[Ed Note: This is part three of Kit’s series on the dark side of the RLC. Emphasis ours. Part one was cross published at the Reagan Wing here and Part two here. Kit Lange writes for the conservative blog Victory Girls. Clayton Strang is a Reagan Wing authorand writes for Red State.]
Exposing the Republican “Liberty” Caucus, Part 3: Shady Money and Shadier Leaders
by Kit Lange and R. Clayton Strang
Authors’ Note: This is the third installment in a series exposing the Republican Liberty Caucus for the leftist, pro-abortion, anti-Christianity organization that it is, and throwing open the closet on their corruption, lies, and machinations. Part 1 showed the first few years of history, and Part 2 brought it up to the present day. Part 3 focuses on the new leader of the RLC, and the largest state charter, Washington State, where this author was a paying member of the RLCWA
until very recently. (Apparently our resignations were not accepted…read on.)
There are two kinds of issues: core, and peripheral—and these are different for every person. Core issues elect candidates, for they are what people camp on. Peripheral issues are the ones that you’re willing to negotiate on; a candidate may disagree with you, but you’ll still vote for him if he meets your core. One voter, for instance, may have considered the war in Iraq their number one priority core issue in the 2008 election—and the reason they voted for Obama, even if they disagreed with his social policies. A social conservative (or as some of them call themselves, liberty-minded conservative) holds one value above everything else: the defense of life. Some hold this as equal and even above the Second Amendment right to self-defense against tyranny, for the killing of an unborn child is the ultimate in tyranny.
We have already seen how the RLC has always been pro-abortion. Its leaders are staunch abortion defenders—even up to the minute a baby takes its first breath outside the womb. To hardcore “libertarians” like Dave Nalle and Bill Westmiller, a woman has the “right” to murder her child even as she gives birth to it, as long as it has not taken a breath yet. In order to attract social conservatives, however, they toned down their shocking belief system and made it “neutral,” claiming that “honest and ethical” differences of opinions could exist. Current RLCWA leadership, including state chairman Sandra Belzer and Snohomish County Chairman Brian Landsberger, claimed they were pro-life, and offered assurances to prospective members that they could help the RLCWA change their platform to reflect life as the foundation of liberty. Sadly, several pro-life activists actually believed them.
The Republican Liberty Caucus held their national convention a few weeks ago in Austin, TX. Dave Nalle, hardcore libertarian and partial-birth abortion advocate was ousted as Chairman, a position he had held since 2009. While he seemed to enjoy widespread support for most of his term as chair, comments made by Nalle during the WA State fight to defend life showed him to be not only unrepentant of his organization’s history, but defended his current stand and even personally attacked those who bothered to point out the obvious problems with the RLC’s platform and disdain for Christians or pro-life conservatives. He called this author “childish and manipulative” for writing this series, and said the beliefs of people like current and former chairmen have nothing to do with the organization. That’s like saying just because Osama bin Laden hated America doesn’t mean he imparted that belief system to his organization.
Why was Nalle voted out? Who could possibly be a better RLC Chair than someone who was obviously so in touch with the libertarian platform, who had defended both National’s abortion plank and the RLCWA’s shady tactics? One could speculate, but we will let facts speak for themselves. Perhaps the answer lies in Nalle’s replacement, Matt Nye—the former national RLC Treasurer. Nye is a very interesting choice. He’s extremely visible in Florida, and his credentials are exactly the kind of thing you would want if you were a libertarian group who wanted to market to conservatives: He’s a Tea Party favorite, has had the label of “ultra-conservative” applied to him, and there is nothing, anywhere, ever, that addresses Nye’s position on abortion. In other words, he’s the perfect candidate to bring back the conservative pro-life stragglers and help mend the pro-abortion, anti-religion reputation of the RLC. The only problem is, Matt Nye has an interesting past as well.
In 1997, Nye and his father, as well as their bookkeeper, were arrested on charges that they had embezzled nearly $1.3 million from their employer and used that money to fund their own startup company. His father apparently told investigators right away that more than $750,000 had been stolen, but authorities later found much more. Charges against Nye were eventually dismissed when the case wasn’t prosecuted after a year, but there’s a lot more. Nye filed bankruptcy in 2002, has at least one foreclosure, tax liens assessed as late as 2009, and all kinds of fun stuff. You can see the Brevard County Clerk records on Nye here, and the Marion County records on him here. This is significant because as a Florida Today op-ed column pointed out, this shows it wasn’t a bad year, or an ‘oopsie.’ This is a defined, repeated pattern of bad financial management…and yet Nye was the treasurer for the entire national RLC before he was voted in as Chairman a few weeks ago. Interestingly enough, the RLC seemed to be far more concerned with Nye’s abortion position—or lack of one—than they were with his shady money management skills.
How does all of this affect the WA State RLC? Let’s take a look.
One of the things due to be discussed at the National Convention was a resolution coming from WA State, that would have changed the abortion plank of their Statement of Principles so that, basically, the WA State pro-lifers would shut up. Problem is, the resolution was just as vague and would have duped conservatives further. It has become very clear, in large part thanks to this site and Washington State’s “The Reagan Wing,” that the RLC takes a very pro-abortion stance. Whether they acknowledge this or not, most Republicans and conservatives are, in fact, anti-abortion. This is a huge problem for the RLC, both at the national and state level, and resulted in a group of people leaving the RLC after trying unsuccessfully to pass a resolution standing in defense of life at the state convention. We’ve written extensively about that here. So far, eleven members of RLCWA have resigned, and seven of those were from one county. This author as well as Doug Parris of The Reagan Wing have written several articles about the checkered history and current corruption in both the national and state RLC, and rather than correct the problems they have chosen to double down on both their personnel and their tactics. We have been the target of some nasty personal attacks, and all Facebook groups for the RLCWA are now “closed,” even though some of the group members are not paid RLC members—they’re just sympathetic to the RLC leadership. To make it even more interesting, one county chair, Snohomish County chairman Brian Landsberger, has claimed—days after the fact—that National “got back to him” and will not accept our resignations unless we submit signed letters—even though we all collaborated and put our names on a formal email that was sent to county and state leadership. We certainly didn’t need to provide a signed letter when we signed up and paid membership dues, but never mind that.
The benefit of having our resignations not accepted, however, is that we are still getting member communications, such as this gem—the meeting minutes for a special “Facebook E-Meeting” called by the state Board of Directors. Two members were absent from this special meeting, and one of them conspicuously so; Michelle St. Pierre has stood up several times and called out Matt Dubin, State Vice Chair, for lies he told on the state convention floor. (Dubin also allegedly used political contact lists from the 2012 campaign as “sales leads” to send out newsletters advertising his law firm, according to several recipients of the newsletters, but I digress.) At any rate, this “Facebook E-meeting” had one topic only.
• Discuss the recent articles concerning the WA state RLC posted on sites like the Reagan Wing
Motion to have the Snohomish County board offer to meet with Doug Parris to discuss his concerns regarding the RLC. Specifically, they will seek answers to the following questions and, in some way record the answers:
• What is your motivation in publishing the series of articles you have posted on the
reaganwing.com concerning the RLC, it’s positions, and it’s membership?
• What are you hoping to accomplish?
• What are your future plans regarding the RLC?
• What are your plans for other organizations that partner with the RLC?
It took them 90 minutes of discussion to deal with this, and come up with a follow-up motion to have another board meeting to discuss the results of any meeting with Parris. Please note: their questions are not things like “What needs to be done? How can we fix this? Who is responsible for this?” Their questions are more like “How long are you going to keep this up? How much damage can we expect from you? What are your plans?” Regardless of the happy face Dubin, Brendale, and others put on in their Facebook posts and rah-rah speeches, things are not good in RLCWA land. If people like Doug Parris were no threat, if the articles we’ve written exposing them weren’t climbing the Google ranks and getting a great deal of attention (currently this site is #19 on the list of results for “republican liberty caucus washington” and The Reagan Wing’s series isn’t far behind), the board of directors wouldn’t need to be holding special secret meetings—without the board member who they know opposes their tactics—and asking “omg, what are we gonna do about Doug?” They wouldn’t be booting members from Facebook groups, blocking them from posting, and taking viewing access from paying members while still allowing access to non-members as long as they play nice. They wouldn’t be continuing to lie to their group and claim that the RLC is “neutral” on abortion, for we’ve already shown how false that is.
Over the last weeks, VG and The Reagan Wing have laid open the Republican Liberty Caucus’ dirty laundry. Initially, I had planned to write this three-part series and call it good. The problem is, the lying is still going on. The corruption is ongoing. People who are pro-life conservatives worried about liberty are still being co-opted for the purpose of numbers. Just as we continue to stand against the practice of abortion, and we continue to stand against the erosion of our liberties, we must also continue to expose corruption where it is found. I’ve been told that I should focus on Democrat corruption; scandals like Benghazi, the IRS targeting conservatives and others. The problem is, there are many people writing about these—and I have as well. There is almost no one writing about the RLC, because not many people have put the facts together in one place. Not many people have taken the time to do the research, and even less have the intestinal fortitude to stand in the breach and withstand the criticisms and attacks and dirty dealings meant to keep us from overturning their apple cart. Some of us, however, do. There is a need to expose these things, regardless of the side doing them—and perhaps even more so when it is the so-called “Republican” side. There is enough corruption and lying and manipulating going on in this nation and this current administration. The people deserve better, they deserve the truth—and I plan to keep giving it to them. If the RLC truly wants us to stop writing about them, maybe they should try showing some integrity.
The issue of the anti-aggression/anti-abortion resolution at the RLCWA State Convention has been enlightening. Had that issue not come to a head in this manner, many would still be laboring under the false impression that the RLC and its State and County chapters were worth trying to save. Clearly, they’re not. We’ve now done the homework that we should have done prior to becoming a part of this decidedly anti-Republican organization. The added bonus with all of this is that in Washington State, the lines have been drawn: We now know who we can and cannot trust. We know who will and will not seek to make themselves into a perceived hero or peacemaker at the expense of another’s reputation. We know which individuals are willing to toss others under the bus for political expediency.
We were told that the RLC in Washington State would be “TITANIUM!” when, in fact, it’s anything but. And now we know. That’s not such a bad thing.