Only February 14, 2018, in a startling breach of his duties as Chairman of the Utah GOP, Buckshot-Caucus-Member Rob Anderson levied a harsh, public, and brutal attack against Mitt Romney via the Salt Lake Tribune.
Among many scathing remarks Anderson levied against Romney, he compared Romney to Hillary Clinton and stated “I think [Romney’s] keeping out candidates that I think would be a better fit for Utah because, let’s face it, Mitt Romney doesn’t live here, his kids weren’t born here, he doesn’t shop here.” These insults add to the laundry list of violations & infractions of the Party’s Bylaws and Constitution, and showcase Anderson’s apathy toward rule following.
While everyone deserves the right to an opinion on a candidate, Party Bylaws apply an ethical obligation to officers to maintain neutrality toward GOP candidates: GOP Bylaw 7.2B states “State Party Officers . . . shall not publicly endorse or oppose any Republican candidate for partisan public office in Utah.”
Equally concerning is Rob Anderson lied to the State Central Committee during the February 24, 2018 special SCC meeting, telling members of the SCC that he never made the reported statements to Tribune reporter Courtney Tanner. Tanner later confirmed she has an audio recording of Anderson’s comments, at which point Anderson stopped making the false claim.
Rob Anderson Intentionally Misleads Utah Republicans To Distract From Ethics Breach
Throughout the next week, Anderson attracted national
and international headlines, and they weren’t good. Desperate for a win to change the narrative away from the Romney debacle, Anderson turns to the last person you’d ever expect for help: Dave Bateman, the donor who recently bailed at the GOP who publicly stated that “Rob Anderson fought me at every step” while he was trying to pay off the Party’s debt.
Why did Anderson reach out to Dave Bateman? Perhaps Bateman had been able to negotiate the pay off of the Party’s $400K+ in legal debt, for which Anderson could take credit. That might just change the public discourse away from the scourge of negative press. Much to Anderson’s chagrin, Bateman had not been able to work out a deal with Party attorney Marcus Mumford who held the lion’s share of the Party debt. Bateman writes to Rob Anderson on February 20, 2018 telling him the debt wasn’t yet paid off, but “I hope to get something done with Mumford very soon.“
Desperate for a political win, Rob Anderson decides to send a bald-face lie to Utah Republicans just hours after Bateman tells him the debt isn’t paid off. Anderson wrote “When I was elected, the Party’s total debt was well over half a million dollars . . . In just nine short months, I am delighted to report that our current finances are as follows: Legal Debt $0 – no liability to the Party any longer. Notice Anderson takes all the credit for the debt pay off–not a single mention of Bateman.
Anderson attacks Donor Dave Bateman Publicly After He Pays off GOP Debt
On April 3, 2018, after taking full credit the debt pay off, Anderson does a 180 degree turn and publicly attacks donor Dave Bateman, as well as the GOP Constitutional Defense Committee (“CDC”), by insinuating that somehow Bateman had pulled a fast one by “acquiring” vs “retiring” the debt.
First, why would the GOP Chair attack the GOP’s biggest donor after he brokers a pay off of over $400,000 of Party debt? Perhaps a person who wants to bankrupt the Party. Second, the agreement Bateman and Anderson entered into is titled “DEBT PURCHASE AND LITIGATION FUNDING AGREEMENT“.
How could Anderson claim he didn’t know Bateman was acquiring the debt unless he’s completely asleep at the wheel? Bateman agreed to acquire the Party debt and forbear collecting on Party debt as long as Rob Anderson honored his side of the deal. The terms were clear as day. Anderson inked the deal on January 10, 2018.
Now for the real question. Has Rob Anderson honored his agreement with Dave Bateman? Or better, did Rob Anderson ever intend to honor the agreement when he signed it?