JEREMY WADSWORTH Enlarge
A Lucas County common pleas judge yesterday took a big bite out of the 126-member slate Republican Party activist Jon Stainbrook has compiled to challenge the party's leadership.
Acting on a complaint filed by Doug Haynam, chairman of the party's central committee, Judge J. Ronald Bowman issued an order barring 27 people from voting when the committee meets Saturday. The judge's ruling, in the form of a temporary restraining order, is the latest salvo in the fight for the party post-Tom and Bernadette Noe.
Judge Bowman, a Democrat, scheduled a hearing for 10 a.m. tomorrow.
"We're going to court Friday and present copies of the actual poll books and copies of the provisional ballots as evidence showing that these people requested Republican ballots at the polls, and voted Republican," Mr. Stainbrook said last night. "They are Republicans and should be allowed to vote Saturday at the meeting."
Most of the 27 were new precinct committeemen elected on March 4 and recruited by Mr. Stainbrook.
Mr. Stainbrook prided himself on bringing new blood into the party, including people who don't fit the GOP stereotype, such as musicians, a tattoo artist, and a roller derby queen.
He said he is trying to reduce the role in the party of people who were appointed by or had ties to the Noes, who were influential in local and state GOP politics until Tom Noe was convicted of theft and money-laundering in 2006.
Mr. Haynam said nine of the 27 people voted with Democratic ballots in the recent primary, making them members of the Democratic Party; 17 people didn't vote at all in the March 4 primary and never have voted a Republican ballot; and one voted "issue-only," thus renouncing membership in the Republi-can Party, Mr. Haynam said. m.
"The 27 individual defendants are not members of the Republican Party," Mr. Haynam said. All 27 appeared on the Republican ballot in their local precinct March 4, and would have had to pull a Republican ballot to be able to vote for themselves.
Mr. Haynam said he took the matter to court because he didn't want to make that decision alone.
Mr. Haynam and Mr. Stainbrook have been dueling over the rules and timing of the upcoming meeting.
On Tuesday, Mr. Stainbrook accused Mr. Haynam of failing to give the required five-day notice of the meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. at the Elks Lodge, 139 West Wayne St., Maumee. He's also accused Mr. Haynam of trying to confuse his recruits. Mr. Haynam has denied those claims.
Of the 27 people named in the suit, 23 appear on the list of recruits claimed by Mr. Stainbrook. There were 249 people elected to the party central committee March 4, of which 126 are claimed by Mr. Stainbrook, who said he would run for chairman of the party if he is nominated at the meeting.
Yesterday's ruling appears to have whittled down Mr. Stainbrook's slate to about 103. It is not known how many of the remaining 96 are loyal to the current chairman, Bob Reichert, or are likely to vote for him.
"Why are Doug Haynam and Joanne Wack doing this?" Mr. Stainbrook said. "They are terrified, they are scared that they are losing the battle for control of the Lucas County Republican Party central committee. They are so desperate they are trying to eliminate real Republicans who voted Republican."
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