Letter to the Committee

This letter functioned as a cover letter for the memo from the State GOP's lawyer, William Logan, as well as the memo State Party Chair Rich Cebra sent to Bryan to deny his appeal regarding the continuing breach which allowed non-voting members to vote to allow themselves to vote in the January election of officers as well as a nominee for a Probate Court replacement judge.

Before he got into his "solution," Rich Cebra first gave lip service to the concepts of honesty and transparency:

I write to you today with deep concern for the controversy that has surrounded the Penobscot County election. Since January 17, 2013, our party has become one that is consumed with intrigue, mistrust, and an undercurrent of malice toward others with in our Party who do not share our every opinion and belief.

This is no way for a party, especially one that values honesty, transparency, a belief in the ability of the people to manage their own affairs and a strong faith in self-governance, to operate.

He then went on to talk about how the "Maine Republican Party has worked diligently to operate within the rules and bylaws of the Party."

While doing so, and doing so with complete and absolute respect for those embroiled in this controversy, the Maine Republican Party has been publicly accused of fraud, derogatory comments have been made about the Party and Party Leadership, the motives of Party Leadership have been questioned and threats of continued strife within the party have been made. During all this, out of respect for those involved in this controversy, the party remained silent, avoiding the inappropriate rhetorical combat and divisive attacks so many have participated in.

Rich Cebra then went on to explain his preposterous idea that the Maine State Republican Party can only act on knowledge that corruption, illegal elections, and other dishonest and unethical practices are being perpetrated within the Republican County Committee of Penobscot under certain circumstances. 

He begins that section of his letter with this statement:

The Maine Republican Party is not afraid of the truth. However, we must arrive at it in accordance with the rules and by-laws that govern our party.

Let us not look into the idea that the truth is the truth, whatever the method of discerning it is. If a treasurer steals $15,000 from the party -- as happened in this same State Republican Party in 2009 (though not disclosed until 2012) -- only an "affected person's" notification of the theft would be heeded by the Maine State Republican Party and its Chair, Rich Cebra? 

In other words, if a voting member is disenfranchised by illegitimate elections, or if a reporter were to write about unethical practices within the Party, or if a casual observer reported fraud or illegal voting, the Maine State Republican Party, and specifically its Chairman Richard M. Cebra would be  impotent to do anything at all about it:

It is discouraging to receive appeals that the party cannot act upon because they are filed by prospective appellants who lack standing; arrive past the time frame for appeals to be properly acted upon; misunderstand our rules and by-laws, or make interpretations of our rules and by-laws based on narrow readings of only one rule or one section while ignoring the Rules and By-laws that specifically provide guidance on the particular controversy in question.

Then he ends that section expressing the idea that it was the right thing to do for the State Republican Party to stand by silently as the Penobscot County Committee continued to hemorrhage members and registered Republicans began to unenroll due to the scandal:

Instead, the Party and Party Leadership are tried and convicted in the court of public opinion while we do the right and proper thing and remain silent.

He then goes on to address what appears to be those who dare to try to right the wrong which was committed in the December and January meetings of the Penobscot County Republican Committee: 

...there are also those who would intentionally use any such controversy to divide this party for their own sundry motives. To those with ill-intent and those who stir controversy for the sake of controversy, make no mistake – we will meet your aggression head on. The Maine Republican Party is not a place for soap opera-style intrigue, for malicious attacks on the character of good people or for wars of attrition against honest volunteers who serve in thankless positions for endless hours trying to make our party a better servant of the people, and our state a better place to live and raise a family.

I could go on all day, quoting what Maine State Republican Party Chair Rich Cebra says in that letter, but I suggest that you read it for yourself. It is loaded with political weasel-words and excuses, but it is easy to read.

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

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

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