Guest Opinion: One Last Gasp

By Joe Romack

The State GOP Elections have concluded. But sadly Jim O’Connor has decided to follow Jill Stein and whine about the results of the Election. Immediately after the election results were announced, he and his entourage headed to the hallways in a last ditch feeble attempt to challenge the results. There were grumblings about some mysterious proxy votes, which is ironic, considering his abuse of proxy votes. For the record, his wife and son are Precinct Committeemen, but never appear at ANY events, therefore “paper PCs”.

Their complaints were proved false, the outcome of the election was concluded. Sadly, at no time after the election did I see Mr. O’Connor approach Chairman-elect Lines and congratulate him.  So much for decorum and working towards unity.

Now today in the Arizona Freedom Alliance, there was a post that first called Eric Morgan a liar, then accused Robert Graham of somehow doctoring the election results. Their claim was that the race for chairman had 45 fewer total votes than the down ballot races. This is simply not true.  The results were as follows:

Treasurer Race = 534 + 418 + 204 = 1156 votes cast
Secretary = 608 + 548 = 1156 votes cast
Chairman = 598 + 562 = 1158 votes cast
I sent them an e-mail asking for correction, but received no response.
the text of their post is below:

**************************************************************************
Yesterday, the Statutory Meeting of AZGOP took place in Phoenix.  The primary purpose was to elect a new Chairman.  Along with that, the two other officers who are also statutory officers – required by state statute – were elected.

We can say, WHEW!  Glad that is over!  Or is it?

First we offer our congratulations to Treasurer candidate Robert Lettieri who survived a run off against Eric Morgan. Eric started his commentary saying he was not going anywhere, indicating that there was some reason for people to think he was.  We had two AFA team members present with him when he said the reason he was not going to run for MCRC chair was because he was moving out of state “in a couple of months.”  Others told us the same thing so is there any wonder people might think he was moving?  Some told us he said he could handle the treasurer’s job from his future re-location!  Does anyone tell the truth anymore?

But back to Lettieri.  His remarks during his time to speak were eye opening to most.  He just laid it out: the AZGOP is in trouble and he did an analysis based on campaign finance reports.  http://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/all-things-conservativ… Lettieri is a numbers guy, spent his work life working with finance and making the numbers work.  He will be a terrific asset to AZGOP.  Some of you remember when we did our own analysis and here is a link to the FEC.gov summary page: http://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/arizona-news/forum/top…

We are hoping that Lettieri will be able to sort through the web of receipts and expenses of ALL accounts to find out where this really stands.

We also offer our congratulations to Gabby Mercer for her win of the Secretary’s position.  As Secretary, Mercer should be given all of the records from the time of Robert Graham. That could make for some interesting reading.  What is not there might be of interest, also.  Gabby’s remarks were pointed and on target as she called out the misdeeds that have been going on in the AZGOP for the past four years.  Gabby has been the 2nd Vice Chair for the past two years and says she has not once been called to a Board meeting.

Now to the big one, the Chairman’s race.  Jonathan Lines walked away with the prize.  O’Connor came up 34 votes short.  It happens.  The odd thing – with Robert Graham, there is always an “odd thing”- is that the total votes in that race was 36 fewer than there was in the down ballot race of treasurer and secretary.  Folks, the point of the meeting and the focus for the past six months has been the Chairman’s race.  Those in attendance came there early in the morning until four in the afternoon to elect a Chairman.  Is it reasonable to think 45 people didn’t care enough to vote?

We smell a rat and it smells just like John McCain!

We may have more on this as team AFA analyzes the information we have collected or more info comes in.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WINNERS!

The Mea Culpa…Sorta

It’s over.

After months of needless foot-dragging, dishonesty, personal attacks and fake martyrdom, LD 23 has finally admitted what we’ve all known all along: Jim O’Connor’s organizational meeting was run improperly, rules were broken, and duly elected PCs were denied their right to seek elected office.

And a massive floor fight at Saturday’s GOP State Meeting has been averted.

On Thursday afternoon, LD 23 leadership released a “Letter of Understanding,” acknowledging for the first time that major mistakes had been made, and that the complaints from dozens of elected PCs were legitimate. In response, Chairman Graham did what he promised he’d do all along: he has agreed to seat the 119 State Committeemen who were “elected” at O’Connor’s flawed Organizational Meeting.

And so, here we are. Months after the statutory violations were pointed out, and weeks after multiple remedies were offered, LD 23’s leadership has admitted to its mistakes, albeit clinging to the lie that the complaints were “anonymous” (they weren’t) and denying they were notified prior to the meeting with requests for a remedy (they were).

But more importantly, this proves that this was never about the rules, or fairness to elected PCs. No, this was nothing more than a cheap political stunt by Jim O’Connor, giving him a platform on which to campaign. After all, why bother presenting a vision for the future or a plan of action at the party, when you can shamelessly demagogue and complain about big, bad Robert Graham.

Unfortunately for O’Connor, he has overplayed his hand. Now, just one day before the election, his LD leadership has admitted to a flawed and unfair process, and he is left with no plan, no platform, and no agenda for the AZ GOP. He’s proven that he is unable to run a proper meeting, and has not bothered to come up with a plan to move the party forward.

Team O’Connor and Religious Bigotry Didn’t Begin on Facebook

Following Gabby Mercer’s attack on LDS members of the GOP, more religiously biased behavior was revealed from several who have witnessed it first hand – from Jim O’Connor directly. Multiple reports from those in attendance at the MCRC Bylaws meeting this fall recall O’Connor attempting his own “purge” of voices within the party. Voices that don’t fit his idea of worthy.

After months of work by committee members, O’Connor showed up on the last day for the committee to meet and refer their approved changes to the EGC for the vote of the body at the January meeting. Jim came prepared with his “No Proxies, No Way, No How” proposal.

As a part of discussion on the merits of the proposed bylaw change that would have completely eliminated the use of proxies in any way possible, there were several points made about possible unintended consequences, according to those in attendance. Among them, he was reminded that there are many who have religious reasons for not attending on a Saturday, specifically hard-working PC’s who are observant Jews who cannot attend on the Sabbath, that this is a sacred religious obligation that cannot be broken. His direct reply to this specific situation, “Maybe they should rethink being a PC.” When asked directly if he was saying Jews had no place in the GOP as PC’s, he shrugged and failed to walk back the statement. Apparently, in the rules according to Jim O’Connor, observant Jews need not apply to the GOP grassroots. His statement was met with open mouths, audible gasps and obvious looks of astonishment. His proposal was handily defeated and his efforts rejected.

Gabby Mercer attacking the LDS, claiming cronyism with extremely flawed, and untrue, examples; her thread reading like a 1950’s profile in reasons to keep segregation alive. Replace LDS and insert black, would we think it appropriate? Would it be called racist and bigoted?

Jim O’Connor insensitive to the religious obligations of another specific group, stating that observant Jews who cannot attend meetings on their Sabbath should “reconsider” being a PC. What other group should reconsider? Seventh Day Adventist? What about the EGC meetings, if they are on Wednesday as they have been for the past year or so, should Baptists, Church of God and other evangelical churches with Wednesday services resign immediately? Or – is it just Jews, Jim?

The concept that this man would be so discriminatory in his perception of the right of all to participate in the GOP should send chills down the spine of everyone. Such deeply flawed beliefs have no place in 2017 America. Nothing ever said or claimed about Jim O’Connor should be as frightening as this.

These two have no place in GOP leadership

When a Dog Whistle is All You’ve Got Left – Religious Bigotry Erupts in the O’Connor Campaign

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Gabby Saucedo Mercer, current 2nd Vice Chair of the AZGOP but running to be the AZGOP Secretary candidate on the O’Connor slate, is holding up her end of the deal she made with O’Connor to gain control of the AZGOP. O’Connor would do his part by rigging the LD23 election, hoping for smooth sailing on Saturday. But, alas the good folks in LD23 didn’t play along, but instead demanded he play by the rules – which as you may have heard is a problem for Jim.

So, after weeks of scandal filled accounts from numerous current and former PC’s within LD23, Jim finds himself days from the election of his dreams and surrounded by trouble. This weekend in Pinal and Pima Counties he slipped and let it out that he had been conspiring with Frosty Taylor – the infamous writer of the MCRC Briefs. That explains the love-fest the Briefs has shown to O’Connor and completely removes the last shred of relevancy the online tabloid might still have. Now his gal pal Gabby has taken the reigns and holding nothing back!

Gabby dived into the deep end with dog whistle politics. On Monday evening, Gabby suggested that Chris Herring had endorsed Jonathan Lines because they were both LDS – Lines is, Herring not at all. There was some push back to the first assertion. So, today she doubled down on her supposition with this jaw dropping post:

More than a few have replied to her post that there isn’t any truth to her dog whistle that is tantamount to saying the Mormons have corrupted the state party with cronyism so don’t elect another one – Heywood is not related to Flake in any way, there are currently no GOP staffers that are LDS and again, Herring is not LDS. But to no avail. Nope – she’s going all in. After all, it isn’t the truth they seek, it’s the power!

Rigging elections, blatantly displaying religious bigotry and lying to prove your case. Denying the truth even when confronted with facts and promising more to come. Does this sound like the kind of folks you want to give a platform to?

I’m not sure what kind of big tent Gabby envisions, but apparently, it doesn’t include Mormons. If bigotry and corruption aren’t big enough reasons to reject O’Connor and Mercer, how’s this… there are 400,000 members of the LDS church in Arizona, ranking fourth nationally in LDS population, and statistics rate their voter registration as 70% Republican. She just said they are corrupt and not a part of their plan. That will shrink the ranks!

I wonder how many LDS State Committeemen will think twice before electing the team that thinks they are the problem with the GOP?

But most of all, I wonder who will be next?

My Concerns with Jim O’Connor

By Chris Herring

As the newly elected MCRC Chairman I feel it is vitally important that the relationship between the county party and the AZGOP be healed. Discord between the two has festered for too long, makes the party weaker, and is a public black eye to the conservative cause.

Chris Herring

Chris Herring

Key to a healthy working relationship is a foundation of trust. Trust that no matter our disagreements we all work towards the same goals, Republican victories, not personal ambitions.

Unfortunately I now have serious concerns regarding my ability to trust one of the candidates who may direct the AZGOP if elected.

Below you will see outlined multiple occasions over the last several months where I was purposefully lied to and misled by Jim O’Connor. The below have nothing to do with his personal politics or his goals for the party, on which O’Connor stated to me personally that we largely are in agreement. These examples show that with repeated actions by Jim, I cannot trust what he tells me face to face, looking me in the eye.

On September 7th Jim pulled me aside in the office of the AZGOP to discuss his intent to run for AZGOP chairman. I told Jim during this conversation of my intent to run for county chairman. Jim was aware that I was thinking about running and that was one reason he wanted to talk to me. He wanted to assure me that he would stay neutral no matter who may run against me. He said it was important he stayed neutral because if we both won we would need to work together. I agreed with him. Unfortunately he was lying.

After the meeting I was pulled aside by another person in attendance and informed that Jim was attempting to recruit a candidate to run against me and was trying to organizing meetings for people to meet the possible candidate. The exact opposite of staying neutral as he went out of his way to assure me just hours before. I never asked him to do that. He intentionally pulled me aside to try and deceive me.

Over the next two months I was contacted on multiple occasions by PCs across the county stating that Jim had personally talked to them and shared his negative feelings about me. Fortunately for me some of the people he was speaking with knew me personally and knew that the misinformation he was spreading was false.

Finally I had enough. I reached out to Jim through mutual friends and asked him to speak. I shared the information I had been told about him talking to others about me. Jim responded that he “had concerns” but had never reached out to me about them. He also shared that he had indeed been trying to personally recruit someone to run against me but despite significant effort hadn’t found anyone. This conversation took place on December 1st.

I invited him to ask anything he wanted and he spent over 2 hours doing just that. When we were done Jim said he felt we were far more aligned than he thought, I had addressed all his concerns, and he had no plans to back anyone else for county chair. Wonderful.

Unfortunately that was also untrue. Jim left the call stating he would set up meetings for me to meet other PCs so they could get to know me. Of course this never happened.

Twice more I met with Jim in December both on the phone and face to face, meetings he initiated. I asked about meetings he said he would arrange, he said he still would and praised me on the good job I was doing on my campaign.

Unfortunately he was secretly helping my opponent. I didn’t share with Jim but I was already aware that his continued outreach to me was disingenuous. But I wanted to see if he would come clean or continue going out of his way to lie to me.

As the election approached I stopped talking to Jim. Unfortunately he didn’t stop his deception. The day of the election he expressed well wishes and praise to me. After the election PCs came up to me and shared that Jim was personally going around to PCs during voting asking them not to vote for me.

It’s fine that he opposed me. It’s an election, people pick sides. But how can I trust someone who consistently went out of their way to privately pull me aside and then repeatedly lie and try to convince me I should trust him, when he was actively working against me.

If deception, deceit, and back room shenanigans are what you want for the AZGOP then vote for O’Connor. But don’t expect this county chair to trust a thing he says or does. I’m done believing his lies.

Chris Herring
Chairman, Maricopa County GOP

 

What transparency looks like

By concerned Republican state committeeman

Many PC’s who, after watching Jim O’Connor twist the truth, bend the rules and use his faith as a shield to his duplicity, are saying… Finally, someone is standing up for what is right.  The below letter was sent from AZGOP State Chairman, Robert Graham.

January 18, 2017

Dear _______ ,

The purpose of this letter is to assure that every Republican precinct committeeman within the State of Arizona has a clear understanding surrounding the ongoing discussions with respect to LD 23 and the nomination of their state committeemen.

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

The discussions do NOT regard the call letter, how it was sent, or the Attorney General’s opinion defining “mail” and “electric communication.” Further, the discussions do NOT and need not address LD 23’s election of new leadership.

State committeemen, once elected, have the awesome responsibility to represent their district and/or county in a material way each year. Every precinct committeeman has the right to a fair and well-defined nomination process to assure that everyone has the option to pursue their interest of becoming a state committeeman.

Like any club, organization, or business, it is normal to find new members who have little working experience or knowledge to apply to their newfound responsibilities. This reality adds additional responsibilities to leadership to assure everyone — in this case newly elected precinct committeemen — are included and are completely aware of the nomination process of becoming a state committeeman.

The Complaint:

The AZGOP was made aware by many new precinct committeemen and later confirmed by Nancy Ordowski, the new Chairman of LD 23, that there were over 28 precinct committeemen that were never made aware of the nomination process to become a state committeemen.

The LD 23 leadership worked to acquire email addresses and any electronic means of communicating with the new precinct committeemen. Not all precinct committeemen responded to the requests. By not responding, leadership within all counties and district leadership must recognize the obligation to communicate with all elected precinct committeemen and the nomination process to run for state committeeman. If leadership does not have everyone’s email addresses or social media handle, USPS (mail) is the last resort to assure everyone is included. LD 23 did this with their call letters but not the nomination process for state committeeman. Herein lies the problem: to assure that everyone that would have wanted to be a state committeeman has a fair and equal opportunity to become a state committeemen.

Many have complained this was a bad process, one that alienated conservative stalwarts who are important to the party and its success. Congressman David Schweikert and his wife’s proxies were not permitted. There was arbitrary enforcement of proxy rules.

C.T. Wright, a black leader in our party whom many of you know from his stirring invocations at our state party functions, was left alienated.

Conservative attorney Mike Liburdi, an active volunteer in the Republican Lawyers Association in the past, gave notice to Chairman O’Connor that he could not attend the meeting and was not allowed to run for state committeeman. He was not given notice of the deadline for making the ballot, gave advance notice of his desire to run in writing, and had a proxy at the meeting but was denied the ability to run.

Based on these examples and other similar complaints, AZGOP simply asked LD 23 to improve its process and hold a new election. They instead decided to hire lawyers and spent at least $5,000 fighting this. One is left wondering: what do you have to fear? Details are below, but the AZGOP simply offered to directly appoint Jim O’Connor as a state committeemen, allaying any fears that he would be prevented from campaigning for higher office in the party.

In any case, after reviewing the complaints and having multiple meetings with leadership from LD 23 and their legal counsel, it is clear that there was neither bad behavior nor the intent to disenfranchise the new precinct committeemen of LD 23. The challenge lies with the outcome of the 119 nominated state committeemen and the question “would the results be different if the 28 plus precinct committeemen were notified properly and included in the election for the state committee both as voters or candidates for state committeeman.”

What has the AZGOP Offered as a Resolution?

1) New Election: The AZGOP has offered to pay for a new election that would include ALL elected precinct committeemen from LD 23. This offer included paying for facilities, printing and postage. This offer was made weeks prior to the Maricopa County January 14th meeting and would assure compliance to all bylaws and Arizona Revised Statutes. A new election would have put forth best efforts to help assure that no one would have been left out of the process. Leadership in LD 23 said NO to this offer.

2) Lottery: Next was a lottery system to randomly draw precinct committeemen names from a “hat.” All names of the precinct committeemen would be included in the drawing. Once a name was picked they would be contacted to confirm or deny their interest to becoming a state committeeman. If confirmed the AZGOP, under advice and consent of the LD 23 Chairman and Maricopa County Chairman, we would appoint that person. If the person denied interest in becoming a state committeemen, then a new name would be drawn. This process would be followed until all 119 names were confirmed and appointed.

Further, there was an additional offer. There has been some suggestion that the AZGOP was attempting to block Jim O’Connor from being eligible for running for state chairman by not allowing his district to be credentialed at the State Meeting. This is false. LD 23 was offered, if they chose the lottery process, that the AZGOP would hold out Jim O’Connor as an automatic appointment to be a state committeeman. He had the top number of votes in his district and the AZGOP thought this was only fair to assure that we did not interrupt or interfere with his statewide campaign. Leadership in LD 23 said NO to this offer.

3) Letter to the District: Lastly, in an another effort to make sure that LD 23 had full state committeemen representation to the State Statutory Meeting on January 28, 2017, the AZGOP suggested that a letter come from the immediate past Chairman, Jim O’Connor, who presided over the LD 23 Reorganization and State Committeemen Nomination process, stating “there was NO intent of LD 23 leadership to disenfranchise or not include the block of precinct committeemen that were not included in the state committeeman nomination process. The mistake was a clear oversight and because of the complaints we have received from the LD 23 committee members we have worked with the AZGOP to define and develop uniform guidelines to help assure there will never be confusion in the future. This process would also help assure that everyone would be included or have the option to be included in the state committee nomination process in the future. Uniform guidelines that would be helpful for committees statewide.”

The AZ GOP has offered/proposed this simple statement as another way to assure that all currently nominated 119 State Committeemen would be credentialed at the upcoming State Statutory meeting with NO changes. Chairman Nancy Ordowski of LD 23 declined this offer too, stating their attorney said a statement of this nature would be an admission of guilt.

At this point, the AZGOP has offered at least three solutions that would assure LD 23 full representation at the State Statutory Meeting on January 28, 2017.

Given the reasonable solutions that have been offered, and the continued “no deal” response, it feels as if the intent to “credential LD 23” at the state meeting is not the top priority of previous and current leadership of LD 23. It also feels as if the accusatory “disenfranchisement” narrative being leveled by some is politically motivated.

As Chairman of the AZGOP I have the responsibility to give surety that all precinct committeemen statewide, within every county and district, have a fair and equitable opportunity to represent the Republican Party as a state committeeman. I am making every attempt to address the concerns brought forward by new and active precinct committeemen of LD 23 and I am continuing to work toward a solution.

All precinct committeemen deserve and have the right to confidence in the process. Legitimacy should only be claimed once a fair and equitable resolution has been made.

 

Sincerely,

Robert Graham

 

 

 

Jim O’Connor: Plays By His Own Set of Rules

By a concerned state committeeman

The AZGOP is in the middle of a turmoil brought on by the hot mess called the LD23 Organizational Meeting, led by immediate past chair Jim O’Connor. No matter how the scandal plagued elections in LD23 play out, it is only the latest debacle created by O’Connor. The man is unfit for office and draining the swamp starts with him.

Allegations of dirty tricks has plagued AZGOP candidate Jim O’Connor over many of his actions as chair with a growing number of members in his district crying “foul” at the explanations for his well documented antics. Among them, his penchant for handpicking winners and losers by playing in the primaries. When taken to task for his actions, he refers to the LD23 bylaws with an “only doing my job” type answer, through a mouthpiece of course.

In a post on the Briefs, Jim O’Connor was directly asked “Did you have a 2/3 vote approval by PCs for these three items that I received???” This was in reference to evidence of his involvement in party primaries that were sent to the Briefs amid multiple claims of O’Connor playing favorites in party primaries.

So, when asked directly for an answer…what does O’Connor do? He passes the buck to Rich Rutkowski by responding “I requested Rich Rutkowski, LD 23’s 2nd VC, to provide a reply as he has spent more time and attention to the process we had undertaken in both the “May, 2016 Endorsement Election” and the subsequent “Golden Ticket” the district had prepared…”

Let that sink in. Jim O’Connor, the former District Chairman, now running for State Chairman, can’t answer. How difficult is it to know if he had a 2/3 vote approval by LD 23 PCs to promote various candidates? A simple “yes” or “no” would do.

Rich Rutkowski’s response was not only confusing, but within it he blamed PCs for not understanding and promoting the problem, in an elitist “let them eat cake” sort of way.

Considering the circular nature of the explanation, most would side with those PCs because his explanation doesn’t make sense. He writes:

“On the Golden Ticket, this may represent continued misinterpretation of the whole ‘endorsement’ issue, unfortunately promoted by some our PCs. To clarify again, the 2/3 margin of approval was needed for AN OFFICER to endorse a candidate on behalf of the District. An endorsement by the District is in the form of a resolution, which only requires a majority vote of the PCs at a meeting.” He verified that “All of the candidates on the Golden Ticket received a majority vote of the PCs” noting that some of them exceeded the 2/3 margin.”

Now does this make sense?

1) The district can endorse with a majority,
2) But for an officer to endorse on behalf of the District, they need a 2/3 vote?

If the District endorses candidates with a majority, the Officers can’t tell anyone or speak publicly about it because they weren’t endorsed by 2/3?

Or does it mean that the 2/3’s test is really without meaning, since if the district endorses with a simple majority isn’t the chairman included?

But, if a 2/3 vote is what is actually needed for an Officer to publicly endorse a candidate why did Jim O’Connor endorse candidates who did not receive that threshold?

Clear as mud? Welcome to LD23 where nothing is ever what it seems. The one thing that is clear, at the minimum a majority would be needed for any district involvement if the bylaws are to be followed. Unless it’s not.

Thanks to LD23 PC Boe James and the Briefs for sharing some interesting information. Note the LD23 voting results, names highlighted in yellow received 2/3 vote; names highlighted in blue received a majority. Based on Rich’s explanation above, the Officers, including Jim O’Connor, were not permitted to speak on behalf of the district about anyone other than the names highlighted in blue.

So why then did:

O’Connor send two emails using district resources encouraging the District to support Aaron Flannery. According to district records, Aaron received 67 votes out of 151, only 44%. That is neither 2/3 or a majority. Why was O’Connor promoting a candidate and how did Flannery get on their Golden Ticket? Plainly, how is O’Connor playing by the bylaws when he openly uses LD23 resources to endorse a candidate, one that is under the vote threshold, in his role as chairman?

O’Connor also approved allowing Cecil Yates, candidate for Town Council, which was on the Fountain Hills version of the Golden Ticket. Cecil only received 26 votes – 17%. Not quite a majority and definitely not 2/3.

This begs the question, why did the district spend money for campaign literature for candidates that didn’t even break the 50% requirement? And if a District Officer isn’t permitted to speak on behalf of the District, how are they permitted to spend money on behalf of the district for Golden Tickets to promote these candidates? According to LD23 campaign finance reports they spent nearly $1,000 printing and mailing “Golden Tickets” to voters in LD23.

So, what is it? 2/3 or a majority? You can endorse or not? We don’t know and apparently neither does Jim O’Connor, nor does he care. The mystery of what goes on in LD23 remains but one thing is very clear, Jim O’Connor plays by his own set of rules.

Opposing views are welcome for review and publication. 

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.)