Section 115.627 RSMo: “…Such constitution or bylaws may have any provisions not in conflict with the laws of this state.”
2) State Law Supersedes Political Party By-Laws: Central Committee May Not Overturn An Election. State law prescribes the election of political party committees and appointment to fill vacancies caused by death, resignation, or lack of residency. State law recognizes no other cause of vacancy for political party committeepeople, including a county committee overturning the election of a committeeperson, and provides no mechanism to fill any such vacancy.115.617 RSMo: “Vacancy, how filled. — Whenever a member of any county or city committee dies, resigns, or ceases to be a registered voter of or a resident of the county or a city not within a county or the committee district from which he is elected, a vacancy shall exist on the committee.”
There is, perhaps, some confusion in this matter (certainly was in 2009) because State law allows State Committee to remove State Committee members. In doing so, however, the State Committee members who are committeepersons retain their status as committeepersons. State Committee is not empowered to undo the election of a county political party committeeperson.
115.624 RSMo: “State party committees may remove members, when. — The members of the state committee of a party may remove a member of such committee upon a two-thirds majority vote of all state committee members voting thereon. Upon certification to the secretary of state by the state committee that a two-thirds majority of its members have elected to remove a member, such member shall forfeit his or her office and a vacancy shall exist on said state committee.”
Proposed By-Laws Article X (c) to remove committeepeople who run as Independent candidates would violate State law. Central Committee, and State Party Chair, if he approves Central Committee’s By-Laws, would be subject to litigation in this matter.
Proposed By-Laws, Article X (c): “Upon a two-thirds majority vote of all Members present and voting (within a quorum setting), the Members may remove a Member of The Committee at any time during his/her four-year term of office for running for office in any capacity other than as a Democratic candidate; again, this obviously does not include offices such as City School Board or Junior College District Board etc. Upon certification to the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners by The Committee’s Executive Board that a two-thirds majority of its Members have decided to remove a Member, such Member shall forfeit his/her office immediately, and a vacancy on The Committee shall be deemed to exist from that point in time. The vacancy shall then be filled per Article IV ByLaws.”
3) Junior College was replaced with Community College by statute in 2008. Junior College is now considered a pejorative for Community College. There is a reference to Junior College in Proposed Article IX and Article X (c) and should be amended to Community College.
4) State Law Supersedes Political Party By-Laws: Central Committee May Not Restrict Committee Voting Rights of Committeepeople. State law prescribes the right of political party committees to nominate in the case of death or withdrawal of candidacy and special elections. It is the right of every committeeperson to cast a vote in such matters.
Proposed By-Laws Article X (a) and Article X (b) would violate State law by prohibiting censured committeepeople from voting on nominations. Central Committee, and State Party Chair, if he approves Central Committee’s By-Laws, would be subject to litigation in this matter.
Proposed By-Laws Article X (b): “A Member may also be subject to censure for conduct unbecoming of a Member of The Committee. This includes but is not limited to bullying, personal attacks and/or physical intimidation of another member. The process for censure will be the same as in paragraph (a).”
Missouri Democratic Party By-Laws, Section 7.12 Rules of Order: “… The State Committee is authorized to examine all Democratic county rules and all amendments thereto and no such rules or amendments shall be effective until approved by the state chair; provided, however, that if the Chair fails to take action approving or disapproving the proposed rules or amendments within sixty (60) days after the date on which they are received for consideration, the rules or amendments shall automatically become effective.”
The proposed punitive action for nonattendance, censure, removal, new powers of Executive Board, etc. are not activated by Central Committee vote alone on August 21st. If State Chair does not acknowledge receipt by the 60 day window, the effective date for the proposed By-Laws Article X (d) on required attendance moves to the next meeting after October 20th meeting.
6) The right to vote is enshrined in Article VIII, Section 2, Missouri Constitution. The right to vote also means the right to have that vote counted and the most votes, or majority of votes as set by law, prevails as winner of an election. While there are provisions in State law for the removal of elected officials for violating laws and in doing so overturning voters choice, no such provision exists for undoing the election of a political party committeeperson, let alone having that election overturned by vote of a county political party. Disenfranchising voters is not and should not be a Democratic Party value.