When we left off with our last installment on the ethics complaint against CCGOP Chairman Brian Slowinski, we were at the part when Debbie McCord told Lee Benedict that she is the new ethics chairman and 1st Vice Chairman Dewey Galeas told Benedict that McCord knows the rules better than anyone, so just sit back and be patient, and he wrote that statement on September 20th, 34 days after the complaint was submitted to the ethics chairman at that time, and 29 days after it was sent to Galeas. Moving on.
We read all of the emails, so we know what happens next, and we suspect that some of our readers do too. But let’s reflect on the timeline for a second. Complaint is sent on August 17th to the ethics chairman. The ethics chairman resigns on September 19th and is immediately replaced with McCord, a CCGOP former chairman and state GOP officer. On September 20th Benedict asks very point blank if everything has been done by the book and explains why and goes into some of the proper procedure. Nothing happens for 5 days. In 5 days McCord sends Benedict an email stating, “We are in the process of assembling an Ethics Committee over the next several days. This requires a vote by the Executive Board to approve the members of the Ethics Committee.” She no longer signed off with “Debbie”, but with “Debbie McCord Chairman, Ethics Committee Columbia County Republican Party”. Remember this, because it gets slammed back in the face of McCord, Slowinski, and Galeas. It’s pretty funny actually.
On October 1st at 9:03a.m. Benedict emails Slowinski, Galeas, Kirkland, Bartley, Snelling, McGuire, and 3 board members: “I am sending this to all of you again, on this day, the 46th day since my complaint was submitted to the Ethics Chair, and 41 days since I sent it to the Vice Chairs, and 11 days since I sent it to all of you. Is it not true that your bylaws mandate that such complaints be resolved or acted upon within 30 days? The morning of September 20th, your new Ethics Chair sent an email to me stating that your Chairman sent my complaint to her. I questioned whether or not she was nominated and voted upon, and she said that she was, and, ended her statement with an exclamation point. She is a former Chair and is a GAGOP officer, so I guess she knows the rules. She sent an email to me a few days later and her signature block clearly stated that she is indeed the Chair of Ethics. One email she sent asked for a copy of the emails between myself and your Chairman. I believe this to be part of the investigation process, which, Ethics is forbidden from doing. She could ask your Chairman for a copy, too. Regardless, this is odd and out of line. I even asked your 1st Vice Chair if procedure was followed in selecting the new Ethics Chair, to which he said it was, and requested that I remain patient and let the process work. Well, at that time we were on day 35ish, and, I was and am fresh out of patience. I would be interested to know when…told your Chairman he resigned and when…told him of my complaint. That aside, the fact is that your Chairman sent your (new) Ethics Chairman my complaint close to two weeks ago, meaning, he knew of it, and, he should have read it. However, he has made no effort to contact me to apologize, explain things, tell me I am wrong, discuss the issues raised in the complaint, nothing. If he is so gutless and without character and courage that he cannot even reach out to me in any way, shape, or form, just enhances my complaint. But, he is more than willing to call Austin Rhodes and speak with Barry Paschal and The Metro Spirit. Please realize that he is the face of your organization. He has taken total control of your website and has even put a copyright on it, IN HIS NAME. There is no way for anyone to contact any Board member via the website other than him. The bylaws have been removed, but, there are numerous pictures of your Chairman with elected officials and officers. Why the Board permits such acts goes beyond comprehension, but, I respect your decisions. If you recall, and if not you may refer to the below email, when I contacted you close to two weeks ago, I stated that I was probably 48 hours from notifying Sue Everhart. I did indeed send my complaint and some emails to her 48 hours later. I don’t bluff, for if I do and the bluff is called, I’m in a bad situation. I do not know the reason(s) for your delay, and at this point, it really does not matter as it has been 45 days when your bylaws state something about 30 days. But I will say this, which is that since this complaint has gone nowhere, even after I sent it to Sue Everhart, and since your Chairman is fond of running to the media stating that he’s the boss and that he runs the show (paraphrasing of course; you have read the papers and heard him on the radio), I will follow the Chair’s example and preferred method of communication. Meaning, as a result of your Chairman’s established attitude, pattern, lack of responsibility, refusal to address a simple complaint, and leadership style, I will send some things, including a Letter to the Editor, to Barry Paschal and Eric Johnson, and call Austin Rhodes since that is proven to be the only manner in which he will discuss things. Please remember that I sent the complaint on August 17th, and today is October 01st, and all I received are emails stalling for time from your 1st Vice Chair and your Ethics Chair, who just so happens to be a current state Party officer and former Chair of your organization. Most, if not all of you know me personally and know that I am (most times) patient and reasonable and typically give the benefit of the doubt. But there is no excuse whatsoever for your Chair’s delay tactics and refusal to address my complaint with me in any manner. I find this to be a textbook example of an individual who just wants the title and perks that go with it while ignoring the duties of his office, which, obviously take a back burner to his agenda and ego. Further, it is on par with someone who just does not care and/or is in over his head and has no idea what to do. I apologize for the tone of this communication, but in fairness, I have been more than patient with your Chairman and your Ethics Chairman. I refuse to entertain any further emails attempting to drag this out. If something was going to be done it would have been done by now. I am very confident in my belief that not much will change my mind as it pertains to what I will do next. Brian and Debbie want to take over and play politics and posture themselves, fine. That’s their choice and for the Board to address with them. As for myself, I am done participating in this game of delay led by a Chairman with endless cowardice. Folks, August 17th…October 01st. I know that some of you have tried to do the right thing and I appreciate it. But what we appear to have here is an absence of leadership, and I think that you know it. Your Chairman could have done something, in all probability, to resolve this matter. I have nothing further to say. Thank you” WHOA!
On October 1st at 10:45a.m. Bartley replies to all: “Lee I am trying to get you an apology and Debbie has not been voted on by the board so I feel she is not the Chair. Jim Bartley” WHOA! Isn’t this the Jim Bartley that Barry Paschal constantly refers to as a bullying errand boy and troublemaker? Wait, it gets better.
On October 1st at 10:54a.m. Benedict replies to all: “I appreciate the efforts, but, you should not be put in a position to try to get an apology. If Brian were going to do anything it would have been done long ago.
On October 1st at 2:17p.m. Bartley replies to all: “Lee I am just trying to make peace!!!!!”
On October 1st at 2:39p.m. Benedict replies to all: “I understand. You are not the problem…the Chairman is and it is his duty to calm storms, especially since he caused this one and is spearheading the delay as is his option. He wants to do what he wants how he wants when he wants, fine. He has made it clear that he is the only one who can appoint, hire, and fire. Got it. Again, I have no problem with you and know that you have been trying for a month+ to resolve this at the lowest level possible. But Brian and Debbie are driving this bus and they opt for silence and weaseling rather than what is best for this situation and the Party and appear determined to take this through the election cycle. They obviously have an agenda far beyond CCGOP and the CCGOP would benefit greatly by ridding itself of them. Again, Brian hasn’t said squat to me and Debbie has been silent since her request for my emails. What rudeness and unprofessionalism. They are now on my timetable and I am done with Brian’s and Debbie’s games. Thanks again and I know that you have tried. But Brian and Debbie want delays and manipulation. I want resolution and focus on Party business. Some people simply have to learn the hard way.
On October 1st at 8:36p.m. Bartley replies to all: “Lee I forgot to tell you I gave Brian your cell # after the meeting and he said he was going to call you and talk, that was at 8:00pm last night. Jim”
On October 1st at 9:09p.m. Benedict replies to all: “That was kind, but not necessary as Brian has my cell number, and, it is at the bottom of my emails. Did he say that he does not have it? If he did, it’s a lie. He does have at least one of my email addresses. It took me all of three minutes to pull up my previous call logs and locate TWO incoming calls from Brian: March 28, 2011 at 11:16AM for 20 minutes and March 28, 2011 at 12:04PM for 1 minute. In my complaint I stated that he called me and wanted a Facebook post removed. In any event, he probably did not say that he does not have my number, which he must know is false. My home number is in the phone book if it mattered to him. He has an email address as well. I suspect that you probably suggested that he call me and gave him my cell number. As I have stated time and time again, he is probably stalling or plotting strategy with someone instead of being a man and a Chairman and accepting some responsibility in an attempt to resolve this matter. Pretty soon it will be too late. Thanks again for the help.”
Let’s take a break at soak all this in.
Former CCGOP chairman and state GOP officer Debbie McCord and 1st Vice Chairman Dewey Galeas declared that McCord is the ethics chairman and her position was done properly. Jim Bartley, the 3rd vice chairman wrote that McCord was not voted on by the board. WHOA! What is Slowinski, McCord, and Galeas up to? What devious scheme are they plotting? Between the current chairman, 1st vice chairman, and former chairman and state Republican party officer, someone must have known that a vote was in order. Was Bartley telling the truth? Was Bartley living up to Paschal’s hype?
To us it looks like Bartley is trying to make peace, and if Benedict didn’t delete anything, it looks like Bartley is the only person trying to resolve the complaint. According to Benedict, Slowinski has his number and…you read it, it was a down home beat down of Slowinski. To us it first looked like Benedict was giving an ultimatum or some threat. But look at the facts of when he submitted the complaint, August 17th, and when he said enough’s enough, October 1st, half os August, all of September, and the first little bit of October. Now we’re asking each other what the hell is taking him so long to expose Slowinski’s and McCord’s and Galeas’ game. What were the state and county Republicans thinking when they voted for these people?
Speaking of McCord, on September 25th at 10:01p.m. she emailed Benedict and Galeas: “Lee –
We are in the process of assembling an Ethics Committee over the next several days. This requires a vote by the Executive Board to approve the members of the Ethics Committee. As the 1st Vice Chair, Dewey will be the one to request the meeting and present the names for the committee to the Board approval. Once this action has occurred, you will receive notification of the persons named to the committee.
In order to prepare for and expedite the review process by the committee, would you please forward to me all emails between you & Mr Slowinski that are referenced in your complaint. It would be best if they were in pdf format if that is possible.
Again thank you for your patience in this matter.
Chairman, Ethics Committee
Columbia County Republican Party
(email address deleted)
(cell number deleted)
(office number deleted)”
Benedict replied to all at 10:36p.m: “How does one convert an email exchange to PDF? I know how to convert a Word document to PDF, but not emails.
If I recall correctly, when I was on the Ethics Committee, the bylaws stated that it was not an investigative body, but, a body that examined each complaint and then provided the Executive Board with a recommendation. With that as my premise, I am wondering why my email exchange with Brian has been requested. Thanks.”
McCord responds to all at 10:52p.m: “…We are not investigating but I am requesting the email exchanges that are referenced in your complaint as supporting documentation to the complaint. That is all. I have no concern that the info inserted in the complaint is in anyway inaccurate. Had I been the ethics chair when you issued the complaint, I would have requested them immediately-as supporting documentation nothing else”
WHOA! Why does she need the emails? “Supporting documentation”? Isn’t the complaint supporting documentation? From the exchange, it looks like McCord agrees that she is not to investigate, and we don’t know if she is to investigate or not, but that’s what it looks like, no investigating. She has the complaint, but she wants more. It gets better, and we’ll show you in a few days, it’s just too long to include this time. Plus it really deserves its own post.
Benedict wrote in his October 1st 9:03 email, “One email she sent asked for a copy of the emails between myself and your Chairman. I believe this to be part of the investigation process, which, Ethics is forbidden from doing. She could ask your Chairman for a copy, too. Regardless, this is odd and out of line. I even asked your 1st Vice Chair if procedure was followed in selecting the new Ethics Chair, to which he said it was, and requested that I remain patient and let the process work.”
By now we trust that you read the formal ethics complaint. We will end this installment with this point. Here is an email sent to Slowinski from Benedict on April 4th at 9:32p.m. and sent to us on October 16th at 9:30a.m with names of a 3rd party removed: “Brian: I was reflecting on our phone call of last week and would like to give some feedback.
First, congratulations on being elected Chairman, and please know that I am always here should you need me. I know that in this line of work there are numerous personalities all with different priorities, and, varying leadership styles. That being said, I have to tell you that a few people have contacted me regarding your handling of the Ron Cross cartoon.
You called me and very openly and honestly shared your views, and I understand that you are the “new” Chairman who is aware of the recent Party history, and I do appreciate your desire to build bridges. However, our elected officials must step up as well and stop out-of-control spending, manipulating numbers, bullying, and the list goes on. In short, they need to start acting like Republicans and practicing our principles. Many of them tend to think that we are to simply march behind them just because of the “R” by their names; i.e., they need to build some of the bridge.
Back to your call and the cartoon: as I said I would, I made some calls to inquire about the creator of the website. All called stated that they do not know who is behind it. You’re the Chairman and the cartoon concerned you…got it. I also understand your contacting me and…about it after seeing the link on our Facebook wall. And this is just me offering some feedback for you to ponder. You can tell me to go to hell or extend thanks, but please hear me out.
The link in question was found on my personal Facebook wall and on…personal Facebook wall. It was not on a wall bearing the CCGOP name and/or logo. I am not an Executive Board member and neither is… And in all honesty, I do not believe that…is a paid member of the CCGOP (you may want to check the membership list on that one). The point is, you called two people who are not Executive Board members and asked that a link critical of Republicans be removed. I understand your position. I really do. You just became Chairman and are aware of what happened with Lawrence and the 2010 primary season, which, was blown way out of proportion by a local media person, then the link and the cartoon, and you were probably thinking, “Holy shit, what’s this? I just became Chairman and want to bring everyone together, and now this…”
After our call ended, I called some people and asked if they knew anything about the originator, which no one did. I don’t know who other than…and I was called by you, and it’s none of my business. But I will tell you that word is out that you called me and…and who knows who else, and asked us to remove a link from our personal Facebook wall. People have contacted me asking for confirmation (no one from the media, and if any were, I would only say that the link is on my wall) that you contacted me and asked me to remove the link. I did confirm that we spoke. All of those people (4, 5, 6 of them) were somewhat upset that you would make such a request of two non-Executive Board members.
As I stated two paragraphs ago, I understand what you were probably thinking, and I’m not finding fault with it. I am saying that other ordinary citizens contacted me and stated that you “crossed the line” and “went too far”. Those are the people who talk to numerous other people and get word circulating, and by the time word gets back, who knows what the story told will be. As CCGOP Chair, Lawrence was a controlling micromanaging dish-it-off-to-whomever type who coddled to certain elected local officials. And with word out about your phone calls, all of those who contacted me are having Lawrence flashbacks. I guess that that is the main point of this email.
Actually, two points – that was one, and the other is, my personal opinion as a citizen who differentiates between right and wrong who happens to be a Republican who has sought office before as a Republican, is that the cartoon has some truth to it. But, the article, written by a conservative or by conservatives, or from that viewpoint, is encouraging people to vote for the Democrat. Why? Because of Ron Cross’ history and the Commission’s spending and manipulating numbers and arrogance and thinking that it, as a collective group, is above it all, and taking the electorate for granted by expecting it to vote for them just because of the “R”. County government has gotten so far out of control that people, Republicans, are endorsing the Democrat, which, should be a huge wake-up call for the CCGOP. Again, this is just my feedback and commentary on what has happened for you to take and do with as you wish. Again, I understand your position and want for you to succeed…but I also feel obligated to tell you what is being said to me. Thanks!”
That’s nice and civil and helpful. Pay attention to what Slowinski wrote to Benedict on April 5th at 1:00a.m with a 3rd party’s name removed and Slowinski’s phone number: “Lee, I am trying to build bridges in the Republican Party not burn them down. You were on the executive board as a District Chair up until the March 12 th County Convention, so I called you because you were a board member and as a board member I would still hold you to the same standards because you are still a Republican aren’t you?
I called…because he had a link to your site and called him out of concern, me being a new party chair and trying to build bridges. I even friended…on Facebook after our conversation. I was exercising the same free speech he fought for and my Uncle Richard (who I was named after)died for in WWII.
I was informed by sources of the cartoon circulating before the county convention so I would at the very least be aware of it. I never saw it or knew its source. As spokesman for the party, I will as respectfully as I can ask any fellow Republican (boardmembers or not)not to engage in personal hate speech because its not free speech. It’s just Hateful Attack Dogs at work!
I appreciate your directness and frankness about this manner! Please keep me informed!
Change of Subject, the deceit perpetuated by columbiacountyconservativeviewpoint is not free speech but hate speech because it is a unsigned personal attack that does not allow any rebuttal!
I joined wordpress just so I could comment on the puppets on a string but my rebuttal was not posted. Why? they are only interested in their one sided viewpoint, not a voice of reason.
Inform the (4, 5, 6 of them) who were somewhat upset that you would make such a request of two non-Executive Board members to call me direct about it at…or at the very least send me a email. Forward them this email if you want.
I am guilty of one thing and that is a passion for fairness. I have seen unfairness and bullying upfront and personal like the union thugs in Wisconsin, I don’t like it and will fight it!!!
We should never get personal with politics but instead make it issue based arguments. Even the best of friends have disagreements.
We can disagree with other Republicans about issues but never be disagreeable, disparaging or disrespectful of others.
I am not “crossing the line” or “going to far” but instead drawing the line on personal attacks and shining a light on the shenanigans before it goes to far.
If we as elected members of the party and elected officials(former and current) fall for voting and publicly supporting the Democrat when the Republican voters of Columbia County voted with 41% percent of the primary vote than we should man up and join the Democrat Party!
Joey Brush at 18%, David Payne at 12% and Eric Crawford at 2%( All Republicans)got their butts whipped and out organized by Bill Morris.
Don’t give the Democrat Party a foothold in Columbia County because if we do Vernon Thomas will not be the first! Mark my words!!!
As the spokesman for the Columbia County Republican Party, we support Republicans and when we disagree., respectfully and we can’t work it out we primary the elected official, run a issue based campaign and let the republican voters decide.
If you don’t like the votes of the county commissioners, then primary them in 2012 and 2014. Out organize them, recruit candidates who have a chance to beat them (run yourself)and let the Republican voters decide.
I am the referee just trying to stop the low blows and keep the head butts out of the political debate.
Hope you will join me in keeping up a fair fight!
All My Best,
Right Brian. In the formal ethics complaint against Slowinski is a reference to butting out. So why doesn’t Slowinski butt out of what other citizens put on their own personal Facebook page/wall? He makes a comment about submitting a comment to us about our story that was not published. Our policy is that only comments in good taste will be approved. If anyone feels as though their comment should have been approved, reread the comment and see if it is in good taste. Passionate is fine, but we will not post comments that in our opinion are in bad taste or threatening or you get the point. We’re not stating that Slowinski’s fit that criteria, we’re just stating the policy.
We’re pretty sure that it’s not Slowinski’s job to monitor Facebook pages of ordinary citizens and then call them and ask that posts be removed. According to the email, he wrote “I am guilty of one thing and that is a passion for fairness. I have seen unfairness and bullying upfront and personal like the union thugs in Wisconsin, I don’t like it and will fight it!!!” What the hell do you call calling 2 (or more) private citizens about a personal Facebook post and asking for its censorship?
“Change of Subject, the deceit perpetuated by columbiacountyconservativeviewpoint is not free speech but hate speech because it is a unsigned personal attack that does not allow any rebuttal!” (pause for laughing) True, we don’t “sign” things and we said why many times before. But to call it hate speech because we are anonymous is super funny and ridiculous. If he wants “hate speech”, there’s a publisher of a Columbia County paper who has it down to a science. Slowinski should challenge us on the facts, and since he knows that we write the truth, he calls a cartoon hate speech. Slowinski is doing what Democratic operatives do…drumroll…demand the removal of whatever they don’t like which just happens to be truth.
You don’t want to miss the next installment on this, you really don’t.