Maricopa County Republican Party Election Results

Maricopa County Republican Party

In case you missed it, Maricopa County Republicans held an election on Saturday, January 14, 2017 and elected new leadership.

Chris HerringThank you to the outgoing leadership for their service and congratulations to the new Maricopa GOP leadership team!
Chairman – Chris Herring
1st Vice Chairman – Aaron Flannery (elected by acclamation)
2nd Vice Chairman – Yvonne Cahill
Secretary – Cynthia Casaus (elected by acclamation)
Treasurer – Sheila Muehling

View official results on Simply Voting.

All changes to amend the bylaws failed while all resolutions passed.

Again, congratulations to the new Republican team!

Sal DiCiccio: $16 Million Wasted In Just One Day By City Of Phoenix

Sal DiCiccio

Last week, I wrote about the structural deficit our city is facing. Our deficit problems will continue until we make public safety our priority and cut spending in non-essential areas. On Tuesday, city staff gave a presentation regarding the budget deficit forecast. The forecast, which did not come as a surprise to me, shows our deficit continuing to grow out of control, even while we collect increased revenue.

The day after the budget deficit presentation, I voted NO on the following expenses, all of which the Phoenix City Council ultimately approved:

  • $3,668,564 to Downtown Phoenix Inc – a group that already taxes private businesses against their will to spend money on the Downtown area
  • $16,000 to National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials – annual membership fee
  • $60,000 to Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 777 to buy promotional and training material for themselves
  • $108,000 to Ballard Spahr LLP- lobbyists (this is on top of the hundreds of thousands of dollars they already spent on lobbyists at the last council meeting)
  • $12,170,000 to change just 4 bus routes
  • $750,000 to join the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability

TOTAL: $16,772,564

Just during a single city council meeting, we could have cut $16 million of unnecessary spending. But instead, we continued to add to the structural deficit problems we face.

As long as we continue to spend in this manner, we will continue to see your taxpayer monies wasted. And city officials will continue to have their hand out, telling you they need to increase your taxes because they are short on revenues. They’re not. They just have a spending problem.

You have my commitment to continue to protect you, your family and your hard earned tax dollars.

My best to you,

Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council
District 6

Former PC and State Committeewoman Calls Out AZGOP Candidate Jim O’Connor

The following guest opinion was submitted. Jim O’Connor is welcome to respond.

After reading a post in the MCRC Briefs by Jim O’Connor, I sent him this email. This is based on my personal dealings with him.
Dear Jim,

I saw the article that you wrote for the MCRC Briefs and have included it at the bottom of this email. As I’m sure you can imagine, my first reaction upon finishing the piece was to chuckle, then after a re-read my thought was that “Jim must be trying to get into the fiction writing business.​” I was shocked at what I read. You said, regarding the divide within our party that:

“It existed when I first began participating in my LD and continues to this very day.”  WHAT?

I was a PC and I never noticed a divide within our party or our LD. That all began after you got involved with the District.

“Both sides use the same tools to engage in this fruitless battle: Proxy abuse, attitudes and facial expressions at meetings (that would scare off new PC prospects), some party leadership who show favoritism to certain PCs, just to name a few.”

I think this statement reveals just how low you will stoop to try and win an election.

PROXY ABUSE…that is your middle name. FACIAL EXPRESSIONS…yep,  just the way you glare at those whom you deem unworthy, whom you believe are RINO’s, whom you believe are not Christian enough…I could go on and on especially since I have been on the receiving end of those LOOKs.

For a man who wears his Christianity on his sleeve, you are the most judgmental person I have ever met.

“The issues to be addressed by the EC are: By-Law Review, Proxy Abuse, Technology, Teleconferencing, PC Recruitment And Training. I invite you to join with me to create a formidable organization focused on registering Republican voters, recruiting new PCs, and working to get good Republicans elected.”

I love this…. Bylaw review: it took you and your crew well over 4 years to put out a set of Bylaws. You wanted your fellow PC’s to have to swear an oath to be loyal to the LD. You wanted to blackball anyone who might have been a Democrat in their past or who might have supported one. The operative word being MIGHT…and you began purging our District of those who fought you on these damaging ideas.

Proxy Abuse: for a man who has made it his purpose to recruit PC’s who do not attend meetings and who do not participate in anything, but who will hand over their proxy’s so that your chosen crew will be elected. For a man who puts out lists of blackballed PC’s so that those carrying the illegal proxy’s will only vote for those on your list…it is disgraceful. You are not a leader.

Training: The first training session I went to that had been arranged by you was about 5 years ago. You remember, it was on the topic of how to speak to someone with different views. I made sure to arrange my schedule so that I could attend what I was hoping would be an interesting and informative morning. What did we get? Well, it turned out that you fell for the nonsense of a women who told you she was an expert in dealing with controversial topics…but instead we heard about her family and how her bridge club did not like her because she had better clothes tha​n​ they did…yep, that was a good day.

The second time I attended one of your training sessions, just last year, it was supposed to be about how to be a good PC. Again, I rearranged my schedule and sat and listened to an older gentleman regale us with stories of his life. I’m not sure the word PC was ever uttered. Again, another flop for the O’Connor team.

I can only hope that you lose this election and don’t take our State down the tubes as you have done to our Legislative District. LD23 used to be winners. We used to have fun in LD23. We used to make a huge difference. Now, under your poor guidance, LD23 is a  loser – loser in recruiting PC’s and everything else. Honestly, I cannot think of one positive thing you have done.

In summary, this article you posted in the MCRC Briefs appears to be an autobiography of you.

Joan Lang
Former PC
Former State Committeeman

===========

Original message:

From the Briefs: By Jim O’Connor

There is no denying that there has been a fundamental divide within our party in Arizona. We all have to say that out loud because it is TRUE. Any attempt to cover that up with clever language by either side of the divide, will lessen our chances of curing the problem under the next administration. It existed when I first began participating in my LD and continues to this very day. So I invite all of us to get real as an alternative to getting even. Both sides use the same tools to engage in this fruitless battle: Proxy abuse, attitudes and facial expressions at meetings (that would scare off new PC prospects), some party leadership who show favoritism to certain PCs, just to name a few. If I go on with this laundry list, I shall fail to make my point.

These destructive behaviors must stop. A thorough audit of our State Party is long overdue. And by audit I mean much more than a financial audit. We need the soon to be elected Executive Committee (EC) to be empowered to act. These 84 members represent every County and Congressional District across Arizona. The issues to be addressed by the EC are: By-Law Review, Proxy Abuse, Technology, Teleconferencing, PC Recruitment And Training. I invite you to join with me to create a formidable organization focused on registering Republican voters, recruiting new PCs, and working to get good Republicans elected. After all, ours is a Republic, if we can keep it.

Republican Activists Call Out AZGOP Chairman Candidate

Words Are Cheap Mr. O’Connor

It was surreal to read what Jim O’Connor, candidate for AZGOP Chair, wrote and which was posted to MCRC Briefs on January 7, 2017:

“JIM O’CONNOR: There is no denying that there has been a fundamental divide within our party in Arizona. We all have to say that out loud because it is TRUE. Any attempt to cover that up with clever language by either side of the divide, will lessen our chances of curing the problem under the next administration. It existed when I first began participating in my LD and continues to this very day. So I invite all of us to get real as an alternative to getting even. Both sides use the same tools to engage in this fruitless battle: Proxy abuse, attitudes and facial expressions at meetings (that would scare off new PC prospects), some party leadership who show favoritism to certain PCs, just to name a few. If I go on with this laundry list, I shall fail to make my point.

These destructive behaviors must stop. A thorough audit of our State Party is long overdue. And by audit I mean much more than a financial audit. We need the soon to be elected Executive Committee (EC) to be empowered to act. These 84 members represent every County and Congressional District across Arizona. The issues to be addressed by the EC are: By-Law Review, Proxy Abuse, Technology, Teleconferencing, PC Recruitment And Training. I invite you to join with me to create a formidable organization focused on registering Republican voters, recruiting new PCs, and working to get good Republicans elected. After all, ours is a Republic, if we can keep it.

Actions speak louder than words. Where is the proof that Jim is a healer? Why should we believe Jim’s promise to mend the party at the state level when he can’t even do it within his own district? Jim and his inner circle are experts at party division. Repeatedly we, the undersigned of LD23, have been on the receiving end of back stabbing, lies and so much more (for a few examples see Guest Opinion: Why Jim O’Connor Should Not Be The Next AZGOP Chairman, Gayla Coletto Responds To Jim O’Connor’s MCRC Post and My Turn: Jim O’Connor Practices Unfair, Unethical Elections.)

For the flavor of what was/is continually dished out by LD23 leadership, please read the following, which appeared in our district’s January 2016 newsletter. It was written by Joe Meli, Chairman Emeritus (emphasis ours).

“You may often be hearing the refrain “I’m a conservative, not a Republican!” Balderdash! We are Republicans who stand for the conservation of our nation’s values framed by the United States Constitution. By definition, a Republican cannot be progressive if progressivism requires abandoning our history and the legacy of the Framers. To be a conservative is to conserve. To conserve is to preserve. To be a Republican in practical terms, one must stand for that concept. Make no mistake, folks who claim to be moderate Republicans are really unsure of what they believe, and therefore pick and choose what planks in our platform to support. They are certainly free to do so, but they offer only a compromised future for our party.”

Many of us have been labeled “moderate Republicans” and therefore have been ostracized from our district. Apparently, those within the LD23 inner circle believe they have some divine ability to magically know our hearts, and therefore can operate as judge and jury when deciding who of us is worthy enough to belong to “their” Republican party.

We get it. Politics is a rough and tumble business. But for the record, we expected Jim to be different—he wears his Christianity and love of our founding fathers and documents on his sleeve, and that was refreshing to many of us. Finally, an honest political leader! But we expected better than what we got. Our bad.

As it relates to LD23, not everything is as it seems. From our perspective, the LD23 inner circle operates as if narrative can trump facts and actual action… But in our world, the proof is in the actual evidence of our experiences. For as long as we can remember, there have been no real attempts made by Jim or his team to repair and rebuild. Just division, division, division. This should raise red flags for all of you who care so much about an honest and transparent Arizona GOP operation moving forward.

Elect Jim O’Connor and you could very well end up like so many of us—at the receiving end of back stabbing, rumors, lies, innuendos and more. And an AZGOP that is more divided than ever. Buyers beware. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

The undersigned,

Chris Brant
Gayla Coletto
Harold J. Denomme
Eileen Fiedler
Greg Heine
Roberta Heine
Joan Lang
Warren Lang
Bruce Linker
Paula Linker
Sheila Muehling
Cheryl Pelletier
Joan Parker
Nancy Pryor
Linda Rizzo
Joe Romack
Jan Stephenson
Mike Stephenson
Dick Stock
Edith Stock

(Opposing views are welcome.)

Gilbert and Chandler Place Well In Annual US City Fiscal Health Rankings

Town of GilbertCongratulations to the Town of Gilbert and City of Chandler for placing high in the annual US City Fiscal Health Index.

The index, prepared by The Fiscal Times, looks at five factors to derive the rankings including: ratio of city general fund balance to expenditures, ratio of long term obligations to total government-wide revenues, ratio of actuarially determined pension contributions to total government-wide revenues, change in local unemployment rate and changes in property values. Data is reported by the cities themselves from 2015. Only cities with populations of 200,000 were evaluated. (Tempe, Peoria, Surprise, Yuma, Avondale and Flagstaff have populations less than 200,000.)

City of ChandlerThe Town of Gilbert placed 17th while the City of Chandler placed 20th.

Other Arizona cities placed lower on the list:

Phoenix – 43
Glendale – 77
Tucson – 81
Scottsdale – 84
Mesa – 85

At the bottom of the list were Chicago and New York City.

To view the full index, click here.

Democrat Randall Friese ‘Sour’ Over TANF Sponsorship

JD Mesnard

House Speaker JD Mesnard

There’s a short news item on AZCentral by Mary Jo Pitzl this morning reporting a “sour note” in the harmony sought by Arizona House Speaker, JD Mesnard.

Apparently, State Representative Dr. Randy Friese (D-9) wanted to sponsor the bill restoring funding to TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) but was beat to the hopper by Republican State Representative Jeff Weninger.

Friese called the move an example of “hyper partisanship.”

Jeff Weninger

Rep Jeff Weninger

During his State of the State address on Monday, Republican Governor Doug Ducey announced a round of legislative and budget initiatives including the restoration of TANF funding. Weninger, who represents Chandler, is spearheading the bill.

Dr. Friese and his Democrat colleagues made it obvious that they don’t approve of Republicans stealing their brand of helping the most needy because it takes away an issue they’ve used to craft political dependency. It pains them to lose credit on the issue and by alleging the move as an act of “hyper partisanship,” Friese hurts his credibility should he sign on as a co-sponsor the bill.

Randall Friese

Randall Friese

Speaker Mesnard, perhaps presented a more realistic forecast of legislative action acknowledging the challenges of finding room in the budget to fully restore TANF.

Unfortunately for Rep. Friese, Democrats don’t control either chamber so it’s in their best interest to stop acting petty and become team players on issues they support.

Thoughts On Selecting A Republican Party Chairman

It’s that time again when elected precinct and state committeemen convene to elect a new Republican Party Chairman here in Arizona. As required by law, new party officials are chosen every other year to lead the party into the next round of elections.

This year, I won’t be voting or participating in these elections. That’s because I am no longer a precinct committeeman. I walked away from party service last year after witnessing some of the worst political behavior I’ve seen in over 25 years that took place during a county GOP meeting. (Read my post here.) I don’t have the time or toleration to waste another Saturday participating in what should actually be reserved for real opposition – fighting the left.

Instead, I’m watching the process as party activists explain why they believe their candidate is best for the job.

Arizona Republican PartyGoverning and leading the Republican Party is something I would know about because I’ve actually worked for the Republican Party Chairman. And that was during a very active time including a state senator recall election, special congressional election, Arizona redistricting commission fiasco, presidential primary debate preparation in Mesa, state convention that didn’t go that well and of course, all that on top of a Primary and General Election season during a presidential election. A lot happened and what most party activists don’t realize is that these challenges could have been easier to handle and the outcomes could have been more successful if only the conflict had been minimized.

One other factor to mention -and it’s becoming increasingly important as times change. Political parties are striving to remain relevant. This was made abundantly clear during this last presidential election as a former Democrat who switched parties to become a Republican attacked the establishment with an independent message and won the GOP nomination. Layer that on top of the hard reality for Republicans and Democrats alike, that 33.97% of registered voters do NOT identify with either the Democrat or Republican party. In Arizona, where Republicans hold majorities in the legislature and statewide office, the future of political parties is unpredictable when the number of independent voters is about to take the lead.

This brings me to thoughts and advice when selecting a Republican Party chairman.

If I were to vote for this individual I would make my choice based on four criteria: vision, fundraising, cooperation and messaging.

Fundamental to good leadership is whether or not the leader is visionary. Governing, administering, fundraising, etc. will never be enough if the individual can’t cast a vision that inspires and motivates followers. The next party chairman will have to put forth a vision that is bigger than themselves, bigger than the party and inspires believers and even non-believers to buy into the future. Given the struggle for relevancy in this day and age, this will be the biggest challenge for the next chairman and it will enable and affect all the other roles. The next chairman will need to show the party faithful what the future looks like and not just tell them.

Fundraising capacity is critical. It’s very hard to move a movement forward without having the resources to pay for it. Telling the story and selling the vision costs money, lots of money. As they used to say in the space program, “No bucks, no Buck Rogers.” Elections are big business. While candidates have to raise their own money, the GOP must amass a massive war chest in preparation for the get out the vote effort in the General Election. And this fundraising capacity is inextricably tied to the criteria of cooperation.

Chairmen who enter their role having run on a platform of conspiracy theories will find it extremely difficult to raise money. Burned bridges tend to stay burned. 

In party politics, cooperation is an asset not a liability. Team players are far more successful than solo artists who rise through the ranks by dividing and conquering. This means that chairmen must stay completely out of primary contests and hold their fire until the General Election. Impartiality, objectivity, even-handedness are imperative for party unity. And this capacity to cooperate is crucial to working with Republican officeholders. A party chairman might not like or agree with our senior Senator but he or she must put their personal differences and disagreements aside for the sake of party success.

Finally, as someone who works in the arena of communication, I cannot stress strongly enough the power of messaging. Perception is reality, especially in the world of politics. If you’re not defining who you are, your opponent certainly will and they will do so ruthlessly. (I learned this lesson personally during my time at the AZGOP.) Chairmen who sow drama and controversy, reap the same. Wasting precious time and energy putting out fires, robs resources from winning elections. Chairmen who are constantly in damage control mode don’t win elections.

Having worked as an activist in the culture war for many years, growing the movement is the most important thing one can do to move an agenda and score victories. The next chairman will need to be highly proficient in the art and science of political mathematics.

Effective movement-building and party-growing messaging must be based on addition and multiplication, not subtraction and division.

Demographics in Arizona are changing. Much of the old guard is fading away into history. If Republicans want to remain relevant, they must acknowledge these demographic shifts and affirm the the values and principles that attracted people into the party: smaller limited government, lower taxes, under control spending, economic freedom and growth, safe communities, federalism, life and family-affirming values, religious freedom, educational choice and freedom, and strong national security. These are the values that appeal to millennials, Latinos and women.

I won’t be voting in the upcoming GOP party elections but I will be watching. Like many other Republicans who are tired of all the gratuitous drama, I’ll be reconsidering my party involvement based on how my fellow Republicans behave and who they choose for this important position.

So if you’re asking for my editorial advice on these party elections it would be choose wisely, fellow Republicans. Choose wisely.

Guest Opinion: Why Jim O’Connor Should Not Be The Next AZGOP Chairman

If you are not telling the truth about insignificant things, what else are you not telling the truth about?

I really am a nobody in politics. I have no power now, nor did I want any when I was a precinct committeeman, precinct captain and state committeeman representing the Del Joya precinct within LD23. I just wanted and still want to do my small part to help stop the encroachment of leftist, socialist policies that the Democrat party has attempted and will continue to attempt to cram down our throats when given the chance.

As a result of my grassroots political involvement, I have an experience I want to share with you. I am writing this in the hope that enough people will read and consider this before voting for the very important position of AZ GOP chairman.

Background to the following: Del Joya is the same precinct where Jim O’Connor, candidate for AZ GOP chairman, resides. Early on in my grassroots career, we worked together, including on one or two occasions, joined together to complete our signature petitions.

It was September of 2014 and another primary election cycle had come and gone. It was my responsibility, as PC Captain, to contact the PC’s in my precinct so that we could come together to elect a new captain. Reviewing the list of newly elected PCs, I realized that there were quite a few I had no contact information for—so I called Jim, figuring he could help. But Jim told me he could not because he did not know who these new PCs were.

Ok, so he didn’t know. No problem! I would track down the information myself so I enlisted the assistance of a super-sleuth friend. As a result, I was able to contact all of our PCs and a meeting was scheduled at my home.

The evening of the meeting arrived. Two of the individuals Jim claimed not to know showed up first. We introduced ourselves and got to talking. In the course of our conversation I learned that Jim did indeed know these two individuals. How did I find out? Because these first arrivals informed me that they had been working with Jim on some political activities in the past. Hmmmm…

I was able to speak to Jim about this matter at a later date. At first he denied it. But after explaining to him the facts as they were, he was forced to admit his transgression. He even said to me “Cheryl, as one Christian to another can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”

I know, I know. You might be thinking that this is no big deal—after all, it’s just a little white lie, right? But why did Jim claim he did not know these people? Why did he not want to provide this information? Why was he making me work harder than I had to in order to perform my PC Captain duties? Which leads me to my closing comment… The truth is this: There absolutely was no reason to lie to me about such a small matter. If you are not telling the truth about the little things, what else are you not telling the truth about?

A few experiences already have been shared on this website and on Facebook. And I know that there are numerous other people who have similar stories to tell. We can only hope they will share them. Bottom line is this: Jim O’Connor is not the man he so very well presents himself to be and he should not become the next AZGOP chairman.

Thank you for your time.

Cheryl D. Pelletier
Lifelong Republican and Resident of LD 23, Del Joya Precinct

Congressman Andy Biggs Submits Two Amendments for the REINS Act

Washington, DC (January 4) – Today, Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05) announced that he had submitted two amendments to the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017 (REINS Act). The REINS Act seeks to restore oversight authority to Congress for any major federal regulation that could potentially cost the U.S. economy at least $100 million. Congressman Biggs also testified in front of the House Rules Committee on behalf of his two amendments this afternoon.

“I am pleased to have offered up two amendments to the REINS Act and to have defended the amendments in the Rules Committee,” Biggs said. “Many small businesses and individuals in my district have been negatively affected by the ripple effect caused by an out-of-control rules-making process by unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats. I promised my constituents that I would strongly support the REINS Act, and I have kept my promise. I will continue to push for the passage of the REINS Act to ensure that Congress takes back this very-important job of rule-making oversight.”

Watch Congressman Biggs’ testimony in front of the Rules Committee.

Congressman Biggs offered the following two amendments to the REINS Act:

Amendment #4: Defines all rules promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency as “major.”

Amendment #5: Lowers the annual economic effect threshold for a major rule from $100,000,000 to $50,000,000.

###

Congressman Andy Biggs is a first-term Representative from Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, representing parts of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Sun Lakes, and Queen Creek. He lives with his wife Cindy in Gilbert.

Arizona Solicitor General Issues Opinion on Arizona GOP Party Elections

Just issued today, a legal opinion by the Arizona Solicitor General office of the Arizona Attorney General, resolves a dispute regarding notification in Republican Party elections.

Solicitor General Dominic Draye

Solicitor General Dominic Draye

The opinion issued by Dominic Draye to incoming Speaker of the House JD Mesnard, settles the legal question of whether or not precinct committeemen were properly noticed regarding the upcoming Maricopa County Republican Party election and ultimately the election of State Committeemen in LD23 including an announced candidate for State Party Chairman.

In question was the definition of “by mail” as cited in ARS 16-824. The statute states:

16-824Meeting, organization and officers of county committee

  1. The county committee shall meet for the purpose of organizing no earlier than ten days after the last organizing meeting of the legislative districts which are part of the county, and in any event no later than the second Saturday in January of the year following a general election. The county committee shall elect from its membership a chairman, a first vice-chairman, a second vice-chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. The latter two offices may be filled by the same person. The chairman of the county committee shall be ex officio a member of the state committee.
  2. The chairman of the county committee shall give notice of the time and place of such meeting by mail to each precinct committeeman at least ten days prior to the date of such meeting.

Current Maricopa County Republican leadership has argued that “by mail” is vague enough to include email as a method of notification to precinct committeemen. Despite an outcry from district chairmen warning Bowyer of the statutory demands and his misunderstanding, he and Secretary Dan Schultz remained adamant they were correct in their interpretation of the law, referring to their bylaws and ignoring statute.

Chairman Tyler Bowyer cited recent changes to the Maricopa County GOP bylaws, where the inclusion of email was listed as a means to notice meetings, insisting the statutory definition was inclusive of email notification in that it didn’t exclude email.

In the opinion posted by Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Solicitor General Draye clarifies and establishes the correct definition of “by mail” in the following statement:

While judicial authority interpreting the phrase “by mail” under Arizona law is limited, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona recently interpreted the word “mail” as used in Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 4.2(c).  Cachet Residential Builders, Inc. v. Gemini Ins. Co., 547 F. Supp. 2d 1028 (D. Ariz. 2007).  The court, relying on an established dictionary definition, held that mail is “defined as ‘letters, packets, etc. that are sent or delivered by means of the post office.’”  Id. at 1030 (citing Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language 864 (1989)).

This definition, which focuses on whether the item is “sent or delivered by means of the post office,” is consistent with how the term “mail” is used elsewhere under Arizona law.  For example, Rule 35(c)(1) of the Arizona Rules of Protective Order Procedure distinguishes between communications by mail and email.  Ariz. R. Protect. Ord. P. 35(c)(1) (“A limited jurisdiction court may allow contact by mail or e-mail to arrange parenting time . . . .”) (emphasis added).  Likewise, the Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure specify that “[a] party that serves documents on another party by mail in an expedited election appeal also must deliver the documents by electronic means, including email or facsimile, or as agreed to by the parties.”  Ariz. R. Civ. App. P. 10(h); see also Ariz. R. Civ. P. 5(c)(2)(C), (D) (distinguishing service by “mailing it” from service “by any other means, including electronic means”).  Further, in the Code of Judicial Administration, the term “notify” is defined to mean “written communication by mail, fax or email.”  Ariz. Code of Jud. Admin. § 6-211 (emphasis added).  The distinction between “mail” and “email” in the above rules would be superfluous if “mail” already encompassed email.  These authorities also show that, when delivery by email is permitted under Arizona law, Arizona authorities have expressly authorized it.

For purposes of the present question, our preliminary conclusion is that notice requirements elsewhere in Arizona law provide the best analogue to the requirement in A.R.S. § 16-824.  Those provisions illustrate that, where email notice is permitted, it is listed separately from “mail.”  This interpretation is also consistent with dictionary definitions and common usage as explained in Cachet Residential Builders.  For these reasons, notice by email appears insufficient to satisfy A.R.S. § 16-824. (emphasis added)

Tyler Bowyer

Tyler Bowyer

Given this official legal opinion, the Maricopa County Republican Party Bylaws are out of compliance with the law.  In that all GOP bylaws must be in compliance with both state law and the state party bylaws, any legislative district bylaws allowing email notification are also out of compliance with both Arizona Republican Party Bylaws and Arizona statute.

Today was the last day for elected precinct committeemen in Maricopa County to be properly noticed leaving the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) ill-prepared to make right the serious error as Chairman Bowyer called chairs over the past few days encouraging them to utilize email notices.

It has been reported that several LD chairmen received calls today from AZGOP Chair Robert Graham informing them that the state party was abiding by statute and mailing the call despite this statutory obligation falling on the county party. This to ensure all PC’s are eligible to vote in the upcoming MCRC elections with a proper notification.

Additionally, the opinion also affects upcoming party elections at the state party level.

Jim O'Connor

Jim O’Connor

In Legislative District 23, where notice of their election was provided by email, the election of state committeemen would be invalid because the meeting was conducted illegally. Chairman Robert Graham notified former Chairman Jim O’Connor, who was responsible for the illegal action, to the error and offered the ability for a “do over”. The newly (and also illegally) elected chair replied and vehemently declined the “do-over,” ignoring of the law and asserting the LD23 bylaws allowed for email. Chairman Graham met with representatives from LD23 and attorneys to no avail, with LD23 holding firm on their decision to use email and declining a legally called election.

Unfortunately, a better understanding of the law would have benefited the PC’s in LD23.  The warning from Graham outlined the problem that would result from the ill-advised and illegally held meeting; that those elected as state committeemen would potentially not be seated or run for a party position as the election was not valid. Specifically, candidate Jim O’Connor, who made the decision to use the illegal method of notification, could be disqualified as a candidate for State Party Chairman.

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

The Solicitor General’s opinion affirms AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham’s assertion was correct, that districts such as LD23 that improperly noticed their precinct committeemen by email, were in violation of party bylaws and state statute all along.

With the State Republican Party Meeting and Election rapidly approaching, there is not enough time now for a “do-over” election leaving LD23’s illegally elected state committeemen potentially ineligible to vote. The legal remedy is for Chairman Graham to disregard the illegally called meeting results, seat an appointed contingent of committeemen from LD23, and hold the State Meeting according to statute and bylaw.

Party activists and officials must be aware of these important bylaws and statutes especially when they conduct the process of elections and seek higher leadership. Pushing a personal agenda by skirting the rules or making them up as you go is the not the upholding manner in which GOP leaders should conduct themselves.