Katalin Egri, Carlisle Republican Town Committee Chairwoman snaps photo at end of MassGOP’s Chair Candidates Forum
UPDATE: FRAUD ALERT – THERE WAS A SNAKE AT THE TABLE!
by Lonnie Brennan
CARLISLE, MASS. – Five of the seven+ announced candidates for MassGOP chair participated in a 2 1/2 hour spirited marathon forum sponsored by the Carlisle Republican Town Committee and moderated by it’s chair, Katalin Egri. The following are excerpts from the opening statements by the candidates.
Between the opening and closing statements, each candidate shared his or her vision of the MassGOP, responded to copious questions regarding the problems both inside and outside the party, and where they stood on critical issues and plans to move the Republican Party forward in Massachusetts. The event was lively, pointed, and the candidates laid bare the challenges of the past, present, and future.
Of note, however, was the absence of candidate Amy Carnevale who has been actively pressing members of the MassGOP State Committee for votes. Carnevale is the de-facto favorite of what is termed the ‘establishment’ – the former Gov. Charlie Baker’s liberal wing of the MassGOP which has supported liberal views and liberal Democrat candidates over Republican conservative candidates, including groups related to Baker providing funds for Democrats to defeat Republicans.
Due to time constraints, we’re simply posting the opening statements for now, in the order presented. More commentary and photos from the forum will follow below.
UPDATE: SNAKE FRAUD ALERT!
Jon Fetherston FRAUD CANDIDATE PULLED THE WOOL OVER EVERYONE’S EYES
One candidate who was invited as a candidate and showed up and participated in the full 2 1/2 hour forum was Jon Fetherston. He was introduced as a candidate, gave his opening speeech, sat with four other candidates, participated in all questions, but he had in fact DROPPED OUT OF THE RACE! Unknown was that THE DAY BEFORE he announced on the Howie Carr radio show that he was supporting Amy Carnevale, the liberal establishment Baker candidate for chair – the one the RINOs on the committee are aligned with to kick current chairman Jim ‘exposed all the players and their waste of funds’ Lyons out of the chair slot to scuttle any lawsuits! Howie introduced him as a former short-term candidate for party chair who has dropped out. Audio below…
FETHERSTON HAD NO BUSINESS PRETENDING HE WAS A CANDIDATE. THE BUILDING’S JANITOR HAD AS MUCH RIGHT TO SIT IN HIS SEAT. HE WASTED EVERYONE’S TIME, as he apparently showed up to whack and whack Lyons throughout the night, and give long speeches.
Forum moderator Katalin Egri and her husband Robert Egri listen to opening statements. – Photo: Boston Broadside
OPENING STATEMENTS by MassGOP CHAIR CANDIDATES:
Elizabeth Child – Photo: Boston Broadside
“I come from Brookline where I serve as Republican committee chair and I’ve lived there for over 30 years. I have my husband here, Ralph. He’s a retired Navy veteran, and our son continues to serve in the Coast Guard. He’s actually serving on the US Coast Guard, Northland Interdiction. And our daughter is in college and doing research at the Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. So I’m the Republican, the RCC chair there. I’m also a member of town meeting. I’m a former member of the Brookline School Committee and I’m a former Massachusetts Mental Health Commissioner, appointed by Governor Romney. Additionally I serve as the vice chair of the Northfolk County Advisory Board, currently.
I decided to run for chair because I think we can do better. I was very disappointed with November’s election and I want us to succeed because we actually have values that we live by, that are important to us, and our conservative values make the world – the world makes more sense that way, and we can convince people that it’s a better way of living. I have relevant experience that I think will help us get there. I’ve been the chair in Brookline for four and a half years. In 2018, our Republican registration in Brookline was 1100. In 2022 it was 1800. We grew from a committee of eight to 10 people to a full voting compliment of 35 members with 35 to 40 affiliated associate members waiting to get on. We are the benefactor/sponsors of Brookline Bay. We’re acted in our, our local politics and we’ve got 18 members elected to town meeting this last May.
Additionally, I ran for Congress. I lost, but I learned more by losing than I possibly could’ve won or learned by winning. And I was, the thing I’m most proud of is that I was able to raise money across the Republican spectrum, which is what we need to do now. And I had a team that was the cross section of the Big Tent Republican party, and they hung together throughout the entire race. I raised over $200,000 for a primary. And, I’m very proud of that record and I feel really strongly that I could help new candidates understand why it is worth it to run.
And lastly, as a commissioner of mental health, I was responsible for 5,000 employees and a billion dollars worth of funding. So I’m not intimidated by change, leading organizational change. I’m not intimidated at all by doing what we need to do for the MassGOP. I am prepared to be bold and be responsible with leading change. We need to be ready to adopt change because we can succeed as a party here. There’s no reason we can’t.
I did bring a little literature and I put it at the very back. I hope that’s okay, Kate, just put my bio sketch back there and the letter and I have a website, elizabethchildmd.com. Please feel free to check me out. Thank you.”
Jon Fetherston – UPDATE: FAKE ALERT FRAUD ALERT!!!
DROPPED OUT OF RACE FOR MASSGOP – ANNOUNCED ON HOWIE CARR SHOW BEFORE THE FORUM!!!! THE FRAUD SHOWED UP AT FORUM, WASTED EVERYONE’S TIME – NEVER TOLD US AT THE FORUM!!!! Instead, he took shot after shot at Chairman Jim Lyons. Meanwhile, the audience and moderator all treated him as a candidate that he presented himself to be – but, he had dropped out, and endorsed the RINO-endorsed liberal-supporting candidate Amy Carnevale the day before on the Howie Carr show.
“Well, good evening everybody. Thank you. You know, people say there aren’t any Republicans in Massachusetts, maybe they need to come to Carlisle.
I’m John Fetherston. I live in the town of Ashland. You guys have probably heard me on radio or seen me on TV over the years with All Politics is Local. My reason to be here tonight is the MassGOP – and my friend Jim Lyons – and Jim is a friend of mine – I don’t agree with Jim on everything, but that’s okay, I think that builds good politics. But if we’re going to rebuild a party in Massachusetts, which everybody in this room wants to do, wouldn’t you all agree that it has to start on the local level? We have municipal elections starting in 60 days in Massachusetts.
Who’s your candidate for Board of selection? Who’s your candidate for school committee? If we’re gonna stop the woke agenda in Massachusetts, the only way we’re going to stop it is on the local level. Maura Healy got elected governor and shame on us for allowing that to happen. Shame on us for allowing that to happen. Karen Spilka, who is the Senate president, is a lifelong friend of mine. I was on the school committee with her. Do you think that she’s not going to promote Maura Healy’s agenda into my local area, into my local schools, into my local board of selectman?
The only way we’re gonna stop this is by working on the local level today, this next election cycle. Do we have candidates? It doesn’t appear that we do have candidates ready to run.
We’re all embarrassed right now by the headlines we see in the newspapers. We’re all like, Hey, hey, I’m a Republican but I don’t want my friends to know. Shame on us.
I’m a proud Republican.
I was born a proud Republican. I grew up in Massachusetts and strayed. It doesn’t help that I look like Mike Pence either, you know, <laugh>. So I can’t run away from it, but this is me. I’m a Republican. Karen Spilka knows that I’m a Republican. Elizabeth Warren knows that I’m a Republican. I was Maura Healy just yesterday. She knows I’m a Republican and said to me, are you gonna take over the MassGOP party? They know me, they respect me, they fear me. Okay, but that doesn’t matter because all that matters is the local level. We have to establish dominance on the local level. If we do nothing else, let’s stop the drag shows in our schools and put Republicans on our committees. Let’s put a board of selectmen that can just be semi-balanced. It doesn’t have to even be ultra conservatives. But let’s look at the bottom line. I’m John Featherston. I’m probably not gonna be the next chair of the Republican party, but I’m here to help and I’m not going anywhere. Thanks coming.”
Fetherson might be proud to be a Republican, but he’s also a two-faced one: pretending to be a candidate after going on the Howie Carr radio show the day before the debate where he pledged allegiance to the liberal establishment candidate Amy Carnevale.
Here’s are some video excerpts.
You can view the unedited full complaint whine by Fetherson on Howie Carr’s Facebook page.
Christopher Lyon – Photo: Boston Broadside
“Kate, thank you and thank you to the Carlisle Republican Town Committee for hosting this forum. Thank you too for inviting me to participate. I am happy to be here. Always great to be among such great Republicans. I look forward to coming back again, again, again, and even more times as we work together to build the necessary infrastructure to rebuild the GOP in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I am a bottom line guy. This is the way I see this race. If defeating Jim Lions is your highest priority, you’re probably supporting Amy Carnevale for state GOP Chair. If defeating Charlie Baker and running his inner circle out of the party [is your goal], you’re probably supporting Jim Lyons for chairman.
But if you really wanted to defeat Democrats, and make electing more Republicans our unambiguous mission, I am your guy.
I’m not running against Jim Lyons or Amy Carnevale or any of the other candidates here tonight, I am running for you the activists across this Commonwealth and the people of Massachusetts who believe in freedom, personal responsibility, lower taxes, limited governance, law and order. We deserve a state party that works. We must have a state party that defeats Democrats.
My name is Christopher Lyon. Winning campaigns is what I do.
I am a political profession. In 2014, I helped David DeCoste win an upset victory for state representative. Rep DeCoste is the last Republican challenger to beat an incumbent Democrat in a house race. This year during an election cycle when virtually every Republican candidate for office did less well, Rep. DeCoste doubled his margin of victory from 2020 and won every town in the Fifth Plymouth District for the first time ever. Despite having a self-funding candidate who spent $170,000 in personal money against him. I’m a thoroughly political person right out of Boston College. I work for George H. W. Bush. I’ve worked for Phil Graham in Texas. I work for Rudy Giuliani in New York City. I’ve worked for  Gilmore when he got elected Governor of Virginia in a landslide. I believe I offer the best opportunity for the Republican Party to reverse its current course. Thank you for your and I forward your question. Thank you.”
Jim Lyons – Photo: Boston Broadside
“Thank you all very much. Kate and Robert, thank you. And thank you for coming out. Thank Bernadette [his wife] – the fifth night in a row we’ve been out across the state and I appreciate everyone coming, and no one is more grateful to see these candidates up here and what each one of them want to do is exactly what I want to do. But unfortunately, folks, as someone that served in the legislature for eight years and has served as your party chair, that can’t be done yet. There’s one step missing and what I’m going to share with you a little bit is how bad the Republican party really is.
No one that’s sitting at this table, or sitting at these chairs [audience] should have to go through what the Republican leadership put me through for four years from the day I was elected chairman in 2019, the higher ups have literally made my life miserable.
There’s no excuse for it. It’s one thing for us to disagree on issues; It’s another thing to be totally sabotaged. And that’s what happened. Ron kaufman’s aide. Ron Kaufman is the national committeeman for the state of Massachusetts Republicans – his aide, the night before my election on January 3rd, 2021 0 my reelection, put a post out that Jim Lyons is a pedophile. Charlie Baker’s aide, Brian Wynn, in the spring of 2021 worked with attorneys, worked with Jim Conroy, Ron Kaufman, Matt Sisk, Brian Wynn, and others to put out a false narrative that Jim Lyons is a racist and a bigot. None of these people [pointing to the candidates] should have to go through that, but that’s what they put me through.
Within 60 days of me being coming elected chair, there was a so-called PAC fund called the Massachusetts Independent Expenditure PAC. It was formed – it’s the so-called [then liberal Trump-hating Mass. Gov. Charlie] Baker PAC .
Two nights ago I was in Pittsburgh with three state rep candidates that I helped. I also helped this gentleman here, Rodney Cleves, not as much as we could have, but we helped him. And every one of these four candidates, all Republicans, one of them is a guy named Bruce Chester, an African American Iraqi war veteran who had run in 2020. He ran again in 2022. He lost 53 to 47. $27,000 was paid by the independent expenditure, so-called Baker PAC to support the Democrat. [The Republican leadership financially supported a Democrat.]
Folks, my job is to clean this up. I’m going to run for one more year.
I’m gonna clean this up so these folks can come in and help me build this because we can defeat Democrats, but we have to be united. We have to be a team and we have to know that the enemy within us is destroying us. Thank you very much.”
Ron Vining – Photo: Boston Broadside
“Good evening everyone. I’d like to thank Kate. I would like to thank, the members of her committee and I’d like to thank the other town committee chairmen who are here as well as the former city committee chair of Medford. I know how difficult it is. It’s one of those no good deeds unpunished, right? Being a chairman of the city or town committee. So I appreciate your service. I’m gonna say something some of the other candidates had hinted at it. We’ve talked about it privately also too. But I’m going to make a statement that is equally as bold as is humbling. I am likely the most qualified person to be chairman of the Republican party, but at the same time, I’m also the least likely person to be elected chairman of this party. And you know why? It’s an insider game. We were saying earlier, it’s like high school.
You call a state committee member up. You want to talk to them. You want to share your values, what you’re interested in, ideas that you might have for changing the party. And they they either don’t call you back or they don’t want to talk to you or they say, oh, I’m voting for this person or that person. It’s like, wait a second, but did you listen to what I had to say? Are you open to changing? No. How are we ever going to move forward if we’re gonna be stuck in the mud? I don’t know about you, but if things fail, why do we repeat them? Why don’t we want to do something new, something different? Now, when I spoke with Jim before, Jim had no idea that I was 52 years old. So I’m Ron Vining. I’m 52 years old. I feel like I’m in an AA meeting When I say that <audience laughter>.
But I’ve been around this party for a long time. The first race that I worked on was in 1986. I was 15 years old. It was a state senate race. I’ve been around. I was a delegate. Went out at the convention, when it was Dole and Kemp, remember that? Remember when we appointed or we anointed or we endorsed? We gave the nominations of Bob Dole. He had no shot at all of winning. Remember the time when we gave the nomination to John McCain and he had no shot of winning? Why do we continue to do this in our party? It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? All right, I just want to tell you a little bit about myself. So I mentioned that I was the Medford chair. I was on the Medford School Committee. I won a district which was was nine to one Democrats.
I ran for a state rep in that same district year when I was 23 years old. Unfortunately, I lost similar to as Elizabeth was just mentioning. But you know what? I learned a lot in that election and in that year of all the losers, I actually got the most votes in this challenger contest. Woo woo, all right, great, but you know what? We celebrate these things, but no, we have to start getting some victory. And so I have been in Singapore for the past 13 years. So if you’re probably like, ‘who’s this fresh face?’ No, I’m actually, I was involved for a long time before I moved and I’m back now and I want to take what I did in Singapore for corporations – I want to apply that to my prior political experience. And I want to develop the state party, as John was mentioning, first at the municipal level. So we build that farm team so we can start winning in 2024. Because if we don’t start winning now, we’re always going to remain losers.”
NOTE: We will be posting additional information online over the weekend including more photos of the event, its organizers, and comments from the candidates.
One of many handouts by candidates to introduce themselves in detail to the audience.
Nearly 60 people overfilled the meeting room at Carlisle Town Hall on a Friday night. – Photo: Boston Broadside