“GOP Credentials Committee Determines Qualification of Voters at State Committee Meeting”

Further to their convention (meeting?) last week which culminated in a very close election for chair and an honest process error, the RIGOP just released the following statement, entitled as above.

Warwick: Last night the Credentials Committee of the Rhode Island Republican Party met to hear a petition to disqualify both the process and some of the voters involved in the March 21, 2013election for new state party officers. Dr. Daniel Harrop III, a candidate for State Party Chairman, brought the complaint. Through his counsel, he argued that the process used at last week’s State Central Committee was not in accordance with the Party’s By-Laws and that corrections to the voting roll that evening denied him timely access to the identities of voters. His opponent for State Party Chairman, Mr. Mark Smiley and his counsel, were also in attendance to oppose Dr. Harrop’s complaint.
Dr. Harrop’s complaint was heard by the eleven member Credentials Committee, ten of whom were present last night. The Credentials Committee also heard testimony from members of the RI Republican Party who had direct knowledge of the issues raised by Dr. Harrop’s complaint. After hearing the testimony, and summations by counsel to both Dr. Harrop and Mr. Smiley, the Committee went into Executive Session to deliberate the matter.
The following results were made public after the Credentials Committee adjourned. By a vote of 8 In Favor and 2 Opposed the Committee passed the following resolution:

We find that the event of March 21, 2013 was a Meeting, not a Convention, of the State Central Committee and that all voters who cast ballots were duly qualified to do so.

The significance of the Credentials Committee’s finding that the March 21, 2013 event was a “Meeting” is that different rules are imposed by the Party’s By-Laws for conducting “Meetings” and “Conventions.” Outgoing State Chair, Mark Zaccaria, will formally report these findings to the State Central Committee next Tuesday, April 2, 2013, when the Meeting of March 21, 2013 is resumed after having been continued that evening. . Absent any additional process between now and then, he will declare the results of the original vote to be valid based on these findings.

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