Lines Drawn in ALGOP Showdown
August 26, 2013
Southern Torch (3854 articles)

Lines Drawn in ALGOP Showdown


The Alabama Republican Party’s State Executive Committee met in Montgomery this past Saturday (Aug 23) for the semi-annual GOP Meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to give GOP leaders from across the state the chance to gather together to discuss issues that affect our state and to vote on by-law and rule changes and resolutions. All 7 of DeKalb County’s State Executive members were in attendance, as well as twenty other DeKalb GOP members and Young Republicans.

The weekend began with a dinner on Friday night with guest speaker, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Walker spoke of his 2012 recall election win and how his positive message translated to voters. Walker reminded the guests that when improvements are made locally and at the state level, the effect trickles up to Washington, D.C., and they eventually follow suit. Walker, a Green Bay Packers fan, also thanked the State for Alabama Crimson Tide Running Back Eddie Lacy.

“You guys keep sending us players like Eddie Lacy and I’ll say ‘Roll Tide’ every day!” – Gov. Scott Walker

An additional highlight of the Friday night dinner was a video re-counting 12 of the early state party pioneers from the Goldwater era. Among those formally recognized was Fort Payne attorney, Bob French. French played a very key role in establishing the Alabama Young Republicans, the Alabama College Republicans, and for formally organizing the State GOP. Mr. French ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in 1964.

Bob French

The formal business of the GOP occurred Saturday morning at the State Executive Committee meeting. The first order of business passed was to establish the opening and closing dates of candidate qualifying for state candidates of the 2014 election cycle.

  • The dates approved are an opening date of February 4, 2014, and a closing date of April 4, 2014.
  • Each of Alabama’s 67 counties will have to pass their own county resolution with respect to county elections.

A number of by-law amendments were presented to the committee of about 430 members for their consideration. They consisted of amendments to:

  • clarify qualifying fees for State committee members;
  • an amendment to restrict public office holders from also holding party executive positions at the same time they are serving in public office;
  • establishing better financial oversight;
  • and minor housekeeping issues.

The fireworks began when an amendment was brought forth that had been the focus of a social media war for weeks. The proposed amendment would have allowed the State Steering committee to remove/replace from their party position any individual that fails to comply with the National Party platform proved to be the key controversial issue of the day. The proposed amendments were presented to the body in a single motion and due to the controversial amendments inclusion, all were soundly voted down. This created the need for additional motions to afford the committee the chance to go back and pass a couple of non-controversial amendments. However, due to the time consumed and dissent present after the vote, only the financial oversight amendment was passed.

The origination of this controversial amendment comes from the U.S. Supreme Court’s (SCOTUS) recent decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The College Republican Federation of Alabama Chairwoman Stephanie Petelos has given interviews with several news outlets regarding her position on gay marriage. In these multiple articles she seemed to claim that a majority of the College Republican Federation of Alabama supports gay marriage and many of those who do not are afraid of “party backlash”. As a result of this, ALGOP leaders sought to remove her from office.

Many, many college Republicans have publicly spoken out against this false belief that they support gay marriage. In whole, the State Republican Executive Committee clearly wanted to protect the 1st amendment right of “Free Speech” by individuals and did not pass the amendment. However, the Executive Committee immediately following the vote passed a Resolution for Marriage, Sanctity of Life and Children. The wording of the resolution is very clear how the Republican Party as a whole feels about gay and abortion issues. The resolution passed with strong support.

The Alabama Republican Executive Committee is not scheduled to meet again until February 2014. The DeKalb County members of the ALGOP Executive Committee are: Mary Ann Cole, Jack Stiefel, D L Stiefel, Don Stout, Celeste Ragan, Ben West and John Westmoreland (DeKalb County GOP Chairman).

By: John Westmoreland, DeKalb County GOP Chairman


Southern Torch

Southern Torch


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