A 13-7 vote for the censure of a United States Senator is making the headlines. The problem is the vote is completely illegal by all established GOP standards in South Carolina. Unfortunately, that little fact is being ignored.
On Monday night, the Lexington County (SC) GOP executive committee allegedly passed a measure to censure Senator Lindsey Graham for only being 90% conservative. The media is giving the story quite a bit of coverage, without doing any actual fact checking. If they were, they would discover that the measure was not quite legal. The censure, prepared by a member of the executive committee who admits to not being a Republican, was not on the pre-published agenda.
The Lexington County GOP has nearly 70 organized precincts and requires a quorum for such a vote to be legal and binding. According to South Carolina's Palmetto Scoop, only 24 of the 63 executive committee members were available to vote. Thirteen members of the executive committee voted to censure Graham. That is hardly a quorum.
Congressman Joe Wilson, who is from Lexington County, is furious.
Lindsey Graham has been a great leader for our state and party. I appreciate everything he has done for me and his tireless work in helping Republicans at all levels of government. He’s a team player. Ronald Reagan always said that people who agree with you 80 percent of the time should be considered a good friend. Reagan was a wise man and if we want to build a strong, vibrant Republican Party we should follow his advice.
Four former Lexington County GOP chairpersons have expressed indignation at the illegality of the procedure. In a letter of complaint sent to Lexington County GOP Chairman Rich Bolen, who was behind the illegal censure, the four former chairpersons said:
…As it now stands, 13 people have now spoken for our county's 70 organized precincts and the 23,000 Republicans who voted in our 2008 primary. This is completely unfair and very disappointing…