Calling Bodies at Places Distant...

One of the complaints which our founding fathers had with King George III was that he called assemblies which were far away and inconvenient for the colonists to attend. They believed that the King did this in order to encourage capitulation to his demands and decrees.

Specifically, one of the complaints in the Declaration of Independence was:

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures. 

And so, when the invitation went out to the extremely select few that Maine GOP Chair Rich Cebra deigned worth of giving testimony, he decreed that it the non-binding hearing -- which will yield no administrative action -- would be held in Augusta, Maine. 

Augusta, located in Kennebec County, is quite the drive for most Penobscot County Committee members. Those who live in Bangor would have to drive 78 miles to give his testimony; Deb Plowman would drive 75, and Traci Gauthier would drive.

Bryan Daugherty wrote an email to Chair Rich Cebra asking him for a location which would allow those who testify in this closed hearing with no chance of garnering a solution for those who were cheated:

In regards to the 'controversy surrounding the Penobscot County Republican election of officers' investigation:

If the investigative panels conclusions are to be well-received and considered in good faith, the scope of this in
vestigation should include participants who were active from the meetings which have been identified in both appeals.


Holding this investigative panel in Augusta restricts the panel’s access to the information which may impact their non-binding recommendations.

It is my contention that the information provided by the known participants of the December and January Penobscot County Republican Committee meetings could easily provide the necessary depth and scope of the events which took place.

The Maine Republican Party, if for no other reason then to stop the continued allegations of mishandling this contentious issue, needs to allow even those which they have deemed 'unaffected' but who have been active Maine Penobscot County Republicans to participate in a hearing whose results directly affect them.

I urge this committee to consider postponing the May 4th investigation to a later date when it can be held in Penobscot County and thus allow those who participated in both the December and January meetings to provide their own live and relevant testimony.

With all due respect,

Bryan Daugherty - Appellant

As a courtesy, he cc'd the members of the "investigative committee" and the other two witnesses who had been invited, Deb Plowman and Traci Gauthier.

Rich Cebra did not respond to the email. Instead Andy Torbett, the chair of the "investigative committee" did. And here is what he said:

Mr Daugherty,

The entire Penobscot GOP have been invited to send written testimony as has the State Committee members. If there is further verbal testimony that we feel we need we will invite those to participate in the hearing on the 4th. This invitation for testimony was sent out along with your invitation.


That response was unresponsive to the question, and since it was a question directly to the Chairman of the State GOP Committee, Rich Cebra, Bryan sent this email back to Andy Torbett: 

The email was for the chairman and I was not seeking direction from any of the panel that has been chosen. You received the email as a courtesy. Unless I am mistaken you have no authority to make a decision based on my request.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Bryan Daugherty

To which Andy Torbett responded:

You are mistaken Bryan. I am the Chairman of the Panel and we are, as per your request, examining the evidence in the Penobscot situation. All communications concerning the investigation should come to the panel through the Augusta office. We will then make our recommendations and present them to the the State Chair along with the State committee. They will pass them along to Penobscot County. I was hoping in my email to simply clarify whose testimony the panel would be examining.

Still no response to the request Bryan originally made of Rich Cebra, which was to please move the non-binding hearing to Penobscot County, the county where the breaches took place and the county in which anyone who would be in a position to testify resides.

Pertinent Links:

The official letter to the Maine Republican State Committee members, announcing Chairman Rich Cebra's intention to deny the actual appeal, appoint a non-binding "investigative committee" to look into the illegitimate election of the Penobscot County Committee's officers as well as the nomination for a replacement for Probate Judge Allan Woodcock's replacement

The email sent by Maine GOP Chair Rich Cebra inviting a total of three people to submit their testimony, and excluding as has become his habit, the original appellant, Ken Anderson

State Committee Facebook discussion about the response, begun March 20, 2013

Second but simultaneous State Committee Facebook discussion about the response, begun March 20 2013

The followup email sent by State Committee member Andy Torbett, emphasizing the hoops anyone who wishes to testify must clear.

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