Simon Campbell wrote the below Guest Opinion recently published in The Intel and The Courier: See the Judges ORDER HERE.
“This paper recently reported that former Republican committeeman for Yardley Borough, Dan Mohn, filed suit against the Bucks County GOP. In 2016, the GOP kicked Dan out of his own party. I predict the GOP is going to lose this legal fight and statewide precedent will be set that forces the totalitarian-run Bucks County GOP to clean up its act.
Pat Poprik, Bucks County GOP chair, is ultimately responsible for this Republican-on-Republican war. The Executive Committee of the party — at least 50 percent of whom are hand-picked by Poprik per GOP bylaws — were the people who recommended that Poprik kick Dan out and she accepted the recommendation.
Mohn’s alleged wrongdoing? In 2016, he had campaigned in a Republican primary election for Lower Makefield supervisor against a RINO (Republican in name only) candidate. The candidate didn’t like Mohn’s political speech, a speech that was fully protected by the First Amendment. (1) So he complained to Poprik that Mohn’s speech had violated the ethics rules of the GOP, even though it’s hard to say “ethics” in the same breath as “Bucks County GOP” without laughing; and even though the ethics rules don’t apply to committee people.
Committee people are the foot soldiers of the political parties and they perform important public functions like voting on a replacement if an unexpected vacancy occurs in a public office. Who these people are and how they get to be in their positions is, therefore, of public interest. The words of Dan Mohn’s lawyer in Mohn’s Commonwealth Court brief of March 26, 2016, summarize the legal dispute perfectly; a copy of Mohn’s brief has been placed on my website, www.parighttoknow.com.
From page 11: “Committeepersons are not chosen by party bosses. (Yes, they are. The Republican Party selects the people who will be on the ballot.) They are elected in a taxpayer-funded public election by local voters, and they serve as those local voters’ chosen representative voice inside a political party. (That’s a rather naive way to explain things. (The purpose of the committee people is to carry out what the party bosses want done.) At times, voters may choose to elect a committeeperson precisely as an agent of reform within the party. At the heart of this dispute lies the unfortunate reality that the Bucks County GOP chair wishes to undo the result of a free and fair public election, inside the confines of a private back room.”
Perfectly said. My party, the Bucks County Republican Party, has become a disgrace. Its democracy-hating agenda isn’t just a slap in the face to all Republican voters. It is a slap in the face to our Constitution. (The Constitution has nothing at all to do with political parties.)
That’s why I’ve decided to run for Republican committeeman myself this year. This way, I can get inside the party and cast a vote to throw Pat Poprik out of her role as chair. My Republican constituents of Lower Makefield North 3 have said they want a new chairperson and a new direction and my job will be to represent them.
I will also be campaigning for fellow reformers running for committeeman and committeewoman against the Poprik regime. Maybe I’ll also seek the position of “executive” inside the party so I go to the executive committee meetings with Poprik to see what a group of clapping seals looks like. Gee, I wonder if they’ll kick me out of the party for saying that?
Bottom line: Our Founding Fathers never envisioned free and fair public elections being undone inside the back rooms of a political party. When the cronies who run the Bucks County GOP lose this fight in court, it will be a wake-up call. They will finally have to start respecting the wishes of “We The People.”
Simon Campbell is a resident of Newtown and a candidate for Bucks County Republican Committeeman, Lower Makefield Township North 3.
(1) That’s incorrect. The First Amendment protects speech from government interference. The Republican Party is not government.
For example: Speech in your house is not protected by the First Amendment. You are free to regulate what is said on your property.