The Enemy Within: Ousted Shasta County GOP Chair Rats Out Own Committee

Ousted Shasta County GOP chair Dan Sloan.

Don’t get mad, the saying goes. Get even.

If that’s what recently ousted Shasta County GOP chair Dan Sloan was hoping for when he reported alleged campaign finance violations by the Shasta County Republican Central Committee to the California Fair Political Practices Commission in late March, he may have achieved his goal.

The FPPC informed Sloan it opened an investigation based on his complaint in a letter sent April 8.

“Dear Daniel Sloan: This letter is to notify you that the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission will investigate the allegations, under the jurisdiction of the Commission, of the sworn complaint you submitted in the above-referenced matter,” the FPPC informed Sloan.

Note to reader: “Shasta County GOP” and “Shasta County Republican Central Committee” are sometimes used interchangeably.

In his complaint, Sloan alleges that the California Republican Party and the Shasta County Republican Central Committee “laundered campaign contributions,” “violated contribution limits” and filed an inaccurate campaign finance report during the November 2023 special election to replace an open seat on the Gateway Unified School District board of trustees.


Camille King unsuccessfully ran for the Gateway Unified School District board last November.

At issue is a $1000 campaign contribution from the California Republican Party that was funneled through the Shasta County Republican Committee to Camille King’s failed campaign for the Gateway board seat. In his FPPC complaint Sloan includes several long emails from SCRCC treasurer Erin Ryan regarding the donation that she sent to Sloan in late November and early December.

Sloan was selected as SCRCC chair after the November election. Ryan initially contacted Sloan after Thanksgiving to complain that SCRCC members Authur and Katie Gorman allegedly refused to accept her explanation that the King donation was correctly classified as an “independent-expenditure to support.”

That means the donation was transferred from the California Republican Party via the SCRCC to King’s campaign without the candidate’s foreknowledge. Therefore, while the SCRCC had to report the donation, King did not, although it should be noted King has since filed the donation as an independent expenditure on her behalf.

Candidate Camille King received a $1000 donation from the Shasta County GOP.

“Decisions on things like the expense to Camille’s school board race were not made by reading some handbook or finding snippets of information from the FPPC,” Ryan complained to Sloan. “A professional set up the reporting for us. There was one way to do it and it is all legal.”

This explanation didn’t satisfy the Gormans, who allegedly reported the donation to the FPPC. For readers not familiar with Authur and Katie Gorman, they are open Christian nationalist activists who frequently appear at school board meetings across Shasta County.

Christian nationalists wrongly believe the United States was founded as a Christian nation, the Constitution is based on Judeo-Christian principles and there is no separation of church and state as enumerated in the First Amendment’s establishment clause. The movement is very popular with ultra conservative evangelical Christians and Catholics.

Shasta Board of Education Trustee Authur Gorman getting in Shasta County ROV Cathy Darling Allen’s face on primary election night 2022.

Authur Gorman won a seat on the Shasta County Board of Education in 2022, where he has consistently advocated anti-LGBTQ policies. Katie is the co-chair of Moms for Liberty Shasta County, the local chapter of the nationwide book-banning anti-trans cult that’s been classified as an extremist organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Gormans are actively recruiting “godly” men and women to run for school board seats this November.

As A News Café reported in the run-up to last November’s special election, there was a minor turf dispute between King’s campaign and Moms for Liberty Shasta County. Ultimately King claimed she wasn’t a member of the local chapter, even though she believes in most of the same things.

It’s not clear whether this minor dispute has anything to do with the Gormans’ complaint about the donation to King. Authur Gorman did not reply to A News Café’s inquiries.


Katie Gorman is co-chair of Moms for Liberty Shasta County.

Ryan, the committee treasurer, was clearly irritated with the Gormans’ interference with her volunteer position. Her emails to incoming SCRCC chair Sloan were cries for help. At one point she offered to quit, but wondered who would take the job?

“Members of our committee calling the FPPC will likely cause us to be audited,” Ryan correctly predicted. “You will not have or be able to coerce a treasurer to volunteer at that point. It would never be appropriate for anyone on our committee to communicate with the FPPC.”

“Authur and Katie communicating with them on their own has brought scrutiny to our committee and Camille’s campaign,” the treasurer continued. “I would not be the least bit surprised if that blew up in our face at some point. They must be TOLD that nobody but the treasurer communicates with the FPPC. Ever.”

Shasta County GOP treasurer Erin Ryan.

It’s not clear from the email chain whether Sloan answered Ryan’s cries for help. Sloan said he couldn’t respond to A News Café’s questions due to the ongoing FPPC investigation. Ryan did not reply to an email query from A News Café.

This past February turned out to be a pivotal month for Sloan. The Simpson College professor had ascended to SCRCC chair and had a reasonable shot in a four-way race for the District 2 supervisor seat in the March primary election.

Then the Sloan File dropped, revealing Sloan’s acrimonious alcohol-fueled split from his former wife of 25 years between 2008 and 2009.

It was a 50-page dossier, author unknown, but obviously penned by someone skilled with background checks. It was posted on social media where it quickly spread among local political circles. The dossier was followed up with a well-produced video that included devastating interviews with Sloan’s ex-wife, who alleged in court documents that Sloan had been physically and mentally abusive toward her throughout their marriage.

“The Defendant [Sloan] has choked me, pushed me, pulled my hair, knocked me down, held me by the hair and banged my head against the carpet, grabbed my arms to prevent me from leaving and blocked me in a room so I couldn’t leave,” Sloan’s former wife alleged in a request for a restraining order filed in January 2009.

Cover page from the Sloan File.

The dossier blew a gigantic hole in Sloan’s projected campaign image as a somewhat nerdy conservative academic. By the time the SCRCC met for its monthly meeting in mid-February, Sloan may have already been mortally wounded as a candidate. In March, he finished third in the District 2 supervisor contest with 18 percent of the vote, behind Laura Hobbs’ 19 percent and outright winner Allen Long’s 50 percent.

By April, Sloan was ousted as SCRCC chair, according to several posts on Aaron F. Post’s Right On Daily Blog. The blog covers Republican politics in California, including Shasta County.

“Dan Sloan ran for supervisor and some ugliness in his background was exposed,” Post noted. “There was a trail of financial and behavioral malfeasance documented in what I saw. Regardless of the reams of court documents I was sent, it is clear that Sloan only stepped up to serve as chair of the Shasta GOP in order to set up his run for office.”

By the end of April, Sloan was threatening legal action against the SCRCC, according to another Right On Daily Blog post.

“I reject the recent activities and intend to pursue all legal remedies to reverse the damages done to our communities and bring justice and transparency,” Sloan said in an email sent to committee member and ex-officios.

Apparently, the “recent activities” Sloan referred to include at least two special meetings called by the SCRCC to remove Sloan from the chair position in April and May. In the first meeting, SCRCC members voted 15-5 to remove Sloan as chair; in the second meeting the members voted 16-2 to remove Sloan as chair, according to Post.


Shasta County Republican Central Committee member Garrett Hall.

According to emails sent by SCRCC member Garrett Hall during this period and obtained by Post, the rift between Sloan and other committee members was tearing the SCRCC apart as early as February. While Hall doesn’t mention names, he apparently saw himself as a peacemaker between “the disparate groups” that now make up the SCRCC, an obvious reference to newer members like Authur Gorman who were criticizing treasurer Ryan’s distribution of funds.

“I have tried to chart a path that keeps this Republican family together through difficult times while retaining my core conservative Christian beliefs,” Hall said in an email announcing he was stepping down from his vice-chair position. “It is clear to me the majority of this committee believes I have failed at this task, and I cannot repair that perception at this time.”

Hall declined to comment on this story.

Sloan apparently didn’t inform the SCRCC that he had filed a complaint against the committee and the California Republican Party with the FPPC in late March. Neither did he inform them that the FPPC opened an investigation in early April. When A News Café contact current SCRCC chair Brenda Haynes, she asked for a copy of the complaint because neither Sloan nor the FPPC have notified the committee of any wrongdoing.

Shasta County GOP chair Brenda Haynes.

After being provided a copy of Sloan’s complaint and a series of questions, Haynes defended treasurer Ryan and castigated Sloan.

“As chair, I will not be speaking about specific members,” Haynes told A News Cafe. “The press is not the place to deal with personal disagreements. We are all elected to serve on the committee to help elect Republicans and advance the party. I believe we have followed all rules and guidance given to us by professional treasurers, the FPPC, and the state party. As with many volunteer groups, some know these rules better than others. Campaign finance can be Byzantine and complicated, that is why we have professional treasurers advising us. Some members don’t like the answers we get from professionals that are more restrictive than they would like, but we follow the professional advice.”

“Ultimately, the vast majority of the committee lost faith in Dan Sloan’s ability to lead and deal with people,” Haynes continued. “We voted by over two-thirds to remove him, twice. His cobbled together complaint is a good example of his problematic leadership. Rather than call the state party and work to answer an internal state party accounting question, he went to the FPPC and filed a complaint. Now he is spinning it to drive negative stories, without ever telling his own committee members of what he thinks they or the state party did wrong.”

“The rest of us are working to elect Republicans from president to school boards, and we aren’t going to waste a lot of time on Dan,” Haynes concluded.

In the FPPC complaint, Sloan lists committee members Authur and Katie Gorman, Garrett Hall, Win Carpenter and Brenda Haynes as witnesses. The bulk of the complaint is comprised of the emails treasurer Ryan sent to then-chair Sloan in late November and early December last year. Instead of answering Ryan’s cries for help, Sloan forwarded her emails to the FPPC as if they were a confession of wrongdoing.

In her emails, Ryan repeatedly warned Sloan not to contact the FPPC.

“Calling the FPPC and inviting scrutiny between the committee expense and the candidate’s financial reporting shows that we did coordinate the effort,” Ryan wrote. “If that is the case, it should have been reported as an In-Kind Contribution. That has a candidate filing requirement for sure. [Having] Katie and Authur and Garrett et al in the middle of reporting is going to cause our committee problems and will likely hurt the candidate as well. If it is determined that we filed incorrectly to benefit the candidate we will be in trouble and all future campaign contributions will carry that poisoned pill.”

“It would never be appropriate for anyone on our committee to communicate with the FPPC,” Ryan warned Sloan. “I have always been cautioned that professional treasurers and lawyers call them if the rest of us are smart. They are wolves and snack on Republicans for fun.”

It should be noted that the FPPC is a nonpartisan organization despite Haynes’ claim that it “takes no prisoners when it comes to Republicans.” That said, Sloan has blown the doors off the SCRCC and invited the wolf inside.

Who knows what the FPPC will find to snack on?


If you appreciate investigative journalist R.V. Scheide’s reporting, please consider a contribution to A News Cafe. Thank you!

R.V. Scheide

R.V. Scheide is an award-winning journalist who has covered news, politics, music, arts and culture in Northern California for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in the Tenderloin Times, Sacramento News & Review, Reno News & Review, Chico News & Review, North Bay Bohemian, San Jose Metro, SF Bay Guardian, SF Weekly, Alternet, Boston Phoenix, Creative Loafing and Counterpunch, among many other publications. His honors include winning the California Newspaper Publishers Association’s Freedom of Information Act and best columnist awards as well as best commentary from the Society of Professional Journalists, California chapter. Mr. Scheide welcomes your comments and story tips. Contact him at RVScheide@anewscafe.com..

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