My statement to the El Paso County Republican Party

Stephen VanDyke - Bonus Member

This has been one of the most interesting weeks in politics in my lifetime, so to stir the pot I thought I’d add my own story of unnerving fear, witch-hunts, and ultimate triumph similar to that of our President this week. Exhilarating, to say the least.

On a chilly Thursday afternoon this past November, I sat down to lunch with a client, and being unable to properly take notes as we tucked into tacos, I downloaded a recording app on my phone and deployed it during our lunch to make notes for myself later. We talked and ate, and enjoyed a new partnership and agreement that day. I’ve heard it’s a common practice to record meetings in a one party consent state like Colorado, and it’s certainly legal, which is why I do.

Well hey, here’s where it gets interesting folks. It so happened that my lunch occurred on the very day when I would later meet with Chair Vickie Tonkins and Vice-Chair Wendy Miller. Wanting to be able to reflect on the meeting, called with no apparent agenda, I recorded it.

Seconds into the meeting, Tonkins and Miller demanded I resign as Bonus Member. I asked why. The answer I received was at best perplexing and possibly removable per bylaws at worst. It was a ham-fisted attempt to oust a Bonus Member, with no evidence or even a clue of what was my alleged misdoing. My only hint at the “what if” was that retribution was coming soon if I didn’t go away and that this was my only  “opportunity” to save myself from the threat of all fiery hell breaking loose upon me.

I listened on, and then ultimately told them to pound salt. I saved the recording and waited, because there was something very WRONG at play here.

I waited and waited. It’s been three months since I did that. I say now: Bluff called, come at me or whatever this was clearly a bad idea, no? I will not be bullied into resigning and if there’s evidence of wrongdoing let’s hear it. I’m all for transparency.

Otherwise… It’s all bullshit.

And so I am seeking a full and formal apology for the entire ordeal I had to endure. And as a fun side-quest: I ask that the painting I donated to the party no longer be hidden behind a Trump banner in the lobby. I like our president, and like him I know what disrespect, a slight, and a cover-up looks like when I see it. Knock it off.

I will continue to adhere to the Constitution and our our principles of liberty and self determination.

I will continue to serve the Republicans of El Paso County who elected me as their bonus member, as I take my position seriously and provide a great deal of experience to the party. My goal is to grow our party and win elections, we can only instill trust in our process by holding our leadership accountable.

And yes, I have released the recording to my friend George Rapko, who will be playing relevant parts and discussing it on his YouTube channel tomorrow. He’s been stirring the pot and getting all sorts of attention, because he’s usually right. Transparency and hard truths is the disinfectant for a stagnant El Paso County GOP, and if the Colorado GOP needs to take this one up, so be it.

I love popcorn. I like Trump. I love the Constitution. I don’t love what’s happening here but in the interest of transparency… release the Rapko.

UPDATE Feb-8 @ 1 pm MT: The full recording is below, I silenced out parts where there is mention of my current employer. God knows someone will probably be vindictive enough to try and get me fired anyways. Good luck with that, I only want an apology.

UPDATE Feb-8 @ 3:20 pm MT: George Rapko’s commentary video is below. My feeling is that I’ve been personally attacked by the El Paso County party officers without cause so I want a full investigation of what happened here because these type of shenanigans should never happen to anyone… ever. I demand to confront my accusers and know what if any information there is of alleged misdeeds. And that’s a principle we should all unite behind.


This story will be updated as events unfold.

1 Comment
  1. This incident really makes me question Wendy Miller’s suitability for Vice Chair of our party. As a member of the central committee, I add my voice to Stephen VanDyke’s in calling for a formal investigation. Who are these unnamed “Higher ups?” Are they really from the State Party or are they just rich, so-called powerful people in the county? Even so, why didn’t Wendy and Vickie defend their own Party member by demanding the evidence be shown to them publicly? Rumor and innuendo are the stock-in-trade for our opponents, and should not be tolerated in our party, no matter how glitzy of a video she can produce.

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