Daryl Acumen: The Face Behind the Mask
Edited by Ed Wallace / February 6, 2016
Ed’s Note: I extended Daryl Acumen the courtesy of reviewing and commenting or correcting this article. His quotes are from that interview. He also sent an email that addresses these issues. I have redacted the parts that don’t apply to this article. Here is that link.
Who is Daryl Acumen? No one really knows for sure, or what lurks inside. His birth name is Daryl Bradshaw. As a teenager, he changed his name to Daryl Antoine Tremeyne Acumen. He reportedly picked ‘Acumen” from the dictionary because of its meaning: defined as the ability to make good judgments and quick decisions, typically in a particular domain. He reportedly has had over 10 variations of those names over the years, most of them simple variations. His current voter registration identifies him as Daryl Antoine Tremeyne Acumen living in Salt Lake County.
This political gadfly (a person who stimulates or annoys other people especially by persistent criticism), was a vocal member of the Utah Republican Party’s State Central Committee (SCC) prior to his most recent attention seeking stunt (Video). Despite his denial, Acumen has access to virtually all of the Utah GOP’s data, by hosting that data and website on his server, including internal documents and messaging. Acumen claims that “I do not in fact have ‘access to all Utah GOP data’. Most GOP data is in the GOP Data Center, and frankly I have much more data than is in that system. When I need caucus attendee data, I call Abby Coura, because the Party’s data is usually crap.”
He now plans to be working for Count My Vote (CMV-SB54) in the near future. He has posted on Social Media that he was joining and had flipped to CMV although claims he’s not yet received payment for his services. SCC members suspect he’s been using Party data to further the efforts of CMV. He has been consulting and performing other services for Curt Bramble, the father of CMV, for almost four years, having received $7,250, according to Bramble’s disclosures.
The UTGOP was using a 3rd party called MediaTemple for hosting at $20/month but couldn’t afford it. After being shut off once, and threatened again with shutoff, Peggy Burdett volunteered to pay the costs and instructed the treasurer to record it as a donation in her name. When Anderson was elected, Acumen swooped in and offered to host the data for “free”, reportedly “in a hardened bunker with biometric security in Los Angeles.”
Despite the acrimonious rhetoric he spews, GOP Chairman Rob Anderson added Acumen to his trusted inner circle, and made him steward over the Party’s data. After eight months of Acumen’s handling of the Party’s proprietary data, and largely due to Acumen’s antics and relationship with CMV, on January 27, 2018, the SCC formed and named the members of a Software and Data Committee to wrestle control of the Party’s data away from Acumen. Anderson petitioned the motion’s sponsor to add Acumen to the committee. The request was denied.
If the information about him is negative, then it’s because that’s the way he has lived his life and conducted himself. He says anything he wants, despite how condescending, rude, non factual, and plain mean. The State Party Chair and Vice Chair both coddle and cultivate Acumen’s outbursts. (The Vice Chair said you are adults, so it doesn’t matter.) Acumen refers to people who disagree with him as crazies, idiots, brainless, stupid, morons, “you people”, etc. He has emailed GOP members to chastise them for not doing whatever he thinks they should. Concerning his use of child-like name calling, Acumen stated “Yes, I refer to the nuts by various names…but that’s because they are in many cases literally crazy!” Perhaps, the old adage of “I know you are but what am I” could fit here.
Arguably the most divisive person in the UTGOP, Acumen’s behavior is very antagonistic, condescending and judgmental in a way that shows his dislike for most of the people on the SCC. (See screenshots). One highly credible SCC member referred to him as angry, mean, and psychotic: “Mr. Bradshaw (Daryl Acumen) is an angry man…narcissistic psychopaths rarely demonstrate gratefulness…unless of course they recognize themselves! He seems to exist in a constant state of chaos while outwardly reacting to dueling realities swirling around in his head. He is usually defending his cohorts or attacking anyone who isn’t in line with his agenda, which apparently changes at any given moment. He has even stated that “I have two opinions.”
In response to that comment, Acumen says “The paragraph about me being a narcissistic psychopath is just plain silly. I may be harsh, blunt, and forceful, but I am always logical and I usually only get really terse when someone refuses to see reason. My standard response to a passive aggressive attack is to just attack back. Because my response is very active-aggressive, I’m perceived as being mean. Personally, I don’t care.” Acumen provided USN with excerpts from speeches he made that he believes are the basis for the animosity toward him.
A person who was embroiled in a legal matter with Acumen stated: “Daryl told me that he picked the word Acumen out of the dictionary for his last name because he liked its meaning. He would talk often about Saul Alinsky’s book,’ Rules for Radicals’ and patterns his behavior after the “The Art of War”. It’s all a game to him and he revels in causing contention.”
Acumen pretends to support the caucus, while also trashing it and the caucus supporters. He was until recently a SCC and SEC voting member by virtue of a Black Republican group where only 6 of 41 members are even black. Many have asked “How is that representative of Black Republicans? Do they even have meetings? No. What do they do? Nothing. How do they achieve their objectives? Their only objective appears to have been getting Acumen a lifetime vote on the SCC and SEC? How do they elect their chair? They don’t. Like a supreme court justice, he is in for life.”
One SCC member member questioned Acumen about this asking “Why haven’t you held any elections in the Black Assembly?” Daryl replied, “The Black Assembly has never had elections. We don’t need them. Everybody does whatever they want to do.” He went on to explain that most of the members on the Black Assembly are white, seemingly including State Senator Curt Bramble, and blamed the lack of black membership on the LDS Church withholding the priesthood from black people until 1978, and the GOP’s opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Acumen is very tech savvy, and doesn’t mind stating (or overstating) his technical prowess. At the UTGOP State Central Committee (SCC) meeting last September, Chairman Rob Anderson created a wasp-nest when the Party “accidently” tapped into, eavesdropped, and monitored the phones and communications of all the SCC members in attendance. The monitoring was done on the North Salt Lake City Government server and Wi-Fi network. A court order is required to monitor activity on a government server. The UTGOP did not have a court order to monitor the electronic communications between its members.
During the meeting, there were concerns expressed by many of the SCC members about the security of the electronic voting program. One member, West Jordan Utah House Representative Kim Coleman, passed out rolls of tinfoil, during the meeting, to make and wear hats for the purpose of mocking those members who were concerned. Acumen stated “The “security concerns” at the September 9th meeting were made up. The nuts were trying to delay that meeting so as many sane members would leave as possible before hearing my resolution to drop the lawsuit.”
But, as the meeting was finishing up, Anderson stated that “things happened” with the program, that Giles and Acumen could attest that they “accidentally” tapped into your cellphones and that “we monitored everything going on in this room, we have that data, including text messages, and things like that”.
After the meeting Anderson, Acumen, and Giles Witherspoon (who created the program that Witherspoon said couldn’t be hacked) attempted to cover it up by falsely blaming Drew Chamberlain and his son for hacking the servers, when they clearly did no such thing. They didn’t even have computers or tablets with them during the meeting.
Chamberland responded: “That is a flat out lie. I hacked nothing. I was not a part of any hacking. Daryl is a liar. That electronic voting software was the poorest written software I have ever seen. When I created my account, it kicked me back to the login screen. In 30 minutes, the committee [SCC members] had created 800 accounts. That is why the system failed.”
Acumen rebutted “There were witnesses, including the current Chairman of the Utah County Republican Party. My accusations were not false, they were well documented.”
Acumen thinks it was legal to wiretap SCC member phones, because they signed into a private Wifi that the party had contracted with. However, the Party used a government network for their experiment. Acumen was heard to make statements, and he posted online, that he knew what was on the intercepted data.
There are two screenshots of Acumen claiming to be a good hacker and implying that he knew what was in the messages that were wiretapped during the 9/9 meeting. In response to this article, Acumen stated, “I’m a data strategist, not an IT guy. I have no idea how to eavesdrop in a wifi network. I was a pretty good hacker as a kid… I was always a much better hacker or economic analyst tha a writer.”
Acumen has moved around: as many as 9 cities and 23 addresses in 27 years. Records show he has been evicted in Utah County 3 times, although Acumen stated that they were just notices. He had 2 Utah State tax liens filed in 2011 that he claims to have paid, 5 civil and small claim judgements that have been released, and has at least 9 vehicle and traffic misdemeanors. This data could be overstated, although Acumen has admitted to being arrested and imprisoned for approximately 48 hours.
Acumen Owns the Utah Gop Org
The Utah County Republican Party has historically owned the domain utahgop.org., not to be confused with utgop.org that the state party uses. All counties had a domain with the name of their county prefixing “gop.” Utah County no longer owns the “utahgop.org” domain at Godaddy.com. Acumen purchased it at renewal from Godaddy in 2013 while serving as the Vice Chair of the Utah County Republican Party. Many SCC members believe that he uses the utahgop.org email address to get people to give him info, taking polls, etc., by making it look like it came from the party and he has worked on many campaigns. (Related story: Who Owns the Utah GOP?). The GOP Salt Lake County relies on him for all of their emailing services. One SCC member asked “What will happen if Count My Vote sends emails from the “Republican Party of Utah”?
The domain (utahgop.org) had been held in the party since 1996 and now goes directly to Acumen’s ‘The GOP Center”. There is proof that the domain was officially used for the county party from 1998 to 2009. State Senator Curt Bramble, the father of SB54, originally bought the domain on behalf of the Utah County Republican Party. Acumen has told others that when it was expiring, he was tasked by Casey Voeks to buy a domain name for Utah County party use. Acumen renewed the domain in his own name. Voeks offered to repay Acumen, who replied that it was cheap, and to call it a donation. He didn’t turn in receipts for reimbursement.
When he moved out of Utah County, he retained the domain and uses it for his own personal agenda and use in his consulting business. Voeks never called it back. The Utah County GOP were told countless times that they would get it back after Acumen tried to get $2,000 from the party to buy it back from him. Anderson has also stated, at least twice, that he would get it back. But, the Utah County GOP are still holding their breath.
Acumen stated “Casey never offered to reimburse me for UtahGOP.org. As for the sale price of the domain, what I said was that if the Utah County GOP wanted to buy it, then I wanted UtahGOP.com as a replacement! I’d negotiated the seller of UtahGOP.com down to $2,000 (from $5,000) and so I said the county GOP could either pay me the price for that domain or acquire it themselves and we’d trade. I also told the UCRP that I would accept “acu.men” in trade, but they declined. I later purchased “acu.men” myself for $750. At this point, I have no intention of relinquishing UtahGOP.org.”
Use of this domain no longer represents the Utah County Republican Party who used this domain for official party emails. So, why would a private individual or an organization want to represent themselves as the official party if not to imply a deceptive support from the majority? Why is this a big deal?
(Note: The “official” Utah Republican Party does not own “Republican Party of Utah.” Taylor Morgan, CEO of Count My Vote owns it. Morgan purchased “ Republican Party of Utah” with the State Commerce Department on March 3, 2015. Searching that page for this registration, we find: https://secure.utah.gov/bes/details.html?entity=9333946-0151 Status: Active as of 03/03/2015 Judge won’t block ‘Count My Vote’ law; Utah GOP says it may not be on 2016 ballot
The Art of Deception
As Utah County Republican Party races were taking place in April, 2015, Party Chairman Casey Voeks was using utahgop.org (owned by Acumen) to send emails to delegates and Central Committee members. At the same time, some candidate hopefuls had engaged Acumen to run their campaigns and send out emails. Acumen was known to be proficient with technology, had a domain and had valuable access to registered party member emails and other personal information lists. A few of those candidates have reported that Acumen waived his fees to help them get elected.
The day before party leadership elections, Chairman Voeks approved of an email that asked the Central Committee members to take a poll on who they would vote for in elections the next day, the “Official UCRP Survey”. When the respondent clicked on the survey, it redirected to Acumen’s site, the paid campaign consultant, and a disclaimer appeared that read:
“This is an Official Utah County Republican Party survey provided by an independent analytic consultancy. It is being provided to you at the request of Utah Republican Party Chairman Casey Voeks and with the support of members of the UCRP Steering Committee, including Technology Officer Michael Jolley.”
Acumen stated “I never sent “official” emails for the party using UtahGOP.org…period! If a message was to be an “official” communication from the party or the Chair, it was sent from UCRP.org. If, on the other hand, an email was to be sent to the body but was NOT to be considered an “official” communication from the Chairman or the party, it was sent from my personal domain UtahGOP.org. There were several instances where the email wasn’t supposed to be official, like when some outside group wanted to send an email through the party or when a candidate asked us to send an email for them. In those case, Casey did not want to be accused of “endorsing” the candidate or initiative, so I sent the email from my domain instead.”
Some concerned citizen activists, who were aware of the situation, sent delegates an email that exposed this connection. They felt that emails from this domain were paid advertising by individuals in an attempt to deceive, mislead, and give a false impression to the sender of the email and the endorsement of the party. All of those running for party leadership positions that had retained Acumen’s services lost election, except those running for State Central Committee positions. Shortly thereafter, other candidates in races in Salt Lake County and Davis County were endorsed by the UT GOP after receiving emails from utahgop.org. This resulted in big wins for Acumen’s candidates.
Acumen: “Yes, candidates have used my domain to send emails. Honestly, that only happens when I haven’t yet set up the candidates DNS to use my server and the candidate is in a hurry. It’s not a best practice and I don’t do it anymore, but back in the day when I had a lot of small clients sometimes I’d fall back on my domain to get emails out the door.”
And, this doesn’t stop there. A paid strategist, Sherrie Everett Hall, used Acumen’s email services to fraudulently push the idea that the Utah County GOP supported Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) even though the Central Committee voted by 2/3 majority to oppose the BRT tax project. Everett is a former Provo municipal Council member and former Transportation and Mobility Committee chairwoman. She remains a member of that committee. “The BRT project is estimated to cost $150 million. About half of the cost will come from the Federal Transit Administration, whose program is capped at $75 million per project. The local match of $75 million will come from transit taxes already being paid and collected in Utah County.” The project now faces an $11 mil overrun.
Acumen stated, “The Sherrie Hall Everett thing is a legitimate gripe. I try not to support initiatives or candidates that the party leadership in the area opposes. The county was split on that one and Sherrie is a friend so I agreed to help. Not sure that was a great idea.”
During his tenure as vice-chair, Acumen had access to the GOP’s Utah County delegate list and 145,255 (as of 6/23/2015) county GOP members, including their phone numbers, email and home addresses. Acumen’s services were retained by Jason Chaffetz in his re-election effort, which he won prior to abandoning his post a few months later.
SCC members are asking: “Doesn’t the SCC have to approve Acumen’s involvement or can Anderson unilaterally keep going with Daryl?” The party officers are going to have to make plans to deal with the issue of “unofficial” use of the Republican Party “name,” by individuals and groups that do not represent the “official” Republican Party in Utah and Utah County.
At the last SCC meeting on 01/27/2018, Acumen tried to get the SCC to reverse their decision on their defense of the caucus system and against SB54. Reportedly, his motion received 3 votes (Chairman Anderson’s wife, Kathleen, Dana Goff, and Acumen) and failed. Here is a video of that motion. Acumen also spoke (VIDEO) for seven minutes during that meeting.
Acumen, as President of the Republican Black Assembly, a minority, also joined Joni Crane, Vice Chair of the Utah Republican Party, in voting against the Utah Republican Native American Caucus (another minority) to being an officially recognized auxiliary of the UTGOP. Under current rules of the Utah Republican Party, this action finally gives a voice to Utah Native Americans on both the State Central Committee and the State Executive Committee of the Utah GOP. Republican Natives members represent many tribes, including Apache, Cherokee, Utah Paiute, and Nez Perce.
The following candidates have used “utahgop.org” as the origin for their emails in their 2015 campaigns for Utah County Republican Party officers:
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2015 20:14:57 +0000
Subject: UCRP Central Committee Survey Results
Note the official party use of the “utahgop.org” January 24, 2015.
Also note the 2013 copyright Utah County Republican Party in the red bar at the bottom.
Subject: Come meet Cory Maloy, Candidate for Chair, UCRP
Date: Sat, 4 Apr 2015 19:51:53 +0000
From: Cory Maloy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Cory Maloy <Cory@CoryMaloy.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 16:23:20 +0000
Subject: Donuts and Delegates with Cory Maloy, Candidate for Chair – UCRP
Subject: Ben Summerhalder for UCRP Vice Chairman
Date: Thu, 9 Apr 2015 18:39:20 +0000
From: Ben Summerhalder <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Ben Summerhalder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Meet Ben Summerhalder – Candidate for UCRP Vice Chair
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 2015 23:23:38 +0000
From: Ben Summerhalder <email@example.com>
From: Becky Pirente <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 9:04 AM
Subject: Support Becky Pirente for UCRP Secretary
From: Becky Pirente <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 10, 2015 at 5:46 PM
Subject: Judge Allows Count My Vote SB54 Changes to Caucus
Subject: Nate Allred for State Central Committee
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2015 22:07:54 +0000
From: Nate Allred <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Nate Allred <email@example.com>
Subject: Nathan Ivie for State Central Committee
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 09:54 +0000
From: Nathan Ivie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Nathan Ivie <Cowboyelevated@gmail.com>
Tamara Atkin also used Acumen’s utahgop domain to try to get elected.
Subject: Tamara Atkin for State Central Committee
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2015 22:04:01 +0000
Some of the more interesting Tweets from Acumen
Any moron who spams my work cell-phone is going to get flamed. “Keep it up” at your own risk. I’m about to send Bill a BILL!!!
Somebody needs to tell the Rand Paul peanut gallery to act like adults who belong here. #GOPDebate
I’ll say it, Donald Trump is an idiot! If you can’t stop spammers from making botnets, how can you keep ISIS from using the web? #GOPDebate
FreedomWorks gives Utah the finger by endorsing 10 candidates, none of whom are named Liljenquist. http://atr.rollcall.com/freedomworks-pac-endorses-10-candidates/ … #utgop @freedomworks
“Freedom Works” Loses a Longtime Supporter by Targeting Hatch! http://gopcenter.com/blog/2011/07/20/freedom-works-loses-a-longtime-supporter-by-targetting-hatch/ … via @darylacumen #utpol
@ORlibertygal I’ve forgotten more about economic policy than you’ll ever know and I live in Utah so my opinion counts…yours doesn’t! #utpol
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