Feather River Tea Party Patriots

Ordinary Citizens Reclaiming America's Founding Principles

I gave a lot of thought about going public with this information or remaining silent to “keep the peace” and avoid inevitable repercussions; but as Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated, Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

By Carla Virga, FRTPP Co-Founder, Secretary, Editor

Feather River Tea Party Patriots (FRTPP), a multi-county educational organization serving Sutter, Yuba, and Butte Counties and with members also in Colusa, Placer, Nevada, and Sacramento counties, holds candidate forums for Sutter County and Yuba County elections, which necessitates obtaining candidates’ information from the counties’ elections offices.

The Sutter County Clerk-Recorder’s Office has always immediately and respectfully provided all requested information; Sutter County Clerk-Recorder Donna Johnston has accepted every invitation to speak to FRTPP, including when Linda Paine and Ruth Weiss of Election Integrity Project spoke at FRTPP meetings; and invited FRTPP representatives to participate in checking the voting machines prior to their approval.

The Yuba County Clerk-Recorder’s Office has refused all invitations to speak at an FRTPP meeting, stonewalled giving candidates’ contact information, tried to charge us $100 for the information, and refused to provide candidates’ political party affiliations despite being advised their refusal violates CA Elections Code Section 2194.1(a)(3):

CA Govt Code § 6254.4. (a) The home address, telephone number, email address, precinct number, or other number specified by the Secretary of State for voter registration purposes, and prior registration information shown on the affidavit of registration, is confidential and shall not be disclosed to any person, except pursuant to Section 2194 of the Elections Code.

CA Elec Code § 2194. (a) Except as provided in Section 2194.1, the affidavit of voter registration information identified in Section 6254.4 of the Government Code (3) Shall be provided with respect to any voter, subject to the provisions of Sections 2166, 2166.5, 2166.7, and 2188, to any candidate for federal, state, or local office, to any committee for or against any initiative or referendum measure for which legal publication is made, and to any person for election, scholarly, journalistic, or political purposes, or for governmental purposes, as determined by the Secretary of State.

At one of FRTPP’s breakfast socials and again at our January 17, 2022, regular meeting, Tambra Courtright, Secretary of the Yuba County Republican Central Committee (YCRCC) and a member of FRTPP and Freedom Coalition, announced she is running for Yuba County Clerk-Recorder and gathered in-lieu-of signatures from Yuba County residents.

About 1 p.m. the next day, Johanna Garcia Lassaga, who is the Chairman of the newly re-established YCRCC (aka Yuba County Republican Party), posted on her Facebook page:

Donna Hillegass is running for clerk recorder in Yuba County and will be at our Yuba County Republican Party meeting tonight.  Meeting starts at 7 and doors open at 6:30 if anyone is interested.  Meeting held at Hallwood Church 2825 Highway 20.        

Larry and I, former Sutter County Republican Central Committee (SCRCC) members, saw red where the text above is highlighted yellow; because we know the purpose of Republican central committees is to support Republican candidates, and any member supporting a non-Republican candidate can be removed from the committee. For verification, I contacted Stephen Frank, formerly on the CA GOP Rules Committee, who informed me “it depends on what the county’s bylaws state.” I contacted Tambra for a copy of YCRCC’S current bylaws; and YCRCC’s bylaws confirmed what was true for SCRCC then is true for YCRCC today. Larry (who is also the Co-Founder and Chair of FRTPP), then responded to Johanna’s post:

Johanna, as a Republican Central Committee member, and especially the Yuba County Committee Chairman, how can you invite and promote a non-Republican candidate for office, especially when one of your own Republican Central Committee members is running for the same office. According to your Yuba County Central Committee Bylaws, Article V, Section 2(a), you can be removed just for posting the above note. Please read your bylaws and do the right thing for your own Central Committee members and the Republican Party. Also Article II. “Section 1. The objectives of the County Party shall be: (a) To campaign for the election of Republican candidates for public offices, and to work for the appointment of Republicans to appointive positions”

Curious whether Johanna would still allow Donna Hillegass to speak, Larry and I attended the meeting and were dismayed to see Item 9 on the agenda: “Speaker – Donna Hillegass – Yuba County Clerk.”

During Public Comment (Item #7), I nervously stood in objection to the YCRCC allowing Donna Hillegass, who is not a registered Republican, to campaign at their meeting in violation of their Bylaws; and without explanation or informing the committee of the Facebook posts, I immediately read aloud two sections of their Bylaws:

1)  Article II, Section 1: “the objectives of the County Party shall be to campaign for the election of Republican candidates for public offices, and to work for the appointment of Republicans to appointive positions; and

2) Article IV, Section 2: “Any Member may be removed without prior notice by a simple majority vote of the Central Committee at any meeting for: (a) Affiliating or registering with another party, supporting a non-Republican candidate opposing the Republican candidate who has advanced to the general election, or advocating against support for the same, provided that such actions took place within the Member’s term of office.”

Chairman Lassaga stated Donna Hillegass was not there to campaign, she was there to report on the last election. [Why then, did her Facebook post announce “Donna Hillegass is running for clerk recorder in Yuba County?”] She then put it to a vote of the committee as to whether Ms. Hillegass be allowed to speak. The voting members voted to allow her to speak on the condition she only talk about the election.

During Q&A after Ms. Hillegass’ speech about the election, which included her 17 years working in the Clerk-Recorder’s Office, a description of her duties and experience, and her knowledge of voting processes and equipment [which would probably be included in any campaign speech], I commended her for speaking to this group when no one from Yuba County Elections Office will speak at a Feather River Tea Party Patriots meeting. Immediately, and with THE LOOK just like my father used when I was a child that always stopped me dead in my tracks and made me feel like a misbehaving child again, Chairman Lassaga retorted, “that’s because Feather River Tea Party is just for Sutter County.” She wisely and abruptly moved on to the next agenda item, obviously forgetting the two FRTPP meetings she attended were a Yuba County Supervisorial Candidates’ Forum January 20, 2020, and a Congressional District 3 Candidates’ Forum February 17, 2020.

The next morning, Johanna Lassaga removed her meeting announcement and Larry’s response from Facebook.


If I were to remain silent, I'd be guilty of complicity. ~Albert Einstein

Anyone outside the California Republican Party (aka CA GOP) and Republican central committees is probably unaware the CA GOP controls its own elections through dubious absentee “proxy voting” (a ballot cast by one person on behalf of another but not necessarily how the voting member would have voted had they been present). Just as Trump “lost” to Biden with mail-in voting, moral conservative Stephen Frank may have “lost” his bid for CA GOP Chair to never-Trumper Jessica Patterson due to proxy voting. In at least the last three gubernatorial races, the CA GOP brought in out-of-state RINOs to defeat conservative California candidates in the primaries.

The CA GOP and local central committees are not accountable to voters or even to their own members. We were hopeful with the YCRCC under new leadership, it would be better in Yuba County; but after what we witnessed and subsequently informed a respected political ally of what happened at the last YCRCC meeting, he stated matter-of-factly, “It’s just politics.”

If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

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