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Is the Alabama GOP going to look at the Talladega "Central committee?" Chris Peeks July 8, 2023

The more I hear about the Talladega GOP, the more I am reminded of the Central Committee of the USSR, where just a handful of people control the party.

Two names that continue to pop.up.are Philip Morris and Sondra Epperson. The two seem to be the senior members of the Politburo. But there are a lot more shady things going on than this

The first time that Ashley applied to be a member of their party, she was approved after paying her dues. When it came time to renew, she paid her dues but was denied. Now being banned, one would expect to get their check back. No, they held it for 60 days, and a lady named Jan McGee, the sitting chair tried to cash her check. Isn't their laws against that?

Now listen to this. At the spring GOP summit, Phillip Morris had to step down as chairman because of some bylaws. Like the politics of old and smoke-filled back rooms, somehow, he picks his successor Sondra Epperson. Now explain to me how he has the authority to do that.

It gets better at a meeting later that month. They have a vote on some issues and prevent Ashleigh from voting because, according to her, only the members of the click were allowed to vote because she was not an active member.

They bought a 5,000$ computer. And 15 thumb drives that were not going to have an implementation of policy security. According to Ashley Somdra, Epperson wanted the party to hand her five grand and trust her. And if people don't go along with her, they are either kicked out of the party or not invited back. Or told their opinion didn't matter because they were not an active member.

But Ashley is very active. She has submitted bylaws. Help with legislation pieces. She helped get a military sexual accountability bill passed that protects members from sexual assaults and punishes the assailants.

At a January 7th meeting, Ashley asked questions about some misappropriation of funds, and she was blackballed and told never to return. She contacted Chairman Wahl, who responded to her that he was sorry, but he could not help her.

Ashley has asked for an open audit and investigation into the party that was brushed aside.

Ashley is a veteran who served for nine years honorably in the army. She is a disabled combat vet raising two disabled children trying to grow the Republican party in Talladega county, and according to her, she has been told by the leadership her services are not needed; why?

She even started a veterans group in Talladega, and after the first meeting, they cut it. She had formed a great group with Federal VA, State VA, and 25 non-profit organizations, and why did they stop it? Because they wanted a nonveteran, who had no idea what it was like to serve in the military, to sit as the chair.

When she asked why her veterans groups were being cut, she was told that it was not a Hot topic or something of need. And the thing that should get any red-blooded American blood pumping is a Mr. Johnson, who sits on this veteran affairs committee in Baldwin County, said you veterans voluntarily join the military, so you shouldn't get any extra chance. We must draft his kids into the army and send them to the next conflict.

The stuff I'm hearing coming out of Talladega is like an onion. The more you peel it, the more it stinks. Over the past few days, I have reached out to many members of the Talladega GOP and the Alabama party chairman and have asked for a response, and I offered them equal airtime to come on and get their side of the story, and I'm still waiting to hear from them.

Chris Peeks

Reporter and Columnist

Alabama Political Contributor

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