Image: Screen shot of July 16, 2018, Montgomery County Republican Party Campaign Finance Report showing payment to Precinct Chairman Scott Baker’s media firm on May 3, 2018.
Conroe, July 21 – During the June 26, 2018, Executive Committee meeting of the Montgomery County Republican Party, no precinct chairman was more vehement and obstructive in defense of County Chairman Wally Wilkerson than Willis’ Scott Baker. Baker interrupted almost every grassroots conservative speaker, violated numerous rules of parliamentary procedure, and generally got away with disrupting the meeting with the blessing of Wilkerson.
It was unclear why Baker would act so disruptively and obnoxiously towards fellow Republicans over several hours of the meeting.
Yesterday, The Golden Hammer, Montgomery County’s leading daily newspaper, discovered the financial connection between Baker and Wilkerson. It is consistent with the adage, “Follow the Money.”
It turns out that Baker’s work for the Republican Party, very much like Wilkerson’s ever-absent office secretary melinda fredricks, is not volunteer work at all. Baker receives money for the same types of services to the Republican Party that many talented grassroots conservatives, such as Bill Brenza, do for free as volunteers.
The July 16, 2018, Campaign Finance Report of the Montgomery County Republican Party shows a payment of $500 to SAB Media in Willis on May 3, 2018 for “audio-visual services.” While many volunteers, such as Brenza, provide many tens of thousands of dollars of such services to the Party and to conservative organizations for free, Baker clearly has focused his involvement on the money.
Therefore, when Baker treated the grassroots conservatives so rudely during the County Executive Committee, under basic ethics, Baker should have disclosed to everyone in the meeting that Baker was acting out of a direct financial interest in the continued rule of Wilkerson, unfettered from any scrutiny by citizens or Precinct Chairs who make up the Executive Committee. The terrible decision by Baker and Wilkerson not to disclose the financial interest during the meeting reflects the failure of Wilkerson to recruit volunteers to the Party. Instead, Wilkerson’s most vocal supporter appears to have acted for the money.
Steering Committee member Jon Bouche told this newspaper yesterday, “I am truly appalled that Baker failed to disclose to the meeting of the Precinct Chairs on June 26 that he is a vendor of the County Republican Party. No Precinct Chair should be voting out of a direct financial interest.” Bouche is the Republican Precinct Chairman of Precinct 35, which is Oak Ridge North.
Bouche added, “After the new bylaws were adpoted on June 26th, Reagan scheduled a meeting with Dr. Wilkerson to discuss the transition to the new bylaws. When I heard that Vice Chairman Reagan Reed and Dr. Wilkerson were going to meet, I asked Reagan if he would ask Dr. Wilkerson for some information about payroll. Specifically, I thought it was important to understand how much payroll there was and what job functions those people were performing. This was important because as we were establishing committees, we wanted to make sure that the right people were placed in the right places. Specifically, I suggested that Reagan ask for job descriptions and time sheets. When Reagan asked for that information, Dr. Wilkerson said that Melinda Fredericks is the only paid employee but she has no job description and no time sheets. I thought that was really strange. Today, I was told that one of the Precinct Chairs named Scott Baker is also being paid for some undisclosed service. I would really like to see how long that has been going on and see the invoices for those services. When Dr. Wilkerson is finally compelled to release the financial records, we will know more. So far, he has refused to allow a review of this information.”
Despite a demand from his own Steering Committee to turn over the financial books and records of the County Republican Party to Republican Party Treasurer John Hill Wertz by 5 p.m. yesterday, The Golden Hammer has confirmed with Wertz that he has not received the books from Wilkerson. Wertz also commented about the revelation that Baker is a vendor to the Republican Party. “That’s a shame the Party isn’t using a volunteer for that service rather than someone charging money for it. Those funds should have gone towards helping a candidate’s campaign or for the general election campaign,” Wertz said.
Wilkerson cancels peace meeting
In separate news, Wilkerson informed former Montgomery County Judge Alan B. Sadler yesterday afternoon that Wilkerson would not attend the meeting wherein Sadler had hoped to unify the Republican Party. Vice Chairman Reagan Reed and Steering Committee members Jon Bouche and Adrian Kaiser had agreed to attend the meeting. Wilkerson has refused to meet with any of the officers or Steering Committee members of the Montgomery County Republican Party since June 28. Wilkerson also closed the Republican Party Headquarters and changed the locks on the Headquarters doors. For a brief period, Wilkerson took down the Party’s website, although he eventually put it back up.
Bouche, who has become a bit of a spokesman for the Party Steering Committee, wrote the following letter to Sadler around the time that Wilkerson canceled the meeting:
“There have been some new developments regarding this matter of which you should be apprised.
“Last week, I was told that Dr. Wilkerson had retained Attorney Mike Seiler as his personal legal counsel and that Mr. Seiler was preparing to sue some number or all of the 39 Precinct Chairs who had voted for the new bylaws. Now, I have certainly seen and heard of whisper campaigns and frivolous lawsuits such as this which are used to intimidate those with differing political opinions but I have to say, this is the first time I can recall that someone calling themselves a “Republican” has done this. It just seems to me that this would be very destructive to the party. Wouldn’t you agree?
“If the goal of this lawsuit is to intimidate members of our group and drag this out into a long, expensive legal battle, I can assure you that we will stand firm because the evidence is clear. The only thing that strategy will accomplish is to severely damage the party and the reputation of those taking such a desperate and despicable action.
“In any case, we have waited patiently for four weeks for Dr. Wilkerson to comply with the rules of the party he purports to represent. We have been maligned in the press and called just about every name you can think of and not one of us has responded in kind. While Dr. Wilkerson has engaged in an ongoing campaign of misinformation, name calling and obstructionism, we have been singularly focused on uniting the party and getting busy in preparation for the November elections. We are seeing great success in our efforts and we will continue to keep that as our focus.
“However, due to the threat of legal action, we have now hired a law firm to represent us. I should also mention that there is something else for you and everyone else involved in this matter to consider: Whatever lawsuit is filed, it will really be against the Republican Party of Texas since we are merely defending the rules of the RPT which we swore to uphold and the subsequent decision(s) regarding this matter from Republican Party of Texas Chairman James Dickey. In short, it is reasonable to conclude that that we are Representing the Republican Party of Texas in this matter.
“The RPT rules are clear as was Chairman Dickey’s response(s) regarding this matter. We have also brought this situation to the attention of the SREC but since there is no ambiguity in the rules, I suspect that they will just issue a ruling saying that this matter cannot be considered under a Rule 1f inquiry because “THERE IS NO AMBIGUITY IN THE RULES”. In other words, the RPT rules are clear and they say what they say and not what Dr. Wilkerson wants them to say.
“I have emailed our SREC Representative and copied Chairman Dickey and requested that he refer this matter to the RPT Legal Counsel. You see, I think it is the proper thing to do to exhaust all remedies within the party prior to taking this matter outside of the party, hiring personal legal counsel, and threatening to file a frivolous lawsuit against members of your own party as Dr. Wilkerson and his lawyer have done. You have to wonder why Dr. Wilkerson, if he thought he was correct in what he was doing, would not have taken his case to the RPT himself.
“I will only speak for myself here and say that I am through listening to the specious arguments. Dr. Wilkerson was elected and his job description includes following the Texas Election Code, the RPT Rules and the bylaws adopted by the County Executive Committee. Nowhere does it say that he is to draft his own bylaws or that bylaws drafted by the CEC are subject to his approval. He should start doing his job and be focused on being “a leader” and not be so obsessed with the title of being “the leader”.
“As for negotiations, I don’t do backroom deals and any and all correspondence going forward will be in accordance with the duly adopted MCRP bylaws and through our legal counsel.
“Just wanted to make sure we are all on the same page.
“Sincerely, Jon P. Bouche.”