In the latest development of 91-year-old Phyllis Schlafly’s ongoing fight against Sen. Ted Cruz supporters within her organization, Schlafly will appear in court on Tuesday to fight to retain control of her legacy and the organization she founded over 40 years ago.
On Tuesday at 1:30pm central time, the grassroots heroine and conservative icon will appear in Madison County, Illinois to defend her organization, Eagle Forum, against those inside her organization who are attempting a coup.
As Breitbart News has previously reported, the internal strife within Eagle Forum is connected to Schlafly’s decision to endorse GOP frontrunner Donald Trump over Texas Senator Ted Cruz. When explaining her support for Trump, Schlafly cited Trump’s strong positions on promoting pro-America trade policies, curbing immigration, and defending national sovereignty — issues which are very important to Schlafly.
The suit was filed by Schlafly’s own daughter, Anne Schlafly Cori, and four other Cruz supporters within Schlafly’s organization: Eunie Smith, Cathie Adams, Carolyn McLarty, and Rosina Kovar. Shirley Curry, the only other member of the so-called “Gang of Six” who is a plaintiff in this case, has not taken a public position on the presidential race.
The defendants in the case are Schlafly’s son, John Schlafly; Schlafly’s handpicked successor, Ed Martin; and Eagle Forum itself, the organization of which Mrs. Schlafly is the chairman.
“The gang of 6 just served notice today,” Ed Martin told Breitbart. “They have filed suit in Madison County, IL court in their effort to takeover Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum. These Cruz people are dragging Phyllis Schlafly into a southern Illinois Court where a judge is going to decide whether to strip Phyllis of control of one of her organizations. Their law firm is Spencer Fane, lawyer for Planned Parenthood.”
In the plaintiffs’ complaint, the court summons accuses Ed Martin of having:
…used his position to proceed with his own personal agendas, unchecked by the articles or bylaws of the Eagle Forum 501(c)(4) and the Eagle Forum 501(c)(3), or other principles of proper corporate governance. The draconian approach to leadership evidenced by Martin has spurned Eagle Forum employees and State Presidents, many of whom have served as citizen-volunteers with Eagle Forum Entities since the 1970s, towards uproar and threatened resignation. Furthermore, with Martin as President, the Eagle Forum 501(c)(4) leadership in the national pro-family movement has diminished.
In response, Martin said:
The suit is not a suit by the Eagle Forum Board of directors. It is a suit by 6 individuals… The 6 plaintiffs make claims that are much more about Phyllis and her operations than about my employment. They seek to control of the bank accounts, remove board members, and impact operations. Since the board meeting they attempted to convene was not proper, all of their purported activity during that meeting was outside the law. More specifically, Eagle Forum is in the midst of an election to replace one of the 6 board members. Ballots are being cast as we speak and the results will be known soon. The 6 members rush to sue Phyllis and Eagle Forum appears to be timed to block that election because one of the plaintiffs is term limited and will be off the board. This effort to block a private association’s election is improper and not legally supported.
Martin said that the plaintiffs’ effort to “control the bank accounts” is a direct attack on Mrs. Schlafly’s authority:
Phyllis has control of Eagle Forum’s bank accounts, not me. Practically, day-to-day, Phyllis is in charge. She did not give me the authority to sign checks or to do our budgets. That’s Phyllis’ power. I was hired as her successor, meaning I work for her. They are attacking Phyllis’ control over her organization, not mine. That’s why this lawsuit is so strange. Anne Cori knows that I never sign checks nor control the bank account. It’s a kind of ageism to suggest that Phyllis is not in charge.
As Breitbart News has previously reported: “Several Cruz supporters inside Eagle Forum are unhappy with Phyllis Schlafly’s Trump endorsement, and have been working behind the scenes against her for months. They have leaked emails, engaged in personal attacks, and even advanced an argument questioning whether the 91-year-old Schlafly is still competent enough to run the organization… This story offers a front row view into how Cruz allies operate throughout the conservative movement. They have aggressively pressured conservatives into publicly supporting the senator—or at least not supporting someone else—and even sought to ‘blacklist’ those who don’t, so as to fit Cruz’s narrative of being the one candidate who the conservative movement ‘united’ behind.”