terms of office for each delegate position available. Delegate terms shall be rotated to maintain “institutional memory.” In the first year of implementation, 1/3 shall have two-year terms; 1/3 shall have 4-year terms, and 1/3 shall have six-year terms. At the completion of those terms, nominations for delegates shall be rotated and open for two-year terms for all delegates;

b. An online filing form for Officer and Delegate candidates to post their background information and photo on the state and county party websites;

c. “State Party Officer and Delegate Duties and Responsibilities Guide;” and,

d. A Delegate Training Course video.

8. A Delegate candidate shall not be qualified and officially filed unless the candidate provides a signed agreement, online or paper copy, that the candidate had read and agrees to fulfill all Delegate Duties and Responsibilities including:
a. Disclosure and proof of residence and Utah Republican Party affiliation;

b. Disclosure of any paid or volunteer position held with any filed candidate’s campaign;

c. Support of the Republican Party platform;

d. Proof of having attended the Utah Republican Party Delegate Training Course either online or in person;

e. Agreement to attend both the organizing and nominating conventions;

f. Access to the Internet and an email address;

g. Agreement to provide all accurate contact information to candidates, including mailing address, telephone, and email address, because that is how candidates communicate with delegates;

h. Agreement to attend a minimum of one individual candidate event and one panel discussion, or debate or “meet the candidate night” for every race, even if the delegates supports one of the candidates in the races;

i. Understanding that the delegate’s role is to study all candidates and that a delegate shall not be bound to the will of the majority of the precinct, but shall vote for the candidate that best represents the Party Platform and the principles of the U.S. Constitution; and,

j. Communicating to the caucus attendees before the nominating convention about the candidates the delegate has decided to support.

Caucus Organization and Procedure

9. The Caucus Meeting shall be called the “Neighborhood Caucus Meeting.”

10. The Neighborhood Caucus Meeting shall be held on the Fourth Tuesday of every even year and shall begin at 7 p.m.

11. The Party shall provide to every Precinct Chairman or designated chair who conducts the caucus:
a. A CD or online video of the Caucus Rules and Party Platform;

b. The Party Platform;

c. A list of registered Republican voters;

d. A list of filed delegate candidates; and,

e. Voting instructions.

12. The Precinct Chair or designated chair shall play the video at the beginning of the caucus meeting.

13. Straw polls shall not be conducted in Neighborhood Caucus Meetings.

County, State and Federal Candidate and Nominating Convention Guidelines

14. The State or County Party:
a. Shall verify the contact information and conduct background checks on all filed candidates for Federal, statewide and county offices before they may be included on the nominating convention ballot;

b. Provide adequate time between the filing deadline, the caucus and the nominating convention for individual and in-person delegate contact;

c. Shall not ask or require candidates to raise funds for the Party or to sponsor Party events;

d. Shall raise funds to support party candidates from the community to cover the Party’s expenses;

e. Shall maintain its private organizational status and shall not accept funds from taxpayer sources. Current state taxpayer funding shall be phased out and replaced with private, community funding;

f. Shall not conduct straw polls that require a candidate fee to participate at County Conventions, Lincoln Day Dinners and/or Meet the Candidate events;

g. Shall set standard and uniform candidate fee rules based on the number of delegates in the county or district; [e.g. Sevier charged candidates $300 for a county event; Washington, $75. This did not make sense because it cost the candidates far more for fewer delegates in one county as opposed to another county with three times the number of delegates] and,

h. Shall maintain a modest budget for all events and shall use low-budget venues and avoid incorporating unnecessary expensive theatrical staging, lights and audio-visual production.

15. CONSTITUTION ARTICLE 12: The Republican Party shall provide full disclosure, equal access and distribution of delegate and caucus attendee lists with updates and corrections as they are made.

a. Lists shall be free to candidates and candidates shall not be required to pay for the lists.

b. The email addresses of the delegates that have opted in on the caucus form shall be provided to all candidates equally.

c. Release of contact information shall be uniform among the candidates.

d. The Party shall disclose to each candidate which of the delegates have provided the Party email addresses but that have not opted to provide those addresses to the candidates. [This amendment would apply only if amendment 8g, Line 65 is not adopted.]

16. Filed candidates for Federal, state and county offices:
a. Shall attend, or send a surrogate to attend, all posted Republican events for their races;

b. Shall provide proof of having made a good faith effort to communicate and meet with all delegates in advance of the nominating convention or they may be disqualified from the nominating convention ballot;

c. Shall not spend in excess of $5,000 for convention booths;

d. Shall provide copies of convention literature in advance of the nominating convention for approval. Approved literature:
i. Shall meet FEC and state disclaimer laws and regulations and be approved by the Republican State Executive Committee, parliamentarian or designated officer/s in advance of the nominating convention;

ii. May be distributed and/or placed on delegates’ chairs on the convention floor and shall show verification of approval on each piece.

iii. Shall not be in opposition to the Republican Party Platform or proposed amendments to the Platform.

iv. Any candidate, candidate’s committee, delegate, or visitor found to be responsible for the violation of the literature rules shall be fined $5,000.

17. The Nominating Convention shall be a two-day event.
a. On the first day, the session shall:
i. Be conducted in a general session of all State Delegates;

ii. Credential the State Delegates;

iii. Address party business; and,

iv. Nominate candidates for Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, US Senate, and multi-county races, where applicable. [did I miss one?]

b. On the second day, the session shall:
i. Be conducted in separate congressional break-out sessions; and

ii. Nominate US Congressional candidates and candidates running in a single county race within that congressional district;

c. A neutral, registered Parliamentarian in the main session and in each congressional district session shall be retained.

d. All sessions shall be videotaped and shall be provided to a candidate or candidate’s committee upon request.

e. All candidates shall have six minutes to speak.

f. A teleprompter shall be provided in each breakout room at a nominal and equal fee to the candidates upon their request.

g. Candidate booths shall be set at nominal fees to cover expenses.

h. Issues organizations, non-candidate and retail booths shall support the Republican Party Platform.

i. Parliamentarian review of candidate speeches in advance of the convention shall be required to ensure they meet the Party’s standards of decorum according to party rules and RONR.

18. An encrypted, voter-verified, audit paper trail ballot shall be available to delegates upon request.

Additional Recommended Amendments

19. Delegate Allocation
Increase the number of state delegates and shrink the size of the precincts. In the past, the Republican Party has had more delegates and smaller precincts. This concept will not only allow more to participate, it will accommodate the precincts that had 200 people attend in a small room that broke the fire codes of those buildings. Return the precinct meeting to the private home in the neighborhood.

20. Election of State Central Committee
To restore fair representation, the Utah Republican Party shall use the original intent of the U.S. Constitution as its model for the election of the Executive Branch, U.S. Senate, and House of Representatives , establishing terms, and checks and balances. Therefore, the State Central Committee members shall elect the state officers – the executive committee.  The County party shall elect the State Central Committee.  The neighborhood precincts shall elect the State and County Delegates, respectively.   The Executive (the Chairman) shall serve a four year term.  The State Central Committee shall be comprised of equal number of representatives from each County and shall serve rotating four-year terms. The State Delegates shall serve two-year terms.  If the State Central Committee election rules remain as they currently are, then the State Delegates shall serve two-year alternating terms, with 1/3 of the body rotating every two years.

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