Memo from the Lawyer

In what was clearly meant to be a provision which keeps the party's "dirty laundry" from going into the legal system, keeping it "in-house" in the hopes of resolving issues, Rule 23 specifically lays out the method for the State Committee to mediate appeals. 

But in another misstep in leadership, Rich Cebra apparently thought it wise to skip the Executive Committee and the State Committee's method of appointing a five-person investigative committee to look into matters as these. 

The memorandum from the attorney -- who was coincidentally the treasurer of the Maine State Republican Committee until May of 2012 -- was a bit reminiscent of the age-old Clinton statement that "it depends on what the definition of 'is" is."

It centers on what the definition of "affected person" is.

In order to do that, this leader in the realm of courts and legal proceedings used legal definitions 

He begins with "The term 'affected person' is not defined within the Rules of the Party." This fact, that it's not defined, might lead one to think that the usual English definition might be appropriate to use.


As a voting member, who had been duly elected at his municipal caucus, and who had paid his dues at the first County Committee meeting after the state convention, and who had not missed three consecutive meetings, felt he had been affected when his vote was drowned out by the votes of those who were not legal voting members.

It was the same sort of being affected that had Republicans upset about illegal aliens voting, or ACORN busing people in from elsewhere to participate in elections. 

What was that uproar about if not for the fact that the illegal voter affected the outcome of an election by legal voters?

In any event, what this memorandum said was, “ would appear that Mr. Anderson would not be an 'affected person' since he demonstrates no particularized injury. He is not appealing as a candidate in an election, but rather simply as a general member of the Penobscot County Republican Committee.”

A particularized injury is defined as one which which is specified or stated in detail. 


Not that it needs to be stated in detail -- particularly before someone who claims to be "a temporary keeper of the trust," which is what Chairman Rich Cebra claims to be -- but the integrity of the electoral system, the transparency of elections, and the rule of law, when thrown out the window, affect all of us. Or so one would think.

And the fact that a straightforward complaint ("more than half of the voters were not legal voting members") were allowed to vote, and an extremely reasonable remedy sought ("a new election with only verified voting members taking part") should have made it a piece of cake for Rich Cebra and his investigative committee to rule on.

Instead, in one of the very complaints that Republicans have about Democrats, Cebra skipped the mediation step and went radically to the legal route.

Pertinent Links:

Memorandum, dated February 22, 2013, from attorney William Logan to Chairman Richard Cebra

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