By Kelleigh Nelson:
The United States is a giant island of freedom, achievement, wealth and prosperity in a world hostile to our values.
— Phyllis Schlafly
“This beloved woman had more strength… and heart than 50 of the strongest politicians all put together. She never apologized, she never backed down in taking on the Kingmakers. She loved her country, she loved her family, and she loved her God. Her legacy will live on every time some underdog defies the odds and delivers a win for the people.” — Donald Trump speaking at Phyllis Schlafly’s funeral mass
Eagle Forum Leadership
Leadership is about substance, namely character. It is not about personality, possessions, or charisma, but all about who you are as a person. For 44 years, Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum (EF) was led by a woman with great strength of character and fortitude.
She passed the torch to the man she chose as her successor, Edward Robert Martin, Jr., knowing he would carry on her legacy. Had it not been for Ed Martin, we would not have had Phyllis as long as we did. The two of them worked so well together, and both of them were always smiling, even when facing adversity.
It was Ed Martin who made sure Phyllis was able to attend the GOP Convention in Cleveland as a delegate from Missouri for Donald J. Trump. Several women had tried to block Phyllis from being a delegate at the Republican Convention, but Ed turned the tables in righteous anger to champion Phyllis as a delegate for Mr. Trump.
She and Ed, along with her other loyal Eagles and two of her sons, were there for two weeks fighting for the GOP platform to be pro-family and with sound Constitutional issues, just as she has for decades. She met with hundreds of people who celebrated her work and her presence at this momentous convention experience to work to elect an anti-establishment candidate who opposes the Kingmakers’ agenda.
Ed and her loyal Eagles trained platform delegates about issues, and encouraged them to get “the wall” issue into the platform. They taught them how to craft words so that the Article V Convention of States language did not pollute the principled Republican platform which upholds our miraculous Constitution.
It was an absolute joy for Phyllis to attend this Convention and again be an integral part of shaping the Republican platform, just as she had been since 1952.
Phyllis’s Latest Book
Phyllis’s famous eye-opening book from 1964, A Choice Not an Echo, was updated and released on its 50th anniversary in 2014. This book, perhaps her most famous, was first released during Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign against LBJ. In it, Phyllis exposed the Rockefeller Republicans who she called the “Kingmakers.” The updated and expanded edition is without question a masterpiece. In all her years, she never stopped writing.
The day after Phyllis passed into glory, The Conservative Case for Trump, was released. She co-authored this book with Ed Martin and Brett Decker. Phyllis and Ed spent hundreds of hours poring through her writings, and Donald Trump’s policies, to present us with a solid case for electing Donald J. Trump as our 45th president.
Martin’s Distinguished Career
Character is the glue that bonds solid and meaningful relationships, and Ed Martin and Phyllis certainly were in lockstep, and she trusted him implicitly. Trust is a function of two things: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, your motive, and your intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, your skills, and your track record. Ed has it all.
Mr. Martin grew up in New Jersey, attended the College of the Holy Cross and majored in English. He also attended Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Italy while on a Rotary International scholarship and earned another bachelor’s degree. It was in Rome where he decided to attend law school and went to Saint Louis University School of Law. Ed holds a law degree and advanced degrees in medical ethics and philosophy and was awarded postgraduate fellowships. Ed’s passion for pro-life issues goes back to his childhood and his upbringing.
While at law school, Ed attended a Thanksgiving dinner with Pope John Paul II in 1997. He received an invitation to the dinner because he served as the sole youth representative expert of the Synod of the Bishops on the Americas. Following graduation, Martin worked as director of the Human Rights Office for the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He is pictured with Rosa Parks.
Once in private practice, Ed specialized in pro-bono cases. He even appeared on the Lou Dobbs show regarding the Illinois health plan requirement of pharmacies to carry the morning after abortion pill. Two pharmacists argued that carrying this medication violated their religious rights. Ed won this case, and others for small businessmen.
Ed served as Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party and as a member of the Republican National Committee. He was chief of staff for Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, where he helped pass pro-life legislation. Having run for office, Ed is well versed in political strategy and tactics, how candidates win and lose, and how legislation is passed and defeated. When Ed ran for Attorney General, Phyllis Schlafly and Coach Holtz both supported him.
On January 5, 2013 Ed Martin was elected Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party. He served for two years, and then he left the post in January of 2015 to become president of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum.
Ed and his wife Carol, a physician specializing in geriatric internal medicine, live in St. Louis with their four children.
Martin Elected President of Eagle Forum
Martin was elected President of Eagle Forum by the Board of Directors on Jan. 31, 2015. Phyllis Schlafly, whom the Board elevated to Chairman of the Board and CEO, said, “Ed Martin is uniquely qualified and prepared to carry on the essential educational and political leadership of EF that has made it the premier organization of grassroots volunteers in the conservative movement. He is fully committed to all the values and principles that Eagle Forum has always espoused.”
Ed Martin’s income comes from two of the EF organizations and both the 501c3 and 501c4 boards reviewed and confirmed his salary to serve as president at their 2015 board meetings.
Betrayal and Attempted Takeover
Last year, when Phyllis endorsed Donald Trump for President, board members who were once close to her turned against her, including her youngest child, Anne Cori.
Six of the eleven board members of Eagle Forum (501c4) desired to take over the organization behind Phyllis’s back and remove her and the board’s choice as president, Ed Martin. Those six rogue board members are Anne Cori of Missouri, Eunie Smith of Alabama, Cathie Adams of Texas, Rosina Kovar of Colorado, Shirley Curry of Tennessee, and Carolyn McLarty of Oklahoma.
These six, and some of the other Eagles who agree with them, are supporters of Ted Cruz or NeverTrumpers. Anne Cori, who has declared herself “pro-choice,” strongly supported Ted Cruz who is committed to rewriting the Constitution in an Article V Constitutional Convention. Phyllis has fought against abortion and a Constitutional Convention for decades. Several women obviously lean toward Cruz’s heretical doctrine of Dominionism.
Phyllis wrote them a letter and asked them to resign despite her past love and respect for them.
These women, and other Eagles who have jumped on this morally suspect bandwagon, claim they want to “save” Eagle Forum, but in fact, they are trying to destroy the organization. They all anticipated getting a chunk of EF’s monies, and that is what this is really about…greed.
Anne Cori spent much of her life cultivating a resentment of the prolife, pro-family organizations around which her parents raised her. Indeed, in 1994, Anne herself informed Priscilla Gray, while Priscilla was in Phyllis’ employ, that she was “pro-choice,” and had “never been interested in Mother’s issues.” Anne is married to Tom Cori who has had Planned Parenthood board affiliations.
Sometime back, Phyllis thought Anne may have changed, and so she accepted Anne’s help in management at Eagle Forum as Anne had shown herself to be a talented businesswoman. However, after a period of time, Phyllis realized her sentimentality was improperly placed and that Anne, “who is a talented entrepreneur, has no interest in the issues, and therefore cannot be an Eagle leader.”
The Vultures Descend
Unfortunately, the betrayal by these six women was far greater than Phyllis imagined. Anne Cori conspired to “entrepreneur” the millions of dollars from Eagle Forum’s various organizations by forming liaisons with five longtime eagles.
Cori’s and her gang’s goal is to take over all seven entities of EF which were founded by Phyllis and to control all of her intellectual property and the funds which she raised and saved for future goals.
This “gang of six,” and their fellow conspirators, who were apparently tempted by the opportunity to have access to the millions, initiated a lawsuit, and they have seized bank accounts and caused them to be frozen in this crucial election year. These rogue board members, in effect, took the power away from Phyllis who, they suggested, was being manipulated.
We know for a fact that Phyllis was never and has never been manipulated by anyone. Her stalwart Christian faith and pro-family, pro-Constitution policies were sound and true to the end, and this could be seen in her speeches, interviews, and writings.
These ambitious older women have aspirations of dividing Eagle Forum amongst themselves. Cathie Adams wants to take some of EF to Texas, and Eunie Smith wants to take some to Alabama. Ann Cori realized she could tap their ambitions and collude with them in taking over EF and mold it to their beliefs rather than those established by Phyllis Schlafly.
This “gang of six” has now filed a federal lawsuit, and obviously hopes to claim ownership of all of Phyllis’s intellectual property. This includes all her books and articles…it is where the money lies.
While at the Convention, Phyllis repeatedly made this statement, “Well, they wanted me to die and I didn’t die soon enough, so they sued to take over EF, and to take it away from my intended direction.” She said they wanted to own her name and own her intellectual property. Like vultures, they circled her during the last year of her life looking for an opportunity to pick her bones.
Phyllis was brokenhearted, but determined to fight. As Donald Trump stated at her funeral, “Even at the age of 92, this beloved woman had more strength, and fire, and heart, than 50 strong politicians all put together.” He was right, and fight she did with Ed Martin and her devoted friends and sons at her side.
Schlafly always recognized jealousy when it existed, yet she chose to ignore it and carry on with her work. These bitter women are so full of jealousy, pride, ambition, envy, and the lust for money that they will destroy, if possible, what Phyllis Schlafly has built. The big question is, who is funding their lawsuit? It is obviously BIG MONEY and it is likely “the Kingmakers” whom Phyllis has fought all her life. They want to destroy her legacy.
I’m sure these vultures even celebrated Phyllis’s death as a “victory” for themselves.
Many times Phyllis commented that Ed Martin is an extraordinarily good man, and the perfect choice to carry on as the leader of Eagle Forum. Romans 3:20 states, “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” Yet, in Acts 11:24, the Lord says this about Barnabas, “For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.”
Phyllis was right, Ed Martin is an extraordinarily good man, and she chose wisely her successor and leader for Eagle Forum.
Ed Martin and Phyllis’s staunch supporters continue to fight this takeover which would destroy the legacy which Phyllis built for 70 years. When Phyllis chose Ed Martin, she chose well.
When Phyllis died, her small spot of cancer had been in remission for years. What really killed Phyllis was betrayal. Elder abuse and constant harassment by those who brought the lawsuits contributed strongly to her suffering. That suffering was compounded by her own daughter who repeatedly telephoned her mother late at night and recited the mantra, “I love you, and I want to preserve your legacy.”
Phyllis responded with, “If you really love me that much, drop the lawsuit.”
The harassing calls from Anne continued late into the night, and Phyllis endured it for over a month before she made a police report against her daughter, and instructed the them to tell Anne Cori to cease and desist.
The betrayal, by women she had helped to become prominent in their states, and the resulting stress of lawsuits, one which was even served at the GOP convention, is what really killed her.
If justice were true, these women and their cohorts would be charged with manslaughter. Yet, as Christian believers, those who stood with Phyllis are praying for them. The battle for the survival of Eagle Forum will continue with Phyllis’s dear friend, Ed Martin, at the helm.
We are praying for their success, so that Eagle Forum will continue to lead effectively in the American public square. This is what Phyllis Schlafly established it to be.
© Copyright by Kelleigh Nelson, 2016. All rights reserved.