Maricopa County Republican Party Election Results

Maricopa County Republican Party

In case you missed it, Maricopa County Republicans held an election on Saturday, January 14, 2017 and elected new leadership.

Chris HerringThank you to the outgoing leadership for their service and congratulations to the new Maricopa GOP leadership team!
Chairman – Chris Herring
1st Vice Chairman – Aaron Flannery (elected by acclamation)
2nd Vice Chairman – Yvonne Cahill
Secretary – Cynthia Casaus (elected by acclamation)
Treasurer – Sheila Muehling

View official results on Simply Voting.

All changes to amend the bylaws failed while all resolutions passed.

Again, congratulations to the new Republican team!

Gilbert and Chandler Place Well In Annual US City Fiscal Health Rankings

Town of GilbertCongratulations to the Town of Gilbert and City of Chandler for placing high in the annual US City Fiscal Health Index.

The index, prepared by The Fiscal Times, looks at five factors to derive the rankings including: ratio of city general fund balance to expenditures, ratio of long term obligations to total government-wide revenues, ratio of actuarially determined pension contributions to total government-wide revenues, change in local unemployment rate and changes in property values. Data is reported by the cities themselves from 2015. Only cities with populations of 200,000 were evaluated. (Tempe, Peoria, Surprise, Yuma, Avondale and Flagstaff have populations less than 200,000.)

City of ChandlerThe Town of Gilbert placed 17th while the City of Chandler placed 20th.

Other Arizona cities placed lower on the list:

Phoenix – 43
Glendale – 77
Tucson – 81
Scottsdale – 84
Mesa – 85

At the bottom of the list were Chicago and New York City.

To view the full index, click here.

Democrat Randall Friese ‘Sour’ Over TANF Sponsorship

JD Mesnard

House Speaker JD Mesnard

There’s a short news item on AZCentral by Mary Jo Pitzl this morning reporting a “sour note” in the harmony sought by Arizona House Speaker, JD Mesnard.

Apparently, State Representative Dr. Randy Friese (D-9) wanted to sponsor the bill restoring funding to TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) but was beat to the hopper by Republican State Representative Jeff Weninger.

Friese called the move an example of “hyper partisanship.”

Jeff Weninger

Rep Jeff Weninger

During his State of the State address on Monday, Republican Governor Doug Ducey announced a round of legislative and budget initiatives including the restoration of TANF funding. Weninger, who represents Chandler, is spearheading the bill.

Dr. Friese and his Democrat colleagues made it obvious that they don’t approve of Republicans stealing their brand of helping the most needy because it takes away an issue they’ve used to craft political dependency. It pains them to lose credit on the issue and by alleging the move as an act of “hyper partisanship,” Friese hurts his credibility should he sign on as a co-sponsor the bill.

Randall Friese

Randall Friese

Speaker Mesnard, perhaps presented a more realistic forecast of legislative action acknowledging the challenges of finding room in the budget to fully restore TANF.

Unfortunately for Rep. Friese, Democrats don’t control either chamber so it’s in their best interest to stop acting petty and become team players on issues they support.

Arizona Solicitor General Issues Opinion on Arizona GOP Party Elections

Just issued today, a legal opinion by the Arizona Solicitor General office of the Arizona Attorney General, resolves a dispute regarding notification in Republican Party elections.

Solicitor General Dominic Draye

Solicitor General Dominic Draye

The opinion issued by Dominic Draye to incoming Speaker of the House JD Mesnard, settles the legal question of whether or not precinct committeemen were properly noticed regarding the upcoming Maricopa County Republican Party election and ultimately the election of State Committeemen in LD23 including an announced candidate for State Party Chairman.

In question was the definition of “by mail” as cited in ARS 16-824. The statute states:

16-824Meeting, organization and officers of county committee

  1. The county committee shall meet for the purpose of organizing no earlier than ten days after the last organizing meeting of the legislative districts which are part of the county, and in any event no later than the second Saturday in January of the year following a general election. The county committee shall elect from its membership a chairman, a first vice-chairman, a second vice-chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. The latter two offices may be filled by the same person. The chairman of the county committee shall be ex officio a member of the state committee.
  2. The chairman of the county committee shall give notice of the time and place of such meeting by mail to each precinct committeeman at least ten days prior to the date of such meeting.

Current Maricopa County Republican leadership has argued that “by mail” is vague enough to include email as a method of notification to precinct committeemen. Despite an outcry from district chairmen warning Bowyer of the statutory demands and his misunderstanding, he and Secretary Dan Schultz remained adamant they were correct in their interpretation of the law, referring to their bylaws and ignoring statute.

Chairman Tyler Bowyer cited recent changes to the Maricopa County GOP bylaws, where the inclusion of email was listed as a means to notice meetings, insisting the statutory definition was inclusive of email notification in that it didn’t exclude email.

In the opinion posted by Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Solicitor General Draye clarifies and establishes the correct definition of “by mail” in the following statement:

While judicial authority interpreting the phrase “by mail” under Arizona law is limited, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona recently interpreted the word “mail” as used in Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 4.2(c).  Cachet Residential Builders, Inc. v. Gemini Ins. Co., 547 F. Supp. 2d 1028 (D. Ariz. 2007).  The court, relying on an established dictionary definition, held that mail is “defined as ‘letters, packets, etc. that are sent or delivered by means of the post office.’”  Id. at 1030 (citing Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language 864 (1989)).

This definition, which focuses on whether the item is “sent or delivered by means of the post office,” is consistent with how the term “mail” is used elsewhere under Arizona law.  For example, Rule 35(c)(1) of the Arizona Rules of Protective Order Procedure distinguishes between communications by mail and email.  Ariz. R. Protect. Ord. P. 35(c)(1) (“A limited jurisdiction court may allow contact by mail or e-mail to arrange parenting time . . . .”) (emphasis added).  Likewise, the Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure specify that “[a] party that serves documents on another party by mail in an expedited election appeal also must deliver the documents by electronic means, including email or facsimile, or as agreed to by the parties.”  Ariz. R. Civ. App. P. 10(h); see also Ariz. R. Civ. P. 5(c)(2)(C), (D) (distinguishing service by “mailing it” from service “by any other means, including electronic means”).  Further, in the Code of Judicial Administration, the term “notify” is defined to mean “written communication by mail, fax or email.”  Ariz. Code of Jud. Admin. § 6-211 (emphasis added).  The distinction between “mail” and “email” in the above rules would be superfluous if “mail” already encompassed email.  These authorities also show that, when delivery by email is permitted under Arizona law, Arizona authorities have expressly authorized it.

For purposes of the present question, our preliminary conclusion is that notice requirements elsewhere in Arizona law provide the best analogue to the requirement in A.R.S. § 16-824.  Those provisions illustrate that, where email notice is permitted, it is listed separately from “mail.”  This interpretation is also consistent with dictionary definitions and common usage as explained in Cachet Residential Builders.  For these reasons, notice by email appears insufficient to satisfy A.R.S. § 16-824. (emphasis added)

Tyler Bowyer

Tyler Bowyer

Given this official legal opinion, the Maricopa County Republican Party Bylaws are out of compliance with the law.  In that all GOP bylaws must be in compliance with both state law and the state party bylaws, any legislative district bylaws allowing email notification are also out of compliance with both Arizona Republican Party Bylaws and Arizona statute.

Today was the last day for elected precinct committeemen in Maricopa County to be properly noticed leaving the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) ill-prepared to make right the serious error as Chairman Bowyer called chairs over the past few days encouraging them to utilize email notices.

It has been reported that several LD chairmen received calls today from AZGOP Chair Robert Graham informing them that the state party was abiding by statute and mailing the call despite this statutory obligation falling on the county party. This to ensure all PC’s are eligible to vote in the upcoming MCRC elections with a proper notification.

Additionally, the opinion also affects upcoming party elections at the state party level.

Jim O'Connor

Jim O’Connor

In Legislative District 23, where notice of their election was provided by email, the election of state committeemen would be invalid because the meeting was conducted illegally. Chairman Robert Graham notified former Chairman Jim O’Connor, who was responsible for the illegal action, to the error and offered the ability for a “do over”. The newly (and also illegally) elected chair replied and vehemently declined the “do-over,” ignoring of the law and asserting the LD23 bylaws allowed for email. Chairman Graham met with representatives from LD23 and attorneys to no avail, with LD23 holding firm on their decision to use email and declining a legally called election.

Unfortunately, a better understanding of the law would have benefited the PC’s in LD23.  The warning from Graham outlined the problem that would result from the ill-advised and illegally held meeting; that those elected as state committeemen would potentially not be seated or run for a party position as the election was not valid. Specifically, candidate Jim O’Connor, who made the decision to use the illegal method of notification, could be disqualified as a candidate for State Party Chairman.

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

The Solicitor General’s opinion affirms AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham’s assertion was correct, that districts such as LD23 that improperly noticed their precinct committeemen by email, were in violation of party bylaws and state statute all along.

With the State Republican Party Meeting and Election rapidly approaching, there is not enough time now for a “do-over” election leaving LD23’s illegally elected state committeemen potentially ineligible to vote. The legal remedy is for Chairman Graham to disregard the illegally called meeting results, seat an appointed contingent of committeemen from LD23, and hold the State Meeting according to statute and bylaw.

Party activists and officials must be aware of these important bylaws and statutes especially when they conduct the process of elections and seek higher leadership. Pushing a personal agenda by skirting the rules or making them up as you go is the not the upholding manner in which GOP leaders should conduct themselves.

 

Jim O’Connor’s Leadership Raises AZGOP Questions

Interesting information regarding the role of Republican LD-23 in the 2016 Primary Election. Under the direct leadership of Chairman Jim O’Connor, LD-23 endorsed Republican Primary candidates like Alex Meluskey – not illegal but certainly out of character and spirit with Republican primary election principles.

In this message, retrieved from an August memo to precinct committeemen, Chairman Jim O’Connor acknowledges the endorsement of Alex Meluskey in the Republican US Senate Primary. (The memo attempts to address how LD-23 PC’s should respond to Meluskey’s dropping out of the race.)

LD23 Memo to PC'sThis has particularly impact for the Arizona Republican Chairman’s race as it demonstrates Chairman O’Connor’s potential influence and leadership should he be elected to the post. Would a Chairman O’Connor lead an effort to endorse another Senate run by Alex Meluskey or perhaps Dr. Kelli Ward over sitting US Senator Jeff Flake? Would Chairman O’Connor push for the election of a primary challenger against Governor Doug Ducey? His prior record of intervention and leadership raises serious questions and concerns over how he would lead the Arizona GOP over the next two years.

The 2018 mid-term election will be critical for statewide and congressional races. The party must have the most objective even-handed Chairman at its helm.

Merry Christmas!

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Birth of Jesus

Let us not forget the truth and reality of this important story. You will either fight against the story or submit your life to it.

On behalf of all of us at Sonoran Alliance, we wish you a very blessed and merry Christmas!

Arizona Republicans – Picking Winners and Losers?

Robert Graham

There seems to have been widespread complaints from experienced precinct committeemen, in specific districts, of a total disregard of statute and bylaws in their election of State Committeemen. AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham apparently believes there’s more than rumor and sent the following letter to all chairmen:

Dear GOP District and County Chairmen,

We’ve received numerous accounts from precinct committeemen throughout the state regarding the organizational meetings taking place. Based on what we’ve heard, we need to remind all chairmen about the guidance provided by the state party over the years to ensure all organizational meetings are conducted with the full participation and authority vested in the PCs and state committeemen.

As you know, these party committee organizational meetings are referred to as “statutory” meetings because they are governed by state statute and therefore differ from normal monthly business meetings typically held by party committees. Normally, district and county parties operate with a great deal of autonomy, but in the case of the statutory organizational meetings, the state party has an important stake in the outcome of the elections. Not only are most of the state party’s executive committee members being elected at the organizational meetings, but all of the state committeemen are as well.

Our party is only as legitimate as the claim we make to represent Republican voters and only if we do so according to the law. From the primary election where PCs are elected, to the organizational meetings and ultimately the state party organizational meetings, all of our credibility and authority depends on having a process according to the rule of law. For example, the organizational meetings are not private. A chairman may certainly limit the meeting activity to the elections themselves, and has no obligation to allow the public any role other than to observe. But the committee has no legal authority to exclude the public from the meeting if they simply wish to observe.

We’ve also received complaints from PCs who did not receive a call letter at least ten days before the meeting. Some have complained that proxies they were carrying were not accepted by the chairmen, and others that their proxy documents were not considered to have the full legal effect of a proxy. Others were concerned that “alternates” were elected, when there is no such office, and anyone not elected outright as a state committeeman has no standing or claim to be “next in line.” Still others complained that the committee leaders and nominating committees operated a “closed shop” and deliberately excluded many eligible PCs from having their names printed on the ballot to run for a state committeeman position. Lastly, some committees prohibited nominations from the floor.

Some of these are serious concerns. Committees which do not reasonably follow the legal process of electing state committeemen risk having them fail to be recognized by the state party for the January 2017 meeting. In fact, any election with serious enough violations could be completely disregarded, leaving all the county or district’s positions considered vacant.

Of particular concern is the denial of a PC’s rights to participate by proxy. A lawful proxy carrier, with a completed form signed and dated and witnessed, is considered the legal representative of the proxy giver and the giver’s “attorney-in-fact.” That entitles the carrier to act on the proxy’s behalf, which includes voting, nominating and even being nominated for election to office. Any rule, bylaw or act that suppresses the proxy rights of a PC is not just violating the PC’s rights, but is offensive to an open and fair election process.

I will be working with our legal counsel to address the concerns presented to us to date. In the meantime, if your organizational meeting is yet to occur, please ensure your committee is following the rules and the law.

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham

 

LD23 Responses on Recent District GOP Election Outcome

The following statements were provided by precinct committeemen in LD23 on their recent election and our post:

LD23 PC Ronald A. Smith:
I whole heartily agree with Boe James‘s argument that Dr. C.T. Wright deserves a position as State Committeemen. I therefore have submitted my resignation as an elected State committeeman from LD 23 and have requested that Dr. Wright be appointed in my place. “Tweek alert” While retired Naval Officers ponder a problem, former enlisted Marines adapt and overcome.

LD23 Credentials Chair Lynn Breyer:
In life, there are two sides to every story. This is the side Boe James did not tell in his letter Saturday. I’ve run the credentials committee for the past three LD23 Chairmen. I run it by the book! And because of that position, I know many, if not most, of the PCs in LD23. Let me tell you, LD23 is afloat with wonderful, hardworking and dedicated Precinct Committeemen. Many of them hold down jobs, are invested in other organizations and give 100% to the position of Precinct Committeeman in LD23. They volunteer for whatever is needed in an engaged LD. Every one of those who submitted their names to become State Committeemen were well worthy of election. LD23 had 119 seats to fill. There were many more applicants than that. Some of the PCs are fairly new to the district. The people they voted for were likely those they have met at events/meetings or while working with LD23 to help candidates. It’s normal and rational to vote for those you know and work beside. The 202 PCs present in person or by proxy voted the way they saw fit. I doubt any one of them voted against anyone, including Dr. Wright or Mark Lewis, both admirable men named by Boe James. These are busy men and don’t get to all the events and so are unknown to many. It’s unfortunate that everyone who submitted to run could not be elected. If LD23 made the rules, they would have been. But the rules were followed and 119 were fairly elected. I take exception to anyone who would engage in the shaming that has become so much a part of the political landscape. It’s neither constructive nor serves any good purpose.

Arizona Political Leaders React to Trump Picks

President-Elect Trump has begun to name his government advisers and cabinets and Arizona politicians are weighing in on the future Trump Administration.

Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWit and COO to the Trump campaign took to the airwaves to touting the credentials of President-Elect Trump’s cabinet choices including Senator Jeff Sessions, General Michael Flynn and Congressman Mike Pompeo. Here is video of Treasurer DeWit’s appearance on FoxNews. DeWit may also be chosen to serve in the Trump administration.

US Senator Jeff Flake tweeted, “@SenatorSessions is well like and well regarded, even by those who don’t always agree with him. I look forward to supporting his nomination” upon news that Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will be nominated to President Trump’s Attorney General.

Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-3) joined the orchestrated Democrat opposition to Stephen Bannon by retweeting Rep David Cicilline’s push for a petition rescinding Bannon’s appointment as a senior adviser. Grijalva said, “Steve #Bannon made a career of conspiracy theories and hate speech online. He has no business serving in the White House, period.”

The most aggressive opposition to Trump’s picks have come from Rep Ruben Gallego who represents Arizona’s 7th Congressional District. Since Trump’s win, he has released a barrage of tweets following the typical Democrat talking points on hate, racism and tolerance. Gallego tweeted and retweeted:

“Appointing alt-right leader Steve Bannon undermines @RealDonaldTrump’s promise to ‘bind the wounds of division.’ #NoHateInWhiteHouse.”

“Hate in the form of white nationalism doesn’t belong anywhere near the White House. Steve Bannon’s appointment is appalling & disgraceful.”

“Hate & violence has no place in this country. I stand w/ the #trans community & will work for security&equality for all #TransAwarenessWeek”

Gallego also included a link to his speech on the floor of the US House:

On his Facebook page, Rep Gallego made the following statement regarding his role in playing opposition to Trump, even on common ground issues like infrastructure:

Given everything we know about Donald Trump – and everything we don’t know – I was alarmed by the words of senior leaders from both the progressive and centrist wings of the Democratic party regarding their openness to working with Donald Trump on infrastructure.

Under ordinary circumstances, a bipartisan infrastructure plan would be welcomed. But Donald Trump is not an ordinary politician.

Unfortunately, his infrastructure plan is really a privatization scheme, rife with graft and corruption, whose real purpose is to enrich the Trump family and his supporters. He is not reaching out. He is reaching his hand into America’s pockets, just as he has his whole career. And we must not let him do it.

And continuing his rant on Facebook, Gallego echoed his Twitter post with a link to the Democrat’s opposition letter:

Nobody with ties to White Nationalism should be allowed to work in the White House. Appointing alt-right leader Steve Bannon undermines Donald Trump’s promise to ‘bind the wounds of division.’ Today, I joinedCongressman David Cicilline and many of my House colleagues to demand that Trump rescind this appalling and disgraceful appointment.#NoHateInWhiteHouse

Former Governor Jan Brewer reposted an article on her Facebook page asserting that Trump’s picks for his immigration team, will be very tough:

Donald J. Trump has just appointed the head of his immigration team and it says a lot about how he plans to deal with illegal immigration…

The article, posted on Conservative Tribune, refers to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who was the architect of Arizona’s SB1070. Kobach is known as a staunch advocate for border security and stopping illegal immigration. He has been asked to serve on Trumps immigration team.

Like many Arizona political leaders, Senator John McCain, Governor Doug Ducey, and other members of the congressional delegation have shied away from making social media comments on Trump’s administration choices. Many will continue to watch as the transition team puts people in place and an agenda into motion.

President-Elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office on January 20, 2017.

Republicans Waging War In LD-28 – Against Fellow Republicans

Plenty of drama continues to unfold in Arizona’s 28th legislative district.

This time, Republican candidate Matt Morales delivers a robodial urging voters to only vote for Republican Mary Hamway.

There are two Republican candidates running against one Democrat in LD-28. Two seats, three candidates, two Republicans, one Democrat.

This should be easy.

But not in LD-28 where warring Republicans are urging a single-shot strategy because they assume a Democrat will win. It’s a complete rollover.

Now Matt Morales is a friend of ours but we cannot understand why he’s wrapped up in this every-woman-for-herself election strategy, especially if he plans to run for

Republicans should be holding tight and voting THE REPUBLICAN TEAM in LD-28 and not assuming the Democrat is going to win. These are real votes when it comes to passing a Republican agenda in the House. Every Republican vote helps.

Our reality is that we’re not big fans of Mary Hamway but when House leadership needs an “R,” they’re not gonna find it in a Kelli Butler.”

Republicans can elect center-right Republican Maria Syms and moderate Republican Mary Hamway in LD-28; Or, they can elect a Republican and a leftist Democrat to those two House seats. The result will be an easier legislative path or a harder legislative path. That’s the end game.

Our recommendation: More Republicans, less drama please.