Saturday, August 24, 2013

Miller Explains PC Changes in Wake of Mahern Charges

Joel Miller
On Thursday, Louis Mahern, a former candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis and the father of Brian Mahern, announced on his Facebook page, "It is confirmed. Every appointed Democratic Precinct Committee person in Marion County with the last name of Mahern has been removed from the Committee list by Democratic County Democratic Chairman, Joel Miller."

The news spread quickly as it does sometimes on social media.

On Saturday, I spoke with Miller (I made the initial contact).  He said that he removed 11 precinct committeepeople connected with the Maherns.  Of those, Miller said that seven had been appointed after the 2012 General Election.  He said that five of them did not attend the reorganization meeting of the party in March.  He said that four did not fill their own precinct boards in 2012.

"Honestly, this had to happen," said Miller. "Now, I'm ready to move on to the budget debate and cops not cricket."

Miller said that other Maherns continue to serve in positions that he has appointment power over.  Mary Jane Mahern, for example, is still 7th District Vice Chair.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Since when is not attending a county convention grounds for removal of appointed PCs? Did he remove other appointed PCs who didn't show up for the convention? I think not. Did he remove other PCs who didn't fill their election boards? I think not. Clearly this is not a strong answer on Joel Miller's part. He ought to own up to it and say, "Yes, I removed him and I have the power to do so." Of course I think a legal argument can be made that county chairmen don't have the power to remove appointed PCs, which argument I address on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Every PC who does not fill a board should be removed. How can a person have the privileges of being a PC [slating convention votes] when they don't fill their boards or show up on election day. This is happened to other non Mahern PCs so it is appropriate that it happens here. Bottom line...if you are going to lead a coup then you better make sure you have the votes!

Greg Purvis said...

Regarding Mr. Ogden's belief that a county chair does not have the power to removed appointed precinct committeepersons, Rule 11(j) of the Indiana Democratic Party provides that such appointees serve at the pleasure of the county chair. So yes, the power does exist.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Greg, I address that party rule (Republicans have a similar rule) on my blog. The point I made is that these are elected positions set by the legislature and appointments to fill vacancies in that office are set by statute.

When you appoint someone to an elected position they stand in the shoes of the elected person acquiring all the power and authority of that person. The general rule is that a person appointed to an elected office cannot be later removed by the appointee.

Unless the legislature gives political parties the authority to change that by statute, which the legislature has not done that I can find, I don't think party rules can strip power away from a PC appointed to an elected position. In short, a party rule can't override a statute unless the legislature gives the party that authority.

Anonymous said...

That is a difference between a governmental office and an office is a political group.

Jon Easter said...

I don't know how Joel could have been more clear about what he did. Perhaps my writing style left it unclear.