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Guest Opinion: Arizona LD-25 Election Controversy

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Reposted from Adams and Jefferson blog.

By E. Paul Whetten

To the PCs of LD 25 and any other interested parties:

A lot of rumors, half-truths and whispered accusations have been swirling around the LD 25 officer/state committeemen elections since our meeting on November 29th. As someone who is directly affected by this controversy and as a participant in the ensuing investigation I would like to clear the air on this issue. The facts that I will be stating here have come from either my own firsthand observation/participation in the events described, or by my conversation with individuals who have firsthand knowledge of the events.

Before I launch into this, I would like to clarify a very important point – The candidates who ran for offices in our election were divided into two slates. The slate that I ran with did substantially better than the opposing slate, winning all but two of the officer races and winning roughly two-thirds of the State Committeemen positions. I bring this up because the allegations of fraud cast the longest shadow over me and the individuals who ran on my slate. As you will see in the rest of this letter, this is unwarranted and unfair to the good people who ran with me. I also want to be clear that I am not casting blame or suspicion on the good people on the other slate that ran in the election. We simply do not know who perpetrated the fraud that set this whole thing off. Any guesses about who did this are just that, guesses.

Without further ado, my statement of the facts regarding the LD 25 elections on November 29, 2012 (please see footnotes for additional clarifications):

All of the above was agreed to by consensus without an actual vote taken on accepting these recommendations. The formal notice of this action was given when Ian, at Chairman Haney’s direction, sent out his letter to the district informing everyone of the outcome of the investigation.

The committee investigated the officer election on its own initiative, as no formal challenge to that election was filed. In my opinion, the invalidation of the officer election is highly unusual, as that election was certified on the night of the election and any irregularities in that election were probably equivalent to irregularities that would appear in any election.

Once the formal announcement was made I returned all passwords I had been given to Ian Murray and directed those who had won the officer elections on November 29th to return any materials and/or passwords to the previous board. Because I ostensibly have no official position I have not communicated with the district in any official capacity.

Some final thoughts on the whole affair – I was on the committee that decided to start over and redo the election. At the time, I agreed with this decision because I wanted to dispel the cloud of doubt surrounding the election. I have now had some time to think about this and feel that we are establishing a very dangerous precedent. A group that does not have clear authority to do so has decided that the certified results of an official election are null and void based on allegations of fraud THAT WERE NOT PROVED IN THE INVESTIGATION. The only fraud that was proved was the fraud that was caught and dealt with BEFORE THE ELECTION. Since when do we just arbitrarily throw out the results of an election? We do not know who perpetrated the original fraud and anyone who claims that they know who did it is engaging in pure speculation. Each faction in LD 25 is absolutely sure that the other faction is responsible, but the only thing we absolutely know is that WE ABSOLUTELY DO NOT KNOW WHO DID THIS, any claims to the contrary notwithstanding.

Regardless of who wins in the upcoming redo of this election, there will always be some who will believe that the entire election was stolen by one side or the other. If this was the intention of the person who submitted the fraudulent nominating questionnaires then they have certainly succeeded in their quest.

Sincerely,

E. Paul Whetten

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[i] The results were certified by George Teegarden, who was administering the ballot counting for the MCRC, and announced to the group by outgoing Chairman Haydee Dawson. MCRC Chairman Rob Haney was still present at the meeting when the results were announced.

[ii] This was administered by LD 26 Chairman Raymond Jones, witnessed by several individuals including Haydee Dawson and Ian Murray, outgoing Chairman and 1st Vice Chairman, respectively, and partially videotaped by Colleen Wheeler.

[iii] The committee members were: Rob Haney, Tom Husband, Lyle Tuttle, Ian Murray, Paul Whetten, Barbara Parker, Pat Oldroyd, George Teegarden, Elaine Gangluff, Milt Wheat, Vera Anderson, Lynne Breyer, James Alberts and

Ray Sweeney. Haydee Dawson, the outgoing LD 25 Chairman, had requested of Chairman Haney that the investigative team include Colleen Wheeler, Alan Soelberg and Tracy Langston, all of whom were actively involved in collecting nomination questionnaires from the PCs and would presumably have information that might be helpful in the investigation. That request was denied by Chairman Haney.

[iv] I believed that Brent’s presence as an observer was reasonable since he had actually filed a formal complaint against the State Committeemen election. Barbara Parker was serving on the team because she was the one that brought the allegations of fraud to everyone’s attention. Mr. Haney was irritated at me for taking this action without consulting him first.

[v] Tonto and Leisure World precincts

[vi] Greenfield Park Precinct

[vii] Justin Pierce, Cortney Pierce, Pat Oldroyd, Gary Pierce, Sherry Pierce, Matt Salmon, Nancy Salmon, Russell Pearce, Lester Pearce.

[viii] I am NOT accusing these individuals of deliberately ignoring our Bylaws, merely calling attention to an important fact. I don’t know why these individuals didn’t have signed forms or if they even wanted to run in the first place.

[ix] Pat Oldroyd, Russell Pearce, Lester Pearce

[x] There were two groups who were running slates, and I was recruited by one of these groups. The group that recruited me also recruited several people to run as State Committeemen. Of the people recruited as SC’s by that group – NOT ONE was missing the appropriate documentation. The signatures on several of those forms were later called into question by Chairman Haney’s committee.

[xi] This could have materially affected the outcome of the officer races that were tied, but would not have affected the outcome of the other officer elections. This was later the basis for the decision to vacate the Board Elections, NOT because there was evidence of any voter fraud.

[xii] I find it interesting that all it took to create an allegation of fraud was to state that you did not ask to be on the state committeemen ballot; but if someone had a signed document stating that they wanted to run, simply asking that individual if that was their intention was not sufficient to remove the suspicion of fraud.

[xiii] This was the position that I advocated. To be consistent with our Bylaws I felt that only those who had substantially complied with the requirements of the Bylaws should be on the ballot.

Posted by on December 16, 2012.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: Arizona Politics, Campaigns & Elections, Conspiracy Theories, Guest Opinion, Political Parties, Political Science

3 Responses

  1. No matter the obfuscation, if it wasn’t fraud, what was it? But not surprising. It’s win at any cost in LD25. They tried it in the former LD22 two years ago, prompting a re-election there.

    by Hagar on Dec 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm

  2. Someone tell this “kook” that … 5 proxies not notarized or lacking signatures were counted as 5 votes?? That’s ballot box fraud anyway you cut the cake. Only Democrats write long justifications of their actions. I guess if you have to justify yourself then everything wasn’t by the book.

    Keep dancing Mr Whetten… leadership isn’t your strong suit.

    by Veritas Vincit on Dec 20, 2012 at 10:07 pm

  3. Veritas,

    You should get your facts straight before you start throwing around allegations of “fraud” and childish name calling. I am not the “kook” here.

    The five proxies you mentioned as fraud were all signed by the PCs who gave their proxies. Their signatures were where they should be and nobody was able to determine that they were fraudulently signed. They had irregularities that should have kept them from passing the C&T process. Namely:

    One proxy had a missing signature from one of the witnesses, although they had printed their name in the appropriate place.
    On another one both witnesses signed in the same space, but only one witness had printed their name.
    One proxy had two different dates on it. One date for when it was signed by the PC and another date for when it was notarized. (Which doesn’t necessarily invalidate that proxy)
    On one proxy the notary signed in the wrong spot of the proxy form.
    On the fifth proxy the person who had originally been issued the proxy was not eligible to carry it because they didn’t live in the same precinct, so they crossed their name out and printed someone else’s name instead.
    None of these proxies were fraudulent (and some of them were carried by people who didn’t support me or my slate). They just had irregularities that should have caused them to be rejected by the Credential & Tally committee. But, for some reason, the members of the C&T committee who were validating proxies didn’t catch those errors and the carriers were allowed to vote for those PCs.

    Oh, one more thing – NONE of the people who were certifying proxies was a supporter of me or of my slate of candidates. If there was deliberate fraud in the certifying of proxies (which I DO NOT BELIEVE) it certainly couldn’t have been done by “my” people since we had no say in the certification of proxies.

    by E. Paul Whetten on Dec 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

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