Report of NFRW Spring Board Meeting
Memphis, TN March 14-16, 2017
I attended the spring NFRW Board Meeting, held in Memphis. Last August, I asked NFRW President Carrie Almond, if it would be possible to have our State Treasurer, Allison Ball, speak at an NFRW event. Carrie called me in January and asked to have Allison serve on a panel at the spring Board meeting.
There were approximately 200 people at the meeting, and Allison served on a panel with Attorney General, Leslie Rutledge, from Arkansas, and Chassity Martin, Former Collinwood City Commissioner, Tennessee. Allison did a fantastic job, and received a request to speak in Illinois in April at a state convention, however, her schedule will not allow this. I spoke with the President from Illinois, and she wants to try to have Allison in the future. Allison is a tremendous representative for bringing young Republican women into the KFRW and NFRW. I was especially proud that KY was able to be represented at this meeting by Allison.
There is always a state President’s meeting where topics affecting all state Presidents are brought up and discussed. This time, the discussion centered on the involvement of NFRW state Presidents in their state’s GOP party. Several years ago, many states removed the state President and club Presidents as “voting” members of state-wide GOP’s and county GOP’s. This was done after passage of McCain-Feingold Law addressing campaign contributions. It appears that many states misinterpreted the legal status of clubs who are registered with IRS as “527’s”. Sometimes these 527’s are representative of PAC’s, which the KFRW is not. Some PAC’s contribute to Congressional Candidates; the KFRW does not contribute to Congressional Candidates, nor do any of our local clubs.
KFRW did a survey of 42 clubs, and found the following:
- 37 Club Presidents DO NOT have a vote at state GOP meetings
- 22 State Presidents have a vote on state GOP Executive Comm. meetings
- 24 State Presidents have a vote at state GOP meetings
- 39 State Presidents attend state GOP meetings
- 31 Club Presidents DO NOT have a vote at state county meetings
- 39 Club VP’s DO NOT have a vote at state GOP district or regional meetings
These are significant results and NFRW was quite concerned after seeing these results. The NFRW will be developing a letter to be sent to each state’s GOP Chair strongly recommending that the position of State President be allowed a seat and vote at the State GOP level, and that club Presidents be allowed a seat and vote at the county GOP executive committee level. There is a concern that the Republican women are not given a voice by the exclusion of these positions as voting positions for the party. Many state Presidents and club Presidents hold a seat on respective GOP committees, HOWEVER, not as a representative of the Federation of Republican Women in their state.
Helena Pitcock and I met with GOP Chair, Mac Brown, and Executive Director, Mike Biagi, in February regarding the exclusion of KFRW members from these committees. Both Chairman Brown and Mike Biagi seemed to understand the importance of Republican Women being represented and promised to review this with appropriate committees. I would ask that if this subject is raised at your local level to please
ask for a vote to reinstate these positions into the Kentucky GOP governance roles. Republican women provide a significant service to the party, and we have many members at high levels of participation in the party, but NOT as representatives of the KFRW. We now have, Secretary Elaine Chao, Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, and Treasurer Allison Ball as members of our Federation, which is noteworthy. Any assistance you can provide will be greatly appreciated. This reinstatement will also add additional voices to these committees.
The NFRW Biennial convention will be in Philadelphia, September 14-17. I am hoping that Allison will be asked to address the convention. More information will be coming on this event. The next convention will be held in Indianapolis in 2019. Much closer
Barb Ellerbrook, President, KFRW