‘Shenanigans’ prompted committee’s bylaws

Having no ambitions for elected office, I do not wish to get bogged down in the swamp of nasty politics, but I feel compelled to respond to

Sen. John Eichelberger Jr.’s June 14 letter accusing me of “manufacturing a lie.”

The facts are that Eichelberger was defeated in court when members of the Blair County Republican Committee obtained an injunction protecting their right to vote for delegates for their congressional candidate. He was defeated at the county committee meeting after the court prohibited any interference with the committee members’ selection of delegates for the congressional candidate convention. He was defeated in his effort to be selected as the Republican congressional candidate in the 2001 special election, and a year later he chose not to run for committee after Jim Gregory and I launched our campaigns for committee in his precinct.

More to the point of the June 22 Mirror article, for which I was interviewed, the committee bylaws review and revision undertaken in 2002-04 was prompted by the shenanigans employed in trying to deprive the committee members of their right to vote for delegates to the congressional candidate convention.

The bylaws were revised to address future attempts to distort the bylaws and/or to stack the deck with last-minute appointments. The revised bylaws also clearly prohibited any future efforts to elect a chairperson who is not a current committee member.

I take my reputation for honesty very seriously, and I apologize if I have unintentionally misspoken in any manner. But I believe that most, if not all, of the foregoing can be confirmed in Mirror archives and/or other public documents.

John Urban


(The writer was the Blair County Republican Committee chairman from 2002-08).