You’ll probably react the same way I did – that if you choose to be part of a Party whose philosophy is Authoritarian, then why so outraged when your leadership attempts to consolidate its power at your expense? But a lot of folks we know, who have risen into the ranks of the OC GOP Central Committee in recent years, and identify more or less with whatever the “Tea Party” is today, are understandably taking great exception to some bylaw changes being voted on tonight which appear aimed to marginalize their dissenting voices even further – in brief, preventing them from speaking to the press without Chairman Scott Baugh’s permission, and continuing to shield Baugh’s financial decisions from scrutiny and criticism.
This motley group of OC GOP “Tea Party” insurgents includes in its ranks our County’s most notorious and outspoken racists, gay-bashers and Islamophobes, side by side with nice Ron Paul Libertarian types as well as moderates like Wendy Leece who don’t totally subscribe to Scott Baugh’s all-out war on public employees. Basically, everyone that the Baugh cabal perceives as a threat to its ongoing unchallenged power.
The wretched Liberal OC blog (which, you should know, is still trying to destroy this blog financially in its unquenchable hatred of Pedroza – more on that soon) posted an article on these proposed bylaw changes which typically raises more questions than explanations, leading one smartass Baughpologist commenter to respond:
Where do you get your information? There is no such by-law amendment being considered. The entire package of proposed by-law amendments was sent out over 2 weeks ago to EVERY member of the central committee. I dare you to go through that package and find ANY proposed amendment that proposes a new rule which “would bar members of the GOP Central Committee from speaking with the press.”
Well, this blog DOES have a copy of the proposed bylaws, and rather than respond to “John Browntruck” at the LOC and bring that blog more traffic, we’ll look at the objectionable passages here.
Cracking Down on who gets to speak to the press (for the party)
“Browntruck” is right that no language specifically forbids members from speaking to the press. What the proposed by-laws do include is:
- Language providing censure or “reproval” for any member who “intentionally causes the embarrassment of the Central Committee and/or the Republican Party, or c) Represents his/her views as being those of the Central Committee when not authorized to do so.” (Article IV Membership, J. Discipline of Members)
- Language strengthening the ethics/removal and disciplinary sections, (Article IV Membership, K. Procedures for Removal and /or Discipline) making it easier to remove, discipline or censure an offending Member. Also, under the new bylaws the complaint must go through Chairman Baugh. (Previously, the wording was that charges would be brought by a majority of Members of the Central Committee.)
- Language specifying that Chairman Baugh will now serve as the “Chief Spokesperson of the Committee.” (Article VI Powers and Duties of Officers A. Chairman) It is observed that “this is brand new, and, combined with the strengthened disciplinary procedures is an obvious effort to muzzle any dissident voice.”
- In addition, later on (Article VII Committees) is a requirement that ALL public information from a standing or ad hoc committee MUST be approved by the Chairman. As one member protests, “For those of us who are elected by our constituents largely based on our reliable communication with them, this will have a horrific chilling effect.”
2. New Ploys to avoid Financial Transparency
Under Article VI Powers and Duties of Officers, E. Treasurer, the requirement for CPA review of the books has been eliminated, and a Bylaws committee recommendation to have the treasurer prepare financial practices and procedures that are available to the Members has been PULLED by the Executive Committee.
You should know that many members of the OC GOP have been, for six years now, fighting unsuccessfully to make the Party follow its by-laws and produce a CPA review of its books and accounts. As they explain on this site, they are simply “trying to clean house in our own party first, but until now the people have been ignored.”
The Treasurer of the OC GOP is bulldog attorney Mark Bucher, whose name just keeps popping up on the Orange Juice Blog, and hence now has his own category here. (And an epic article upcoming.) Known to the insurgents as “Scott Baugh’s water boy,” Treasurer Bucher has been dragging his feet on this review for six years, and now he and Baugh are pushing bylaw changes to postpone the review INDEFINITELY, leading folks of ALL political persuasions to wonder what they have to hide.
It should be noted that under Chairman Baugh’s predecessor Tom Fuentes, the OC GOP went above and beyond the bylaws and had an actual AUDIT of itself conducted every year.
3. Where’s the meeting tonight?
And that’s another thing! As a certain blonde shrew we won’t name rightly points out, “Over the years, I have seen a pattern where the regular meeting location is moved when there is a proposed controversial action. You’ll remember the same maneuver was implemented during the January re-oganizational meeting, when the ‘regular’ meeting location was moved to the Irvine Marriott. So, it is up to us to get the word out.”
And for all you members out there whose guilty pleasure is reading the Orange Juice: Tonight’s meeting (which is a regularly scheduled meeting) has been moved to the Costa Mesa Ayres Hotel, 325 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, instead of the Hyatt Regency Irvine. Action starts 7PM! Break a leg! And make it one of Scott’s or Mark’s.