Ed’s note: If you are a duly elected SCC representative, this should be of paramount concern to you. Your voice, and the voices of your neighbors, are in great danger of being silenced. Freedom is not free. You asked for, and were elected to your position as a SCC member. This meeting is your call to serve.
The UTGOP State Central Committee (SCC) will be meeting this Saturday, Jan 27, at a change of venue location. It is now at Noah’s in Lindon, UT at 1976 West 700 North, Lindon, UT 84042 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. To insure that ALL important issues are addressed, Noah’s is allowing their facility to be used until 6 p.m., if necessary.
This meeting may be the most important SCC meeting in the modern history of the party. It comes at a time of great division and mistrust toward the actions and motives of Chair Rob Anderson. In referring to Anderson and other leaders and staff, one SCC member stated “Now, we have a progressive takeover of the whole progress. The Democrats could not have a better friend inside our Party.”
On the other side, are SCC members who are staunch supporters of the caucus system and view Anderson as a Count My Vote plant, having done everything within his power of the chair to destroy the party and discontinue the party’s fight against SB54. The progressives and establishment view the caucus supporters as renegades, ideologues, and die-hard purists.
But, not all is gloom and doom. A donor, Dave Bateman has agreed to bail out the “conservative” UTGOP for all of the debt incurred, and future costs, of litigating the SB54 lawsuit. Bateman has also arranged for other new millennial funders to contribute $200,000 for the party’s other debts, including tech-entrepreneur Josh James who pledged $100,000 to help with the debts and move the party forward. The debt also includes $4,028 owed to the law firm of Caplin & Drysdale for legal fees, the same firm that also represents Count My Vote. In addition, Caplin and Drysdale represented Romney in his presidential campaign.
The party is finally out of debt, except for $167,692.01 from the misuse of the discount postal license by Anderson, Tanner Ainge and Mia Love. The FEC is launching an investigation into that issue which is being referred to as “AingeGate” One of the four new donors has already dropped out due to Andersen’s involvement with the AingeGate “money laundering”. That donor had pledged $50,000.
Now, the party is needlessly on the hook for around $167,692.01 of campaign debt that should have never been on the UTGOP books in the first place. That amounts to interest free loans, with no collateral, relying strictly on the honor of a first-time politician to pay it back, with no clause to do so, or penalty if they don’t. Is there a lending institution in the country that would do that? The SCC may be looking to get a better grip on what the party is doing in the future.
An executive level official within the FEC, when informed of AingeGate, stated: “Calling this a loophole makes it sound tricky, but not illegal. IT IS 100% ILLEGAL. There is no legal loophole that would allow for this to be done… it is an attempt to circumvent the law and hide it from the FEC. That one point [loophole] might make some think that there is a problem with the rules and laws. There is not. Getting this report into the FEC’s hands will probably instigate a FEC civil AND Department of Justice criminal investigations.”
One of the problems with the January 27 meeting is the date! One of the main purposes of the SCC is to influence the Republican legislators to sponsor and pass bills that reflect the Republican Party platform and principles! January 27 is in the middle of the legislative session and every SCC member should be talking with the legislators to get them to sponsor and vote for bills that support the Republican platform. But, Legislators have meetings on January 27 all over the state to meet with voters and talk about pending legislation.
The Party leadership has decided to thwart any major influence from the SCC on the 2018 legislative session by tying up all SCC members in an SCC meeting. The good news is that it gives the SCC a chance to pass bylaws that the elected officials, who may have the greatest conflict of interest regarding election laws, would oppose if they were in attendance.
One of the most glaring omissions from Saturday’s agenda is the lack of minutes that have to be approved for the Sept 9, 2017 SCC meeting when members phones were illegally tapped, the Nov 4, 2017 meeting, and the Dec 16, 2017 Emergency SCC meetings. This raises the question of why Anderson would not want those minutes approved.
The general feeling among SCC members is that three people in party leadership are leading the party into the hands of CMV. The party has been beaten up continuously for finances. Now that the bills are paid, many are calling a spade a spade and looking to make the State of Utah defend the use of taxpayer dollars.
One member asked “When will we get serious about changing the SB54 argument from how much a private organization is spending to protect its guaranteed Constitutional liberty’s, to how much the taxpayers of Utah are spending or paying to have the state strip away their own individual liberty by defending SB54?”
If we are to benefit from the wisdom of the founders we must be better educated within our own ranks regarding the principles they endorsed. The founders took measures to steer clear of democracy and explained why. The Caucus system was put in place to keep representation as close to the people as possible while ensuring that campaigns are focused on intelligent debate rather than financial clout.
When Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention, someone asked him “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin replied “A Republic, if you can keep it.” The question right now for all SCC members is whether we will do what it takes to keep our Republic?
If the problem is ignorance then let’s fix it. If the problem is contempt then let’s expose it.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the issues to be addressed at tomorrow’s meeting.
Emergency December SCC Meeting
A special State Central Committee (SCC) emergency meeting was held on Dec 16, 2017 to address the SB54 debt and future costs and other crucial matters that Anderson was ignoring. Anderson and the GOP staff pulled out all the stops in an effort to sabotage the meeting by falsely asserting that the meeting was unnecessary, improper, illegal, and cancelled. Those efforts included bullying and harassing party members, using false rules information, attacking the secretary for doing her job, robocalls and personal calls to not attend the meeting and encouraging a standoff. It was clear that Anderson not only targeted SCC members, but anyone (thousands) who they had emails of. Since, Anderson has directed staff to take screenshots of SCC members Facebook and twitter conversations.
By doing that, Anderson and his “supporters” have used party donated funds against members who were solving the money issues by finding new millennial donors. Anderson did not attend the meeting and Joni Crane, the elected Vice-Chair, REFUSED to attend.
The simple truth was that the Republican Party was on the verge of bankruptcy and the Dec meeting was about the party’s obligations and agreements regarding extinguishing the SB54 legal debt as well as other financial matters.
The meeting was arguability the most professional, efficient and courteous SCC meeting in the history of the Utah GOP. 65% of the SCC members showed up and all votes were nearly unanimous. A video, viewed over 7,900 times, of the meeting can be seen on Lisa Cummins facebook page here.
One of the primary purposes for the meeting was to address the offer by Dave Bateman, CEO of Entrata, to pay off all the existing (around $360,000) and future legal debt (as much as $500,000) relating to the SB54 lawsuit. Bateman and tech-entrepreneur Josh James also pledged another $100,000 to help with on-going party expenses. The resolution agreeing to continue the lawsuit and take the funding offer was approved with a vote of 68 yes, 1 no, and 1 who abstained. The resolution effectively took Anderson out of the loop.
Anderson had said in a budget meeting on 11/1/2017 that “if we don’t return to the black by January, I will declare bankruptcy. I’m committed to that. We will go into court and we will declare bankruptcy and at that point, we will restructure, reorganize the party.” He also threatened to drop the SB54 lawsuit because of mounting party debt. Twice, under different SCC members, the party has voted to continue the lawsuit if no party funds are used. In increasing numbers, SCC members are feeling that they were deceived by a chairman they believed they elected to protect the Caucus System, defend the lawsuit, and pay off the legal fees owed by the Party.
One member stated “He [Anderson] has ZERO authority to negotiate anything regarding the lawsuit or legal debt. In fact, Rob has ZERO authority to be involved in ANY of it. That authority was taken away from him by the SCC. The committee was simply being polite by giving him the opportunity to agree to the proposal.”
The SCC can confirm a “policy” as the governing body of the party, which could be that the Chair (or Vice Chair if the Chair fails to act) shall sign and execute (named specific) agreement by this-and-such day.” Failure to do so could be written into such a resolution as to say “Failure by the Chair to sign and execute shall be considered to have resigned his position. Failure by the Vice Chair to sign and execute shall be considered to have resigned her position.”
In other words, Anderson was forced to sign the agreement with Bateman. This clears up any confusion as to who controls the UTGOP. Anderson was not the hero here. Instead, he was put in his place by the rightful leaders of the party… the SCC and the members of the Republican Party.
Anderson and Peay finally acknowledged the authority of the State Central Committee to authorize a committee to direct the Affairs of the litigation going forward and either the committee or the party chair to sign the agreement.
Another member stated “Rob is becoming that constant drip that is annoying even his constant supporters, we haven’t had one single meeting where he hasn’t had to defend his unprofessional, completely bias, and even corrupt actions, all in favor of CMV and against Caucus System supporters. He tends to be reactive to everything he doesn’t like. He ratchets things up. That’s his way of exerting control. The actions of the Chairman come down to his intended results of that very salient issue which the appeal is fighting. Pretending it is an issue of cost…when, in reality, it is an issue of subversion.”
One member acknowledged “He did it. Choice or no choice. He did it. Big step for a guy who thinks he’s an emperor rather than a leader. Anderson, a pilot by profession, brags about his military F15 fighter jet days, including his email account Hatch15@mac.com, like Al Bundy speaks of his glory days of high school football. He self-identifies as the John Wayne of U.S. politics. Anderson’s abusive personality may be tied to his militant belief of either you’re with me or I kill you.”
But, that didn’t stop Anderson from taking all the credit. In two fawning news articles, mainstream media was fairly consistent in being unfair by slanting their stories in a way that defies reality by misrepresenting and/or omitting the facts. The following are quotes from the two articles:
“Anderson added that he just had a conversation with one of the party’s attorneys, “and he was thrilled. I told him that before I showed up, ‘you were never going to be paid, you know that.’ He said, ‘I know.’”
“This absolves me of any responsibility to take any monies and use those to pay any litigation expenses,” he said. “I’m working on relationships and getting people back to the party, and forging new relationships as well.”
“I think the legal monkey is off our back,” said Anderson.
“Now that we’ve taken the financial burden off the State Central Committee and they have an unlimited bucket of money for litigation, why not take this all the way to the Supreme Court if they continue to get an answer they don’t like from the courts?” said Anderson.
“With the burden of the legal bills off his back, Anderson says he is free to focus on paying off the operational debt of the party which was left over from his predecessor.”
One SCC member stated “My biggest concern is getting the minutes from the December 16 meeting approved. Rob’s pride is such that it’s going to be impossible for him to admit the meeting was legitimate even though he met the deadline given him by attendees at that meeting. Another huge issue, in my opinion, is the calls from the state Party telling SCC members NOT to attend. The UTGOP spent our resources to put out numerous robo and personal calls that contained bald face lies saying the emergency meeting had been cancelled.”
“Much of the fighting taking place within Utah’s GOP is a reflection of the current leadership (or the lack thereof). The fighting is in response to rules being broken, power being grabbed without authority, and lies being propagated. With this environment, the encouragement of peaceful negotiations may be fruitless until boundaries are respected and rules followed. When the balance of power is threatened as it is today with our current chairman, patriotic citizens have a duty to “right the ship,” which may not always be a pleasant, peaceful experience.”
“This is an excellent explanation of the intended deception of Count My Vote (the people behind the “direct primary” petition). The wealthy and powerful of Utah seek to control Utah politics with their deep pockets, and if they can end the grass roots neighborhood caucus, they’ll succeed.”
Ed Wallace, Publisher of USN, stated: “The simple fact is that the leaders of the Utah Republican Party are responsible for CMV and are now crying to end the suit, knowing that they could very well lose. The Media, CMV and SB54 folks have used the party debt as a club to beat up the party and force them to do their will for years. Very powerful people don’t like it when the Grassroots organize and take care of business and will stoop to any method of thwarting the effort. If the Republican Party has to go down in order for “The Empire” to maintain control, then so be it. There are casualties in every war.”
Joni Crane, UTGOP Vice Chair
She’s not going the caucus route. She is collecting signatures.
But as a declared candidate, she is already in violation of party bylaws for not resigning.
Crane is fundraising for the party for the Jan 29 event. One member stated “I am fairly sure that is against the FEC rules and the National Party would not approve. It is more than a conflict of interest to raise money for the Republican party at the same time you are a candidate raising money for your campaign!”
If she resigns as Vice-Chair before February 19, a special SCC would need to be called to fill the vacancy. But, according to info put out by Crane, it appears she is resigning on Saturday.
However, one observer has noted that “not having resigned prior to this meeting is a selfish act on the part of Ms. Crane. There’s an old phrase that says, you can have your cake and eat it too. Crane has UTGOP staff at her disposal to assist in her race. The party has rules in place to cover this situation. Ms. Crane and Mr. Anderson have been known to consider that the rules don’t apply to them.”
There is a party officer neutrality rule on the agenda sponsored by Crane. Why would Crane bring it up if she didn’t think there was a problem?
One member stated “Joni really doesn’t think things apply to her. Sadly, the SCC rarely holds our liberal establishment party leaders accountable and when we do they ignore our rulings. We need to draft a motion to censure the vice-chair for this blatant violation and let her explain to her constituents and opponents. Joni took offense to a comment I made about our weak leadership. I told her I don’t hold her personally responsible for the poor leadership. I see her as an enabler.”
Crane replied “I guess in comparison to others who believe women’s right to vote was a mistake, this makes sense. On the 27th this group will be coming to our State Central committee meeting prepared to pass a bylaw to remove me from office as the Vice Chair of the UTGOP after I’ve spent the last eight months killing myself to pay off the debt they incurred.”
Yet, she voted to end the lawsuit since Anderson claimed he was going to file bankruptcy. Was she in on the deception? And, how much has she raised while killing herself? You can see for yourself here: https://disclosures.utah.gov/Search/PublicSearch/FolderDetails/330
Steal our Stuff!
Utah Standard News is deeply committed to restoring government oversight through non-partisan journalism. In order to provide top-quality news coverage and investigative work to your readers, our work is free for print by clicking on the ‘Republish/Reprint‘ button at the top right of this article.
Media Requests or Partnership Inquiries
We have a growing nationwide network. If you’re interested in learning more about our work or receiving regular content from our reporters please contact our Director of Communication and Media Outreach at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The articles from our ‘Friends’ are under copyright and are published with permission. Any republishing of these articles is STRICTLY PROHIBITED without written consent from the original Publisher.