A list of candidates jointly endorsed by the Route 40 and North Harford Republican Clubs, controversial for both its content and construction, has caused a rift among club leaders and members, with some claiming club bylaws have been violated and that the endorsements are invalid or should be retracted.
The list was officially released to the media on August 16, but cards naming the endorsements were distributed at the Harford County Farm Fair several weeks ago, leading to clashes between candidates who learned they weren’t endorsed and those who had a hand in the endorsing.
Those familiar with how the list was created claim the endorsements were made during an unauthorized special meeting of the Route 40 Republican Club’s Executive Board, that bylaws were violated because challengers were endorsed over incumbents seeking reelection, and that the general membership of the club was not, but was required to have been, involved in the process.
“These endorsements are in direct conflict with the Route 40 Republican Club Constitution and By-laws,” said Route 40 Republican Club member Fred Mullis.
Mullis said the endorsements were made at a meeting called by Del. Rick Impallaria, “which is also in direct conflict with the by-laws since he is not an elected officer of the club.”
According to Mullis, during a meeting in July, the general membership of the Route 40 Republican Club voted by majority for Carol MacCubbin, the vice president, to serve as the interim president until the club could elect a president to complete the term vacated by the death of the club president Stephen Wright.
According to the club’s bylaws, Article V; Section 3 states that a special meeting of the Board must be called by the president or upon the request of three board members, but Mullis said it was Impallaria, not MacCubbin, who called and presided over the special Board meeting to make the club’s endorsements.
Mullis claims that during this meeting MacCubbin was not only told she would stay as vice president and that Impallaria would run the meetings, but that it was also decided the Board would suspend the bylaws, which Mullis asserts is “not possible.”
The Board then proceeded to make its endorsements, without notifying the president of the North Harford Republican Club and without sending it to a vote by the general membership of either club, Mullis said.
Furthermore, the endorsements seem to plainly violate the club bylaws specifically prohibiting the endorsement of a challenger in a race against an incumbent Republican.
The Route 40 and North Harford Republican Clubs have endorsed Rob Wagner over incumbent Harford County Executive David Craig and Dave Tritt and Jason Gallion over sitting District 35A Dels. Wayne Norman and Donna Stifler.
The endorsements for Republican Central Committee named eight individuals for the 12 positions. Mullis’ wife, Paula, was not endorsed despite being an active club member.
Here is the relevant portion of the Route 40 Republican Club bylaws regarding endorsements:
Article XIII: Candidate Endorsements
Section 1: CANDIDATE ENDORSEMENTS. The Club (as an organization) may endorse candidates within the following pre-requisites:
1. The organization shall not endorse any candidate contesting in a Republican primary; e.g. a republican candidate who is running against a republican incumbent. The organization may endorse a republican in a republican primary when the seat is an “open seat” (e.g. a seat in which there is no Republican incumbent).
2. Endorsements may be made each election cycle. The Club may make endorsements for Federal, State and local elected, appointed, or administrative positions. Unless specifically stated otherwise in the endorsement, each endorsement is made for the particular election or appointment referred to in the endorsement.
3. Endorsements of the club, to be effective, official and prior to being made public, shall be confirmed by a majority of the Board and two-thirds of the membership present at a regular meeting or a special meeting called for the purpose of approving such endorsements. These rules shall apply to the endorsements of Republican incumbents.
4. Candidate endorsements shall be made public by the President of the Club, or a representative(s) of the club, approved by a majority vote of the Board.
Mullis believes the violation of these bylaws is obvious and severe enough that the endorsements should be retracted, if not outright invalidated. He said his first step in that process is to bring the matter before general membership of both clubs. Beyond that, he’s looking into whether it would be appropriate to file a complaint with the Board of Elections.
The cards and press release state that the endorsements are jointly made by the Route 40 and North Harford Republican Clubs. All releases have come from the Route 40 Republican Club and it is not clear when or how the North Harford Republican Club joined in making the endorsements.
Gregory Johnson, president of the North Harford Republican Club, would not address the accusations of bylaw violations directly and, instead, issued this statement:
“The North Harford Republican Club is about educating citizens and promoting conservatism in the northern end of the county. Anyone who attends our meetings will see that the group is positive and fair, and is comprised of regular folks whose only interest is to become well-informed to effect positive change in their community. We are backing leaders who will get this county, state, and country back on the right track–one in line with the intentions of the Founders of our Republic.”
Impallaria and MacCubbin did not respond to requests to discuss or comment on this situation.
Here is the full set of Route 40 Republican Club bylaws:
Young Con says
This is dirty politics, pure and simple. Rick Impallaria is up to his usual games. The membership of the club was used for a certain political agenda (reality: it is a personal agenda). This is unethical behavior and reflects poorly on those who had a hand in the endorsements. It should also be noted that many good candidates were endorsed and it is a shame that endorsements were done in such a corrupt manner.
Gregory Johnson says
You omitted a very important part of my statement. After the quote you cite, I also stated the following:
“At our August 19th meeting, we heard from Rob Wagner, a candidate for County Executive, Rick Grambo and Greg Seltzer, both candidates for School Board, a representative for Bob Frisch, candidate for School Board, and a representative for Senate candidate Jim Rutledge. We also had approximately 30 members present, who were engaged and asked probing questions of the candidates. We look forward to continuing our club’s mission and WELCOME ALL TO ATTEND.” (emphasis added)
Young Con says
Do you approve of the endorsements?
Gregory Johnson says
The only endorsement made that could be considered solely under the jurisdiction of the North Harford Club is the endorsement of David Tritt and Jason Gallion. As the Chairman of the Conservative Leadership Team, yes, I do approve of this endorsement.
Gregory Johnson says
I should correct myself: I am the Chairman of the NORTH HARFORD Leadership Team.
harco. res. says
So you approve of them endorsing your candidates? You are also running for Republican Central Committe with Dave Tritt as well correct?
Gregory Johnson says
For the record, I can speak only for the North Harford Club; not the Route 40 Club. NOT ONE of the supposedly offended parties in this matter bothered to attend last night’s regular meeting of the North Harford Republican Club. If this matter was as pressing as it is being portrayed, one would think that these parties would have found time to show up and to question these endorsements personally, rather than filtering them anonymously through a blog. There is an open invitation to everyone in this county to attend, ask questions, and raise concerns, and I again extend this invitation to those interested.
What an Imp!
Another Political Critic says
I would have never thought he would try something like this *shakes head*
George Jones says
You say the only endorsements under your club’s jurisdiction are for District 35A. Does that mean the club didn’t make any other endorsements?
Did the North Harford Republican Club make ANY endorsements? Was a meeting held? Who voted?
Your comments make it sound like Rt. 40 (or according to Mr. Mullis, Delegate Impallaria) decided who to endorse and then used the North Harford Republican Club name but nothing is being done about it. Is your club independent or a junior club?
Something here just doesn’t make sense. Why not just answer the Dagger’s questions?
Republican Youth says
This is disgusting. In my opinion, the leadership of the Route 40 Club should be removed. They clearly violated their own rules so that they could endorse every member of the club’s executive board who was running for office, or immediately affiliated with someone running for office.
The club’s membership should really consider firing these guys, as they’ve proven an embarrassment for Harford County Republicans and nothing short of corrupt.
Young Con says
Can you say conflict of interest? President of the North Harford Club and Chairman of a slate in North Harford. Between this and the Route 40 Club, I am almost embarssed to be a Republican in Harford County. Can we act like Republicans? Can we be honest and ethical? Call me when you want to rejoin the party.
Gregory Johnson says
It’s hard to “call” you when you’re posting anonymously…
Young Con says
Are you going to address this issue or not? How can you endorse candidates for whom you work? Were you aware of the flier prior to distribution? Answer here in the open.
Gregory Johnson says
I have a job. Something you work for and they pay you to… nevermind. Don’t want to ruin the surprise. I cannot always respond within milliseconds of your anonymous queries. I was not present at the meeting that was called to offer endorsements, so no. I did not see the flier prior to the Farm Fair. But again, I see the endorsements of Dave Tritt and Jason Gallion consistent with the mission of the NHRC: to back candidates who pledge to remain conservatives even when it’s not popular. This is our message and this is our purpose.
(Brian) Young: Is it a conflict of interest that you receive a paycheck from Wayne Norman, the candidate you represent? Is it a conflict of interest that the Funds Disbursement Chair of the Harford Republican (Country) Club, who also works for your boss, disbursed membership funds to herself, her husband (another candidate for office), and your boss? Is it a conflict of interest that Aaron Tomarchio and Scott Gibson spend taxpayer money commenting on this blog while on county time to start political fires? Seems to me you are making hay over this because your preferred candidate(s) didn’t get the nod. The old line “Republicans” in this county are the problem, and it appears that all these clubs are doing is trying to dismantle the establishment in favor of truer conservatives.
harco. res. says
Gypsy…if you could read you would see that clearly the RCHC has had guidelines for the dispursement of their pac. Their guidelines are very very clearly defined and not created on the fly by Del. Impallaria…
Trenchtown Rocker says
It would appear as if you are admitting that the North Harford Republican Club didn’t endorse the other folks that the Route 40 Republican is claiming you did, other than Tritt and Gallion. It would seem to be a slippery slope when you let someone start speaking for your group. Is the North Harford Republican Club also backing Pat McDonough who voted to help O’Malley expand government run healthcare at the cost of $600 million a year? Not very conservative if you ask me, especially anise illegal immigrants are receiving those benefits.
Brian Young says
Good try, Gypsy. I’m not a Neo-Con, and wouldn’t use the name “Young Con.”
We need a bigger tent, not a smaller one, and the only people who leave the party are those who choose to do so. You are saying Young Con is wrong to talk about who is a real R, then say the guys you support are the real Rs. You make (wrong) assumptions and accuse people of starting fires, then throw on a few logs. All it takes to be Republican is to check a box on the registration form; if we share values, we should work for those values. We have primaries, and then generals, for a reason.
They have strict guide lines for endorsements. Its not Normans fought that he was the only person to qualify, is it?
Seems to me we should change the name of the North Harford Club to the Tritt/Gallion Club. Conservative? Is that what we call endorsing and funding Jesse Bane?
Bottom line: A major figure (love him or hate him) in Harford County politics died suddenly, throwing a group he had too much control over into a tailspin and revealing that the political corruption we so despise in DC politicians exists even at this [very] local level. This upheaval happened at the worst possible time: during a pivotal election season, which means innocent folks are getting caught up in the mess — namely the good people who received the contested endorsements and the North Harford Republican Club leadership. As I’ve heard it, the NHRC was organized to get away from, as Gov. Palin puts it, “politics as usual.” This incident is a prime example of why Harford County needs this new GOP group.
From what I read and hear, the only fires that get started are the ones Impy and his thugs set. I just love reading how the frightwingers and hatriots on here want to purify the Republican party. Sounds similar to a movement back in the 30’s.
These bylaws, while there are a boatload of signatures, don’t appear to be a final copy. There is no date above the signatures.
But they look like bylaws. What a mess.
Startin' Something says
Don’t worry Republicans. The “antics” of your clubs may seem “_________” (pick your own word to describe them), but the New Harford Democratic Club (a.k.a. “The Art Helton Dumb-o-crat Club”) is absolutely more ridiculous! The club’s “board” routinely breaks their own rules on a regular basis, and the members are too stupid OR brainwashed (assuming they have one) to realize it!
It reminds me of a scene from “The Pied Piper”!
Many private organizations have a volunteer attorney to advise them on these types of matters. It’s clear that the directors and officers of this club have no clue about their legal duties.
Each director and officer has a fiduciary duty to follow the bylaws, to act in the best interest of the club, and to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
It is unclear whether the president and club officers committed gross malfeasance in this case, or were simply unwitting pawns in some silly political trick. Either way, the conduct of Johnson, MacCubbin, et al, doesn’t look very good.
Mrs. MacCubbin, tried to fight this, but was overpowered…The club voted her acting president, then the bylaws were thrown out the window and she was put back as vice president.
My question is if Del. Impallaria doesn’t have enough integrity to uphold these bylaws, how can we trust him in Annapolis?
Well from what I understand Carol voted in favor of all executive decisions and was never appointed president.
I also understand that Fred Mullis is upset that his wife did not receive an endorsement for her Republican Central Committee bid.
Maybe all this hullabaloo is Fred’s sour grapes and anyone who has met Fred knows what and who he is.
doesn’t matter what if any motivation Mr. Mullis has, the by laws were violated and the board should be removed…If they are not, I will not renew my membership with the club..
It’s unlikely the board will be removed and if you are in conflict with the club you should discontinue you membership.
Joshua Wolf says
I know Mr. Mullis and he is an outstanding community leader and good friend. It is a shame that you attack the one man who has the courage to address the corruption, instead of addressing the real issue at hand: the violation of the by-laws.
Mr. Mullis is not causing this “hullabaloo” because of sour grapes. Mr. Mullis is a charter member of the club. He is concerned with its integrity and future. Fred and Paula Mullis have long supported the Route 40 Club, with both time and money. Fred Mullis is an honorable man and attacks on his personal character are unacceptable.
On a commonsense note, why wouldn’t the club endorse Mrs. Mullis? They had 4 more slots. Mrs. Mullis is more than qualified to serve on the central committee.
I applaud Mr. Mullis for his efforts. I am proud to call him a friend.
Is there more than one Fred Mullis, because the one I know is a self-centered, boorish fool who alienates friends and enemies alike.
Joshua Wolf says
You, sir, are a bad judge of character. My family has done business with the Mullis Family for over a decade, and we have found him to a man of character. Let’s stick to the issue at hand and leave your personal vendetta against a good man out of it.
By the way, when I write something, I sign my name. Would you be saying these things if we all knew who you are? Food for thought.
Actually, I am a good judge and Fred Mullis is just a bad character.
Impallaria & Integrity = an OXYMORON!
Wish groups can work together for the good of their community instead of causing the bs that does nothing but causes hard feelings for all of us. Display the facts only and let the people decide. I truly don’t care who endorses who. Means nothing at all. McDonough endorsed the liberal *illegal alien lover* Cardarelli.. Am I upset with Pat? NOT AT ALL, even though Cardarelli who is running against the *never read a dang thing before signing it* Ruppersberger who also signed every single obama bill put in front of him. Do we want leaders like that? I surely don’t!! He drank out of the same jug for what? BAILOUTS?
Marge Redford says
YOU HAVE A CHOICE.. VOTE http://troystouffer.com/ running against the liberal Ruppersberger.. Ditch Dutch this year folks.
Joshua Wolf says
I can not believe you can look yourself in the mirror after attacking a good man from behind a fake name. Who are you? Who do you work for? Your comments are a pathetic attempt to divert attention from the corruption of the board and officers of the route 40 club.
Jon Schaffer says
Might you be the Joshua Wolf who is Dave Semans campaign manager??? Interesting point to leave out when posting here. People may think you have an axe to grind since Mr. Seman was not endorsed.
Hoyt (Roll Tide) Corkins says
Wagner could win it! George Liberty VanBibber lives!
Impallaria ignores the bylaws and McDonough ignores the constitution. Both these clowns need to go.
Harford Patriot says
Who cares about all of this crap! Mr. Wright passed away and the clubs were floundering. These endorsements aren’t going to make or break any candidate. Spend your time campaigning and not complaining about something that is over and done with.
However, as a member of this club it greatly affects me!!!
You always have the option of leaving the group, attending a board meeting or running for election within the group.
My opinion is that this small group affects you very little.
Lon Staghorn says
HOYT CORKINS, HOT DAMN, GOOD TO HEAR YOU SOUND OFF, AND I DO BELIEVE ROB WAGNER CAN PULL IT OFF. HELL OF A GOOD GUY. GOD BLESS THE MEMORY OF OUR BELOVED GEORGE LIBERTY VAN BIBBER.
ONLY THOSE WHO KNOW, KNOW OF HIM, AND HIS BADGE OF HONOR, FEW IN CURRENT OFFICE HOLD A CANDLE TO GLVB.
Concerned Voter says
Wagner will not come close to winning. Thank God.