Image: Rogue Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson (dark glasses on left), who is hiding the Party’s financial books and records, with Montgomery County Treasurer Stephanne Davenport (left) who has disgraced herself.
Conroe, July 19 – Following the money trail reveals a lot about what Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Wally Wilkerson seeks to hide from the new officers whom the County GOP Executive Committee (CEC) elected at the Republican Party’s June 26, 2018, organizational meeting. After the CEC elected grassroots conservative activist John Hill Wertz as the Republican Party Treasurer, Wilkerson has refused to turn over the Party’s financial books and records to Wertz and won’t even disclose where he keeps the Republican Party’s records.
There’s one organization, however, that allows Wilkerson to hide only to a limited degree: the Texas Ethics Commission, which requires semi-annual disclosures of political fundraising and expenditures. The Montgomery County GOP filed its semi-annual report required under Texas Ethics Commission rules on July 16, 2018, to cover the period from February 25, 2018, through June 30, 2018, only three full months.
Since the County GOP under Wilkerson does not provide any organizational leadership, the only actual service Wilkerson provides is keeping a Party Headquarters open in a poor area of Conroe on Metcalf Street. Very little activity occurs at the Party Headquarters, although Wilkerson does spend a few hours each weekday in the office along with a volunteer or two who greets the rare visitors willing to go to a bad part of town to an office at which nothing occurs. Amazingly, Wilkerson continues, as he has for the past three decades, to refuse even to make copies of the Republican Party Platform available to visitors to the office.
During the three month period of the GOP’s campaign finance report filing, the Party raised only $5,979.33 in contributions while spending $17,248.63. The expenditures are where the problem primarily lies, because Wilkerson spends most contributions funds on paying the $25,000 per year salary of melinda fredricks, the wife of jim fredricks, the “chief of staff” of lame duck elitist Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal.
The largest recurring expenditure of the County GOP is the $1,876.21 monthly paycheck to fredricks for “executive assistant salary.” fredricks obviously doesn’t do much for her salary. The County Party website, which she is to operate, is substantially out of date. The back office is a mess and a fire hazard. fredricks’ job duties include assisting candidates and elected servants who wish to send e-blasts to the Republican Party email list, but fredricks won’t allow Republican candidates who she doesn’t like to use the e-blast system. For example, when Republican Nominee for County Judge, Mark Keough, ran against fredricks’ husband’s boss Doyal in the March 6 Republican Primary Election, fredricks wouldn’t allow Keough to e-blast to the Republican list, while Doyal’s campaign regularly utilized the Republican list. At least two other Republican Nominees in the November General Election have confirmed to The Golden Hammer that fredricks wouldn’t permit them to use the Republican e-blast list either.
Wilkerson also, of course, writes checks for fredricks’ payroll taxes.
The strangest aspect of the County GOP’s finance report filing, however, is that Landon Estay signed the report as the Treasurer. Estay is not the Treasurer of the County Republican Party. Instead, the CEC elected Wertz.
When this newspaper asked Wertz what’s going on and specifically why he isn’t the Treasurer shown on the Campaign Finance Report, he answered, “Good question, because I’ve requested the proper information and Landon has not been forthcoming. I’ve asked Wally. I’ve had to dig for whatever I could find.”
Since the Republican Party has not run or organized a general election campaign in twenty-four (24) years, the Republican Party should be flush with cash. While it does have $36,535.02 in its campaign coffers, given the failure of Wilkerson to run General Election Campaigns through thirteen (13) election cycles should have built up a much larger fund for a time of need, such as 2018, when the Party should run a strong campaign to support its strong reform slate of candidates. Paying at least $25,000 per year to his political crony melinda fredricks for her providing little service other than downright interference in campaigns has cost Republican voters dearly over Wilkerson’s many years of engaging in that very questionable practice.