Archives for December 28, 2012

More on the unrest in Arizona’s Republican LD-25

To LD-25:
I have spoken with Chairman Haney and he has directed that the election for January 9th be cancelled, and as a result, the results from the November 29th election will stand.  This is due to the lawsuit filed by Paul Whetten, Robin Harris, John Giles, Barbara Abney, Traci Beagley, Dilworth C. Brinton Jr., Curtis Brown, Alayne Favreau, J. Glade Soelberg, Larry Winword, Brent Ellsworth, David Ricks, Colleen Wheeler, Drexden Davis, Brian Nissen, and Alan Soelberg. Chairman Haney indicated that the MCRC did not have the financial resources for a prolonged court battle.  However, the lawsuit is an attack on the honor and integrity of each member of the committee.
I have been silent on the findings of the investigative committee because I have been working to insure that the next election would be fair and transparent, but now I feel duty bound to respond.
After the investigative committee reached its findings, I received two very different reactions from people. The first was to get to the bottom of what happened, how it happened, and who did it.  The second reaction was an attack on the investigation, the methods used in the investigation, the members selected for the committee, and why the investigation was expanded to look at all aspects of the election.
This is not the first time that we have seen irregularity in our District’s election, so when you find irregularities in one area of an election, it makes only makes sense to examine the entire election.  I have included some of the previous issues that I am personally aware of:
  • During the reorganization meeting in June, individuals were observed signing the witness section of proxy forms during the meeting.
  • During the Primary Election, an LLC known as the Liberty Education Project, created by Stephanie Butler, David Tolman and Ryan Wimmer, set up on April 27, 2012, funded a massive multicolor, political mailings for Precinct Committeeman Elections across multiple districts and precincts.  This campaign had a serious effect on the outcome of the Precinct Committeeman elections.   The major question about this activity is who funded it and why was so much money spent on PC elections.
  • The issues did not begin after LD-25 was formed; there were issues prior to that.  In 2011, a group of LD-19 PCs filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s office about questionable activities about a notary’s (Jonathon Lindblom) activities in LD-19s elections.  While there were eight violations of Notary Law included in the Secretary of State’s response, the most significant to me was “The Notary executed a statement known to be false.  A.R.S.  §41-330 (A)(10).”  I have attached a copy of the Secretary of State’s response to the complaint that was filed.
I would also like to discuss some of the aspects of the lawsuit.
  • One aspect was the lack of transparency of the investigation.  Paul Whetten was part of the investigative committee and he is also a plaintiff on the lawsuit.  How can a Plaintiff on a lawsuit claim lack of transparency when he was there for the entire investigation?  I found it very interesting that at the end of the investigation, Paul indicated that we had done the right thing and at least he would be able to sleep at night.
  • There appears to be a huge fixation with Russell Pearce in the lawsuit.  It makes it appear that everyone opposed to Paul and his team are all controlled by Russell Pearce.  This is incorrect.  Most of the other people on the ballot were Ron Paul supporters.  This was one of their first attempts to get involved in local politics so they could make a difference in the future.  Unfortunately, the New Times labeled these newcomers to politics as “The Slate of Hate” because of individuals from our district saying that they were being controlled by Russell Pearce.
  • The lawsuit indicated that no complaints were made about the election of the Board on the night of the election. This is true since no proxies had been examined yet.  Based on the game playing that continually occurs in our District, it was suggested that the proxy forms be examined along with the signed interest forms.   It was hoped, that unlike in past elections, no irregularities would be found.  Unfortunately, this was not the case.  What I did find concerning was the Sunday after the investigation was announced, Alan Soelberg sent an email wondering about where the proxies were and why they were not given to Paul.  On Monday after the election, Paul requested that the proxies be delivered to him and that he would deliver them to Chairman Haney at the start of the investigation.   My question is, if there was nothing to hide, why wouldn’t they want the forms delivered directly to Chairman Haney without the opportunity for any tampering?
  • The lawsuit also reports that Colleen Wheeler delivered approximately 135 Candidacy Declaration Forms (Interest forms).   This represents over 30 percent of the 434 State Committeeman candidates were delivered by one person.  Normally, it would be expected that these forms would be delivered by their Precinct Captain.  Because there were significant irregularities with the forms, all of the forms for the January 9th election were tracked to determine who sent them.  With this new process, 85 Candidacy Declaration Forms were received by December 22, 2012. This is a significant difference compared to the November 29th election.
This investigation produced some major disappointments for me.
  • First, I believed that Paul Whetten was an honest and ethical man who could be depended on to do the right thing.  Unfortunately, a man is judged by his actions and not just his words.
  • Second, we cannot assume “positive intent” from our fellow Republicans in LD-25 or expect them to do the right things.  Instead, I found a group of individuals that follow the principle “Win at Any Cost.” This group has extremely deep pockets and funded the lawsuit against the MCRC and also funded the Liberty Education Project to manipulate the election of PCs in LD-25.
  • Third, it is disappointing that the lawsuit will not be heard.  I believe that a complete and independent investigation into all the LD-25 and former LD-18 and LD-19 elections will uncover a significant amount of unethical behavior.
  • Fourth, I am disappointed with the Precinct Committeemen in LD-25.  If you are a PC that signed a proxy form without the witnesses present or in front of a notary, then you are a part of the problem.  Each PC was elected to represent the Republicans in his or her precinct by attending District meetings, the County meeting and the State meeting.  If you are not doing these items, you are not fulfilling your duty as an elected official.
Since I do not have deep pockets to fund multi-thousand dollar mailings or to file lawsuits that will require tens of thousands of dollar to defend against, a website is being set up to expose and document the irregularities in LD-25   The website will contain information such as the lawsuit and other information related to irregularities in LD25.
Unfortunately, prior to the cancellation of the January 9th election, the call letter had already been sent out—following the Bylaws which requires 10 business days notification of a meeting.  However, Paul sent out a call letter for a January 2nd election.  This did not follow the LD-25 Bylaws, which requires 10 business days notification.
It has been a pleasure serving as your First Vice Chairman.  I can be reached at
Ian Murray
Outgoing LD-25 First Vice Chairman