Holliston, MA …Today Marty Lamb, candidate for Republican State Committee, announced that he has won the endorsement of Celeste Wilson, who was the President of the Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women (MFRW) for 8 years before their charter was forced to be removed by the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW).

“I am proud to endorse Marty Lamb for State Committee. He truly cares about the party and will make a great State Committeeman,” said Wilson. “Marty did an outstanding job repealing automatic gas tax hikes. His efforts helped the entire GOP ticket.”

“The Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women has done extraordinary work for the party over the past 80 years. My heart was broken when the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) was forced to remove the MFRW charter. This action forced our clubs around the state to close down. That has hurt our Republican candidates and the recruitment of female candidates. Marty Lamb has brought this problem to light, and he is the only candidate willing to fight for the Federation,” added Wilson.

During last year’s election cycle, the Massachusetts Republican Party Executive Committee did a review of charters. One of the conclusions was to deny a permit to use the word Republican in the MFRW title, because the MFRW would not give the Massachusetts State Party Executive Committee a list of their membership and contact information along with the bank account numbers of all their clubs. This would have been a violation of the MFRW bylaws as well as the NFRW refusal to allow outside use of their corporately held documents. Therefore, the NFRW was forced to pull the charter for the Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women to protect the MFRW members from being turned over to the Attorney General’s office for criminal and civil sanctions including a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail. Without the MFRW charter, the clubs were forced to shut down and close their bank accounts that have financially supported candidates.

“I am proud to have Celeste’s endorsement. And I am even prouder to stand up for all of the MA Federation of Republican Women to get their charter re-instated. It should have never happened,” said Lamb.

When elected, Lamb will work to right this wrong. The Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women has not only been helpful to candidates, but one of our strongest GOP Chairwomen, Jean Inman, got her start with the Federation.

In 2013, when the legislature linked the gas tax to inflation so that it would increase every year without a vote, Lamb stepped forward to be a Co-Chairman of Tank Automatic Gas Tax Hikes. He helped build a grassroots team that collected 120,000 signatures within 9 weeks. During the second round of signatures, the team collected another 26,000. When the Office of Campaign and Political Finance prohibited the ballot team from telling the public how legislators voted on the issue, Lamb started a PAC to educate voters.

During the last year’s election cycle Lamb helped numerous candidates running for office via the PAC and volunteering on campaigns.

Lamb has also been the Republican nominee for the Massachusetts House and for Congress. In 2010, he won a 5-way primary. For the past 4 years, Lamb has been the Holliston Republican Town Committee Chairman. He has volunteered on numerous campaigns. Most recently, he has been helping Diehl for Senate. Lamb was the only candidate in this race to help the only partisan race occurring in Massachusetts at the time.

Republican State Committee members are elected in March during the presidential primary. There are 2 members elected from each Senatorial district for the 80 member board that governs the GOP within Massachusetts.


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  • What is the Massachusetts statute or regulation that gives control to the Democrat or the Republican parties to treat either word as a brand, and therefore control it. This seems to be to be at the heart of the difficulty w/r/t Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women.

  • MGL Ch56 s40 reads:

    No organization consisting of two or more persons, other than a political committee duly elected in accordance with law or a corporation organized prior to January first, nineteen hundred and twenty-three, under the laws of this commonwealth and having as a part of its name the name of a political party, as defined by law, shall, in order to promote the success or defeat of a political party or principle or of a candidate in a public election, in any circular, advertisement or publication use in its organization name the name of such a political party, except with the written consent of the duly elected state committee representing such political party.

    Any member of an organization subject to this section who participates in a violation of any provision of said section shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than six months or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

  • Jim Gettens

    The term “Republican” is in the general lexicon and has been for centuries. The Massachusetts Republican Party cannot commandeer it, no matter what the statute says. Looks like a good Federal Court First Amendment challenge here. I note that MassGOP has not gone after “Republicans of Color for Progress in America, Inc.,” a Massachusetts corporation incorporated in 2013.

  • Celeste Wilson

    This is Celeste Wilson, I am the former MA Fed. of Republican Women’s President (MFRW). In 2013, the President of Association of MA Republicans used a determination from the AG’s office (Circa 1990’s) that the word “Republican” was generic and, therefore, not owned by the MassGOP. In 2013, The MassGOP Chairman at that time was Kirsten Hughes and the Exec. Dir. who had the determination was Dick Hersum. I tried calling and emailing him, without a reply.

    I then went to the AG’s office the summer of 2015, and spoke with a researcher at the AG’s office who said that it could take quite sometime to find the determination. A week later, this researcher called me back to tell me that they were not going to be able to find the determination for us. I said that Scott Harshbarger was the AG for 8 years during the 90’s so would that help, and the answer was no. (The implied question is why were they not going to be able to find the determination. I saved the message on my answering machine and listened to it yesterday. 2/25/16. The researcher from the AG’s office during the summer said that a letter had gone out the day before to me from the AG. I Never received the letter. I called yesterday 2/25/16 to ask for a copy of the letter that was sent to me for my files. No reply yet.

    The MA Fed of Republican Women (MFRW) came out of the State Party around 1929, and we separated into two distinct groups and MFRW became chartered by the Nat’l Fed. of Republican Women in the 1940’s. All of our clubs were chartered under the Nat’lFRW. Each of clubs had a charter under the MFRW given from the Nat’l FRW.

    The entire membership voted, and we had it placed in our bylaws in 2014 that the MFRW would not share our membership list or bank account numbers of all our clubs with any organization except the Nat’l Fed. of Republican Women to protect our member’s privacy., and from being hacked. In Jan, 2015, the current Exec. Dir. sent me an email indicating that the Exec. Comm. ONLY denied a permit to the MFRW because we were violating the bylaws of the MassGOP, because we would not turn over our membership contact lies with emails, address and phone numbers of all our club members and the bank account numbers of all our clubs. The current State Party Exec. Director went on to say that I was under a 30 day notice that MassGOP could turn me over to the AG’s office for civil and criminal sanctions including a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail. We turned the matter over to the Nat’l Fed. of Republican Women, and they said that it is a violation of their corporately held documents to not give out membership information to outside organizations A member of the MassGOP bought a copy of the NFRW corporate documents sent to her, and could not find in the Nat’lFRW Corporate documents that it would be a violation to hand our personal/financial information to outside groups, so the MassGOP would still not give the MFRW a permit. Legal Council for the Nat’ FRW went back and forth with the current Exec Dir. Finally, in June 2015, the Nat’lFRW President pulled the charter of the MFRW and its members clubs in June 2015 to protect our members from going to jail.

    I had been sending out emails for all the candidates running for office since Senator Scott Brown ran for office during a special election in 2009. As long as a candidate did not trash another candidate, the email would go out to my large distribution list. I never even thought to ask if the candidates were being supported by the MassGOP or not. This is may be where the problem arose.

    In 2009 no one was talking to each other, so I put any Republican on my distribution email list that wanted to know of Republican events and Press Releases without discrimination as to the orientation within the party. In 2012, the MFRW received an award from the Nat’lFRW for the most phones calls made (50,000). I coordinated with all the MassGOP offices to get the MFRW members in to make phone calls, and we held signs for candidates, had fundraisers and made personal donations. (No good deed goes unpunished!

    In 2013, our 90 year old club in Worcester no longer wanted to be in the MFRW. According to the MFRW & Nat’lFRW, bylaws the charter of the clubs belong to the Nat’lFRW, and all assets of the club had to be returned to the superior club. A state committee woman was president of the club in Worcester, and refused to return the funds including he PAC, Sec. & Treasurer books, etc. It dragged on for several months and the MFRW had to get an attorney. The only thing we got back was membership for 10 members. The Worcester club, I believe now operates with a permit from the MassGOP. This president of the Worcester club stepped down as president, and worked her way to the Executive Committee of the MassGOP. It only takes 3 votes to deny a permit to a club, and there were 5 women on the Executive Committee that were in our clubs, and some had to abstain from voting. A vote to deny a permit does not go to the entire state committee for a vote.

    The current Exec. Director started to split up the clubs from the MFRW by offering the individual clubs permits to force the MFRW to turn our membership list/financials to the MassGOP. Without the MFRW, the clubs do not exist. All the clubs that were non-Pac’s returned the funds to the Nat’lFRW. There are 3 pac’s that hold the largest membership that may be operating under different names and may have permits from the MassGOP to operate in MA. I have no idea. As far as The Nat’lFRW knows, the Pac’s have not returned the funds to them. Any of MFRW clubs can no longer use their name, because the names of the clubs belong to the Nat’FRW.

    Thank you,

    Celeste Wilson
    Former President
    Massachusetts Federation of Republican Women 2009-june 2015