Democrat Committee 12-14-1972
Democrats Vote Not to Remove 3 From Committee Bj JOHN R. ML'NSON Of the Press - Citizen The Johnson Count j Demo - cratic Central Committee voted Wednesday not to remove three committee members accused of party "disloyalty." The action -- viewed as a move to ward off a potential "rural-urban split" in the local party organization -- followed an investigation by a special fact-finding committee, which submitted its report Wednesdaj night. The committee was set up Nov. 27, after letters were sent to the three censured committee committee members asking tor their resignations Receiving the letters w e r e Don Kerf and Dorothy Stutsman. Stutsman. both of rural J o h n s o n County, and Mary Schneider, wife of outgoing Democratic Sheriff Maynard E Schneider Kerf and Mrs. Stutsman weie accused of allowing their names to appear on an advertisement endorsing Gary Hughes. Republican Republican sheriff's candidate Accusations a g a i n s t Mr* Schneider had not been spelled out. but the committee report cited "unrefuted testimony'* indicating indicating a "categorical refusal" by Mrs. Schneider "to perform any of the duties of a precmu committeeperson." The committee recommended, recommended, however, that removal action action not be instituted against Mrs. Schneider, "because, in the absence of guidelines specifying specifying responsibilities of precinct committeepersons. a lecom mendation for removal would have the aura of ex post facto action." Recommendations not to remove remove Kerf and Mrs. Stutsman were based on a statement by Kerf that he "never knowingly signed a public endorsement for an opposition candidate." a n d Mrs. Stutsman's assertion that Â·he was not aware "of the contradiction contradiction in her position as a precinct committeeperson supporting supporting a candidate of another party who happened to be a close family friend " \1though the special committee's committee's recommendations concerning concerning Kerf and Mrs. Stutsman were upheld in voice votes, its recommendation that removal action not be instituted against Mrs Schneider was the subject of lengthy debate. Rebecca Ryan, a member of the fact-finding committee, said the committee felt it "had no right to sit m judgment. -If we're harsh" in this in stance, stance, we're going to make the urban-rural split in this party orgamzation unbreachable." she warned However, two substitute m o tions -- one to force M r s Schneider's removal Irorn t h e central committee and one to ask for her voluntary resignation resignation _ failed m voice votes. The motion to accept the committee's committee's recommendation passed passed in a show oi hands. 33 to 10 Before the vote on the question, question, however, a move was instituted instituted to elect 10 persons to vacant precinct positions. Seven Seven of the newly elected com - mittee members were from rural rural precincts. The central committee also adopted guidelines to be added to local "bylaws spelling o u t Â·'behavior constituting legitimate legitimate grounds for the, removal ot a committeeperson." \mong these grounds a r c "public endorsement by a Democratic Democratic official of a candidate of an opposing party," failure to attend "a majority of central central committee meetings," and failure to "show a willingness to carry out in good faith the collective decisions of the central central committee."