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Aiken County TEA Party Implodes?

January 4, 2011

Now, why can’t we all just get along?  ~SCHotline

From: Aiken county Tea party <>

Subject: Letter of resignation


Dear Friends,

I write to you today, not in my usual capacity of Director of Internet Affairs, but as an individual member of this organization. Also, despite being a member of the Aiken County Tea Party, the contents of this e-mail only represents me and not the organization.

Last night, I sent you a website update which is something I try to do on a regular basis. Shortly after that, I sent an e-mail to six members of the ACTP.

Three of those serve on the Executive Committee with me: Chairman Jerry Guerin, Second Vice Chairman Mike Vasovski, and Treasurer Ken Goad. I included Kathy Pate who is filling in as Secretary at the January 10 meeting. Also, I included Keith Bashant and Walter Lamb, who are relevant to the subject of the e-mail.

In the e-mail, I proposed a plan for the election of officers, including myself at the January 10 meeting. I also requested that two items be place on the agenda. The first one is to have Tony Powers speak about the Augusta Tax Day Tea Party. The second one is to allow the first Chairman of the Aiken County Tea Party, Colen Lindell, to propose a resolution honoring and thanking Pete Seaha for his service and dedication to the ACTP. Colen contacted members of the Executive Committee with his request to be added to the agenda on December 31. I felt it was a great idea.

Later that night I received a response from our Chairman Jerry Guerin. I have included the correspondence below – my original e-mail along with his response (which is the one on top).

I spent last night and most of today pondering Jerry’s words and trying to reconcile the fact that these words are from the leader of our Tea Party. At what point did we lose the right to send the Chairman of the ACTP an e-mail suggesting items be placed on the agenda or ideas about the meeting? At what point did my position become so dispensable that I can be told that I can replaced “tomorrow”?  Finally, at what point did mere suggestions from one Executive Committee member to other Executive Committee members merit such a tirade full of contempt? Was this not the exact antithesis of what the Tea Party stands for?

I had no answers.

After thoughtful consideration, I am hereby announcing my resignation as

Director of Internet Affairs effective immediately. As my last act in this

position, I am changing my profile on the Officers page to “vacant.” I

am in the

process of making a list of any representation of the ACTP, along with


and passwords that are on the Internet that was known about or created

during my

service. I will not serve in an interim position.

My wife Traci and I will continue being members of the Aiken County Tea Party.

We are still discussing whether to attend Monday’s meeting.

I think most of you can tell I enjoyed my position and truly took pride in

maintaining our website. I leave my position knowing that I made the ACTP a

better organization because of my contribution. But there is a season for

everything. In my heart, I know this season has ended. I hope you

understand my


I’ll see you soon,

Chris (I will no longer check the ACTP e-mail. If you need to contact

me please



— On Sun, 1/2/11, Jerry J. Guerin <> wrote:

> From: Jerry J. Guerin <>

> Subject: Re: Election of officers and agenda items

> To: “Chris Powers” <>

> Cc: “Mike Vasovski”>, “Ken Goad”

> <>

> Date: Sunday, January 2, 2011, 8:45 PM



> Chris:


> The next time you send a letter out like this to the members without the

> approval of all the Executive Committee I will move to have you removed from

> your position.


> Read the Charter, it will be followed at the meeting. You are not in

> a position

> to suggest an agenda for meetings, THAT IS MY JOB AS CHAIR.


> I will not tolerate any more of this type of undermining, Colin can

> replace you

> tomorrow if the Committee so makes that decision. Don’t test me.


> Jerry

> —– Original Message —–

>> From: Chris Powers

>> To: Jerry Guerin ; Mike Vasovski ; Ken Goad ; Kathy Pate ; Keith Bashant ;

>> Walter Lamb ; Chris Powers


>> Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2011 4:45 PM

>> Subject: Election of officers and agenda items



>> Dear all,


>> I haven’t heard any suggestions concerning our method of filling

>> vacancies in

>> the Executive Committee. As is always my philosophy, I feel we should have a

>> method in place before January 10 – the simpler the better.



>> The following is my proposal:


>> – Ultimately, we will have ALL offices in the Executive Committee

>> voted upon, be

>> it an election or a vote of confidence.


>> – We will use the same method for each office.


>> – We will start with the Director of Internet Affairs (I picked

>> this because I

>> felt it was the lowest office on the totem pole 😛 but the order

>> really doesn’t

>> matter). I will be asked if I would like to continue serving in

>> that position.

>> (Of course I do!) Then the floor will be open for anyone else who

>> wants to seek

>> that position. (You must be present to seek the office if you

>> are challanging

>> the current office holder or that office is vacant.) No need for a second or

>> anything like that. All seeking that position will have an opportunity to

>> address the meeting for five minutes. However, this is voluntary.


>> – Then we will move to the next office – Treasurer, and so on until we have

>> covered all six executive offices using the same procedure.


>> – After those seeking the last office – Chair – have spoken, we

>> will pass out

>> the ballot that I have attached to this e-mail. Members will write

>> in the name

>> of the person they wish to serve in that office. (SECRET BALLOT).

>> We may want to

>> bring a poster or dry erase board to write the names of candidates

>> on in case

>> members need to see them.


>> – We will have a couple of members chosen ahead of time to count the ballots

>> while the meeting moves on to other business. Keith and Walter,

>> this is why I

>> included you in this e-mail. Unless you plan on seeking an

>> executive office, I

>> think you would do a great job counting votes.



>> – They will announce the results at the end of the meeting. (The

>> final item on

>> the agenda).


>> I feel this is a very simple and fair way to handle this. Also, I

>> don’t see any

>> of the current office holders being challenged. This will be more

>> of a vote of

>> confidence. Having all the offices on one ballot and voting for

>> them at the same

>> time will also save us from the possibility of someone going for

>> one office and

>> losing and then going for another one until they get something. Not

>> that I think

>> that would happen but you never know. Besides, voting for them like

>> this saves

>> lots of time.


>> A couple of things we can do to this method:

>> – If no office is challenged, they automatically retain their

>> office. Not being

>> challenged will be the vote of confidence.

>> – If no current office holder is challenged and those seeking vacant offices

>> have no opposition, we can move to election the slate by acclamation.


>> Charter – We have discussed changes to the Charter. As is, we can have this

>> election on January 10, but if someone stands up in the February meeting and

>> moves for another election, it is perfectly allowable under the Charter. The

>> just need a majority of members present to do so. There are a

>> number of flaws.

>> However, I believe throwing everything out and starting over would

>> be a mistake.

>> Think about how much work and compromising we (Kathy, Jerry, and

>> Ken) did when

>> we drafted the Charter. I feel the best course would be to take it little by

>> little. Most of the Charter is good. We just need to fix the small flaws.


>> Since the election is January 10, I believe we should address that

>> first staring

>> with fixed terms for executive officers. But that will be another e-mail.



>> I would like to have added to the agenda a time for Tony Powers to briefly

>> discuss the Augusta Tea Party rally which will be held on April 15.

>> If you went

>> last year, you know what a wonderful job Tony does. It would

>> probably be best to

>> let Tony speak early on the agenda since he will not take long.

>> Here is how it

>> should look, “Tony Powers – Augusta Tax Day Tea Party”



>> Also, I like the resolution idea put forth by Colen Lindell. Please

>> make sure

>> that is added to the agenda as well.


>> The website has been updated.


>> I would like to know how all of you feel about what I have mentioned in this

>> e-mail. And when you reply, please REPLY ALL so we will all know

>> your thoughts.

>> It is important that we know how everyone feels.


>> Thanks,

>> Chris


>> Chris Powers

>> Faculty Sponsor, Evans High School Teen Age Republicans


—– End forwarded message —–

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Aiken Truth permalink
    January 5, 2011 3:56 AM

    I am a member of the local Aiken County Tea Party and a few weeks ago we as members were made aware that Chairman Pete Seaha resigned due to health reasons. We were also made aware that 1st Vice Chairman Jerry J. Guerin was elevated to Chairman.

    So what? Well the problem with this is Jerry J. Guerin is not eligible to be 1st Vice Chairman or Chairman because when he ran as a write-in-candidate against Bill Taylor for House 86 he was post to resign his position with the Tea Party since he was seeking an elected government office according to the charter he never resigned.

    In section 2.2 of the Aiken County Tea Party Charter it says, “No person shall serve as a Member of the Executive Committee who is seeking or holding an elected government office.”

    One wonders how this was over looked and one has to question the legitimacy of Jerry J.Guerin being and Executive officer at all.

    Here is a link to the website

    On the right hand side under blog archive you will see a link to the charter where section 2.2 comes from. Just thought you might find this interesting. How can local Tea Party fight for what is right when not following their own rules.

  2. Member no more permalink
    January 5, 2011 4:03 PM

    Guerin had the following announcement sent out last night to all the members –

    “Greetings fellow ACTP Members, and Happy New Year! We will have our first meeting of 2011 next Monday, Jan. 10 at 7pm at the Aiken County Council Building on Richland Ave. We will be accepting nominations from the floor for the open positions of Secretary and Vice Chair. Nominations for these positions can also be sent via email to Jerrry Guerin at
    Acting Secretary”

    Sounds like Guerin got pissed because Powers suggested that members have a chance to vote for all officers and not just those that are vacant. WHAT ARE YOU SCARED OF JERRY?

  3. Member no more permalink
    January 5, 2011 4:09 PM

    And one more thing! Guerin didn’t think about honoring Pete Seaha but I GUERIN-tee he’ll do it not and try to take credit for it!

  4. Dane permalink
    January 5, 2011 10:16 PM

    Jerry Guerin sounds like the next Mussolini. How dare a fellow officer suggest something to be put on the agenda?!? According to Guerin’s e-mail, “You (Powers) are not in a position to suggest an agenda for meetings, THAT IS MY JOB AS CHAIR.” I hate to think what he would have said to a member who made suggestions who wasn’t an Executive Officer. Guerin had another e-mail sent out to members of the Aiken County Tea Party yesterday and said that the only offices up for election at the January 10th meeting would be the First Vice Chairman and the Secretary – not his! He has never been elected Chairman. He assumed the duties because the previous chairman resigned due to health reasons. Guerin then tells Powers, “Read the Charter, it will be followed at the meeting.” An ironic statement considering Guerin ran as a write-in candidate for SC House against Bill Taylor but never resigned his office as First Vice Chairman. The Aiken County Charter clearly states, “2.2 No person shall serve as a Member of the Executive Committee who is seeking or holding an elected government office.” (Click here: One has to ask is Guerin’s chairmanship even legit since he should have resigned from his previous position to seek an elected government office? But he won’t go before the members and put himself up for a vote. Is Guerin a Chairman or a dictator?

  5. January 6, 2011 12:12 PM

    I don’t see anything funny about this. I’ve been a member of the aiken tea party since August 2010. Pete used to encouraged us at meetings to contact him about adding things to the agenda. And the web site was the only thing keeping me feeling like the tea party was alive. It’s a real sad day for the tea party in general. I responded to the e-mail I received about the January 10 meeting with REMOVE.

  6. ThePatriot permalink
    January 6, 2011 3:54 PM

    Is anyone going to hold Guerin accountable to a vote on January 10 or is he going to get away with this?

  7. January 6, 2011 8:33 PM

    I hope Jerry does the right thing and just steps aside. Read his message to Chris. The only reason he got upset was because Chris asked to have something added to the agenda. That could have just as well been anybody.

  8. Tyner permalink
    January 7, 2011 12:17 PM

    When I attended my first meeting back in July, Pete Seaha was chairman. It was his first meeting as the leader. We met at the Knights of Columbus in Aiken. Pete sat at at table that allowed him to be the focal point of everyone there. He looked at every single member and said this is your group, I want to hear from you. What do you want? He told everyone if they wanted something added to the agenda to e-mail or call him. What a difference in leadership.

  9. ronpaulgirl permalink
    January 7, 2011 8:05 PM

    The problem with the Aiken County Tea Party is the charter. It never addressed how to elect officers. That’s OK if everyone is chummy like it was in the beginning but sooner or later someone like Jerry Guerin gets to the top. Now that he is there he doesn’t want to leave and he doesn’t care what people think about him. Could you imagine how tea party critics are laughing their ***es off. Here was a group who was supposed to stand against arrogance and now they got this character that says he is the only one that can decide what goes on the agenda? And not only that. He doesn’t even want anyone to suggest to have something put on the agenda. We The People is the true tea party of Aiken County.

  10. January 7, 2011 9:46 PM

    Here’s a guarantee: Jerry Guerin will take credit for the resolution honoring Pete Seaha. Wait and see on Monday, January 10.

  11. Andrew permalink
    January 17, 2011 3:49 PM

    It is always entertaining to watch the Aiken County GOP (or Tea Party, same thing) back bite and fight amongst themselves. They’ve been doing it for years. If it weren’t for shear numbers, I don’t think they could organize themselves out of a wet paper bag, much less win elections. Mr. Guerin’s fascistic tendencies are a credit to his party.


  1. World Spinner

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