CRA Fraud Expose Part 4 – Mark Spannagel and the Yuba CRA

 California Republican Assembly, David Reade, Karen England, Mark Spannagel  Comments Off on CRA Fraud Expose Part 4 – Mark Spannagel and the Yuba CRA
Jul 262011

Mark Spannagel was designated for discipline by the CRA board of directors for being a central figure in the consultant manipulation and endorsement fraud that beset the CRA in addition to his gross misbehavior at the 2011 April CRA Convention. The Yuba CRA was chartered by Karen England in 2007 for two purposes – one was to send delegates for Mitt Romney to the 2007 CRA Presidential endorsing convention and the second 2007 purpose was to screw over Dan Logue (by sending LaMalfa / Jim Nielsen staff as delegates to the local CRA endorsing convention to stand up for Sue Horne). The Yuba CRA is not the only CRA unit ever to be chartered for purposes of a campaign – but unlike Placer, which was chartered to help Rico Oller in 1996, the Yuba CRA has existed as a zombie unit for awakening every time its’ consultant masters needed it to produce a result.

Despite the rantings of some – people like David Reade, Mark Spannagel and Karen England earned their tickets out of the CRA.

While some have tried to spin the 7/23/2011 board meeting as a lynching, or a bloodbath, the intention is to get Real activists involved in these units.

Mark Spannagel was the President of the Yuba CRA Unit for 4+ years. The evidence gathered against the Yuba CRA follows:

This dubious unit appears to be controlled by persons outside Yuba County who have never shown any interest in recruiting actual members from the territory claimed by the unit.  The unit does not even appear to operate in its own territory.  Long-time unit president Mark Spannagel (who lives in Placer County) even refused to cash the dues payment that he received from would-be CRA members Paul and Marcia Myers, who are well-respected officers of the Yuba County Republican Party.

Assembly members Dan Logue and Rick Keene joined this unit on-line, through the CRA website.  As in the case of Yuba County residents such as Paul and Marcia Myers, these two legislators were never notified of any unit meetings, which suggests multiple violations of Section 10.05 and Section 10.04 concerning meetings and elections.

The Yuba County CRA unit is not listed on the Yuba County GOP website and its activities (if any) are not announced at Yuba County Republican Central Committee meetings.

This unit sent Meg Whitman staff members to the 2010 CRA Convention as Delegates, even though they were listed as living in Diamond Bar and Hacienda Heights.  This suggests that they were not properly elected as Delegates under Section 10.04.

When contacted by the Credentials Committee for the 2011 Annual Convention, this unit’s officers refused to provide records of membership or bylaws, in violation of Section 10.07.

In the local endorsing conventions in which the Yuba County Republican Assembly has participated, their delegations have consisted of Legislative staff members, as witnessed first-hand by several CRA officers.  It has often been said that none of the Yuba County Delegates ever seem to come from Yuba County.  The unit has never endorsed in local Yuba County elections in the entire time it has existed.

The unit lists exactly 25 members, all with expiration dates of 1/31/2012.  A majority of the members live outside Yuba County, which will come as no surprise to anyone who has ever seen one of their delegations to an endorsing convention.

This Unit is easily one of the biggest frauds in the CRA – the evidence is self-evident.

CRA Fraud Expose Part 3 – South Butte CRA

 California Republican Assembly, Doug LaMalfa  Comments Off on CRA Fraud Expose Part 3 – South Butte CRA
Jul 252011

Part of the nexus for the Doug LaMalfa / Jim Nielsen revenge mission against the Placer County Republican Party is in the fact that not only did CRA Officers submit Mark Spannagel, David Reade and Karen England for expulsion from the CRA for defrauding the organization (or suing the CRA), but their Northern California endorsement machine has been exposed and dealt with by the CRA  Board of directors.

I have personally witnessed the Yuba, Yolo and South Butte CRA get used to send campaign and legislative staff to local CRA endorsing conventions to rig the outcome of CRA endorsements. The Placer and N Butte CRA for example are populated with real people who are getting the shaft by these units that were formed specifically to take the CRA away from real CRA members.

Tom Hudson, George and I stood in front of the train at the 2011 CRA officer election convention specifically to stand up to this fraud.

The South Butte CRA was put in Jeopardy by the CRA Board of directors in an effort to rehabilitate the unit versus destroying it outright.

Now that the legal gag has been removed – let’s start with South Butte CRA:

The unit roster still lists the three Meg Whitman staff members who attended the 2010 convention as Delegates.  They were from San Diego, San Marcos and Hanford, suggesting that the Delegates could not possibly have been elected in accordance with Section 10.04.

The wide geographic distribution of the unit membership, with members from places like San Diego, San Marcos, Hanford, Lincoln, and Auburn suggests that actual general membership meetings have been logistically improbable, indicating a violation of Section 10.05.

When contacted by the Credentials Committee, the unit’s officers refused to provide records of membership or bylaws, in violation of Section 10.07.

Carlos Rivera was submitted as an Alternate from this unit for the April 2011 Convention, but he does not show up on the membership records at all, in violation of Section 4.01, Section 4.03, and Section 4.06.

The South Butte Republican Assembly also lists Stephanie Smith as a member, but so does the North Butte unit.  Both have the same exact contact information, indicating a clear violation of Section 4.06 concerning duplicate membership.

Karon LaMalfa is listed as a member of the South Butte unit, but Doug LaMalfa (at the same address) is listed as a member of the North Butte unit.

The fifteen members used as the basis for the Delegates submitted for the Convention all have dues that expire on the same day: 12/31/2012.  There is no evidence that this unit collected the annual dues from its members ($25 per person, plus $10 for each additional person from the same household) and remitted those dues to CRA.

Did you get all of that? The significance of the duplicate member (other than fraud) is that member was member #25 that got the S Butte CRA a 4th convention delegate. (24 members would only get you 3) It is also bizarre that a husband and wife would be members of separate units.

This unit was used to send three college students to the 2010 CRA Convention to serve as delegates / staff for Meg Whitman. I wonder if the Republicans in South Butte County were aware or approving of that? It is certainly a 100% violation of the spirit of the CRA to do such a thing – all the while those doing it were claiming it was legal and attacking those of us that pointed out the morality of said behavior.

Finally – the fact that every member’s dues expire on 12/31/2012 should give you pause. 12/31/2011 hasn’t even happened yet? Did this unit pay for two years?

Fasten your seat belts – there are plenty more where this came from.

CRA 7/23/2011 Board Meeting Recap

 California Republican Assembly  Comments Off on CRA 7/23/2011 Board Meeting Recap
Jul 232011

Many political insiders in the California GOP were watching closely today to see what was going to transpire at the CRA Board Meeting. There were numerous emailed attacks sent from the Capitol Resource Institute Email list server accusing us of perpetrating all sorts of heinous acts before the board meeting even happened.

Recap – there were 17 units put up for expulsion and 8 CRA members put up for expulsion.

Please note that all unit Presidents were attempted to be reached with phone calls, emails and certified letters. Only two unit Presidents responded while three of the first seven individuals put up for disciplinary action responded.

The following is what actually occurred.

Alpine Heights RA – De-chartered unanimously
Camp Pendleton RA – only 2 objections to unanimous consent to de-charter
San Diego RA – De-chartered unanimously
Stanton RA – De-chartered unanimously

Please note that three of these four were de-chartered with a unanimous vote suggesting that even members of the opposition to the “Contract with the CRA” supported these moves.

The Citrus, Circle City, Corona Hills, Norco, Rimpau, South Corona, Temescal Valley and West Corona RA – known as the “8 Coronas” were de-chartered with the Charter Review Committee given direction to re-organize a new CRA unit in Corona (or maybe 2). CRA VP Bob Kowell was also placed in charge of handling chartering the new unit(s) in Corona.

This action also received unanimous approval from the board.

(Please also note that any CRA members displaced by the actions of the Board will be sent a letter informing them that they can join another CRA unit or remain as a CRA member at-large.)

The Ladera Ranch RA was placed in Jeopardy status due to the fact that the unit’s President responded to contact and asked to be allowed to join up with CRA officers to clean up any issues with the unit. Since he responded in such a manner – the Ladera Ranch RA was given a second chance and will likely become a 100% legitimate CRA unit.

The Mid-Empire RA was de-chartered – only three objections to unanimous consent. The main reason for this will be described below when I cover Tom Rogers in the individual actions.

The South Butte RA was the subject of about an Hour of Debate. Ultimately, the unit was placed in Jeopardy – largely due to the fact that the unit President responded and asked for mercy. Mercy was given.

The Yolo RA was de-chartered – only three objections to unanimous consent. No one spoke in its’ defense as the evidence of fraud was overwhelming.

The Yuba RA was de-chartered – only three objections to unanimous consent. Again, no one spoke in its’ defense.

There was a movement away from lifetime bans for individuals due to a sentiment to show some conciliation and mercy. The board ultimately decided to follow past precedent in terms of disciplinary actions.

Only Rick Marshall attended to speak in his defense. Tom Rogers and Tim LeFever responded via e-mail. Scott Viogts spoke with several in CRA directly himself.

Paul Dillon was given a 5-year removal from CRA, with a provision to re-apply to the board at the end of the 5-years. He did not respond nor did he accept the certified letter sent to him. No one spoke out, communicated or emailed on Paul’s behalf. (Only 2 objections to the motion.)

Karen England was given a 10-year removal from CRA with the same re-application provision – the three attack emails sent from the Capitol Resource Institute E-mail platform (her employer) in this past week and her conversations with some about attempting to de-charter CRA from the State CRP motivated a stiffer penalty. No one spoke out, emailed or communicated on her behalf. (Only 2 objections to the motion.)

Tim LeFever was given a 10-year removal from CRA with the same re-application provision. Mr. LeFever emailed on his own behalf explaining his right to sue CRA and issuing what were perceived as veiled threats in his communication. (Only 3 objections to the motion.)

David Reade was given a 10-year removal from CRA with the same re-application provision – due largely to his role in committing fraud on a major scale inside of CRA. No one spoke out, communicated or emailed on David’s behalf. (Only 2 objections to the motion.)

Tom Rogers was given a 10-year removal from CRA with the same re-application provision – Mr. Rogers emailed on behalf of both Mid Empire RA and himself. Like LeFever, he explained his right to sue the CRA and the email was replete with communication perceived as veiled threats in his communication. (only 2 objections to the motion.)

Mark Spannagel was given a 5-year removal from CRA with the same re-application provision. No one spoke out, emailed or communicated on his behalf. Like Dillon, Spannagel also refused the Certified letter sent to him. (only 2 objections to the motion.)

Scott Voigts went on a major personal PR campaign. He disavowed any involvement in the first amended complaint against CRA. (This was the key point for his defense.) Unlike Tom Rogers and Tim LeFever who extended their middle finger to the CRA – Scott Voigts extended a hand of peace. Voigts was suspended, not terminated from CRA for one year. (update – there were several motions leading up to the 27-8 vote  in favor of this action)

The Rick Marshall expulsion request was rejected by a 24-8 vote as the proceedings there turned in to an extension of the personal issues between Marshall and John Stammerich, the complaintant.

Of further note – a New CRA Unit was Chartered, the Greater Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly.

As of the writing of this email – plans are in the works for several new CRA units – please look out for updates on the movement to re-build the CRA with new activist-driven units.

The bottom line is where Mercy was possible, Mercy was given.

Jul 232011

The CRA convention was insane to say the least.

Mark Spannagel and David Reade started the pleasantries at 3pm by harrassing Karen Atteberry and my sister in law Christy at the registration table. At one point, Christy was practically in tears.

Mark Spannagel posted himself at the table to harrass people – also observed by Cindy Rowen and one of my “burly” Sgts. Mike Munzig.

We had required people registering at the convention (who did not pre-register) to pay cash due to a number of reasons. (Bad Checks was one) It had been David Reade’s pattern to pay in large numbers of delegates with one check (as he did in the infamous Romney endorsement buy in 2007).

The Restore the CRA team – led by Karen England also disrupted a Credentials Committee Meeting that was scheduled for 3pm before the 4pm CRA Board meeting.

Despite any of their claims of (yawn) a lack of transparency and whining about closed proceedings – the behavior of the Restore the CRA Team led by Reade, Spannagel and Karen England precipitated the closed meetings.

Myself and several deputy Sgts. were harassed later Friday evening as we guarded the door of the credentials committee meeting so they could get their job done. I had never been threatened with so many lawsuits in my life.

Frankly, I have never interacted with so many lawyers in my life before the April 2011 CRA Convention, including the certified letter Karen had her lawyer send George and I in March.

The Mantra was clear – Restore the CRA was telling anyone who would listen that the fraud was allowed in the CRA By-Laws and the Judge’s ruling prevented us from dealing with it. (The restraining order that pertained only to using residency as a factor was allowed to expire without incident on April 28th.)

Saturday was the worst day – even worse than Friday.

The Highlights included:

1. Paul Dillon (up for expulsion) leading a charge of the door – physically assaulting two of my deputies. On the heels of that, I observed Tim LeFever soliciting clients to sue the CRA. This incident also caused the Sacramento Police department to get called to the scene.

2. People causing a ruckus outside the Convention proceedings – encouraged in part by my opponent Ron Givens and led by Mark Spannagel, David Reade, Brenda Haynes, Erin Ryan and others. (all are team LaMalfa / Nielsen staff)

3. Behavior by legitimate CRA delegate supporters of team Karen England that was grossly unprofessional and disruptive all throughout the day inside the proceedings.

4. Units that were in question had members speak that could not tell the convention where the unit was, could not identify their unit President, could not tell the convention when the units had actually met and Karen England herself could not defend the voracity of the Yolo CRA when it was her turn to speak.

Part of what has caused us to attempt the residency rule were the large numbers of legislative staff we saw on delegation lists, people appearing on multiple lists, people we found that were not CRA members, people that when we checked voter registration files were registered DTS, people that appeared on lists from other than the unit they were known to be a member of… and when these issues were laid out at the CRA Convention, most all suspect units were not seated. A residency rule would have prevented the insanity of the Saturday proceedings.

We had limited evidence or ability to research fraud before the convention due to Peggy Mew, Scott Voigts and Team Karen England overtly interfering with the ability of the Credentials Committee to get records to verify eligibility.

Yet – what we found was astounding.

Now that we have the records – we were able to complete the research in to the massive fraud that beset the CRA since 2007. The totality of it is astounding.

To Be Continued…



Jul 232011

For those of you uninitiated to the CRA drama that unfolded in April, let me summarize quickly what happened:

1. Celeste Greig declared for re-election in January.

2. Karen England declared to run against Celeste in January.

3. Both candidates formed slates – Celeste and I co-wrote the “Contract with the CRA” and in response, Karen England and her team came up with “Restore the CRA”.

In late March, when rosters were due – it became apparent that the fraud that most of us knew to exist in the CRA had become endemic and widespread. The delegation lists were full of gross irregularities and the board reacted to attempt to do something about it pre-convention.

The Board adopted a residency rule. Restore the CRA sued the CRA and got a judge to overturn the residency rule. Thinking that they had the convention won, the Contract with the CRA side was treated to a series of emailed personal attacks and chest-beating.

There was a problem – while the judge invalidated the residency rule, he said explicitly in said ruling that the CRA By-Laws contained other remedies to combat the examples of fraud that were presented to him.

That we did – this led to a 9-hour credentialing saga at the April CRA Convention that you may have read about in bits and pieces in news stories, blogs and anonymous emails.

Previously, I had given you a taste of the fraud that occurred when I pointed out the 15 members of Team Nielsen / LaMalfa that were slated to serve as delegates to the April 2011 CRA Convention.

Lawsuit one was filed by Mid-Empire Republican Assembly, Tom Rogers and then CRA-VP Scott Voigts. This lawsuit cost the CRA about $10,000. All have been unrepentant about it and the latest attack email from Restore the CRA defiantly states that they were right to sue the CRA.

However, that same email neglects to mention a second lawsuit that was filed after the convention that they lost. Tim LeFever joined lawsuit number two and asked the Judge to invalidate our officer elections.

The judge in Lawsuit number 2 threw out the lawsuit stating that such political disagreements do not belong in his courtroom.

Of significant note – the restraining order that Restore the CRA gained against the CRA was allowed to expire on 4/28 without incident or further motion.

Over the next weeks – I will be laying out piece by piece what was done to the CRA over the years. There is ample proof and evidence to support everything being done at today’s board meeting.

I’d like to start with an email that was leaked to “our side” that was printed and handed out to all that were on the Restore the CRA bus that was chartered by Scott Voigts to bring delegates to the CRA Convention.

It says clearly, “First off, know what unit you are registered with. Gwen has the list”. This is blatant evidence of the chicanery that was used in an attempt to take total control of the CRA by Karen England and her team. The delegates that were coming on the bus did not know what units Team England had assigned them to.

The former Membership Secretary Peggy Mew not only gave the entire CRA email list to them, but she also was as complicit in delegate fraud as Scott Voigts was. The only reason why Mew is not up for expulsion at today’s board meeting is that we did not have the evidence in time to give proper notice.

That being said – 16 bogus CRA units are up for de-chartering: Starting with the 8 coronas, the 3 San Diego Fraudres, Stanton, Ladera Ranch, Yolo, Yuba and South Butte. Mid Empire is up for de-chartering due to their participation in the lawsuits against the CRA.

The following 7 people were put up for permanent expulsion from the CRA: Scott Voigts, David Reade, Mark Spannagel, Paul Dillon, Tom Rogers, Karen England and Tim LeFever – basically for participating in the massive fraud and for suing the CRA.

I will be expanding in to the specific evidence as this series develops.

To Be Continued.