The State Central Committee Special Meeting

This article was updated on January 29

On January 31, 2023 the Colorado Republican State Central Committee is scheduled to meet in a virtual format to consider charges brought against the El Paso County Republican Chair. The charges leveled against the county chair and her rebuttal are given at the end of this article.

This is a lengthy discussion, but it is important that all of the committee members understand both sides of this controversy prior to the meeting. For the record, I have repeatedly asked the state chair to not go through with this meeting as I expect it will only serve to further stir up controversy, forming the all too familiar circular firing squad within our party.

However, since it looks like this special meeting will occur, I have been trying to find the actual facts to help me and others determine our best course of action for the meeting. I have spoken with some on the El Paso Central Committee and have found that the charges leveled against the El Paso Chair are, at a minimum, significantly exaggerated. They are also not substantiated with hard evidence, they are just laid out as a charge. Please consider all of the facts that may be presented by both sides before coming to any conclusions.

Additionally, I urge all concerned to focus on the real challenges we have here in Colorado, which are our battles to stop the fundamental transformation of our state into a socialist tyranny by the Polis regime. We must settle (or simply live with) our differences, move on and prepare for the 2024 election.

I also believe the Zoom format is not up to the task of adequately conducting a meeting of this sort among several hundred participants. Drawing on my 16 years of legislative experience I know how critical it is for all of the members of a decision making body to meet in one place and equally share in the process of debate and deliberation.

Below are the documents both sides prepared for advance distribution to the committee. Unfortunately, the State Chair distributed the first letter but did not distribute the rebuttal, claiming it contains personal attacks and the other letter does not. Read them both and decide for yourself. I find the nature of this controversy impossible to separate from what some will consider a personal attack on both sides and I am deeply disappointed that the State Chair found reason to favor one letter over the other.

I am also publishing this extraordinary essay because of a concern that this type of meeting may set a precedent for future controversies, which I believe is an over-reach of authority on the part of the Republican State Party. The bottom line of this meeting is intended to remove the El Paso Chair from her final responsibilities for this term of office and quite possibly remove several dozen precinct committee people appointed by the El Paso Chair. I am speaking out against this action so that, at least, we may guard against repeating this later.

Finally, I am here submitting comments from Maurice Emmer, with permission, on the statutes and bylaws for a meeting of this sort.

Kevin Lundberg

former state representative and state senator and

current member of the Colorado Republican State Central Committee

P.S. Here is a link to a message I received Saturday morning, January 28, from El Paso State Representative Scott Bottoms which provides his perspective.

P.P.S. One letter sent out to state central committee members contends that the motion being proposed is only to order a neutral third party to conduct the El Paso organizational meeting next month. This is not true. What is also included in the motion is a credentials meeting the day before the organizational meeting where several dozen El Paso central committee members may be stripped of their membership before the organizational meeting. This, I suspect, is the real goal of the SCC meeting.

Further, I find it more than curious that in the proposed motion the “neutral” parties (as the state chair characterized the proposed replacement chair and parliamentarian for the El Paso organizational meeting) are specifically named, but, judging from the rebuttal response of the El Paso Chair, et al, the author of the motion has not obtained consensus from both sides of this controversy and therefore the replacement chair and parliamentarian are not truly neutral parties.

Observations From Maurice Emmer

The state GOP chair’s call for the special central committee meeting states that its purpose is “to determine the regularity and organization” of the El Paso County GOP central committee.  This language, “regularity and organization,” is hardly intuitive.  In fact it’s opaque.  What does it mean?  Why use an opaque term?  Why not use ordinary language that members of the state CC could understand?

Then it dawned on my slow brain; the language must be lifted from somewhere.  It must be what lawyers call a term of art.  Like a formula.

So I searched the Colorado Revised Statutes.  Bingo.  The language was lifted from C.R.S. sec. 1-3-106, which provides:

1-3-106. Control of party controversies.

(1) The state central committee of any political party in this state has full power to pass upon and determine all controversies concerning the regularity of the organization of that party within any congressional, judicial, senatorial, representative, or county commissioner district or within any county and also concerning the right to the use of the party name. The state central committee may make rules governing the method of passing upon and determining controversies as it deems best, unless the rules have been provided by the state convention of the party as provided in subsection (2) of this section. All determinations upon the part of the state central committee shall be final.

(2) From the time the state convention of the party convenes until the time of its final adjournment, the state convention has all the powers given by subsection (1) of this section to the state central committee, but not otherwise. The state convention of the party may also provide rules that shall govern the state central committee in the exercise of the powers conferred upon the committee in subsection (1) of this section.

This seems to be the extent of the state CC’s authority in this matter.  The state CC can resolve “controversies” concerning the regularity and organization of a county CC.  But the authority extends only to “controversies.”  There must be a controversy to resolve.  Otherwise C.R.S. sec. 1-3-106 bestows no authority on the state CC.  Why did the state chair omit the key word “controversies?”

The obvious answer lies in Article XV D. of the state CC bylaws.  That provision contains the two week rule that circumscribes the state CC’s exercise of authority under C.R.S. sec. 1-3-106.  It prohibits any controversy from being considered by the state CC if it is not brought to the state CC within two weeks after the underlying events occurred.  The “indictment” does not provide information about when the alleged events occurred, let alone in relation to when they were brought to the attention of the state chair.

Once upon a time I had a meeting with the city attorney in my town about his interpretation of a state statute.  He opened the statute book and brazenly read from it, intentionally omitting the key language that proved my point and made him a liar.

Our state chair has pulled the same trick.  She can read the statute.  In fact she must have.  Otherwise where would she get the strange and opaque terminology “regularity and organization?”  She didn’t think of it on her own.  But she incorporated in her call only the part of the statute that served her devious cause.  She omitted the language that would invite anyone familiar with the state bylaws to insist on adherence to the two week rule.

Shame on the state party chair.  Does she think we can’t read?

Best regards,

Maurice Emmer

Here is the letter from those demanding a meeting:

Reasons for El Paso Special Meeting

We are a group of El Paso County Central Committee members who are deeply concerned about the impact our current Party structure, under the command of Vickie Tonkins, is having on the reputation of the Republican Party across the state.

Her disregard of county bylaws, Roberts Rules of Order, and common sense have been repeatedly documented and brought to the State Executive Committee. We do not have any confidence in her ability to run the Party or conduct the upcoming El Paso County Party Elections in a fair and honest manner. We believe a neutral third party with the authority to appoint all committees necessary to run a fair and legal meeting should be appointed to oversee the February reorganization meeting.

While this request is not commonly made to the SCC, the State Central Committee can use its authority over the regularity and structure of county parties (recognized in state statute, state bylaws, and court precedent) to ensure the election of officers in El Paso County is transparent, trusted and verified so that our largest county structure in the state is on solid footing for the future.

Here are several reasons we believe the SCC should appoint a neutral party to chair the upcoming re-organization meeting.

1) Chairwoman Tonkins does not abide by the duties placed on county chairs in the bylaws:

  1. a)  Chairwoman Tonkins was found guilty by a court of law of placing people on the County and District Assembly lists, in violation of state law. Case no. 2022CV30855.
  2. b)  She was reprimanded by the State Executive Committee prior to the redistricting org meeting for speaking against candidates and showing bias during the primary, but refused to abide by the State’s ruling saying “she didn’t have to do anything the state said”
  3. c)  She was censured on December 1 by the State Executive Committee for conducting a special central committee meeting 4 days prior to the general election where she called for the censure of the candidates who won their Republican primaries. She lied to the State Executive Committee when called on it by Chairman McCarney saying no one knew about it until after the election. It was in the news within hours of adjournment.
  4. d)  She refused to support verbally or financially any of the candidates who were in close races although she had $65,000 in the bank. The Democrats won every one of these races.
  5. e)  The “intent to serve form” no longer includes a pledge to support our Republican nominees. As recently as February of 2022, the form included the following pledge: “Support of all individuals selected as Republican nominees–even those whom I did not support in the primary.” The new form has it reworded to: “Support Republican nominees who support the United States Constitution and the 2016/2020 Republican Party Platform.” This change in the form telegraphs that it is okay not to support the mission and purpose of the Republican Party as stated in our bylaws.

f) We have not had a treasurer for over a year, she spends money any way she chooses:

  1. (i)  She has had several campaign finance complaints filed against her, and the county party was fined for failure to report over $13,000 in contributions.
  2. (ii)  The man who manages the books is a convicted felon. Convicted of embezzlement (Charles Wingate). She has spent money without Executive Committee approval and outside any approved budget.

(iii) Financial reports are given orally or on a screen and no hard copies are available, even though the Executive Committee voted that written financial statements be provided and allowed to be taken home by Executive Committee members. While it is stated at the meeting that members can come by headquarters to pick up copies, they are never available.

  1. g)  During meetings she allows members and guests to jeer, threaten and physically assault other members, including elected officials, when they speak. Most recently, at the special central committee meeting, we were told we should be put in front of a firing squad and shot. We are no longer safe at her meetings.
  2. h)  While it is accurate to say the members should take care of this problem in our County it has become perfectly clear that that is not possible, considering the facts.

2) We have no confidence in Chairwoman Tonkinsability to conduct a meeting in a fair, honest and safe manner. She regularly violates the bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order which prevents respectful debate.

  1. a)  She won’t allow us to speak at the mic or make amendments to her motions saying we didn’t submit them 10 days in advance. She has continued to do so even after receiving a parliamentary ruling from one the top 50 Parliamentarians in the country stating that the agenda must be adopted by the Executive Committee before it is the official agenda and the Executive Committee has the power to amend the Agenda. This is in violation of Roberts Rules of Order.
  2. b)  Invitations to meetings go out just to select groups of her people. Many precinct leaders did not receive the call to the last Emergency Central Committee meeting or received notice just a day before. This is a violation of the bylaws.
  3. c)  She refuses to recognize appeals from the decision of the chair –violation of Roberts Rules of Order
  4. d)  She yells at people from the stage, calling various people names and talks over people who properly have the floor, frequently threatening to have them arrested. – violation of Roberts Rules of Order and just plain courtesy.
  5. e)  She allows guests in the room during Executive Committee meetings and the last Central Committee meeting who shout, jeer, and threaten people when they are speaking. (At the Emergency Central Committee meeting, people said those of us who were censured should be put up against a wall, in front of a firing squad and shot.)
  6. f)  Vickie Tonkins’ husband, Newton (Rex) Tonkins was offered a deferred sentence for assaulting an elected official during an executive committee meeting. That case, 22M20968, is in Municipal Court in Colorado Springs.
  1. g)  At the 2021 Hybrid Organization meeting, delegates from HD 21 known to be anti- Vickie voters were not allowed to log in and vote. These delegates, who were on the phone calling people in the room to express their frustration with being blocked out, were told “we are doing our best”.
  2. h)  With this handling of meetings and blatant disenfranchisement of select voters as well as the disregard of our bylaws and Roberts Rules of Order, how can we trust that the reorganizational meeting will be run fairly, orderly, and safely?

3) Members of the El Paso Executive Committee are unable to get a current list of central committee members from Chairwoman Tonkins, and would have no confidence in the list if we did.

  1. a)  Chairwoman Tonkins was found guilty by a court of law of placing people on the County and District Assembly lists, in violation of state law.
  2. b)  Chairwoman Tonkins appointed members to the HD 18 delegate list who were not elected to ensure her candidate get on the June Primary ballot against the advice of the State Party attorney, in violation of state law..
  3. c)  She refuses to provide the current list of Central Committee members, in violation of our bylaws. We have no way to contact anyone.
  4. d)  We have found some instances where precinct leaders elected at caucus are no longer receiving notices and others, not elected at caucus or nominated by their House Chairman, claim to be the precinct leader for that precinct. This is in clear violation of the bylaws.
  5. e)  While the El Paso County Bylaws require consultation with a division leader before a vacant precinct leader spot is filled, Chairwoman Tonkins appoints precinct leaders at will, with no consultation. This is in clear violation of the bylaws.

We know we should fix this in El Paso. But due to Chairwoman Tonkins’ disregard for bylaws, Roberts Rules of Order, and common decency, we cannot trust the regularity and structure of the current county party. She has proven time and time again that she will do and say whatever she chooses. A strong party in El Paso County is necessary. During Vickie’s reign, over 8,000 Republicans in the County have left the Party.

We request that, under the authority granted the State Central Committee by Colorado State Statute 1-3-106, you appoint a neutral third party to chair the meeting in February, with authority to appoint all committees necessary to run a fair and legal meeting.


Pikes Peak United Republicans

Lois Landgraf
Treasurer Chuck Broerman

Vickie Broerman

Sen. Larry Liston

Rep. Mary Bradfield

Jody Richie
Council Member Wayne Williams
Commissioner Holly Williams
Suzanne Brannon

Candi Boyer
Joe Boyle

Michael Burton

Sen. Bob Gardner

Here is The Rebuttal to the Charges

Dear Members of the State Central Committee,

We object to the purpose of this meeting.

The purpose of this meeting violates Colorado Revised Statues 1-3-106, 1-3-102 (2)(d), and 1-3-103, and our own party bylaws with respect to the proper way to resolve disputes and controversies.

While the state party chair is empowered to call a special meeting anytime, we object to what the SCC is being asked to do and take issue with the state chair keeping anonymous most of the faceless accusers within the SCC who failed to reach the required 25% petition threshold to force a special meeting on their own.

The El Paso County Republicans will seek any and all legal options to prevent the state party chair and SCC from unlawfully interjecting into the affairs of our county and moving to DISENFRANCHISE Republican precinct committee persons who have a legal vote.

The state party chair has chosen to drag the entire SCC into a county conflict because a small group of disgruntled agitators lost the party leadership election two years ago and now wish to strip voting rights from properly seated PCP’s so they can orchestrate a coup in next month’s county leadership elections.

To interfere with the organization and processes of a county party predicated on the baseless, unfounded, and untruthful claims of 13 disgruntled individuals — two of whom are not even members of this body, and one who is the state chair’s father — is beyond the pale.

If fairness and impartiality is of primary concern for these 13, and the state chair, the genial and filial nature of the relationship between the complainants and the state chair should render this call invalid… or at least demand a true neutral individual to facilitate the special meeting.

It should also be of grave concern to the committee membership that this litany of complaints and accusations is devoid of any sort of proof or evidence.

Without supporting documentation or evidence, these are nothing more than the angry ramblings of a small group of disaffected individuals who are seeking to co-opt this SCC in order to punish the county party according to their own satisfaction.

These so-called charges are not only false and illegitimate, but they are also libelous and deliberately framed to assassinate Chairwoman Tonkins’ character.

Throughout Chairwoman Tonkins’ tenure, there has arisen a demonstrable pattern whereby this small group of disgruntled individuals attempts to force the SCC to undermine the majority will of the El Paso County Central Committee when they fail to convince their neighbors and fellow county Republicans to follow their failed agenda. What’s even more troubling is their tangential efforts to enlist the liberal media to smear the party and make everyone miserable.

They continually brought complaints to this very body and were denied. Yet, here we are again.

They refuse to heed the decisions of the SCC just as they refuse to listen to their neighbors and fellow Republicans in El Paso County.

It should be shocking that the state chair would enable such disruptive, unruly malcontents.

What is lost in these attempts at sabotage is the measurable success of the El Paso County Republican Party over the last four years.

By every metric that matters, the county party has exceeded expectations and the performance of past iterations of party leadership. Despite unrelenting attacks from these false accusers who refuse to accept election results, the El Paso County Republican Party has grown GOP membership and participation to levels that have not been seen in a long time.

Historically, El Paso County Republican Party precinct leader membership stagnated at around 30% vacancy. But during Chairwoman Tonkins’ tenure, our precinct leader population has swelled to nearly 85% capacity.

Furthermore, Chairwoman Tonkins brought the party out of debt by accruing fundraising surpluses and cutting administrative fat that only served to waste donor dollars. The county party is in the black and will continue being financially viable in the next several years.

Clearly, the El Paso County Republican Party is a success story, despite efforts to the contrary, in what appears to be an otherwise declining GOP.

This is directly due to Chairwoman Tonkins’ leadership: Voters have returned to the Republican party, become motivated, donated, and gotten involved. The fact is that the El Paso County Republican Party is more unified now than it has ever been despite the chaos the current party election deniers have brought about.

The same cannot be said for the complainants who have variously held leadership roles in the county party over the past several decades.

A studied analysis of the performance of the county party over the past several years (prior to the current leadership) suggests that a premium was placed on minimizing membership and participation.

One cannot avoid seeing a correlation between the past practice of maintaining limited participation in the party and this unprecedented attempt to remove legitimately seated precinct committee persons at next week’s special SCC meeting.

This is absolutely contrary to the political system in Colorado where the process is meant to involve as much of the population as possible.

Chairwoman Tonkins has embraced the intent of this process and promulgated widespread membership and participation. In contrast, the complainants have divorced themselves from this effort and formed a rogue organization bent on damaging the performance of the El Paso County Republican Party.

In conclusion, the complaint against Chairwoman Tonkins and the El Paso County Republican Party is meritless, baseless, unfounded, untrue, and libelous.

Any issues existing in El Paso County should be dealt with locally. In fact, state and county bylaws demand this to be the case, yet no such complaint has been brought to the county committee.

At best, this complaint and the attendant special meeting amount to a biased and incomplete investigation into the one-sided and indignant ramblings of a disgruntled few whose popularity and influence in the party have been eclipsed by a motivated and well-meaning majority.

That our state chair would call a special meeting to interfere with a county party over such vapid and feeble claims should be concerning.

When one considers the genial and filial relationships the state chair has with the complainants, it is disturbing that she would not only call such a meeting but insist that she chair it.

We, the undersigned Republican Party members of El Paso County demand that this meeting be deemed out of order and immediately cancelled, and we urge you, the State Central Committee members, to do the same. Do not allow such a grotesque overreach and abuse of power be made into a precedent that can and will be used against other county organizations.

Evelyn Angley

Mike Angley

Sabrina Balister

Ed Barnett

Curtiss Beevers

Lorraine Beham

Sheryll Betts

Scott Bottoms

Stephanie Busch

Peg Cage

Gary Carlile

Barbara Collins

Kathy Horsky

Brad Collins

Kevin Collins

Desra Conrad

Russ Cotton

Kristi Courkamp

Troy Courkamp

Adriana Cuva

Ken DeGRaaf

Kim DeGraaf

Tom Dinda

Vinnie Dinda

Fan DiOrio

Amber Lang

Keren Duncan
Jeff Evans
Jen Evans
Anna Ferguson

Mary Louise

Fiddler Karen


Raymond Garcia

Cathy Gardino

Sheryl Glasgow

eremy Goodall

Melissa Goodall

Amber Guillot

Pam Neverdahl

Barbara Guilzon

Jerry Haag

Jaqueline Haag

Caroline Hancock

Ron Hanks
Jeremy Harrigan

Kala Haynes

William Haynes

John Heimsoth

Yvonne Henderson

Ed Hopkins

Michelle Hopkins

Carolynn Shaw

Nathaniel Howard

Eric Jausel

Amanda Johnson

Andrew Johnson

Kendra Johnson

Mark Johnson

Susan Johnson

Anthony Jones

Barry Jones

Jewel Jones
Gwen Karaker
Karen Kinsley
Gordon Klingenschmidt

Denise Kmilek

Clayton Knight

Kate Knight
Jan Koester
Matt Kortrey

Sharon Kortrey

Karl David Kruck

Bob LaBelle

Donna LaBelle

Ali Lang

Ralph Wilson

Derrick Lang

Bonnie Lapora

Sheila Lapora

Roger Laproa
Julia Lindahl
Ivy Liu
Loralea Lowder

Julie Malfitano

Gabe Martinez

John Matovich

Ryan McBride

Wendy McBride

Janice McLain

Richard McLean

Valerie McLean

Andrea Mercier

Gus Mezza
Cecilia Mikolajczak

Anna Mitchell

Lindsay Moore

Linda Morris

Billie Murch

Jeanne Nelms

Annette Yebba

Carolee O’Connell

Catherine Ortega

Monika Page
Amy Persons-Birch

Rozhgar Piper

Holly Pitchford

ohn Pitchford

Paul Prentice
Nancy Rallis
Peter Rallis
Tanya Regan
Spencer Roberts
Darrell Robertson
Jenna Rock
Emagene Rush
Sterling Saalberg

Victoria Saalberg
Tanja Santiago
Don Schwandt
Scott Sellers
Wendy Sellers
Marshall Shannon
Steven Marshall

Shannon Krisanne Young

Tron Simpson
Lydia Smith
Steven Smith
Jeff Starr
Karen Starr
Kathi Stehlik
Carol Stone
Candice Stutzriem

Shannon Thomas

Vickie Tonkins

DeWayne Trusdale

Karilyn Trusdle

Amber Trusievitz
Josh Trusievitz

Carolin Van Barneveld

Paul Van Barneveld

Steven Walsh

Gavin Watkins
Marie Watkins
Todd Watkins
Dave Williams
Emily Williams Mariah Wilson
Lynda Zamora-Wilson

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