If you haven’t heard already, we now have two state republican parties.

On Jan. 6, the Michigan Republican Party (MIGOP) held a special meeting and 88% of members present voted to remove Kristina Karamo as party chair, naming MIGOP Co-chair Malinda Pego as the interim chair.

Instead of graciously stepping down for the good of the party like one would expect of a Christian leader who puts the party she was elected to serve above herself, she responded by claiming the meeting was illegitimate and “unlawful.” She has repeatedly claimed that every person who voted against her is a liar, a “co-conspirator with globalists” or part of a “deep state cabal.”

Karamo chaired a meeting on Jan. 13, which she had previously called on Dec. 16. One of Pego’s first acts as interim chair was to officially cancel Karamo’s meeting days before it occurred and declare that Karamo had no authority to conduct party business. At Karamo’s Jan. 13 meeting, Karamo’s group claims that 59 of 60 members voted to keep Karamo as chair. They also voted to remove six other executive committee members who have been outspoken critics of Karamo.

Pego just announced at around the time of Karamo’s meeting that there will be an official state convention on Jan. 20 to elect a new chair. In anticipation of this meeting, Karamo and her team are actively working to purge the counties and districts they control of any delegates who do not support her in advance of the convention this week. They are planning what they believe will be a significant protest of the meeting.

If you’re confused and distraught by all this, you’re part of a much bigger club than the entire MIGOP membership combined. Since the two sides are directly contradicting each other, they can’t both be telling the truth.

Which meeting was the legitimate meeting?

Either the Jan. 6 meeting was the official meeting or the Jan. 13 meeting was. It’s not possible that both were. If the Jan. 6 meeting was the official meeting, then Karamo is no longer the chair and whatever happened on Jan. 13 is of no legal consequence, as Pego had the authority according to the bylaws to cancel the Jan. 13 meeting.

Karamo’s repeated claims that her opponents violated the bylaws center around the process that was followed to call the Jan. 6 special meeting. Karamo’s “Policy Sub-Committee” produced a document that includes several strange arguments that have little to do with the bylaws but their one argument that has the most merit involves the process to call a special meeting.

MIGOP Bylaws

The applicable section of the bylaws is Article VI B, which states:

Article VI B. Special Meetings. Special meetings of the Committee may be called by the Chairman when the business of the Committee requires the same, and the Chairman shall call a special meeting of the Committee on written request of one-third of the members of the Committee, jointly or severally, within 15 days after such written request has been filed with the Chairman. Upon failure to do so, any such member can give notice five (5) days before such meeting. Notices of special meetings shall state the purpose of such meetings

It says that the chairman may call a special meeting if she chooses to for any reason, or she must call a special meeting within 15 days after one-third of the executive committee members request a special meeting in writing. If the chairman fails to call the special meeting within 15 days of receiving the written request to do so, any one member can give notice of, or call, the special meeting five days before the meeting.

Note the last sentence of Article VI B: “Notices of special meetings shall state the purpose of such meetings.” What that means is at the time the special meeting is called, the agenda for that meeting must state the purpose for the meeting, which, according to the context, obviously must include the purpose requested by the committee.

On Dec. 2, a petition with 39 member signatures called for a special meeting to remove Karamo as chair. This written notice was submitted to Karamo on that day. According to the bylaws, since the 39 signatures exceeded one-third of the 107 state committee members, Karamo had 15 days to call the special meeting with the purpose requested by the members, which was clearly to vote on her removal.

Karamo’s policy committee claims in their report that since she sent notice on Dec. 16 for a special meeting that would occur on Jan. 13, she fulfilled her obligation according to the bylaws and the Jan. 6 meeting was therefore not an official meeting. They argue that her opponents had no right to call a special meeting when she had already called a special meeting.

They glossed over an exceptionally important detail, however: did Karamo call the special meeting that the 39 members requested she call? Or did she just call a special meeting that had nothing to do with the meeting that the bylaws required her to call, which was a meeting to vote on her own removal?

The Smoking Gun”

This finally brings us to the “Smoking Gun.” A party insider forwarded me a copy of the original email sent by Karamo to the entire executive committee with all the original attachments. One of those attachments was the agenda, an exact copy of which is below. See if you can identify what is missing.

Since the agenda proved that she had no intention of following the bylaws by calling the meeting the bylaws required her to call, the Karamo dissidents followed the next step of the bylaws, “Upon failure to do so, any such member can give notice five (5) days before such meeting.”

The committee initially called the meeting for Dec. 27, then changed the date well before the five day window to Jan. 6 because many members had holiday travel conflicts with the initial date. This was done at every step in accordance with Article VI B.

This means that the Jan. 6 meeting was clearly the official meeting according to the bylaws. It was absolutely legitimate and legal and her claims that it was not are false.

Karamo’s team responds to questions

I reached out to Lori Skibo, Karamo’s Chief of Staff, and she took my call. She insisted that Article VI B says that when the committee requests a special meeting with a special purpose the chair must call a special meeting, but it can have whatever purpose the chair deems necessary.

I told her that is clearly not what it says, and she angrily insisted that I was wrong. She read the text over and over to me with ever increasing volume, focusing on one phrase. Because the exact language of the text reads, in part, “the Chairman shall call a special meeting,” she argued that Karamo had the right to call a special meeting that had nothing at all to do with the meeting the committee demanded she call.

When I told her that the context of the phrase clearly contradicts her argument and tried (through her repeated interruptions) to ask her if that sounded like a dictatorship she got extremely angry, yelled, “Sir, I’m going to hang up on you now,” then got in some final words about how the Jan. 6 meeting was illegitimate, it’s not fair that 37% of the committee can remove the chair and they won’t step down.

I thought this was a rather strange way for the chief of staff of the state republican party to treat one of the few conservative reporters in the state, but as you will see in my upcoming reports, this is status quo for this Karamo administration.

What it all means

Karamo’s ongoing grasping at power is nothing more than a charade, extremely unlikely to succeed – unless she can persuade enough executive committee members to go through the same process her opponents did to remove her. But to do that she would first have to admit that she is no longer chair and that her blanket, repeated accusations that everyone who opposes her is a liar are untrue. Then she’d have to get re-elected by the delegates, to whom she is appealing continuously via email and her various Telegram channels.

For now, she is steamrolling ahead in dictatorial fashion as she doubles down and engages in a relentless assault of name-calling and repetitive phrases clearly meant to instill in her loyalists the same hatred she seems to feel towards her enemies. In her recent public speaking events, she often quotes scripture, says in a condescending way that she prays for those in the GOP who want to remove her, then moments later calls them “co-conspirators of the far left,” “operators for the oligarch,” and “agents of a demonic cabal.”

In 2021, in the early days of her campaign for secretary of state, Jezebel first reported on court documents from a mid 2021 child custody case where here ex husband, Adom Karamo, attested under penalty of perjury that he was driving their car with Kristina in the passenger seat and their two young daughters in the back seat after he told her he wanted a divorce.

He accused her of saying, “F—k it, I’ll just kill us all!” and tried unsuccessfully to grab the steering wheel and run the vehicle off the road. Court documents further alleged that she was “committed to an institution for evaluation due to her efforts at self-harm and suicide.”

During the campaign when these allegations surfaced in the media, she denied it, just as she is now denying that she has been removed as chair. While it is possible this was an accusation invented by her ex-husband in order to gain more access to his children, Karamo is clearly treating the MIGOP the way she allegedly treated her own children in the car.

If she refuses to step down it is my opinion that her motivation is to destroy the party so that democrats can dominate every national, state and local election in 2024.

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