The CCR Race: Impeachments and Bribery Allegations
Eric Lendrum, Politics Contributor
In last week’s piece, I summarized a handful of extremely complicated and deliberately unclear issues in the ongoing race for control of the California College Republicans (CCR), which included unknown requirements for receiving official chartered status, as well as confusion as to which slates certain chapters are endorsing, and on whose authority such endorsements can be made. Now, the race has taken a decisively shocking turn as the intensity of some allegations increase.
The first incident concerns the CR chapter at Cal State University Sacramento, also known as Sac State. The Sac State chapter is prominent as being the largest pro-Thrive chapter, with roughly 20-30 members on average in attendance at their weekly meetings. On March 8, impeachment charges were formally raised against the chapter’s chairman Mason Daniels, who is Thrive’s candidate for Capital Region Vice Chair. One of the chapter’s executive board members spoke to The Millennial Review under condition of anonymity, and thus provided a lot of first-hand information regarding the contentious affair.
There were five individual charges leveled against Daniels: Among these charges were that he attempted to unilaterally remove and add members on the executive board - he allegedly tried to remove the Vice Chair, Rosita Trevizo, via an executive order, while also unilaterally appointing a new executive member, Kyle Shallcross, to the appointed position of Political Director; all of this was allegedly done without Daniels informing the rest of his executive board or the regular members (known in the chapter as the General Assembly). Two other charges alleged mismanagement and incompetence on Daniels’ part, in that he failed to keep proper attendance records or minutes of the executive and general meetings, and that he also allegedly lost a $100 donation to the club after receiving it from a donor. The fifth charge, in relation to the CCR race, contends that the Sac State chapter’s endorsement of Thrive (issued back in January), was actually done solely by Daniels, who announced it without informing the rest of the executive board or the General Assembly.
In the actual impeachment proceedings on March 15 (the same day as the Dutch general elections), Daniels survived the effort to remove him from office. The anonymous executive board member says the total number of votes was 45 - 23 of those present voted to keep Daniels, while 22 voted to remove him. However, the source indicates that Daniels tried to sway the vote in his favor by bringing approximately 10 individuals from the school’s Student Economics Association, which Daniels is also chair of, to the impeachment meeting just to vote for him. Hypothetically, if these 10 or so individuals hadn’t been brought, the tally would have been 22 in favor of removal, and 13 opposed. Although this still would have ultimately fallen below the club constitution’s threshold of a 66%/two-thirds majority needed for removal from office, it still indicates not only outside efforts to sway the vote, but a clear division within the club over Daniels’ leadership regardless.
In the aftermath of the vote, there have been claims of outside interference in the vote from both Rebuild proponents and Thrive proponents. Thrive representatives have declared that the vote was an effort by Rebuild supporters to overthrow Daniels and switch the chapter’s endorsement. Members of the chapter insist that the charges were based on chapter-related issues rather than anything to do with the statewide race, and have also indicated that Daniels brought in a handful of Thrive candidates from other pro-Thrive schools in the region (including UC Davis) to vouch for Daniels’ leadership.
The anonymous executive board member had less-than-flattering things to say about Daniels, both in his role as chair of the chapter and his association with Thrive and the statewide board. They considered his attempt to remove Trevizo “a pure power hungry move to remove someone because he personally hates [her]...he chose to bypass that [impeachment process] and only give people a one-sided story to Rosita’s shortcomings.” While the board member acknowledged Trevizo’s numerous absences from executive board meetings (the main reason Daniels claims he tried to remove her), they insisted that “she hasn’t violated anything and all of her faults were in the past.” The source also believes that Daniels’ involvement with Thrive played a role in the drama, saying that “he, like the rest of Thrive, has bullied people and talked s*** about everyone from Rebuild and those who don’t agree with him.”
The board member also claims that, in the aftermath of the vote, Daniels rather conspicuously removed both Trevizo and club Treasurer Franco Ruffino from admin status on both the Sac State CR’s public Facebook page and the club’s group page. The source believes that this is indeed evidence of Daniels “doubling down” on anyone who didn’t support him in the impeachment vote.
These are not the only accusations of Thrive representatives being involved in backdoor deals and attempted strong-arming of opponents. On March 17, Rebuild’s candidate for Co-chair (the second-highest position on the state board) Christian Chacon, from College of the Sequoias, made a lengthy Facebook post alleging that Thrive’s candidate for Communications Director, Kevin Reed, had attempted to bribe Chacon into abandoning the Rebuild slate. In the post, Chacon alleges that “members of Thrive have approached me on numerous occasions in attempts to get me to drop my candidacy and in return receive a spot on their slate.” Although he says he adamantly refused the first several attempts, he eventually decided to go along so as to “see just how far they would go.” He singles out Reed as having “offered me a guaranteed position on their slate and a paid top position on a campaign” in return for abandoning Rebuild, as well as convincing fellow candidates Jake Thomasy (Central Valley Vice Chairman), Elias Rodriguez (Deputy Central Valley Vice Chair), and Taylor Spring (Membership Director) to also drop from the slate.
Ending the post, Chacon reaffirmed his hope that “whoever wins their elections this year will not use their power to engage in these types of activities and more importantly serve as examples to all those who look up to them as leaders.” He said that he wanted for the 2017 CCR race “to be remembered for the great competition and open discussion, not back room deals and blatant corruption.”
The Millennial Review reached out to both Reed and Chacon for comment; Reed did not respond, while Chacon had nothing new to add beyond what was already contained in his initial post.
You can follow the author on Twitter: @EricLendrum26.
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