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 ………………

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