August 6, 2014
Mr. Mitch Tyner, Sr. 5750 I-55 North Jackson, MS 39211
On Monday August 4, 2014, I received a copy of your cover letter dated the same date, and one hard copy of your challenge notebook. Last evening, Tuesday August 5, I received links to your “verified” electronic copy of this roughly 300 page document, and I promptly forwarded these links to our 52-member State Executive Committee. Unfortunately most committee members so far have only been able to access the audio files, but have not yet been able to access the large challenge document file.
As you know, Section 23-15-927 of the Mississippi Code entitled “Petition for Judicial Review” was amended in 2012 to provide that “a petition for judicial review must be filed within ten (10) days after any contest or complaint has been filed with an executive committee.” (emphasis added). This means that any petition for judicial review must be filed in court by Thursday, August 14, 2014. This same section also provides that the filing of such a petition “shall automatically supersede and suspend the operation and effect” of any executive committee action.
The Mississippi Republican Party Bylaws require 7 days notice of any meeting of the State Executive Committee. Therefore, if we sent notice of a meeting today (even before most committee members have even been able to receive all of the evidence), the earliest we could have a meeting would be August 13, 2014.
Since a petition for judicial review would by law terminate our committee’s jurisdiction over this matter at the latest on August 14, 2014, this would afford our committee, at most, one day to at a minimum:
1. consider and determine the proper procedural rules that should govern an unprecedented proceeding of this type;
2. hear and vote on legal arguments regarding the timeliness of this challenge, see Kellum v. Johnson, 115 So. 2d 147 (Miss. 1959) (which appears to impose a 20 day time limit from the runoff to file a challenge);
3. issue fiats to the various county executive committee chairmen across the state implicated by the challenge, have each committee investigate the complaint and return their findings to the chairman of the state committee;
4. hear testimony from the potentially dozens of witnesses who have been named in the challenge;
5. examine the wide variety of evidence cited in the challenge and presented by other interested parties; and
6. finally, engage in proper deliberation and render a decision on the challenge.
Obviously, it is not possible for our committee of 52 volunteers to attempt to engage in such an exercise in a prudent manner in one day. In fact, given the extraordinary relief requested of overturning a United States Senate primary in which over 360,000 Mississippians cast votes, the only way to ensure the integrity of the election process and provide a prudent review of this matter is in a court of law. The public judicial process will protect the rights of the voters as well as both candidates, and a proper decision will be made on behalf of our Party and our State.
Mississippi Republican Party