AA GOP Central Committee: More allegations fly

An additional email from Anne Arundel Republican Chairman Mike Collins, and this one is pretty damning:

Attached is the Anne Arundel County Republican Calendar for September. Please note the new State GOP Fundraisers with Michael Steele and the golf outing in October.

Of special significance this week is our Central Committee meeting:

On Wednesday, September 5th, at 7 pm, the Anne Arundel County Republican Central Committee will hold its regularly scheduled Central Committee meeting. The meeting is open to the public. I don’t say this lightly when I say that at this meeting, the future of the Republican Party in the County and perhaps the State will be decided. Because a large number of people have indicated that they will attend the meeting (and many have signed up to speak), the meeting has been moved to:

Room 180
The Lowe House Office Building

A number of activists have contacted me to ask what is going on in the Central Committee, and why. It has been a topic of discussion at most local club meetings.

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In a nut shell, a number of members will attempt to vote me out as Chairman: The so-called “coup.” Under the current by-laws and Robert’s Rules of Order, they may do so by a super majority vote. Since there are 13 members, the coup attempt will need 9 affirmative votes to throw me out as Chairman (i.e., a two thirds majority). No charge of wrongdoing need be made–they can simply vote me out, if they have the votes.

Over the last 3 weeks, when the coup went public, many issues have come to light. In fact, the coup has been planned in secret for many months. Because there has been no allegation of wrong doing–because there has been no wrong doing–the coup is relying on innuendo and disinformation to gain public opinion for their activities.

The unstated reason for the coup is that former Democrat, Tom Redmond, wants to control the committee for enhance his bid for election to county council, and Debbie Belcher (Don Dwyer’s sister) wants the central committee to be a policy making body and push a fundamentalist social agenda. They have tried to pull in others by appealing to their personal self-interests (like using the Committee as a de facto County Council slate for the next election.) An undercurrent is the desire to change the party by-laws to allow pre-primary endorsements of candidates.

Prior to my election as chairmen, Republican activists urged me not to seat Tommy Redmond or Debbie Belcher for their reported support of Ron Bateman (D) for Sheriff and David Whitney (C) for Delegate in District 30, over Republican candidates in last year’s election. Ron Bateman (D) won and David Whitney (C) took enough votes from Ron Elfenbein and Andy Smarick that they both lost (without Whitney, they both would have won and we would have been rid of Mike Busch!). Under the Central Committee and State GOP bylaws, I was required to seat them. And, I did.

Unfortunately, both Tom Redmond and Debbie Belcher continue to agitate the Republican Party behind the scenes and have quite simply divided our Committee! Debbie Belcher has been pushing for a county and state party platform to emphasize all the social issues that divide Republicans. While Tom Redmond is putting together a slate (led by him) of current central committee members that would return him to the County Council. My removal as Chairman is the next step in their master plan.

The emails circulating and secret meetings have not been open to all Central Committee members and certainly not the public or the elected Republicans of Anne Arundel County. In addition, the information that had made into the public domain is incomplete and appears to be based on disinformation. A gent from North County called to tell me the plotters were leaking to the papers, so they could blame me for leaking. Two weeks ago, a couple of the coup plotters were in the Rams Head talking about their plans and how to keep things out of the Baltimore Sun. They did not seem to realize that a member of the Baltimore Sun staff was sitting three feet away. I received a call asking for comment, but I declined.

It has come to my attention, that the “coup” leaders intend to take control of the September 5th meeting in order to foreclose any public comment or accountability. After I gavel the meeting to order, they plan to instantly make a motion to suspend the rules and to go into executive session, effectively closing the meeting to the elected republican leaders and the public. At that point they will attempt to vote me out as chairman without any comment. The coup plotters want to vote in secret and do not want any speakers to address the Committee.

I was elected Chairman in November of 2006 to a two-year term as Chairman. While I may not be the best leader or best chairman, I am certainly up to the job. I see my role as Chairman as to not be an advocate of a particular ideology or to support particular candidates pre-primary. Rather, my role and the role of Central Committee is to build the party, to unify the party and to engage in the grassroots work to enable candidates to be successful. Simply put, I will always work to advance the party – not individual careers or divisive ideology.

Nevertheless, this is a democracy and we must all play by the rules. Even though I may be voted out in an otherwise legal fashion, I do not like what is going on. I cannot stand idly by while a former democrat and a former constitutional party members take over the Anne Arundel Republican Central Committee. I believe in doing so, I would be otherwise abdicating my responsibility to my fellow Republicans.

No matter what your view, agree or disagree, I encourage you to attend the September 5th meeting and make your voice heard. If you would like to speak, please send me an email prior to the meeting.


Mike Collins
Republican State Central Committee
Of Anne Arundel County


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