According to an email sent July 1 by Haywood Republican Alliance member Eddie Cabe and a blog publication by local conservative activist Monroe Miller, the Haywood County Republican Party allegedly held an unannounced closed session during a special called meeting May 23, during which a resolution accusing five current and former HCGOP members of “party disloyalty” was passed by a vote of 12 to 2.
HCGOP and N.C. Republican Party officials would neither confirm nor deny that any such resolution exists, who might be named in it, whether it was passed, what consequences it might carry for those named in it, if or when those so named would be able to speak in their own defense, and if or when those so named will be formally notified of any actions taken against them.
“This is ridiculous,” said HRA member Jeremy Davis.
The HRA is a conservative splinter group of the state-recognized county party, with which it shares common roots and a contemptuous history. Miller, who was in attendance at the meeting, was also one of the accused and also one of the two “no” votes.
He reported that the others named with him in the party disloyalty resolution — which was read aloud, with no printed copies yet available to anyone — were HRA members Davis, Richard West and Paul Yeager.
Cabe’s email was to request a verification of the charge against him and was addressed to NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes, Vice Chair Michelle Nix, Haywood County Republican Party Chairman Ken Henson and more than 50 other activists, party officials and news outlets.
He claimed in his email that the county party has a dormant website and no working phone number, and that HCGOP Chair Ken Henson and Vice Chair Debbie King “refuse to answer questions.”
If passed as Miller reports it was, the resolution would bar individuals named in it from holding office in the HCGOP for five years, according to Davis.
Such a move would in essence preempt a possible return to the HCGOP by HRA members, who were ousted from power in the more mainstream HCGOP during a counterinsurgency staged at party elections this past spring.
“They are terrified we will take it back,” Davis said.
When asked for comment, local and state Republican Party officials were reluctant, but did shed some light on the procedural requirements of such a resolution.
Emails to Henson and King went unanswered, but Ted Carr, vice chairman for the HCGOP’s Cecil precinct and former party chair, told The Smoky Mountain News that it would be “inappropriate” for any HCGOP executive member to comment specifically on an event held in a closed session, and referred comments to Dallas Woodhouse, the NCGOP’s executive director.
Woodhouse said via email July 1 that without commenting on “specifics of any situation that may or may not occur,” state and county organizational plans outline a procedure that “at some point would require/allow all sides to present their case for judgment.”
He went on to cite a section of the party’s state plan that says that any member of a committee organized under the plan may be removed after formal charges signed by the lesser of either 50 committee members or one-third of the committee have been furnished to the accused two weeks prior to any vote and after the “opportunity to present a defense” occurs.
Once proper service has been rendered, a two-thirds vote by members of the committee is sufficient to remove a member only on charges of gross inefficiency, party disloyalty or failure to comply with various organizational plans.
An additional request to confirm details regarding the reported resolution was answered by NCGOP District 11 Chairman Aubrey Woodard, who said there would be no further comment on the matter at this time.