Does The Sussex GOP See Women As Second Class Members Of The Party?

scrubbing For several months now, I have been attempting to draw attention to a serious problem within the Sussex GOP Executive Committee. Granted, with this committee there are so many serious problems, that it is hard to see the forest for the trees.     This is not a new problem, but it is one which, because it has been allowed to grow, and has been ignored, has begun to manifest itself in more blatant behavior on the part of several members of the Executive Committee. This has included both members of the committee and its officers.

The problem I speak of, is that many of the male members of this committee, and possibly even some of its female members, see the role of women within the committee, and in general, as being second class, or at best, are seen as support staff for the committee.

secratary at desk   Oh, the women are fine to have around to stuff envelopes, or to make phone calls on election day, to do the grunt work of the party. But when it comes to leadership roles, well that is where the Sussex GOP’s all boys club draws the line.
As I have written in the past, the Sussex Executive Committee, while having a respectable number of women in E D C positions, far too many of these are simply place holders, and would likely not be there at all if their husbands were not in the committee. When we look at the R D C position, the Committee has but a single female in this position, Cathy Watts of the 20th Representative District. And on the night of her being voted into that position, her opponent, Tom Jordan (remember this name for later) called into question her motivation for seeking the position, claiming he didn’t know why someone who had so recently moved into the district would seek to Chair of the district.

Now when we look to the county-wide officers of the Committee, we see that there are two women out of the five positions, not bad right? But when we see that they are both what one might call “clerical” positions, that being the Secretary and Treasurer of the Committee, then one might conclude that the old boys club is willing to let the “Little Ladies” have the positions that nobody else would want.

Is this because there are no qualified women for leadership roles within the committee? Are there no business women, professional women, who would want to take on the challenge? I don’t think so.

As I have said, this is something that I have been writing about for some time now.  The problem goes back much further, but it seemed to come to a head in March of this year, with an incident involving the Treasurer of the Committee, Vicki Carmean.  This was the incident in which then Chairman Vincent Calabro, Vice-Chair Fred Silva, and Committee E D C and Sargent At Arms Bruce Fitzgerald (remember all of these names for later as well), called Mrs. Carmean into a room prior to the monthly meeting on March 9, 2015, and attempted, through intimidation, to have her change her reports concerning the Committees finances, or at the very least to silence her from speaking out to the rest of the Committee. Mrs. Carmean  refused to do either, even after, according to her report, being surrounded while seated, by these three “men”.  Mrs. Carmean felt so troubled by this incident, that she filed a police report, and wrote a letter that was distributed to the Executive Committee. The fact that nothing was done within the Committee, not even so much as a discussion of the incident, demonstrates just how prevalent the attitude is within the Committee, that women are just emotional and easily excited.

Here is a link to a previous post from 4/14/15 which  includes the letter and the police report from that incident.

Following this incident, the President of the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club, Alana Keeley, took the opportunity of speaking at the 38th Representative District Republican Club meeting, to address what she defined as obstacles facing women both within the GOP and for those who would join the GOP.  Mrs. Keeley addressed numerous problems that she saw as being a negative impact on not only attracting women to the Republican Party, but as having a negative impact on the Republican brand in general.

This is a link to a post I wrote on 4/29/15, after hearing Mrs. Keeley speak on this issue.

It would seem as though, based on the fact,  that no action was taken in response to these incidents and concerns on the part of Republican women, caused some male members (pun intended) to act out more publicly and bolder in their derisive rhetoric regarding women in general. This reached a tipping point during the election process of another Sussex GOP Chair (seems we change Chairs more than some people change their socks.), which included Mary Spicer. On August 7, 2015, which was the Friday prior to the Monday night election, on the Duke Brooks Show on WGMD local talk radio, (Mr. Brooks is an E D C 1st of the 14th within the Committee), several male members of the committee, called in to speak about the election as supporters for the other candidate, Billy Carroll. But instead of  drawing positive attention to Mr. Carroll, they chose to talk about women. They used words like sexist, and emotional, and one Bruce Fitzgerald actually complained that the men of the party were being treated “rudely”. Really? The calls also included another E D C Tom Jordan, who is also the husband of former state party Vice-Chair Nelly Jordan.

This treatment of women did not end there though. On the  Duke Brooks Show, on Monday afternoon, August 10,2015, the bashing of women continued. This was the same time that the Trump/Kelly story was at the top of the page, which is how the conversation was lead into. This day’s callers included current Vice-Chair of the Sussex GOP Fred Silva, who made several, if not abusive comments, at the very least they were off-color and not professional in nature coming from someone who represents the GOP.

Following these exchanges on the Duke Brooks Show I again documented what I had heard firsthand and what was related to me, in a post, here is the link.

Now of course considering my long and, shall we say, troubled history with the Sussex GOP, some will naturally say, “oh Frank just doesn’t like them”, or “Frank is exaggerating”, or “where is the proof that they said anything like this Frank?”

Okay, buckle up, it going to be a bumpy ride. I have obtained the audio from those two Duke Brooks Shows. I will now take you through this step by step, and let you hear in their own words just what members of the Sussex GOP Executive Committee, Fred Silva, Bruce Fitzgerald, Tom Jordan, and Duke Brooks, all really think and feel about women in general, and in such, women within the GOP.

Let’s start on August 7th with Bruce Fitzgerald E D C 7th of the 39th, calling in to complain about how the “SEXIST” women of the Republican party are treating the men. Big tough guy Bruce says,


So, in this clip, Bruce Fitzgerald ask if Billy Carroll had seen the “SEXIST” email sent out by Paula Manolakos. But also says that in the email Ms. Manolakos ask people to support Mary Spicer because of all the things she has done. Not sure how that is “SEXIST. But here is the email in question that got Mr. Fitzgerald’s panties in a bunch.

 ” Good Morning,

On behalf of the Republican Women of Delaware, and the Sussex Region in particular, I am writing to ask for your support for Mary Spicer as Sussex County Region Chair.
Mary has been more than committed to the Republican Party for many, many years.  She is or has been:
  • Past President of the Delaware Federation of Republican Women
  • Past member of the State Republican Executive Committee, 
  • RD Chair, ED Chair, Campaign Manager, Candidate, 
  • Supporter of all things Republican, and
  • Represented Sussex County at National Republican Conventions 
We are so happy and proud of Mary Spicer and hope that you will support her effort to lead Sussex County.  The Election will be held on Monday, August 10th at 6:00 pm at the Cheer Center in Georgetown.
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions regarding Mary’s leadership, and I hope you will support Mary.
thank you,
Paula Manolakos
DFRW President”
  So, can anyone point me to the part of this email which even hints at asking for anyone to support Mary Spicer because she is a woman? No because it is not there. Mr. Fitzgerald took an easy shot at  qualified person, and made it personal and about gender, all the while he was the one concerned with gender.
   In this next audio clip Mr. Fitzgerald says that the women want to run everything, and accuses the state party of interfering with the election as well, by naming Executive Director John Fluharty, who to my knowledge never made any public declarations about the election.
 It is odd though, that Mr. Fitzgerald is concerned with unity, considering his remarks.

This last clip of Mr. Fitzgerald may best demonstrate his total disconnect from reality, when he says at the end, that the women are treating the men, “RUDELY”! Seriously?  He also uses the terms, “we”, and “we’re” when talking about the Committee elections. Clearly demonstrating he is a member of the Committee.


The next caller was another member of the Committee, Tom Jordan E D C 6th of the 20th, and he too talks about how the women were “pushing” the idea of electing a women because of gender.



So, Mr. Jordan also feels, as does Mr. Fitzgerald, that the women were pushing a “SEXIST” agenda. Well let’s look at the letter the SCRWC sent out in support of Mary Spicer.

” Ladies and Gentlemen,

 Below is Mary Spicer’s resume showing her leadership and volunteerism in the Republican Party.  Mary has been volunteering for many years in Sussex County and the State of DE.  In that time many people have been able to witness her incredible resume first hand.  This proven resume of volunteerism and leadership is why many registered republicans in Sussex county believe Mary Spicer is the most qualified candidate for Chairperson of the Sussex County Republican Committee.  

For all men and women who support our most qualified candidate Mary Spicer for chairperson of the Republican Committee in Sussex County please show up on Monday August 10th by 5:30pm in the parking lot of the Cheer Center in Georgetown. Wear RED if you can.  
Alana Keeley
SCRWC President
Mary Spicer’s Political Republican Resume (this is her resume of activities in Sussex County and State of Delaware.  It does not include all of her political experience outside the State of DE):
* 14th ED committee person
* Past 14th RD Chair
* Past ESRC (Eastern Sussex Republican Club) President
* Past Campaign Manager
* Past DFRW (Delaware Federation of Republican Women) President
* Weekly volunteer at the Sussex regional headquarters office in Georgetown.
* Volunteer and assisted in multiple political campaigns.
* Volunteer to make phone calls after Primary.
* Past member of State Republican Executive Committee.
* Volunteer as proxy for absent members of State Republican Executive Committee.
* Member of Sussex County Republican Women’s Club.
* Associate member of Kent RWC and New Castle RWC.
* Volunteer office manager of Judge Bill Lee for Governor campaign.
* Alternate Delegate for National Republican Convention in Minneapolis, St. Paul (John McCain)
* Delegate to National Republican Convention in Tampa, FL (Mitt Romney).”
   Again, I can’t find the part that is “SEXIST”, all this letter states is how highly qualified Mary Spicer is.
      So, this brings us to the Duke Brooks Show on Monday the 10th, the afternoon of the election. Again it is important to remember that the Megyn Kelly/ Donald trump controversy was in full swing at this time, and that the opening comments were about that in particular, but the comments about women in general are degrading, and considering that some of them come from the Vice-Chair of the Sussex GOP, causes rational people concern.
   We will open with one of Duke Brook’s regular callers, Carl. Carl is known for his, let us say, fringe views of minorities, and obviously women as well.

WOW! I think our friend Carl should have run for the Chair of the Sussex GOP, he would have fit right in. So he talked about the science of menstruation, and the hyena like nature of women to drag men down. And all the while Duke Brooks E D C 1st of the 14th sat and agreed with him that women are more likely to be abusive verbally to men. This may be a conversation worthy of a barroom, but when it is being broadcast publicly, by a member of the Executive Committee, then it is completely unacceptable and unprofessional, both as a broadcaster, and a committee member.

  So now for the pride of the Sussex GOP, Fred Silva, Vice-Chair.

In this clip Duke Brooks doubles down on the “fact” that women are more likely to verbally insult men than the other way around, and Fred agrees with him.  Notice that when the call starts, Fred starts to say, “I’m on my way”, but stops short of saying where he is going. Is this because he didn’t want anyone to know it was Fred Silva on his way to the Committee meeting to elect the new Chair? Well Duke blew that out of the water at the end when he says, “I will see you in about an hour and forty minutes”.

  Fred Silva is the Vice-Chair of the Sussex GOP, and he says, “the problem you have today, is that you have a bunch of metro-sexuals who are willing to listen to the women”. Really? So you have to be a metro-sexual in order to value the input and opinion of a woman? What does this say about Fred’s opinion of both men and women?  Does this mean that Fred Silva will never listen to anything a woman has to say beyond, “dinner is ready”?
  Duke Brooks chimes in with the statement that, “what motivates men to be interested in women, is dramatically different then what motivates women in men”.  To which Fred Silva replies, “the problem is that man only has so much blood, and he can’t run both ends at the same time.”
So what I am hearing from two male Sussex GOP Committee members, is that if they listen to a woman at all, all they are thinking about while they are talking is sex. Again, is barroom banter acceptable conversation for the public airwaves from Republican representatives?
   Finally, after nearly two hours of non-stop women bashing, Duke Brooks proceeds to segue into the topic of the GOP election. So after calling women everything but a bitch, he then talks about an election with a woman as a candidate. This in my opinion was no accident. The important part of this clip however, is that Mr. Brooks once again knocks down the imaginary wall between on air Duke Brooks, and E D C Duke Brooks by using words like we, me, and us, when talking about the election.
    I apologize for the length of this post, but when dealing with people such as these folks, you have to show clear evidence, or else they will try to lie and deny.
   So what we have here in my opinion, is a clear case of at least four members of the Sussex County GOP, Duke Brooks, Bruce Fitzgerald, Tom Jordan and Fred Silva making public statements about women in general, and Republican women in particular, statements that obviously create a negative image of all Republicans. But it goes deeper than that, during the Friday segment you had, the now newly elected Chair of the Sussex GOP, sitting in studio  with Duke Brooks while this was happening, and he said nothing to the contrary, he sat there and let silence make him complicit.
  But it goes even deeper than that. Three Republican women’s organizations of Delaware have voiced their concerns over the gender attacks, as they call it, “an increasing trend by some members of the Sussex County Republican Committee of unacceptable criticisms of our Republican organizations and women in general”. The organizations are, The Delaware Federation of Republican Women, The Seaford Republican Women’s Club, and The Sussex County Republican Women’s Club. They have issued a joint position statement listing their concerns and suggested solutions and actions, that both the state and county Republican Committees should take to correct this ongoing problem.
   Mission 1
 mission 2
  mission 3
mission 4
  As you can see this letter was sent to elected republicans as well as the state and county Party, including Mr. Carroll the newly elected Chair of Sussex. I have it on a reliable source that there was prior notice of this letter’s creation given to many of those who received it, again including Mr. Carroll. And even so, and having discussed it with his Advisory Board, which includes Fred Silva by the way, this was Mr. Carroll’s response last night at the monthly meeting.

He did not even read the letter to the entire Executive Committee. And even if he does create a sub-committee to “look” into this, I imagine he is hoping that it will just go away, much like Vince Calabro hoped that his problems would just go away.

  In my opinion, this is a problem within the GOP in general, considering we have a presidential candidate Donald Trump asking, “could the American people ever elect that face?” In regards to Carly Fiorina.
The ball is clearly in Mr. Carroll’s court, but also in Delaware State Chair Charlie Copeland’s as well. This type of divisive behavior cannot be allowed to go unaddressed. These men should be voted out of the Committee at the earliest date, no question, if they will not resign. They were acting as members of the Committee and denigrating women, Republicans, and the Republican party. In an election year these men cannot be allowed to be the face and the voice of the Republican party.


press release

18 Comments on "Does The Sussex GOP See Women As Second Class Members Of The Party?"

  1. Rick says:


    Fun! Food! Drink! Prizes!

    With ALL of our Sussex County Elected Representatives ! !

    Pete Schwarzkopf
    Joan Deaver

  2. fightingbluehen says:

    Humorous as that little bit of parody and sarcasm is, the Sussex GOP and leadership has contributed little to nothing to the success of Republican candidates in recent history.

  3. waterpirate says:

    I wish the angry old white men driving the committee would stop sending me opinion based crap through the official party website. If a professional firm was hired to examine the demographic of the EC it would yield some pretty scary data. That is really all that needs to be said about the condition of the current EC.

  4. delacrat says:


    It’s the GOP’s all-round anti-women platform, namely, the anti-contraception, anti-abortion, anti-Planned Parenthood, anti-Equal Rights Amendment positions that are so attractive to the troglodytes of which you speak.

    Cast off the antediluvian positions, join the 21st century and your troglodytes will go away.

  5. Frank Knotts says:

    This is the press release from Delaware State Republican Chair, Charlie Copeland, please see the amended story above for the actual release.
    “Today at 12:03 PM


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 16, 2015
    CONTACT: John Fluharty, Executive Director
    302-668-1954 x 101

    GOP Statement In Support of Delaware Federation of Republican Women and Sussex County Republican Women

    DE: Delaware Republican Party Chairman Charlie Copeland has issued the following statement regarding the release of disturbing audio tapes in which Sussex County GOP officials make offensive comments about women leaders in the Delaware Republican
    Party and about women in general:

    recent release of audio recordings by in which Sussex County Republican leaders take aim at leaders of the Delaware Federation of Republican Women and the Sussex County Republican Women are offensive and counter to the fundamental beliefs of the Republican Party.

    the remarks were made in the hours leading up to the election of a new Sussex County Republican Chair, these remarks should never have been part of the debate on selecting the party’s county leadership. The Delaware Republican Party
    respects women as individuals and leaders in both our party and nation.

    the previously cited recordings, Sussex County Executive Committee member Duke Brooks remarks: ‘Females very often, or if not generally are, a little fast to start using verbal insults and name-calling then men are. I have witnessed this, not every time, but
    they seem sometimes to be that way.’

    recordings also included comments the Sussex County GOP Vice Chair Fred Silva, in which he says: ‘Listen, this is the way of the world from time immemorial. The problem today is you have a bunch of, what’s the word for them, metrosexuals who are willing to
    listen to the women.’

    find the remarks of Mr. Brooks and Mr. Silva
    to be wholly unacceptable. It is beyond my comprehension that any Republican official would harbor such bias, let alone promote these
    demeaning opinions in a public forum.

    presidential contender Carly Fiorina recently hit the nail right on the head when she spoke to the national convention of the Federation of Republican women and proudly said: ‘Note to the Democrat Party: We are not a special interest group. We are the majority
    of the nation.’

    Delaware Republican Party stands with the Delaware Federation of Republican women, and all women, as they fight bigotry and sexism in a world where they demand and deserve better.”

  6. pandora says:

    Okay, I haven’t listened to every recording yet, but let me just say Carl is quite emotional.

  7. mouse says:

    I was running through radio stations that day and heard the talk radio haters piling on about how much they hate women. These people are the face, voice and platform of the GOP. And they are the exact reason why people like me who have no political party can’t even consider a republican candidate at any level these days

  8. FV says:

    One of the main problems concerning the role of women in the deeply conservative segment of they GOP is that it follows the structure of conservative churches when it comes to the relationships of men and women. There are a number of evangelical leaning men in the GOP who, taking their cures from the conservative religious strictures directed at the relationships between husband and wife and the very conservative interpretation of church structure concerning questions of authority, automatically see women as needing to be submissive and subservient–servants rather than as leaders. This attitude may not be deliberately conscious in the GOP, but it can be an underlying factor. Hence the relegation of women to positions they most often fill in conservative churches–“helping” rather than leading; remaining down the authority ladder; and allowed only certain roles.

  9. laffter says:

    OMG – I listened and I think I just threw up in my mouth a little

    I bet every one of these men are what we used to call PUSSY-WHIPPED and this is their only outlet

    Don’t they know that men have hormones too and they…… oh never mind… this is too funny LOL

    they don’t have a clue….. this just mean that these men, if this is their experience with women – what kind of women are they choosing???? and what does it say about them?? and their choices.

    And women are the weaker species and we have an in-bred resentment???? Penis envy – really – what freedoms do men have that men don’t?
    would men have babies? carry another human for 9 months – LOL

    what Neanderthal cave did these troglodytes or Luddities come from??

  10. saltyindependent says:

    duke brooks hasn’t been near a woman in a long time.

  11. Dave says:

    Frank, Good job on this. I’m glad you listen to WGMD so I don’t have to. This piece was amusing to me because I could imagine the boys getting together talking about the wimmin folk and their strange ways (God bless ’em) that we men folk will never understand.

    But more importantly, these people are in leadership positions. They were not self appointed. Someone elected them. People have to know what folks like Brooks and Silva are. It’s not like they hide their attitudes. So the people who placed them in leadership positions are left with two choices, either they plead ignorance, or they share the same attitudes. I’m betting that there a lot of Carls out there in Sussex land.

    Their attitudes are very telling about the age in which they live. A century ago, this post would have raised no eyebrows, among men or women for that matter. What this demonstrates is that as America has evolved, as it should have and the Carls, Silvas, and Brooks are the Left Behinds, pinning for the good old days where men were men and women (among others) knew their place.

    I wonder if this will be a clarion call. Maybe the Republican wimmin will be mad as hell and decide not to take it anymore? Until they or others do something, the SCGOP remain nothing but a joke. The representatives who issued the letter certainly recognize that and whatever their true feelings, they publicly had better distance themselves. That’s relatively easy for them to do since, the SCGOP has no relevance in state or county politics anyway. The fact is, they serve as nothing more than comic relief to the public whose eyes normally glaze over when it comes to politics.

    This will make an interesting article in the Cape Gazette and News Journal. Again, I thank you for the entertainment. I would classify it as a public service but you didn’t really expose anything I did not already know. Still I enjoyed reading it immensely.

  12. Rusty says:


    Thanks for staying with it to shed more light on Sussex County GOP. Many of the women have already pulled back from getting involved due to the hostile environment. The Party and Elected Officials have agreed with the Republican Women that this behavior has to stop if we want to grow the party. Now its time for the new Chair to demonstrate his leadership skills – soon!!

  13. mouse says:

    Maybe that sheriff could be chair lol

  14. mouse says:

    The sheriff is nearer lol

Trackbacks for this post

  2. Delaware Republican Senatorial Caucus Responds To Women | Delaware Right – Moving Delaware Forward
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