Storrs: The Defenders of Scott Sayre and Tribal Insanity
By Craig Storrs
On July 5th, 2018, the Sixth District Committee heard my appeal of Ken Adams’ motion to allocate up to $30,000 for the legal defenses of the former Chairman (Scott Sayre), the current and former Secretaries (Karen Kwiatkowski and Sandy Gates, respectively), the current and former Treasurers (Donna Moser and Hud McWilliams, respectively) and the 6th District Committee as a whole (which includes Cynthia Dunbar).
As Ken Adams stated, my email to the Sixth District Committee only stated grounds for appeal on the fact that Anne Fitzgerald’s proxy was voided due to the fact that she can’t carry the proxy for her husband, Matt Fitzgerald (the Staunton City Chairman), and proxy out her State Central Committee vote, and that the motion was a huge conflict of interest – that my email stated nothing of a violation of our bylaws. It is an oversight that has been corrected in the appeal to State Central Committee.
Matt Fitzgerald made the motion at the special meeting to void the proxy of Anne Fitzgerald. However, they argued that this rendered the number of present members at 31, not 32 – which required the number of affirmative votes to create the special committee at 19, not 20. I still argue that Anne Fitzgerald’s proxy is good for attendance purposes, which still requires 20 affirmative votes to create the special committee and would simply count her vote as an abstention.
David Fischer (the Bath County Chairman) and Ken Adams sprung a legal brief (see below) on the committee from James Bopp about how it wasn’t a non-waiverable conflict of interest for the same lawyer to represent all parties in the same legal matter.
Vance Wilkins (the Amherst County Chairman) then asked if, after reading the brief, I would withdraw my appeal. It was apparently funny when I stated that I would not withdraw the appeal because I disagreed with Mr. Bopp. I may not be an insanely high-priced lawyer – but I do have a fundamental understanding of ethics and I have a couple of lawyers myself telling me that this conflict of interest can’t be waived.
What Sixth District Republicans should be asking is why Ken Adams seems content in only giving the Committee a short time to digest a legal brief before demanding a vote.
In the effort of transparency, the vote to sustain my appeal failed on a vote of 11-19-2 with the following people voting against my appeal in favor of being the defenders of Scott Sayre:
- Ken Adams (Waynesboro City Chairman)
- Matt Fitzgerald (Staunton City Chairman)
- John Massoud (Sixth District Vice-Chairman)
- Karen Kwiatkowski (Sixth District Secretary)
- Donna Moser (Sixth District Treasurer, by proxy Hud McWilliams)
- H. Ken Elkins (Augusta County Chairman)
- Vance Wilkins (Amherst County Chairman)
- David Fischer (Bath County Chairman)
- Larry Bandy (Highland County Chairman)
- Steve Kurtz (Warren County Chairman)
- Charlie Nave (Roanoke City Chairman)
- Randy Gilbert (Shenandoah County Chairman, by proxy Dianne Wyss)
- Josiah Tillett (Young Republicans)
- Donald Helms (Botetourt County Chairman)
- Steve Richards (Southern Regional Vice-Chairman)
- Steven “Doc” Troxel (State Central Committee)
- Carrie Thompson (State Central Committee
- Joseph Sonsmith (State Central Committee)
- Anne Fitzgerald (State Central Committee, by proxy)
Nate Boyer (as Bedford County Chairman and State Central Committee representative) abstained and had his proxy abstain from the vote on the appeal. Most of those 19 voted to go down in history as the defenders of Scott Sayre and to use the District Committee’s treasury as their personal piggy bank.
I fully expected the meeting to go the way it did. That’s why I immediately put the matter under appeal to the State Central Committee the second the vote was announced. There were members of the general public in attendance, and the elitist attitudes exhibited by the prevailing side at that meeting were astonishing. They wouldn’t answer to their constituents. John Massoud began yelling at someone accusing them of being on “his (my) side” and that I’m a liar (though, if you believe John and what he writes for The Bull Elephant, I’m also a “charlatan” and a “swamp dwelling creep”).
Matt Fitzgerald also made a motion to preclude the disclosure of information related to the FEC complaints, the independent audit, etc., to the press. What he failed to realize at first was that the FEC complaints, the legal brief, and the motion to preclude disclosure were all discussed on July 5th in a room that had at LEAST one member of the press. Realizing that, the motion was amended to only cover those documents covered by lawyer-client confidentiality. We seem to keep having to protect something that is already protected. These are meaningless motions designed to make people feel good and it appears that the motions are designed to hide the truth from Sixth District Republicans.
Throughout the lead-up to the Convention, I was criticized for breaking away from the Scott Sayre crowd and endorsing Jennifer Brown. In fact, Doc Troxel asked me to have a meeting with him to discuss this. When I wanted another set of eyes and ears in the room, that was unacceptable. So – let me tell you what transpired in that meeting before the Convention.
I was very firmly, but nicely, asked to stop criticizing Scott Sayre. I was told that I didn’t know the whole story. Doc also asked me to walk back my endorsement of Jennifer Brown, which I immediately refused. It was a 3 hour meeting, so I won’t bore you with the minutia, but the crux of the meeting came out to be Doc telling me that if they started not liking what Jennifer Brown was doing as Chairman that they’d attempt to remove her from her position.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what we’re facing — the losing side of the Convention is so bent out of shape because Jennifer Brown beat Scott Sayre that they aren’t even willing to work with her (as should be evident from the first meeting and the most recent special meeting).
Also from Craig Storrs….
Craig Storrs, Jr. is Central Regional Vice Chairman of the Sixth Congressional District Committee.