By Isaac Schorr
Donald Trump’s campaign celebrated the endorsement of what it characterized as a “47,000 member” energy workers association on Wednesday, but past board members have described it as a “sham” and “slush fund.”
The Daily Mail reported on that the Oil and Gas Workers Association (OGWA), an organization supposedly boasting membership rolls nearing 50,000 had endorsed Trump, “snubbing Ron DeSantis on the day of his energy policy announcement.”
“Governor DeSantis says a lot of the right things, right, but his track record isn’t there,” OGWA President Matt Coday told the Mail. “Under President Trump’s administration, America became a net exporter, became energy dominant. Our economy boomed and benefited every American.”
On Truth Social, Trump himself celebrated the endorsement.
“WOW—Thank you to the Oil and Gas Workers Association, and President Matt Coday for your tremendous support,” declared Trump, who included a link to the Daily Mail story. “I will not let you down!”
According to the former board members and local journalists that know OGWA best, the group is a “sham” and “slush fund” for Coday, who has an “extensive criminal record.”
Wallace Dunn , a former board member at OGWA told the Odessa Headlines that the word “organization” only “loosely” worked as a descriptor for the group. “I realized fairly quickly the organization is a sham and pretty much just a paycheck for Matt Coday,” said Dunn, who endured attacks from Coday on social media for asking to review the group’s finances.
Another ex-board member, Mike Cummings , backed up Dunn’s claims.
“Shortly after being appointed to the Board of Oil & Gas Workers Association I realized it to be more of a sham than a 501 (c)6, working to secure American energy jobs! It’s my belief that this organization is nothing more than a slush fund to support Matt Coday’s bad habits!” Cummings argued in a statement.
One board member claimed by OGWA on their website as of last September disputed their involvement with the group.
“I didn’t consent to be on the board, I have never seen a copy of the by-laws, financials, never paid dues, and after declining to be on the board I just appeared on the board,” he told the Headlines .
Its website allows members to join at a rate of $6 per month, $60 per year, or $1,200 per year for a “business membership.” Given its claim to having 47,000 members, this would mean that it would be generating over $2.8 million per year in membership revenue even if every member was enrolled at the cheapest rate.
Yet according to a spreadsheet provided to the Headlines by Coday, OGWA brought in just $411.11 in revenue in 2020, a little more than $3,800 in revenue in 2021, and $54,281.55 in revenue in 2022.
These numbers would suggest that the organization could have a maximum of around 900 dues-paying members.
From the Headlines ‘ report:
Coday’s membership revenue numbers directly contradict what Coday told his board members last year, with a source telling Odessa Headlines he informed his board that at the end of 2021, there was only one dues-paying member for a “total paid membership revenue of $60” — not $3801 as his spreadsheet claims.”
The local outlet also revealed that Coday has “an extensive criminal past that includes numerous theft-related criminal charges, one felony-level offense, as well as multiple charges for terroristic threat, deadly conduct, and driving while intoxicated.”