IAFF Politics: 7th District 800 lb. Gorilla

Walsh Jumped by IAFF Board

Ricky Walsh was forced out as 7th district vice-president by Harold Schaitberger who lied and stole his emails in a trumped up smear campaign.

Schaitberger and the rest of the board jumped Walsh in a surprise attack at a meeting two weeks ago.

Well, it wasn’t a complete surprise; Schaitberger had carefully pre-briefed pet board members so they could play their part in the attack.

Not a single board member has publicly spoken in support of Walsh proving that they agree with what Schaitberger is doing and how he is doing it.


To date, at least two candidates have emerged:  Kelly Fox and Greg Womack.

Fox is the longtime president of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters.

Womack is a district field services rep and the president of the Boise local.

Fox has the larger profile but not necessarily for positive reasons.

He has been tagged as a serial quitter for dropping out of the race for general secretary-treasurer twice, the second time to jump into Walsh’s (still warm) seat.

The Walsh Legacy

If Walsh actually relinquishes his seat at the end of January (some think he shouldn’t) who should inherit his support?

Both candidates croon about the wonderfulness of Ricky but fall completely silent on the cause of his fall.

Now, how can that be?

If Walsh was railroaded off the board (and he was) how can his would-be successors ignore the implications for the 7th district?

Their words sound slick but don’t pass the smell test, or the courage test, either.

“Crossroads” and “Conditions have Dramatically Changed”

Those are the words of Womack and Fox, respectively, to describe the sacking of Walsh as they announce to succeed him.

Hardly what you would expect from trade union leaders who think they can lead the IAFF.

That’s what the job is really about, after all.

Neither candidate expresses any forceful position on what happened to Walsh or whether or not they believe in a more ethical IAFF.

To be sure, Schaitberger attacked Walsh for one reason: Walsh took a stand for honest dealing.

The 7th District Decision

Shame on the 7th if they elect a successor to Walsh who is not as least as tough as he was.

Who in their right mind can’t envision the new 7th district VP getting a lecture from Schaitberger and his cronies along the lines of “Don’t forget what we did to Ricky.”

In fact, the new 7th DVP will be nothing more than the “bitch” in cell-block parlance unless they are tough enough to stand alone (and push back) if they need to.

With that in mind, neither Fox nor Womack sound up to that task as they utter sweet nothings and toss dirt on Walsh’s coffin.




  • Scott Brines says:

    You have over-stepped, Eric. I have read and shared many of your posts and have agreed with almost all of them, but your characterizations of both of these Union leaders is off base. We here in the 7th are struggling, hurting, and trying to fill a major void that we didn’t think we’d have to fill until at least 2020. Bravo to Brothers Womack and Fox for having the courage to step up and lead. I’ve always said that there are many, many people in the IAFF that have the knowledge, skills, and experience to lead, but it is the spirit of sacrifice and dedication that gets it done at the end of the day. And both of these Mag 7 leaders have what it takes. This will be a monumental and difficult decision for our locals and must be done in a short period of time thanks to HAS’s shenanigans. Please give us the time to do it.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Hi, Scott.

      If they both have, as you say, “what it takes”, this would surely be the time to show it.



  • Blair H. Ghent says:

    Hi Eric, So how come you are attacking poor Harold for his shady and unethical behavior, yet you are pushing hillary and her very shady dealings down our throats.Liberalism at it’s best and worst. hillary needs to be in jail.

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