Updated: It appears the Republicans have this issue sorted out. Please see the update below.
Wake County Republicans didn't submit the right paperwork to have its delegates seated at the state convention, according to an e-mail sent from the state party on Sunday.
The state convention is scheduled for June 1 - 3, and draws hundreds of GOP activists from across the state. Some 400 people make up Wake County's delegation.
Officials with the local party are referring questions to the state GOP. But on background, I'm told the paperwork snafu shouldn't keep anyone out of the convention.
The e-mail from Jason Lemons, credentials chairman for the convention, tells those who wish to attend "you may present yourself at the State Convention to appeal the decision directly to the Credentials Committee."
It's hard to imagine the party turning away such a big swath of delegates. I'll post more from the state party when we get it.
In the mean time, here's the e-mail that was sent to Wake GOP delegates:
April 15, 2012
Dear Wake County Republican,
Thank you for your activism in our party. I am contacting you in regards to your recent Wake County Republican Convention.
The North Carolina Republican Party Credentials Committee has denied the Wake County Republican Party credentials to the State Convention. In other words, the Wake County delegation has not been seated to be delegates at the North Carolina Republican Party Annual convention for 2012.
The leadership of the Wake County Republican Party did not properly submit all required credentials information. While the delegation as a whole will not be seated as presented by the Wake County Republican Party leadership, each person who attended the convention may appeal this decision at the NCGOP Convention, June 1-3, 2012.
If you wish to attend the North Carolina Republican Party Annual Convention in Greensboro and you properly attended the Wake County Republican Party Convention, you may present yourself at the State Convention to appeal the decision directly to the Credentials Committee. I encourage all Republicans who can prove proper attendance to the Wake County Republican Party Annual convention consider participating in our NCGOP annual convention this year in June.
Thanks again for your activism. If you have questions, please contact NCGOP staffer firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Credentials Chairman, 2012
North Carolina Republican Party
Update: It appears the Republicans have this problem sorted out and that Wake County folks will be seated at the convention in the usual fashion. The following went out to GOP folks sometime in the past 24 hours.
Dear Wake County GOP Delegates:
Last night you received an email from Jason Lemons, the Chair of the NCGOP Credentials Committee notifying you of your status as a Delegate to the State Convention. I am pleased to tell you that today there was an Arbitration Hearing at my request which unanimously reversed the decision of the Credentials Committee.
Upon proper registration with the NCGOP, you will be seated as a duly certified delegate from Wake County. We have a close working relationship with Chairman Robin Hayes and his Executive team, and look forward not only to a successful State Convention in Greensboro on June 1 - 3, but to celebrating great Republican victories in November. I am sorry for any confusion generated by earlier communication, but now that this is settled, I recommend your registering for the State Convention at your earliest convenience.
I am including the Memorandum from the NCGOP explaining the resolution.
Thanks for your patience.
Susan Bryant, Wake GOP Chair
To: Wake County Republican Party Chairwoman Susan Bryant
From: Scott Laster
CC: Chairman Robin Hayes, Vice Chairman Wayne King, National Committeewoman Dr. Ada Fisher, National Committeeman Rep. David Lewis, General Counsel John Branch, Deputy General Counsel Paul Foley, Credentials Committee Chairman Jason Lemons
Re: Final Decision Concerning Activities at the Wake County GOP Convention
Dear Chairwoman Bryant,
Earlier today, you submitted a controversy to be heard by the North Carolina Republican Party Arbitration Committee (the “Arbitration Committee”) concerning the delegates elected at the Wake County GOP Convention (the “Delegates-Elect”) held on Thursday, March 22, 2012 and a subsequent ruling by the 2012 State Credentials Committee (the “2012 Credentials Committee”). Specifically, you asked the Arbitration Committee to review the ruling by the 2012 Credentials Committee not to seat the Delegates-Elect at the 2012 NC GOP State Convention (the “Convention”).
In an email to the Delegates-Elect, Jason Lemons, the 2012 Credentials Committee Chairman, explained that the 2012 Credentials Committee’s decision not to seat the Delegates-Elect was based upon the Wake County GOP allegedly not properly submitting all required credentials information to the 2012 Credentials Committee and, in particular, the Wake County GOP’s failure to provide a physical sign-in sheet to the 2012 Credentials Committee. Phillip Strach, who served as Presiding Chairman of the Wake County GOP Convention, personally witnessed and was a participant in the Wake County GOP's process for registering delegates to the convention and checking them in at the convention itself. In a written submission to the Arbitration Committee, Mr. Strach attested to the rigorous process utilized by Wake County GOP to ensure that its delegate list was accurate and that no one was checked in unless they were properly credentialed. Mr. Strach further explained that because the Wake County GOP has so many delegates and potential delegates to its county convention, it has, by necessity, used an electronic process to register and check in delegates.
Pursuant to its authority under Article VIII(C) of the North Carolina Republican Party Plan of Organization (the “Plan”), which empowers the Arbitration Committee to make the final decision on controversies such as this, the Arbitration Committee has unanimously voted that the Delegates-Elect, as a whole, and as presented to the 2012 Credentials Committee shall be seated at the Convention upon their complete registration as delegates following the guidelines established by the North Carolina Republican Party. This decision is based on the following factors: (1) the fact that the Plan does not require a delegate to the county convention to sign in as a requirement for attending the Convention; (2) the Plan does not contain any language requiring the county parties to obtain signatures as a condition for seating their delegation; and (3) the representations of Mr. Strach regarding the rigorous process used by the Wake County GOP to ensure the integrity of its credentialed delegates.
This matter is considered closed. We welcome the Wake County Delegates-Elect to register for state convention in joining with other delegates from across our state. We commend the Wake County Republican Party and the Credentials Committee for their hard work and passion towards electing Republican candidates both local and state wide.