The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –
Earlier this month, The Republican Women of Williamson County hosted a luncheon, the event featured Senator Marsha Blackburn, and was advertised on the groups’ Facebook page:
“JOIN US for an insightful update from Senator Marsha Blackburn on Wed. May 24, 11 AM. at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. Marsha will have plenty to say about the border crisis, debt ceiling debate, Durham Report, China, 2024, and much more. To RSVP, check your email invite or visit the RWWC website at www.rwwilco.org — see you there! “
With such an enthusiastic invitation, any objective observer who would be interested in such an event would think they would be welcome, especially if they were serving in an important role in the Republican Party in Williamson County and had been doing so for many years in different capacities.
However, according to our sources, if you are a new member of the recently reimagined Williamson County GOP CEC, or anyone who has been actively participating in local conservative grassroots for the past few years (such as Moms For Liberty or Tennessee Stands specifically), you would be considered less of a welcome attendee and more of an intruder.
For the past year, and as recently as the May 16th Luncheon with Senator Blackburn, several people have been rejected, shamed, siloed and simply canceled from participating in any events that are operated by establishment Republican leadership at the helms of these organizations. The effort to isolate the grassroots has seemed to amplify since the April 18th reorganization of the Williamson County GOP.
The Tennessee Conservative has received correspondence between the leadership of the Republican Women of Williamson County, and several potential members applying for membership, or just simply trying to purchase a ticket for one of the events that are advertised on their social media, as an “all are welcome” kind of event, and have received notices that they were rejected for inclusion due to violations of the bylaws used by that organization.
In the correspondence, people have been told that they cannot be included for membership of the group or cannot attend one of the events, all because they violated several bylaws that are cited in the rejection letters. Some of these bylaws include the following language:
“Affiliation with any political organization which is not officially recognized as working in concert with the TFRW, NFRW and the Republican National Committee.” Article III, B(3) TFRW Bylaws.
“A local Club or individual member may be censured for cause, which includes suspension, for cause by a 2/3 (two-thirds) vote of the TFRW Executive Committee for any of, but not limited to, the following reasons:
1. Undermines by challenging the authority of the TFRW Executive Committee, the TFRW President, Club President or other TFRW Officer.
2. Speaks negatively about the TFRW which leads to public awareness.
3. Supports groups who are in direct conflict with TFRW. (Article III Section 6, A (1,2,3) TFRW Bylaws
To put these violations in context, the correspondence plainly stated that because the potential attender/member has either affiliated with local grassroots, (become a member of or attended/ supported events put on by either Mom’s For Liberty, or Tennessee Stands) or have expressed a public opinion on their social media that they disagreed with the county GOP or any of their auxiliary organizations, then the bylaws can be applied to those acts, and therefore disqualify them from participating in any of the functions offered by those organizations.
Of course, any private organization can operate however they see fit. But this correspondence essentially exposes a use of the poorly written bylaws as a weapon to exclude and isolate grassroots members who are trying to participate in events and groups that are branded as Republican, but are rejected because they aren’t the right kind.
In one of the communications, it was implied that Senator Blackburn was aware of the person’s actions and was supportive of not including them in the luncheon event. To assert that a US Senator would support the exclusion of a participant in a luncheon, who is also a constituent, all because that person at one time had a difference of opinion with them, seems extreme. However, that is exactly what the leadership of RWWC said, when they let the potential attendee know, they were being rejected and why.
The message from these email correspondence was loud and clear. It said “If you don’t agree with us, or have ever supported the local grassroots, then you aren’t the kind of Republican we want in our organization.“
It is a fact that these types of organizations have political influence, and their support is sought by most candidates who will be running under a Republican ticket.
With the expansion of populist politics within the conservative movement due to their resonance with the voter base in states like Tennessee, many believe that these organizations would do better to try and unify the base rather than deepen what appears to already be a profound division.
About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member. Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty. Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.