Money Trumps Principle

Let me start by saying that there was a big victory for movement conservatives at the Dec. 1 2009, NJGOP meeting that was held at the Hyatt Regency in Princeton, NJ.

Led by recentlyelected state committeeman, Rob Eichmann from Gloucester County, conservatives were able to get a resolution adopted by the NJ State Committee, regarding same sex marriage. Thanks to Committeeman Eichmann, the NJGOP has officially taken a stance against a same sex marriage vote in Lame Duck and is officially in favor of placing the issue on the ballot to let the people decide. That motion was adopted unanimously!

However, an interesting second event occurred at the meeting concerning Assemblywoman Allison Littell McHose, R-24.

Her purpose in attending the meeting was to get the members of the state committee to accept a second Eichmann resolution which was to adopt the RNC platform. The Assemblywoman had the following statement prepared to present to the committee:In 2008, every registered Republican voter in the United States had the opportunity to select delegates to represent them at the Republican National Convention. Delegates were elected to represent the Republican electorate in every congressional district in America.

The national convention is an old institution in our party. Every four years we elect representatives to go to the convention and do two things: (1) Draw-up and adopt a statement of principles – called a platform, and (2) nominate candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. It’s important work, and I was honored to have been one of two delegates from New Jersey to serve on the platform committee that drafted the current platform of the Republican Party.

I served with more than 100 other Republican delegates from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the territories. The platform we drafted was ratified and adopted by the entire convention – delegates representing our Republican family nationwide – to serve as our statement of principles, until a new platform is debated and adopted in 2012.

So I am here today to urge you to formally endorse the Republican Party platform adopted at the Republican National Convention in 2008. This document represents the principles that make us part of the larger Republican family nationwide.

Now I understand that some of you won’t agree with every plank in the platform, and I respect your opinions and your right to disagree. Please remember that this document, like every document forged through a democratic process, represents a consensus opinion. In this case, it is the consensus opinion of all the Republican voters and Republican Party organizations in the United States.

Some of you may disagree with some of the social issue planks of the Republican platform. These planks are a legacy of President Ronald Reagan and they remain the positions of the great majority in our party.

Historically, our party has always taken a stand on tough social issues. If we go back and look at the Republican Party platform of 1856 we find strongly worded positions on the social issues of the day – about the rights possessed by every human life, and about the definition of marriage.

In that platform, we find those social issues addressed with these words: “It is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit those twin relics of barbarism – Polygamy, and Slavery.”

So you see, the debates we have today over social issues have always been with us. That’s why we come together every four years, elect delegates to represent us, and through the democratic process fashion a statement of principles for the whole of our party.”When she arrived at the meeting, Chairman Webber did not even give her the courtesy of being acknowledged. And, she was not allowed to speak to her issue until after the resolution to adopt the RNC platform was tabled. This is not acceptable behavior demonstrated to a sitting member of the legislature who was intimately involved in that issue from the start.

It is remarkable that this Harvard educated lawyer refused to allow either discussion or debate on this issue. Was he afraid of something, like an open and honest exchange? He went out of his way to take procedural steps to avoid any discussion or debate by the NJ State Committee on the RNC Platform.Keep in mind, that the Assemblywoman was a member of the NJGOP delegation to the Republican National Convention of 2008.

In addition, Assemblywoman McHose was one of two members of the NJ delegation that were nominated and served on the committee that drafted the national platform.That platform was voted on and adopted unanimously by the RNC delegates that include many of the current members of the NJ State Committee who were part of that unanimous vote.So, why are we at a point where the current State Committee Chairperson, Jay Webber, a former conservative from Morris County is doing everything in his power to prevent even a discussion on the matter and is his authoritarian behavior a harbinger of things to come?

Webber’s position represents a flip flop to earlier statements made by him. To quote State Chairman Jay Webber:

"I support the platform, and I don't see why the committee wouldn't," said Webber, a Morris County assemblyman picked by Christie to run the state party.

The Star-Ledger, (Newark, NJ)

July 12, 2009

New State Republican Chairman Jay Webber said he supports the national platform… An adoption this year would be up to the committee, he said, noting the delay on the vote was practical, because state committee members needed to review the national platform.

Press of Atlantic City,

July 14, 2009

Did Mr. Webber have a Tarsus moment on his way to the Chairmanship? Clearly, Mr. Webber has about 150,000 reasons to change his mind. Mr. Webber clearly takes his marching orders from others, but there remains one nagging question.The NJ State Committee and the Governor Elect accepted over $4,000,000 from the Republican National Committee for the November 2009 election and the Republican Governor’s Association contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars more. If the NJ State Committee was able to accept their money, why can’t the NJ State Committee accept their principles as well? Money Trumps Principle