Kansas GOP Insider (wannabe): Gossip & Innuendo. Paging Jacob Swisher

Monday, August 24, 2015

Gossip & Innuendo. Paging Jacob Swisher

I received an email bout a week ago about a former Kansas political activist, Jacob Swisher.

I met him a few times, when I was really just a wannabe activist. I marched in some parades and passed out some buttons for candidates, and Swisher was there too. He was doing the same, handing out literature and walking. My sole thought about him at the time: He was overdressed. It was far too hot to walk in a parade sporting khakis, a polo, and a jacket.

 And then I got more active, and I never saw him again, though his name would come up from time to time. When he was in Kansas, he was doing marketing and campaign work for Republicans. He was also involved with the Traditional Republican Assembly or the Kansas Republican Assembly or the Assembly of Kansas Republicans. This was all way, way before my time of activism.

I found a few things about the KRA from Earl Glynn's now-less-active, Drudge-like site, Kansas Meadowlark. At one time, there were two Kansas Republican Assembly groups in Kansas. One was full of so-called mods (ahem. Democrats.) The other was supposedly conservative Republicans. Swisher belonged was treasurer of the group of conservatives. I think both groups are largely defunct, though many of the former members and leaders remain powerful influences in the Kansas Republican machine.

Swisher, however, cut his losses and moved on to Tennessee. I don't think things went well there. 

First, there's this, from Twitter: Yeah, I didn't make that meme. Someone else on Twitter did. It's the @NotJacobSwisher Twitter handle. Someone somewhere is not a fan.




Though that's really the least of the Swisher concerns. In January, the Tennessee Republican Assembly permanently revoked Swisher's membership. What on Earth..? 

"This step was not taken lightly, but was required by the TRA's deep commitment to ethical principals and behaviors," the group wrote in a release.

The TRA release says Swisher did not honor his business commitments in Tennessee. Bottom line: I don't think Swisher is in Tennessee anymore. It appears he's moved on to Massachusetts. 

And in February, someone in Massachusetts filed a lawsuit against Swisher and his business, GOV AIM.

Frank Addivinola of Boston wrote in a Facebook post that he wanted to alert others to Swisher's dubious nature. Addivinola met Swisher in early 2014 when Swisher gave a presentation on campaigning to the annual MARA convention. (I think this is some version of a political group convention.)

Frank writes:

Jacob spoke with me about his experiences as a fundraiser and gave me his contact info. I did contract with Jacob and his business GOV AIM, Inc. to engage in fundraising activities. He proposed an agreement that contained some contractual promises regarding his ability to fulfill his tasks and his compensation. I even modified the contract to increase his percentages based upon benchmarks of performance. Jacob requested an advance payment, and I transmitted it to him based on good faith, his “experience”, his affiliation with the Republican Assembly and the Christian values he claimed as his guiding principles.
For the next 45 days, Jacob told Frank about all of the activities he was conducting to raise funds. 


None materialized, and once the quarter closed, he contacted me regarding his commission. First, every dollar received was the result of the fundraising activities conducted by me and other staff that was separate from Jacob’s activity. Second, the amount did not qualify him for any additional payments beyond the amount I had already advanced to him.
Frank asked for a specific list of actions Jacob had completed to fulfill fundraising duties and didn't receive a response, according to his Facebook post. Repeated requests returned no information so Frank requested the return of the advance cash.

 I notified Jacob that I would be taking legal action and filing a lawsuit against him. He continued to ignore my communications. I filed suit in court, he received notice of the proceeding and the scheduled hearing date, but he did not appear. The court ruled in my favor and it contacted him again to give him another chance to appear. Jacob defaulted a second time and did not appear in court.
Frank says he only requested return of the advance and the court filing fee, though he writes that Swisher's dereliction of duty resulted in more out-of-pocket expenses for Frank.  Frank eventually received a court issued execution for full payment. He writes that he stopped short of having the sheriff's office deliver the papers at another convention in which Swisher was speaking.
  
"I considered contacting the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office to enforce the judgment when Jacob was featured as a speaker (to my surprise) at the recent MARA convention. This action by me would have been more efficient than entering the judgment with the court in TN (his state of his domicile) and contacting a local Sheriff in TN to enforce the execution of judgment. But I decided to spare MARA of any embarrassment in this uncomfortable situation. However, I am prepared to continue taking full legal action against Jacob. I am disappointed that I first made contact with Jacob through MARA, as I would have hoped that invited speaker would be vetted as reputable. But I cannot blame any MARA individual for this, since his dishonest nature was not widely known at that time. However, I hope that after these recent revelations, Jacob Swisher’s connection to MARA will be cut off, his activities should be condemned, and future candidates should be warned about doing business with him." 
Bottom line: A Kansas GOP activist got his start in Kansas before jumping to Tennessee and then on to Massachusetts. He's still posting to Facebook regularly. He apparently lives in Tennessee still, but his conservative and political clout may be on the way out.

1 comment:

  1. He isn't just any Kansas GOP activist. He worked next to Keith Esau and Charlotte Esau and Kris Van Meteren and Jared Suhn for years at the Kansas Republican Assembly. was Treasurer of KRA's PAC.

    Member of the rules committee for the Kansas Republican Party. From Earl Glyn's web pages-

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:z9SXwrhq-IoJ:www.watchdogmedia.org.s3.amazonaws.com/images/wbty_file_manager/kansas/events/2012/2012-02-18-KS-GOP-Meeting/2012FebStateCommMailedPacket.pdf%3FAWSAccessKeyId%3DAKIAJZQAMMEF6PXE6VPA%26Expires%3D1438881956%26Signature%3DVgwCOMl3DOJ0jrzmuqgsEbYOHEc%253D+&cd=19&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    http://kansasmeadowlark.com/2008/03-15/KS-PACs-2008-01-10.pdf

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