UPDATE: Bruce Ross of the Redding Paper jumped in to the fray:
Title of article: GOP group boots Chiefs of Staff
The article is linked here. Please also note that the only responses from Spannagel and Reade were to reference the FPPC investigation of the Placer GOP Cent Com – that was based on an anonymous blog comment and the “FBI Investigation” alleged by (you guessed it) Karen England.
Please also note that Karen England refused three times to tell anyone who she spoke to at the FBI when asked directly. As a side note, Karen was also expelled from the CRA for 10 years.
As a key note – Reade, Spannagel and England did not receive any support from anyone against the proposed CRA action against them.
Chiefs of staff for two Yuba-Sutter area state legislators have been booted from a conservative grassroots organization over claims they committed membership fraud and were disruptive.
The board of the directors of the California Republican Assembly voted 36-2 in separate motions Saturday to expel Mark Spannagel, chief of staff to state Sen. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale, and David Reade, chief of staff to Assemblyman Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber.
Aaron Park, sergeant at arms for the CRA, said Reade manipulated units of the assembly to get the group’s endorsement for Mitt Romney during the 2008 presidential primary. And Reade and Spannagel submitted records of association members who weren’t actually affiliated at all, Park said.
“These instances go back as far as 2007,” said Park, adding Reade is expelled for 10 years and Spannagel for five.
The expulsions do not affect either man’s position with LaMalfa and Nielsen nor their status as registered Republicans, Park said. Reade and Spannagel can appeal their expulsions when the statewide assembly meets for a convention, which could happen in either November or January.
Spannagel said he hadn’t attended the meeting where the expulsion vote happened.
“If that’s the way they want to go, that’s the way they want to go,” he said. He pointed out members of the Placer County Republican Central Committee, including Park, are under investigation by the FBI and state Fair Political Practices Commission.
Reade said he’d also make note of the ongoing investigations.
“The once venerable California Republican Assembly has fallen into disrepute under the current rogue leadership,” he said. “They’ve lost any legitimacy as an organization, and it’s sad.”
Former CRA President Mike Spence and U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock have recently criticized the CRA’s current leadership for infighting and moving to purge some members rather than reform itself.
Once called by Ronald Reagan as the conscience of the Republican Party, the California Republican Assembly bills itself as the largest conservative grassroots group in the state.