Douglas County Republicans reject loyalty clause

Douglas County Republican Party officials have rejected the addition of a loyalty clause to their bylaws.

The proposal brought by party leaders would have prohibited party officials from publicly endorsing or supporting candidates other than Republicans in the general election.

But several concerns were raised about the proposal, said Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, who attended the meeting of the Douglas County GOP’s central committee Monday evening.

One concern was that a loyalty clause would be difficult to enforce. Questions arose about what would happen if a spouse of a GOP official supported a Democrat and put up signs in the yard or made contributions from a joint account.

In addition, concerns were raised over what if a person who filed as the Republican candidate was running only to make the party look bad or a candidate cast a negative light on the party through the course of his or her campaign.

Those attending the meeting, said the loyalty clause was defeated with about 60 percent of those at the meeting voting against it.

While rejecting the loyalty clause, Barker said, most people at the meeting agreed “with the basic premise that a political party has as its main goal electing its members to office, so anyone who voluntarily takes a leadership role but works against that goal by endorsing a non-Republican is, in effect, working against their own team.”

Douglas County Republicans did approve some other bylaw changes, including reducing the number of at-large members on the executive committee from seven to three. And going forward, bylaws can be amended only by a two-thirds majority.