OKGOP Chair Obstructs His Removal

Saturday, June 29, 167 members of the Oklahoma State Committee met in Oklahoma City to vote on the removal of OK GOP Chair Nathan Dahm.

Dahm was first presented with a call for his resignation on June 17 by 83 members (25% of the State Committee) for refusal to follow the rules.

Nathan Dahm

Rather than resign, Dahm called the meeting “illegitimate” and sent emails to voting members instructing them not to attend the meeting. He then declared that any vote that took place to remove him would be invalid. Next, he called his own meeting, for the exact same time and place, taking over the meeting room that had been reserved and paid for by State Committee members for his removal.

A two-hour delay to start the meeting appeared to be an attempt to stall and keep the vote from taking place. When Vice-Chair Hill and other GOP members entered the credentialing room to ask about the delay, OK GOP Secretary, Gaylene Stupic, assaulted this writer for videoing the exchange as did Wagoner County Chair Matthew Vermillion’s wife, Martha Vermillion. In separate actions they both grabbed me by the wrist and tried to wrestle my phone from me for videoing the discussion between Vice-Chair Wayne Hill and the credentialing team as to the long delay in the start of the meeting.

One of the reasons for the call for Dahm’s resignation comes after the Budget and Financial Committees have been denied access to financials, bank statements, credit card statements, etc. in order to set a budget or provide any oversight. Both Dahm and State GOP Treasurer, John Elliott, have ignored repeated requests for access to these documents. Dahm insists the rules do not require he provide that information to them.

In the first of two meetings on Saturday, the State Committee voted 67-99 that Dahm’s meeting to block the vote for his removal was illegitimate. The first meeting then adjourned and the second meeting for his removal began. At that point, Dahm, along with his supporters, got up and left the room ostensibly to prevent quorum. Although quorum was met, since several members believed Dahm’s instruction that the vote would be invalid, enough stayed home that the vote for his removal was tabled for another time.

The call for Dahm’s removal is one more surprising development in a division within the Republican Party across the U.S. between “Grassroots” and “Establishment” divisions.

           1. Establishment is a dwindling group usually made up of long-time members of the Party who generally believe in top-down control and maintaining their control. They generally oppose attempts to hold elected officials accountable to the Party Platform.

           2. Grassroots/Rank and File. This group, while less experienced in Party Politics, says: 1.) Rules make us a bottom-up organization, 2.) Is adamant that our Rules must be followed, and 3.) Our candidates and elected officials must support the Party Platform. In Oklahoma this is the growing majority.

On May 4, a similar referendum against Establishment leaders in the GOP was made in Missouri as the Grassroots conservatives “rose up against the RINOs at the convention” according to Joe Hoft’s article in the Gateway Pundit.

There are currently at least seven other states locked in similar battles including Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Michigan, Arizona and Illinois. 

The list of reasons and subsequent evidence preceding the demand for Dahm’s removal and other grievances are outlined here.

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