by Chet Hardin
Kanda Calef was one of the liberty activists who showed up Thursday night for the marathon meeting of the El Paso County Republican Party executive committee.
Like the 60 or more people who turned out to support the party secretary Sarah Anderson, Calef left that night without learning much of anything about the three-hour executive session that the committee conducted. Allowed in that meeting were the 30 members of the executive committee, including the chairman Eli Bremer, Anderson, and vice-chair David Williams, as well as attorney John Buckley. The rest of the local Republican party members who showed up were forced to wait around outside in the parking lot or scatter about in the party headquarters.
Some of the activists were escorted off the premises by a sheriff’s deputy, and stood in the street.
Calef, however, didn’t leave that night empty-handed.
Friday evening, she went on Grassroots Radio, an AM talk show out of Denver, to explain what she claimed happened during the closed-door meeting. Calef appeared to have in her possession a very detailed description of what went down.
"My source was not Sarah Anderson," she said. "I have sources. This is not something that people are happy about."
Anderson has declined to discuss the meeting with the Independent.
Calef refused to reveal her sources.
At dispute throughout the executive session, Kalef said on the radio show, was the future of Anderson's relationship with the party. She said Anderson was asked to resign multiple times. At one point, the meeting veered into hostility.
"I will tell you, there was fighting going on. I heard screaming and yelling ... And there was a hero in that room ... and that hero was our district attorney Dan May."
According to Calef, May stepped in to "represent" Anderson throughout much of the meeting's proceedings.
"I am so proud of him. Because if I had been in there and seen this 22-year-old young woman — she's extremely articulate, she's extremely intelligent, but I know her heart; she has a very sweet heart," Calef said, "I don't know if I could have had the self-control to not do something at that point."
The radio host wondered aloud, where was the state chairman, Ryan Call, in all of this? There was no answer.
According to Calef, multiple resolutions were passed in the executive session.
One stated that Anderson must abide by the bylaws of the party "to the satisfaction of the chairman," said Calef. "And there is this understanding that she won't be allowed to the talk with the media.”
Part of that is that she is on probation until the next executive committee meeting.
Another: Anderson must write a public statement by Monday that includes a pledge to uphold the bylaws of the party, and to encourage all of her supporters to unite behind the Republican party. She also has the option to include an apology to all of those people that she has offended by her outspokenness.
"Here's the caveat with all of this," Kalef said: "Guess who has the final say if this letter is appropriate or not?"
Answer, she continued: Eli Bremer.
Yet another passed resolution, Calef continued, was that the El Paso County party chair, vice-chair and secretary would seek mediation. This will be conducted by state chair Call or his designee. "Mediation to get them to get along," Calef said.
"Remember, Eli said that there was only one topic, and oh, it was all unanimous," she added. "None of these were unanimous. So there were dissenters.
"One thing that was unanimous — it wasn't unanimous by a vote, it was in very loose context that it was unanimous. Eli, once again, used his tyrannical power to dictate that everything that happened in that closed-door session was to be confidential. No vote on that."
Calef goes on to point out that Bremer, after the executive session was over, fielded questions from the media and the 40 Republicans who had waited out the meeting. His claim, over and over, was that the executive committee discussed only one issue and voted unanimously not to disclose any of the details of the closed meeting.
There was a woman in the meeting who said that she had voted for Bremer, but that she didn't vote for him to be God or king, Calef said.
“This all boils down to the party protecting (state Rep.) Amy Stephens. The real failure is on Eli. … Sarah had no choice but to go to the media, because Eli wasn’t going to consider any of her concerns — only protection of incumbents.”