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Updated: By-Laws Supporters Change Appeal to Republican Executive Committee and Offer Compromise

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Bonnie Sachs from Double Springs and Don Wallace from Tuscaloosa wrote a letter to members of the Republican Executive Committee, which they have shared with the Alabama Political Reporter. (Letter is posted at the bottom of this article.)

In it, the pair, who are the sponsors of the by-law change, which allows steering committee members to be removed, explained why they think changing the Alabama Republican Party by-laws is necessary. They point to the statements by Alabama College Republican Federation Chairwoman, Stephanie Petelos, which they say have led to the controversial by-law change proposal. They say that they are amenable to a compromise by-law revision. The pair wrote,

“We are acceptable to an amendment to proposed by-laws change that only addresses same sex marriage and the right to life.”

Mrs. Sachs and Mr. Wallace wrote, “It is true that the statements of the College Republican Chair praising the DOMA decision and criticizing the party leadership about their comments opposing the DOMA decision, and all of us who support our platform’s stand on traditional marriage had a part in the proposal.”

Sachs and Wallace continued,

“The 21 voting members of the Steering Committee who are charged with executing our platform, our resolutions, and conservative message, that they should not use their official positions to attack the party platform. The proposed by-laws change is only intended to address the leadership privileges and responsibilities of the Steering Committee, not to remove someone from their membership in the party. However, we still trust our party will advocate for traditional marriage, defend the sanctity of life and other moral principles that have defined our party and propelled it to being the majority party in Alabama. We continue to see conservative Democrats join our Republican Party because of how liberal the national Democrat Party has become.”

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Sachs and Wallace wrote, “We will continue to stand for our Party’s strong, conservative,and traditional pro-family, pro-life, and fiscal conservative principles. We are acceptable to an amendment to proposed by-laws change that only addresses same sex marriage and the right to life.”

The pair attached a series of press statements where Ms. Petelos made statements on gay marriage that are out-of-step with the Republican official orthodoxy.They also attached an article by the Alabama Political Reporter in which Petelos said she supported the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Ms. Petelos continued,

“In general…the young people coming to the party now are more libertarian-leaning than traditional republicans with conservative ideals. In the last year to 18 months, the tone of the discussions of the young people of the party has changed a lot…[in the past] we would be whispering in the corner hoping no one would hear what we were saying…and stop talking when someone else would enter the conversation…The more I spoke with younger people and especially those under 25….we didn’t want the older members getting angry at us, we didn’t want to stir people up,”

They also attached a statement by Alabama Young Republican Federation Chairman Clayton Mark Turner, where he defended Petelos and accused some people of using Christianity as a weapon.

Don Wallace is a prominent CPA in Tuscaloosa, a former Chairman of the Alabama Republican Assembly, and a former Tuscaloosa County Commissioner. Bonnie Sachs is an educator in Double Springs.

FROM BONNIE SACHS AND DON WALLACE
TO THE ALABAMA REPUBLICAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Dear Republican Leaders,

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For those of you that may be wondering what led to our proposed bylaws change, we offer the below attachments for your consideration. While it is true that the statements of the College Republican Chair praising the DOMA decision, and criticizing the party leadership about their comments opposing the DOMA decision, and all of us who support our platform’s stand on traditional marriage had a part in the proposal.

Our position is that for the 21 voting members of the Steering Committee who are charged with executing our platform, our resolutions, and conservative message, that they should not use their official positions to attack the party platform. We believe that any member of the Steering Committee or the full State Committee can discuss items they disagree with, offer resolutions on issues they feel strongly about, or seek changes in our platform. The proposed bylaws change is only intended to address the leadership privileges and responsibilities of the Steering Committee, not to remove someone from their membership in the party.

However, we still trust our party will advocate for traditional marriage, defend the sanctity of life and other moral principles that have defined our party and propelled it to being the majority party in Alabama. We continue to see conservative Democrats join our Republican Party because of how liberal the national Democrat Party has become.

We will continue to stand for our Party’s strong, conservative,and traditional pro family, pro life, and fiscal conservative principles.

We are acceptable to an amendment to proposed bylaws change that only addresses same sex marriage and the right to life.

Sincerely,

Don Wallace, Tuscaloosa
Bonnie Sachs, Double Springs

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Written By

Brandon Moseley is a senior reporter with over nine years at Alabama Political Reporter. During that time he has written 8,941 articles for APR. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Facebook. Brandon is a native of Moody, Alabama, a graduate of Auburn University, and a seventh generation Alabamian.

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