Noreen McCann, who identifies herself as the Missouri chapter president, sent a letter to Eagle Forum members warning them not to believe an invitation to a luncheon at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis. Checks for the fundraiser were to be addressed to the residence of Anne Cori, the daughter of the late Phyllis Schlafly.
McCann insists she is the chapter president based on a letter signed in February by Schlafly. She has even created a new email account for members to follow to receive updates from what she says is the true Missouri Eagle Forum leadership.
“During a meeting of the Eagle Forum Education and Legal Defense Board (C-3) meeting this month, Cori and another member were voted off the board,” McCann wrote. “Cori and at least two of the other disgruntled board members were each at one time thought to be likely candidates to take the helm of the multi-million dollar Eagle Forum organization after Schlafly’s death. All that changed when Schlafly finalized her succession plan in January of 2015 and passed over those individuals.”
However, Cori told The Missouri Times Wednesday that the national board does not recognize McCann as the rightful president of the Missouri Eagle Forum. She also currently controls the Missouri Eagle Forum Website, which is prominently displaying the event with Republican columnist and politician Star Parker, and Cori’s email address is the one directed by those wishing to contact the Missouri Eagle Forum
Cori was also one of six board members who voted to remove Ed Martin from power as the national president of the Eagle Forum in April. However, Martin continued operations as if their vote held no weight.
“When the paid staff doesn’t pay attention to the board of directors there tends to be a dispute,” Cori said.
The underlying schism came when Schlafly endorsed Donald Trump for president in March while many board members supported Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was favored by many evangelical voters. While Schlafly and Martin were quick to call the board members that sought to depose him “rogue,” members of the forum have insisted that his leadership style was predatory and one that took advantage of Schlafly’s age. Schlafly died earlier this month at the age of 92.
Regardless of the leadership problem, Cori says that disputes like these are not rare in any kind of corporate environment and that she and the board are hoping to extend the legacy and work of her mother across the country.
“I am keeping my eyes on what is really important for this country and the state of Missouri,” she said.