C. R. O. W.
CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS OF WYOMING
2014 Revised Bylaws
CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS OF WYOMING (CROW) is the official name for this statewide Political Action Committee (PAC) organized under Wyoming PAC guidelines, for which Provisional Bylaws had been duly adopted and certified by the Provisional Officers of the Provisional State CROW PAC, serving concurrently as the Provisional Officers of the Laramie County CROW chapter, at the duly called and constituted Provisional State CROW Executive Committee Meeting held in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on the 18th day of March, 2012 A.D.
ACCORDINGLY, the Provisional State CROW Executive Committee convened and voted to revise CROW’s bylaws and elect its officers, removing both from provisional status, and to thereby commence standard PAC operations according to said revised bylaws as stated below, effective on the 4th day of July, 2014 A.D.
CROW seeks to unite Wyoming’s Republicans around the ideal of a consistently and coherently conservative Republican Party, thereby providing discerning leadership and clearly conservative political choices to the people of Wyoming. These things are necessary to impede those who would move the Republican Party to the left and into closer conformance with the Democrat Party. Further, these things are required to obviate the need for conservative Republicans to form a third political party in order to have their interests represented.
By simultaneously cultivating conservative leaders and conservative political possibilities, CROW seeks to help the Wyoming Republican Party (a/k/a, WYGOP) become the conservative party that the majority of its members expect it to be. Thereby, its members, candidates and officials shall find commonality of purpose and support as they combine to preserve, promote and defend the proven conservative understanding and practice of constitutional republican governance upon which the ordered liberty of our state and the American Republic depends.
In its capacity as a Political Action Committee, CROW has been designed to help WYGOP develop an operational willingness to recognize distinctions between Republicans who are loyal to conservative principles and Republicans-in-Name-Only (RINOs) who are not. In practice, this means CROW will require its members to also be registered members of WYGOP, the primary difference being that membership in CROW is by invitation only, and contingent upon a signed affirmation of conservative understanding and intent.
Concurrent memberships and involvement in WYGOP and CROW do not conflict because WYGOP’s Platform and CROW’s enumerated principles are entirely compatible, even as each organization serves different functions leading up to different elections.
Whereas WYGOP works toward the officially indiscriminate election and reelection of Republican candidates in all elections, CROW will work to serve as a firewall against RINO nominations in primary elections, which then allows WYGOP to accomplish its official mission with fewer compromises of its conservative platform. In this way, CROW also aims to serve as the “conservative conscience” of WYGOP by vigilantly reminding its members why their party exists.
While it is not the intention of CROW to take over or replace WYGOP, all CROW members must hold or have held elected political office, or currently be seeking it, and stand prepared to provide leadership and direction as circumstances require. The number and distribution of persons holding leadership positions in both organizations will not be as important as preparedness. What matters most is that WYGOP is no longer caught in situations where it lacks conservative leadership or candidates.
The two longstanding problems in Wyoming politics, being conservative disunity and RINO domination of Wyoming Republican Party, will be addressed through two complementary political initiatives as follows:
By unifying and cultivating conservative leaders, CROW means to ensure that the ongoing battle for the heart and soul of WYGOP is resolved in favor of Wyoming’s conservative majority and their interests, thereby eliminating any necessity on their part to form a third party, while additionally dispiriting those who would move WYGOP to the left.
CROW has arisen through the persistence of conservative reformers frustrated with the disproportionate liberal influence that exists in Wyoming government and in the WYGOP. Beginning in 2006, an ongoing series of strategy meetings across Wyoming served to further define the nature of this problem, the strategies required to address it, and the specific meaning of “conservatism.” Several organizational experiments were also embarked upon during the ensuing years, including the establishment of The Wyoming Republican Legislative Trust, (which WYGOP’s state level leadership openly opposed), and WYCONPAC, which also met with a wall of Republican resistance. Owing to the experiences and insights achieved through these efforts, a broad consensus emerged about the need for a new political entity devoted to the unification of all of Wyoming’s truly conservative individuals and organizations coupled with a systematic grassroots reformation of the Wyoming Republican Party. During the summer of 2011, a free association of conservative Republican reformers began discussions in Laramie County to draw upon previously accomplished work in order to establish a common set of principles upon which a transformative conservative organization (CROW) would be founded.
12 FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES
Inspired by the example and wisdom of America’s founders, and in the awareness that all legitimate political institutions must develop organically out of preexisting metaphysical ideals, a definitive set of interlocking conservative principles was adopted by CROW’s founders as a definitive statement of the self-evident truths, values and cultural understandings characteristic of American and Wyoming conservatism:
1. The Sovereign Nature of God – That God necessarily exists, being the Creator of a purposeful universe, physical laws, and a transcendent moral order, from which all the liberties, rights and laws of men and nations properly derive.
2. The Imperfect Nature of Man – That the established Judeo-Christian understanding of human nature insures a humble recognition of man’s imperfections, which separate him from God to the extent that earthly governments are necessary for the order and protection of human societies, though not in themselves sufficient to perfect or save men or nations.
3. The Limited Nature of Government – That governments are empowered by the consent of the governed, and are therefore limited, constitutional and representative, being only objectively good and just in direct proportion to the degree of virtue to be found within the governed.
4. The Family as Foundation of Civilization – That the fundamental unit of civilization is the family— deriving from the marriage of one man and one woman—rather than the individual; that secondary institutions which complement or fortify the family are both natural and necessary for the preservation of civilization.
5. The Primary Purpose of Government – That the first duty of government is the security of its people and their God-given freedoms, requiring the defense of its sovereign borders from external threats, the preservation of the peace of its internal society and institutions, and the protection of human life from conception to natural death.
6. The Federal Principle – That the optimal justice and efficiency of a civilized society occurs when nothing is enacted at a higher level of government than is necessary.
7. The Genius of the U. S. Constitution – That the original intent of the U. S. Constitution should be observed in practice and interpretation; that all powers not expressly enumerated to the federal government are reserved to the sovereign states and to the people.
8. The Decentralization of Power – That political powers should be divided, counter-balanced, and diffused; that government should never undertake to do for individuals and institutions what they may reasonably do for themselves.
9. The Fiscal Imperative – That a free economy depends upon the secure ubiquity of private property; that taxation must never be levied without a legitimate need for revenue to perform the limited tasks of government; that government expenditures must not exceed revenues.
10. The Basis of Order – That rights carry with them responsibilities; that ordered liberty is dependent upon personal honor and respect for the rule of law.
11. The Basis of Freedom – That freedom is a moral accomplishment, being achieved and maintained through the deliberate cultivation of virtue and the prudent exercise of vigilance by an armed, informed, and involved citizenry.
12. The Primacy of Western Civilization – That the genius of Western Civilization, manifested by and through its enduring faith, principles and wisdom, inherited and refined through the long historical experience of successive generations, constitutes an unsurpassed spiritual, philosophical and cultural endowment that is worthy of defense and perpetuation.
Thus, as the definitive representation of CROW’s internal integrity, and the clarity and transparency of its most sublime ideals before the world, these twelve points of foundational principle will be the standard by which CROW shall measure all members, applicants, candidates and public officials.
On December 8, 2011, twelve of CROW’s founders affirmed by signature and vote their commitment to be accountable to one another in specifically honoring the twelve foundational principles, along with five membership requirements, which they had mutually agreed upon. They further agreed to serve as the Provisional Executive Committee of CROW for Laramie County and elected provisional officers from among their number to serve as Chairman, Vice Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.
Ideally, CROW would have been formed by largely autonomous CROW PACs in each of Wyoming’s 23 counties coming together in a “federated polity” much like that achieved by the sovereign American states following their independence from Great Britain. In preparation for this, and until such time as a majority of county CROW PACS could be established, the Provisional Executive Committee of CROW for Laramie County, along with their elected officers, voted on January 22, 2012, A.D., to serve concurrently as the Provisional Executive Committee and officers of CROW for Wyoming at large.
Since that time, the formation of county CROW PACs has proven impractical, primarily because it unnecessarily duplicated the bottom-up model of political assent expressly incorporated in the structure and leadership of WYGOP. As the purpose of CROW has never been to compete with or replace WYGOP, the authority of its officers shall derive from its members in their individual capacities without the encumbrance of county chapters of CROW, though the right to create them is reserved.
In adopting these revised bylaws, CROW’s Executive Committee shall continue to represent Wyoming at large, at the pleasure of its members, while working to restore and strengthen the original intent of WYGOP’s charter.
As a result of subsequent preparatory meetings, the Conservative Republicans of Wyoming (CROW) was officially established through registration with the Wyoming Secretary of State on March 1, 2012, A.D., as a statewide PAC as provided for by Wyoming Statute 22-25-101.
The previously created Provisional Executive Committee of CROW for Wyoming served as the governing body of this CROW PAC, and its activities were regulated by its provisional bylaws, which had been observed until the official adoption of these revised bylaws.
Hereafter, CROW’s governing body shall be called the CROW Executive Committee and shall oversee the recruitment of all CROW officers and members, the recruitment and support of political candidates, the choice of any candidates to be opposed and any incumbent officials to be removed, the collection and disbursement of funds, the dissemination of official public statements and media communications, and maintenance of the official CROW website.
CROW shall be comprised of all persons affirmatively voted upon by at least three-fourths of the total membership of its Executive Committee.
Membership in CROW is by invitation only, and contingent upon the completion of a signed affirmation of conservative understanding and intent. This requirement is provided for by all past and present variations of CROW’s Member Invitation, which asks prospective members to attest, upon their honor and before God, to the following five requirements:
Applicants must also find three CROW members in good standing to sign their application form and thereby “freely and unreservedly sponsor and nominate” them for membership. (This may also be done by CROW officers in advance of an invitation being presented to an individual.) Membership is then conferred by a three-fourths vote of the total membership of CROW’s Executive Committee.
No registered political lobbyist shall be allowed membership in CROW unless their activities are confined to advocating on behalf of non-profit organizations or causes.
Any CROW officer or member may be removed without cause by a simple majority vote (defined as a quorum) of the total membership of CROW Executive Committee or the members at large.
Further explanation of each of CROW’s five membership requirements follows:
1) The best way to politically unify conservatives is through a single political party. As the Republican Party presently has the highest concentration of Wyoming’s conservatives, and they comprise the majority of its members, WYGOP is the logical place for them to rally. Though many have departed in disgust, or ceased to be active, CROW encourages conservatives not to dilute their strength by joining alternate parties or giving up the fight. The path of least resistance for conservatives is to come home to the Republican Party and to put their house in order.
2) This requires the recognition that conservatism is a fully integrated and philosophically coherent worldview. Just as it is impossible for human beings to isolate the material dimension of existence from the metaphysical dimension of existence, so it is unrealistic to attempt such a separation—or others like it—in politics. The RINO project of dividing an “economic” or “fiscal” realm from a “social” or “cultural” realm is neither conservative nor rational, but is a fundamental dogma of modern liberalism that weakens and confuses the Republican Party from within.
It is essential that all CROW members understand this false dilemma, and the importance of ending it as the primary source of internal Republican struggle. Further, it is imperative to understand the meaning of American conservatism in a proper historical context. Each of the twelve principles adopted by CROW and printed on the reverse of the Invitation/Application form would instantly be recognized and accepted by the vast majority of our Republic’s Founders.
Great or humble, colonial Americans, western pioneers, military and religious leaders, the founders of our cities, states, family farms, ranches, businesses, industries and most venerated institutions would overwhelmingly support them. CROW’s principles are uncontroversial, save for a small minority of post-modern, post-American ideologues who are disproportionately attracted to contemporary politics and ideologies. This distinction is the reliable standard by which conservatives and RINOs can be differentiated.
3) All political parties evolve over time. Between the two major American parties we have at present, the Republican Party has been more conservative than the Democrat Party for several generations. Nevertheless, BOTH major parties have arguably been moving to the left since the presidency of Ronald Reagan. The only way to stop or prevent this trend (and reverse it) is to reassert loyalty to conservative principles as a prerequisite for all positions of trust in the Republican Party.
While membership in WYGOP and Wyoming’s county GOPs is open to all, only RINOs would assert that positions of leadership should be open to all. Their “Big Tent” strategy insures that Republican candidates and leaders need not respect the WYGOP platform, or the conservative ideals upon which it is based. As a result, RINOs are able to divide Republicans during Primary Elections, nominate RINOs to represent the Party in General Elections, and to showcase Republican divisions every step of the way.
Therefore, all CROW members must pledge to support the most conservative viable candidates—as judged by CROW’s conservative principles—during the Primary Election season (between the start of the filing period in May and the date of the Primary Election in August.) While WYGOP is required by election law (State Statute 22-25-104) to maintain an appearance of neutrality and to refrain from material aid during this season, CROW is designed to use the interval as an opportunity to identify and defeat RINOs contemptuous of WYGOP’s platform.
In the rare instance that this may result in CROW supporting a more conservative non-Republican candidate, it will be for the purpose of drawing the Republican Party to the right, rather than to the left. In the case of General elections where certain RINOs have slipped by and become Republican nominees, CROW members are under no obligation to support them.
4) A most effective way of preventing RINO nominations is to draw as much funding and other aid as possible toward those most reliable to invest it for a conservative victories. This precludes direct contributions to the Republican Party for electoral purposes. Politics runs on money. And the surest way to change outcomes is to change funding streams.
All honest Republicans should be encouraged to confine their election contributions directly to known or proven conservative candidates, or to CROW, or to similarly discerning conservative organizations. It is especially important that new conservative candidates are given the resources to attract support for themselves and their messages. Similarly, CROW must have the funds for direct mail campaigns and other means of alerting Republican Primary voters to the inadequacy and perfidy of RINO incumbents and challengers during the Primary Election process.
There is nothing wrong with aiding or contributing to Republican Party organizations indirectly, such as helping out at campaign headquarters, or by attending banquets or other functions, but it will always remain a calculated gamble for conservatives to give support to WYGOP at any time so long as it officially refuses to make any attempt to connect candidate eligibility with loyalty to the Party Platform.
WYGOP has no prohibition whatsoever against using its funds to help put RINOs into positions of power or to keep them there. CROW’s Treasurer, under the oversight of the Executive Committee, can provide a way to mitigate this danger while giving conservative donors both inside and outside of WYGOP a guaranteed way of insuring that their contributions are respected.
5) Finally, none of these points matter in political contests where there are no conservative candidates. It is the duty of all CROW members to cultivate formidable leaders and to help them prevail by reaching, persuading, and involving more conservatives in this endeavor as they go about their lives. This is a process that will naturally lead to greater things as it progresses.
Thus, while CROW’s function is informative for conservatives, it is first and foremost organizational for them. Success may not be the most sublime form of persuasion, but it is a powerful one. And in the imperfect realm of politics, as in warfare, the object is less to exterminate one’s adversaries than to break their will to continue their aggressions. RINOs are opportunists by nature, and place their own political survival and profits above any other principle. Realistic conservatives recognize that, given the impossibility of ever getting all of the right people into office, getting the wrong officials to vote the right way is the next best thing.
MEMBERSHIP: TYPES and DUTIES
There are two basic types of CROW membership, each requiring the submission of a completed Member Invitation. Upon acceptance, both will have voting privileges and be given access to general social media hosted by CROW, such as the chat room at CROW’s public website, and both will be offered “Friend” status on CROW’s Facebook page, as well as the opportunity to be elected to other membership levels as vacancies arise. But there are differences in qualifications, duties and visibility as follows:
Member Duties: The most essential duties of CROW Regular Members consist of recruiting conservative leaders, soliciting conservative participation and contributions, and submitting general information and documentation (especially concerning the records and activities of RINOs) to fellow members.
County Advisor Duties: In addition to sharing the same general duties as Regular Members, the chief responsibility of CROW County Advisors is to gather intelligence about the political state of their respective counties and report back to the Executive Committee so that it may be analyzed, distributed and acted upon. Because of the resentment this may cause among liberal Republicans, CROW County Advisors may operate under anonymity should they so choose, and shall be formally designated by the name of their county outside CROW’s executive sessions. However, no CROW County Advisor will be expected or asked to betray the confidence of the executive sessions of their County or State Republican parties should they be privy to such.
The leadership of CROW shall consist of not more than twelve Executive Committee members drawn from the ranks of CROW members in good standing. Appointment shall consist of nomination by a member of the existing Executive Committee and an affirmative vote of not less than three-fourths of their number. Within the Executive Committee shall be four specialized offices to be filled from by the same procedure, with the titles and duties as follows:
Chairman: As the chief executive officer of CROW, the Chairman shall preside over meetings, manage the website, carry out policies, and make decisions as needed, subject to oversight by the Executive Committee.
Vice Chairman: In the event of the Chairman’s absence or disability, the Vice Chairman shall assume the powers of the Chairman and other duties of the Chairman, subject to oversight by the Executive Committee.
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for all funds received and disbursed, all regulatory filings and related records, and other duties as required, subject to oversight by the Executive Committee.
Secretary: The Secretary or their designee shall take and maintain minutes of all CROW meetings, maintain all accumulated records, and other duties as determined, subject to oversight by the Executive Committee.
ODDS AND ENDS
OFFICIAL CONSENSUS:All official meetings and communications between the CROW’s Executive Committee Members shall be considered to occur within “Executive Session” and shall be treated as confidential in nature, except as explicitly cleared by a majority vote of the Executive Committee as an official consensus for wider dissemination.
PROCEDURE: During any official meeting or caucus of CROW’s Executive Committee and/or members in general, the observance of Robert’s Rules of Order is not required, but is highly desirable where ever practical to further leadership development. Unless otherwise indicated, the use of the masculine shall be deemed to include the feminine gender. Unlike WYGOP, no gender quotas or distinctions will observed for voting requirements, division of offices, or any other purpose.
QUORUM: A quorum shall be defined for both CROW’s Executive Committee and its members at large as a simple majority of their total members respectively, with three-fourths of their total number required as a minimum for the ratification of binding votes, except for any vote to remove members in either case, which shall require only a quorum.
PROXIES: Proxy voting shall be permitted subject to verification by the Chairman.
MEETINGS and CAUCUSES: Meetings and caucuses may only be called by the CROW Chairman, Vice Chairman, or Executive Committee as a whole, being responsible for circulating notice, and solely empowered to determine membership, fill vacancies, set policy, settle disputes and perform all functions as needed for CROW.
CONVENTIONS: A convention may be called at any time by a three-fourths vote of the total membership of CROW’s Executive Committee or the membership at large.
VOTING: All votes (other than those held in executive session) shall be open, except as required otherwise by the Executive Committee.
AMENDMENTS: Amendments to these bylaws may be made by a three-quarters vote of the total membership of CROW’s Executive Committee, provided a quorum has been assembled or otherwise convened by remote technologies.