A newly discovered email shows Ed Martin, John Schlafly and Andy Schlafly were going behind Phyllis Schlafly’s back and conspiring to destroy Eagle Forum as early as April 2016. The email, sent by Andy Schlafly to John Schlafly and Ed Martin, discusses a plan to tie up Eagle Forum in litigation for years, prevent Eagle Forum from performing its mission, and start a new entity using Phyllis Schlafly’s name. Andy also sets forth a plan to pull the rug out from under the Eagle Forum state chapters with no regard for the volunteer state leaders who have devoted their lives to making each state Eagle Forum respected and influential.
“This shocking email indicates that Andy Schlafly, John Schlafly and Ed Martin were planning to dismantle the very entity that Phyllis Schlafly devoted her life’s work to and create a new organization which they could exclusively control when Phyllis was gone,” said Eunie Smith, Acting President of Eagle Forum. “It is heartbreaking that during the final months of Phyllis’ life, the people who claimed to support and speak for her were scheming for their own personal gain.”
Andy Schlafly’s email was sent on the very day that efforts to block the national Eagle Forum board from firing its short time president, Ed Martin, failed. The firing came just days after Ed Martin had used Phyllis Schlafly’s name and Eagle Forum lists to attack and malign members of the Eagle Forum board. Those board members had given more than 200 years of volunteer service to Phyllis Schlafly and Eagle Forum and were hand-picked by Phyllis Schlafly, who remained Chairman of the Eagle Forum board until her death.
It is telling that this email was not even sent to Phyllis Schlafly. Any suggestion that Phyllis Schlafly would have knowingly participated in a scheme to destroy her life’s work is flatly untrue.
In the email, Andy Schlafly suggests calling the new entity Phyllis Schlafly Forum, but it would eventually be named Phyllis Schlafly’s American Eagles. “There is now no question that Phyllis Schlafly’s American Eagles was organized with the sole purpose of destroying and replacing Eagle Forum’s historic and effective grassroots conservative movement,” said Colleen Holcomb, spokeswoman for the Eagle Forum board majority.
The email also insults the volunteer network Phyllis Schlafly worked so hard to build and cultivate, referring derisively to many Eagle Forum leaders as “deadwood.”
“Andy Schlafly’s suggestion to ‘work with a smaller number of state chapters’ would diminish rather than expand Eagle Forum’s effectiveness,” said Eunie Smith. “It ignores the political reality on which his mother based her success: Members of Congress respond to their own constituents because their first priority is their re-election.”
This email also predates the Reizman Berger memorandum, which revealed a covert plan to attack Eagle Forum by using intellectual property law “as a sword” to interrupt its business and “threaten its survival.” Ed Martin has attempted to portray the Reizman Berger memorandum, which is dated June 17, 2016, as part of Phyllis’ succession plan. However, Andy Schlafly’s April 11 email, sent before any lawsuits were filed and Reizman Berger had even been consulted, shows that these conspirators’ goal from the beginning was to cast Eagle Forum aside and form a new entity, free from any oversight or involvement by the Eagle Forum board of directors – and free from “dead wood” state presidents.