07/11/2011 05:24 pm ET | Updated Sep 10, 2011

Sarah Anderson, El Paso County Republican Party Secretary, Silenced For Disagreeing With GOP

A mid-June article in the Colorado Springs Independent focused a magnifying glass on the Colorado GOP, specifically cluing in on El Paso County's old guard, young members' ideals, and the rift therein.

By the look of things, the gap is growing. 22-year-old Sarah Anderson, the party's secretary, was sternly reprimanded in May after speaking out against state Rep. Amy Stephens (R-Monument) and Colorado House Bill 200 (which established health insurance exchanges in the state). The incident resulted in a resolution that, "party officers should not publically [sic] oppose a Republican elected official (inclusive of their policies) whose district in full or part consists of El Paso County."

The resolution did little to stifle Anderson, who told the Independent, "There is a power shift coming. They can either join the wave or they will be swept away." She was also strongly encouraged to resign from her position by state party chairman Ryan Call, a suggestion she ignored.

On Grassroots Radio, Anderson summed it up as such:

This isn't a battle about people. It's a battle about ideas. My enemy, if we're going to call it that, is the ideology that insulates and protects power in elected officials at all costs. I have to stand for principle. And you have, unfortunately, to pick a side in this. This is now a public battle. Are you going to stand for a Republican Party that stands on principle or are you going to stand for a Republican Party that protects and insulates power. It's power versus principle. It's that simple.

Contacted by Jason Salzman for a response, Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call fired back:

The Republican Party encourages ... debate and discussion. But once a decision on a matter of policy or approach has been made by that county party's Executive Board following such debate and discussion, it is every county party officer's duty and obligation to faithfully implement the decision made by the group as a whole.

Anderson's supporters have since mobilized, creating a 'Support Sarah!' Facebook page and posting several internal party emails online in addition to Anderson's emailed response.

El Paso County's internal GOP squabbles have since escalated, perhaps peaking this weekend when the party held a closed-door four-hour executive committee meeting. Reports from within the session detail a shouting match which left Anderson "on probation" (though technically still serving), unable to speak to the media, and required to:

write a public statement by Monday that includes a pledge to uphold the bylaws of the party, and to encourage all of her supporters to unite behind the Republican party. She also has the option to include an apology to all of those people that she has offended by her outspokenness.

One attendee writes of her experience locked outside of the meeting: ,

You see, the people who were locked out were THE PEOPLE - those that were allowed in - this sacred executive committee with reserved parking places near the door that were shuffled in while we stand outside being rained upon - those people consider themselves leaders. In fact, they are fools - they are ignorant of the fact that a huge faction of people is starting to get sick of their treatment of people who actually believe in the Constitution, that actually have to work to make ends meet, and that actually are the voters who will become independent and support representatives that don't act like snotty better-than-you elitists, and that don't have their head up their anal cavity. How the establishment has treated Ms. Anderson, and how the establishment has treated myself and many other young patriots - is a sure-telling sign of the election year to come.

Prior to the meeting, Anderson told the Colorado Statesman that her circumstances are indicative of the Republican Party at the national level.