The "Investigative" Committee Hearing

On May 1, 2013, an email was sent to the State Committee members by email Andy Torbett, the Chair of the panel which is charged with writing the non-binding report of the tainted election of the Penobscot County GOP Committee officers. 

Although the hearing by this committee is already mandated to write the non-binding report and that no administrative action will be taken, and no legal and transparent election held, the hoops one must jump through in order to even be heard by those representing the Maine State Republican Committee and its Chair, Rich Cebra, are monumental.

You might remember that Mr. Andy Torbett has already pooh-poohed the idea of holding this hearing in Penobscot County where literally every single witness resides, and the county in which the scandal occurred. 

Now he has added to the hoops.

From that email:

...there are some very important stipulations concerning the process to which testimony is presented to the panel.

“Please forward your written testimony concerning the controversy surrounding the Penobscot election of officers to Michelle Dale”.  All testimony must be submitted as written testimony and sent to Michele Dale, who will forward it to the panel.  This testimony cannot be submitted for someone else.  It must be your own written testimony.  Blog posts, websites and Facebook sites will not be accepted.

“If you have written testimony from any individuals who were present at this meeting and witnessed something relevant to the investigation, please ask them to do the same”.  An invitation was given to others in Penobscot, besides those who lodged a complaint, to give written testimony.  Again, it must be written and by their own person.

“Please know when you are submitting written testimony that your testimony will only be accepted if you agree to attend in-person to answer any questions the panel may have on May 4th or in any following panel meetings.”  The panel may find in reading the written testimony that more questions are necessary to a full disclosure of events surrounding the controversy.  We must have the option to call in individuals for further questions if we so choose.

“These live interviews will be conducted privately with the panel, and will not be made open to observers.”  This is not a public hearing.   I am very concerned that many well-intentioned people will make the long trek to Augusta only to find that they cannot have the opportunity to testify.  The verbal testimony only comes at the request of the panel, as an addition to your written testimony.

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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