There are a lot of new readers wondering what is all the controversy happening in CRA and asking the Rodney King question, “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Here is a summary to date.
The factions break up into two camps with some folks in the middle wondering, what’s going on?
In the first camp are George and Aaron Park. George is the silent tiger of the group and Aaron is the more vocal kitten. They are literally brothers in arms. The problem with the Parks is that you are either friend or foe. They can’t be with you on one issue and against you on another. The thought of building coalitions is not part of their vocabulary. George, as Membership Secretary of CRA, has tremendous power within the organization; especially, now.
The other faction is comprised mostly of refugees of the now vacant Charter Review Committee. The main players talked about on Aaron’s blog are Tim Thiesen and Alice Khosravy. Charter Review is charged with working with local clubs to build CRA. Clubs that need help are supposed to get it thru this Committee.
Members of the Charter Review Committee have been targeted by the Parks. The Parks are angry about three units for very different reasons.
First they are angry about the existence of Nevada RA. They want it wiped from the CRA map. Tim Thiesen failed to make a good enough case to punish them at the January CRA Board meeting. Since the Board did not achieve the 2/3 vote needed to punish Nevada RA, the unit was granted an opportunity to comply with the demands of Charter Review and given until the March convention to do so. By the time of the convention, they had done everything required of them. They were overseen by Carl Brickey who will vouch for this. Instead of welcoming them back into the fold as members in good standing, the Parks continue to cry foul but dared not act against the unit at the convention.
Second is the Santa Clarita RA. The Parks gladly helped to dismantle the other Santa Clarita unit calling it the puppet of a local congressman and his political allies. They were proud of their apparent victory. Success has many fathers but failure, that’s Alice’s fault. Her greatest sin was to inquire about the composition of the Placer County RA. She had heard that they had some paper members and tried to see if there was some factual basis for this allegation. George responded by locking up all membership records about a month before the Convention. Ever to this day, he is still holding the records hostage. Blocking access to membership records prevented Charter Review from doing a proper job of clearing delegates for the Convention. They were forced to take the position that all delegates assigned to the convention were OK to seat because Park left them no way to disqualify anyone.
Ventura RA is the third leg of this story. The Parks took the chapter away from Steve Frank and ran a recruiting drive that netted over 40 members to the club. It was their greatest revival of a club in the state and they were very proud of the achievement especially since it was in Celeste Greig’s backyard.
Things went south during the last election cycle when some endorsements didn’t go Aaron’s way and now he is gunning for the unit.
Remember, everything with the Parks is personal.
All this was in play when the Convention was held in March. John Briscoe did not want to deal with the hostility coming from the Park camp. He ignored other Board members asking him for relief. He adopted a delay and defer tactic. This resulted in the defacto abolishment of the Charter Review Committee and a huge transfer of power to George Park. The only Board Officers that currently have any duties are the President, Treasurer and Membership Secretary.
The chain of command created in the CRA Bylaws is President to Vice-presidents (assigned to various regions of the state) to Senate District Directors to local units. However, Briscoe failed to make assignments to the ten Vice-Presidents so the Senate District Directors have no one assigned to help and support them. In effect we have a head and feet and no limbs to coordinate movement.
Against this backdrop, the CRP overwhelmingly welcomes the Log Cabin Republicans into the fold—which by the way Aaron Park reportedly knew about before the Convention but told no one. The Log Cabin recognition by the CRP does not bode well for the future of the state platform as we know it.
Did you know that elections are winding up right now for representatives to be elected to the CRP Platform Committee? Yet CRA has no way to execute a coordinated campaign to get folks on our side elected because we have no VPs assigned local clubs. Furthermore, it is widely reported that President Briscoe took a pass on offers to coordinate such a campaign with the Tea Party.
Against this backdrop, Briscoe called a conference call earlier in the month with at least seven of the Vice-Presidents and proposed a meeting for May 30th in Santa Barbara. As I have reported, he backed down from this idea. The VPs and others, tired of both the Parks and the lack of leadership by the President decided to call for the meeting anyway.
After the meeting call was publicized, the Parks got Briscoe to propose a second meeting for July 25th. They tried to bluff people with the idea that the July meeting was a substitute instead of having a May meeting. They knew this was contrary to the CRA Bylaws and Robert’s Rules of Order but they tried to get away with it just the same.
On April 17, during the online voting time for the July meeting, Aaron attempted to sway people by blitzing members with five tracts. He then posted them to his blog. In doing this, Aaron posted personal information on members of the Ventura RA. Part of this post included copies of checks from five members. The information includes routing numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers, and bank account numbers which are still legible. In short, all the goodies anyone would need for identity theft. This document is still available on the Internet five days after it was posted.
• John Briscoe has so far refused to notify these folks that personal information was posted by officers of CRA. I know that other have reached out to these individuals to tell them.
• Briscoe has also not secured the records of these and other CRA members. They are still in the possession of George Park.
• Briscoe has refused to offer these individuals a one year subscription to LifeLock or other identity protection company as required by law.
• He has also refused to notify law enforcement of the security breach.
• Briscoe’s failure to follow the law has put all current Board members at risk to civil and criminal prosecution for which they can be held personally liability.
Oh, and our resident attorney, former Parliamentarian and Executive Vice-President, Tom Hudson says this is nothing to worry about.
The facts are in dispute and John Briscoe is in the process of appointing a committee to investigate the facts and report back to the CRA Board.
John Briscoe has not refused to comply with California law—and at this point, we do not have the facts to support the assertion that any laws have been broken.
Tom I have purposely not publicized how to find the documents because that makes me an accomplice after the fact; however, I have given the way to find them to two individuals that have promised to contact law enforcement. I have tested it and can access the offending information via any smart phone or PC with an Internet connection in less than a minute. Even if this was only posted for one hour, it is still as much of a violation.
So that’s where we find ourselves today. Watch this space for more details…