Capitol Update – January 13th, 2007

James for Chair Alright, so it technically doesn’t count as a Capitol Update because it took place away from the Capitol, but since my beat includes pretty much anything that relates to the State Capitol, that gives me a fair amount of latitude. The race for State Party Chairman has been discussed in the hallways of the House and Senate, especially after the Party’s performance in the 2006 elections. Nothing like a good old-fashioned thumping to get folks to pay attention. And endorsements from elected officials from those two bodies seem to be evenly split. So we thought we’d pay attention to the main players in that contest.

Today’s big event was the meeting of the Maricopa County Republican Party, the election of their officers, etc. A boring meeting with no contested races and only one interesting bylaw change (that allows the Party to punish PCs who publicly endorse Democrats – you hear that you miserable Republicans for Janet?) that at least started on time and ended on time. Randy Pullen was there, obviously enjoying being surrounded by all of the legislative district chairs that had endorsed him. His people were also distributing a nice glossy brochure which details his personal and professional accomplishments and his goals for the Party. Lisa James was also there, surrounded by well-wishers and supporters like Lisa Atkins, Nathan Sproul, Tom Liddy and others. Congressman Trent Franks was also there, wearing his Lisa James sticker as well. James’ campaign was offering two stickers, a small round one that was professionally done, and an enormous one that someone did on their inkjet computer. We’re thinking that she should stick with the smaller one since it conveys the sense that she’ll do things professionally. The big one? Not so much… These things were HUGE!

Where things got interesting was when we asked Randy about the Political Insider column that quoted Lisa James as saying that Randy had tried to buy her out of the race by offering her the position of Executive Director. While Randy confirmed that the two did sit together, Randy said the topic was about keeping the race clean and the Party united. He said that he was complimentary to Lisa about her involvement and asked her if she would consider staying involved if Randy won. Randy said that he mentioned several positions that Lisa would be useful in but that no job was ever offered, after all, you gotta win before you can offer a job right? It wouldn’t matter in any case since Lisa told him that she had no interest in a full-time job with the Party. So I guess we can scratch Lisa’s name off of the shrinking list of potential Executive Directors.

Of course, now that we’ve put that rumor to rest, several points become obvious… First, Randy needs to quit having unity meals with people who then misrepresent his actions to make him look sleazy. Obviously Lisa leaked the story to the Insiders folks to make it look like Randy was somehow endorsing her ability or record, while simultaneously trying to make him look bad. Now before the James folks go nuts with posts, we’re not making that up since we can be sure that Randy didn’t leak the story and they were the only two there, so it is kind of obvious who fed the reporters the story. Second, do you want a Chairman who so obviously leaks to friends in the media to smear a fellow Republican? Again, no posts needed questioning them being friends of hers… They never contacted Randy to find out his side like most reporters do when they’re writing a real news story. They just printed what they were given without bothering to check it out. Fourth, and most people who heard all of this and were talking about this seemed to miss the point, do you want a Chairman who isn’t looking for a full-time job? Do you really want a part-time chairman?

I suppose if you were recruited into a contest to win a job you didn’t want, you probably weren’t asked for a real commitment of time. But does the Arizona GOP really just need a seat-warmer in the Chairman’s chair? Or do we need someone who will make a real commitment of time in the off-year and on-year, not just for 8 or 9 weeks leading up to election day. From where we’re sitting at the Capitol it is clear that we need to BUILD a party, RECRUIT PCs and candidates, TRAIN our people, and perform countless activities that will take a determined and full-time effort.

At least now we now that one of the candidates isn’t interested in anything like that… And that’s the news from West Washington!


  1. Snart Voter says

    Right on! As a state committeeman, I am damn tired of the calls to support Lisa James from those who have never called me before. It makes me think they are worried about their establishment pick being too close to call a winner. The calls are as negative about Randy Pullen as they are positive about her. Why concentrate on tearing down your opponent if your own credentials are so outstanding?

    And, if she is as pro-life as she is being touted, why are all of the pro-abort folks on her list of supporters? Her list looks like the WISH List membership roster.

  2. Trent Franks…. hardly a pro choice supporter. He was proudly wearing a Lisa James sticker at the county meeting! Could it be she is just known as the person who can best do the job that is needed?

  3. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    Yes Ann, Trent Franks is pro-life and, like the rest of the delegation, he has fallen in line and endorsed Lisa James. But you must be out of your mind if you think that having Trent Franks endorse you means that all of your other pro-abortion supporters don’t exist or have suddenly changed their positions. Let’s put this in your own words…

    State Senator Carolyn Allen, pro-abortion leader, former Planned Parenthood board member… Hardly a pro-life supporter. She is proudly supporting Lisa James at these meetings! Could it be she is just known as someone that the pro-abortion folks love!

    See? You’re thinking to yourself “that makes no sense, its nonsense, what’s wrong with these people!” And you’d be right, if we were using your arguments and logic.

    It is about competency and, as you can read in my post (#31) on the thread above, Randy wins that argument however you want to have it!

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