By signing a petition to allow the Libertarian Party on the ballot, New Hampshire Republican State Chairman Jack Kimball may also have signed his political death warrant.

There is photographic evidence of Kimball having signed the petition, which was published by WMUR’s James Pindell last week. By signing that petition, Kimball disqualified himself from serving as an officer of the Republican State Committee according to the Committee’s bylaws.

The photo kicked off a torrent of e-mails and phone calls over the weekend between Republican executive committee members and other GOP leaders expressing outrage that the Republican Chairman would aid another party, especially one that regularly siphons off votes from Republican candidates.

Critics say Kimball’s petition signature violates the so-called “Mirski Amendment” – the section of the bylaws that prohibits registered Republicans who lend their name to a candidate from another party from serving as an officer of the Republican State Committee.

The relevant section, Article I. Section 4a., reads:

“4a. Any registered Republican who, at the same time joins or allows his or her name to be used in support of a political committee or a defined group of individuals that in title or effect is intended to be understood by the public to be a committee or group comprised in whole or in part of members of the Republican Party endorsing a candidate for elected office from another political party, when there is a candidate nominated by the Republican Party for that office, shall be disqualified during the then present and the next biennium from holding an office of the State Committee or any County or City Committee, from being a member of the Executive Committee and from being a member of the State Committee.”

The irony is that the Mirski Amendment was intended to weed out so-called RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), the very same people Kimball pledge to run out of the party when he ran for Chairman in January.

Additionally, other critics told NH Journal that Kimball’s petition signature violates Article I. Section 2. of the bylaws, which requires officers of the Party “to promote the general welfare of the Republican Party.”

Numerous Republican sources tell NH Journal that Republican leaders are taking Kimball’s bylaws violations seriously and that his offenses could result in Kimball’s removal as Party Chairman. We conducted numerous interviews and party officials were uncertain how exactly the rules would be enforced. The Executive Committee has the right to waive these rule as it sees fit.

For his part, NH Journal is told that Kimball is nonplussed about the controversy and thinks he did nothing wrong.

The Republican Party is still reeling from a devastating special election loss last week. Blame for the loss has largely fallen on Kimball’s shoulders.