Major changes proposed for Utah County Republican Party

On Saturday, the Utah County Republican Party will consider changes to the organization’s bylaws. John Mulholland weighs in on the changes.

As the Education officer for LD 56, I feel my duty to provide share my opinion regarding the proposed changes to the Utah County Republican Party (URCP) bylaws. These changes will be discussed this coming Saturday and the quarterly central committee meeting.

I have served on the central committee in Cache County before moving here. There was a huge difference between how meetings were run and especially how much time was wasted. It isn’t a leadership problem, but a structural problem. Because of Casey Voeks’ (URCP Chair) leadership he is making these proposals.

One thing to consider is just how far removed we are from the actual law making process. We are spending hours and hours deciding how to make rules about how to select the person who will help choose a person to audit the finances of a group that selects people to be on the ballot who will then compete in a general election (and likely win) and then go and vote on actual laws.

We spend so much time fighting over small and insignificant details that it ends up becoming a burden to serve for many and very little actually gets accomplished. Some people get a lot of satisfaction over arguing about small details. I do not, and I believe most of the central committee doesn’t either.

I have to admit that I was hesitant at first to agree with some of the ideas, but I have come around and seen the wisdom in it. I think it was wise of Casey to survey other county parties and see what everyone else is doing, along with sending out a Q&A. There are a few things that only we do that, in my opinion, don’t offer much benefit but take a lot of time.

Getting rid of an audit committee

The audit committee has only one duty, choosing an auditor, which could easily be done by the executive committee. How much time have we spent as a central committee in the last year alone with this? Far too much.

Getting rid of the Constitution & Bylaws committee

I was initially concerned with this as it would concentrate power to the chair to appoint the committee. But the FAQ effectively addresses this. What power do they actually have? They only assist in writing the proposal. They don’t actually have any authority. Having a committee who is supposed to come up with bylaw proposals has only led to a lot more bylaw proposals that are likely unnecessary and have been time-consuming.

Removing most disciplinary actions

Giving people an easy way to attack political opponents has proved to be largely a waste of time. Even though I stood up for Greg Graves when several members tried to pass a resolution for a vote of “no confidence,” I mentioned that I voted for Freeze on Facebook. Should I be subject to disciplinary action? The language is not very clear, and we could spend years of meetings trying to agree on what it should be or realize that it doesn’t serve much of a purpose and is a tool for party in-fighting. Pre-primary neutrality is the only thing that most other counties have, if any. There is still a mechanism for complaints.

Limiting changes to only once per year

This is a tricky one and I can see both benefits and negatives here. It helps meetings go by much quicker and helps us only focus on only more important changes, but it makes it also make it harder to respond to change. I am curious how Salt Lake County has done by limiting to once a year.

I am not asking you to agree with every detail, but I ask you this question. With this passing, will the party be a better position to focus on its actual purpose? For me this is a resounding yes. Hopefully with these changes we can actually get around to discussing legislation and how to improve our county, state, and country, instead of spending all of these Saturdays pointlessly in-fighting.

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