December 07. 2012 9:03PM

John DiStaso: Republican State Committee members vote to waive fee

Senior Political Reporter

CONCORD - So much for that $25 fee for Republican State Committee members.

After outrage in some quarters of the rank-and-file, the GOP's executive committee on Thursday night voted to waive, though not rescind, the fee for 2013 and leave it up to the new state committee and executive committee elected in January to decide how to approach it in the future.

The vote of the 33-member executive committee was hardly unanimous.

In fact, said Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey, only 19 of the 33 members participated in the conference call meeting and the vote to waive the fee was 11-8.

Party chairman Wayne MacDonald, who is leaving his post as of the Jan. 26 state committee meeting, said the "vote also contained a provision that a plan be devised to explore implementing it for 2014.

"This is something the full state committee could intervene into on Jan. 26 or the next executive committee meeting could address in February or thereafter in time for the 2014 annual meeting," MacDonald said.

Duprey proposed the fee last week in an attempt to boost the party's finances and make it clear to state committee members that their post entails fundraising responsibilities as well as grassroots activities.

But he voted in favor of waiving the fee on Thursday night because a message was sent, he said.

"I hope the next chairman proposes a realistic budget, and once that is adopted, everyone participates in fundraising," Duprey said.

"This, at least, was the first time we've had a discussion where we made it clear that serving on the state committee is not an honorary position, it's a working position," said Duprey.

"I wanted to have that discussion before people sought the positions on the state committee," he said. "They all now know that if they are chosen for the state committee, they will have to shoulder their share in fund-raising as well as grassroots activities."