January ?, 2023
Pikes Peak United Republicans
For More Information on This, See THE EL PASO FIASCO
For more information about the situation, see THE EL PASO FIASCO.🔗
We are a group of El Paso County Central Committee members who are deeply concerned about the impact our current Party structure, under the command of Vickie Tonkins, is having on the reputation of the Republican Party across the state.
Her disregard of county bylaws, Roberts Rules of Order, and common sense have been repeatedly documented and brought to the State Executive Committee. We do not have any confidence in her ability to run the Party or conduct the upcoming El Paso County Party Elections in a fair and honest manner. We believe a neutral third party with the authority to appoint all committees necessary to run a fair and legal meeting should be appointed to oversee the February reorganization meeting.
While this request is not commonly made to the SCC, the State Central Committee can use its authority over the regularity and structure of county parties (recognized in state statute, state bylaws, and court precedent) to ensure the election of officers in El Paso County is transparent, trusted and verified so that our largest county structure in the state is on solid footing for the future.
Here are several reasons we believe the SCC should appoint a neutral party to chair the upcoming re-organization meeting.
1) Chairwoman Tonkins does not abide by the duties placed on county chairs in the bylaws:
a) Chairwoman Tonkins was found guilty by a court of law of placing people on the County and District Assembly lists, in violation of state law. Case no. 2022CV30855.
b) She was reprimanded by the State Executive Committee prior to the redistricting org meeting for speaking against candidates and showing bias during the primary, but refused to abide by the State's ruling saying "she didn't have to do anything the state said”
c) She was censured on December 1 by the State Executive Committee for conducting a special central committee meeting 4 days prior to the general election where she called for the censure of the candidates who won their Republican primaries. She lied to the State Executive Committee when called on it by Chairman McCarney saying no one knew about it until after the election. It was in the news within hours of adjournment.
d) She refused to support verbally or financially any of the candidates who were in close races although she had $65,000 in the bank. The Democrats won every one of these races.
e) The "intent to serve form” no longer includes a pledge to support our Republican nominees. As recently as February of 2022, the form included the following pledge: "Support of all individuals selected as Republican nominees–even those whom I did not support in the primary.” The new form has it reworded to: "Support Republican nominees who support the United States Constitution and the 2016/2020 Republican Party Platform.” This change in the form telegraphs that it is okay not to support the mission and purpose of the Republican Party as stated in our bylaws.
f) We have not had a treasurer for over a year, she spends money any way she chooses:
(i) She has had several campaign finance complaints filed against her, and the county party was fined for failure to report over $13,000 in contributions.
(ii) The man who manages the books is a convicted felon. Convicted of embezzlement (Charles Wingate). She has spent money without Executive Committee approval and outside any approved budget.
(iii) Financial reports are given orally or on a screen and no hard copies are available, even though the Executive Committee voted that written financial statements be provided and allowed to be taken home by Executive Committee members. While it is stated at the meeting that members can come by headquarters to pick up copies, they are never available.
g) During meetings she allows members and guests to jeer, threaten and physically assault other members, including elected officials, when they speak. Most recently, at the special central committee meeting, we were told we should be put in front of a firing squad and shot. We are no longer safe at her meetings.
h) While it is accurate to say the members should take care of this problem in our County it has become perfectly clear that that is not possible, considering the facts.
2) We have no confidence in Chairwoman Tonkins 'ability (sic) to conduct a meeting in a fair, honest and safe manner. She regularly violates the bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order which prevents respectful debate.
a) She won't allow us to speak at the mic or make amendments to her motions saying we didn't submit them 10 days in advance. She has continued to do so even after receiving a parliamentary ruling from one the top 50 Parliamentarians in the country stating that the agenda must be adopted by the Executive Committee before it is the official agenda and the Executive Committee has the power to amend the Agenda. This is in violation of Roberts Rules of Order.
b) Invitations to meetings go out just to select groups of her people. Many precinct leaders did not receive the call to the last Emergency Central Committee meeting or received notice just a day before. This is a violation of the bylaws.
c) She refuses to recognize appeals from the decision of the chair –violation of Roberts Rules of Order
d) She yells at people from the stage, calling various people names and talks over people who properly have the floor, frequently threatening to have them arrested. - violation of Roberts Rules of Order and just plain courtesy.
e) She allows guests in the room during Executive Committee meetings and the last Central Committee meeting who shout, jeer, and threaten people when they are speaking. (At the Emergency Central Committee meeting, people said those of us who were censured should be put up against a wall, in front of a firing squad and shot.)
f) Vickie Tonkins husband, Newton (Rex) Tonkins was offered a deferred sentence for assaulting an elected official during an executive committee meeting. That case, 22M20968, is in Municipal Court in Colorado Springs.
g) At the 2021 Hybrid Organization meeting, delegates from HD 21 known to be anti-Vickie voters were not allowed to log in and vote. These delegates, who were on the phone calling people in the room to express their frustration with being blocked out, were told "we are doing our best”.
h) With this handling of meetings and blatant disenfranchisement of select voters as well as the disregard of our bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order, how can we trust that the reorganizational meeting will be run fairly, orderly, and safely?
3) Members of the El Paso Executive Committee are unable to get a current list of central committee members from Chairwoman Tonkins, and would have no confidence in the list if we did.
a) Chairwoman Tonkins was found guilty by a court of law of placing people on the County and District Assembly lists, in violation of state law.
b) Chairwoman Tonkins appointed members to the HD 18 delegate list who were not elected to ensure her candidate get on the June Primary ballot against the advice of the State Party attorney, in violation of state law..
c) She refuses to provide the current list of Central Committee members, in violation of our bylaws. We have no way to contact anyone.
d) We have found some instances where precinct leaders elected at caucus are no longer receiving notices and others, not elected at caucus or nominated by their House Chairman, claim to be the precinct leader for that precinct. This is in clear violation of the bylaws.
e) While the El Paso County Bylaws require consultation with a division leader before a vacant precinct leader spot is filled, Chairwoman Tonkins appoints precinct leaders at will, with no consultation. This is in clear violation of the bylaws.
We know we should fix this in El Paso. But due to Chairwoman Tonkins 'disregard (sic) for bylaws, Roberts Rules of Order, and common decency, we cannot trust the regularity and structure of the current county party. She has proven time and time again that she will do and say whatever she chooses. A strong party in El Paso County is necessary. During Vickie!s reign, over 8,000 Republicans in the County have left the Party.
We request that, under the authority granted the State Central Committee by Colorado State Statute 1-3-106, you appoint a neutral third party to chair the meeting in February, with authority to appoint all committees necessary to run a fair and legal meeting.
Pikes Peak United Republicans
Sen. Larry Liston
Rep. Mary Bradfield
Council Member Wayne
Sen. Bob Gardner