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Three Strikes Rule A Phantom - CORRECTED

By Greg L | 7 May 2007 | PWCRC | 4 Comments

For as long as most can remember, there’s been a rule that if a member of the Prince William County Republican Committee missed three meetings in a row, your membership would lapse. I looked in the bylaws, and it’s not in there. I asked one of the committee’s officers, who believed it was in the state party plan, and it’s not there, either. RPV says that it’s up to the unit to have rules like this, although there is a rule similar to this which affects the state central committee. Somehow a strange meme made it’s way into the committee, and for years ended up improperly tossing members off the active rolls.

In the past six months we’ve “lapsed” about one hundred members, which has kinda put a cramp on Tom Kopko’s goal of increasing the size of the committee. Instead, without any basis in the bylaws or state party plan that anyone can find, we’ve been booting members out for missing meetings. This has been going on for as long as anyone can remember, and everyone I’ve asked about this is stunned that they can’t find this section in the bylaws.

Who knew that simply by adhering to the rules as they’re written, we’d be able to reverse the trend of a somewhat declining membership? I can’t believe that I was the first person to notice this. At least Tom Kopko can now say he’s done a lot better on achieving one of the goals he talked about when he ran for committee chairman.

UPDATE: James Young and Valley Republican point out in the comments the proper section in the state party plan that covers this, and in fact there is a provision in the state party plan that does mandate the “three strike rule”. The county committee official that I spoke with told me they contacted RPV, who informed them that there was nothing in the state party plan, and I didn’t see this provision myself. My apologies for getting this wrong, and thanks to these two commenters for helping make sure this got corrected.

The applicable section in the party plan is Article VII, Section D.

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  1. James Young said on 7 May 2007 at 9:29 pm:
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    State Party Plan, Article VII, Section D — “A member of an Official Committee other than an ex-officio member automatically loses his committee position if he is absent three (3) consecutive meetings without representation by a person holding a proxy; provided, however, that a State Central Committee member automatically loses and is deemed to have resigned his Committee position if he fails to attend in person at least fifty (50) percent of the regular meetings in any calendar year. A vacancy created by such resignation shall be filled in accordance with the State Party Plan. ”

    An “Official Committee” is defined by the preceding sections of the State Party Plan, and includes County, City, and legislative district committees.

    Apparently, in your zeal to attack the County GOP Committee and Kopko, you weren’t looking very hard.

  2. Craig Orndorff (The Valley Republican) said on 7 May 2007 at 9:34 pm:
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    I’m a member of the Shenandoah County Committee, and it’s my understanding that the absences rule (along with the rules regarding removal and such) comes from Article VII, Section D of the party plan. It’s a little tricky to understand, but if you look up “official committees” (the title of Section VII) under the definitions in Article I unit committees are mentioned. However, I’ve never known more than three people to agree on the meaning of anything in any plan, be it a county plan or the state plan.

    I rarely comment on blogs anymore, but I can hardly restrain myself when it comes to matters of procedure.

  3. charles said on 7 May 2007 at 11:53 pm:
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    Greg, I apologize for suggesting you would not “pull” the post, and thanks for updating it. Since I give you so much grief, it’s the least I can do to thank you when you do something right.

  4. James Young said on 8 May 2007 at 11:14 pm:
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    Greg, I still think the original exchange between Charles and myself was funny. ;-)

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