Deceptive “Conservative” Group is Lying to the Media and Harming the State

Op Ed by Brent Regan

Since the moment of Dorothy Moon’s landslide victory at the 2022 Idaho State Convention, former chairman Tom Luna plus his unhinged sidekick Trent Clark and fellow travelers have been waging a disinformation campaign to discredit and depose Madam Chairman Dorothy Moon. They formed the ironically titled “Gem State Conservatives” PAC and are using funds from undisclosed donors in a statewide effort to displace grassroots conservative Precinct Committeemen. Their tactics are worthy of the Biden Administration and are applauded by Democrats.

Normally I do not use the word liar because to tell a lie means you must know the truth and, with malice or design, deliberately issue a falsehood. Therefore to call someone a liar means you must know they know the truth, but chose to tell a lie.

Trent Clark is a liar.

Not just a little, “Do these pants make my butt look big?” lie. No, we are talking full on mendacity served on a platter of prevarication with a generous topping of bovine excrement;  not just once, but a long train of abuses which evinces a design to deceive the voters and harm the party.

Clark knows the truth because as a past chairman he was VERY familiar with the rules AND recently he attended the State Party meetings AND voted on amendments to those rules. No longer holding any significant authority in the party, Trent Clark apparently wants to see the party fail and is willing to lie to accomplish that end.

The latest in the parade of falsehoods happened Wednesday when Clark darkened the door of the IDGOP offices and demanded to see the delegate list for the Republican National Convention (RNC). Madam Chairman informed him the Nominating Committee had not made its report, so the list was not finalized and therefore not available. He stormed out of the office and went directly to the press to further his “Moon is incompetent” false narrative.

The Idaho Capitol Sun reporter sent an email to the IDGOP asking why Idaho’s delegates to the RNC are being selected (illegally) by Chairwoman Moon and why didn’t the party just move the Primary and convention to accommodate the RNC. Clark knows the former isn’t happening and the latter isn’t possible.

Madam Chairman Moon asked the Rules Chairman, me, to disabuse the reporter of his Clark-induced misconceptions. My reply follows.

Idaho has 32 delegates to the RNC. Three of those delegates are the IDGOP Chairman, the National Committeewoman and National Committeeman, leaving 29. Of those 29, 80% (23) are selected by the candidate that won 51% of the votes in the Idaho Caucus.  The remaining 6 are nominated by the Delegate Nominating Committee, which is composed of one member from each of the seven Regions. All 32 delegates must be confirmed during a special meeting of the Executive Committee, which is this coming Saturday. The 14 voting members of the Executive Committee are specified in the Idaho Republican Party State Rules Article II, Section2.

To review, of the 32 Idaho delegates to the RNC, three are specified in party rules, 23 are designated by the Trump campaign and 6 are nominated by the Delegate Nominating Committee and all are confirmed by the Executive Committee, where the Chairman only votes to break a tie. The Chairman does not have the authority or mechanism to select ANY of the delegates. A review of party rules will show that whoever claims otherwise is either ignorant or malicious.

Even the Party Chairman’s role as Chairman of the Delegation is subject to change at the will of the delegation.

With regard to scheduling, under Idaho law, during the May 21st primary, all Precinct Committeemen stand for election. The PC’s term in office spans from the 8th day after the primary to the 8th day after the following primary. Between 8 days and 10 days after the primary, the County Central Committees organize and select their delegates to the IDGOP Convention, which begins this year on June 13th, two weeks after the organizing meetings. This is barely enough time for delegates to make travel and hotel accommodations.

The date of the primary is set by the legislature, not the Republican Party, so our Convention is as early as it practically can be.

We discussed the 45-day (May 31st) deadline for submitting delegates with the RNC, but they were unable to accommodate a delay due to the need to conduct background checks and other security measures. If we miss the deadline, Idaho loses all but 12 of its delegates (RNC Rule 17(a)). Clearly, moving the Primary and/or moving the Convention to an earlier date is not practical.

The only viable solution was the one proposed by the RNC, which was to have the Delegate Nominating Committee convene in a timely fashion and then have the Executive Committee review and approve the delegate list. At the Summer Meeting, and because the short timeline created and emergency, the State Central Committee granted the authority to the Rules Committee to amend the rules as needed to comply with the requirements of the RNC. The amended rules were then submitted to the RNC where they were reviewed and approved.

Finally, even had the legislature not deleted the March Presidential Primary, the IDGOP would still have needed to amend the rules to allow the timely delegate selection and approval process we now have in place. It is the only way to satisfy RNC rules while changing the IDGOP rules as little as practical.

Informed, fair-minded, and honest people understand this to be true, because … it’s just common sense.

 

Brent Regan is the Rules Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party. 

 

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