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Reaction to GOP ruling: ‘He changed the locks, discarded documents, and fired staff’

In more of the reaction to yesterday’s court ruling on leadership of the Idaho Republican Party, the two party officials whom Barry Peterson unsuccessfully sued, Mike Mathews and Cindy Siddoway, have issued a statement on the results. “I am happy that the August 2nd meeting called by the grassroots of the party will go forward.  I look forward to holding elections to end any confusion in party leadership,” Mathews said. He was the party’s first vice-chairman, but according to the judge’s ruling, there are now no state officers, though the locally chosen central committee members remain in place.

Siddoway, the party’s national committeewoman, serves a four-year term rather than a two-year one like the officers, so she’s still in office as a state party official. She, national committeeman Damond Watkins, and whomever is elected chairman at the Aug. 2 meeting will attend an upcoming Republican National Committee meeting as Idaho’s representatives. “I am pleased to see that Idaho will have full representation at the upcoming RNC meeting in Chicago,” Siddoway said. “It is now critically important that all the loyal party members come to Boise to cast their vote for officers.”

Mathews and Siddoway said in their statement: “Since the GOP convention adjourned in June, Peterson has attempted to hold on to the chairmanship.  He changed locks on the office, discarded documents, and fired staff.  Even when the National Republican Committee said that it would not recognize Peterson as Idaho’s chairman, he persisted.” Click below for their full statement. 

Jason Risch, counsel to the Idaho Republican Party, shown above leaving the Twin Falls county courthouse with attorney Timothy Hopkins, who represented Mathews and Siddoway in court yesterday, said, “I appreciate the judge’s thoughtful consideration of this issue. It was very clear that he had done his homework and read the rules and come to an appropriate decision.”


 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
  

Contact Information:

Mike Mathews

Cindy Siddoway

 

COURT ALLOWS GOP ELECTION TO PROCEED ON AUGUST 2

 

July 29, 2014 (Twin Falls, ID) – An attempt by former GOP party chairman Barry Peterson to stop the election of his successor came to an end today in a Twin Falls County court.  Judge Randy Stoker ruled that the August 2 election called by party members will go forward.  Stoker said that officers were not reelected at the convention and that the position of chairman is vacant. 

 

“I am happy that the August 2nd meeting called by the grassroots of the party will go forward.  I look forward to holding elections to end any confusion in party leadership,” stated Mike Mathews. 

 

“I am pleased to see that Idaho will have full representation at the upcoming RNC meeting in Chicago,” said Cindy Siddoway. “It is now critically important that all the loyal party members come to Boise to cast their vote for officers.”

 

Peterson and other plaintiffs petitioned the court to declare that Peterson was the chairman and to stop the central committee meeting from conducting an election on August 2

 

“I have been asked to determine whether Peterson was the chair up to and including June 24,” said Stoker.  “My answer to that question is no.”  First, the judge said that it would be pure speculation to determine the intent of the convention delegates.  Second, Roberts Rules say that business unfinished at the time of adjournment “falls to the ground”.

 

Stoker denied Peterson’s request to stop the election meeting.  Citing practical concerns, the judge found that the central committee could call its own meeting.  At least twenty members of the central committee petitioned for a meeting on August 2 in Boise to conduct an election.  That meeting will go forward under the judge’s ruling.

 

Since the GOP convention adjourned in June, Peterson has attempted to hold on to the chairmanship.  He changed locks on the office, discarded documents, and fired staff.  Even when the National Republican Committee said that it would not recognize Peterson as Idaho’s chairman, he persisted. 

 

Tim Hopkins represented Defendants Mike Mathews and Cindy Siddoway.  Christ Troupis represented Plaintiffs Barry Peterson, John Cross, Leeann Callear, Vicki Purdy, Bryan Smith, Todd Hatfield and Marla Lawson.

 

Doug Pickett, Mike Duff and Steve Yates have declared their candidacy for chairman of the Idaho Republican Party.  Candidates will stand for election at 9 a.m. on August 2 at the Red Lion Hotel in Boise.

 

XXX


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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