Maury County Republican Party
February 27, 2023
The meeting was opened by Debbie Matthews who presented the prayer. Kim Smith led the Pledge to the flag.
Debbie introduced Julie Quan, former Chair of the Marshall County Republican Party. Julie brought hats to offer for donations and Debbie pointed out that although the donation hats benefit Marshall County Republican Party, the Maury County Republican Party receives $5.00 donation for each hat at our meetings.
Debbie then pointed out the “We the People” tees shirts being offered for donation by the MCRP.
Kathey Grodi’ gave the treasurer’s report. The general account contains $4,772.53 and no activity in the PAC account and that balance is $3,435.42. Kathey said the treasury report will be uploaded onto the website.
Debbie recognized Janie McGee with a framed certificate for her dedicated contribution as Volunteer Coordinator for the MCRP. Janie received a standing ovation from the audience. Debbie also recognized the food servers who are so faithful in their service.
Debbie explained the reason for passing of the hat. The hat was sent from table to table for donations. Sign-in sheets were also passed out.
Debbie pointed out that Scott Cepicky was still in a session on Capitol Hill and could not join us tonight. She said Scott wanted to bring us up to date on the recent vote to stop Drag Shows for minors and to stop the sex changes for minors. She said if Scott could get her before we adjourn, he will be given time to speak.
Michael Fulbright was asked to come forward to speak to the membership regarding the Maury County charter school application for a charter school for classical education. He pointed out two school board members present, School Board members Nutt and McGee.
Mr. Fulbright gave a brief history of the application process and how the MC School Board is actively involved in it. The completion of the process should be around the end of April of this year. He encouraged everyone to talk to their school board members and tell them their opinion regarding the opportunity for a choice for our students to acquire a classical education. If Maury County is given this opportunity, the American Classical Education will start with K-5 and add a grade each year to eventually have K-12 school.
Mr. Fulbright said the American Classical Education system is viewed as a partner, another option for children and families. He described this as a unit school, and an wonderful opportunity for our public school system.
After Mr. Fulbright spoke, Debbie supported the proposal for charter school by pointing out that McDowell School property and St. Andrews property would be excellent locations for a charter school. She also reminded everyone that the charter school takes 96% of allotted money will follow a student whiles 4% of those monies will stays at the administrations level of the public school system. The charter school builds the building and pays the teachers. Debbie asked everyone to make it a point to contact their school board members to tell them we want this charter school in Maury County.
Debbie recognized Commissioner Gabe Howard to report on the Maury County Property Taxpayer Protection Act. He said that the previous Commission worked toward an Impact Fee, but the current commission took a different approach. He reminded everyone that the City of Columbia recently imposed a $4500.00 water impact fee. He asked members to type into their cell phones, VoteyesPTPA.com and vote yes to support the PTPA. He said Representative Cepicky is working hard to pass this bill. Wednesday the Commission will take a Maury County School bus to go to Cordell Hull to be there when the subcommittee votes.
Commissioner Howard said that the Duck River’s Scenic Riverway Bill is also going before the House Subcommittee tomorrow. He said the commission is working hard to protect our single source of water. He stressed the importance of the water problem in our county, and he said VOTEYESPTPA.COM is vitally important. He asked for everyone to reach out to county commissioners to get this bill past.
As Debbie was presenting Tiffany Boyd to discuss a film, she recognized Greg Combs and his non-profit Christian Radio Station WXRQ in Mt. Pleasant, TN. Greg had given Tiffany Boyd a radio show to talk about home schooling. That show has 2.9 million listeners.
Tiffany introduced herself as a former tenured school teacher, a 19 year homeschooling parent, founder of Free Your Children, LLC and Free Your Children Radio Show on WXRQ 1460 AM Christian Radio. She said the mission of Free Your Children is to share the truth in love about education and to empower, equip, and encourage parents to assume the Biblical mandate to disciple and teach their own children. She said the government’s job is not to serve as a surrogate parent. She said as Christians, we must stand together to protect God ordained parental rights and encourage parents to assume there Biblical responsibility.
Tiffany announced the upcoming screening of a documentary sponsored by WXRQ Radio and Free Your Children, entitled, “Truth and Lies in American Education”. She said the film is a project of USPIE (United States’ Parents Involved in Education). It will be shown at the April meeting of the MCRP. She said the focus on exposing comprehensive sex ed, CRT, the transgender influence, the wedge government education forms between parents and children, and Federal education scheme to control the nation’s workforce. She said due to the current political climate, the mission of USPIE has shifted to emphasized the important role parents and communities have in the education of their children. She said the souls of our nation’s children are at stake.
Debbie then advised the membership she had tried to contact Scott Cepicky, but he is still in session and may not make this meeting tonight. Senator Hensley is also trying to get to the meeting tonight.
Debbie gave a brief history of the Reorganization time lines. She then re-announced March 27, 2023 as the Reorganization Meeting at the 4-H Center, 850 Lyon Parkway. Doors open at 5:00 pm. She stated that to run for office (or vote), you must have voted Republican in 3 out of 4d most recent primaries. The primaries affected are August, 2022, August, 2020, March 8, 2020, August, 2018. A Chair candidate must have voted 3 out of 3 most recent primaries with the primaries affected are August, 2022, August, 2020, March, 2020. She reminded any Chair candidates to send an email of intent to run to Sandy Henson via e-mail by the deadline of March 20, 2023.
Debbie introduced Chris Morris and Angie McClanahan, along with the State Republican Party Chairman, Scott Golden. Chris opened by explaining that he understands there has been some confusion and a slippery slope for the process of “vouching”. Chris explained that how vouching has caused issues in the past, and Maury County cannot “grandfather” the list of people who were vouched for in January, and those who were “grandfathered”, do not have an automatic pass to vote in the MCRP reorganization. He said he had 5 people on the list that have no voting record. He reminded that if a voter has moved here and does not have a recent voting record for Maury County, then voters must get their voting record from their previous address. He said it is up to the individual voter to get their proof of voting from previous address. He said each voter for the reorganization must have 3 out of 4 Republican votes to be bona fide. The EC has said no vouching. He offered himself, Angie, and Scott to answer questions. He pointed out that 58 counties out of 93 in Tennessee have still got to go through reorganization. Two counties do not have a County Republican party, Moore and Wake County.
Chris said, “May the best person win as Chair.” He pointed out that if a male wins, the Chair must be female, and if a female wins, a male must be a Vice Chair. He said you do not have to be a paid member, but you must be active and bona fide.
Chris recognized Kathey Grodi’ who asked for clarification on whether the SEC or EC said no vouching. Chris said it was told to him that the MCRP will not vouch, and he stressed that the SEC will not vouch. This created a heated discussion regarding whether or not vouching should still continue through this reorganization. Brady Carr, and Adam Martin, also questioned the vouching process. Scott Golden then spoke and reminded that the rules want two things, “We want people to participate, and we want people to vote.” He gave a brief history of the past few elections. Brady continued to question a January meeting to see who could be clarified as bona fide. Debbie then spoke up to say that we had voting no new vouching, but we had wanted to “grandfather” those who were vouched for last election.
At this point, questions continued with examples of whether or not some commissioners should be vouched for, even though they still do not have their bona fide voting records. The State of Washington was pointed out as a state that does not give out voting records. Scott offered to see what he could do to get that member’s voting record from Washington state.
Laura Nutt stood and said she was a registered Republican and she was bona fide and was asked to run for office. Chris read from the election records and said Ms. Nutt registered to vote August 13, 2012, but the first vote she participated in was August, 2022. That gave her a voting record of only 1 out of 4. After a heated exchange, she left the meeting. At this point, Scott asked the members if they wanted lower/less standards for the Republican party. The verbal answer was, “No”. Scott stated that “this is not about whether or not you are a good Republican, it’s whether or not you qualify to participate in a reorganization.” Scott also pointed out that no one is a “registered Republican.” We go by voting records in order to be called
Some members pointed out that the MCRP did not say they were vouching during the last membership meeting. Scott said vouching is “grace” and can be given, if possible. He cited deployed military, voters who were too young to vote, etc.
At this point, Angie stood to say that She, Chris, and Scott are the last word on vouching and they will not vouch, even if the EC vouches.
Comments continued, from the members. Some did not like this public display of differences. As the heated discussion continued, Chris continued to say that “this is what happens when you vouch for people who don’t have a voting record.” He pointed out that 5 voters were approved that should have never been put on the ballot. Angie agreed that voting requirement were not always met.
Gabe said that not vouching was voter suppression. Scott then said, “If I show up at the Rotary Club, would I get to vote in a private organization?” “Would that be suppression?”
Ray Jeter stood and spoke of division in the party than he has seen. Vouching during the election should not have been done, but it happened and those individuals who were vouched for should be able to vote.
A speaker pointed out that The Republican Party has offended a number of people tonight.
Chris said The Republican Party has a set of rules and we have to follow them. He said it’s not Scott’s fault, nor his or Angie’s or the EC’s fault, but we have to follow the rules.
Kathey gave a history of the EC’s decision to not vouch. She reasoned that the EC might vouch for someone, but the SEC will not vouch for those. She sympathized for voters, but the EC’s heart was to try to be inclusive.
Scott gave a brief background of the Tennessee Republican Party Bylaws from 1993. At that date, 2 out of 4 Republican votes in primaries was the standard. In 2017, it was changed to 3 out of 4 votes in primaries. He said this MCRP-EC has said we are going to raise the standards.
Kenny Morrow spoke and said people who are sitting in office will not be vouched for. He said because of our splintering, could we not the one time just grandfather them in? The conversation continued and was debated. He asked for a onetime grace for those officials who were elected. Tom Cowan pointed out that she has been registered since 2012, and we do not need Republicans who don’t vote. Scott then said that this is a decision that this body has made to keep the rules tight. He said hopefully people will have voted and this issue will end, but he thinks there will always be those who will not vote.
At this point, Debbie stood to speak to the group and said we are a big fat, healthy, Republican baby. She said that anyone can come to vote if they are bona fide and active, whether they are a member or not.
Debbie asked everyone to stand and sing, “God Bless America.” After the song, the meeting adjourned.