Vancouver resident Mark Moore accepts Clark County Republican Party Chairman Joel Mattila’s invitation to cite examples of how he has ignored the will of the body
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
In my recent letter to the editor I encouraged the Republican voters and Precinct Committee Officers (PCOs) of Clark County to express their displeasure with Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) Chairman Joel Mattila over the mess he has allowed the 3rd Congressional District race to become through his inaction. The question Chair Mattila asked of the candidates regarding President Trump’s endorsement was indeed discussed in advance with all three candidates then in the race. While the chairman feigns impotence to deal with this situation he has created, he indeed has the political influence to have effected a resolution, beginning with simply, privately reminding the candidates of the public commitment they made to coalesce around a single candidate thereby increasing the probability of defeating Jaime Herrera Beutler in the primary. Absent the private consent of the other candidates to honor their pledge, Chairman Mattila could have then publicly reminded the candidates of their agreement, perhaps even here in the pages of Clark County Today since he is so proud of your efforts. If that were unsuccessful he could have asked a friendly PCO to introduce a resolution before the Clark County Republican Central Committee which strongly encouraged the other candidates to honor their earlier, public, commitment. In a most extreme case, the chairman could have asked the body to suspend its by-laws and offer an early endorsement of the Trump endorsed candidate.
All of these options have been, and presently are, available to Chair Mattila if he were indeed committed to denying Herrera Beutler another term in the US Congress. Instead, when he realized the Trump endorsement may not go the way he expected, he desperately sent a letter to President Trump, which he represented as having been signed by each Republican chairman in the 3rd Congressional District, demanding Trump NOT endorse until after the primary. This was seen by many as a very curious move by many given his recent enthusiasm about that very endorsement.
The chairman goes on to state, “The days of the party boss are long over and we are all better off for it. The grassroots voters are the ones who should decide elections,” and “Mr. Moore states, ‘There have been several occasions during his administration where the chairman has ignored the express will of the body…” I would like to know exactly on what occasions I have ignored the will of the body. You allowed him to make that assertion without any examples.”
I agree, grassroots voters should decide elections, and Chair Mattila’s demand for examples seems reasonable, so…
- At the January 2021 CCRP executive board meeting, likely signaling his lack of respect for the body that had just elected him chairman, he appointed the highly controversial former chair of the CCRP, David R. Gellatly, as parliamentarian. Mr. Gellatly had been rejected by the CCRCC in his bid to become state committeeman at the recent reorganization meeting, the only member of Chairman Mattila’s slate to not win, reflecting the body’s express will that Mr. Gellatly NOT have a position on the executive board.
- Throughout the Spring/Summer of 2021, Chairman Mattila attempted three separate times to appoint himself to the Clark County Redistricting Commission over the strenuous objections of many PCOs. While this might technically be allowed within the confines of the county charter, every other Washington county governed by home rule charter expressly forbids a political party official from serving on a redistricting commission because it represents such a significant conflict of interest. Ultimately, the CCRCC was forced to call a special meeting in August of 2021 to appoint members to this critical commission or face having no representation in the redistricting process. Cemal Richards and Juan Gamboa were chosen by the body for this duty and served with honor. Chair Mattila continues to refuse to recognize this as a legitimate act of the body.
- In the fall of 2021, in spite of the express concerns of various precinct committee officers, the chairman neglected to provide leadership regarding the proposed amendments to the Clark County Home Rule Charter. As a consequence there were no opposition statements in the voters guide. This was a monumental failure of leadership on his part given the long-term negative consequences of how the county charter was amended.
- In November 2021, Chairman Mattila presided over the CCRP quarterly meeting. During this meeting, a motion from the floor was advanced by a PCO demanding the chair include a particular bit of old business to the agenda regarding the express will of the body relating to the appointment of precinct committee officers. During the discussion from the floor, parliamentarian Gellatly left the stage and became engaged in a physical confrontation with the female PCO advancing the motion, for the record there is video of this confrontation. Chairman Mattila also hired two sergeants at arms unknown to the body, men who clearly by their appearance were intended to intimidate members of the body. These events proved to be of such concern, the 18th Legislative District drafted, and passed by significant margin, a resolution of no-confidence against Chairman Mattila demanding he resign. He is clearly still in his office, ignoring the expressed will of that body.
- Throughout the Winter and Spring of 2022, the body of the CCRCC has voted upon resolutions directing the chairman with respect to the appointment process for precinct committee officers. He has refused thus far to honor their express will. He would, I’m sure, protest that he has addressed this issue sufficiently, however in truth he has manipulated the situation to avoid the actual accountability and transparency the body is demanding of him. The office of precinct committee officer is critical to the function of the party, they represent constituents to the party and with numerous vacant precincts, the chairman seems interested in appointing only PCO’s who pledge loyalty to his chairmanship.
- At the May 2022 CCRCC quarterly meeting, the body passed by a virtually unanimous vote (a single nay), a resolution directing the chairman to immediately appoint the 31 PCO candidates who running unopposed, in vacant precincts, are “deemed elected.” These are activated, motivated Republicans, eager to do the work of helping Republican candidates get elected. The chairman refused to honor this near unanimous vote, publicly, from the stage, to the utter astonishment of those present.
- Throughout his term the chairman has refused to provide a transparent, accessible means for PCO’s to communicate amongst themselves.
These are just the highlights, sadly there are other examples. What these examples point to is Chairman Mattila’s disregard for the authority of the CCRCC, and his role as servant to the body.
Chairman Mattila seems proud of the recent CCRP Lincoln Day Dinner, going so far as calling it “record setting.” This statement proves curious as the party raised under $50,000. During the chairmanship of Earl Bowerman the 2019 Lincoln Day Dinner netted $75,409.15. In all fairness it is difficult to do an accurate comparison given the current CCRP treasurer appears incapable of providing the body with an appropriate reconciliation. Nonetheless, “record setting” appears to be a considerable embellishment. In what is likely the most favorable environment for Republican fundraising in decades, Chair Mattila has failed to position the party to maximize the opportunity. This is one of his core responsibilities as chairman. There continue to be serious concerns as to how the money raised will be spent.
Fair-minded people might ask how it is that I have an understanding of these issues. As a Republican voter and volunteer, I have attended every CCRP quarterly, and executive board meeting since May of 2021, which is something Chairman Mattila can not say for himself, having been absent on more than one occasion.
As for Chairman Mattila’s statement, “Mr. Moore, ….seems to like to sit on the sidelines and criticize.” I would humbly remind the chairman of my personal effort last November to initiate and advance negotiations to suspend the petition being circulated calling for his removal as chairman. As part of that effort, I secured commitments to help make his chairmanship successful. His counter offer was to demand the resignation of 25 conservative precinct committee officers, and ultimately he stormed out of the meeting like a petulant child.
Am I critical of Chairman Mattila’s failed leadership, absolutely. He seems fond of quoting Teddy Roosevelt, so too, am I….
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or anyone else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.’’ – Theodore Roosevelt, May, 1918 editorial titled “Sedition, a Free Press and Personal Rule” published in “The Kansas City Star.”’
Chairman Mattila states, “Mr. Moore, who has no official role in the Clark County Republican Party…….. As someone once said, in the United States today, we have more than our share of nattering nabobs of negativism.” . While indeed, I have no “official” role in the Republican Party, I would remind the chairman I belong to that “unofficial” part of the party that has for decades given our treasure and our votes to the “Official Republican Party” only to be betrayed by establishment types as they work to manipulate the process and provide us plebes with candidates for which we must hold our collective nose to vote. I proudly belong to that “unofficial” part of the party that gets up every day and anonymously goes about our business, paying our taxes, faithfully advancing charitable causes, and raising our children to become productive members of society, not drug addicts and car thieves.
Republican voters should be outraged by the bad faith activities of the establishment “Republicans” currently controlling the CCRP Executive Board. The chairman is especially egregious in the abandonment of his sacred duty to serve the Republicans of Clark County. Unfortunately the chairman depends upon the fact that “unofficial” Republicans graciously expect party leadership to faithfully represent their interests and do not have the time, or inclination, to be present for the purpose of holding them accountable. Chairman Mattila pledged before being elected to “heal the party.” It is the conviction of many faithful Republicans that he has done the exact opposite. The party is more divided than ever and Chairman Mattila’s failed leadership is the reason.
All indications are, there will indeed be a Red Wave in the November midterm elections. This will happen in spite of the best efforts of establishment Republicans like Chairman Mattila.
My original question remains unanswered still…., “Is the Chairman of the Clark County Republican Party working to re-elect Jaimie Herrera Beutler?”
I now have a new question, will Chair Mattila resign? If he will not, it is the duty of Republicans to remove him.
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