Dear Republican Party Members,
An email exchange among approximately 50 SCC members was recently forwarded to me. Within the chain of emails was the following:
“This Chair has destroyed trust by:
–Unilaterally moved the party HQ and told us at the bottom of an unrelated email. (Now it is available for a new Republican Party of Utah HQ isn’t it? The perfect identity theft of the URP).
–Unilaterally said he alone could drop our $400,000 SB-54 lawsuit
–Unilaterally said he would declare the party bankrupt (and probably re-form it as the Republican Party of Utah) and created a sham, unauthorized budget committee to give the appearance of false coordination. To me that is attempted murder of the URP.
–Unilaterally changed the bylaws the SCC voted on and attached our URP Secretary’s name & C&B Chair’s name to it without their knowledge or consent (i.e., fraud), at least that is what I understand and perhaps the investigative committee will clear that up
–Unilaterally hired an attorney to investigate our URP Secretary making the most minor of changes (spacing?) to our bylaws at $5,000/mo to bring a charge of censure against her (was this getting the Party healthy?)
–Unilaterally failing to deliver bylaw changes voted on by the SCC to the Lt Gov per our Constitution. He could have delivered them with a note of protest or cover letter of disagreement and left the matter to the courts or resigned, or asked the Vice to do that duty if she was willing
–Admittedly colluded to get a spot for someone on the SCC (that item may still be SCC Confidential, not sure if the minutes are published, but the ES session with that confession was on YouTube). Did this person who received the ill-gotten spot have the decency to resign it once the deed was made known. No. Not as I understand it. I’d be glad to be wrong, but it seems if you admit you stole this person a seat, then make sure they get in the seat the right way, not under collusion.
–Called out the Secret Police at a meeting on one of Cache County’s own for, what; making a motion?
I could go on, but I think you get the point; I see a pattern that continues, and I do not think we the SCC are the problem, except that we have not curbed his unilateral decision making style and asserted ourselves, and I think that is really the problem. Had we checked him earlier, perhaps he would have understood the proper constraints of his duties and power…”
I’d like to address each allegation. My responses are below:
1. Move of the UTGOP Headquarters: Approximately six months ago, a member of the SCC began contacting UPMA Leasing to discuss termination of the UTGOP HQ lease. The property manager mistakenly thought he was in discussion with someone of authority to approve changes to the leasing agreement. Up until this contact, UPMA understood the UTGOP had no interest nor intention to move its HQ location. While the property manager made it clear that there were no provisions in the lease for early termination without penalty – meaning the party would be required to execute the full lease obligation through December 31, 2022 – he began looking for other available UPMA space once he was advised (by this SCC member) that the Party did not wish to remain at the 117 East South Temple location, but would be open to other locations. I was unaware of this communication until I saw a thread on the UTGOP SCC Facebook Page advising that a conversation was taking place between this SCC member and the UPMA leasing office. By the time I reached out to UPMA, their search was underway for a UTGOP HQ replacement office space, and they were moving ahead with plans to completely renovate our former office space at 117 East South Temple.
I advised Mr. Lyman that I’d been unaware of any of this activity and suggested he review the leasing contract before he made any further plans. He said he would, and that he would consult with their legal team. He did. When he called back, he apologized for entering discussions with someone who was unauthorized to speak on behalf of the Party and stated he’d be willing to make some concessions if we would proceed with the move of the HQ anyway so that they could renovate the 117 East South Temple building.
Long story short, UPMA offered the Party: two months free of rent, and they also offered to completely fund the move, to print all new business cards and stationary, and to fund installation of new utilities (i.e.) phone, internet, etc…
I’d planned to mention this in my remarks at the December 1 SCC meeting, but a motion was made to move officer reports to the end of business items. The meeting went long and adjourned before business ended. As such, I was never permitted to give my Chair report.
I advised the Vice-Chair and Treasurer of this impending move after the December 1 SCC meeting. I did not consult with the Party Secretary. After the formation of the investigative committee (which includes the Party Secretary), officer consultation with her has been limited due to the investigation.
2. The Chair said he could unilaterally end the $400,000 SB54 Lawsuit – I did not state that. In fact, it was Attorney Marcus Mumford, retained by the UTGOP under Chairman James Evans, who made this statement in a meeting that was attended by all newly elected 2017 UTGOP officers: Me, VC Joni Crane, Treasurer Abe Young and Secretary Lisa Shepherd, as well as the office staff at the time: BJ Griffin and Peter Simonsen, as well as others. Mr. Mumford stated that the contract between the Party and his law office had been signed by former Chair James Evans, and that based on his (Mr. Mumford’s) review of the UTGOP governing documents, the decision to continue or discontinue the lawsuit rested solely with the Chair of the UTGOP. The Party Secretary asked very specific follow-up questions to this statement. He did not equivocate.
3. Unilaterally said he (the Chair) would declare bankruptcy: Per the UTGOP’s governing documents at the time, the four party officers with the concurrence of the budget committee, in the event of a retained deficit, “shall take into account any actions necessary…to eliminate the debt within a period not to exceed six months.” At that point in time, the debt had lingered for years with no resolution in sight. Attorney Mumford’s accountant was calling, almost daily, to stress what a negative impact this debt was causing to Mr. Mumford and that immediate resolution was required. It was not until this discussion of bankruptcy took place that a donor was found to honor this debt. As I stated in my speech for Chairman in 2017, it is not a Republican principle to contract services and leave them unpaid. It’s dishonest and a poor reflection on the UTGOP. Rumors circulated that the Party didn’t owe the legal fees unless we prevailed in our lawsuit attempts. That was untrue and proven by the legal contract that Chairman Evans had entered with Attorney Mumford. Click here to view the contract.
4. Unilaterally changed the bylaws the SCC voted on and attached our URP Secretary’s name & C&B Chair’s name to it without their knowledge or consent (i.e. fraud) – I deny this. This matter is being investigated by the committee formed at the December 1, 2018 SCC Meeting. I have included a link to my 30 minute testimony as well as my written comments to the committee in this matter for your review.
5. Unilaterally refused to submit bylaws to the Lt. Governor – See answer to #4 above.
6. Unilaterally hired an attorney to investigate Party Secretary for making changes to the C&Bs – This matter was brought to my attention immediately upon my election as Chair by a former member of the C&B committee. I asked the Party’s attorney to conduct an investigation into the alleged changes and submit a report. There was no additional cost incurred by his assistance in this matter. You may review his report here.
7. Admittedly colluded to get a spot for someone on the SCC – This is in reference to my wife Kathleen. As you’re aware, every County has their own procedure for replacing at-large members on the SCC. This action is independent of the Chair of the UTGOP. The Davis County GOP is no exception. My wife was “the next highest vote getter” as was clearly stated in the bylaws of the DCRP. When the DCRP Chair refused to seat her, my wife filed an ethics complaint against the DCRP Chair with the DCRP Ethics Committee. The DCRP Ethics Committee found that the DCRP Chair had violated the DCRP governance when she failed to seat her. Chairwoman Horlacher called my wife and apologized for her error and offered her the seat that had been vacated by Tyler Moss. SCC replacements always go through the County Chairs, not the UTGOP Chair. This may be confirmed with DCRP Ethics Committee Chairman Scott McIntyre, as well as Dee Larson of the DCRP Executive Committee.
8. Called out the Secret Police – This is untrue. Lively debate is always encouraged, but it is imperative that we maintain decorum and provide a meeting space that is safe for all those in attendance. I call upon everyone to remember that we are all volunteers and we are all responsible to do our part in ensuring that a respectful environment is maintained for those who wish to participate in our meetings. The meeting in question can be viewed in its entirety here: SCC meeting 1.27.18
It is my desire that we can move forward as a Party. We still have legacy operational debt to be paid, elections to win, and 2020 to prepare for. We are stronger and more effective when we work together. This continued division only benefits the Utah Democratic Party. Salt Lake County is more blue than ever. Our combined energy is needed to recruit the best candidates possible, to help elect them and to support them once in office.
As always, please contact me should you have any concerns. Thank you for your continued service on behalf of the UTGOP. Let’s be ready for 2020!
Rob Anderson, Chairman
Utah Republican Party