On Tuesday, I asked each candidate for State Chairman if they wouldn’t mind answering a few questions regarding their race. Many of the questions have been making the rounds among GOP activists so I thought it only appropriate to facilitate a little Q&A here at Sonoran Alliance.
Here are the questions asked of Lisa James and her unedited responses:
SA: Why are you running for State Chairman? Did anyone prompt you to run?
LJ: Having worked for Republicans in both a paid and volunteer capacity for more than 20 years, I feel that Party Chairman is the next step in my service to the Republican Party. Politics is my passion and I want to build on my past experience to unite our Party and achieve Victory in ’08.
I was humbled when approached by many from all levels of our party to run for Chairman. Volunteers asked. Precinct Committeemen asked. Donors asked. Congressman Shadegg also called me.
SA: Which candidate/campaign do you consider your greatest success?
LJ: Serving as Executive Director of the Bush/Cheney ’04 campaign in Arizona was an incredible experience. We brought together thousands of volunteers to man booths, register voters, dial phones, email voters, attend the two most successful political rallies in Arizona history (Bank One Ballpark Debate Watch Party–45,000 + attendees and Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum–16,000 + attendees), and almost double the margin of victory from the 2000 campaign. This is what we need to duplicate for the Party and preparing for another Presidential election is a great opportunity to get voters excited about being a Republican and participating in the political system.
SA: Which has been your greatest political disappointment?
LJ: The election of Bill Clinton in 1992.
SA: How comfortable are you in raising money among major donors? grassroots donors?
LJ: I am extremely comfortable raising money from both major and grassroots donors. Every dollar is important and the dollar from a senior citizen on a fixed income is just as important as the 5 figure checks from major donors. We should provide opportunity to give at all levels. I look forward to making everyone feel comfortable with their decision to give money to the Party. They should know it will be spent effectively.
I am also comfortable with asking people to give of their time and talents–just ask any of my friends and neighbors or anyone who might have a minute to spare. Someone took a week off of work to volunteer for the Bush campaign in ’04 and the before the week was over she took a leave to stay the final 6 weeks of the campaign–full time volunteer. Others may have only an hour to give, or a morning to walk, or a knack for decorating offices or preparing for events. There is plenty of work to be done–and I won’t ask anyone to do anything I have not done or will not do myself.
SA: What is your vision for the Arizona GOP for the next four years?
LJ: The Arizona Party should focus on doing four things to build and unite:
1) Recruit and train grassroots volunteers and precinct committeemen
2) Recruit and train candidates at all levels
3) Raise dollars in off years to prepare for election years and to avoid taking dollars from our candidates in election years
4) FOCUS on winning elections and encouraging Republicans by reminding people that we are the party of small government, lower taxes, personal responsibility.
SA: How do you see your role between social factions in the party?
LJ: The Republican Party has a platform in which I believe. I am who most would consider extremely conservative. However, it takes ALL Republicans to win on election day. We need every vote. The Republican Party has the responsibility to turn out all Republicans to make sure the winners of our primary and our Presidential nominee remain winners in November.
SA: Do you support the Republican Party Platform as it is currently is written?
LJ: Yes—though for the party of less government, it sure is lengthy.
SA: The 2006 Election cycle was tough on Republicans. What will you do differently in 2008?
LJ: It was a tough year for Republicans across the Nation and Arizona was no exception. In general terms, I would like to see greater communication at all levels of our party–from counties to the state, state to counties, candidates to the Party and Party to the candidates. While we point out what is wrong with our Democrat opponents (and not each other) we must also give a reason to come home to our Grand Old Party–smaller government, lower taxes, personal freedom and responsibility.
SA: If elected State Chairman, how will you be able to avoid conflicts of interest with your public relations business?
LJ: My work for our Public Relations business is part time and is as an officer of our company. I have taken leaves of absence in the past and if necessary this can be done again. They have survived when I have given birth, survived when I chose to stay home as a full-time mom and survived when I have worked full-time on the BC’04 campaign and as Victory ’06 Director. We have a great team at GCJPR and I have full confidence that they will continue to provide quality work while I am serving as Chairman. They are a second family for me and have been extremely supportive of this endeavor.
SA: Will you be able to remain objective and fair as Presidential candidates come to Arizona? Will Senator McCain get special treatment?
LJ: The job of the Chairman, and of the Party, is to showcase ALL of our Republican Presidential candidates. Our voters need as much information as possible to make an informed decision in our Presidential primary. All of our Republican candidates will get special treatment.
SA: Given Gordon James’ position on the executive board of China Mist and China Mist’s public support of Planned Parenthood why shouldn’t social conservatives be concerned?
LJ: Gordon James is not running for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party–his wife is and is doing so with his full support as well as the full support of Emily, Charlie, Maddie and Olivia James–my four children. I am 100% pro-life and have been since a child. This election is about my record and I am pleased to have the support of many leaders in the pro-life community including (but not limited to) Len Munsil, Joe Cavanaugh, and Congressman Trent Franks.