This Saturday the State Central Committee met and elected AJ Spiker as chairman to replace Matt Strawn. There was a great deal of speculation as to whether the committee would even hold an election on Saturday. As I posted earlier there were three candidates: Dave Funk, Bill Schickel and AJ Spiker.
There are plenty of posts out there speculating on the how AJ managed to get a majority, whether the neocons or the establishment are pleased or scared, whether the neocons are the establishment … I am going to stay away from the conspiracy theories.
What I want to do is focus on our new chairman. First let me say that it is no secret that I supported Bill Schickel for chairman. I was the one who nominated Bill during the meeting. There are some out there clamoring to know how various SCC members voted. If you want to know how your SCC member voted — ask them.
As you know by know, Spiker was elected on the second ballot. On the first ballot the votes were Spiker 8, Schickel 8 and Funk 1. On the second ballot the vote was Spiker 9, Schickel 8 and Funk 0. For those demanding more openness, I would remind you that before I was elected to the SCC votes for chairman were held in secret and not even the SCC knew the vote counts only who had won. The SCC then voted to declare the results unanimous. As an outsider it was impossible to even know who ran for the office. We’ve come a long way.
It is no secret that I believe that SCC members should remain neutral in contested caucuses and primaries. However there is no such requirement in the RPI Constitution or Bylaws. Further it was no secret to the 4th district delegates who elected AJ to the SCC knew that he was involved in the Campaign for Liberty and would be a Ron Paul supporter. Since his election, AJ has resigned from his paid position with the Paul campaign and has taken time to assure SCC members that he will support our eventual nominee and not meddle in the delegate selection process. (I joked to AJ that he would be the only SCC member who was not trying to rig the delegate selection.)
The reason that I encouraged the SCC to hold the vote this Saturday instead of waiting was to provide continuity. The Caucuses are over but the big event is really the November elections. Along the way we have county, district and state conventions to run and a Victory Program to implement. I felt that it was important to provide some continuity in this process. Leaving the chairmanship open until the new SCC would put the staff in a form of limbo and it would not be a surprise if many of them jumped ship in the meantime. While having a new chairman now does not guarantee staff continuity it means that any changes that occur will be likely to occur sooner rather than later and open positions could be filled in a a timely fashion.
The SCC also agrreed to give notice and hold a teleconference to amend the RPI bylaws. The purpose of the bylaw change is to prevent the (old) 4th district from having to replace AJ on the SCC for a term lasting only a few days. If a new member were to be elected they would likely not even attend a meeting since there are no meeting scheduled for the interim.
If there is a conspiracy here no one bothered to include me!
In the end I agree with Craig Robinson, the naysayers out there should give AJ a chance. AJ is a sharp guy, he has served as a county GOP chair and has statewide campaign experience with the Ron Paul campaign. AJ and I have not always seen eye to eye on issues but I can always count on him to keep his word. I consider AJ to be a friend and know him to be a man of integrity. I think AJ has an opportunity to be an excellent RPI Chairman and he deserves our support.