Committee Bylaws

RULES OF THE

DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN THE COUNTY OF WESTMORELAND

RULE I

PARTY ORGANIZATION

 

SECTION 1. The representatives and authoritative bodies governing the Democratic Party in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania shall be:

 

  1. County Committee

  2. Finance Committee

  3. Executive Committee

  4. Municipal Committee

 

SECTION 2. Only regularly registered and enrolled Democratic Electors shall be eligible to serve as members of officers of any of the committees provided for by Section 1 of this Rule. No person shall be eligible to serve as a member or officer of any said Committee who holds a political appointive office for profit under an administration, city, county, state, or nation opposed to the Democratic Party (except offices of a judicial character or appointed by Courts, or Notaries Public or Commissioners of Deeds), or who has entered into an arrangement or agreement with opponents of the Democratic Party to promote the election of any candidate or candidates opposed to the Democratic Party, or who by his voice or vote within two (2) years has supported such candidate or candidates or who has supported, aided or abetted the enactment of the legislation repugnant to the declared principles of the Democratic Party and the expressed will of the majority of the representatives of the Democratic Party in any legislative body where the same shall be under consideration. Nor shall any person be eligible to serve as Chair or Vice Chair of the County Committee who has not been a registered member of the Democratic Party for at least two (2) years preceding the date of his election, or who holds an elective office guaranteed by law to the minority party; provided, however, that this prohibition shall not apply to Jury Commissioners.

 

SECTION 3. In case any member or officer of any said Committee is accused of being disqualified under any of the provisions of Section 2 of this Rule, the Executive Committee shall, after a full hearing by said Committee of all the evidence submitted to it for and against the member or officer so accused remove from office the person so accused if the Executive Committee finds the charge sustained by the evidence. The Executive Committee shall vote on removal by secret written ballot. Removal shall require the concurrence of three-quarters of the members of the Executive Committee present at any hearing and shall follow the procedure set forth in Rule IX of these Rules.

 

SECTION 4. A quorum of the Westmoreland County Democratic Committee shall consist of the number of members present at any meeting, provided that due notice of such meeting is given. “Due Notice” shall be written notice given not less than thirty (30) days prior to the date of such meeting.

 

RULE II

COUNTY COMMITTEE

 

SECTION 1. The County Committee shall consist of two (2) members, one male and one female from each Election District in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. All members of the County Committee shall be members of the Democratic Party, residents of the Election District they represent, elected by the Democratic Electors of such Election District, in accordance with the laws governing such elections for a term of four (4) years, and serve until their successors are duly elected.

 

SECTION 2. Upon general certification of the members of the Westmoreland County Democratic Committee, the biennial reorganization meeting for the election of County Committee Officers shall be held in or within a five (5) mile radius of the City of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, (at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon) on the first Saturday after the third Wednesday following the Spring Primary Election in each even-numbered year. In each odd-numbered year, a regular meeting of the County Committee shall be held in or within a five (5) mile radius of the City of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, on the third Saturday in June at 2:00 o’clock in the afternoon.

 

SECTION 3. Special meetings of the County Committee may be called at any time by the Chair of said Committee, and shall be called at any time by the Chair upon the written request of one-tenth of the members of said Committee.

 

SECTION 4. The Chairman or Secretary shall mail/ email notice of all meetings of the County Committee to each member at least thirty (30) days before such meeting.

 

SECTION 5. All voting shall take place immediately after the termination of the business meeting and shall remain open until all members present and eligible to vote have had an opportunity to vote.

 

SECTION 6. The Westmoreland County Democratic Committee shall meet in convention on a date selected by the County Chair, said date to fall after the last day to file petitions and before the last day to withdraw petitions for office in all Primary Elections. The purpose of such meeting is for the full Committee to determine whether or not the Westmoreland Democratic Party shall endorse candidates for office in the Primary Election or have an open Primary Election. Unless voted to be an Open Primary by a majority of the Committee in attendance, the Primary Election shall be considered closed and the Party shall endorse candidates for office. Each candidate filing for the primary election shall be considered together with all Democratic Candidates for the same office in the determination to be made by the County Committee. Should the County Committee determine to endorse candidates, the members of the County Committee shall then vote on the names of all candidates who have notified the County Chair of their candidacy in the manner prescribed above. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast (50%+1) shall be considered the endorsed candidate for their respective office. The procedure for voting shall be as follows:

 

  1. All official Party Committee meetings shall be open to the public, and votes shall not be taken by secret ballot, in accordance with DNC bylaws.

  2. The first vote shall be on the question of whether or not to have an open primary. Such vote shall be held immediately after the meeting of the Committee and the voting shall be conducted until those members present and eligible to vote have had an opportunity to vote. If the vote determines that an endorsement of candidates shall be made, each candidate shall be given the opportunity to address the committee members and all candidates shall be given equal time in this respect.

  3. If the vote determines that an endorsement of candidates should be made, a second vote shall be held to determine which of all of the candidates for each office the County Democratic Committee shall endorse. In the event no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast (50% + 1) there will be a run-off between the top two (2) vote getters.

  4. Proxy voting shall be permitted provided that such proxy may not be given to another Democratic Committee person. A proxy may only be given to and voted by another Democratic elector from the same precinct, selected at the discretion of the person giving the proxy. No person shall be entitled to hold and/or vote more than one proxy. The person voting the proxy shall provide proof of their voter registration within the precinct of the person giving such proxy at the time of any meeting at which voting occurs together with an individual identification.

  5. In those candidacies for office of legislative and senatorial districts, the County Chair shall prescribe the time, place, and method for voting on endorsed candidates by the Committee members from the respective legislative and senatorial districts.

  6. Election Board Members and/or Deputy Sheriffs may be appointed by the County Chair to ensure that all precautions necessary to ensure the sanctity of the vote shall prevail.

  7. In the event of an endorsement of candidates as set forth above, all funds available to the County Committee shall be used for the campaigns of the endorsed candidates. In no event shall any County Committee funds be used on behalf of any candidates other than those candidates endorsed by the committee.

 

SECTION 7. The members of the County Committee shall, under the supervision and direction of the Chair of the County Committee and in conjunction with the Candidate for Office, assist in all General election campaigns of Democratic Candidates and of the endorsed Democratic Candidates in Primary Elections, in their respective Election Districts.

 

SECTION 8. The Officers of the County Committee shall be a Chair and a Vice Chair, one of who shall be a man and one of who shall be a woman, a Secretary and Treasurer, who may or may not be members of said Committee.

 

SECTION 9. The Chair and Vice Chair of the County Committee shall be elected by the County Committee at its quadrennial meeting in an even-numbered year for a term of four (4) years and serve until their successors are duly elected.

 

SECTION 10. The Secretary and Treasurer of the County Committee shall be appointed by the Chair of said Committee and shall serve at the pleasure of the County Chair.

 

SECTION 11. The Chair of the County Committee shall call all meetings of the County Committee, the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee and preside at all meetings of said Committees. The Chair of the County Committee may delegate the duties under Section 11 to any other Member of the Committee.

 

SECTION 12. The Vice Chair of the County Committee shall, in the absence or incapacity of the Chair of the County Committee, perform the duties of that office.

 

SECTION 13. The Secretary, or Executive Secretary, of the County Committee shall keep a complete record of the meetings of the County Committee, the Finance Committee and the Executive Committee, have charge of the Headquarters of the Democratic Party and possession of all the rules, papers and books belonging to the Party, and do and perform such other services assigned to them from time to time by the Chair and Vice Chair. The Secretary of the County Committee shall provide each member of the four Committees set forth in Section 1 of Rule I with a copy of these Rules upon their election.

 

SECTION 14. The Treasurer of the County Committee shall, under supervision and direction of the Chair of the County Committee, receive and disburse all moneys, receipts, and disbursements as required by law. The Treasurer of the County Committee shall, under the supervision and direction of the Chair of the County Committee, make campaign finance disclosures as required by law.

 

SECTION 15. In the event of a vacancy in the office of Chair of the County Committee, the Vice Chair for the remainder of the prior shall fill then the position Chair’s unexpired term. Thereafter, the County Committee at its next meeting shall elect the vacancy in the Office of Vice Chair. Persons of the same gender shall not hold the offices of Chair and Vice Chair of the County Committee. No person shall be eligible to serve as Chair of the County Committee who holds a County or State elective office or who files as a candidate for such office.

 

RULE III

FINANCE COMMITTEE

 

SECTION 1. The Finance Committee shall consist of the Officers of the County Committee and nine (9) other members appointed by the Chair of the County Committee, one from each of the nine (9) geographic districts and serve at the pleasure of the County Chair.

 

SECTION 2. The Finance Committee shall raise and collect money and funds for the Democratic Party in Westmoreland County and assist the Officers of the County Committee in conducting campaigns of the Democratic Party in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

 

SECTION 3. The Treasurer of the County Committee shall, after each election, submit his or her records for audit by an independent auditor and a written report of the audit submitted to the Executive Committee, which said report shall be kept in the Headquarters office for inspection by any members of the County Committee.

 

RULE IV

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

 

SECTION 1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer of the County Committee and one (1) member from each of the nine (9) geographic districts. The members of the nine (9) geographic districts shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Chair.

 

SECTION 2. This Committee is charged with the duty of aiding the County Chair when so requested and with the duties provided hereinafter in these bylaws.

 

SECTION 3. The Executive Committee shall meet on not less than a biannual basis.

 

RULE V

ADVISORY COMMITTEE

 

SECTION 1. The Advisory Committee shall consist of all the elected Democratic Westmoreland County Officeholders not prohibited by law; all of the elected Democratic Pennsylvania and United States Officeholders from the Westmoreland County Legislative and Congressional Districts and in addition, one member from each of the nine (9) geographic districts, that member to be appointed by the County Chair. The Advisory Committee shall be charged with the duty of aiding the Executive Committee in any of the Executive Committee’s functions.


 

RULE VI

MUNICIPAL COMMITTEES

 

SECTION 1. The members of the County Committee in each municipality (city,borough and township) in Westmoreland County shall comprise the Municipal Committee for the municipality.

 

SECTION 2. Upon general certification of the members of the Westmoreland County Democratic Committee, the members of each Municipal Committee in Westmoreland County shall within thirty (30) days after their election, meet and organize by electing among their number a Chair, Vice Chair, one of whom shall be a woman and one a man, and Secretary to serve until the next election of members of the County Committee and until their successors are duly elected. The County Chair shall schedule an organization meeting in the event the Municipal Committee fails to organize within thirty days.

 

SECTION 3. The Secretary of each Municipal Committee shall, within seven (7) days after the organization meeting, report to the Chair of the County Committee the names of the officers elected and shall provide a complete list of all members of the County Committee in that municipality, together with their mailing addresses, email address and updated phone number.

 

SECTION 4. The Chair of each Municipal Committee shall, under the supervision and direction of the Chair of the County Committee, conduct all General Election campaigns and any endorsed Primary campaigns of the Democratic Party in his municipality.

 

SECTION 5. The members of the Municipal Committee shall assist the Chair of their Municipal Committee and the Chair of the County Committee in the conduct and activities of all campaigns of the Democratic Party in their respective municipality.

 

SECTION 6. The Vice Chair of each Municipal Committee shall, in the absence or incapacity of the Chair of that Municipal Committee, perform the duties of that officer.

 

RULE VII

VACANCIES

 

SECTION 1. The Municipal Committee Chair in the Election District in which such vacancy exists shall fill all vacancies in the County Committee, arising from any cause. The Municipal Secretary shall immediately forward to the Chair of the County Committee the name and address of the person chosen to fill such vacancy. The Chair of the County Committee shall fill any vacancy continuing for more than thirty days. If a registered Democrat from within the Precinct cannot fill a vacancy, the County Chair may appoint a registered Democrat from within the Municipal District to fill the vacancy.

 

SECTION 2. No County Committee vacancies shall be filled within 30 days of the Annual Endorsement Convention.

 

SECTION 3. The Chair of the County Committee shall fill all vacancies in the Finance Committee, arising from any cause.

 

SECTION 4. All vacancies happening or existing in the Democratic Nomination for any Congressional, Senatorial, Legislative, Judicial or County Office, the filling of which is not otherwise specifically provided for under the Election Code, and which current law does not otherwise prohibit, shall be filled by the Executive Committee. Individual members of the Executive Committee shall not be permitted to cast a vote for themselves.

 

SECTION 5. In order to fill said vacancies, as prescribed in Section 4, the Chair of the County Committee shall call a meeting of the Executive Committee after giving the members thereof at least seven (7) days notice of the time and place of the meeting.

 

RULE VIII

EDUCATIONAL SEMINARS

 

SECTION 1. The County Chair shall in the month of June schedule and conduct a biannual seminar for all members of the County Committee in the years of their election, which shall cover all duties of the County Committee members and all committees within the structure of the Democratic Party.

 

RULE IX

REMOVES (AND PENALTIES)

 

SECTION 1. No member of the County Committee or officer of the representative and authoritative committees thereof shall actively engage in the support of:

  1. A non-endorsed Democrat in a closed primary;

  2. A Republican or other party candidate in an open primary;

  3. A Republican or other party candidate in a general election; or

  4. Any cross-filed Candidate who is not a registered Democrat in a primary or general election

 

SECTION 2. Upon receipt of a written complaint, signed by the complainant, alleging that a member of the County Committee or officer of the representative and authoritative committees thereof has engaged in the above activity, the Chair of the County Committee shall conduct an investigation of same. The person against whom the allegation is made shall be notified that such investigation is pending and shall receive a copy of the complaint against them. Within twenty (20) days of the receipt of the written complaint, the Chair shall provide written notice to the person against whom the allegation is made of the results of such investigation and what discipline, if any, is to be imposed. The type of discipline imposed shall be determined by the Chair and shall be in conformance with Pennsylvania law and the Rules of the State Democratic Committee.

 

SECTION 3. Any person aggrieved by the discipline imposed by the Chair may appeal to the Executive Committee within ten (10) days of the date of the Notice of Discipline. Such appeal shall be in writing and sent to the Secretary of the Committee. The failure to take such appeal within ten (10) day time period shall constitute a waiver of the same and the discipline imposed by the Chair shall be deemed final. Any discipline imposed by the chair shall be suspended pending the disposition of the Appeal.

 

SECTION 4. Upon receipt of the written Appeal, the Secretary shall schedule a hearing before the Executive Committee to take testimony and evidence and determine the merits of the complaint. Such hearing shall be scheduled within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Appeal and written notice of the same shall be given to the person taking such Appeal and the complainant. The accused party shall have the right to be present, with or without counsel, at such hearing and to present testimony and evidence on their behalf.

 

SECTION 5. Following such hearing, the Executive Committee may affirm, modify, reject or rescind the discipline imposed by the Chair; provided, however, that discipline resulting in removal from the Committee shall require the concurrence of 75% of the Executive Committee members present.

 

RULE X

AMENDMENTS

 

SECTION 1. These rules may be altered or amended by the County Committee at any of its meetings by a majority vote of all of the members of said Committee present at such meeting.

 

SECTION 2. The Chair of the County Committee shall appoint from the County Committee of the Democratic Party in Westmoreland County a Rules Committee of five (5) which shall be a standing Committee, the members of which shall serve at the pleasure of the County Chair.

 

SECTION 3. The Rules Committee shall make its recommendations for alteration or amendment of the Rules to the Chair of the County Committee, who shall consult with the Executive Committee, which said Executive Committee at its next meeting shall determine whether any proposed amendment or alteration shall be presented to the County Committee for consideration and vote.

 

SECTION 4. Any Westmoreland County Democratic elector may propose alterations and amendments to these Rules directly to the Rules Committee for appropriate action.

SECTION 5. Prior to the presentation of a proposed alteration or amendment to these Rules to the County Committee for consideration, a summary of the proposed change shall be contained in the Notice of Meeting required under Section 4 of Rule II of these Rules.

 

RULE XI

PROCEDURE

 

SECTION 1. Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern all meetings of all committees referred to in these rules, except where inconsistent with these bylaws.

 

THESE RULES ARE CONSIDERED, VOTED UPON, AND APPROVED BY THE MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE IN THE COUNTY OF WESTMORELAND AT A RECONVENED MEETING OF THE COUNTY COMMITTEE, HELD FEBRUARY 22, 2017, AND ARE INTENDED TO SUPERCEDE AND REPEAL ANY OTHER RULES OR AMENDMENTS THERETO, INCONSISTENT THEREWITH, THAT HAVE BEEN OR MAY HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY ADOPTED.


 

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