Monday, August 29, 2011

Anderson pulls back the curtain on local GOP

Posted By on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 4:00 PM

UPDATE: El Paso County Republican Party Chairman Eli Bremer's comments have now been included.

Sarah Anderson

El Paso County Republican Party Secretary Sarah Anderson has released nearly 8,000 words of private e-mails exchanged within the local GOP party leadership. The e-mails, which are dated between February and May 2011, were exchanged between Anderson, chairman Eli Bremer, vice-chair David Williams, then-party attorney John Buckley, and others such as executive committee bonus member (and El Paso County Treasurer) Bob Balink.

They offer a glimpse at an immediately antagonistic relationship between the party officers that would eventually blow up and wind up on the cover of this paper.

This isn't the first time an officer of the local GOP has released private e-mails; Bremer did so back on July 19, when he forwarded us a conversation that took place between himself, Buckley and Anderson. At the time, Bremer said that he released the e-mails because "they are of direct importance and contradict [Anderson's] statements."

When asked why she chose to release the e-mails, Anderson says, "The reason that they should be released is that it shows a pattern that started just a few weeks after we were elected, and that pattern is power first, and ignore other people. I think that you can see that particularly in some of the earlier e-mails where the chairman is very dismissive of the executive committee and their ability to do things or not do things, but then he tries to rely heavily on them later on. It's a contradiction that he uses only to suit his purposes."

We have reached out to Bremer, Williams, Buckley and Balink. Buckley has yet to respond.

Balink states that it is Anderson's prerogative to release the e-mails, stating, "I have only tried to help everyone devote their energies toward productive outcomes. We have lots of talent across the board and by working together we can all make a difference."

"It is disappointing," writes Bremer in an e-mail, "that we have members of the Republican Party who turn to liberal media outlets with their complaints when they fail in accomplishing their agendas within the Party. The Central Committee elected me to run our organization to the highest professional standards and set up top-notch election support for the purpose of defeating Barack Obama in November 2012. In the past six months, we have made tremendous strides forward. We have paid off our substantial debt and have now have nearly a year’s worth of cash on hand for our core business operations. We have formed a Strategic Plan that was approved with resounding support from our Executive Committee. We secured our databases, protecting the private information of hundreds of thousands of voters in El Paso County. And we have brought our organization into compliance with the best practices for fundraising with our new Donor Advised Fund. Most importantly, we are making tremendous strides forward toward efficient and effective election operations for our Republican candidates in the 2012 election. I encourage all Republicans who truly want to see Barack Obama defeated in 2012 join with us as one team to achieve victory!"

Williams states:

I have been directed by Chairman Eli Bremer not to speak to members of the press under penalty of a resignation request by the Chairman. However, I do feel that such a directive is not within the Chairman's authority to issue. With that stated, my hope is that State Party Chairman Ryan Call, despite his perceived close association with Eli or Eli's opinions, can successfully and neutrally conduct a mediation meeting with the three officers. From day one it has been apparent that Sarah and I have not been welcome to participate in any decisions regarding the direction of our party. Regardless of the mistreatment that Sarah and I have received, I know that the both of us are committed to moving forward and bringing a positive end to this situation.

Anderson says that her hope in releasing these private conversations is "that people see that there is a huge disconnect between what is said publicly and what is said privately. And that there are some people who have been very consistent and some people who haven't been. And have to get that straightened out before anything can move forward with this party, and winning in 2012, which is what we have to do."

She hopes to expedite the process.

"I think that this is going to get worse before it gets better," she says. "I think that the best thing we can do now is just realize what we have to work with, what we've been working with from the beginning, and figure out how to take that and move forward. This is going to require, unfortunately, a fundamental change, a shift, in the way the chairman handles his duties, and his understanding of what his position is. This isn't the military, a top-down hierarchical structure. I've spoken to many chairmen, vice-chairmen and secretaries of other parties, and they understand the division of labor. They understand that this is much closer to the governor, the secretary of state and the lieutenant governor than it is between commander and subordinates.

"My hope is that people will start to act like adults, but this has felt like high school to me, and I've been through that once," she says. "Let's stop with the back-stabbing and the lying."

For readability, the Indy adjusted formatting elements of the e-mails that follow, but not content.

From: Eli Bremer
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011

Sarah and David,

I have noticed that we probably need a better protocol for our EC meeting lead up. To streamline the process, I would like to implement the following. Sarah will prepare the agenda and anyone who wishes to place an item on the agenda will send it directly to her. For instance, if I am approached by someone with an agenda item, I will refer that person to Sarah for her to determine its importance. Sarah will then submit the agenda to me as I have the final say on the agenda. If someone thinks Sarah has left something off the agenda that should be on, they can bring it up with me to review the decision since I am ultimately responsible for the agenda. I need to approve the agenda before it is sent to the EC as well as any modifications (other than clerical) to that agenda.

Also, we are clearly having a disconnect already with the EC in terms of roles, responsibility, and understanding of how to interact with an organization. Apparently two of our EC members wanted to change the bylaws but did not review the process before contacting Sarah. This exposes two problems. First, we as the officers need to be in good communication with our EC members so as to know their concerns and ideas. Bylaw changes are substantial legal changes to the organization, and we should know if there are concerns in certain areas that need to be addressed. I have no idea what these two individuals are concerned about, but we should probably see if it can be addressed via normal and appropriate procedures. Second, we need to make sure that our EC understands their roles and responsibilities. The EC exists to support the party and serve as a check on the system (much like a board of directors) and to provide well rounded guidance.

They are not a primary policy setting entity. As you interact with the EC members, please make sure (politely) that we are helping them understand what their roles are and are not. We want to foster a positive relationship with the EC in which they understand their roles and are supportive of our operations.

Finally, Sarah, can you make sure we are compliant with our post-assembly reporting to the state? I was told this was being accomplished by the previous administration, but we we need to confirm that the statutory reporting was accomplished.

Thanks for you work!

Eli


From: David Williams
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011


Dear Eli,

Understood. We will work towards a proper protocol.

As for the bylaw changes. I informed them that we will not be able to vote on this matter on March 7. But I also informed them that it can be introduced to the EC and from there you would send these proposed bylaw changes to the bylaw committee for review and recommendation. So they know that no action can be taken now.

At the EC it might be a good idea for you to discuss the roles of the officers and the EC members and how it all comes together.

Thanks,
David


From: Eli Bremer
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011


Given that we have a lot to get done now and a full year before bylaw changes are due, we are not going to waste time on it at the first meeting.

It is removed from the agenda.

From: David Williams
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011

Dear Eli,

I understand the priorities and obligations we need to move forward on.
But the voting members have a right to add to the agenda in accordance with the bylaws and Roberts Rules. It's probably best to just let them propose it and say their peace. If you just unilaterally remove it might cause an unnecessary fight.

David

From: Eli Bremer
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011

I believe I have the control of the meeting agenda per the bylaws, not the EC. We will go through the protocol I established for placing items on the agenda because otherwise, we run the risk of placing irrelevant items on without proper screening. I have reached out to Clem who said he understands now that bylaws changes are a year out. It sounded like his concerns were alleviated. So as it stands, the item is removed from the agenda unless there is compelling reason to reinstate it.

David Williams


From: David Williams
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011


Dear Eli,

No one contests your authority over the agenda or the party. But members have a right to add to the agenda without your approval. Below are the rules stating why:

Article VII, Section 7.01, A.2: The Executive Committee shall be governed by these Bylaws except that (a) all members of the Executive Committee shall be voting members whether or not they are voting members of the Central Committee; (b) proxy voting shall not be permitted; and (c) a quorum shall consist of one-third (1/3) of the Executive Committee members, unless otherwise required by law or these Bylaws.

Considering that the EC is governed by the bylaws, I refer you to the following bylaws below:

Article VII, Section 7.01, C.1: Members of the Executive Committee may propose items for the agenda provided that the County Chairman receives in writing said items at least ten (10) days before the meeting. The agenda shall be available for review at least seven (7) days prior to the meeting.

Article XIV: Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly, Revised shall govern the Central Committee whenever they are applicable and not inconsistent with the Colorado Election Code, the State Bylaws or these Bylaws. (This includes the EC as stated in the before mentioned bylaw.)

These members followed the proper procedure of proposing items to the agenda.

Additionally, the agenda gets final approval during the meeting, this usually only requires a “unanimous constant” motion. But if someone wishes to add to the agenda the day of said meeting, he or she can simply make a motion to add to the agenda whatever item they wish. This motion will usually pass provided someone seconds it, and the majority vote in favor of it. This is a customary procedure I’ve seen done on every board or committee that is governed by Robert’s Rules. If you want to go even further in depth, any member can make a motion to suspend the bylaws in order to have anything proposed, amended, or accomplished.

To my understanding, Clem is still moving forward with proposing the changes he has drafted. It is my interpretation of the bylaws and Robert’s Rules that he can move forward without hindrance.

Thanks,
David

From: Eli Bremer
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011


David,

You are right that members can ask for items to be placed on the agenda. However, I have the responsibility to consolidate the agenda and put it together before the meeting. As of now, I have received no information indicating we should place this as an agenda item. I have not been informed as to what the nature of any discussion would be either. Therefore, it will not be on the agenda. Members may bring anything up in the open discussion part of the meeting or contact me directly in the mean time.

This should not be a major issue and you are not the conduit for issues like this with the EC as this falls under my duties to run the meeting. If EC members are contacting you about this, have them contact me instead.

From: David Williams
Date: Sun, Feb 27, 2011


Dear Eli,

Understood. If you want to remove this item from the agenda than we can move forward on doing that.

David


From: Eli Bremer
Date: Mon, Feb 28, 2011

I believe I have already stated that this will be removed from the agenda and directed Sarah to do so. I would like to schedule a time for you and me to meet this week so that we can discuss your role and proper interaction with EC members. Tomorrow I will be flying and back late at night, but I would like to meet Tuesday or Wednesday if you are free.

Eli

From: David Williams
Date: Sun, May 8, 2011

Dear Executive Committee,

This is an email exchange between myself, Eli, and Sarah concerning what the “proper" items to the agenda can be added. More explanation of this is towards the end of the email exchanges.

David




From: Henri Ducard
Date: Tue, May 03, 2011


Dear Republican Activist,

I write to you today because of the dire situation our party is in. Unfortunately, I’m unable to release my true identity due to the possible retribution I would incur from the self —proclaimed elites in our county party. Please know that I am, and have been for several years, a grassroots activist that has been dedicated to the El Paso County Republican Party. If you are reading this please understand that your emails are secure, and that they have been obtained honestly by my individual efforts and accumulation over the years. Also know that I don’t have a large email list. If what I write rings true to you, than please pass it on.

Yesterday, the El Paso County Republican Party passed a resolution that effectively silences our county officers, and the executive committee as a whole, from publically opposing bad pieces of legislation that are sponsored by republican legislators. This resolution was proposed by the HD 20 Chairman, due to the large opposition of SB11-200 or “Amycare.” This piece of legislation is sponsored and supported by Republican House Majority Leader Amy Stephens. What this bill effectively does is implement heathcare exchanges in Colorado, which is a mandate of Obamacare. By implementing these exchanges, President Obama’s goal of radically altering our free market system will be achieved.

The resolution that passed last night was introduced without prior notification to the public, and it was heavily supported by our current Chairman, Eli Bremer. This shouldn’t be a surprise given that Eli has never shown an ounce of backbone with regard to fighting for true conservative principles. It was clear that this resolution was also directed at our current Vice-Chairman and Secretary, David Williams and Sarah Anderson. Both have openly opposed this legislation and have encouraged people to take action against it. It should be noted that they have never purposely used their titles to oppose SB11-200. Additionally, they have never engaged in public name calling of Amy Stephens.

Unlike the other officers, our Chairman is not interested in running a true grassroots organization. He is more concerned about protecting incumbents rather than our party platform. The reasons he gave for supporting this measure were that the party must support incumbent republicans because there wasn’t a true consensus of what the party platform was. Eli felt that the officers, and the executive committee as a whole, should try to represent all ideological divides within our party. What he failed to address was the blatant disregard for the first amendment rights of the other county officers. He also failed to address that his support for this resolution is partly based on the fact that the politicians who helped Eli get elected as Chairman, are the same politicians that would greatly benefit from having this resolution passed. This resolution denies accountability and provides political cover for the majority of those who currently wield power.

It should be noted that the county party has publically opposed bad measures in the past. If you’ll recall, our county party passed a resolution opposing Referendum C and D even though it was support by Republican Governor Bill Owens.

It is also important to state that Eli Bremer has a pattern of supporting an elitist agenda. He is currently establishing a “fundraising board” that would be in charge of obtaining money for the party. On the surface, this doesn’t appear to be a bad idea, but there is more than meets the eye. To be on this board one must contribute 5000 dollars annually. The board will have the ability to determine how the funds are spent. Membership is by invitation only. Eli is selling power and influence for money.

He has also voiced his support for hiring an “Executive Director” for party operations. The last Executive Director was Nathan Fisk, who was hired by former Chairman Greg Garcia. From all accounts Nathan was paid a “handsome wage.” Eli and Nathan are close friends and think much alike. Hiring staff is a waste of precious financial resources given the volunteer talent in our party. Hiring an Executive Director would serve two purposes. First, Eli would be outsourcing his duties. Eli wants to do this because he is busy running a mediocre consulting business and training for the 2012 Olympics. It took his handlers 4 months to convince him twice to run for Chairman (during the time period he initially agreed to run and had backed out because of his purported busy schedule). Second, he would undoubtedly hire a friend of his. Essentially, Eli would be handing over your donated money to line the pockets of his supporter.

Another cause for concern is the direction Eli wants to lead the party. The first problem is that Eli isn’t necessarily sure where to take the party. He has been in contact with some outside the county to see about reinventing our grassroots organization. This is very convenient for him. If he were to fail he would, in part, be able to blame the outside plan.

A specific idea he has talked about is the need to “divest” from certain activities that the party has traditionally been involved. One example is outreach. Eli is dead set against reaching out to the community and targeting people who don’t traditionally vote republican. Eli believes that it’s only the candidate that matters with respect to voter turnout. Since we won’t be involved in outreach or party education, and considering the importance Eli has placed on the candidate’s message, one can logically conclude that this is another way of stating that we must cater to independents at the expense of party ideology.

Eli Bremer

The other idea Eli has embraced is the need for the party to outsource some of its duties to 527’s. The problem is that it’s illegal to have any collaboration between a political party and a 527. Eli, in his capacity as Chairman, cannot talk (or do anything) with a 527 or their representative. This includes having someone else reach out on his behalf for some type of understanding. The question then becomes, how will Eli guarantee that a 527 will do what is necessary to get republicans elected if he can’t legally collaborate with a 527? This is a bad idea and could be very publically embarrassing for the party. The very appearance of impropriety should be avoided at all costs to ensure our party’s integrity.

Other evidence of Eli elitism has to do with how he’s dealt with the Lincoln Day Dinner.

When Rick Santorum graciously donated his time for the Lincoln Day Dinner in April, Eli decided that he didn’t want it. He had claimed that the Lincoln Day Dinner wouldn’t be as successful, since Santorum could only attend on a Wednesday evening. He preferred that the party’s largest fundraising event be held on a weekend night. Instead, Eli created another fundraising event for Santorum. This event was by invitation only and not widely publicized. Additionally, there was a secret “meet and greet” with Santorum prior to the dinner that also wasn’t publicized. Out of the 94 people that attended the dinner, only about ten were invited to this secret event. To my knowledge, no extra money was charged for it. This means the party lost out on an additional fundraising opportunity.

The Lincoln Day Dinner will also be changing at the direction of Eli Bremer. Karl Rove has been invited to speak. To be fair, Karl was the only person who accepted the invite for this summer. This still doesn’t excuse Eli for denying a true conservative (Rick Santorum) the opportunity to be the keynote speaker of our Lincoln Day Dinner, which should have been held in February, March or April. By the way, Karl Rove was only available to speak on June 1, 2011; this happens to be a Wednesday.

Traditionally, there has been a VIP reception prior to the Lincoln Day Dinner that is open to those in the public who are willing to pay an extra and expensive price. Also, if anyone were to purchase a platinum table, than everyone at the table had free access to the VIP reception. All of this has changed. The VIP reception will not be publicized and it will be by invitation only. Those who’ll attend will purportedly pay 500 dollars to meet Karl Rove. I can’t confirm this yet, but I believe Eli Bremer will not be paying the 500 dollars to attend this exclusive reception. The platinum table perk has also changed slightly. Instead of the entire table being allow the opportunity to attend, only two from the table will be given free access to Rove. The reason for this is to keep the event more “exclusive.”

There is much more that needs to be reported to the public. I’m currently obtaining information about a possible embarrassing situation. In the weeks to come I will learn as much as I can so that there is some type of transparency.

It has only three months since Eli has been elected and already there is growing concerning. Some good people have resigned as precinct leaders due to the policies Eli is pursing. Please, if you have any information that can protect our party from these self-proclaimed elites, than release it. The only way our party will survive is by the vigilance of true conservative patriots.

Sincerely,
Henri Ducard
P.S. It’s a pen name

From: Bob Balink
Date: Tue, May 3, 2011

Dear Anonymous,

I understand your concern. This, however, is not true.

And the discussion last night, most of which I heard, addressed these concerns. (I was also participating in the LDD meeting in the next room.)

If you were there you would know that.

If you were not, please call me to discuss.

Feel free to call in either case- and feel free to forward this message to your same distribution list.

I believe one of the division leaders brought this up BECAUSE someone in an important party position HAS in fact BEEN distributing some very destructive and divisive to party unity messages on the internet.

But all too often personal agendas get in the way of party unity...and that is the case here... very disappointing and very immature.

So we'll have to check with that person to confirm the motivation for his resolution..

Please don't believe anybody's free speech rights have been muted. I do not believe that...and if we're being honest here nobody else does either.

Thanks.

Bob


From: Sarah Anderson
Date: Tue, May 3, 2011


Since I wasn't able to be at the meeting, I'm very curious as to who you refer to as immature, divisive and destructive. I've been told by a number of folks that the resolution was because of either Dave or I and I'd like to know if that's your take as well.

Thanks.-

Sarah Anderson
El Paso County GOP Secretary


From: Bob Balink
Date: Wed, May 4, 2011

Sarah,

I refer to whoever wrote the message- how can that not be clear...Mr. or Ms. Anonymous.

As for my take I cannot waste any more time on such divisiveness- but it is clear that we will enable more success for the liberal agenda and candidates by attacking one another.

Who the resolution was about would have to be answered by the person who proposed it...but the principle is sound.

I will not be supportive of anyone who is trying to destroy the party and I hope it isn't one of our officers of member of the Executive Committee.

This is petty politics at its worse.

If you know who it is, please share.

Regards,

Bob

From: Eli Bremer
To: John Buckley
Date: Wed, May 04, 2011


I believe this is the conformed version:

Resolution for the Executive Committee

of the

El Paso County Republican Party


Whereas the Executive Committee recognizes the need for the El Paso County Central Committee to support the rightfully elected office holders within El Paso County

Whereas the Executive Committee is committed to remaining neutral in areas of disagreement between Republicans or contested primary elections

We hereby resolve to adopt the following code of conduct for the El Paso County Republican Party Officers and Executive Committee members.

Officers

Because of their prominent position with the party, officers should not publicly oppose a Republican elected official (inclusive of their policies) whose district in full or part consists of El Paso County. This prohibition includes but is not limited to the following:

1. Publicly making statements about the official that could reasonably be construed to be opposing the person or the policy of the aforementioned elected officials. This includes

a. Posting to Facebook, blogs, or other online forums

b. Mass emails

c. Speaking to the media

d. Radio discussions

e. Large group discussions

f. Any other forum with a large audience

2. Working against an aforementioned elected official or their policy or legislation.

3. Providing material support to those working against aforementioned elected officials outside normal and official obligatory party support.

Executive Committee Members

In their official capacity as Executive Committee Members, no member of the Executive Committee should engage in any of the aforementioned prohibited activities of Party officers. To clarify, this prohibition only extends to their official actions representing the Executive Committee. For instance, it is permissible for an Executive Committee member to make a public statement to the media, post blogs or Facebook, or send mass emails, opposing an elected official or their policy so long as the Executive Committee member does not include their position on the Executive Committee in the email nor do they imply Party support or opposition of a position.

Exceptions

In extreme cases, the Executive Committee may pass a resolution as an exception to this policy. However, this should only happen in the most extreme cases, for instance, if an Elected Official blatantly takes a position contrary to the Republican Platform or supports a Democrat for office.

General

The general duty and obligation of party officers and members of the Executive Committee shall be to support and promote the basic principles of the Republican Party and the Republican Party platform and to build a big tent policy which is tolerant of the differing views of party members.


From: John Buckley
Date: Thu, May 5, 2011

ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGED INFORMATION

Dear Eli, David and Sarah:

I understand it was announced recently by the Chair that I was appointed to be the Party’s Legal Counsel during his tenure. His authority to appoint me arose from Section 6.02(A)(4) of the By-Laws:

“Section 6.02 Duties
“A. Chairman

“4. “He shall have the power to appoint subordinate staff members as necessary.”
I was directed yesterday by the Chair to accomplish the following:
As a result of the controversy generated by the decision of the Executive Committee several nights ago, I was directed to review that Resolution and its legality in light of the El Paso County Republican Party By-Laws (“the By-Laws”), which is our operative governing document. I used the By-Laws attached hereto, which I downloaded from our Party website to insure that I was using the most current version. As a sideline, I was the Party’s counsel in 2009 when the latest version was finalized, and the attached By-Laws matches with my archived records that the attached is, in fact, the latest version of our By-Laws as of February 2009.
I find nothing in the By-Laws that prevents the Executive Committee from adopting a policy as outlined immediately below. In fact, I find this policy in keeping with the spirit of the By-Laws, as enumerated in the following excerpt:
“Section 2.03 Primary Contests
A. No candidate for any designation or nomination for partisan Public office should be endorsed, supported, or opposed by the El Paso County Republican…elected officers individually [enio]…The elected officers shall supervise staff to prevent the appearance these provisions are being violated. [Source: CRS Bylaws III C]”
It makes little logical sense to me professionally that elected Party officers would be forbidden from speaking for or against a “preferred” candidate in his or her official capacity prior to a primary, yet then allowed to attack that Republican officer holder in his or her elected position after the general election. Both denigrate the process by which we select our candidates and support our Republican office holders. Moreover, attacking an elected Republican officer holder by an elected Party official degrades the officer that elected Party member holds. It breeds conflict, enmity and strife and does not bring the Party together going into the next election. If the Party is not united, how do you accomplish the mission of the Party, as espoused at the beginning of the By-Laws?
“Section 1.01
“…[T]he primary purpose of this organization shall be to elect Republican candidates to office…”
I find fratricide and civil war in the Party to be the bête noire of Section 1.01, and that is what the e-mail from
< anonymousgopguy@gmail.com> clearly seeks.
So, my question to all three of you is simple.
As an elected Republican Party official, do you agree to follow the Executive Committee Resolution directly below, and legally voted upon by roughly eighty percent (80%) of the Executive Committee members several nights ago?
Please provide me your response in writing no later than Saturday May 7, 2011. A negative response shall be considered a negative reply.
Sincerely,

John

John C. Buckley III, MA, JD

From: Eli Bremer
To: John Buckley
Date: Thu, May 05

John,

I intend to fully follow both the letter and the intent of the resolution below that was passed by the Executive Committee on May 2nd, 2011.

Respectfully;

Eli Bremer
Chairman, El Paso County Republican Party


From: John Buckley
Date: Fri, May 6, 2011

Lady and Gentlemen:

I received the Chairman’s affirmative response yesterday to my formal inquiry below. Thank you for taking care of my inquiry so quickly, Eli.

The Chair has been directed by the Executive Committee to make a report, and he seeks to do that today. Any way I could get your responses today so that we can put this issue to bed?

Sincerely,

John

John C. Buckley III, MA, JD

P.S. Please remember that I must have your response NLT tomorrow, and that no response is deemed a negative reply.


From: David Williams
Date: Sat, May 7, 2011

Dear John,

Thank you for your email and the effort you have made for the Republican Central Committee. I have reviewed the points in your email and the resolution in conjunction with the Bylaws of Republican Central Committee for El Paso County. I believe before the content of the resolution can be addressed, we must first look at whether the process by which it was passed can give the resolution its desired effect.

The Bylaws do not have any provisions regarding the Committee's passage of such a Resolution. However, it appears that the resolution is attempting to amend the Bylaws of the Republican Central Committee for El Paso County by adding this new policy. As you pointed out in your email, the Bylaws include a similar provision limiting the Committee's endorsement or opposition to a Republican in any primary election (Section 2.03). It would follow, then, that any similar provision or policy must also be included in the Bylaws of the Republican Central Committee for El Paso County. However, the proper procedure for amending the Bylaws as set forth in Section 13.01 was not followed.

"Article XIII. Amendment or Revision of Bylaws Section 13.01
A. These Bylaws may be amended at any meeting by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of those present and voting, provided that the proposed amendment was submitted to the Bylaws Committee and included in the official call mailed no less than fifteen (15) days before such meeting.
B. If previous notice was not given in the call, the unanimous consent of all Central Committee members present in person or by proxy must be obtained before an amendment to the Bylaws may be considered. [Source: CRC Bylaws XIX]
C. If the source references to Colorado Election Code or CRC bylaws change, the reference notations herein may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Committee."
The resolution was not on the official call and consent of all Executive Committee members present was not obtained.

I believe it is essential for the Republican Central Committee for El Paso County, especially its Officers, to follow and comply with the Bylaws, including any limitations and procedures. Therefore, I believe it is important to clarify the effect of the resolution on the Bylaws prior to reviewing its substance. Perhaps the best way forward with this Resolution is to amend the Bylaws by following the proper procedure.

I look forward to any clarification you can provide on this issue. I expect this written response will not be taken as a "negative reply." As an Officer of the Republican Central Committee for El Paso County, it is my duty to ensure the Central Committee is in compliance with its Bylaws. I look forward to working with you in the future.

David


From: Sarah Anderson
Date: Sat, May 7, 2011


Mr. Buckley,

You stated in your letter dated 6 May 2011 that “the Chair has been directed by the Executive Committee to make a report” related to the Resolution passed by 13 (of around 30 total) members of the Executive Committee last Monday (2 May 2011). After following up with those present at the meeting, I have found no record or evidence to support this claim. I am disturbed by the apparent disconnect between your statement and the facts as easily verified; this does not engender the trust and ability to work with you I need (since I am the Party Secretary and you are the Party’s appointed legal counsel).

The actual direction you appear to have received — from party county Chair Eli Bremer — was to “review the resolution and its ‘legality’ in light of the county party By-Laws.” Unfortunately, your “review” has led you to make conclusions and inferences that are not supported by the By-Laws. Additionally, you seem to have strayed from that initial charge, and appear to be seeking “compliance” under threat of unspecified legal action, which is unsupported by the By-Laws, the intent of the Executive Committee, and the interpretation of both offered by current state party Chair and former party legal counsel Ryan Call.

After speaking with Chairman Ryan Call, I am strengthened in my conclusion that your interpretation of the By-Laws as applied to this resolution is in error. In no way, shape or form does this resolution speak to the party officer’s neutrality in primaries—which was never questioned nor an issue—but simply places a gag order on those who don’t agree with disgruntled elected officials and goes beyond any single piece of legislation. Rather, it is an unprincipled attempt to silence debate or “dissent” among Republican Party leadership.

The Resolution passed Monday by the Executive Committee was, obviously, hastily and very poorly written. It is unacceptably overbroad, with no definitions for many key terms leaving them open to the whims of subjective interpretation. As written, the Resolution cannot serve as a guideline to evaluate actions or statements of party officials when the operative terms are vague, ambiguous and have open-ended meanings, undecipherable by those who would be held accountable under them. Some parts contradict the general admonition to “build a big tent which is tolerant of differing views.” It is, quite simply, all a bungled mess.

Indeed, under good faith and generally accepted practices, this Resolution is totally unnecessary. It does not agree with the intent and meaning of Colorado State Law and El Paso County Republican Party By-Laws, including, but not limited to, Sections 1.01, 1.02, 1.03, and 2.03. Nowhere in said Sections is there any statement or guidance that there is to be silence on issues within the party. In fact, nowhere in the By-Laws is the issue of discussion of platform and Republican Party principles even mentioned.

In addition to the fatal flaw of vagueness, I am deeply concerned that the poor construct and wording of this Resolution, if enforced, would prevent a Party Officer or Executive Committee Member the right to critique or express dismay about any elected official who might commit a violation of law or other serious moral infraction, or joins a group like the KKK, for instance. I fear it could also be used to prevent criticism of policies and legislation inconsistent with Republican core principles of limited government, free market economics, personal responsibility and low taxes.

The Resolution offers no guidance on what an Officer is to do if two elected Republican officials have differing views on a matter before the legislature. In addition, the Resolution does not make clear whether inaction or statements of “no comment” on a particular issue or candidate could be construed as “opposition” to a particular elected official.

Finally, one may object to the specific actions of an elected official, or reject his or her specifically-wanted “policies”, but it does not logically follow that such a person “opposes” the candidacy of that official or even makes a stand against the person. It is simply an honest disagreement on a single issue. Many times our favored candidates are imperfect.

Given the policy and practicality problems I’ve highlighted above, the Resolution should be found to be in violation of the County By-Laws as adopted. I hope you agree.

Finally, in answer to your question, the Resolution is non-binding, poorly worded, hopelessly vague, was (as far as I understand it) improperly introduced, discussed and voted upon, and appears to be in violation of the County By-Laws. Therefore, as I see it, there is nothing to comply with or not comply with. It is merely a guideline or suggestion (i.e. ‘should’) of behavior. I see no reason to relinquish my First Amendment rights to free speech in order to “agree to follow” a Resolution of such poor construct it wouldn’t be upheld in a court of law.

Respectfully,
Sarah Anderson
Secretary, El Paso County Republican Party

From: Eli Bremer
Date: Sat, May 7, 2011


Fellow officers,

Per my authority as the Chief Executive Officer of the Central Committee, I am issuing a directive effective immediately. The only person authorized to send out media releases, press releases, or other such documents is the Chairman or his designee. Any such releases issued outside my purview will be considered insubordination to the Central Committee of the El Paso County Republican Party. Should such an officer break this lawful directive, they will be asked to resign immediately.

Furthermore, I and the county party attorney conferred with the state party chairman (ccd on this email) regarding Sarah's representation as to his position in a previous email to our attorney. Ryan Call has agreed to submit an official memorandum which will clarify this and fully supports our county party attorney's legal opinion. Furthermore, I understand that Mr. Call has given advice to Sarah regarding the responsibilities as an officer of a non-profit organization and the duties and responsibilities thereof. If there is further confusion, this will be documented so that there is zero misunderstanding as to the role of the officers and our responsibilities to the organization.

Respectfully;

Eli Bremer
Chairman, El Paso County Republican Party

From: David Williams
Date: Sun, May 8, 2011

Dear Eli,

In the interest of clarity and maintaining proper records, could you please specifically reference in the bylaws where you, as Chairman, derive the authority to issue this directive?

Also, does your directive apply to facebook and twitter posts, or other similar social media outlets?

Further, in the interest of transparency, could you please send this out to the entire Executive Committee once your clarification has been made.

I appreciate your response in this matter. I believe with it, we will all be able to fully understand what you expect.

Sincerely,
David Williams

From: Eli Bremer
Date: Sun, May 8, 2011


David,

I am sorry that I took for granted that you would understand that it is implicit in the role of the Chief Executive Officer to make such decisions per normal business practice. (If you need further guidance as to how I am the CEO, please re-read the bylaws.) Once you have worked in the private sector a bit longer, this will make a lot more sense. But for now, here is a further explanation as to what I do as the CEO.

As CEO, I run the organization for the benefit of the organization's principals (or in this case the members) and under the authority and restrictions placed by the bylaws and the executive committee. In a normal organization, the executive committee would be the board of directors. (I would suggest googling board of directors so that you understand what they are as well.) As a CEO, I have full authority and responsibility to act with fiduciary responsibility to the organization. What this means is that I have a legal and ethical obligation to consider only the best interest of the organization rather than my own best interest when making decisions. Incidentally, this obligation also exists with the other officers.

CEOs have the authority to obligate the organization (that means signing binding contracts), are responsible for setting standards and policies and implementing them, and running the organization for the betterment of the organization and/or its principals (members).

I would suggest you consider reading up on business operations as this is very basic information that should go without saying or emailing. You might also consider looking at the UCCS MBA program (I went there and will vouch that it is a great program) as they cover this kind of material in the first class or two.

Also, I will be sending out the appointment of Nathan Fisk as the Party's official spokesman shortly (this will go to the Executive Committee); so Nathan or I will be the only people speaking on behalf of the Party. This will ensure that we have a unified and well thought through message that fits in with the strategic objectives of our organization.

Eli


From: David Williams
Date: Sun, May 8, 2011


Dear Eli,

I've actually had a considerable amount of experience in the private sector since 2003. During that time period I served as a senior level manager of a business that took in twelve million dollars annually. I personally oversaw hundreds of employees, and for three years I was an HR Director. I currently work as a Vice-President of a small business that specializes in international trade and wholesale manufacturing.

I understand perfectly well what a CEO and board of directors are and how they function. However, I do wonder if you realize that you are the head of a party organization (comprised of volunteers) and not a private sector business. These are two different entities and cannot necessarily be run in the same manner.

You have still not addressed my questions concerning social media outlets and transparency to the Executive Committee.

I assume that your non-response to my question regarding social media, means that you have no answer, or at least, no deep concerns related to the issue.

Furthermore, your non-response to the question of transparency, and your lack of including the Executive Committee in past discussions of importance concerns me greatly. As party Vice-Chairman, it is now incumbernt upon me to ensure that transparency is upheld. The entire Executive Committee will be copied in this response and any future emails that you send to me. I will also be forwarding previous email exchanges between us and the county attorney to the Executive Committee.

I realize that we don't always agree, but in the future I would appreciate it if you would communicate with me as a peer and a colleague. I do not appreciate the tone of your previous email. If we are truly going to work for the betterment of the party it is important to treat one another with respect.

Sincerely,

David Williams
EPCR Vice-Chairman


From: John Buckley
Date: Mon, May 9, 2011


Officers:

It might be time to get together with the officers and this counsel and see if there is any common ground between the three of you before we jump off the precipice that everyone seems so willing to jump from.
David and Sarah, it appears that yesterday’s radio show with Matt as the shill was the first salvo in a war. Is that how you see this? As a war to be waged for the purity of the Republican Party locally and/or statewide)? That is how it appears to be stacking up. If that is not your goal, then we should be able to outline some action steps to determine common goals and objectives, and move ahead together. But if you do not see it as possible to work under this Chair, then that needs to be addressed explicitly by the Executive Committee, perhaps even the Central Committee.

These are not legal issues…these are relational issues. You all appear to be identifying each other as the enemy…not as people with whom you have honest disagreements. You were elected to make a difference…but I am questioning what difference the officers will actually make, given the enmity and strife that has arisen so soon after your election.

The consequences of the Officers’ actions presently and in the future will have a direct bearing on whether or not this Party has any chance of bringing a Colorado “win” to the scoreboard in 2012. That did NOT happen in2010…and in my opinion, we did ourselves in. My fear is that we do the same thing in EPC in 2012…and the fortunes of the Republican Party in CO hinge on the work of Republicans in EPC.
So…officers…what is the way ahead?
Sincerely,

John

John C. Buckley III, MA, JD


From: David Williams
Date: Mon, May 9, 2011


Dear John and All,

(Per my last email, I will be coping the Executive Committee in this Response.)

Thank you John. I agree with you. I believe that a meeting should take place sooner rather than later. I can't speak for Sarah or Eli, but I truly don't view any of the other officers as "enemies."

As for the radio show that occurred Sunday, I can't speak to it because I didn't listen in or have any involvement with it. What I will say is that I'm committed to being successful in 2012, and anything that hinders that goal is not an option for me. I'm always ready and willing to work with however shares that goal.

I must insist that any meeting that does occur (for the purpose you've outlined) would involve the Executive Committee. I believe their input will be valuable to this discussion. In the meantime, I will be focusing on the Lincoln Day Dinner and its success.

David Williams


From: Sarah Anderson
Date: Wed, May 11, 2011

Mr. Buckley,

Before you even sent this out, I had been taking steps to secure a mediator who was removed from the situation, but had experience as a party officer (NOT in El Paso County) to be able to judge this both from an impartial stance amoungst the three Officers but also with a sense of what is best for this party. I have three people in mind, one who has agreed to it and two I'm waiting to hear back from. Once I have those options confirmed one way or the other, I will pass them along.

In addition, there are several very specific items that I feel we must discuss at this meeting, I will include a list once we have determined a mediator. My suggestion for a time is next weekend, as I am going to take the rest of this week to get my health back in order and I don't think we can accomplish what we need to in a short, weeknight meeting—but this meeting must happen soon.

It has been suggested to me from counsel I have sought that we should intend to come out of this meeting with a unified statement of mission for our administration, as well as tangible goals and specific tasks for each of us to focus on.

Finally, I want to again make it very clear that this is about issues for me, not people. I do not appreciate your suggestion, Mr. Buckley, that I have "shills" speaking on my behalf. If that is the case, you're a "shill" for Eli. I don't think you are, so I don't appreciate you accusing me of the same. Let's keep this about the issues, please. I can forgive and forget, and will, but let's not let that happen again. I will not be so willing to overlook it in the future.

Respectfully,
Sarah Anderson


From: John Buckley
Date: Wed, May 11, 2011

Thank you for your strongly-worded response, Sarah. I appreciate knowing where you stand. And I do appreciate that you know my reputation well enough to know that I am not anyone’s shill. You must have talked to some of the long-standing Republicans in our local Party to come to that conclusion. I’m sure that Dave Schultheis or Kent Lambert would tell you that.

I believe that the Chair would appreciate your input into the meeting’s agenda. But I think the Chair will ultimately set that agenda, with input from both you and David. I may have some input into it as well.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for me as counsel to recommend to my client anyone that you…or Eli…or David…bring to the table as a potential mediator, if a mediator was the proper solution in this case.

But this meeting is not intended to be a mediation. Frankly, Sarah, it’s unnecessary. We already have By-Laws. If you all are unable to work together, it would be my professional opinion that your failure to do so be considered by the Executive Committee, referred to the Central Committee (as required), then a special meeting of the Central Committee, and then that august body do what it will with the lot of you. Some or all of you may go, if that body so decided. But I am honestly unable to understand how you came to the conclusion that all of the officers are equals. You collaborate together…yes. You coordinate together…yes. The Chair must be willing to work with you…yes. You and David must be willing to work with the Chair…yes. But there is only one Chair.

The key issue here is: either the three of you can work together, or you cannot. Either the three of you understand where you sit in the hierarchy, and how your duties are established, and by whom or what…or you do not. There’s no need for a mediator, and I would recommend that the Chair and the Executive Committee not use a mediator.

Eli, I recommend that you schedule the meeting, in concert with my schedule and the schedules of the Vice-Chair and the Secretary.

Sincerely,

John

John C. Buckley III, MA, JD

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