Where Are The By-Laws?

By “Frederick Lehlbach”


Monmouth County is blessed by terrific Republican elected officials at the State, County and local levels. Our GOP legislators, Freeholders, Mayors and Committeemen all work tirelessly on behalf of the residents and taxpayers of Monmouth County.


As we approach yet another Primary season without a set of By-Laws for the County Republican Organization, it’s time for those elected officials to put on their other hat, and act on behalf of rank and file Monmouth County Republicans. It’s time to publicly and privately pressure Chairman Oxley to adopt By-Laws.


The topic of By-Laws has been around since the days of Bill Dowd, who ran the County Committee with an iron fist. With his downfall, each subsequent “administration” has promised By-Laws and reform. Each subsequent administration has failed to do anything even remotely resembling adoption of By-Laws and reform.


Seeing the opportunity for abuse, the State Legislature enacted a requirement for By-Laws in 2009. The statute, NJSA 19:5-3.2 states as follows:

The members of the county committee of a political party shall adopt a constitution and bylaws, ensuring fundamental fairness and the rights of the members of the county committee in the governance of the county party.  The constitution and bylaws of a county committee shall be posted and displayed on its Internet website, if the committee has a website.  A county committee shall provide a copy of its constitution and bylaws to the county board of elections of the county, and the constitution and bylaws shall be posted and displayed on the county board’s Internet website, if the county board has a website. (emphasis added)

 Did you catch that highlighted part? “ensuring fundamental fairness and the rights of the members of the county committee in the governance of the county party.” It seems that the Legislature wanted the County Committee involved in the governance of the county party.  


Unfortunately, the statute failed to set a deadline for enactment, but it seems to me that almost two years is too long. Other GOP organizations in other Counties have managed to adopt By-Laws and operate under written standards. Only Monmouth County continues to be run as an Old Boy Network, where candidates are selected and policies made by a select few (or even a select one)


It is even more unfortunate that Senator Jennifer Beck and Assemblywoman Amy Handlin were sponsors of this law.  Where are they now?  What are the party leaders (and the legislators who passed this law) afraid of? Greater participation by motivated groups like the Tea Party will only strengthen the GOP. Shutting them out of the candidate selection process will only lead to contested Primaries and divisiveness. (See 6th Congressional District Primary, June 2010) If the Party is going to pick who “gets the line”, then it should pick who gets the line by the most open method possible. (Or really open it up and don’t give out the line, instead having truly “Open Primaries”)


I call on Monmouth County’s GOP Senators, Assemblymembers and Freeholders to pressure Chairman Joe to open up the process, adopt By-Laws and answer to the long neglected Party roots, the County Committee.

Posted: February 9th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County Republican Committee | Tags: , , | 14 Comments »

14 Comments on “Where Are The By-Laws?”

  1. Freespeaker1976 said at 3:59 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    Where are the Bylaws? I suspect they are right next to Chairman Oxley’s commitment to looking at solutions regarding the way we pick candidates, a.k.a the nominating committee; they are in his back pocket.

    Wasn’t the vote close enough in 2010? Do we need to send him another message and then de-elect him in 2012 if he doesn’t get the new message?

    “You Betcha.”

    FYI, I am pretty sure the Monmouth County Democrats have their Bylaws online. How Embarrassing.

    How about some sort of petition Art?

  2. Charles M said at 4:49 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    The fact we don’t have bylaws by this time is a disgrace. And the fact that Monmouth County GOP leadership is planning to only have the town chairs vote is not only a disgrace but is also illegal! The entire committee is suppose to vote!

  3. James Hogan said at 5:35 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    The entire committee? Yeah right. Let’s be honest, it’s surely a number close to 90% of the people on committee are/were put there by a friend/family member who wants to have the “chairman” title with the only purpose of those people being on committee being to ensure that said person gets themselves elected chair; most committee people do nothing, ever, and I doubt most would even show up to vote for who gets the party line in a primary… or they’d show up, be uninformed, and vote for whoever their family member/friend who is the chairman told them to vote for.

  4. Shel Justshel said at 6:23 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    Why aren’t there any by-laws? Because Republican leadership wants the good old boy system in place. They aptly demonstrate the kind of delay and obfuscation tactics that so infuriate grassroots conservatives.
    Q: What *are* they afraid of? A: Losing power/control.
    Truth is, they’ve already lost it. Like a zombie that doesn’t know it’s “expired”.
    Bylaws beget clarity through oversight within an operating framework. This is not rocket science. Shame on them. Activist members will move ahead with or without the establishment.
    The Republican party leadership in Monmouth county historically proved itself ineffective and impotent. Time for a change of leadership and for rules that allow the will of the people to be done.

  5. Chris said at 6:26 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    Freespeaker: I checked and the Monmouth Dems don’t have their bylaws online either

  6. Andy said at 7:19 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    Charles, where does it say it is illegal to only have the Chairs vote? Couldn’t find that in the state constitution. Also, how do the Dem’s in Monmouth County do it? (honest questions)

    And Shel, the Monmouth County leadership is “ineffective and impotent”? They were 3 for 3 last year. Not too bad.

    And they picked the same exact congressional candidates that the rest of the counties did in 4th, 6th and 12th districts. A free for all convention (which is what happens when you can pay $5 and get to vote to decide the line) and a more closed system wielded exactly the same results.

    Also Shel, the will of the people is being done. The Municipal Committees should hold their Chairs accountable to vote how the majority wants them to – or kick them out. They were elected to their leadership position to vote in situations just like these. This is not a new development. Everyone knew the rules when they elected their municipal chair.

    Isn’t it clear we can’t stop the infighting long enough to have a more open convention yet? Does anyone really think this would help the party?

  7. Freespeaker1976 said at 7:35 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    Chris, yes; they are indeed on line. Thought I saw them on the Monmouth County Board Of Elections Home page, check again and found them here:


    It shows the Republican Bylaws as “pending.” What an embarrassment

  8. Freespeaker1976 said at 7:39 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    Mr. Hogan, you are correct in that a large part of our County Committee contingent do nothing, and the chairs often get elected because THEY have their political cronies at hand to keep them there.

    HOWEVER, that should NOT be the reason why the County Committee people do not get to vote on candidates. We were elected for reasons such as this.

  9. Charles M said at 8:40 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    @ James Hogan
    Its the law.

    @Andy and James

  10. Bayshore Tea Party Group said at 8:43 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    More Monmouth Musings asks: “Where are the by-laws?”…

    By the oh-so-mysterious “Frederick Lehlbach” of MMM asks a critically important questi ……

  11. James Hogan said at 10:13 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    Charles, there are two different issues in question here.

    First issue: copy and paste me the exact line that explicitly states every single committee member gets a vote at a nominating convention, or that a nominating convention is even required, for who gets the party line.

    Second issue: I never said there shouldn’t be by-laws, you are correct to say that they are required by law, it doesn’t seem to change issue 1, or any other issue you seem to have with the county leadership. Your opinion was formed before anyone asked the question, it’s probably not going to change because of anything I or anyone else says.

    Either way, what I said is, I think, in agreement with Freespeaker, that *most* of the county committee people are “cronies” put in place by muni-chairs. If you believe that, which it seems from past comments you do, then do you really want what you are asking for? A vote by a bunch of “cronies”? I’m not sure how rewarding the chairmen who can gather the most “cronies” the day of the nominating convention is what is best for the Republican party or for the people we’re supposed to be representing. The real task seems to be to ensure that your local committeeman isn’t one of the “cronies” and get that committee out on the street talking to real voters. Do that, and then let’s talk about getting those people a say in the nominating process, but I for one don’t want a bunch of “cronies” voting for anything.

  12. Charles M said at 11:52 pm on February 9th, 2011:

    @ James
    19:5-3.2. Adoption of constitution

    3. The members of the county committee of a political party shall adopt a constitution and bylaws

  13. Freespeaker1976 said at 12:52 pm on February 10th, 2011:

    Mr. Hogan, here are the problems that I see

    1) From what I remember, Oxley practically promised that he would look at the nominating procedures – said it in front of every county committee person at the county re-organization last year.

    I seem to remember that this was one of John Costigan’s concerns and why he ran for chair. As to whether ONLY the cronies of the Municipal Chairs show up at the Conventions in the past; who knows what goes on in the voting booth. I have known many County Committee people sticking to their OWN guns, and voting their own minds.

    2) As to the County Committee system, yes; there are many faults with it. BUT, it is the “law of the land,” representative democracy at the purest and needs to be followed. Otherwise, get rid of the system.

    Besides, I don’t remember anyone allowing a few select people to run the nominating process, I don’t ever remember giving Joe Oxley that power. If a nominating committee is wanted by ALL of the County Committee people want, then fine; put it to a vote of ALL the County Committee people.

    However, I don’t go along with the notion that a County Chair can take the decisions out of the hands of those that were elected in their own districts to decide such matters. Just because we elected a person as Chair, it doesn’t mean we give them carte blanch.

    Right now, I am of the opinion that Chairman Oxley needs to be replaced next year…

  14. Freespeaker1976 said at 12:56 pm on February 10th, 2011:

    Forgot to add, all of the above should NOT go without saying, “Where Are The Bylaws?”