Betsy Woodruff writes on Eagle Forum’s internal schism brought on by conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly’s endorsement of Donald Trump over Ted Cruz.
From The Daily Beast:
Sources tell The Daily Beast that disputes between Eagle Forum’s board and [President Ed] Martin have simmered for months. They came to a head April 11, when board members for Eagle Forum’s 501(c)(4)—a limited-membership organization that exists to push Eagle Forum’s message on political issues—called for a previously unplanned meeting via conference call. And it was tense.
On the call, the board passed resolutions to fire Martin as president of that particular organization and to take control of its bank account, which Martin said holds $4 million. When that happened, Schlafly dissented, registering her support for Martin. Martin’s leadership of a separate Eagle Forum group went unchallenged.
Martin and Schlafly both back Trump, while the board members who moved to can Martin support Cruz.
Martin’s sudden firing threw Eagle Forum into chaos, with the anti-Martin board members and Schlafly herself issuing separate statements with contradictory explanations of what went down. It seems likely that more fights will come as Eagle Forum’s board and leadership struggle for power.
For some, these fights are personal. One board member who voted to depose Martin, Anne Cori, is Schlafly’s daughter.
Cori endorsed Ted Cruz in January. Fellow board members Cathie Adams, Eunie Smith, Rosina Kovar, and Carolyn McLarty have all endorsed the Texas senator as well.
Cori declined to tell The Daily Beast why the board moved to fire Martin.
“That’s a confidential personnel matter,” she said.
Adams, however, was more open about the board’s move.
She hinted that the organization had faced trouble since Martin became its president on Jan. 31, 2015, noting that Bott Radio Network, which consists of 102 Christian talk radio stations, stopped airing the group’s radio show several weeks ago.
“I think that that’s very indicative of trouble,” Adams said.
Martin said the network stopped airing Eagle Forum’s program because Schlafly endorsed Trump.
“We did the show on Bott for decades and on the Friday afternoon a few hours after Phyllis endorsed Trump, Bott emailed to say they would no longer carry the show,” Martin said. “I spoke to Dick Bott that afternoon and he said it was based on Trump.”
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