ALGOP holds summer meeting — ‘We are the gatekeepers of freedom’
AUBURN — The Alabama Republican Party on Saturday held its annual summer meeting in Lee County for the first time, with a host of resolutions and a proposed bylaw change on the agenda.
Members of the party’s state executive committee assembled at The Hotel at Auburn University and heard a call-to-action from ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan.
Lathan rallied conservatives in the state to work to defeat Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in 2020, with the Republican leader explaining that Jones does not represent the majority of Alabamians.
She referred to Jones as “the patriarch of Planned Parenthood” and “the obstructionist of President Trump’s appointments, tax cuts and border wall.”
Lathan remarked that Jones was more in line with Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and “The Squad” than with his own home state.
She also called strongly for the re-election of President Donald Trump and told the many volunteers in attendance that their hard work is key to the country’s future.
“We are the gatekeepers of freedom,” Lathan said.
Perhaps the biggest item of contention on the agenda was a proposed bylaw change that would have allowed the state executive committee to pick Alabama’s delegates to the Republican National Convention instead of the state’s presidential primary voters.
Alternates are currently selected by the state executive committee, however delegates appear on each primary voter’s ballot.
After some back-and-forth debate, 55% voted in favor of the proposal, with 45% against. However, the bylaw change failed because it needed a 67% threshold to pass.
The next item of business was also controversial. Reminiscent of the ALGOP in its winter meeting passing a resolution against raising the state gas tax, members of the state executive committee on Saturday once again bucked the Republicans that have been elected by the people of Alabama to represent them in Montgomery.
A resolution opposing statewide amendment one, the historic educational governance referendum on SB 397, passed by a 64-36% margin.
Former State Senator Phil Williams (R-Rainbow City) and current State Senator Sam Givhan (R-Huntsville) spoke out against the resolution before the vote. While Williams also touched on other policy reasons why people should support the constitutional amendment, both he and Givan — also a former vice chair of the ALGOP — emphasized that this referendum will eliminate Common Core in Alabama, something grassroots members of the state party have long been pushing for.
However, the very title of the ALGOP resolution claimed that the constitutional amendment includes a “Common Core Bait and Switch.”
The resolution further alleged that the amendment will maintain “the very same objectionable [Common Core] standards by a different name.”
Givhan, in his remarks during debate, took issue with the contentions.
“There was one substantive issue between my primary opponent and me [in the 2018 election cycle],” Givhan said. “She was for Common Core, and I was against it. So, let’s just get that out right now — I’m against Common Core. We want to repeal it.”
After the vote did not go their way, Williams spoke with Yellowhammer News, expressing his dismay.
“Disappointing to see the resolution pass,” he said. “Because I do believe, as both a lawyer and a layman, that the language that says ‘in lieu of Common Core’ literally means we’re replacing Common Core.”
Commenting on the “bait and switch” allegation made by the resolution, Williams added, “I don’t find that argument to be grounded in a basis of truth.”
“I also believe that it is well beyond time for Alabama to do something different when it comes to moving education policy forward,” he emphasized.
Later in the meeting, a resolution commending the Alabama Legislature and Governor Kay Ivey for the enactment of the Human Life Protection Act passed on a voice vote, as did a resolution commending the same for supporting “Judeo-Christian values” during this past session.
Additionally, a resolution passed establishing the ALGOP’s 2020 cycle qualifying period from October 8, 2019 – November 8, 2019.
You can watch the entire meeting below:
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn