Saturday, September 25, 2021

Why the Republican Party Needed to be Sued and How They Can Settle Things Before it Gets Expensive

 Why is Bennett Hiding the Payment of Almost $13,000 in SEC Penalties?

Bennett Designed and Had Printed the Jenny White Attack Push Cards

What a disaster John Bennett has been as Chairman of the GOP. And this is coming from someone that is pretty much responsible for the start of his political career, keeping him in office, and getting him elected as Chairman.

I met Bennett at an Arby's in Henryetta back around August of 2010. He had called asking for assistance in his campaign, no one else would help, even the GOP refused to lift a finger as he was running in a solid blue county. After listening to him say what he was about the Tea Party decided to help him. We spent a couple thousand in ads in the local paper, set up a Tea Party meeting to get his name out, then when the NRA endorsed his Democrat opponent in the race we reached out to a fellow group in the OCA umbrella group and got him the endorsement of another national gun rights group.

The local paper was and still is ran by Democrats as was the rest of the county. So few knew Glen Bud Smithson's voting record which included being one of two votes allowing gay propaganda in children's libraries. Glen Bud hated conservatives, called us the black helicopter crowd, but when we did the ads showing his liberal voting record the voters turned on him and elected Bennett by a small margin even though the registration was still mostly Democrat in that county.

After the election the Tea Party helped introduce Bennett to the conservative legislators who tucked him under their wings and got him going. Bennett did a fairly good job and had a mid 70's voting record on our RINO Index, not bad for having to keep a Democrat majority House District happy. On occasions Bennett would call needing help and we would provide it. His first re election race was tough, the drunken son of a beloved funeral home owner was running for office. Small town, funeral home had buried most of the folks in the county, and the owner, the candidate's father was well respected if his son the candidate wasn't. When asked for help in the election we were in a quandary on how to brand things. Attacking the drunken son would blow back on Bennett and he had no voting record. Luckily for us Glen Bud Smithson, also a fan of liquid dinners, just had to stick his nose in things and run a half page ad in the county newspaper. Bingo, we ran against Glen Bud and ignored the drunk candidate and re elected Bennett. By then we were doing the newspaper and Bennett had a huge group of locals that folded and wrapped the newspapers and delivered them all over the county. They hit the Friday night football games as well. Glen Bud and the drunk would be outside handing out cards but both sides of the bleachers were filled with people with their newspaper opened up and reading the dirty details about Glen Bud Smithson. Kicked the drunk boy's rear end in that election.

I believe it was Tom Stites that challenged Bennett the next time. Oh that was a tough race, Stite's dad had termed out as the Democrat State Rep, and retired as a much loved principle/superintendent in the local school system. Tom Stites had a checkered past though and had washed out at the Air Force Academy so another round of Tea Party newspapers covering the county along with a flurry of Tea Party candidate debates where old Tommy boy refused to attend, and Bennett won the election. We ran some adds too goading Stites to show up at the debates, put his picture on a milk carton in the ad and had some fun with him.

It must have been around 2016 when Bennett ran for Speaker and lost. A few months later we get a phone call from Bennett:

“ Al, you are going to be mad at me.”

“What did you do John?”

“Well, I took some money.”

“Well John, you need money to pay down some of your campaign debt. What's the problem?”

“Its from the Speaker and Floor Leader. They want me to talk to you and get you off their asses.”

I forget how much it was but I remember Bennett had refused to meet them at the airport at Sallisaw and instead met them at the Tahlequah airport and they handed over personal checks for thousands of dollars.

So Bennett had ran against McCall for Speaker and now his committee post was in danger. We had been beating the crap out of McCall during the Speaker race and up until the time that he actually took office which is the better part of a year. So it went unsaid, Bennett got the Tea Party to lay off McCall or Bennett most likely would have faced retaliation.

“What did you tell them before you took their money John?”

“That it wouldn't do any good, no one controls Al.”

“You know what John, tell them I said to kiss my ass. But sometimes John it is good to pivot in politics just to keep them all guessing. I can attack in a different direction and see if I can keep the heat off you.”

And we did, we started hammering on Chris Kannaday instead, the #3 guy, actually #2 if you know what I mean. Bennett retained his committee chair position and was pretty much left alone. The Tea Party investment in Bennett was salvaged and Bennett got some things done.

A few months after that the phone rings, Bennett asking for help. The new liberal Republican Rep Carol Bush was going after Bennett, had done a nasty story in a small rag of a paper in Tulsa.

“No problem John. We will handle it.”

I remember it was Christmas eve on the next newsletter, a few days after Bennett's plea for help because the newsletter went out around 6 pm, a bit earlier than the usual 10 pm publication. A few days later Bennett calls:

“Thanks for the story Al, the Floor leader and the Speaker called Bush and chewed her butt out and told her to apologize. She called me on Christmas Day but I didn't want to mess with her so I called her back the next day. She apologized”

Yeah, we accommodated Bennett, McCall and the Floor Leader a few months before and they were letting both Bennett and the Tea Party know that they respected us enough to deal with Carol Bush on Christmas Eve. I don't think House Leadership wanted the scab ripped off and another war to get started. On Organizational Day in January incoming State Rep Carol Bush started off apologizing to the entire Republican Caucus over her attack and then she apologized again to her incoming class of freshmen legislators.

I think over the eight years that Bennett was in office we asked him for a handful of things. First was to run an anti TSA bill which he did but it never made it to committee. Then one night after getting a few calls on a bad gun bill we had a discussion and called Bennett who had heard of the bill and agreed that it was bad and said it wouldn't be heard. Then during the blackmail persecution Bennett was asked to testify and showed up as he had not received our phone call message that the lawyers had decided to not use him. The last thing we ever asked was for him to run for the GOP Chair position. We had protected him well, asking little in return other than to represent his district in a conservative manner, and had never seen any signs of instability or disloyalty.

Then in August of 2020 I asked John Bennett to run for Chairman of the GOP after putting together a group of Party activists from around the state.  Bennett meets us in Henryetta at a Shoney's restaurant, the matter is discussed along with who would make a good Vice Chair, and about a week later Bennett  agrees to run for Chair in a phone call with me.  Which was taped by the way.  That set off six months of recruiting more people for the team and multiple meetings and the setting up of the website to serve as the recruitment website.  Later Bennett wanted to run the actual campaign without the group which was a good idea, any friends or allies you have will always have enemies so it is always good to keep things under wraps.

Then a few days before the 2021 GOP State Convention the phone rings again.  John Bennett asking me to put my name on an attack push card against Jenny White who was being ran for Chair by Ronda Vulliemont Smith.  

"John, I would have to see what you are printing, I could get sued if any of it wasn't true."

"Okay, Al, I will send you a copy."

A consultant in Arizona I believe it was got in touch via email later after I was sent the images of both sides of the push card and I was told to contact Bennett's campaign manager to pick up the completed attack push cards.  This was done early on the morning of the Convention, Bennett's campaign manager Leslie Nessmith arranged for Bob Dani to deliver the attack push cards in the parking lot of the Convention.  Silly me, I had parked over by the old train station thinking Dani would want to be secretive, nope, he asks me to meet him at the Convention parking lot and hands me an old U Haul box without  a top on it filled with thousands of beautiful four color push cards. And Jenny White goes down in a humiliating loss with Bennett walking away with a majority of the votes in a four way race.  Much of the content in the attack push cards was information skimmed off Jenny White's own Facebook page, delivered to me weeks earlier by Bennett or members of his actual campaign team and used to write negative stories about Jenny White. Jenny was an anti Trumper even after the presidential election and she had compared Melania Trump to transvestite Bruce Jenner.

BTW, I am in no way embarrassed by the Jenny White stories or the attack push cards.  Every bit was accurate and nearly all of it was  off her own Facebook page which she was stupid enough to leave up after announcing a run for Chairman.  Fair game, hoisted by her own petard.  Just the lack of judgement alone for saying such things and then compound that by not removing the posts after deciding to run for office, put everything else aside; she was an idiot.

Something changed after the GOP Convention election. The Tea Party and other normal conservatives were slowly pushed out as a bunch of radicals grew in influence. We fought back, pretty much pushed Bennett into a 2.5 hour long meeting in May to try to clean up the mess and thought we had succeeded but six weeks later the sabotage started. First the sabotage of the survey intended to get the mood of the delegates and state committee members on what part religion ought to play in the GOP and other matters. Next was a $6,000 donation to install a lawn sprinkler system and completely refurbish the front flower beds, half of the money was already donated, the contract let out, only to have Executive Director Bob Dani scuttle the project after having given permission to start the night before! Of course they wanted the money to go to other purposes but since the money had been raised for a specific project, which had been approved by Bob Dani, it was only right to return the donations rather than misallocate the money.

Communications Director Leslie Nessmith claimed responsibility for scuttling the projects and admitted that she, Bennett, and Bob Dani had acted together to eliminate all access to the GOP. The reasoning? The Tea Party had gone after Chairman David Mclain and Leslie convinced Bennett somehow that he was next. After around 12 years of protection and support, Bennett turned on the Tea Party and others that had helped him.

Soon the radicals were completely in charge. Nearly all of the leadership were some sort of Pentecostal faith adherent. A whole lot more were radical abortion abolitionists that were universally hated by the legislature and most Pro Life supporters. We saw the appointment of a Chaplain for the first time, then the quick announcement that he was resigning to concentrate on his “ministry”. Turns out he had embarrassed himself by laying hands on a dude at a fundraising event and even started speaking in tongues after the dude asked him to pray for him. And the chaplain never received a phone call from Bennett we were told, they just tossed him under the bus with a glowing email announcing his “resignation”.

The communications became less about policy and more about Bennett and raising money. The normal Republicans were refusing to support the crazies that were now in charge and if not for a few angel donors the GOP would have floundered. The Holocaust remarks made national news and was a huge embarrassment for Republicans. When they finally got around to doing a survey they asked mostly about their own agenda items, with one part asking if we would like crypto currency training and “prepper” training. We got a lot of phone calls and texts on that one.

Bennett had alienated the Senate earlier in the year, demanding action on an issue and asking GOP members to flood the Pro Tem office with emails and calls. What a stupid move.... that works great if you have nothing to lose but had Bennett just gone to the Pro Tem and calmly discussed the legislation it might have been passed. Instead, the bill was gutted and replaced with a bill creating a new state agency dedicated to doing exactly the opposite of what the original House bill wanted to do.

By this point Bennett and/or his staff had driven off anyone that had any political experience of more than a couple of years. Anyone that would speak up and stop the stupid stuff was gone. By the time the Holocaust remarks came out the Oklahoma Republican Party was a shell of its former-self and the legislature was considering it irrelevant. This was about the time of the first State Committee meeting where Bennett had every single proposal shot down or gutted and replaced with a different agenda than his own.

The closing the state committee meeting was another huge disaster that was not only illegal under the GOP Bylaws, it was also politically stupid and almost certainly illegal under state statutes that govern non profit meetings. I was personally told to leave or be arrested for trespassing, escorted out by a uniformed off duty deputy sheriff and the video proves that I was sitting quietly listening to the start of the meeting surrounded by dozens and dozens of empty chairs. That was a Rule 3A violation and is punished by the removal from office of those involved.

People have also been booted off the email list, no doubt part of Leslie Nessmith's effort to “remove all access”. Another Rule 3 A violation. Then the libel attack on Facebook, where an “anonymous” letter was written by a committee of people full of insults and libelous statements including accusations of “ women and child sex trafficking”. Enough of the participants have come forward that we are sure of who all was involved and all face a serious libel suit once the discovery has been done many new defendants will be added to the lawsuit.

Other issues like the hiding of financial information. Even the State Committee is in the dark on some awful dubious matters. The GOP Bylaws require the financial data be transparent, as does state statutes covering non profits. There were credible rumors of financial malfeasance of the previous Chairman and discussion of charges being filed yet the State Committee knows nothing of these allegations.

Then there is the nearly $13,000 FEC fine that was paid in April. From the incompetence of Chairman Mclain's administration for sure, but why was this hidden from everyone?

And it seems that GOP donations are lining the pocket of some of the “volunteer” staff, Miles Rahimi's company received a $4,000 payout around the end of June for “video production”. For what? A handful of self serving videos sent out via email and put on Facebook telling us how wonderful our new Chairman was and how he was fighting against abortion or the vaccines? If a video was needed there are plenty of volunteers that do this for free.

And then there is the illegal and unethical “endorsement” of a primary opponent. Bennett came out and “personally” endorsed Jackson Lahmeyer against Lankford. Which is one of the few causes for removal of a GOP officer, endorsing the opponent of a Republican candidate. The GOP officers HAVE to stay out of primary races. Not only that, you don't endorse until the filing period is over because you never know who might also file for the same office. And sure enough, there are rumors that Senator Nathan Dahm is going to file against Lankford. Another long time ally of Bennett and if he files for the seat, is Bennett going to withdraw his endorsement of Lahmeyer?

Lahmeyer has put a tremendous amount of pressure on Lankford and it was sorely needed. We have assisted his campaign or his consultants, as we would any candidate. He would be better than Lankford no doubt BUT you ALWAYS wait until after the filing is done before endorsing, that is just common sense.

And the signal sent to ALL elected Republican officials is “You might be next”, and this has gutted what remaining good will Bennett had with the elected officials throughout the state. There are a handful of elected officials still okay with Bennett, extremely far right types, the abolitionist are giddy at the way things turned out, then the John Birch Society, AKA OCPAC, is loving things right about now.

Holding the elected officials accountable is the job of the GOP and the Chairman. But you cannot go about it running wild and spraying the crowd with machine gun fire. What was proposed to Bennett was that we sit down quietly with the elected officials and respectfully remind them that we owned the brand, that things had changed, that that at the end of the next session an voting index would be coming out and distributed to Republican voters throughout the state. That gives all of them the chance to adjust fire so all the guns are pointing in the same direction, so that everyone looked like a hero. At times all that is needed are minor changes, sometimes just suggesting that if they needed a bill issue to champion there were plenty available that would make the legislator look like a hero to Republicans.

All of that is pretty much shot to shit at this point unless Bennett is removed as Chairman or his staff is cleaned out and normal Republicans with Party experience put in place to keep things legal and responsible.

The Oklahoma Republican Party is now being led by idiots and inexperienced idiots at that. The Chairman and his staff have broken the Bylaws numerous times, some with the penalty of removal from office. Initially the other three officers, Pollard, Curry, and Jemison were welcoming a chance to clean Bennett up or take him out, there were even discussions on exactly this. But despite multiple letters being sent out including one from an attorney on our behalf, the Vice Chair and the two National Committee members have refused to do their job. Why?

Perhaps they would rather see the Party ran into the ground than allow others to try to straighten things out. Perhaps they think they simply do not have the votes at the State Committee meeting to oust Bennett or chain him down so he follows the Bylaws and learns to represent the Party instead of pushign his own agenda.

What they do not understand is that state statutes allow any member of a non profit or for corporation to use the District Courty for force the Bylaws to be followed. We have illegal acts including multiple Rule 3A violations, all are cause for removal and it doesn't say “may”, it says “shall”. If the State Committee refused to follow the Bylaws then the District Court can appoint a receiver to ensure the Bylaws are followed. That would be expensive, at least $5000 to $10,000 per month to just pay the receiver. No one wants that except those that would burn the Party to the ground to support their radical agenda.

There there is the sabotage of the survey and the “anonymous” letter that was created to libel someone just to drive them from the Party. The case would be worth millions and with the Communications Director admitting that she, Bennett, and Bob Dani worked to drive people out of the Party then this is an easy case to win in a jury trial.

So, last Tuesday I filed a lawsuit against the GOP, Chairman John Bennett, Vice Chair Shane Jemision, and National Committee members Pam Pollard and Steve Curry. Bennett and his staff were responsible for the Rule 3A violations and some of this staff were a party to creating the “anonymous” letter full of libel and of course the multitude of other Bylaw infractions. The other three, Jemision, Pollard, and Curry, were responsible for sitting on their hands after being notified of the Bylaw infractions and libel being published, had they done their job they would have called a state committee meeting and dealt with this mess. So a jury might well find them uninvolved with the libel but they are responsible for the Bylaw infractions and for the False Light charge for not stopping the removal of people from the state committee meeting.

No doubt some State Committee members aren't going to like this lawsuit and no doubt the radical religious right supporters of Bennett aren't going to like it. My reply, if you were at that July state committee meeting and knew the meeting ought not to have been closed and didn't stand up and call for a vote, you are guilty of avoiding your responsibility too.

The ideal outcome is for this lawsuit to get the attention of GOP leadership and see them sit down and agree to settle things by fixing the problems and removing the toxic people that caused the problems. Just follow the Bylaws and things can be settled. One of our conditions during talks with the three Central Committee members both in person and by proxy was that if a suit had to be filed the lawyers would be paid as part of the settlement. Yet Jemison, Pollard, and Curry refused to take the cover given to them to do the right thing and force Bennett to fix things. Yet they have one more chance to evade ruinous attorney fees because the lawsuit petition was filed pro se, with the assistance of several attorneys, so that if things are settled quickly there will be no attorney fees, just costs of filing and other small costs. But if we have to litigate the case will be picked up by an attorney and hourly billing will start adding up on a case that the Republican Party cannot win. The law is 100% on our side so even if a judge sabotaged the case the appeals court likely wouldn't.

If we are forced to litigate, there will be damages for the False Light charges, which is a much easier to prove form of libel. And no jury is going to like that a bunch of radical religious fanatics sat down and decided to concoct a fake letter to libel someone.

There is another lawsuit filed against one Brian Graham. Graham is a never Trump type that was talked into publishing the first copy of the “anonymous” letter on Facebook. That is a million dollar lawsuit and will carry the bulk of the libel charges against Graham and those that gave him the fake letter and those that helped write and distribute the fake letter. An effort will be made to keep the GOP lawsuit and the libel suit separate but there is the possibility that one of the judges will combine the two suits. 

By filing two suits we give the GOP a last chance to set things right.  You can see a story about these lawsuits which has copies of each petition at this link at Sooner Politics.  Amazingly the idiot that got himself sued for libel posted the same "anonymous" letter in the comment section of the story thread.  I wonder how funny he will think these things are once his paycheck gets garnished for a judgement?

The outcome? A Republican Party that follows the Bylaws to the very letter. You will not be removed from the email list, excluded from observing conventions or meetings, your donations will be used for valid expenses and not blown paying thousands of dollars in SEC fines or lining the pockets of “volunteers”. The leadership of the GOP will represent the entire Party, not some small radical faction. We won't see the likes of Pam Pollard trying to ram motions or resolutions through the State Convention despite them not being filed on time so the County GOP officials can distribute the items and discuss which way to vote. And some people will learn not to lie about others and make up libelous attacks because they will have a life changing event as a result. For over 12 years we at the Tea Party had never had to make up crap about people, usually the truth about them was more damaging than what could possibly be made up anyway.

If you have any questions please read through the articles in our archive over to the right. Start around the last week in June of this year to learn more about the attacks and libel and sabotage done by Bennett and/or his staff. And just reply to this email if you have any questions that remain unanswered.


And above all, contract the Vice Chair and the two National Committee members as well as your local GOP officials and state committee members and ask them to demand that the Bennett administration and the Central Committee do the right thing. 

And here is one final thought.   If you haven't been willing to clean up the GOP fine, then if you don't agree on this I expect you to stand back and hold my coat while I do the dirty business of rooting out the snakes and vermin.  You don't have to like it, but you damn well better let a man take care of business that you wouldn't take care of.  The Party will be better off, better led, and more unified if this is done.