Gunfight at the ARA Corral, Continued

lovitz bylawsAnaheim Republican Assembly President Steve Sarkis forwarded me this e-mail he sent early this morning to Tom Hudson, the parliamentarian and chairman of the CRA Rules Committee.

Wait – let me put this in the breathless prose of modern journalism: Anaheim Blog has obtained an e-mail sent by Anaheim Republican Assembly President Steve Sarkis to Tom Hudson, who is parliamentarian and chairman of the CRA Rules Committee:


Benita Gagne called a meeting of non-ARA members.

I called an August meeting of ARA (notice included Benita) and we had a quorum and we held elections.

Attached is a copy of the notice handed to me by John Briscoe after my August ARA meeting was adjourned.

There is no authority in the CRA bylaws to support the contents of this notice.

The May and June meetings were called in accordance with ARA bylaws. A quorum was not obtained and the meetings had to be adjourned. What happened at the July meeting (loss of quorum) is already known to you.

Roberts Rules of Order state that an elected officer retains that office until elections (in accordance with the bylaws) are held for that office. If elections cannot be held due to lack of a quorum, then the elected office is not automatically vacated.

ARA bylaws do not state that any elected office is automatically vacated if elections are not held in the month of May.

Benita is only an ex-officio member of the ARA Board and has no power to call an ARA meeting much less conduct elections for ARA officers unless there has not been at least one meeting called during any one quarter.

Charter Review has no authority to interpret a unit’s bylaws and make a decision that the offices of a unit have been vacated and then hold a reorganizing meeting and elect new officers. Only the Board of Directors has that authority.
Steve Sarkis
Anaheim Republican Assembly

Clearly, Steve has a different perspective on the issue (and it’s interesting that the letter that CRA President John Briscoe gave to Steve Sarkis yesterday is post-dated today, August 21).

Again, anyone who says this is about enforcing proper governance in the ARA is…I’ll be charitable and say “fooling themselves.” Does anyone think all those state CRA officers (representing the controlling faction of the last couple of years) flew down to Stanton so they could slap down Steve Sarkis? Does anyone think this would be happening absent the dynamics of the Anaheim mayoral contest? Does anyone think the flood of people with a sudden interest in joining the Anaheim Republican Assembly will be attending ARA meetings a couple of months hence?

There’s nothing new going on here. This is about gaining control of the ARA in order to get an endorsement for the Tait Slate, which would allow the CRA to be used as a vessel for targeting GOP voters with mail attacking Lucille Kring, Kris Murray and Gail Eastman. The Tait campaign thinks it sees an opening and is trying to exploit it. I get it. That’s politics. Let’s just recognize these machinations for what they are, and not pretend this is about “enforcing bylaws.”


  1. How did my name get dragged into this Anaheim dispute? I live 500 miles away in Placer County and I have not been involved in anyway, other than to have received a few random e-mails. I am the Parliamentarian for the State Board, which has never even discussed this local matter. I am not the Parliamentarian for the Anaheim Republican Assembly. I would love to be able to help my friends Steve Sarkis and Benita Gagne resolve this local issue, but it has nothing to do with me and I have not taken a position.

    Tom Hudson (Placer County)
    California Republican Assembly

  2. Anyone done a poll in Anaheim? Duh, of course someone has. I think when you put those numbers next to the number of days left before vote by mail begins, this all starts to look silly.

  3. My question is under what authority is Tom Tait taking this action if the state board has never had a discussion about it. Mr. Hudson’s statement proves that this was a manufactured takeover by the Tait campaign. Let’s hope the state board engages and stops this illegal action to form a new unit. Otherwise, unethical campaigns statewide will think they can get away with these unethical tactics.

    • I left a comment on this blog this MORNING at a time when the CRA State Board had never discussed this matter. This EVENING, I received an e-mail with a report from the Board’s Charter Review Committee that was discussing this very matter. The timing seems odd, but I am sure that it is unrelated to this blog post! 🙂

      I should explain that I am not a member of that Committee and fewer than one in ten State Board members are on that Committee, so I did not know until tonight that they apparently met yesterday to discuss the Anaheim Republican Assembly and the alleged issues with the local leadership and membership. In any event, I stand by my statement that I have not been involved with that matter, but I certainly wish them all well. The Anaheim R.A. is a good club and I think they have a promising future.

      Tom Hudson, Parliamentarian
      CRA State Board of Directors

  4. Mr. Hudson, I apologize that you and the CRA Board have been dragged into this, and if you want to know how you got here, I believe that was Steve Sarkis, sir, leaking a letter to this blogger for publication so the CRA/ARA dirty laundry could be aired for the world to see. Those of us objecting to his behavior had been trying to correct the problem through proper channels, certainly the last thing Anaheim needs is to alert the liberals to bickering and infighting in the GOP when we already have a quasi-Republican challenger against the seated Republican Mayor, potentially splitting the vote to let a liberal Democrat into the mayor’s seat in California’s 10th largest city. (some of us wonder if that isn’t the plan from those suddenly backing the chalenger when they had previously spent on IEs AGAINST her!) Thankfully the Central Committee stood firm against the challenger, many have said they never saw Baugh more firm in his convictions than Monday night against Lucille Kring and her lying ways! But Sarkis’ leak of local family squabbles goes too far. It’s not enough for Sarkis to create a PR nightmare for the organization here locally, he has to make sure the whole world knows how badly he is scrambling to maintain control of “his” unit . Complaints have been filed by a number of members against Steve Sarkis and Baron Night, and I understand their CRA membership will be reviewed by the full Board following the upcoming State meeting in September. State leadership has been conducting an investigation with review of his Meeting Minutes, etc. to examine compliance with the Bylaws and principles of the organization. I am sure they can bring you up to speed, and I am sorry for this disturbing you.

    “Anaheim GOP”, Tom Tait is not “taking this action” despite the desire of this blog to blame him for single handedly causing everything from the national unemployment rate to global warming.

    Dozens of Anaheim Republicans have been rejected for membership by Sarkis, without citing a reason or offering an opportunity to remedy whatever Sarkis felt was a shortcoming in their applications. Also, members long ago accepted for membership were ejected from the organization, which requires a vote of the Board (which Anaheim Bylaws say consists of 6 officers) yet Sarkis took this action with only three officers. Sarkis’ refusal to accept new members leaves him consistently without the membership required to operate a unit, which matches his Board which also fails to produce the required number of officers, per the Bylaws he loves to use in his favor, but ignores when held accountable himself. Sarkis has been operating an illegal paper unit for years, waving around a fistful of proxies, and at least one of the proxies was shocked to hear he was a paid member, and submitted a statement to the CRA to that effect. Now the leader who failed to operate a legal unit, whose Charter should have been pulled for failure to conduct legal meetings at least quarterly as required by the State bylaws, has declared himself President for life by simply refusing to hold elections!

    Yet the President for Life “accepted” without any authority as an elected President. the membership applications of Chamber CEO Todd Ament, Matthew Cunningham, a bunch of Chamber staff who live in Yorba Linda and Orange, and Curt Pringle. (those names were sure a tip off to the State folks who got the picture pretty quickly, wherever Pringle goes, negative attention follows. Why is that?)

    While those who represent everything that ISN’T the party platform are considered acceptable for membership by Sarkis, the “GOP Leader of the Year” (and CRA endorsed seated Republican Mayor) is rejected, along with a former fighter pilot, and a mother of two children currently serving their nation overseas, among others. That this insults those who were rejected should not be a surprise to anyone! When quite a number of those people have complained to the State organization, it creates a PR nightmare for CRA, under whose Charter the ARA operates, so it is absolutely within their authority to investigate why someone is so badly misrepresenting their “brand.”

    Like it or not Matt, the jig is up, game over, Lucille and her followers on Council trying to put her up as their “preferred leader” over the guy standing up to their giveaways, has been blocked by the GOP officially (and emphatically) and now the CRA/ARA has rejected her sock puppetry. Go home to Orange Matt, Anaheim has enough trouble registering Republicans back from DTS without you misrepresenting us.

    • Matthew Cunningham

      I assume you’ve also told Greg Diamond to go back to Brea and Ryan Cantor to go back to Fullerton.

      Oh right – you’d have to abandon your double standard.

    • Anaheim Republican

      Cynthia forgets to mention that Baugh also said he disagrees with Tom Tait on several issues and that Tom does things that make Baugh “scratch his head?”

      Baugh’s speech was more against Kring than pro-Tait. Most OC Reeps you talk to ask, “What’s wrong with Tom Tait?”

    • Oooooo goodie, Cynthia is using Middle Names of people she doesn’t like. Can we add Greg “disgraced Democratic Party leader and failed lawyer” Diamond, Ryan “Tait supporter” Cantor, and Vern “DUI jailbird” Nelson to the pro-Tait cheerleaders. Enough with the nicknames Cynthia.

      • Matthew Cunningham

        I confess, I didn’t know Cynthia had written those things. Her long, stream-of-consciousness screeds are murderous and generally pointless to slog through.

        Cynthia take issue with non-Anaheim residents joining the ARA. For someone who pretends to be all about the rules, she forgets that the rules don’t require ARA members to be Anaheim residents.

        And for someone who pretends to be bothered by non-Anaheim residents, she neglects to mention that several of the Tait supporters who joined the rogue ARA do not live in Anaheim.

  5. ThinkOC is Cynthia Ward – one of the Tait camp masterminds attempting to take over the unit of the CRA they have never attended or participated in for purposes of endorsing Tait who has worked side by side with the ACLU and liberal activists in Anaheim. She is stridently pro gay marriage and pro choice so her involvement in the CRA for political gain at this point is laughable. She and the Tait camp attempted to register many people at last months meeting in direct violation of CRAs bylaws – these were dozens of people who were also never involved in the OC GOP or the CRA and as it turns out some were not even Anaheim residents. Steve has been a trusted leader of this unit for years. Cynthia Ward and Tom Tait should be ashamed for attempting to literally run him over. Mr. Hudson we need your help as the state parliamentarian to enforce the rules and CRA Bylaws in Anaheim. These machinations should not be allowed to go forward. The integrity of the organization is at risk. The only people attempting to denigrate the CRA are members of the Tait campaign.

    • Good point. Ward’s political values really diverge from the values of CRA, the “Republican Wing of the Republican Party.” At the next meeting, she can stand up all tell the ARA members they’re all bigots for opposing same-sex marriage.

  6. I wish saying this would make a difference:

    Cynthia, stop the cheap political tricks and false indignation. Your efforts to erode the Republican Party are duly noted and gravely unappreciated. Your backing of Tait in his alliance with Jose Moreno has gone far enough and it is time you acknowledge your position in all of this. Please reregister or stop invoking the party which you seek to destroy.

    • This is the same Cynthia Ward who was a cheerleader for Tom Daly’s aborted Board of Supervisors campaign in 2010. She was against council districts before she supported them; opposed Shawn Nelson and Tom Tait before she supported, and supported Kris Murray and Gail Eastman before she turned on them. And that’s just in the last couple of years. She’s pro-gay marriage and pro-choice.

      Cynthia’s as changeable as the weather. The Republican Assembly is outm of its mind to listen to her.

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