June 22, 2023

Members of the IDGOP State Central Committee:

One rule that will be addressed at our Summer meeting is a holdover from January, 2023.

Rule 2023-7 would amend Article 2, Section 2 of the Rules and was passed by the Rules Committee at the 2023 winter meeting. The Central Committee determined to delay consideration of this rule until our Summer meeting. I would like to explain my thoughts regarding this Rule and invite your vote in favor of this change. I speak only for myself, not the IDGOP.

The issue is not about silencing young voters, excluding College Republicans, or taking away the voice of Republican Women. The issue is very simple: “Should those the IDGOP does not elect decide how our party should be run?” Currently the State Executive Committee includes seven Region Chairs elected by Region Central Committees and seven general officers elected by the State Central Committee. In addition, the Executive Committee includes four members who we do not elect: (1) the appointed State Finance Chairman; (2) the Young Republican State Chairman; (3) the President of the Idaho Federation of Republican Women, and (4) the President of the College Republicans. This makes a total of 18 voting members. Additional non-voting members include the Executive Director, immediate past State Chairman, Teenage Republican Representative, and Representatives of Constitutional and Congressional Officers. I don’t have an exact count, but there are about 13-15 non-voting members, who are invited to attend the meetings, ask questions, give opinions and advice, but they cannot vote. The only issue under Rule 2023-7 is whether the four non-elected, but voting members, should remain as voting members on the Executive Committee. They are not being removed from the Executive Committee.

This Rule was motivated in part by the increase in number of Region Chainnen from seven to ten, beginning in 2024. With the addition of three Region Chainnen, all elected by their Region Central Committees, reduction of the number who sit on the State Executive Committee as voting members is a wise consideration. Perhaps more important is the wisdom of having nonĀ­ elected club leaders entitled to vote on the State Executive Committee. The general officers and Region Chairmen worked hard to get elected to their specific positions, yet their votes can be diluted or canceled on the Executive Committee by those who have never been elected by any Central Committee of the State or Regions. These Club Presidents will never face those voters and cannot be held responsible for their choices. IDGOP has no ability to monitor or provide oversight of these clubs as it does with Counties and Regions. I believe in representative government, and the four members who would move from voting to non-voting status, do not represent the State Central Committee or any Region Central Committee. They are simply not accountable to us.

Consideration should be given to what the Executive Committee and State Central Committee are receiving from these club representatives. As you will see from a review of the State Financial Report, each member of the Executive Committee is tasked with the responsibility to “get or give” $4,000 during their two-year term of service. This is a key part of the State Party budget. A review of the report will establish that not a single dollar has been raised or donated by the Idaho Young Republicans, the Idaho Women’s Federation, or the College Republicans. They contribute nothing to the significant financial needs of the IDGOP. Yet they have the ability to decide how your funds are spent, without any effort or sacrifice on their part to “get or give” those funds. It has always been my belief that those who do not contribute, should not decide how our funds are spent.

In a recent email from the Idaho Young Republicans, they claim that “at Idaho Young Republicans we have modeled our Executive Committee to align with the RNC’s own committee.” IYR Bylaws allow only six elected members on their Executive Board. (See IYR Bylaws, Article 5, Section 1) If Idaho Young Republicans are modeling their Executive Committee after our committee, why have they never invited a representative from the IDGOP to serve on their Executive Committee, with voting or non-voting authority? The IFRW Executive Committee consists only of their seven elected officers and the immediate past club president. (See IFRW Bylaws, Article III, Section I). Although these clubs seek voting representation on our Executive Committee, not one of them has offered the IDGOP a seat at their table. These clubs have not even been willing to share with me their contact lists. Back in May, I sent requests to both the College Republicans and the Idaho Young Republicans, seeking a contact list of their members, including names and email addresses. The College Republicans never responded, but Idaho Young Republicans expressly refused my request. As members of the State Executive Committee, these club presidents all have our membership lists, but are unwilling to share their own. They take, but do not give.

Those who oppose this Rule change argue that we are silencing the votes of Young Republicans, College Republicans, and Republican Women. Nothing could be further from the truth. In each County, a State Youth Committeeperson is elected to represent those voters under age 40. If they all attend our Summer meeting, that is 44 youth representatives seated on the State Central Committee. The Young Republican President will likely have a personal relationship with many of these Youth Committeepersons and the ability to influence their votes. Young Republicans are very well represented.

There may have been a day when it was necessary to set aside a position on the Executive Committee specifically for women, but that day has long passed. Surely no one can argue that our State Party Chairman, Dorothy Moon, does not represent the interests of Idaho Republican women. There may have been a day when it was necessary to set aside seats on the Executive Committee for Young Republicans and College students, but that day has also passed. No one can argue that the concerns of young Republicans are not fully represented by our State First Vice Chairman, Daniel Silver, who was previously elected as Young Republican State Chairman. Rather than being excluded from the table, Republican Women now head the table, fully supported in the second position by Idaho Young Republicans. There is certainly no need for affirmative action positions for Young Republicans, College students, or Republican Women, who literally control the Party in multiple leadership positions.

It really comes down to whether it is fair that some people have many voices at the table. As an old male conservative, I cannot be a voting member of any of these clubs. I am represented by my Region Chaim1an, for whom I can vote, and the other general officers I elect as a member of the State Central Committee. Compare this to my 21-year-old granddaughter attending college here in Idaho, who is entitled to be a member of Idaho Young Republicans, the Idaho Republican Women’s Federation, and the College Republicans. My granddaughter can be a member of each of these clubs, and have three seats at the table, as well as her votes for National Committeewoman, and the State Party Chainnan, together with her own Region Chainnan. I love my granddaughter, but why should she be entitled to more voices on the Executive Committee? There should be a level playing field for all Republicans, old and young, male and female.

I believe the time has come for the voting members of the State Executive Committee to include only those actually elected by the State Central Committee or the Region Central Committees, and accountable to those voters. The three club presidents, and the appointed State Finance Chairman, should retain their positions as ex-efficio members of the Executive Committee, but they should not have a vote at the table. Those who decide our policies, and spend our money, should be subject to our vote and oversight and I encourage your support for proposed Rule 2023-7. Thanks to each of you for your continued support of conservative Republican principles. You are Idaho.

Mark Fuller

IDGOP Second Vice Chair