With less than six days to go before the December meeting at which the Brevard Republican Party elects its officers, candidates for the positions still don’t know which members are eligible to vote.
The last roster submitted to the supervisor of elections office was dated 9/29/18, but members and candidates have been told it isn’t the final roster, and some have been notified as recently as earlier this week they are no longer members because they’ve had three or more consecutive unexcused absences.
BREC bylaws state:
“When a member is unable to attend a scheduled meeting, the member must write, fax, text, or e-mail an excuse to the Secretary or District Chair prior to the meeting. A member can request an excuse by telephone. A telephone excuse must be documented by either the District Chair or the Secretary stating the name of the member, the date of the telephone request, the meeting for which the excuse is requested and the reason for the excuse. The excuses will be forwarded to the Chairman for disposition.”
Chairman Lacey’s unilateral decision to purge members from the rolls is troubling for the following reasons:
- Chairman Lacey has provided no documentation to purged members they did not attend three consecutive meetings and/or did not request excuses in writing or by phone.
- Under BREC bylaws it is the District Chair or Secretary’s obligation to document phone absence requests. It appears no such documentation occurred so it is impossible to prove that individuals did not request excused absences.
- At the Trump Club of Brevard Meeting Wednesday night, current Secretary Paul Oddo stated that, contrary to the bylaws, District Chairs were managing the disposition of excuses and purging of membership roles, not the Chair. Furthermore, he stated that different district chairs had different policies which means that not all members are treated equally pursuant to the bylaws.
- Per BREC bylaws, Chairman Lacey should have been notifying and removing members upon their third missed meeting all along. This would have given anyone that believed they had been unfairly removed the opportunity to contest the removal at the next meeting. It is simply not proper for the Chair to do a mass purge like this just days from the election.
Amongst members, speculation for a reason for the purge is twofold:
- The members were kept on the roster even though they weren’t attending because Chairman Lacey has promoted the “growth” of the organization as a testament to his leadership skills.
- The “clean up” is being done to eliminate members who might vote against the sitting Chairman in Wednesday’s upcoming elections. At least one member removed was a vocal critic of Chairman Lacey’s.
Lacey has two challengers in the Chairman’s race: Josiah Gattle, a 26-year-old attorney that was part of the paid Republican staff that put up some of the best numbers in the state in the last election cycle, and local grassroots leader Matt Nye, a 47-year-old entrepreneur that organized the Brevard Tea Parties and currently serves as the National Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus.