The Establishment perspective on filling the District 5 Delegate Seat

Below is a copy of a letter sent from Matt Helminiak, CCRCC Secretary, on Wednesday, March 4, to applicants for the D5 Delegate Seat position. In red are statements that are either not factual or are misrepresentations. Helminiak represents the establishment segment of the committee that wants to give its rights and responsibilities away to the Governor.  The four conservative members of the CCRCC respond to Helminiak’s letter, here.

The state constitution gives the Central Committees 30 days to recommend to the Governor a name or names from which he can choose to fill a vacancy.  In the case of the vacancy in the House of Delegates District 5, that 30 day clock runs out on March 4th.  The Carroll County Republican Central Committee had a process and an aggressive time line in place to interview and select from the 25 very qualified applicants for the office.  Our goal was to have the selection made by last Thursday, February 26th. Unfortunately three members of our committee filed suit and were able to get a temporary restraining order that forced a hold on our process.

We were very pleased with the unanimous decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of Circuit Court Judge Hecker.  The Court of Appeals lifted the restraining order Monday, but that does not leave enough time to interview and fairly evaluate the 25 applicants.  We are thankful for the hard work of our attorneys and of the Attorney General’s office in defending the right of the Central Committees to be able to make their own decisions regarding the process for recommending qualified candidates to the Governor to fill vacancies in elected offices.  This includes our freedom to agree or disagree with the Governor’s request for multiple qualified candidates for him to select from for each vacancy.

Unfortunately the three members of our committee that filed suit and were unanimously defeated at the Court of Appeals Monday are refusing to drop their case at the Circuit Court level.  Our attorneys are going to file a motion to dismiss the case and we urge the plaintiffs to follow the decision of the Court of Appeals and end the long and costly court case. Every vote counts, and every day that this case drags on is a day that our county does not have full representation in Annapolis.

The state constitution gives the Governor the power to fill the vacancy within 15 days if a Central Committee does not send him a name.  That 15 day window starts March 5th.  We will make all of the applications and questionnaires available to the Governor’s appointment office for their review.  We thank you for your time and efforts in applying for the vacancy and wish each of you luck in your future.  It says a lot about the strength of our political party in Carroll County that we were able to get so many qualified applicants wishing to serve the County and State.

Sincerely,
Matthew Helminiak
Secretary
CCRCC

The conservative members of the CCRCC responded with their own letter.  Read it here.

The Conservative response to filling the District 5 Delegate Seat

The Central Committee’s conservative minority members are trying to protect the Constitution and the duties of Central Committee members.  Here is a copy of a note they sent D5 Delegate Seat applicants.  It was sent in response to Matt Helminiak’s letter to the same.

Wednesday you may have received an email from Matt Helminiak, Secretary for the Republican Central Committee. If so, it has several factual errors and misrepresentations. We four members of the committee are and have been committed to a fair and open process but it continues to elude us. Therefore, we strongly
encourage you to contact the Governor’s office on your own behalf to ensure that your  application for the D5 seat now receives full consideration since our committee chose not to meet and make its own recommendation to fill the vacant seat.

The legal case Matt referred to in no way prevented the Central Committee from meeting and fulfilling its duty to recommend a name or names to the Governor. We also have no way of knowing whether it was a unanimous decision at this point. The injunction in place, lifted Monday, simply prevented the committee from recommending multiple names to the Governor. We were always willing to meet to make our decision regardless of the decision of the court. As we awaited the hearing, we urged our chairman on numerous occasions to conduct the interviews and we would hold our final vote after Monday (taking just a few minutes.)

We followed an identical process in filling the D4 seat. Chairman Jones refused to call that meeting and now the Governor will decide, within 15 days, who is best to represent us in the legislature.

We will not dismiss the case despite pressure from the majority. Not only is it disrespectful to the court, but it would also prevent the court from issuing a full written opinion on the Constitutional issues at stake – our real purpose.

The Governor has 15 days from today to make his appointment. Here is the contact information you need to advocate for your appointment.

Good luck and thank you for your time and effort in this process.

Kathy Fuller, Melissa Caudill, Amy Gilford and Jim Reter, Carroll County Central Committee Members

APPOINTMENTS OFFICE
James D. Fielder, Jr. , Ph.D., Secretary of Appointments
Chris Cavey , Deputy Secretary of Appointments
Jennifer Barker Jefferson, Executive Assistant
Kim L. Crispino, Special Assistant
Jeffrey P. Horsley, Special Assistant
Vacancy, Special Assistant
Fred L. Wineland Building, 5th floor
16 Francis St., Annapolis, MD 21401 – 1925
(410) 974-2611; fax: (410) 974-2456
e-mail: appointments@gov.state.md.us

Central Committee Selection Process, Part 3

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Dear Central Committee members or candidates,

I wanted to bring you up to date on the situation in Carroll County with the Central Committee and its legislative vacancies.  In two earlier emails I sent  I outlined the process we had created to pick a single name to fill each of two open legislative seats in Carroll, and then how our committee was strong armed by administration representatives into throwing out that process and our selectee and into giving three names for each seat.  Now, since we gave the Governor the name he wanted, Del. Justin Ready, we have a third opening to fill.

Over the objections of four members, our process was revised and we began preparing to send three new names to the governor. The Carroll Court would not step in to prevent our Committee from sending multiple names and give us time to have it heard in the courts.  We also tried to get the committee to agree to a consent decree stipulating a single name in return for our stopping all other legal action, but they ignored that offer.  As we were left with no other choice, we filed our complaint with the Court of Appeals and it will be heard today, Monday, March 2.  The Court of Appeals has also temporarily prohibited the committee from submitting multiple names for this new open seat until it makes a decision.  The committee, if willing to choose a single name, was allowed to do so. Unfortunately, the majority of our Committee are yet again unwilling to send a single name and have canceled the meeting we had scheduled last week to make our selection.  The majority have also been unwilling to schedule a meeting even after the case is heard today.  They appear to be content to simply let the clock run out on our duty to make a selection, whether they win and can send multiple names, or lose and are confined to sending a single name.  We have until this Wednesday to submit a name or the selection goes, according to the Constitution, directly to the Governor to decide. (If the Governor decides without any input from the Committee, then we will certainly know who we were supposed to have put on that list of 3 names.)

On February 14th the MDGOP held its Executive Committee meeting, comprised of all the chairs and all the state officers.  I attended that meeting knowing that the selection process for legislators would likely be one of the agenda items.  It was.  They closed the meeting for that portion of the agenda, but you will find attached the recommended process which the MDGOP will be pushing at the next convention.  It has many problematic sections and does little to protect the committees’ authority in filling open legislative seats.  In fact, it empowers the MDGOP and the Governor, which means less authority for the Central Committees. In that meeting, Diana Waterman declared her opposition to the legislature taking the authority from the Central Committees and going back to special elections.  Unfortunately, she seems perfectly willing to take that authority away herself, given the attached Policy on Filling Legislative Vacancies, and given the fact the Dirk Haire, the MDGOP lawyer, is now defending the portion of the Carroll County Central Committee intent on sending three names to the Governor.  So, Diana Waterman, along with Second Vice Chair Larry Helminiak, have both taken very public stances for the Central Committees to acquiesce to the demands of the Governor and send three names, thereby surrendering the Committee’s authority in filling the vacancy.  That is not where either our Chair or Vice Chair should be.  Their duty should be in defending committee authority not surrendering it, whether to our governor or anyone else.

If the Court of Appeals rules against us and says that we are Constitutionally allowed to send as many names as either the committee or the Governor wants, then we are left with nothing more than the status quo—in essence, nothing will change and Chairs can either go along with the Governor or not.  If, however, the Court of Appeals rules for us, then legally only one name can be sent to the Governor to fill a legislative vacancy.  Our lawyers expect the Court to hand down its ruling today, tomorrow at the latest.

I hope you are safe in your commute this icy morning.

Kathy Fuller

Carroll County Republican Central Committee member

FULLER, et al. v. REPUBLICAN CENTRAL COMMITTEE

scales_justice

Press Release

We appreciate the hard work of our attorneys and the Court of Appeals’ time and consideration.  While the Court decided today to allow the ruling of the Carroll County Circuit Court to stand, we await the written decision with interest and hope the Court, in its decision, will finally resolve the constitutional question of central committees’ sending one name versus multiple names to fill a legislative vacancy.  The Court has lifted the injunction and the Central Committee is free to act to send as many or few names as it deems appropriate.  We continue to urge our Committee Chairman to call a meeting so that we can carry out our duty and send the Governor a name to fill the vacant District 5 Delegate seat.

Fuller, et al.

Editor’s note:

Please consider how interesting it is that the Scales of Justice in these United States are represented by a blind-folded woman holding a scale in one hand and a sword in the other.   It would seem the sword represents the woman’s willingness to not just think or talk about justice, but her willingness to fight for it.

And along comes this court case – three women demanding our law be upheld by others who seek to pervert it.  They didn’t just think or talk about it, they were ready to fight for it.  They did everything they could within the bounds of the law to demand it be upheld.

When I think of the Scales of Justice from here on out, I think of Kathy, Amy, and Melissa.  KCC and like-minded patriots are forever indebted to you, and we applaud your courage and strength.  May God bless you and your households.  Thank you for all you’ve done.

Senior Advocacy Group to meet Commissioners – 3/5/2015

1375303_635370243205961_526628761131953580_n (1)The Cooperative for Senior Advocacy Group (link takes you to their Facebook Group page) will be giving a presentation to the Carroll County Commissioners on Thursday the 5th at 1:40 pm. Located at the Carroll County Government office building, Center St. Westminster , Room 300.

This will be a report of the progress from last year at this point, and a plan to more steadily improve conditions for the aging community.

Please consider going to give them your support.

Central Committee Selection Process, Part 2

Dear Central Committee Member or recent candidate,

I sent you an email on Jan 22nd warning of the pressure our central committee was under to alter our selection process and change the person we had selected for the D5 Senate seat opening in Carroll. This pressure was put directly on our Chairman who kept the source of the pressure from at least four of nine committee members.

At our Jan 22nd committee meeting the source of that pressure was revealed to be both Governor Hogan’s staff and the MDGOP. Attending our meeting were Chris Cavey, campaign staffer now Deputy Secretary of Appointments; Steven Crim, Hogan’s campaign manager now Director of Public Affairs for the Administration; and MDGOP Executive Director Joe Cluster. Chris Cavey told us that the administration was developing a process” and that they will be asking all committees to provide 3 names for each seat. We share the D4 Delegate seat with Frederick, so according to Chris Cavey they were expecting a total of 6 names for that seat (with potentially some overlap.) Chris Cavey told us that the administration would be vetting these candidates and then making the choice of which candidate the Governor wants to work with.

This is a clear violation of the intent of the Maryland Constitution. The Central Committee’s role is to be the vetting body, not the Governor. That is why providing the administration a single person’s name for a Senate or Delegate seat is important. It is our role as locals to pick a new legislator we believe will best represent local interests in the place of the locally elected member removed from the seat. The Governor cannot know each county’s best interests in the way that the central committees do.

So, on Jan 22nd , Carroll County’s Republican Central Committee relinquished its constitutional authority to the Governor. In a 5-4 vote our committee threw out the unanimously agreed upon process by which we conducted our selection and threw out the stipulations we gave to our applicants. We, in effect, threw out our by-laws which require we operate by Robert’s Rule of Order which strictly prohibits rescinding or amending decisions once they are acted upon. We threw out the selection process we had done for the D4 House seat we share with Frederick and gave 3 names, one of which did not even get a majority vote of the committee.

The four committee members who objected to this lawless behavior left the meeting as it went into closed session with Cavey, Crim and Cluster and five of the committee members to secretly make the deal to throw out our legitimate selection of Robin Frazier and give 3 names to the governor. We were never notified of the committee’s actions in that meeting and have received no minutes of the meeting to date. We received the press release that went out to our mass email list announcing our new selectees.

In response to this action, those of us who are concerned with the constitutional precedent being set for all central committees, filed a temporary restraining order against our committee and against either of the two extra names from being sworn into office, but the judge refused to act, and an hour after we filed the TRO Justin Ready was appointed to the Senate and later that evening was sworn in. Our intent was to temporarily halt the swearing in and bring this issue to court. It must be decided whether it is lawful for the central committees to send more than one name to the governor for a Senate or House seat when the Constitution clearly states a name; and if it is ruled a violation of the Constitution, then do those who are sworn in under these conditions have the lawful ability to serve.

Now we will be expected to provide the Governor with 3 names to fill the open seat vacated by Ready.

The same members who tried to bring the TRO are now asking our committee members to agree to a Consent Decree in which the Carroll County Central Committee will be bound to give one and only one name for all future Senate or House vacancies. It is a simple and honest move to bind ourselves to constitutionally correct action so that there is never any doubt about whether our representatives serve in a legitimate capacity.

On the main page of the RNC web site there are 11 Principles for American Renewal. The very first Principle states: Constitution- Our Constitution should be preserved, valued and honored.

YOUR Central Committee’s constitutional authority could be usurped in the next appointment made, and Carroll has created a troubling precedent. Central Committee members must stand together against gubernatorial overreach and support the clear language of the Constitution.

Please contact MDGOP Chairman Diana Waterman at chairman@mdgop.org and Exec. Dir. Joe Cluster at joe@mdgop.org and ask them to support local control and the constitutional role of the Central Committees. Remember, we all swore an oath to the Constitution. It is time to fulfill that oath.

Thank you,

Kathy Fuller

Carroll County Republican Central Committee

Maryland Constitution, (filling a vacancy) Article III, Legislative Department, Section 13 (a) (1) In case of death, disqualification, resignation, refusal to act, expulsion, or removal from the county or city for which he shall have been elected, of any person who shall have been chosen as a Delegate or Senator, or in case of a tie between two or more such qualified persons, the Governor shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy from a person whose name shall be submitted to him in writing, within thirty days after the occurrence of the vacancy, by the Central Committee of the political party, if any, with which the Delegate or Senator, so vacating, had been affiliated, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Senator or Delegate, in the County or District from which he or she was appointed or elected, provided that the appointee shall be of the same political party, if any, as was that of the Delegate or Senator, whose office is to be filled, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Delegate or Senator, and it shall be the duty of the Governor to make said appointment within fifteen days after the submission thereof to him.

(b) In addition, and in submitting a name to the Governor to fill a vacancy in a Legislative or Delegate district, as the case may be, in any of the twenty–three counties of Maryland, the Central Committee or committees shall follow these provisions:

(1) If the vacancy occurs in a district having the same boundaries as a county, the Central Committee of the county shall submit the name of a resident of the district.

(2) If the vacancy occurs in a district which has boundaries comprising a portion of one county, the Central Committee of that county shall submit the name of a resident of the district.

Maryland Constitution, (oath of office) Article I, Elective Franchise, Section 9 Every person elected, or appointed, to any office of profit or trust, under this Constitution, or under the Laws, made pursuant thereto, shall, before he enters upon the duties of such office, take and subscribe the following oath, or affirmation: I, ……….., do swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the Constitution and Laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of ………….., according to the Constitution and Laws of this State, (and, if a Governor, Senator, Member of the House of Delegates, or Judge,) that I will not directly or indirectly, receive the profits or any part of the profits of any other office during the term of my acting as ………………

Central Committee Selection Process, Part 1

Dear Central Committee Member or recent candidate,

I am a two term member of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee.

In light of media attacks and erroneous news reports regarding Carroll’s process to fill the Delegate and Senate seats coming open in our districts, it is critical to make fellow Central Committee members aware of the efforts going on to discredit our Central Committee and potentially impinge on the constitutional authority of all central committees.

The authority to select a replacement for a Delegate or Senator is a constitutionally established power of the central committee and our most significant role.  (see excerpt from Md Constitution below)

Facts in Carroll:

·         When the pending openings for Delegate District 4 (Kelly Schultz) and Senate District 5 (Joe Getty) were announced our Central Committee was asked to send up one name for each and told to begin the selection process so that the seats would be quickly filled after the inauguration.

·         We created a professional and objective selection process and recommended it to the MDGOP.

·         We unanimously agreed to submit a name for each seat as the Maryland Constitution requires.

·         Our unanimously agreedupon process was to:

o    advertise each opening;

o    accept resumes and issue questionnaires to all who applied;

o    set the maximum number to interview for each seat;

o    set the voting process;

o    set the announcement process;

o    keep the applicants’ names and information confidential in order to promote a wider range of participants and remove fear of possible impact to existing jobs.

o    keep the final vote tally for each seat private so as to submit strong appointees and help strengthen the Governor’s appointment process.

We have finished the process for the D5 Senate seat, chosen a name and announced it. But, as is often the case, some are criticizing our process because they don’t agree with our decision.  We picked two term Carroll Commissioner, Ehrlich Administration appointee and businesswomen, Robin Bartlett Frazier. If you don’t know Robin, you may know her as the Commissioner who received national acclaim when she won the ability to keep prayer in county open sessions. Unfortunately, individuals who stick to principal are often smeared and she has been by her political opponents and their supporters.

Our Chairman has been pressured to redo our selection; to throw out the legitimate processes we have used, and the legitimate votes we have cast; to change our process mid-stream; and now to provide 3 names for both seats rather than what we’d agreed to.

We have the constitutional requirement to provide one name.  To do anything else usurps the constitutional authority endowed upon the Central Committee.  If a Central Committee decides upon one name and submits it, the Governor must appoint that person.  The power of the appointment then rests with the Central Committee.  If the Central Committee can be convinced to submit more than one name then the Governor actually chooses who is appointed, and the power of the appointment rests with the Governor.

The Constitution designates Central Committees to choose who is appointed and the governor to carry out the appointment.  This is separation of power.  The Governor is the executive branch; the House and Senate are the legislative branch.  If the Governor picks the members of the legislative branch then this corrupts the separation of powers and the checks and balances necessary for good government.

Think of it this way:  The Governor has hundreds of appointments he is able to make.  If he were to appoint legislators to most of those jobs and then tell the central committees who to send as replacements he would control most of government, both the executive and legislative branches.  This is an extreme example, but illustrates the danger of allowing the authority endowed upon the central committees to be usurped by giving the governor more than one name or by allowing him to tell the central committee who that name should be. This is the same reason many gubernatorial appointments are made with the consent of the legislature.  It is the check and balance of good government.

Your authority could be usurped when the next appointment is made. Successful elected leaders respect the authority and autonomy of other elected leaders.  Central Committee members must stand together in this issue.  I support Governor-elect Hogan, his administration, and the MDGOP, but I have sworn duty to defend my elected office and the constitutional role designated to it.

Please contact MDGOP Chairman Diana Waterman at chairman@mdgop.org and Exec. Dir. Joe Cluster at joe@mdgop.organd ask them to support local control and the constitutional role of the Central Committees.  Remember, we all swore an oath to the Constitution.  It is time to fulfill that oath.

Thank you,

Kathy Fuller

Carroll County Republican Central Committee

Maryland Constitution(filling a vacancy) Article III, Legislative Department, Section 13 (a) (1) In case ofdeath, disqualification, resignation, refusal to act, expulsion, or removal from the county or city for which he shall have been elected, of any person who shall have been chosen as a Delegate or Senator, or in case of a tie between two or more such qualified persons, the Governor shall appoint a person to fill such vacancy from a person whose name shall be submitted to him in writing, within thirty days after the occurrence of the vacancy, by the Central Committee of the political party, if any, with which the Delegate or Senator, so vacating, had been affiliated, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Senator or Delegate, in the County or District from which he or she was appointed or elected, provided that the appointee shall be of the same political party, if any, as was that of the Delegate or Senator, whose office is to be filled, at the time of the last election or appointment of the vacating Delegate or Senator, and it shall be the duty of the Governor to make said appointment within fifteen days after the submission thereof to him.

Maryland Constitution, (oath of office)Article I, Elective Franchise, Section 9 Every person elected, or appointed, to any office of profit or trust, under this Constitution, or under the Laws, made pursuant thereto, shall, before he enters upon the duties of such office, take and subscribe the following oath, or affirmation: I, ……….., do swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the Constitution and Laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of ………….., according to the Constitution and Laws of this State, (and, if a Governor, Senator, Member of the House of Delegates, or Judge,) that I will not directly or indirectly, receive the profits or any part of the profits of any other office during the term of my acting as ………………

Should an “R” behind the name make a difference?

An open letter from Keep Carroll Conservative to Senator Joe Getty:

Dear Senator Getty,

Screen shot as of Jan 22, 2015.  Click to see full image.  Make a mental note of "date of service" for his current role.

Screen shot as of Jan 22, 2015. Click to see full image. Make a mental note of “date of service” for his current role.

We ask you to please help us understand the inconsistencies in the Hogan administration talking points for the last month. We’ve posted screen shots that show you started your new position with the Hogan Administration but now someone is covering those tracks and your profile shows no starting date to for your new appointment. You’re our home-town guy who should have the best interests of Carroll County in mind, right? Perhaps you can help answer a number of troubling questions:

  • What is the true story of why Robin Frazier is getting illegitimate stall tactics from the Hogan administration on her rightful appointment?
  • Why did the Hogan team send three people to Carroll County this week and stand in a closed-door session with 5 members of the Carroll Republican Central Committee, and collaborate with them to break their own rules and violate Roberts Rules of Order as well the MD Constitution? As a protest of that secret meeting, as well as a show of support for Hogan’s call for openness and transparency in the selection process, 4 of the members walked out. Subsequently, in that secret session, additional names were added to an already-finished process on the D5 Senate recommendation.
  • Isn’t it true that the pushback against Robin Frazier and the committee has nothing to do with the election Frazier just lost?
  • getty-screen-shot-Jan23

    Screen shot from Jan 23, 2015. “Since date” has mysteriously changed and is suspiciously vague.

    Isn’t it true that the junior Del. Justin Ready was supposed to win the recommendation of the Central Committee to take the Senate seat but the head count was off – by 1?

  • Is it true that this threw off plans to have the incumbent Ready take on Susan Krebs in 2018?
  • Is it true this scheme was hatched in response to Krebs’ threats last year that she and Doug Howard were going to be running the new power structure in Carroll County and Getty was going to be out?
  • What is the real story? Why are the citizens being treated to crony politics once again, only this time it’s Republican style?
  • Why is Susan Krebs feigning shock and disgust at the Central Committee for doing its job?  Perhaps because she would much rather take on young Ready than Robin Frazier in 2018?
  • Why did Larry Helminiak pressure chairman David Jones to compromise on what he knew was right? Helminiak is part of the MD State Republican party. Why is he playing politics instead of supporting his Central Committee?
  • Why is the Tea Party lining up with the establishment on this instead of the Constitution?
  • Why is Robin Frazier innocently being dragged through the mud and why are Republicans playing the same dirty politics that they accuse Democrats of playing? Could it be that Republicans have no more respect for the MD and US Constitutions than Democrats do? Could it be that nothing has really changed in Maryland but the letter behind the names in charge now?

We urge you, Senator Getty, and call on your experience and great statesmanship to help broker a solution to this sham of a process that leaves many wondering if there’s really been any change in Maryland after all?