Friday, May 10, 2024

The Undertow

 

By Gretchen Garrity

Texts have been shared with Right to Win Ozarks that shed light on the way the Missouri GOP Convention ended on Saturday, May 4, 2024 (background HERE and HERE). The texts are said to be from Plaza Hotel staff and at least one GOP convention worker. There is a blacked out area that is presumably a name, but two names are visible and another name is mentioned within the texts, that of Miles. This may be a reference to Miles Ross, Executive Director of the Missouri GOP.

The hotel General Manager, Brent Parker, was contacted to see if the visible names were connected to hotel staff. A reply was received  yesterday evening that confirmed two of the individuals are associates of the hotel, see texts below.

 

As noted by Mr. Parker in his communication, neither employee mentions tow trucks or a threat to tow vehicles. They do ask for vehicles to be moved out of the convention center parking lot. The mention of tow trucks is in the green replies, and is almost certainly from someone at the GOP convention.

Jonica Hope was a volunteer at the GOP convention. She was recently interviewed by David Rice (video HERE.) She notes at around the 6:25 minute-mark, “An individual who is a volunteer had asked me to kinda come in and help her and help them.” Hope indicated that as a volunteer she had multiple tasks during the day.

As the interview proceeds Hope discusses the frustration of the long delay to get to business that caused people to leave throughout the event. By the time the tow truck announcement happens very late in the event, she even surmises that a quorum had already been lost (about 11 minute-mark).

Around 14 minutes into the interview, the tow truck issue is brought up. She mentions text messages she has seen, which she says she cannot share publicly. (Note: RTWO did not receive the text images from Hope and cannot confirm these are the texts she mentions.


But she does say, “My husband texts me and says, er, we had gotten a text message saying that they were towing cars.” Having been on a break, she hurries back to the convention. She says she did not see any tow trucks in the parking lot. (Make a note of this)

“I’m hearing talk about the tow truck being called, and I’m like ‘Well ‘yeah, there’s a prom, there’s an activity going on.’”

She notices people leaving the building and finds out it is because an announcement by attendee Ron Sanders has been made that vehicles needed to be moved or they would be towed. Sanders serves on the events and website/media committees of the Christian County Republican Central Committee and serves as Secretary of the Christian County Missouri Republican Party.

The rest is history. Rep. Dan Stacy called for a quorum count and the convention was shut down without approving a platform.

How did it come about that Sanders made the announcement? It is now known that Sandy Karnes, committeewoman for District 29, who was also one of the organizers of the convention, sent out a text to at least three people about the announcement. They were newly-elected Ozark alderman Eddie Campbell (Delegate #2), Steve Perry (Alternate #15), and Ron Sanders.

But back to Rice’s interview with Jonica Hope. At the 27-minute mark she describes how establishment Republicans were able to derail the platform the People of Missouri had voted for. It was the final move they had and we gave it to them because everybody left to go check their vehicles. And, here’s the thing about that. Back to the vehicles. The hotel, they had alerted volunteers like myself, ‘Like, we’re just going to tow vehicles.’ And so that was an honest human thing. The individual...Ron Sanders, popped up and he’s just being a kind human. And that’s all it was. Now, was there a mistake made? Hindsight’s 20/20. He should have said come back or say ‘Madame Speaker, can we break for a moment let people move their vehicles’...It could have been handled better, but he was trying to be nice.”

Hope actually states the Hotel had alerted volunteers, saying they were going to tow vehicles. Then comes another interesting comment. Hope suddenly remembers that she did see tow trucks. “Then people got out there and didn’t see the tow vehicles. Well, again, memories and all this kind of stuff it starts fleshing out after the event. If you remember, I walked across the street from Walnut Lane, behind the building there were tow trucks parked there. And those tow trucks, the University Plaza was just giving us an opportunity to get our people out to have the chance to move our vehicles...What I have found out is that this particular towing company has a contract supposedly with University Plaza during large events to keep people out of their parking so that the people at the events can actually have the parking spaces.”

Hope doesn’t remember the name of the towing company but says, “I knew they were there. They were absolutely there.”

So far:

  • The Plaza admits employees with names Tiffany and Trina are employed at the Plaza

  • The hotel maintains it did not call or threaten to call tow trucks

  • Jonica Hope maintains hotel employees were threatening to call tow trucks. At first she didn’t see tow trucks, and then later she remembers she did see tow trucks.

  • No one else has come forward that has seen the tow trucks.

  • Text messages from hotel employees suggest it was not they who mentioned towing trucks.

  • It appears a GOP volunteer/worker mentions tow trucks in a text string with a hotel employee.

  • A different text message went out from Sandy Karnes to other convention-goers to make an announcement about the vehicles late in the event.

  • Ron Sanders complies with the message and makes an announcement that includes tow trucks standing by to tow vehicles that have not been moved from the convention center parking area.

  • Delegates leave to check on their vehicles. No vehicles have been towed.

  • Rep. Dan Stacy, taking advantage of the situation, requests a quorum call at the 11th hour.

  • A quorum call results in the convention being shut down without a platform for 2024.

There is much to comment upon, but the situation seems to reflect, in the end, the internal battle for the soul of the Republican Party being played out on a national, state, and local level. While there are those who desire a "big tent" approach, the People of Missouri are clear that smaller government, protection of life, election integrity, candidate vetting, medical freedom and much more are desired going forward.

The establishment Republicans, or RINOs, are not comfortable with this kind of platform, nor are the special interests who heavily fund their campaigns. While the platform was not passed due to slick maneuvering by the establishment, the grassroots elected who they wanted for electors, national committee members, and chair of the convention, and they voted down the establishment platform. It was an earthquake. Listen below to 2024's convention chairwoman Sophia Shore discuss the day in a short interview with Pastor Alex Bryant.

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