Cornell College Republicans have filed a formal complaint with the College Republican National Committee after, they say, they were booted from the New York Federation of College Republicans for endorsing libertarian Gary Johnson instead of Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The Cornell group made the endorsement based on their belief that Johnson, and not Trump, best represents “conservative” values in the upcoming election. But, Cornell’s College Republicans say, the chair of New York’s federation, Eli Nachmany, is a Trump loyalist and campaign worker, who used a clandestine board meeting to punish them for their libertarian leanings.
“[Nachmany] acted unconstitutionally in calling for an emergency secret vote to expel the Cornell Republicans from the state organization,” Cornell Republicans executive director told the Cornell student newspaper. “Further, Eli steamrolled the 6-3 emergency vote — an action impulsive at best and fraudulent at worst.”
Cornell’s team also claims that the College Republican constitution protects a chapter’s right to “free speech,” in order to “promote the principles of the limited government, fiscal responsibility, economic freedom and personal responsibility in New York college campuses.” So if they feel Johnson and not Trump is the best candidate for the job based on those qualities, they should be safe to endorse him.
So far, the New York federation hasn’t been receptive to Cornell’s complaints. “I gave Eli Nachmany fair warning that we would seek legal redress if we were not reinstated, and he chose to laugh at me over the phone and was uncooperative with my requests,” Olivia Corn, chair of the Cornell College Republicans, told the Cornell Sun. “I got off of my phone call with him, walked into my father’s room, and I said ‘Call [the lawyer], I think we have a legal case.’”
Cornell’s College Republicans say they’re ready to pursue litigation.