Phyllis Schlafly’s Last Stand: The Inside Story of the Conservative Icon’s Internal Battle for Survival

Matthew Boyle, Breitbart 

Allies of Ted Cruz are now targeting conservative legend Phyllis Schlafly, a leading grassroots anti-establishment voice for half a century, because Schlafly endorsed billionaire businessman Donald Trump for president in the 2016 GOP primary.

Several Cruz supporters inside Eagle Forum are unhappy with Phyllis Schlafly’s Trump endorsement, and have been working behind the scenes against her for months. They have leaked emails, engaged in personal attacks, and even advanced an argument questioning whether the 91-year-old Schlafly is still competent enough to run the organization. Now, several board members of one wing of the tripartite Eagle Forum organization have for the first time in more than four decades of existence called together a special board meeting at which they purported to have voted to remove Schlafly’s handpicked successor as president of the organization and claim to have seized control of the organization and its bank accounts from the longtime activist.

They might not be done yet, as they have another special meeting scheduled for early May at which they intend to—sources say—remove Schlafly herself as chairman of the board. What’s more, Schlafly’s own daughter, Anne Cori, has sided with the other Cruz supporters inside Eagle Forum against her mother, creating a divide inside the family as Phyllis and her other children, including son Andy, back Trump over Cruz in the 2016 primary. Cori admits that her actions run counter to her mother’s wishes, but says she is acting out of “love” for her mother.

For the first time here, the inside story of Schlafly’s battle for survival—including exclusive interviews with her, her daughter who’s working against her, and several of the others involved—will be told. In dueling Breitbart interviews, both Schlafly and Cori detail how painful this has been for both of them—and how it’s torn apart one of America’s leading conservative families.

This story offers a front row view into how Cruz allies operate throughout the conservative movement. They have aggressively pressured conservatives into publicly supporting the senator—or at least not supporting someone else—and even sought to “blacklist” those who don’t, so as to fit Cruz’s narrative of being the one candidate who the conservative movement “united” behind.

At one point, according to Eagle Forum president Ed Martin, Cruz allies inside Eagle Forum wrote a press release that they demanded Schlafly sign onto before the Iowa caucuses. The press release was intended to serve as a sort of statement of neutrality that would walk back the positive comments Schlafly had made about Trump and make clear that she likes Cruz too and hadn’t endorsed anyone. But Schlafly resisted these pressures, refusing to sign their statement before the Iowa caucuses and later openly endorsing Trump before the Missouri primary.

The story even entangles Cruz’s rough-edged campaign manager Jeff Roe, a political operative with deep ties in Missouri politics—Schlafly’s home base for half a century, where her endorsement of Trump carried great weight.

Roe had been lobbying Schlafly’s handpicked successor Ed Martin for weeks to get Eagle Forum on Cruz’s side. Martin says that by doing so, Roe “inserted himself” into this intra-organization dispute. A lot of the dispute centers around internal Eagle Forum emails that were leaked out to the Cruz campaign and made their way to Roe. In the emails, Schlafly’s son Andy brutally criticized the Texas Senator and his wife Heidi, even making the explosive charge that the Cruzes are “feminists.” In a roundabout way, thanks to Schlafly’s daughter Anne Cori and fellow Eagle Forum board rebel Cathie Adams of Texas, those emails were leaked to Roe—and Roe confronted Martin with them. Roe doesn’t deny confronting Martin about the emails, but he does deny deeper conversations with Martin about Schlafly’s position on the election. Martin says Roe is lying