CLAYTON, MO (KMOX) – The power struggle for the future of Eagle Forum continues, a week after Phyllis Schlafly’s death, as leaders of the conservative group gather here for their annual conference.
“No one will replace Phyllis,” said Eagle Forum President Ed Martin.
And perhaps no one was a stronger ally to Martin.
She stood by him earlier this year when her own daughter and several board members filed a lawsuit in Madison County, Illinois court seeking to remove Martin from the presidency.
Asked about the delicacy of the moment, Martin maintains that the lawsuit is not supported by five of Phyllis Schlafly’s other children.
“I was made president of the organization a year and a half ago,” Martin said, “At every meeting, and every call I’ve been on, I’ve had to earn the trust of hundreds and thousands people who relate to Phyllis.”
Martin’s detractors complain his management style lacked the light touch needed in a volunteer organization. Also his support for Donald Trump — and Phyllis Schlafly’s endorsement of Trump earlier this year — offended many members who preferred other Republican candidates in the race.
In defense of his vision, Martin points to the book he and Schlafly co-authored, “The Conservative Case for Trump,” now on the NY Times bestseller’s list. He also notes Trump took time out from his campaign to attend Schlafly’s funeral.
Eagle Forum members meet this weekend at the Airport Marriott with a memorial service for Schlafly planned Saturday morning. What’s not clear is what conversations about the future of the organization might take place.
Martin was busy Thursday making last-minute plans, and brushed aside any suggestion that some people would like to get rid of him.
“People have always wanted to get rid of Ed Martin, ” he said with a smile.
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