Time for a Congressional Investigation? Shattering New Developments of Corruption in Rep. Renzi Trial

rckrnz3by Rachel Alexander
Reprinted from Townhall

The case of the corrupt prosecution against imprisoned former Congressman Rick Renzi continues to explode with new evidence of wrongdoing – literally every few weeks something else comes out. It is beginning to look like Fast and Furious as more information pours out implicating the government.

As I’ve explained previously, the crux of the case against Renzi was he had proposed a federal land exchange that allegedly would have benefited himself. Evidence came out during the trial and especially afterward revealing this wasn’t true. The FBI offered to give money to the government’s key witness/”victim,” Philip Aries, to change his story and say the land exchange was Renzi’s idea. The DOJ prosecutor, Gary Restaino, whose wife worked closely under Janet Napolitano, never disclosed this information to the defense.

As more evidence came out about this collusion in July, U.S. Federal District Court Judge David Bury granted a hearing to consider a new trial. I attended the hearing,  where I met several of Renzi’s 12 children, who have developed into impressive young adults, sure of their dad’s innocence. I was shocked by what I heard as Aries and the main FBI agent repeatedly contradicted each other’s testimony on the witness stand. How can you convict someone based on that?

The prosecution offered Renzi a deal right before the trial where he would have only done 10 months in prison if he would just lie and plead guilty to a small public corruption charge of failure to properly disclose his financial interest. If Renzi didn’t accept it, he was looking at possibly more than 35 felony charges and over 150 years in prison. Renzi prayed and fasted for seven days, drinking only water and asking God for wisdom. At the end of the fast, his son had to help assist him so he could eat. After eating, decided he could not accept the deal.

His children recall him telling them he would rather die than get up in court and lie that he ever misused his public office. He could not in good conscience allow a despicable deal which would have covered up the truth – that the South African former president of a foreign-owned mining company, Resolution Copper Company, named Bruno Hagner, along with a corrupt FBI agent, took out an innocent U.S. Congressman. Renzi would rather let the world know the truth, even if it meant a life behind bars.

Ever since I started writing about the corruption in this case beginning in July, people all over the country are finally hearing what really happened and are emailing me information that even Renzi’s defense team was unaware of. Someone in Colorado told me a couple of weeks ago that Aries’ father Frank has a history of sleazy real estate deals – yet more evidence it was Aries who had proposed the land exchange, not Renzi.

The Phoenix New Times described real estate developer Frank Aries in 1990, “Aries, who drove a Rolls-Royce, lived in a $1.6 million home in the ritzy Broadmoor district of Colorado Springs and liked to brag about the multimillion-dollar sailboat he had his eye on, was not a man who thought small.” The article explains how he connived $240 million from Western Savings & Loan to invest in a real estate project in Colorado Springs that had little chance of surviving,

Aries’ willingness to pay top dollar for raw land in a time of economic uncertainty and Western’s blind faith in the bet-it-all principles of Sun Belt real estate are straight out of a financial fairy tale…The remarkable loan agreement he worked out with Western saw to it that he wasn’t personally responsible for a dime of the money. At last word, the 56-year-old Aries was making plans to sail “probably all over the world…As Aries sails off into the sunset, Western Savings is now under the control of the government’s thrift bailout agency, the RTC. The taxpayers will pick up the tab.

Yet what may be the most alarming new piece of information is the role former U.S. Secretary of the Interior, powerful Democrat Bruce Babbitt from Arizona, played in the land exchange. Aries’ proposal to Renzi at their first – and only – meeting contained a document that contained a footer revealing it had been drafted from the computer of Babbitt’s current law firm. It included the “Sandlin property,” something the prosecutors had claimed was Renzi’s idea to include in the exchange all along to make it look like he was setting up the exchange to benefit himself. At that meeting, Aries even boasted to Renzi that the entire proposed land exchange – which included the Sandlin property – “met Babbitt’s gold standard.” Why would Renzi not feel comfortable at that point, with a former powerful Democratic Secretary of the Interior approving of the exchange? If including the Sandlin property was so wrongful, why did Babbitt give it his approval?

The problem is, what judge is going to risk taking on and implicating Babbitt in all this? The Babbitts are one of the most  powerful, longstanding families in Arizona, heavily tied into the Democrats who control much of the legal system.

This sordid prosecution also ties back to the powerful Keating Five – another powerhouse Renzi was facing. Ron Ober, campaign manager and chief of staff for former Arizona Democratic Senator Dennis DeConcini – who successfully escaped anything but a mere wrist-slap finding against him for his role in the scandal due to his immense power and influence – was hired as a lobbyist to represent the Resolution Copper Company to procure the land exchange through Renzi. Ober was also a friend of Charles Keating, Jr. Keating served four and a half years in prison, but Ober managed to distance himself and escape any tarnishing from that association.

Ober told Renzi that if he didn’t agree to push through the land exchange, RCC would go to Arizona Congressman Jim Kolbe instead, which would make Renzi look bad since the land exchange was located in Renzi’s district. Ober asked him if there were any other properties that should be included in the land exchange, and Renzi suggested he speak with The Nature Conservancy, the military officials at Fort Huachuca and Senator McCain’s office – all of who had told him that they wanted to see the Sandlin property included in the next land exchange in order to save the Fort and the San Pedro River. In fact, the court record shows that many supported including the Sandlin property in the exchange, including two mayors from Sierra Vista, the chair of the Cochise County Supervisors, the Fort Huachaca 50 business council and a host of other officials from around the state. The alfalfa farmer using the Sandlin property was draining massive water from the land. Renzi finally reluctantly agreed to the land exchange, but he still had concerns about allowing a foreign-owned company run by a South African to buy out a significant amount of Arizona’s resources. Renzi also revealed verbally to RCC and on his public financial disclosure statements that Sandlin was a former business associate and that Renzi would recuse himself if that was an issue.

Ober and the powerful, connected Democrats working with him representing RCC then started getting pushy, demanding that Renzi ram through the legislation on their timeline. They never liked Renzi from the start, not wanting a Republican to get the credit for a land exchange that would benefit so many parties – including Native Americans, the Fort Huachuca military base, and the Nature Conservancy – and finally turned against him. They secretly decided to scrap the deal and just went through the motions, setting Renzi up for a fall by pretending that he had proposed the land exchange – namely the Sandlin property inclusion – since they had figured out Sandlin loosely owed Renzi money and they could say that Renzi had set it up to benefit him so Sandlin could pay him back. Eventually Renzi discovered they even had a name for the plot to take him down, “Operation Eagle.”

The reality is, Sandlin easily could have paid Renzi back the money at any time from all of his real estate holdings. He owned free and clear a property that was worth in excess of $5 million which would have been simply to obtain a 20 percent loan from.

But the powerful Democrats who controlled the governorship and much of the legal system weren’t going to risk a chance that Renzi might eventually run against Janet Napolitano for governor or continue on his successful path as a Republican who even Democrats liked. Evidence came in discovery during the trial that RCC had gone to Janet Napolitano and told her that the deal must be killed or it would help Renzi, who had become a #1 target of Democrats. No one doubts at this point that Napolitano was calling the shots, telling Restaino through his wife to continue the prosecution against Renzi no matter how trumped up.

I’ve still never met Rick Renzi. But the more I investigate this case, the sicker I get to my stomach.

What is now beyond doubt in the Renzi case is that a foreigner from South Africa named Bruno Hagner, who lived in Arizona, developed and executed a plan called Operation Eagle to take out an innocent U.S. Congressman. This former executive of RCC and his conspirators should be investigated by an independent counsel. All electronic records where Hagner discusses Operation Eagle should be investigated and turned over to Renzi’s attorneys. There also needs to be an electioneering investigation into Hagner and the the DOJ employees named in a memo from the Justice Department who were targeting Renzi and leaking information deliberately about the FBI investigation to hurt Renzi’s reelection chances.

Just like Fast and Furious, now that the criminal activity continues to leak out, it is time for a reexamination of the entire land exchange and prosecution – maybe it’s time for a congressional investigation. Otherwise the process of how we elect our representatives will never be safe from foreign predators.

It has now been since July that Judge Bury was made aware of this new information. Will he stand up to the powerful corrupt interests, or will he let an innocent man sit in prison?

Thanksgiving Story: The Pilgrims, Socialism, and Free Markets

pilgrims-300x215The story of the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and Thanksgiving is widely taught in all our schools. What is seldom taught, however, is what those Pilgrims learned, at great pain, about Socialism versus Free Markets.

The Pilgrim experience stands as the most authentic-ever, real-life comparison of socialism versus free-markets for human interaction, commerce, and governance.

As a reminder, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in November, 1620. They promptly lost half their population to starvation, sickness, and exposure that first winter, and they fared little better the second winter. We were all taught that a Native American named Squanto taught the survivors to fish, plant corn, use fertilizer, and hunt deer.

What most of us never learned (or glossed over) was that the original contract the Pilgrims brokered with their London sponsors required that everything the Pilgrims produced was to go into a common store, and every member was to be allotted one equal share.  Further, all the land they cleared and all the buildings they constructed were to belong to the whole community rather than to any individual.

To those with visions of utopian egalitarianism (which today’s Left piously calls Social Justice), this must have sounded like the ideal society.  Free of outside evil influences from Europe, personal property and greed were to be banished.  Everyone was to work hard for thecommon good, and altruism was to be its own reward.

How did it work out?


In the two winters beginning in 1621 & 1622, many died from starvation, pneumonia, or both.  Here are excerpts from Governor William Bradford’s own retrospective summary of the community’s experience with what we now variously call collectivism, socialism, or communism:

This community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.

For the young men, that were most able and fit for labour and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. 

And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.

Let none object this is men’s corruption, and nothing to the course itself. I answer, seeing all men have this corruption in them, God in His wisdom saw another course fitter for them.

In other words, said the Governor, it simply didn’t work. Mankind’s nature simply wouldn’t accommodate it, no matter how “ideal” it may have seemed.

Bradford had discovered that even these most idealistic of peoples had no reason to put in any extra effort without the motivation of personal incentives to do so.

Wisely, in April, 1623, Bradford abruptly abandoned collectivism. Instead, he assigned a plot of land to each family, permitting them to keep everything they grew or made and to market anything they didn’t consume themselves.  He actually harnessed all that awful human ”greed” and put it to work in a free-market system.

So how did free markets and private property work out for the same people in the same place under the same circumstances?


The Pilgrims soon had more food than they could eat or trade among themselves.  So they set up trading posts and exchanged goods with the Native Americans.  They paid off their debts to their London sponsors and soon attracted a great European migration. They still had plenty of problems, but hunger was never again one of them.

As Bradford summarized the new approach:

The women now went willing into the field, and took their little ones with them to plant corn, while before they would allege weakness and inability, and to have compelled them would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.

This [new approach] had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content.

Most importantly for us today, Bradford wrote about the bitter lessons learned from the failure of original plan:

Let none argue that this is due to human failing rather than to this communistic plan of life in itself ...

In modern times, when confronted with the undeniable historical record of socialism’s failures, the Left usually argues that the “right people” weren’t in charge, and if only they had been, their utopian socialist vision would have succeeded. If Bradford could speak, he would surely disagree based on the Pilgrims’ real-life experience.

So …

Why isn’t this lesson featured up front, in neon lights, in American history classes? Why isn’t it the lead story of the Pilgrim experience?  Why has the history even been falsified and its most important lesson ignored?

Perhaps it’s because the people who write our history textbooks still don’t want to believe it. Perhaps those authors still cling to the hope that some form of their beloved utopian socialism, collectivism, Marxism, communism, … will one day triumph over Private Property and Free Markets.

Unfortunately for those authors, the historical record couldn’t be clearer. For Americans, the Pilgrims’ experience should rightfully be our Exhibit One. In our own time, Milton Friedman said much the same in this now-classic video clip.

milton-friedmanWhen it comes to bettering the life of the common man, Free Markets and Private Property work — the alternatives don’t.

Granted, socialism, fascism, communism and other grand central-planning systems may work for a little while, after a fashion, most especially for those in power. But eventually they always fail, hurting most the people those systems were supposed to help — to the point of killing them. Yet even to this day, people keep falling for the false promises of those failed systems of human interaction and governance.

Finally —

For more than 3000 years at Passover, Jews around the world have been re-telling the story of their deliverance from slavery. And for over 2000 years at Easter, Christians have been re-telling the story of their redemption.  Now that it’s been nearly 400 years since the Pilgrims landed in America, perhaps we could begin re-telling the real story of Thanksgiving every year, headlining those life-and-death lessons the Pilgrims learned about the differences between Socialism and Free Markets.


The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings;
the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.
Winston Churchill

[Note: This is an updated version of articles written in January, 2011, and the Novembers of 2012, 2013, and 2014. This article was originally published at http://www.westernfreepress.com/2015/11/22/thanksgiving-story-the-pilgrims-socialism-and-free-markets-2/]

Gov. Ducey: I am calling for an immediate halt…of any new refugees in Arizona


PHOENIX – “Given the horrifying events in Paris last week, I am calling for an immediate halt in the placement of any new refugees in Arizona. As governor, I am invoking our state’s right under 8 USC, Section 1522 (a), to receive immediate consultation by federal authorities per the United States Refugee Act, and that the federal government take into account the concerns and recommendations of the state of Arizona as they are required to under federal law, in our efforts to keep our homeland safe. I also call on Congress and the President to immediately amend federal law to provide states greater oversight and authority in the administration of the placement of refugees. These acts serve as a reminder that the world remains at war with radical Islamic terrorists. Our national leaders must react with the urgency and leadership that every American expects to protect our citizens.”

Arizona Republic: Ducey looks to intensify fight against drug cartels with strike force

“When you’re talking about border issues, you’re typically talking about drug trafficking and human trafficking,” [Gov. Doug Ducey] said, after a morning spent meeting with ranchers, authorities and educators. “It’s the cartels and the traffickers that we want to focus on, and that’s what a strike force is going to aim at.”

By Yvonne Wingett Sanchez
November 12, 2015

Five cartel lookouts huddled beneath thick desert brush one night last month. Suddenly, they realized they’d been spotted.

The scouts, who are paid to study the movements of authorities and guide drug traffickers through the Arizona desert, dropped their heavy backpacks and bolted across rocky terrain near the quiet neighborhoods and golf courses south of Casa Grande.

Using covert tactics, a border-crimes team stationed at a makeshift headquarters watched as the lookouts made their getaway.

“They have night-vision capabilities and they’re lightning fast,” said Department of Public Safety Capt. Dave Nilson, who fielded constant radio traffic as he led the operation targeting traffickers in Vekol Valley.

“On any given day, we get 911 reports of people stopping, seeing people loading bundles and bundles of large amounts of narcotics, and illegal aliens – right on the side of the highway, and getting into cars and leaving. It literally is the wild West.”

Last month’s operation was the first by a new border-crimes bureau that Gov. Doug Ducey quietly created in September and hopes to expand into the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s third-largest bureau with the goal of removing Arizona from the list of prime trafficking routes into the world’s largest drug market.

The scouts were on the outskirts of metro Phoenix, but authorities from the Arizona Border Strike Force Bureau seized their dusty bags. Packed with solar panels, toilet paper, hot sauce, salt and ramen noodles, they had supplies to hide in the desert for a week.

The Arizona Border Strike Force Bureau of the Department of Public Safety is seeking to partner with local and federal agencies to disrupt the criminal organizations that smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. Their prime target is the Sinaloa Cartel, the source of a vast majority of marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin that flow into the state for sale or distribution to other states.

Ducey, who on the campaign trail promised to close the “wide-open and unprotected border,” said the bureau seeks to make it too risky and too expensive for the criminal organizations to operate here. That would required a sustained effort by the department, Ducey’s administration said, rather than its current sporadic operations.

Ducey is calling for an infusion of tens of millions of dollars in state money and federal grants and equipment to permanently fund the fight against border-related criminal activity. The plan would boost intelligence gathering, and add planes, helicopters, radios and other resources to the department’s arsenal.

Under Ducey’s plan, which would require new funding from the state Legislature, the Department of Public Safety’s bureau would eventually grow to about 180 troopers, analysts, pilots and county personnel, who would mostly operate in southern and central Arizona. A small number of National Guard troops would be used to initially bolster the numbers.

State troopers and canine units would conduct more-frequent patrols of highways, and authorities would target drug scouts, traffickers and distributors in key trafficking corridors. Border counties would receive state funds to hire more prosecutors and reimburse the costs of jailing traffickers.

Focusing on cartels and traffickers

Ducey is just beginning to brief state Republican leaders, who have generally supported border enforcement but have been reluctant to spend significant money on new projects since the recession.

The plan could face opposition from some county sheriffs. Some have said DPS should focus on patrolling the highways and running its crime lab.

It’s an issue of protecting Arizonans, Ducey told The Arizona Republic while flying back from Sierra Vista on Nov. 6, where he had presented $1 million of his office’s funds to Cochise County to help finish a regional communications center.

“When you’re talking about border issues, you’re typically talking about drug trafficking and human trafficking,” he said, after a morning spent meeting with ranchers, authorities and educators. “It’s the cartels and the traffickers that we want to focus on, and that’s what a strike force is going to aim at.”

A recent Arizona High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Threat Assessment report found the state “continues to be a major smuggling corridor and distribution hub” for the cartels. Mexican organizations use commercial shuttle vans to transport drugs from the border to stash houses in Phoenix and Tucson, and “backpacker groups continue to be the predominant method of transporting marijuana” into the state.

In fiscal 2014, drug seizures on state highways accounted for about 5 percent of marijuana seized in the state, 26 percent of cocaine, 26 percent of methamphetamine and 13 percent of heroin, the report found.

DPS Director Frank Milstead said the new bureau’s success would be measured by arrests and drug seizures. “The cartels that are making the drugs in these super labs south of the border, they’re rolling around in $100 bills and they’re celebrating the addictions they can have in America, because it funds” them, he said.

But there’s a limit to what Arizona can do to stem the flow of drugs, experts said, given the United States’ insatiable demand for drugs and the cartels’ determination to continue profiting from the trade.

“You’ve got suppliers and you’ve got demand,” said Michael Lytle, a border expert at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “Maybe they put a small dent in it. There’s no way they’re going to stop it.

“Any determined cartel guy can find a work-around. They’re like ants: If you put something down in front of a trail of ants, they’ll move someplace else.”

That doesn’t mean Arizona shouldn’t try, said James Carafano, a foreign policy and national security expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation. A state can’t secure the border, he said, but it can make it “somebody else’s problem” by disrupting popular smuggling corridors and pushing activity to other states.

“We’ve been spending more money on border security since the 1980s and actually the illegal activity’s gone up,” Carafano said. “Looking at how much money you’re spending is not necessarily the right metric. The simple question is: Does your community feel safe? And if your answer is no, then I think it’s a problem worth dealing with.”

So does Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has made border security a priority in his new administration.

Abbott and state leaders are embarking on an $800 million effort that speeds up the hiring of state police who patrol the border, along with increases in technology and intelligence operations. The plan has been criticized for its hefty price tag, s past lack of accountability for previous spending, and questions over how effective additional spending will be.

Finding federal and local support

In Arizona, Ducey and his top aides began drafting their border-security plan in the earliest days of the administration, said J.P. Twist, a senior adviser to the governor who is spearheading the initiative.

After working with U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials during the Super Bowl last January, Ducey initiated conversations with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and authorities from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and others, to see how Arizona could partner to combat border crime.

Federal officials were guarded at first, Twist said, fresh off a contentious relationship with former Gov. Jan Brewer, who railed against federal officials during her tenure over illegal immigration and border security.

Ducey said he began conversations with, “New administration, new governor, fresh start.”

Federal officials began to listen.

Past governors ordered National Guard troops to the border, wrote letters to federal officials seeking reimbursement and, in Brewer’s case, tried to publicly shame them into doing more.

Twist said the new approach is to instead take stock of how they can leverage state, local and federal resources.

Milstead and Twist began meeting with county sheriffs, mayors, leaders of the Tohono O’odham Nation, and federal officials from ICE and Border Patrol.

“We are fostering these relationships — that’s a critical part of making sure a plan like this works,” said Twist.

Paul Beeson, commander for the Joint Task Force West, Arizona, confirmed the Ducey administration’s characterization of the meetings. He said the proposal dovetails with a CBP effort to “disrupt, degrade and dismantle” transnational criminal organizations operating in Arizona and beyond.

Beeson said CBP has talked frequently with DPS about the proposal. “What I have seen is a sincere effort on the part of the state to work with federal officials and address these issues that are of concern to all of us,” Beeson said.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said he didn’t have enough details about Ducey’s proposal to say whether he supports it, but said he’d like to see more state troopers patrolling highways.

“This is a major corridor … you’ve got drugs, stolen vehicles, you’ve got money,” Estrada said. “You’ve got so many things happening on the highway and there’s nobody here after 2 o’clock (in the morning).”

Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos questioned DPS’ ability to take on more responsibility and said it should focus on patrolling highways and running the state crime lab.

He also said Ducey’s administration has done a poor job communicating their plans. “Don’t dictate what help you want to provide without knowing that your help isn’t much help,” Nanos said.

Twist said Nanos has not been open to learning about the proposal.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels told Ducey he needed money for a radio system. Communication is challenging in the area, with poor reception and dead zones. That prompted Ducey to help fund completion of the communications center, which was years in the making.

To Dannels and other county officials and ranchers, the money signaled that Ducey took their needs seriously.

Dannels told The Republic he would support Ducey’s plan if it complements county law-enforcement operations. “Big government” won’t resolve border-crime issues but “true partnerships” could, he said.

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot did not return calls to discuss Ducey’s plan.

The Ducey administration’s conversations with Tohono O’odham Nation leaders, whose land is a prime trafficking corridor, have stalled.

Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Edward Manuel said in a statement: “We have engaged with the Governor and his staff on this important issue, and have long worked closely with the U.S. Border Patrol. However, just like other border communities, the Tohono O’odham Nation needs to better understand the potential impacts of the Governor’s plan.”

Activity along the border

Ducey’s proposal comes as apprehensions of illegal immigrants have generally declined between fiscal 2005 and 2014, and as Border Patrol staffing has risen.

At the same time, marijuana seizures by the Border Patrol in Arizona have just about doubled to more than 1 million pounds in fiscal year 2014.

Not reflected in the reports are the tons of drugs that make it past authorities, points out Maj. Jack Johnson, who heads the DPS bureau.

“It’s pretty crazy to think drug traffickers just walking through, coming on up through communities, it’s pretty unbelievable,” said Johnson, as he sped past the lit-up football field at a Casa Grande school on the night of the October operation.

The strike force in September and October snared 3,260 pounds of marijuana, 73 pounds of meth, nearly 2 pounds of cocaine, 19 pounds of heroin and five firearms, according to DPS records. It made 180 arrests, including 14 documented gang members and 65 illegal immigrants who were turned over to Border Patrol.

Johnson contends the bureau could prevent drug-related deaths, addictions, home invasions and other crimes that can be traced to contraband smuggled through the border.

“If the border strike force saves a life, that’s huge,” he said. “That matters.”

The Resolution That No Other Maricopa County Republican Website Will Post

Here is the resolution offered at the last Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee meeting that was offered by 2nd Vice Chairman Aaron Borders.

This is the resolution has been at the center of controversy. Read it and you’ll see why.

When asked if any other Republican or conservative blogs have published the resolution, Mr Borders responded that the resolution was offered to several Republican blogs and email lists but the information was declined for publication.

During the vote for this resolution, Sonoran Alliance has learned that it would have likely passed if one of the legislative district chairman had remained at the meeting. That chairman’s ballot was collected prior to his departure but his vote was scrapped during a disagreement over the procedure. During the official vote, it was not counted.

Three other LD chairmen did not vote for the resolution because of a rule in their districts requiring a vote by all precinct committeemen in their district before the chairman can vote for the LD’s proxy at the EGC meeting.

The final vote led to a tie 14-14 which was broke by the Chairmen himself.

Here is the resolution that was offered at that meeting:

Resolution for Vote of No Confidence with Call for Independent Audit

The Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) is permitted by Statutory  provision, ARS 16-821, and exists due to the political authority of the Arizona Republican Party. As organizational documents,  the MCRC has established bylaws, voted and passed by the statutorily defined membership. The ARS, State, and County bylaws govern the actions and purpose of the MCRC. As Republicans, we uphold the written law and believe the concept of a representative Republic to be necessary, we reject governance by Executive Order, individual interpretation, or deliberate rejection for individual gain.

Whereas, the MCRC bylaws hold the purpose of, and guidelines for, the MCRC and elected officials therein and;

Whereas the existence of the MCRC bylaws with specific duties thereby defines that no elected official  may, of their own accord, knowingly and purposely violate said bylaws for personal gain, interest, or for the determined detriment of the Republican Part and;

Whereas the trust and confidence of the MCRC membership is necessary for the full objectives to be complete and the Party to further advance the Republican Party platform and elect Republicans to office and;

Whereas the best interest of the Republican Party and the objectives of the MCRC should be reflected in all actions and;

Whereas the MCRC bylaws identify the duties of the MCRC Chairman, among others, to be:

  • Represent the MCRC in an official capacity,
  • Be the recognized leader of the Republican Party in Maricopa County and coordinate the countywide activities of the Republican Party,
  • Prepare a budget for the calendar year and submit such budget to the EGC for adoption,
  • Furnish a monthly Itemized statement to the EGC for reimbursement of reasonable out of pocket expenses in the performance of duties as Chairman (set forth in the annual budget). Any Expense in excess of the amount budgeted shall be subject to the approval of the EGC, and;

Whereas in regard to the bylaws and the delineated duties, the objectives of the MCRC should be reflected in all actions of  the Chairman in his representation of such in the “official capacity” and within the countywide activities, a budget is a necessary tool for both transparency and ethical actions, and any funds expended must be within the budgeted amount and for the sole purpose of approve budgetary items and;

Whereas the MCRC funds are not a personal account to be used without discretion or discipline and only within the strict guidelines of the approved budget and;

Whereas Chairman Bowyer has:

  • Shown remarkable disregard to the bylaws through repeated press releases, public statements, and personal actions detrimental to the Republican Party for self-aggrandizement and promotion without knowledge or consent of the EGC,
  • Displayed ongoing unethical financial behavior, violating the bylaws with misuse of funds through repeated use of the MCRC debit card without receipts provided and in excess of budgeted amounts, without permission of the EGC as evidenced by an amended budget or vote of the EGC,
  • Caused MCRC checks to be returned by the bank, leaving the vendor unpaid, as consequence of his failure to act in a timely manner on required bank paperwork that had been initiated at his personal direction,
  • Abused MCRC funds and violated Federal Election Law by using the Tempe office as a coordination point, collateral storage site, and day to day office for his paid position with a non-GOP 501(c) 3 political entity, putting the MCRC in serious exposure and using the work of GOP volunteers for that entity;
  • Failed to meet his self-imposed fundraising goals and budgeted, approved, and expected outcomes;
  • Failed to act in the best interest of the MCRC in relation to the lawsuit pending, leaving the entity without insurance and at high risk,
  • Deliberately misrepresented the MCRC involvement and exposure in said lawsuit,
  • Exhibited blatant dishonesty in both internal and external communications as to amount of funds in budget, fundraising activity, votes casts, and status of lawsuit,
  • Violated FEC rules on multiple occasions by promoting specific candidates on the MCRC Facebook page and his Chairman’s Facebook page, through paid boosted post, and modified official campaign material to present the false appearance Chairman Bowyer holds positions of influence with those campaigns.
  • Committed the MCRC to events, with financial and political consequences, without EGC approval or basic knowledge of such events,
  • Engaged in fundraising ventures, without prior approval of the EGC, requiring individual payments by elected membership to gain information.
  • Demonstrated chronic and worsening disrespect to the elected membership, as evidenced by his failure to respond to requests for information in a timely manner, his abrupt changes to meeting times and location with less than 48 hours’ notice, and his failure to observe such basic courtesies as providing an agenda prior to regularly scheduled meetings of the EGC,
  • Failed to coordinate and cooperate with AZGOP leadership as recently evidenced by his lack of response regarding severe technical issue, with national repercussions, created by his incorrect application of AZGOP-supplied voter data tools;
  • Misrepresented the recent elections on School Board Overrides and bonds, and the nature of the EGC’s decision regarding those elections, both in writing and on multiple television appearances, without consent or prior knowledge of the elected membership,
  • Demonstrated chronic duplicity and deceptiveness in word and deed as evidenced by the recent actions surrounding the school district elections in his published statement of providing “factoids” only to say a week later, when questioned about the lack thereof, that each LD was able to speak to their own PCs – fully aware that there were no meetings to be held in any district that would allow for such communication,
  • Established committees of appointed individuals, not elected, to circumvent the LD Chairmen and elected officers of the EGC;
  • Has on multiple occasions been untruthful and duplicitous in his communications,
  • Violated FEC filings and Arizona election laws on multiple occasions, placing the MCRC at serious risk of FEC and AZ legal action. Continued to be unresponsive to requests for transparency in finances and function, failed to meet the standards of behavior and duties of the Chair, and;

Whereas the MCRC is currently in total disarray with no permanent meeting location, finances left unaudited per the bylaws, and with a Chairman who has spoken in opposition to the will of the EGC and bylaws, acting as a rogue chairman insistent on his own personal agenda, and:

Whereas based on these specific charges, and others, Chairman Tyler Bowyer has failed in the capacity of Chairman to meet the objectives and duties of the elected position he holds,

We hereby submit this resolution, to be voted by ballot at this current meeting of the EGC, and passed as a vote of ” No Confidence” in Chairman Tyler Bowyer with an immediate independent audit of the EGC, of both financial records and physical offices; and

We hereby direct that the independent audit committee be established per MCRC bylaws; however, due to “No Confidence” in Chairman Bowyer, That the committee consist of EGC members appointed by AZGOP Compliance Director Timothy Lee or his designee; and

We hereby direct, due to “No Confidence” in his fiscal responsibility, that Chairman Tyler Bowyer immediately cease and desist using the MCRC debit card and relinquish any and all MCRC credit/debit cards or physical checks in his possession as well as all outstanding receipts for expenditures made during his term of office; and,

We hereby direct Chairman Tyler Bowyer and his appointees to cease and desist from all further public communications on behalf of the MCRC, the EGC, the Executive Board, the Republican Part, unless such communications, word for word, have been duly raised and voted on by this body in a properly noticed meeting of the EGC or MCRC.

I hereby move, with privilege, for immediate approval of this resolution by ballot with votes to be tallied by the Secretary and observed by three LD chairs.

Still a Shot in Rural Counties to Influence Education Standards

This Week! AZ Standards Development Committee is coming to a county near you to hear what you think of AZ K-12 Education Standards. Come give your input! If you don’t…who’s voice will be heard?

* Do you like the standards the way they are now?
* What do you want to see added?
* What do you want to see changed?
* What do you want to see deleted?

Remember silence speaks volumes. This is your time to speak up for our children.

Guess who’s been coming to previous public input meetings? District Superintendents, Curriculum Specialists, Principals, Teachers weary of change and some Parents. Many who have attended earn a paycheck from the school system. ALL voices need to be heard.

Who will speak for You and your kids if you don’t?

Meetings this week are in: Maricopa, Mohave, La Paz, Graham/Greenlee, Santa Cruz, and Yuma Counties

(Too Late for these) Monday November 9th 6pm

Maricopa County: Peoria High School
11200 N 83rd Ave, Peoria, AZ 85345

Mohave County/Kingman: Mohave County Admin Building
700 W Beale St, Kingman, AZ 86401

(TODAY!) Tuesday November 10th 6pm

La Paz County/Parker: Parker High School
1600 S Kofa Ave, Parker, AZ 85344

Graham/Greenlee Counties/Safford: Graham County General Services Building
921 W Thatcher Blvd, Safford, AZ 85546

Thursday November 12th 6pm

Santa Cruz County/Nogales: Santa Cruz County Complex
2150 N Congress Dr, Nogales, AZ 85621

Yuma County/ Yuma: Yuma School District One
450 W 6th St, Yuma, AZ 85364

Sunday Square Off Appearance Brought Maricopa County GOP Fight To Head

What brought last week’s Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee intra-party fight to a head was the negative public relations generated when Chairman Tyler Bowyer made an appearance on Sunday Square Off three weeks ago. During that interview with Brahm Resnik, things got heated – more heated than normal between Resnik and his typical guests.

This led to the largest response by viewers of any Sunday Square Off show this year. During the following week’s show, a response by Aaron Borders, 2nd Vice Chairman for the Maricopa County GOP, took direct aim at Chairman Bowyer.

That public joust most likely led to last week’s fight during the monthly EGC meeting when Borders offered a resolution for a “no confidence vote” by the committee. (Sonoran Alliance will publish that resolution in another post.)

Here are the video clips from each Sunday Square Off show:





Gov. Ducey’s Republican Education Plan Earns Support of AZ Democratic Party Leader

Ducey Plan Solves One of Arizona’s Oldest and Most Politically Controversial Issues: Education Funding
PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party congratulated his counterpart, Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Alexis Tameron, on her announcement yesterday of her support of Gov. Doug Ducey’s Education Funding Plan. The measure, Proposition 123, will be on the ballot in May of 2016. If approved by voters it will increase K-12 funding by $3.5 billion over the next ten years.
“Governor Ducey is a true leader, and he’s put together a plan to address one of Arizona’s most difficult and controversial issues without putting more pressure on hardworking taxpayers,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Even the Democrat leadership knows a great leader with a great idea when they see one, and we’re happy to see more and more Democrat Party leaders acknowledge the hard work of our Republican legislature and Governor Ducey, and saying publicly they’re voting for it.”
“I want to thank the Chairwoman for publicly announcing her support,” Graham added.
Governor Ducey’s plan highlights are here:
Governor Ducey’s remarks upon signing the legislation to refer the plan to the ballot are here:
Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Alexis Cameron’s remarks, broadcast on 12 News’ “Sunday Square Off” on November 8th, will be available here:

Americans for Prosperity – Arizona: Get Organized. Make an Impact.


There is still time to join Americans for Prosperity Foundation for our six-week grassroots activist certification course beginning November 3rd and 4th. We’ll empower attendees with the leadership skills and knowledge to be effective grassroots leaders. Government is big: learn how to make it listen to you. Every class is free of charge and includes dinner.

Sign up HERE for our Tucson class beginning Tuesday, November 3rd.

Sign up HERE for our Phoenix class beginning Wednesday, November 4th.

Arizonans from across the state are learning how to organize and mobilize. Will you join them?

Learn MORE, watch our video.


OpEd: Colorado’s problems reveal danger of legal pot

By Seth Leibsohn and Sheila Polk

As Arizonans prepare for a public debate on legalizing marijuana, we encourage a close look at Colorado — the first state to fully legalize recreational use and sale of marijuana – and Ohio, the most recent state to defeat it.

Ohio—a key bellwether state—defeated legalized marijuana this week by a margin of 28 points. What Ohio made clear is that when the facts about today’s more potent and dangerous marijuana are aptly communicated and exposed, there are no good reasons left to make it both legal and more widely available – and it loses.

Perhaps recent news in Colorado is what informed Ohioans. For example: legalization advocates claimed it would help put an end to the black market and illegal sales. In just the last month in Colorado, however, we witnessed the contrary. To wit:

October 28: Officers find 6,400 illegal marijuana plants in southern Colorado forest.

October 9: 32 busted in big Colorado illegal marijuana cultivation crackdown.

October 6: DHS suspends 7 cross country runners.

October 8: Manitou Springs police: Mustangs boys’ soccer marijuana issue handled by school.

As Chief John Jackson of the Colorado Association of Police Chiefs said on 60 Minutes earlier this year, “I can resoundly say that the black market is alive and doing well.”

The largest of these raids, also last month, found 20,000 marijuana plants, 700 pounds of dried weed, and more than 30 guns. Among those arrested were Honduran, Mexican, and Cuban nationals. Clearly, instead of putting an end to the black market, legalization in Colorado has created a magnet for it as legality and availability drive sales and consumption.

As just this one month in Colorado also reveals, the notion that we can solve an international drug cartel program by legalizing a dangerous product that harms our youth is, quite simply, a fraud.

As noted above, high-school marijuana use—including by those on athletic teams—is also a major problem and growing concern. Why? As explained in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors just last month: “[A]s marijuana has become more accessible and adults have become more tolerant regarding marijuana use, adolescents perceive marijuana as more beneficial and are more likely to use if they are living in an environment that is more tolerant of marijuana use.”

Legalizing an intoxicating substance for adults will not keep it out of the hands of our youth—which is why 77% more of Arizona’s youth use alcohol than marijuana today. Making marijuana like alcohol means more adolescents will use more marijuana…just like they do alcohol. And it’s critical to note that today’s marijuana is not the same as it was in decades past—it’s at least five times more potent, practically an entirely different drug.

One month in Colorado is, of course, not the whole story; we recommend reading September’s Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Report. This report documents that, since legalization in Colorado, marijuana has been associated with such social fallout as increased homelessness, school suspensions and expulsions, and traffic deaths.

It couldn’t be clearer: Arizonans should not want this for its families and communities, and we certainly do not need it.

Seth Leibsohn is the host of The Seth Leibsohn Show on 960am/KKNT. Sheila Polk is the Yavapai County Attorney. Respectively, they are the Chair and Vice-Chair of Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy.