Race Bites Another Republican Leader

July 2, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Audra Shay, Team Renewal Candidate for Chairman of Young Republicans

Audra Shay, Team Renewal Candidate for Chairman of Young Republicans

Today, a candidate for the Chairman of the National Federation of Young Republicans, Audra Shay, had a Rusty DePass moment while commenting on Facebook.  Last month, Rusty DePass made media headlines after he made racial comments on Facebook concerning Mrs. Obama and apes.   Apparently, people do not learn from history.

An individual responding to her comment about Wal-Mart regarding unions and employee mandated healthcare made the following comment:

“…. obama is the new terrorist … muslim is on there side … need to take this country back from all these mad coons … and illegals”

Audra responds:

“You tell em Eric! lol”

We talked to our very own Joshua Gross, who is running for Southeast Regional Director for the National Federation what he thought about Audra’s comments:

“We have to continue to stay vigilant to make sure that racism, in any form, does not find a home in the leadership of the Republican Party”

It appears next week is going to be a lot more interesting.  Not only will the South Carolina delegation have to offer comments on Mark Sanford, we will probably be asked about Audra Shay as well.  Be very careful with your choice of words.

The South Carolina Federation changed their endorsement to Rachel Hoff and the Next Level team during their state convention on May 31st.

Arkansas Times Article
Screenshot of Face Courtesy of the Arkansas Times

Audra Shay Responds to Race Allegations
Plea to Vet Audra Shay Further

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  • http://earlcapps.blogspot.com Earl Capps

    To agree with such illiterate and prejudicial remarks is inexcusable. She’s blown her shot.

  • Madeline Jackson

    Wowza. I hope this shows her supporters who she really is. It might not be that she thought twice about the “coon” comment (no, I don’t really believe that, but needed to give her the benefit of the doubt). Point is is that do the Young Republicans really want or NEED someone that is that dense? Is this the person to lead young Republicans and be seen and heard on national news shows? Scary thought.

  • Daniel

    This represents the absolute worst kind of personal smear I’ve ever seen in my YR involvement. A poor attempt at taking something so out of context so as to make a racist out of someone. Anyone who knows Audra Shay knows how completely false this “accusation” is. Next Level has reached another New Low in this YRNF race by trying to toss a “race card”, Hail Mary pass as time runs out on their campaign. These tactics show that decency & class do matter. Will Next Level stop at nothing in their pursuit of personal advancement? Will the personal vendettas ever end? Next Level will say anything, do anything, and attempt to destroy anyone in their way. They are losing this YRNF race and appear to have adopted as their campaign slogan, “We must destroy the village in order to save it.” Will there be anything left of the YRNF when they finally decide it’s over and they’ve lost? It’s my hope that Rachel Hoff will finally come out and condemn the tactics of some her surrogates. I can’t imagine she would ever condone this smear beforehand. She has known Audra for years and knows how baseless this is.

  • http://louisianaconservative.com Jeff Blanco

    I am so disappointed in the lack of leadership and willingness to play the games of the Left. Racism should be an accusation reserved for people who are clearly guilty of this, and not as a personal gain of an ambitious person.

    I’d like to note, that as a Latino and a fellow Louisianian of Audra Shay’s, I have never seen nor heard Audra make anything even close to a racist comment.

    What’s really disappointing is that you call yourself a Republican yet you are so willing to rip your fellow Republican apart when you don’t even know her well enough to know whether or not she is a racist, what’s more, you do so publicly.

    With Republicans like you who publicly call Republicans racist, how can we then hope to reach out to minorities? Sir, your actions do more to ensure that the Republican Party stays white. And sir now that I see this tactic, should Audra lose, you lose at least one more minority.

    • http://www.theconservativist.com Gary Coats

      Jeff, we picked this up out of the Arkansas times. Just wanted to share it with the people in SC. We had our own incident about a month ago with Rusty DePass that made national headlines.

  • Joshua Gross

    Here is the inherent flaw in Audra’s argument.

    Check the screenshot on the Arkansas blog – the two posts she’s referencing happened within 2 minutes of each other, while her response came 8 minutes after the second post.

    To believe that she didn’t intend to approve of the second post means you believe that she clicked to respond on the first comment within the first minute, then took 9 minutes to type “You tell ‘em Eric! LOL”

    That’s simply not plausible. As usual, the simplest explanation usually holds, which would be that she agreed with that which she apparently said she agreed with.

    Even if you give her the benefit of a doubt based on her day-later statement (and it’s a thin doubt, IMHO) what Audra has shown here is at the very least an appalling carelessness and lack of judgment.

    …and that lack of judgment, combined with Next Levels commitment to getting the conservative message to a new generation of voters through technology and a really great group of candidates (my presence notwithstanding), is why the Next Level ticket will win the day next Saturday…


  • Todd

    Open letter to Audra Shay


    I was searching the Internet when I came across an article in the Arkansas Times (www.arktimes.com) about racial comments you recently made on your Facebook page. As someone with Jewish heritage, and who has two biracial children (white/Latino,) I am thoroughly disgusted by your comments.

    My grandfather fought in World War II against Nazi Germany. He was not only fighting for his country, but against intolerance based on race, religion and ethnicity. As a Jewish American, it took a lot of courage to step on German soil, but he knew he must stand up for what is right. I have thought long and hard about it, and I must also stand up against racial intolerance, by demanding that you resign your position as YRNF Vice Chairman-at-large. I watched scandal after scandal surround your campaign, but this is far too serious for any of us to sit back and tolerate.

    Audra, you have embarrassed our organization, our party, and you have let down your friends by participating in bigotry. This behavior must not, and will not be tolerated.


    Todd Goberville
    Florida National Committeeman

  • Daniel

    Please, Todd. Spare us the phoney outrage. You opposed Audra from day one of this campaign and the current FL Chairman is on the Next Level ticket. You know d*mn well she’s no racist. Are you saying you supported a racist because you were a very enthusiastic supporter of the last ticket she was on. Nice try to pile on and score some points. The question you should be asking is who is violating Facebook Terms of Service by disseminating screen captures? Oh, I also find it very curious that this was published in an Arkansas newspaper. Which “close” Next Level supporter has those kinds of ties? Hmm… Who could it be? Who could it be? Hmm….

  • Daniel

    Josh. You’re on the Next Level ticket. Look down. Your bias is showing.

  • Real Republican

    With all do respect, and I mean no offense but…

    Gary Coates- featured blogging for Shay’s opposition Team- “The Next Level”

    Josh Gross- Candidate for Regional Director (though never has ever been to a YRNF meeting) on what Ticket, oh year “The Next Level”.

    Todd Goberville, friend of a Floridian on what ticket? Running on “Next Level”. Do you see a pattern here?

    Here is a sample of whats out on the web on their Chair candidate…

    Allegations of Racism are serious. Racism is a real problem in America.

    This is clearly a situation that is over blown. While no one condones the ignorant use of this racially divisive language, anyone who posts to their facebook on a blackberry for example- knows that receiving posts can be delayed and that the posting of comments can be delayed. That is one of the dangers of Facebook- the fact that anyone can post on your wall.

    In this situation- Audra is NOT the person who posted. So any comparison to this “Rusty” gate is massive a stretch. The person who posted on Audra’s page was so wrong. I will pray for him and hope this incident educated him as well.

    The bottom line: this Next Level ticket is losing. Badly.

  • http://www.yrnf.com Cassie Wallender

    Members of the National Committee,

    I am sorry to take your time with another email, but I feel I can add a fresh firsthand perspective to this situation and want to make sure everyone is fully informed as it is extremely important. If we do not thoroughly vet this situation it reflects very poorly upon Young Republicans (if you are not familiar with what I’m referring to, please see: http://www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/2009/07/race_and_young_repubs.aspx). Audra Shay’s response to several media articles and blog posts which expressed concern regarding her remarks on Facebook have troubled me. Audra’s response claims that she was “responding to the first post, to continue the fight against big government spending.” This is one of the worst attempted cover ups I have ever seen. Let me tell you why:

    Firstly, Eric Piker’s first post, as you can see by this screen shot http://www.arktimes.com/assets/documents/audrashayfacebook.jpg, is not about big government spending. Secondly, Audra made her comments eight minutes after Eric’s racist comment, saying, “You tell em Eric! lol”. Also if Audra really did find these remarks to be “outright disgusting,” then why was her response to immediately de-friend those who made statements against Eric’s blatant racism? I was blocked for stating that Eric’s racist comment was “NOT OKAY. And it is not funny.” Please take a moment look at the entire screenshot linked above, and ask yourself: which comment would lead you to de-friend someone, mine, or Eric’s?

    If you look at the screenshot posted on HipHopRepublican.com, http://hiphoprepublican.com/wp-content/uploads/audrashayfacebook-21.jpg, you will see that more than twelve hours later, long after she removed me as a friend, Eric Piker was STILL posting racists remarks saying “…if your ass is black don’t let the sun set on it in a southern town…” Even that comment didn’t cause Audra to remove Eric Piker as a friend. It seems it was only after the media started calling the next day that she knew she HAD to remove him.

    I also want to address one other very serious accusation in Audra’s statement. She told the media that this was a “desperate” attempt by her opponent and painted herself as a victim. I can set the record straight firsthand, and this is why I felt the responsibility to email you. What happened did not come from Rachel Hoff or anyone on her ticket. The comments came from me and other offended people who were Audra’s Facebook friends. No one told me to comment, nor did anyone force Audra to make her comments. I saw something that was morally wrong, and as a conservative I took it upon myself as an individual to stand up, and I do not regret it at all. I was attacked for wanting better for Young Republicans – in my lifetime of work for the Republican Party I have never been accused of being a “RINO”, until now, by Audra’s supporters.

    I continue to hold that stating “You go get ‘em” and “LOL” to racist remarks are not acceptable for YRs. Her continued inappropriate responses to the situation and utter lack of an apology are quite disconcerting. I do not want to see infighting as we are all on the same team ultimately, but this is unacceptable especially from any of our elected officers. Even despite the red flags of spin pointed out above, and giving Audra the benefit of the doubt regarding racism, at the very best this was extremely poorly handled by turning it into a political attack on people completely uninvolved and by showing allegiance to those making racist statements while choosing to squarely turn her back on those speaking against racism.

    All in all, this is a plea to my fellow National Committee Members to look at how this was handled and decide in your own heart and mind if this was appropriate, and if this is how we want to be represented to our country.

    Thanks for your time,

    Cassie Wallender
    National Committeewoman
    Washington Young Republican Federation

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