By Paul Gable
On January 6, 2022, I wrote a story about how a group calling themselves the “HCGOP Pirates” schemed with SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick to undermine the elected leadership of the HCGOP.
The leadership of several county parties, including the HCGOP, were taken over by what can be called non-establishment leaders in the 2021 reorganizations. This led SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick to advocate using “auxiliary groups” in those counties with which the SCGOP would communicate.
The original five members of the HCGOP Pirates were Reese Boyd, Don Bowne, Jim Furry, Gerri McDaniel and Shannon Grady. Grady later determined that the efforts of the Pirates were counter to the will of the people as expressed in the 2021 reorganization vote for HCGOP leaders. Grady released a multitude of messages and other communications to expose what the Pirates were doing.
The HCGOP Pirates were formed at a July 2, 2021 meeting, according to meeting notes released by Grady. Under action items it can be seen that Boyd (RRB) will reach out to McKissick (DM). I have detailed subsequent communications among the HCGOP Pirates in an earlier article in Grand Strand Daily.
In a July 8, 2021 article in the Charleston Post and Courier, McKissick said he would put his support behind “rival GOP organizations” (in certain counties). In July 2022, McKissick reconvened the SCGOP state convention with the sole purpose of passing new bylaws that would allow the state Executive Committee to vote to replace elected county leaders, elected by the majority of county party members at the county conventions, and replace them with leaders chosen by McKissick.
HCGOP Chairman Roger Slagle objected to the reconvening of the state convention because it was counter to the SCGOP bylaws in place at the time. For this objection, the leaders of the HCGOP were condemned by a vote of the State Executive Committee. Slagle and the rest of the HCGOP leadership tendered their resignations at a September 12, 2022, regularly called meeting of the county party.
However, at a specially called meeting of the county party on September 26, 2022, Slagle announced he had rescinded his resignation. The remainder of the HCGOP leadership did not and the specially called meeting was to elect new officers to the vacant positions. However, the GOP Pirates and their allies objected to Slagle rescinding his resignation and moved for the meeting to be adjourned.
McKissick entered the fray with a letter saying Slagle could not rescind his resignation, although the operating rules of the GOP clearly allow such an action. This led the question of leadership of the HCGOP into the twilight zone, which was resolved by the calling of a meeting, by interim chairman Mike Connett on October 11, 2022. Despite the required 2/3 super majority of executive committee members not being present according to a number of sources present at the meeting, as required by the bylaws, a new slate of officers was elected for the HCGOP and quickly recognized by McKissick. The takeover of the HCGOP was complete.
Questions about who represented the true leadership of the HCGOP led to legal action. A process server, Tami Deveroux was hired by Slagle to serve papers on the new HCGOP leadership as recognized by McKissick.
Below is a link to the full, four-page affidavit Deveroux submitted detailing the harassment and bullying she was subjected to after she served new HCGOP Vice Chairman Robert Visconti and State Executive Committee Member Mike Connett. Please click on the below link to read the sworn affidavit of Tami Deveroux. The actions she describes being subjected to should not happen to a woman merely doing her job. Those actions certainly should not be initiated by people who want to be leaders of the county Republican Party. But those are the leaders approved by McKissick.
Link to affidavit: