Arizona Republican Party headquarters update.


Ever since the election for a new chairman of the party in January of this year the blogosphere has been treated to a steady stream of bad news about the state party office. Mass resignations, nothing happening, no money.

As any good journalist would do I decided to visit headquarters and find out first hand how thing are going. Imagine my surprise when I walked in the day after July 4th and not only found the lights on but that the office was well staffed and fully functional. Go figure, the truth being different than previous reports. Randy Pullen was in his office planning upcoming victories.

Executive Director Sean McCaffrey was nice enough to fit in a short interview with Sonoran Alliance before one of his many meetings.

SA: How long have you been Executive Director?

SM: Since March 1st.

SA: How is it going?

SM: Loved every minute of it. There is more potential for Republican gains than any other state that I have worked in before.

SA: But some people say that there has been a recent influx of voters from Blue States.

SM: Many of the people moving here are business people and retirees. Once they are educated about the issues they will have no reason to vote Democrat.

SA: Did you have any idea about that you were going to be in the middle of the dust up over the immigration bill?

SM: I knew it would be an issue but I did not know that the White House was going to move in the direction that they did.

SA: Do you work much on fundraising?

SM: The chairman is the lead person for fundraising.

SA: And how is it going?

SM: A lot of people are returning to donate and many new donors are giving as well. Jack Londen made a very generous contribution right in the middle of the senate immigration issue. Of course summer is a slower time but reaching out to the grass roots has resulted in a lot of $25 donations from people that we might have expected to give $10.

SA: Speaking of seasons do you have any special events planned for the Fall?

SM: We are trying to get Fred Thompson.

SA: Is that for Trunk-N-Tusk?

SM: Yes. In the Fall. For the final dinner of the year we have Senator McCain booked, depending on his schedule.

SA: Anyone else or any other events?

SM: We are also trying to get Congressman Mike Pence to visit. And we are working on getting Michael Steele, Chairman of GOPAC, to visit for a VIP reception at the end of August. We are also talking with Pat Toomey, former Congressman and President of the Club for Growth.

SA: That sounds like a full plate. Anything else that you are working on?

SM: We have set up two separate accounts – one each for the upcoming state senate and state house races. Since the money is in separate accounts we can track that it will go into those races. In years past there had been some question of what exactly happened to funds that were raised for and meant to be used for legislative races.

SA: Kind of a NRCC and NRSC on the state level.

SM: Yes.

SA: Will you waste the money on Republican on Republican primaries like the NRCC did in AZ CD-8 and the NRSC did in Rhode Island?

SM: Not in any conceivable fashion.

SA: Do you have any final thoughts for our readers? How do you like Arizona?

SM: I love it. It is the first state that I have worked in that I could conceivably make my home. I think the monsoon thing is just a rumor though.

SA: Just wait. Thank you for your time.

SM: You are welcome.

Sean also told us that the party has just finalized plans for a Southern Arizona candidate school in Tucson sponsored by GOPAC. It will be an all day event on September 29th.


  1. I actually think the truth is that Sean has been busy planning candidate schools and running the day-to-day operations of the party. Let’s remember that he has only been on the job a few months and has, by all accounts, already pulled off a great candidate school and has another one planned for southern Arizona.

    Sean is also responsible for such things as the State Executive Committee meeting in Prescott. I am not saying he did all of the work himself but I am sure it must have taken some of his time and energy. BTW the meeting went very well.

    We have also heard many reports of Sean responding to and visiting counties around the state that have not seen party HQ officials for several years.

    One more thing. Sean is essentially still a guest or at least a new visitor to the state. Some of us are not showing him much Arizona hospitality. Go ahead and say what you want about Randy. He has been here a while and already run for office but maybe we could be polite to someone during their first 6 or 12 months.

  2. I’m pretty positive that the EGC does not speak for the rest of AZ Republicans, nor those familiar with the Party operation. And Tim S. I still do not agree with you- I think that we can debate issues and disagree without making personal low blows upon one another. Personal attacks (or rudeness) does not lead toward any sort of civil debate. Its slightly absurd that anytime anyone disagrees with you (and sometimes GOP PK) we are faced with being called puppets/minions/ and much much worse.

  3. The EGC does not speak for the rest of AZ Republicans, however, you continue to refuse to deal with the Rasmussen Poll of registered Republican voters that showed 91% agreed with the Chairman on the pivotal issue that created the major split between our US Senators and Pullen.

    It is important to note that the EGC represents the party activists for an area that includes over 70% of the registered Republicans in the state.

    It is also important to note that all of the Propositions on this issue over the last three years in Arizona have been passed by over 70% of the voting public across all voters.

    I used to be amazed at the total refusal to accept facts this clear that are indisputable from the establishment/pro-illegal worker advocates.

    PS: I did not call you a minion or puppet, just irresponsibly unable to deal with reality. If I have a choice, call me a puppet or minion instead of incomprehensively unable to accept the facts that are a public record – like in recorded votes.

  4. The Real Evan says

    Note: This is me, Evan. Someone used this name to post, and just for clarification, this is the Evan that’s been around for a while. 🙂

    GOP PK wrote “A unanimous roll call vote supporting Chairman Pullen. That hasn’t happened in years.”

    I only have one question… Why does Pullen need a vote to see if people support him? Especially after he’s only been in office for 6 months. Doesn’t really make sense to me, other than for political reasons.

  5. Pullen has been under some incoming rounds, in case you haven’t been aware, and there people out there like Nathan Sproul, Sen. Kyl, Steve Voeller, Mac Magruder, Julie, etc. who have been filling the media and blogs with propaganda that Randy should resign for daring to challenge a bill sponsored by a Republican elected official.

    A lot of the people criticizing the Chairman were saying that he had lost the support of the party leaders because of his leadership in opposing the Comprehensive Reform Amnesty Plan (CRAP) and it was felt that this misleading charge should be proven as to its accuracy.

    This vote occurred in the MCRC EGC without his request or blessing. Again, it is important to note that the vote representing 19 districts in Maricopa County – over 60% of the statewide total – was unanimous. It is hard to get a unanimous vote out of that diverse group on what day of the week it is. Thus the importance.

    I guess you could say there were political reasons if you consider that the Chairman is the leading elected Repubican Party official in the state and it helps to have the support of the political activists to be effective in that position.

  6. GOP PK,

    I read the original post and the following thread but was technologically unable to respond. So, perhaps I was able to formulate a viewpoint that was from a different perspective. Not being able to immediately respond, I thought through the various entries and was surprised at the limited responses. When I first read the interview, I found this very interesting:

    “SA: Do you work much on fundraising?

    SM: The chairman is the lead person for fundraising.”

    I recalled the press release or bio sent out when Sean was hired referenced his great skill at fundraising. No one else seemed to pick up on that even though there has been a lot discussion about the dollars raised, etc. Why isn’t he being used for his talents and skills? Is there a reason why the chair has assumed that role, does he have the experience and skill of Sean? Is this the best use of our resources? Why the chairman, what is his experience in big dollar fundraising? And now that the immigration bill is dead, what will he use as a catalyst for further donations. Fear and anger worked once but it probably won’t do much the second or third time around. Then it just backfires on you and now you’ve lost your base all together. All you have left is a few guys sitting around propping each other up, calling everyone else “RINO”, and blaming others rather than accept any resposibility.

    Then when he went on to the upcoming events, everything was a “trying to” do sort of answer.

    “We are also trying to get Congressman Mike Pence to visit. And we are working on getting Michael Steele, Chairman of GOPAC, to visit for a VIP reception at the end of August. We are also talking with Pat Toomey, former Congressman and President of the Club for Growth.”

    Again, no one else picked up on that. It shouldn’t be so hard to shore up events with some names that bring in the money; I have seen it done with much less notice in much busier times than these. The answer gave a sense of unfulfilled need not a plan of action and a way to put it in to play. Why? Why can’t he get a commitment from at least one of these guys? This is July and he has no commitment for an August event… that one was pretty tell tale.

    Could it be that it is no secret the state GOP is not the only game in town these days. Now that I have said that, the blame game will start as soon as this post hits. (See last two sentences of paragraph two)

    I did speak to him at length; he seemed to be a pleasant person even though we disagreed on some things. He agreed with me that the press conference was not the state GOP’s finest hour and it could have been handled differently. One thing that is for sure, he does not have an ownership attitude about the happenings in Arizona. It is a job, plain and simple; he is about numbers not people. He is very upfront and honest about his role which is to increase voter registration and win elections, whatever that takes.
    I did say I would see how it goes; well this is me saying how I see it going.

    Oh yea, GO FRED!

  7. GOP PK-

    Fair enough. Then I assume that you will accept the facts that were posted about fundraising earlier in this blog. Those were facts from an actual website, not made up fundraising #’s out of thin air.

    I think that I am completely able to deal with reality. What’s funny, is everytime someone presents you with a fact- its immediately stomped on, and names start being called.

  8. Julie,

    Get used to it, they will never, never stop being “true believers” and all others are infidels.

    GOP PK,

    Here’s one for ya’…

  9. Sorry for the duplication, it didn’t show up and I thought I had submitted incorrectly…OOPS!

  10. Julie,

    I totally accept the fundraising money in the beginning of the thread. Will you accept that there are two important issues to consider in evaluating them?

    One is the fact that the Chairman’s Dinner of 2005 – previous to Fannin’s leaving – was hugely successful financially and the Chairman’s Dinner of 2007.

    Now this is what will hurt, and it is caused only by your refusal to accept previous facts for their validity.

    In May of 2005, the receipts were forty one thousand and the disbursements were one hundred twenty one thousand.

    In May of 2007, the receipts were seventy eight thousand and the disbursements were thirty two thousand.

    In addition, with the large staff available in 2005, the report was not filed until 10-27-2005, while this year the report was filed timely on 02-20-2007 – sob, sob, with only two staff.

    I apologize for the attitude, but it is almost embarrassing that people are being led to believe a story that is factually misleading at best.

  11. Ann,

    Look at the above post to see some answers to your grumps.

    In addition, I am beginning to get offended to your repeated comments trying to marginalize those you disagree with like: All you have left is a few guys sitting around propping each other up, calling everyone else “RINO.”

    First of all there are people who are Republican simply because they cannot get elected as a Democrat in their jurisdiction. If you can’t agree with that, there is no sense continuing the conversation. They are RINO’s.

    Second, on this blog, the only person that continues to bring that term into the discussion is YOU to be used as a perjorative to marginalize your opponent. Not good.

    Third, fundraisers are not done in Arizona in the summer of an off-election year – not this year, not two years ago, not forever. A large part of the base contributors to the Trunk n Tusk events are seniors who return to Michigan, New York, Illinois, etc. for the summer and any knowledgeable fundraiser does not waste a big name when a large part of the attendees will not be in state.

    Fourth, look at the FEC fundraising numbers listed above for the current numbers and stop singing from the establishment sheet of music that all is lost and woe is me. Give some credit where credit is due.

    There was almost a half million dollars in carry-in and receipts for the establishment Party Chairman the first month of 2005. About one sixth of that this year, thanks to the previous administration, yet the lights are on, the staff is functioning, the volunteers are volunteering and the MCRC EGC votes unanimously to support the Chairman this year. Getting a vote of support is good, getting a UNANIMOUS vote from that wide ranging group made up of nineteen legislative district chairs, five officers and five members at large is almost unheard of.


  12. Julie,

    “TO GOP PK: What’s funny, is everytime someone presents you with a fact- its immediately stomped on, and names start being called.”

    In my opinion, you cannot stand to have someone look at the underlying numbers from the report you cite that make up the financials as recorded with the FEC. Therefore, I am stomping on your facts?

    What a dirty trick, to illuminate the other side’s data by presenting the rest of the information from their source that contradicts their position. I should be ashamed.

    You present the bottom line without looking at the explanations and I take those same financials with the line-by-line break outs on the factors that created the bottom line.

    As to calling names, if I see a pattern where you are unwilling to look at all the facts, am I calling you names to say you are unwilling to look at all the facts? Other than that, what name have I personally called you? I have used the terms minion, agents, puppets generally to describe a group of people who always support the establishment line. If you look at post 42, the only time I referred to you was to say “Maybe Julie and some others who have been pulled into their [meaning the McCain/Sproul/Voeller] web without understanding the background will take a fresh look.” That is not exactly name calling.


    And where did the crap of “(I) am a true believer and all who disagree with (me) are infidels” come from.

    Again perjorative, untrue charges.

    If you can’t provide the facts to back up your position in true debate form, don’t debate.

  13. GOP-PK: Just because you have piqued my curiosity, what do you have to say about Senator Kyl’s comment this past tuesday? I noticed that it was posted early on, and NO ONE responded to it:

    “What he has done is hurt the party,” Kyl said, saying he believes that the squabble within the GOP will result in smaller donations, undermining the ability of the party to help its candidates.
    – Tuesday article by Howie Fischer

    That seems to be a pretty biting piece for those of you who say that Chairman Pullen is the best thing that has happened to our GOP. Senator Kyl doesn’t normally make these sort of statements unless he really means them. He has one of the most conservative ratings in the Senate.

  14. Julie,

    Everyone keeps saying that Kyl is one of the most conservative senators but the American Conservative Union ratings for 2006 have him tied with 6 others for 15th place. Certainly conservative but not exactly at the top of the list.

    Thune 100
    DeMint 100
    Inhofe 100
    Coburn 100
    Ensign 100
    Chambliss 96
    Isakson 96
    Santorum 96
    Bunning 96
    Thomas 96
    Enzi 96
    Allen 96
    Cornyn 96
    Dole 96
    Kyl 92
    Sessions 92
    Talent 92
    Burr 92
    Vitter 92
    Burns 92

  15. az gnat,

    No, he’s tied with 6 other Senators for third place. That’s still pretty good in my opinion.

  16. You have not exactly piqued my curiosity since you make statements which are rebutted then refuse to admit your original statements were misleading at best.

    You make unfounded charges and when confronted to the fact that the charges are untrue, you refuse to apologize for the false statements.

    However, I will try to answer your question one more time, since at least one of us should frame our response around the previous post. It will be redundant with some articles nearly two weeks ago, but you want an answer.

    Lets assess the validity of Senator Kyl’s statements on the issue over the past year. During last year’s campaign Kyl stated to party leaders that he was unalterably opposed to any reform of immigration law that would lead to citizenship for those here illegally. He also made those same statements to the Border Patrol Agents Ass’n. He had law enforcement officials in a commercial re: his strict anti-amnesty position.

    After his election, with this as a major point of difference with his opponent, he met with state, county and legislative district leaders from January into May and made the same statements. When the Comprehensive Reform Amnesty Plan (CRAP) bill was ready to be announced, it is discovered that Kyl was the leading Republican secretly negotiating with Teddy to reach the CRAP agreement concurrently with his statements to grass roots and party leaders that he would oppose any bill that contained the provisions in this bill.

    Then the senator said that all necessary safeguards were guaranteed in the bill to provide border security. Then, when shown by average citizens and talk show hosts that there were large loopholes in the bill in that area, he and Grahamnesty make pages and pages of amendments.

    He subsequently stated that the majority of Arizonans and Americans favored the bill and that it was only a few zealots who were working against it.

    I did not hear one of the opponents of the bill in the Senate praise Chairman Pullen for being the driving force in its defeat. However, I guess, Kyl has to blame someone other than himself for his rov(e)ing through the Bushes on a failed mission.

    For more information as to who called whom names and as to which side had the people on their side, I recommend the Investors Business Daily editorial of June 28 with special attention to PP 2-7. The link for you: . Let me suffice it to say that the terms “yahoos”, “bigots”, “simpletons”, “Nazis”, “racists”, were used by the Pro-CRAP Bill proponents. Is that “civil debate”, to use your term, if it is used by people on your side?

    I also refer you to the Rasmussen Poll of registered Arizona Republican voters [91% for Chairman Pullen’s position opposing the CRAP bill vs 9% for the Kyl/Kennedy/McCain/Bush CRAP bill).

    The recent letter from the Border Patrol Agents Assn and the actions of the MCRC EGC should be instructive on how those people feel about the credibility of the senator. These statements from people who have worked for Senator Kyl speak to how much validity he now has on this or any other issue. Most are disappointed and wish it were different, but it was his choice.

    Thanks for helping illuminate this issue for those who are still trying to understand it all.

  17. Hugh,

    If there are twenty one competitors in the Olympics and six have perfect scores, nine have four deductions, and you are tied with six others with eight deductions, don’t look for the bronze medal for third place.

    There are fourteen senators with a better score. That makes you tied with six others for fifteenth.

    This is so simple I am embarassed for you.

  18. Party Platform Guy says

    When the ACU ratings come out with the Immigration Bill figured in, do you want to guess whether Vitter, Sessions and Burr will be rated higher or not?

  19. Hugh,

    It’s not really third place because 14 other senators have a higher score.

    That would be like saying Jones came in 2nd place. No, Jones is 4th place because 3 other people have a higher score.

    Smith 100
    Doe 100
    Rivera 100
    Jones 92

    Same as:

    Smith 99
    Doe 98
    Rivera 97
    Jones 92

    Jones still is in 4th place because 3 other people have higher scores. It does not matter is they are the same score of different scores, only that they are higher than Jones.

  20. Fine… he’s tied for fifteenth (unlike others on this blog, I can admit when I’m wrong). However, his score is still one of the top three scores attained and he only differed with the ACU on two votes out of twenty-five. You can’t really brush that off if you hold the ACU in high regard. Plus, Sen. Kyl is ranked 5th at 96.9 (no ties here!) for his lifetime score.

    My point is that Senator Kyl is a conservative. For anyone to say otherwise is false and to try to distort his record is just plain wrong.

  21. That ACU website is actually pretty interesting. Apparently Rep. Flake is TIED for FIRST eight other representatives, including Reps. Franks and Shadegg. Where’s the love?

  22. Hugh,

    He can’t get enough support to get a vote on his big government amnesty plan, so he can’t have his score lowered because of it – AND I LOVE IT!

    As to the twenty three out of twenty five, it depends. If an illegal alien only runs the red light two times out of twenty five and there is no one coming from the other direction on those two occasions, it ain’t too bad. However, if you are at the intersection for one of those two times, and he T-bones you, kills your wife and new baby, I am sure you would not like the 92% positive record.

    The immigration bill that was just killed is like the last example – its a killer. People die trying to violate our sovereignty, our taxes are raised to deal with the education/health/criminal costs due to people who violate our sovereignty, and people die because of the criminal actions of some who violate our sovereignty.

    Just like the car wreck example, that one issue trumps everything else.

  23. Hugh,

    Since you admitted you were wrong I will admit that I skewed the data by using the 2006 numbers and not the lifetime score. But that brings up another point. Kyl is getting less conservative. I don’t think the 2007 scores will be much help to his lifetime score.

  24. GOP PK,

    First and Second: Without scouring over the last months of posts to pull all the times RINO has been used all I can say is it is used, if not by you, certainly by others. It is so commonly used that to some Carolyn Allen’s first name is RINO. Now, according to the Tim Scale she may be less conservative than say a Ron Gould, but that is hard one to beat. Certainly the voters in her district seem to think she is representative of their position and continue to keep her in office. While Rosatti was a very conservative legislator, she did not garner the votes from her district. That is why we have the district model. Those voters certainly understand the votes of their elected representative in the district for which they serve. Are you saying the people are deluded by the party affiliation and have no sense of awareness after November? How sad to think the electorate is that easily deceived! The folks in Scottsdale certainly had ample information to choose between the ultra conservative and the much more moderate, they chose and did so with full knowledge and not just a party affiliation to guide them as both were R’s.

    Third: I did not bring up summer months, Sean did. He made the statement of an August event. I merely responded that it is rather late in the calendar to not have a set speaker for an August event. Not that we should have one, not that hey need to have one, but that if they are saying they are having one and do not have it confirmed, it doesn’t bode well for that event. Your points are well taken and not without merit, however they are irrelevant to the point at hand. Nice try to take it off the real subject and move it over to the conspiracy theory side of life. But, as you say, not true.

    As to the ECG vote, this is one where I must be very careful or this will really blow up. But how gingerly can I say, what else did you expect? Who would vote otherwise in that crowd, on the record, this early in his term, and at the start of the election season? I can tell you the LD chair from my district has no idea how the membership feels, we were split on the chairman’s vote and still have division on leadership. An EGC member from my district will carry the party line for Pullen but knows many others do not agree. I have been told he has no choice but to go along with it or risk causing further division within the party. Right now, all efforts at that level are to stand by your man but, a D-I-V-O-R-C-E is not without thought.

    To correctly quote my previous post, “Get used to it, they will never, never stop being “true believers” and all others are infidels.” I did not assign that thought to you or anyone for that matter. All I can say is, “If the shoe fits…” and if it doesn’t let it go. In regard to Pullen, that is how I feel. I have seen his actions for what they are while the desire for unity and hope has been blinders to many who continue to distort and twist reality into a panacea called Randy Pullen. The ego of that guy is enormous. How many times can he really publish his own picture? How many ways can he put his name above the party name? Did you think the tongue-in-cheek column about changing the name of the Grand Ol’ Party to the Rand Ol’ Party was out of nowhere? He hires someone with background in fundraising, successfully at that, and he assumes those responsibilities and has the real fundraiser trying to set up events in August in Phoenix! Can you say I want to be Governor or Senator or anything elected (since I can’t seem to do it on my own) and if I play my cards right from my position of power now, it will elevate my status and pave the road for me later…. Just my opinion.

    As for the Rasmussen poll; since when did it become the Pullen Platform Poll? The concept that because 91% of Republicans disagreed with the bill and because Pullen disagreed with the bill, that must mean that Pullen has a 91% approval rating or that 91% of the Republicans in Arizona agree with Randy Pullen. Harry Reid didn’t like the bill, so does that mean Harry and Randy or similar? I didn’t like the bill but it doesn’t mean I support the chairman. My guess, greater than 91% of registered Republicans have no idea who Randy Pullen is, and really could care less if the candidates they like get elected. AH…but there in lies the rub!

    The tactic of calling someone untrue to discredit them without using substance is not the game I play. I do not desire to stir the pot or create more disharmony. Quite the opposite. But I will not say I believe something I don’t just for the sake of going along with the crowd.

    While we are at it, why do you feel it necessary to print things like, “This is so simple I am embarrassed for you.”? Such a condescending attitude does not make a point more valid. Trying to take it off the topic by going personal is a way to offset the other side but it is pretty transparent and does not improve your position. But, I have to say the cabin reference was cute.

  25. Carolyn Allen has voted in a manner that is consistent with a RINO, however, I cannot remember a post on this blog even mentioning Carolyn Allen in months. So, if you let it drop, maybe it will not appear here, although it will probably continue in the political arena as long as she continues to make deals with the Governor against the caucus.

    I am willing to accept that both Sean, who is new to the state, and you, who are not, the same recognition that you might not know the parameters of the summer swoon in Arizona for fundraising events in the Republican Party.

    As to the infidels statement, it was said directly after my repartee with Julie and was directed to her. I naturally assumed, since I was the one conversing with her, that it was directed to me.

    As to the Rasmussen poll, you will note that I did not say or infer that it was a poll on Chairman Pullen, but rather the Immigration Bill that caused the open rift between Chairman Pullen and Senator Kyl and his supporters. I quote:

    “I also refer you to the Rasmussen Poll of registered Arizona Republican voters [91% for Chairman Pullen’s position opposing the CRAP bill vs 9% for the Kyl/Kennedy/McCain/Bush CRAP bill).”

    Finally, I apologize to Hugo for using the unnecessarily snide remark. Since you were offended, even though it was not to or about you, I will apologize to you also.

  26. Ann,

    typo: the remark re:infidels was sent to Julie, not directed at or to her.

  27. Understood.

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