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RNHA National: RNHA IL Was NOT Decertified
Posted August 24, 2011 by Rafael Rivadeneira

In the ongoing appeals process—which has yet to go before the RNHA National Committee—the National RNHA General Counsel insists National RNHA did NOT decertify the RNHA IL chapter. What National RNHA General Counsel, Robert DeV. Bunn, argues is that “withdrawal of official recognition of the former RNHA of Illinois chapter is the manner by which the RNHA has chosen to resolve this case”. The problem with that argument is that nowhere in the Rules and Bylaws of the RNHA does it allow the National RNHA to withdraw recognition of an existing RNHA chapter.

The RNHA IL does not speculate regarding the reasons why the National RNHA Chairman has yet to call for a meeting or even a vote of the RNHA National Committee, the “ultimate authority” in this case per the Rules and Bylaws of the RNHA; however, the RNHA IL does have the overwhelming support of the RNHA National Committee.

Copied below is the latest letter sent to Mr. Bunn.

Dear Mr. Bunn:

In response to your July 21, 2011 correspondence the RNHA of Illinois hereby disputes and contests the RNHA’s denial of Appellant’s appeal of the RNHA Mandate dated June 3, 2011 (the “Mandate”).  The RNHA IL responds to each paragraph of your July 21 letter as follows:

1. RNHA’s ground for denying Appellants right to call a meeting of the RNHA National Committee are without merit and must be overturned.  Mr. Rafael Rivadeneira was an active member in good standing and the RNHA acknowledged this in your correspondence to Mr. Rivadeneira and Mr. Orlando dated February 26, 2011.  In that letter you stated:

“Based on the parties’ submissions to date, it appears that there was an officially called RNHA of Illinois Convention and it was duly convened on February 5, 2011 and the Parliamentarian was approved to assist during the convention by the majority of credentialed delegates.  Accordingly, the various findings of fact and rulings by the Parliamentarian pursuant to but not limited to the RNHA of Illinois Bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order are presumed correct and the RNHA will not disturb such findings absent a showing of an abuse of discretion or other legally compelling reason.  (See Exhibit A attached hereto.)

The findings of fact of the Parliamentarian (which you stated you would not disturb), Ms. Nancy Sylvester, MA, PRP, CPP-T, were stated in her conclusion:

“Was the suspension of the membership of Rafael Rivadeneira from the RNHA DuPage County Chapter a valid suspension that would then cause him to no longer to be President of the ILRNHA?  Answer no, the suspension of the membership of Rafael Rivadeneira was not valid.  The requirements established in the parliamentary authority of the RNHA DuPage County Chapter were not followed.  Since the membership did not follow the required steps and Mr. Rivadeneira was not accorded due process, the bylaws have been violated and the action taken to suspend the membership of Rafael Rivadeneira was not valid.  Mr. Rivadeneira remains a member of the RNHA DuPage County Chapter and the legal President of the ILRNHA.”

Therefore you have legally denied Mr. Rivadeneira’s right to call a meeting of the national committee of the RNHA.” (See Exhibit B attached hereto.)

Furthermore, the Mandate validates these statements as the RNHA recognized Mr. Rivadeneira as holding a legitimate convention.  His convention would not have been legitimate if he had not been a member of the RNHA IL.

2. RNHA’s grounds for denial of Appellant’s appeal of Mr. Rivadeneira’s membership are without merit and must be overturned.  As stated above, the RNHA recognized Mr. Rivadeneira’s membership and needed to in order to find he held the legitimate RNHA IL convention, not Mr. Orlando. Failure to follow additional requests of the RNHA Executive Committee or its Chairman does not deny a member’s right to call a meeting of the RNHA National Committee.

3. RNHA’s grounds for denial of Appellant’s appeal of the decertification or withdrawal of official recognition are without merit and must be overturned.  First, and most importantly, the RNHA Executive Committee does not have the right to withhold recognition of an existing RNHA state chapter with 25 or more voting members.  Pursuant to Section 12(a)(3) of Rules of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (the “Rules”) state chapters with 25 voting members are automatically renewed. Attached as Exhibit C are copies of membership rolls from Cook, Du Page and Grundy County showing that the Appellant had over 50 members from these 3 counties alone as of January 1, 2011 and was therefore automatically renewed.

Nowhere in the Rules does it allow the RNHA to withdraw recognition as you claim to be doing here. The RNHA has a right to decertify pursuant to Section 3 of the Rules (which you specifically told us the RNHA did not do here) and right to withhold recognition pursuant to Section 12 of the Rules, but nowhere in the rules is there a right to withdraw recognition as the RNHA assumes. (The other rule you cite, 15B, does not allow you to withdraw, withhold or decertify a state chapter.)  Your statement that “the national rules empower the national executive committee to officially recognize state and county chapters and to withhold such recognition” is incorrect and reflects a lack of understanding of your own document.  The rules clearly state that a state chapter is automatically renewed if the state chapter had 25 members before the end of the calendar year.  As the state of Illinois did have 25 members before the end of the calendar year, there is no basis upon which the RNHA Executive Committee could withhold recognition of the Illinois chapter.  If the RNHA Secretary chose to withhold recognition despite the Rules, then the Secretary is in breach of the Rules.

You are correct that no Illinois Republican, Hispanic or otherwise, will be disenfranchised by the RNHA decision.  However, decisions such as these by the RNHA have continually weakened the effectiveness of the RNHA and are turning it into an arbitrary authority. Absent decertification by the RNHA National Committee the RNHA IL will continue to operate in the State of Illinois. As the RNHA National Committee overwhelmingly supports RNHA IL it will not be decertified any time soon.

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