Pa. political strategist resigns from CPAC board amid upheaval

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Harrisburg-based political analyst Charlie Gerow stepped down Friday as vice chair of the Conservative Political Action Coalition, while calling for an independent investigations into criminal charges against the organization’s chairman and its finances.

Gerow, an attorney and former Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate, said he resigned because of what he called “growing concerns with the sexual battery charges against American Conservative Union/CPAC Chairman Matt Schlapp, financial questions and internal management problems.”

Gerow has been involved in the two leading conservative organizations for more than 40 years and for almost two decades held board posts on CPAC and its parent organization, the American Conservative Union.

Gerow said he wants to see a forensic audit of the organization’s finances and “a written opinion of counsel that the organization is in full compliance with its own bylaws and all applicable law and to thoroughly review all the exit interviews of the large number of staff who have recently left.”

Gerow joins at least four other members of CPAC’s executive committee who resigned in the last five months, signaling growing upheaval in the organization, widely known for its star-studded annual conservative convention.

“They lost half the executive committee to resignation,” Gerow told PennLive on Saturday.

Earlier this year Schlapp, a top ally of former President Trump, was sued for sexual battery and defamation by a former member of Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s campaign. The Washington Post reports that CPAC board members have been informed of additional allegations of sexual misconduct against Schlapp.

CPAC responded to Gerow’s resignation comments, first reported by Politico, by posting a video of him praising Schlapp’s leadership.

“We took Mr. Gerow’s public comments as being truthful, and we have no reason to doubt them now,” the organization said in a statement, adding the board was not planning to give Gerow another term, Politico reported.

Reached late Saturday, Gerow responded to the CPAC statement by saying, “when Matt Schlapp did good things I praised him, when he did bad things I didn’t.

“When constructive criticism came his way he didn’t listen. When we asked appropriate questions, doing our due diligence, fulfilling our fiduciary obligation, he sought to drive us all out. Most people who asked the tough questions are gone now, but the tough questions remain.”

Gerow said, for his part, he will continue to write newspaper columns, make appearances as a television commentator and speak at conferences.

“I will carry torch for values I hold dear: individual liberty, economic growth and natonal security – issues on which ACU and CPAC were founded.”

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