Florida Republican Women's Network
Dear Members of the RPOF Executive Board:
Anne Voss was recently contacted regarding the upcoming conference call with Chairman Greer to discuss the memo that the NRWN/FRWN sent regarding (a) the Florida statute concerning the use of the word Republican and (b) our decision to maintain our autonomy and charter our own clubs.
We were asked by a couple of the members of the RPOF Executive Board to provide some background information to aid you in your understanding and decision.
To that end we offer the following:
A. What started out as a simple membership issue for the FFRW, Inc. opened the door for the NFRW Executive Committee to come into Florida and clandestinely put in place a shadow organization, currently called the FNFRW, revoke the charter and attempt to dissolve the FFRW, Inc. This action effectively took the third largest federation, with over 70 clubs and 5,000 members, and split it into two separate state-wide entities with 32-plus clubs each.
B. The member clubs were given the opportunity to vote to a) stay with the FFRW Inc. and end its affiliation with the NFRW, or b) maintain their affiliation with the NFRW and switch their membership over to the FNFRW. Since half of the member clubs refused to align themselves with the NFRW, we had a fiduciary responsibility to our board members to keep the treasury safe for the intended use of the membership - to elect Republicans. This situation will eventually be resolved in a court of law.
C. For the previous year, while the case has been in the hands of the attorneys, we have encouraged our members to avoid any negative statements regarding the FNFRW. We have been concentrating on the elections and working to elect Republicans. If only the same could be said for the FNFRW members. The Executive Committee of the FFRW, Inc- now doing business as the Florida Republican Women's Network (to avoid confusion, but still legally the FFRW, Inc), has been subjected to the most vile and unfounded accusations that border on libel. We have steadfastly refused to engage in this kind of negative activity. We have remained true to Reagan's 11th Commandment.
D. The situation as it relates to the Florida Statute regarding the use of the name Republican:
103.81 Use of party name; political advertising.
103.82 2) No person or group of persons shall use the name, abbreviation, or symbol of any political party, the name, abbreviation, or symbol of which is filed with the Department of State, in connection with any club, group, association, or organization of any kind unless approval and permission have been given in writing by the state executive committee of such party. This subsection shall not apply to county executive committees of such parties and organizations which are chartered by the national executive committee of the party the name, abbreviation, or symbol of which is to be used, or to organizations using the name of any political party which organizations have been in existence and organized on a statewide basis for a period of 10 years.
The Florida Republican Women's Network, formerly known as the FFRW, Inc., has been in existence and organized on a statewide-basis for over 50 years. While our name has been changed, our structure, goals and objectives, and leadership team remain the same. We feel that regardless a change in affiliation - from the NFRW to the NRWN- or in the name of the organization, our contributions towards Republican victories still exist. Many of our members worked long and hard to change the Florida political landscape from Democrat to Republican.
Our strength is in our autonomy and our ability to frame our issues and discussions to attract women voters. We want our clubs to be afforded the respect that they have earned and the trust of the RPOF Chairman to continue, as we always have, as separate but equal partners in the fight to elect Republicans. We are Republican women and we reserve the right to join with other Republican women to organize and impact good government.
To this correspondence, Anne Voss has attached a timeline of the events leading up to the removal of the FFRW, Inc. charter by the NFRW board.
Judith Albertelli, President
National Republican Women's Network
Anne Voss, President
Florida Republican Women's Network
FFRW TIMELINE - LETTERS/EMAILS
RE: MEMBERSHIP DENIAL
Submitted by Anne Voss
Florida Republican Women's Network
January 14 - Executive Committee voted not to renew membership for Bonnie Re and Katie Bolon for one year. The reason for this was these two women worked against not only the goals of the FFRW but also against the video endorsements made by Senator Mel Martinez, Governor Bush, Lt. Governor Jennings, Attorney General Crist, CFO Gallagher, and Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Bronson .
January 19 - I wrote a letter to the two individuals informing them that their membership would not be accepted for 2006.
February 12 - Beverly Davis, NFRW President, sent a letter stating that the FFRW officers and district representatives were firm on not accepting the dues of Bonnie and Katie. This correspondence was sent to a select group of people in Florida.
March 15 - The attorney of one of the women wrote to the FFRW attorney the following: "My client will accept your offer to have the grievance committee review her membership termination and to that end she will be contacting Ms. Pat Bailey directly to arrange the date and time for that meeting." (As it can be seen, progress of settling this situation was underway.)
March 16-18 - I was in Washington, D. C. at NFRW Board of Directors meeting. Beverly Davis did not approach me at any time to discuss a solution to this problem. I returned late March 18 and left early on March 19 for Tallahassee for an FFRW Board of Directors Meeting.
March 18 - Beverly Davis sends an email to me stating: "The women who have been denied membership shall be immediately reinstated as active members of the Florida Federation. It is required that you report the implementation of this directive to me within ten (10) days of receipt of the communication."
March 29 - I emailed Beverly Davis a letter stating: "Please be advised that after careful consideration, we respectfully deny your request to immediately reinstate the two women's membership in the Florida Federation of Republican Women."
* Please note that there having no communication from the NFRW during the period between March 29- May 16, the Executive Committee of the FFRW believed that the issues was being resolved internally through the Grievance process.
May 8 - Letter was written to me and I received the letter on May 16 via courier - "I am required to advise you that the Executive Committee has voted to remove the Florida Federation of Republican Women from membership in the National Federation of Republican Women."
May 15 - Ms. Davis sent a chronological documentation of events to the NFRW Executive Committee, NFRW Board of Directors, and FFRW club presidents. At the same time a letter was sent to the Florida Republican Congressional delegation, Senator Mel Martinez, the RPOF Chairman, Carole Jean Jordan, and the Florida State Committeeman and Committeewoman.
At this point it was learned that Ms. Davis had been working with clubs for several months organizing a Florida New Federation of Republican Women and was not nor had she been interested in having the parties involved go to mediation.
May 16 - Ms. Davis sends out another letter to FFRW Club Presidents. "The enclosed information concerning the removal of FFRW from membership in NFRW is regrettable, but required by NFRW bylaws. An application for a new Florida Federation is ready, new bylaws are ready for review and an Intermediate Organization Structure is in place."
May 23 - I emailed Ms. Davis a memorandum stating: "The FFRW attorney has stated that the FFRW cannot be dissolved as it is incorporated in the State of Florida." I also discussed a transition period where the officers would resign and turn over the monies. I did not get a response from Ms. Davis.
June 2 - Having not received any correspondence from Ms. Davis with regards to the May 23rd correspondence, the FFRW Executive Committee (officers) and District Representatives voted to remain as the Florida Federation of Republican Women since it was such a critical election year in Florida and all of us felt that we must be focused on electing qualified, viable Republicans. It was also decided that we would not move forward with any discussion of a transition process.
June 29 - The next "correspondence" from NFRW was the notice of a law suit being filed in Federal Court against the FFRW and the FFRW officers for trademark infringement and unfair competition. It was demanded that there be a trial by jury. To date there has only been one meeting and several phone calls between the attorneys.
Please note that at no time was there ever any mention of mediation between the two parties.
In January the FFRW, Inc. received a charter from the National Republican Women's Network which is incorporated in the State of Delaware and began using the name of Florida Republican Women's Network. The FFRW, Inc. name is legally still in the possession of the Florida Republican Women's Network.
By February all the FFRW, Inc. clubs had made a decision regarding which organization they would prefer to be affiliated with. The Florida Republican Women's Network had 31 clubs chose to become Network affiliated. There were clubs that dissolved, clubs that voted to go with the RPOF and clubs which chose to be affiliated with the Florida New Federation.
The Network is composed of women who have served and are serving in positions of responsibility within the Florida Republican Party. Some have been active for 30 years or more while others have only been active in several election cycles. The Network members are dedicated Republicans who are asking that since they too are charted by a National organization be given the same status as the FNFRW and that the RPOF constitution be amended so the Florida Republican Women's Network is shown as having the same status as an independent organization that the Florida Young Republicans and the Florida New Federation of Republican Women.
The 2008 elections are a critical time in our American history. Everyone needs to work together. Two women's political organizations can certainly exist in Florida and work on the same goals and objectives of the RPOF but they need to have equal status so there is no discussion of the Florida New Federation being the "elite" group and the Network inferior.
Posted by: | May 31, 2007 at 10:21 AM
"A. What started out as a simple membership issue"
Albertelli ran for President of the National Organization (NFRW) and lost. She got POd that 2 people from Florida didn't support her and campaigned for the other person (obviously also a Republican) and then kicked them out of the FFRW.
That's not a membership issue. That's petty vengance. That't tyranny. That's un-American.
Posted by: | May 31, 2007 at 10:32 AM
She also says in "B" that the member clubs were given the opportunity to vote to stay with the Federation or go.
1) The "option" to stay with the Federation was not for them to "give". The Federation left Florida when it pulled its charter under Voss' watch for kicking out 2 people who didn't support Albertelli.
2) The Albertelli/Voss/Clark/Aranz group went to tremendous efforts to make it look like nothing had happened. In fact, they had just lost us our 50+ year old charter, lost us the right to call ourselves "Republican" (by losing us our charter) so they could keep all those clubs intact.
And, why did they do all that?
Albertelli/Voss/Arrantz/Clark/Livingston didn't want to give up the Federation treasury as required when they lost our charter. $80,000.00 is a lot of money...
Albertelli, Voss, Arrantz run political consulting firms in one way or another. They wanted to trade n the fact that they "control" the Florida Federation. Face it, if you are a candidate running for office, it is smart to hire a campaign consultant who "controls" a large, statewide organization.
Posted by: | May 31, 2007 at 10:42 AM
Listen up! When you are summarily dismissed by the parent organization you must immediately turn in your red hat,unit roster, magic scepter and the loot you collected in tribute from all the other dolls. Face it Judy, you're a dead polly! So do everyone a favor and go home and irritate your husband. Jim Greer is capeable of creating enough trouble on his own.
Posted by: Flying Circus | May 31, 2007 at 11:28 AM
Suzanne: in case you hadn't noticed THIS IS AMERICA. Let me repeat that THIS IS AMERICA.
In this great land of ours, a person is FREE to suppport the candidate of their choice. Therefore throwing out 2 Republican women from the Federation just because they did not support Albertelli sounds more like
Saddam Hussein... you get the picture.
And this crazy, self-absorbed woman who clearly does not understand what it means to be an American wants free rein in Florida? She is demanding "independence" from the Republican Party?!
Abe Lincoln would turn over in his grave!
Posted by: | May 31, 2007 at 02:54 PM