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Clarifying Election Discussions at Charter Club Meetings

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Clarifying Election Discussions at Charter Club Meetings

David Moeller

There has been some confusion regarding what can be discussed at Charter Club meetings, specifically with regards to the upcoming elections.  We all need to be aware of the the rules (RR&P’s) that cover Charter Clubs.  During club meetings, candiates may not address the clubs;  issues and candidates that are on the ballot may not be discussed; petititioners  and current Board Directors and Staff may not discuss or dispense information related to candidates or ballot proposals.

Charter Clubs are for the purpose of promoting social and club activities and discussions need to be limited to those areas.   Please pass along this information to your fellow club members so that we ensure that we conduct our elections with integrity and fairness.

Thank you

Dave Moeller

  1. The Chartered Clubs are responsible for their bulletin boards and should be monitoring them for appropriate material. We have notified the clubs that they are not to post or disseminate election materials to their members on club property or at club meetings, or using club email lists.

  2. Seems many articles appear on charter clubs walls denouncing Prindle and his views. Check wood, lawn bowling, metal men’s club. So it’s only wrong if in disagreement with the establishment of SCW?

  3. David Wilson says:

    After having the benefit of an attorney’s consideration of my 1st amendment concern, I am now aware that what I think is not at all a reasonable and helpful rule which prohibits my being able to communicate politically with fellow club members,it is within the providence of RCSCW to make and enforce such a rule on private RCSCW property. So, let the political speech police do their job and woe be to the violator. I for one have been educated as to the errors of my past illegal behavior and I will try to in the future be a better Charter Club Citizen. I’ve also learned that there is a big difference bewteen what feels right and what is legally right. For me this subject has left the room just like Elvis.

  4. Pete MacDonald says:

    I have to agree with Dave Wilson. In fact I believe a discussion on an upcoming election is necessary when the results of a RCSCW have a direct impact on the club. I also believe that club officers would be doing a disservice to the club membership of not informing them of an upcoming election. While I would hate to see club meetings become a forum for political debate, I believe discussions on an upcoming RCSCW election is valid

  5. Pat Canfield says:

    The RCSCW Chartered Club /Library Committee spent several months last spring reviewing and updating the Rules, Regulations, and Procedures for Chartered Clubs (RR&Ps). Each section of the document, originally approved Feb. 1, 1989 and restated and approved May 29, 2011, was carefully scrutinized and discussed by the thirteen member committee made up of Association members very familiar with chartered club activity and proceedings. In the Preamble to the RR&Ps, page 1, Section II – C, it states “Chartered Clubs shall not endorse or support causes /propositions or candidates for elective office other than their own internal elections. Solicitation of signatures, campaigning, endorsing, passing of election literature, addressing the members, or any other non-club election activity is prohibited during club meetings and functions. Outside the club environment, chartered club members, as individuals, are free to support any cause or candidate of their choosing.”

    This rule does not limit the informal discussion of issues during conversations or interactions. It prohibits public political endorsements and presentations at club meetings and functions.
    Club meetings are not intended to be political venues that could possibly damage the cohesiveness and socialization of the group.

    The RR&Ps also state, on page 19, Chapter 3, Section IX – B, that “A club’s mailing list, similar documents or other lists derived from any club’s documents, either physical or electronic, shall be used only for distribution of club newsletters or other official club business. A club’s membership rosters shall not be sold or used for any type of non-club solicitation.”

    These rules have been put in place to protect the chartered club
    member’s right to privacy and to prevent potential political pressure.

    There is ample opportunity in our community to hear from candidates and gain knowledge about propositions without using chartered clubs as political soapboxes.

    The Chartered Clubs/Library Committee meets on the first Tuesday of each month, at 1 pm. in the Governing Board Conference Room. We encourage you to come meet with us if you want to discuss this issue further.

    Pat Canfield
    GB Director, RCSCW Chartered Clubs/Library Committee

  6. David Moeller says:

    David, thanks for sharing your concerns. Just to clarify, it doesn’t matter who answers the member’s question about discussion of candidates; whether I write the response, or Pat Canfield writes it as the Director for Charter Clubs, or Cindy Knowlton writes it as Manager of Clubs or Mike Whiting writes it as GM, the result is the same. Our current RR&P’s limit discussion during charter club meetings (only) to topics related to the activities of the club and its social events. If you disagree, (not meant to be snarky either) please contact Pat so that this issue can be discussed by her committee. In the mean time we will abide by the rules that have been adopted by the Association. Should this rule or any other unintentionally violate any higher authority, we will take the appropriate actions to be in compliance.
    Dave

  7. David Wilson says:

    This needs to be rethought just in terms of 1st ammendment rights. If you are warning Board members, I really think that is not part of your designated duties to restrict other board member’s speech. If you are talking to RCSCW staff, you have overreached. I think that’s Mike Whittings job, IF a blog or warning or whatever needs to be done at all. I don’t think this is directed to me as a resident member, but it is if I happen to be a club officer. So let me get this right–You are restricting club officers ability to talk about the candidacy of someone running for the governing board. It does not matter when you want this restriction, but that you demand it at all. Does the warning hold true for a club officer mentioning the candidacy of someone running for President or Govenor, or Senator? How about Maricopa County Supervisor. I’ll bet they would be pleased to hear that speech is being restricted during SCW club meetings. I imagine there are some very high profile Republican and Democratic Party campaign leaders are club members. Careful David, you’ve now stepped onto a slippery slope and it really isn’t ski season in SCW, yet. Now don’t get the impression that I’m being aggressive or cranky, actually I’m smiling. Let Mike Whitting write this kind of blog IF NECESSARY, because I think it is not!!