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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Greenville County GOP Votes Overwhelmingly to Censure Chad Connelly

Chad Connelly
The tenure of Chad Connelly as Chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party was one of embarrassing hucksterism, as when he attempted to "sell" sponsorship of the SC Republican Party  to comedian Stephen Colbert; it has been one of devastating division and political loss, as when he failed to instruct candidates filing to run in Republican primaries on correct filing procedures, forcing scores of candidates throughout the state to be thrown off ballots; it has been one of enormous debt and insolvency due to massive legal bills, while ignoring offers of pro-bono legal assistance; and it has been one of name calling, as when he called Greenville Republican activists "anarchists" and "terrorists" merely for supporting another candidate for state party chair.  He failed to inform state committeemen of important decisions made in the name of the Party, secretly maneuvered his own replacement into the job before state committeemen were even aware he was leaving, and most appalling, especially in the eyes of long-time Greenville County Republican activists, was his outrageous treatment of Greenville County delegates to the state convention in May.

For all of this, the Greenville County Executive Committee overwhelmingly approved on June 24, the following Motion for Censure.  Unfortunately, our state problem is now a national GOP problem.  We hope they realize what they have on their hands before the wreckage experienced in South Carolina becomes a national crisis for the Republican National Committee.


WHEREAS, during the recent South Carolina GOP State Convention of last May 4, 2013, the South Carolina GOP and the Chairman of the South Carolina GOP, Chad Connelly ignored and abandoned the South Carolina GOP State Rules, by willfully violating said rules as follows:

1. Releasing the Greenville County delegate information to a non SCGOP endorsed group known as “Save Our Primary” which said group used to contact via phone, mail and emails Greenville County delegates to promote said group’s misleading and erroneous information regarding the lawful use of Nomination by Convention; 

2. Denying Greenville County candidates to SCGOP positions the list of State delegates as it has been customary in the past, while providing said list to candidates in other counties, who in turn, used said information to advertise, promote and request votes from State delegates;

3. Forcing the Greenville County delegation to sit in the back of the venue and splitting the delegation across the very back of the venue where said convention was held, in violation of the standing tradition of seating the delegations in alphabetical order, making it almost impossible for the Greenville County delegation to be heard;

4. Placing only two microphones in the front of the floor of the Convention venue, forcing delegates from the Greenville County delegation, as well as the elderly and those with impaired mobility, to spend unreasonable periods of time going to, and standing at the front of the room in order to be heard, despite a request directly made to the State Chairman;

5. Turning the microphones off several times when Greenville County delegates were attempting to bring up valid and legal points per Roberts’ Rules of Order, in violation of said Roberts’ Rules of Order;

6. Failing to provide in the delegates’ packets a copy of the Resolutions to be approved at said convention for all voting delegates to read prior to the actual vote; 

7. Allowing the paid, professional staff of the SCGOP to use their position in a partisan manner to favor the incumbent chairman; 

8. The candidates for State Chair were only allowed two minutes to speak, when at the last convention they were given eight minutes. By not allowing more time for the candidates to speak at this convention, the delegates were not able to make a truly informed vote.

WHEREAS, the Chairman of the SCGOP, Chad Connelly, and the Temporary Chairman of the Convention, Representative Clemmons, from the start of the State Convention willfully violated Roberts’ Rules of Order; as follows:

1. Representative Clemmons was nominated as Temporary Convention Chair. Greenville County attorney, Stephen Brown was also nominated. However, the vote was conducted as a voice vote. The voice vote clearly showed Stephen Brown as the winner, but when the Greenville County delegation asked for “division” demanding that either a standing vote or a ballot vote be conducted, the microphones were turned off and the Greenville County GOP Chair, Betty Poe, was told that the Greenville County delegation would be thrown out of the convention if the delegation did not shut up. All in violation of Rules 19, 23 and 29 of Roberts’s Rules of Order.

2. The Greenville County delegation’s objections to the nomination and approval of the Temporary Chair Representative Clemmons were completely ignored and no other nominations were allowed, in clear violation of Roberts’ Rules of Order, Section 23.

3. Police and Sheriff officers were then placed at the back of the room, surrounding the Greenville County delegation in an attempt to intimidate and shut down any attempts by said delegation to voice dissent, again in violation of Roberts’ Rules of Order Section 23.

4. The SCGOP Chair, Chad Connelly then announced Representative Clemmons as the winner and declared elected Convention Chairman. 

5. When the Greenville County delegation which was gathering at the microphone requesting “division” as it is the right of the minority under Roberts’ Rules of Order, Section 29, to do; the microphones were turned off, denying the Greenville delegation its right to request for a rising vote. 

6. During the nominations for State Chairman, the convention Chair recognized a member for the purpose of making a nomination, but then the convention Chair recognized another member for the purpose of “closing the nominations”. The member who had been first recognized and who had the floor at that point was ignored, and again the microphones were shut off. The Chair then gave the floor to the member requesting, “closing the nominations”. All of these actions in clear violations of Roberts’ Rules of Order as well as fairness and decorum. 

7. The Party Chairman and the Temporary Chairman both ignored the calls for division at which point the Greenville County delegation was joined by members of other county delegations in shouting “division” as is the right under Roberts’ Rules of Order, Section 29. After turning the microphones off, the Temporary Chairman declared the minority “out of order” and completely ignoring our right to ask for “division”. When the Greenville delegation disagreed with the Chair’s decision and demanded “point of order”, those requests were also ignored and the delegation threatened with expulsion from the Convention. These actions are clear violations of Roberts’ Rules of Order Sections 19, and 23.

8. The Resolutions Committee presented its report. A Motion was made to approve all the resolutions “en banc”. During the discussion a “point of information” was asked as to how many Resolutions there were and why no copies of said resolutions had been included in each delegate’s packet. Before that Motion was voted on, another Motion was made and seconded to read each Resolution individually and each Resolution approved on its own. At that point, a request for information was raised. The questioner asked of the Chair: “So, Mr. Chair, what you are telling us is that we do not have copies of these resolutions and we are not going to be provided with these Resolutions, as Nancy Pelosi said of Obamacare, ‘we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it’?” At this point, the microphones were turned off again. 

In order to avoid adoption of numerous resolutions that the body had not been provided, a Motion to Adjourn was made.

WHEREAS, SCGOP Chairman, Chad Connelly, as reported by greenvilleonline.com on May 8, 2013, described the Greenville County delegation’s attempts to adhere to parliamentary rules and procedures as “borderline anarchists” and “hardline libertarians” who figure “if they can’t build a party they’d rather disrupt ours, and I think they learned just how popular that is.”

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Greenville County GOP Executive Committee, wishes to show its disapproval of the South Carolina GOP, The South Carolina GOP Chairman, Chad Connelly, and Representative Clemmons, acting as Convention Chair for their open and willful actions to threaten, intimidate and undermine the GOP minority portion of the delegates for our right to voice opposition, as well as their blatant violation of Roberts’ Rules of Order;

The Greenville County GOP Executive Committee demands that the minority be respected and treated fairly and even handedly. The Party Chairman, Chad Connelly, and the Convention officers including the Convention Chairman, Representative Clemmons, disrespected and trampled on the rights of the minority position of the State Convention, who were standing in opposition to the Party Chairman, in violation of Roberts’ Rules of Order and State Party Rules, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Greenville County GOP Executive Committee strongly disapproves of Chairman Chad Connelly and Convention Chairman, Representative Clemmons for their willful and deliberate violation of parliamentary rules and procedures when denying the members of the Greenville County delegation their right to make motions and debate; and for their refusal to entertain points of order and proper appeals in violation of Roberts’ Rules of Order;

The actions of the Party Chairman, Chad Connelly, and Convention Chairman, Representative Clemmons; both of whom abandoned the Rules in order to win, likens to the very behavior and tactics we, as Republicans, accuse the Democrats of doing. We never had an expectation that the SCGOP Chair would adopt “the end justifies the means” or “winning at all cost” tactics because of his fear of losing his position.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Greenville County GOP Executive Committee censures, disapproves and strongly objects of Chairman Chad Connelly’s unfair behavior; his violation of Roberts Rules of Order, and his insulting, untruthful and libelous public comments, and demands that Chairman Connelly make a public apology to the Greenville County delegation for his unfair, unprofessional and un-sportsman like behavior during and after the State Convention of May 4, 2013, against our delegation.

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE DIRECTS the Greenville County Chair, Betty Poe, to disseminate this Motion for Censure to all media sources, including but not limited to, local and State newspapers, radio and television stations, the Greenville County GOP website, and electronically transmit a copy of this Motion to all members of the Greenville County GOP within five days of the presentation of this Motion.

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE FURTHER DIRECTS our State Executive Committeeman, James Lee, to present this Motion at the next meeting of the South Carolina GOP Executive Committee.

24th day of June, in the 2013th year of our Lord and 236th year of our Republic; considered and adopted by the Greenville County Executive Committee.

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