AZGOP Chairman Defends Rights of Precinct Committeemen to Vote in Election of Convention Delegates

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Robert Graham Countering Efforts of Former Local Party Official Seeking to Disenfranchise Precinct Committeemen
 
PHOENIX – This afternoon Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party expressed outrage today at the ongoing efforts by a former local Republican party leader, A. J. La Faro, who is trying to prevent thousands of Republican Precinct Committeemen from voting in upcoming party elections.
 
“Our local Republican activists are the most precious resource our party has, and it’s just sad to see someone try to keep them from voting in the election of our delegates to the Republican State Convention,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Every one of our Republican Precinct Committeeman has the right to cast a vote for the delegates of their choice, and no one should disenfranchise our PC’s. As the twice-elected leader of the Arizona Republican Party, I am outraged and taking action to work with every local party chairman to ensure that every Precinct Committeeman is able to participate and cast a vote in these elections, and I absolutely will not let anyone take that right away from them.”
 
Republican Precinct Committeemen (PCs) are elected by Republican voters in each of Arizona’s nearly 1,500 voting precincts statewide. PCs gather each month to conduct party business, and state law permits them to vote by proxy if  unable to attend a particular meeting. PCs can provide a signed, witnessed (or notarized) proxy form to a trusted Republican from their precinct who is attending the meeting, and who may cast their vote for them. The practice assures each and every PC can vote on party business, even if unable to physically attend the meeting.
 
In typical party meetings about half the votes are cast by proxy. At the recent meeting of Maricopa County Republican PC’s chaired by Tyler Bowyer, for example, there were 1,006 present at the meeting and an additional 989 who voted by a proxy given to another member.
 
With significant meetings in the coming months being called throughout Arizona to elect delegates to the Republican State Convention, the right to vote by proxy is especially important.
 
“Our party is all about expanding activists participation, and we trust the chairmen of our local district and county parties to conduct these meetings as they always do and follow our standard party procedures, and I’ll help them do that,” Graham added. “There is no excuse for La Faro’s misinformation campaign and attempt to stop proxy voting, and no one should tolerate his outrageous attempts to stifle the voting rights of our PCs and interfere with our party’s elections process.”
 
The Republican Party State Convention, to be held on April 30, 2016 at the Mesa Convention Center, is where the state delegates elected by the PCs assemble to elect 55 delegates to be sent to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, where the Republican Nominee for President is selected.

Tyler Bowyer and AJ LaFaro: The Democrats Secret Weapon

A shout out to our friends at PoliticsArizona.com for this post!

Tyler Bowyer ran for MCRC Chairman promising unity and a stop to the disease of divisiveness that plagued the party under AJ LaFaro. Bowyer promised to turn the page.

Bowyer lied. And in doing so, stabbed his former friend Robert Graham squarely between the shoulder blades. Here’s hoping Chairman Graham won’t forget.

On Saturday, Bowyer flat out went after Graham, the popular Arizona GOP Chairman, conspiring with LaFaro to bring a doomed “censure” of the Chairman to the floor.

While publicly he pretends to support unifying the party…

Bowyer Tweet

…Bowyer is clearly working as a pawn in LaFaro’s plot to divide the party. In a video exclusively obtained by Politics Arizona, Bowyer is seen huddling with LaFaro as their efforts to “censure” Chairman Graham go down in flames.

The next time Tyler Bowyer pats you on the back, be sure to get checked out for stab wounds.

Our take on what’s happening with the Arizona Republican Party in 2016?

Delegate stacking!

There is an effort to put delegates committed to Donald Trump into state delegate positions before the Republican State Convention on April 30th. Those elections of delegates will take place from March 26 – April 9th.

State law states that delegates of the parties shall “make their best effort” to support the winner of the presidential preference election. That Presidential Preference Election will take place on March 22, 2016. Arizona is called a “Winner Take All” state.

If Donald Trump wins the Presidential Preference Election on March 22nd AND, the delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention on April 30th are committed to Trump, there will not be a conflict.

But, if Ted Cruz wins the PPE, AND delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention have pledged to Donald Trump, there will be a massive party fight.

Thus, the theory is  that individuals like AJ LaFaro and Rob Haney ferociously recruited Trump-committed precinct committeemen in 2015 so that Tyler Bowyer would appoint these individuals to elect the delegates to the national convention.

KJZZ: Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors discuss the schism in the Maricopa GOP

Steve Goldstein with the Phoenix NPR affiliate, KJZZ, interviewed Republican consultants Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors today on his show Here and Now.

ConstantinQuerardQuerard and Wikfors who are both conservative Republicans, discussed the ongoing intra-party battle taking place at the Maricopa County GOP level for several years.

Shane WikforsAt the center of the battle is Arizona senior Senator John McCain and a handful of Republican precinct committeemen.

Listen as Querard details how this fight began, how it has affected the rank-and-file Republican activists and how it continues to play out in GOP in-fighting.
Wikfors, who is resigning his position as a Republican precinct committeeman, describes how the in-fighting is affecting the GOP brand and party’s ability to grow and raise money.

The Bloodlust of the Maricopa GOP

Judas Iscariot is back! This is the latest episode of insanity being spearheaded by former Maricopa County Chaurmen AJ LaFaro and company. This will be brought up from the floor at this Saturday’s State Party meeting. 

AZGOP State Committeemen’s Resolution To Censure Chairman Robert Graham

We, the State Committeemen of the Arizona Republican Party (AZGOP), from which Chairman Robert Graham was elected, are obligated to hold all of our leaders accountable for their actions. Only in times of great crisis or betrayal is it necessary to publicly censure our leaders. Today we are faced with both in as much Robert Graham is by far one of the worst Party Chairman the AZGOP has ever endured. So with conviction we rise and declare:

WHEREAS, Chairman Robert Graham

· has continued to violate the Arizona Revised Statutes, the Bylaws of the Arizona Republican Party and several of the County and Legislative District Republican Committees; and 

· has repeatedly disregarded and disrespected the will of an overwhelming majority of the AZGOP State and Precinct Committeemen; and

· has conducted dictatorial actions that have been a calculated and insidious conspiracy to purge grassroots and conservative Republicans from the AZGOP for his personal benefit, the benefit of his cronies and the Republican establishment cabal. 

BE IT RESOLVED that Robert Graham’s constant intimidation, bullying, overreach and unilateral policies will no longer be tolerated;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the AZGOP State Committeemen have lost confidence in Robert Graham and will no longer support him or his actions;

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED the AZGOP State Committeemen censures Robert Graham for his continued disservice to our Party, State and Nation.

Why I Am Resigning As A Republican Precinct Committeeman

If you’re considering becoming a Maricopa County Republican Precinct Committeeman. Stop! It’s not worth your time, energy or money. Even more important, it’s not worth sacrificing your integrity, civility and decency.

What I saw take place at the 2016 mandatory meeting of Maricopa County Republicans was utterly despicable, demeaning and disturbing. On the evening of Saturday, January 16, 2016, an angry mob decided to commit an act of political cannibalism on two of its own leaders.

Jeni White and Aaron Borders, 1st and 2nd vice-chairs for the Maricopa County Executive Committee were recalled by their fellow Republicans. The reason? Asking for more transparency and accountability from the Chairman, Tyler Bowyer.

[Note: I have known, advised and worked with all three members – Jeni, Aaron and Tyler as colleagues and friends for several years. They are all very hard working Republicans who have sacrificed time, talent and treasure.]

After 26 years, I have decided to resign my position as a Republican Precinct  because the culture and mission of the organization has deteriorated to the point that it has become dysfunctional and no longer effective or relevant.

As an individual Republican, I can be far more effective influencing my neighbors, community, city and state than being part of a ego-driven, self-serving, bitter, angry, cancerous organization.

Saturday’s special recall meeting was entirely unnecessary. It was disastrously run and it revealed an ugly side of local Republicans I am ashamed to be associated with.

Prior to the meeting, Republicans passed a series of resolution (which have no real effect other than making a public statement). I voted for almost all of them.

One resolution that passed that I strongly believed was completely unnecessary (keyword unnecessary) was the “Anybody But McCain” resolution. This was the same resolution that was passed in 2015 (and probably 2014, 2013, etc.) and has had absolutely no effect other than violate the bylaws’ neutrality provision and earn the county (and state by association) negative media attention.

In doing this, the county should expect absolutely NO financial, logistic, or material support from Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake and probably the entire state and congressional delegation. After the Saturday vote, none of our elected officials will want to be associated with the county party and neither will their donors. Criticizing your own elected officials in the public square is a sure way to guarantee a collapse of your financial support. In my opinion, the 600+ PC’s would have been better off writing our senior senator a personal letter calling him out.

[And this is coming from someone who gave eight months of his life trying to defeat McCain in the 2010 primary election! I obviously won’t be voting for John McCain in the primary election this time because like Hugh Hewitt, while I believe that John McCain sacrificed as a great American, he is a lousy senator and a terrible Republican.]

Other than the 12+ hours that I will never get back from Saturday’s meeting, what really turned me off about the Maricopa County Republican meeting was how poorly run the meeting was. When the special recall meeting began, to Tyler’s credit, he stepped aside from running the meeting but in grave error, the meeting was run by Dan Grimm who earlier in the week, paid for a political hit piece against White and Borders. The meeting should actually have been run by a 3rd party – preferably someone from the state party or another county. Because of this move, no one can say that it was an objectively well-managed meeting.

Additionally, rules and procedures were botched in order to kangaroo court a decision. This to me, was the most disturbing part of the meeting as I watched fellow Republicans froth at the mouth shouting at each other – something you would see from rabid union members or Democrat activists. It was utterly shocking.

A vote was taken and when it was announced that White and Borders were recalled, the mob cheered. It was truly a sad day for Maricopa County Republicans.

(I voted AGAINST the recall of ALL three members.)

I made the decision then and there that I wanted no part of an organization that behaved in this manner. Shame on these Republicans for treating their fellow Republicans in such a disrespectful, uncivil, disturbing way.

Many of these Republicans I have been friends with for a long time – some for over a decade. We have worked on important projects trying to save unborn babies, preserving the family, protecting the Second Amendment and taxpayer rights. When I was first recruited as a PC into the party, I came in as a evangelical conservative. I am still that same person and even deeper in my faith.

National conservative leaders such as Daniel Garza and Arthur Brooks have demonstrated a positive and winning way forward for the conservative movement and Republican party. I believe they are absolutely on message when it comes to adding to and multiplying the size and strength of the GOP. What I saw Saturday from Maricopa County Republicans was nothing but subtraction and division. That’s not for me.

As my two youngest children come of age and engage in the American civic experience, I don’t ever want them to see what I saw last Saturday. I want to protect them from that ugliness and anger. That’s not the GOP I want to be a part of and it’s not the GOP I want them to inherit.

 

 

 

Maricopa County Precinct Committeemen – You’re being played!

By “Justice Portend”

Plain white envelope, bulk postage, P.O. Box return address…it looked like junk mail. I caught a glimpse of the name in the return address corner and stopped just short of tossing it in the garbage.

Then I opened it.

What the heck…It took a couple of reads to get the entire picture.  The closer I looked the more I found.  It didn’t take long for the stench to grow.  This non-descript envelope contained a pile of hot, steamy bull manure!

I’ve been a PC in Maricopa County for many, many years and have attended enough of these meetings to know how things should be done. This is not it, folks. A blatant disregard for truth and decency is on every page, the bylaws are completely ignored over and over, and the motives of whoever is behind this cannot be fueled by the best interests of the party!

First, the Bylaws are very clear in describing what should be in the call:

C. Notice – The Secretary or designee shall deposit in the mail at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting notice of the meeting, addressed to each member. Copies of proposed Bylaws changes and the reasons of support, new resolutions, if any, and a proxy form must also be included.

A link to a web site does not meet the bylaws requirement, not even close! Every PC in Maricopa County has the right to see what they will vote on and the bylaws declare a copy of every proposed change, and the rationale for each, to be included in the call. This rule is in place for us, the PC’s.  There is no leeway or discretion!  The Chairman is obligated to make sure that happens – he didn’t. He ordered the official call letter to be mailed in violation of the clearly stated Bylaw put in place to insure we -the PC’s – are informed.

Corruption: dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people

The whole thing smacks of corruption and disrespect toward the duly elected and appointed PC’s, the real grassroots.  We’ve walked, knocked, written checks, attended meetings and made phone calls and we did it to build our party, to get Republicans elected not to be dismissed as unimportant, simple minded morons that would never question the chairman! We must demand the bylaws be followed – this type of disrespect should make every PC beyond angry!

Then comes the “Special Meeting”.  Where to start… what possible good can come from this?  We are in the middle of an election year and this guy thinks calling a special meeting to “recall” leadership is smart? What is the real purpose of this destructive meeting?

Is he willing to sacrifice what is best for the party to get revenge?  Bowyer barely survived a no confidence motion by one vote in November – his vote. Minus Bowyer, it was a split 14-14 vote, meaning half the LD Chairman and Executive Committee members in the county voted for “no confidence” and the Bowyer faction is after payback.  Here’s what is missing in the picture – he is targeting the two members he feels led the charge but what about the rest of the EGC, the 50% who clearly voted against him? Is this a warning shot, a flexing of his political muscle? Rather than show some leadership and move on, this chairman would rather embarrass the entire party so he can attempt to get his pound of flesh.

We’ve seen some pretty outlandish things out of the MCRC, but this chairman beats them all!

Now comes some more information that is beyond the pale. All the newly appointed PC’s who are absolutely eligible to vote in this “special meeting”, didn’t get a call letter. That’s right, PC’s were deliberately not given notice of the meeting and pending election. Remember, this is not a normal election, the only way to know is if you get the letter and proxy.

Disenfranchise: to prevent (a person or group of people) from having the right to vote

Why? Go back to that plain, white bulk-rate envelope. That may hold the answer to many things.

If the bylaw changes had been printed, it would have likely been a larger mailing and higher postage.  So, it looks like Bowyer opted to skip our right to see the proposed bylaw changes in order to have room for his ridiculous special meeting call.

But why not notice the new PC’s?

The rules of bulk rate are that all the letters must contain the same information. The new PC’s aren’t eligible to vote in the Mandatory Meeting, if there were envelopes containing only the special meeting notice, they would hold significantly fewer pages and would have been noticed at the post office. Those letters would have to go first class mail which is a higher rate. Oh well, those folks don’t matter – do they?

This also explains why they can credential both meetings at the same time. Just leave the new PC’s out and then you only need one list.  When, if ever, has there been an official meeting with credentialing completed 6 or more hours BEFORE the meeting begins?

So, what we’ve got folks are a couple of things.

  1. A Mandatory Meeting with a call letter that is in blatant violation of the Bylaws, to the detriment of PC’s.  What is in those Bylaw revisions that they are trying to hide?  Why were mandatory, well-known rules not followed? What authority allowed for such a decision – this smacks of Obama Executive Order politics. It’s what the chairman wants, who needs rules. At a minimum, the Bylaw revision vote should be cancelled.
  2. A ridiculous, damaging “Special Meeting” where a portion of the electorate was deliberately denied notice and proxy provisions. Why were they intentionally denied their right to participate? How can that be tolerated?
    How far will we, the PC’s, allow this corruption, abuse of power and abandonment of principles to go?  The rule of law and individual responsibility should matter.

Then here’s something to think about… This chairman openly trains members of a different political party to be activists.  He openly uses the MCRC office to run a non-GOP 501 (c)3. His actions have shown he has a complete disdain for PC’s, no respect or intent to follow the bylaws, and is acting in opposition to the best interest of the party.  Could it be his plan is to be a “disruptor” and we’ve been played? It sure looks that way

Disrupt:

  1. to cause disorder or turmoil
  2. to destroy, usually temporarily, the normal continuance or unity
  3. to break apart
  4. to radically change 
  5. broken apart; disrupted.

Dwain Returns with a Tribute to Donald Trump

Heeee’s back!

Our friend Dwain, from Mullets Over America, brings us his latest creation “Make America Great Again” ’bout the general awesomeness of Donald J Trump.

Special thanks to Public Integrity Alliance and Mr Citrus Valley for creating this ‘lil beauty.

Poll: Trump Impact On Republican Chances In 2016

MBQF

Trump nomination cuts GOP motivation, and turns many GOP voters against other Republican candidates

(Phoenix, AZ) — MBQF, a public affairs consulting firm, announced the results of a recent survey commissioned by Insight Consulting, an Arizona firm, concerning GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump and the effect his nomination by the Republican Party would have on voters in Arizona.

The results from the survey shows the results a Trump nomination would have on high efficacy Republican and Independent/PND primary voters across Arizona represented by likely 2016 turnout models.

In the most recent automated telephonic survey of 818 high efficacy voters, conducted on November 25, 2015, the survey calculates a 3.43% theoretical margin of error, plus or minus in percentage points, 95% of the time.

Michael Noble, who conducted the poll explained that “this poll isn’t about whether Trump wins if he is the nominee; it’s about what effect a Trump nomination by the Republican party would have on other Republican candidates.  We wanted to look into the ‘down ballot’ effect Trump as the Republican nominee would have on the 2016 elections.”

Paul Walker, who commissioned the poll issued the following statement: “The 2016 election, like all elections, is about turning out voters – making them motivated to go to the polls or cast early ballots.  Today, Republicans are 91.4 percent “very motivated” to vote next year; Democrats are 83.8 percent “very motivated”; but a Trump nomination changes the numbers.  30.5 percent of high efficacy Republicans become less motivated to vote next year with a Trump nomination, and 20.5 percent become unlikely to support other Republican candidates.  We lose if our voters stay home, and we lose badly if 20.5 percent of high efficacy Republican voters vote against other Republican candidates for other offices.”

Michael Noble explained that Trump’s effect on Independent and PND voters would make Republican campaign strategy much more complex: “A Trump nomination costs Republicans their own support – but it increases the chances of picking up Independent voters.  A Trump nomination makes 50.9 percent of Independent/PND voters more likely to vote next year; while 28.45 percent become less motivated – so you have a net 20.5 percent increase in Independent motivation to vote.  But again, 30.5 percent of Republican voters become less motivated.  So it’s a net loss for Republicans.  Furthermore, Independents are not a homogenous block, obviously.  Many issues effect their votes – so Republican candidates will have less of the GOP base, and would have to chase Independent votes harder: That means campaign messaging and tone have to appeal to more Independents to make up for the loss of GOP support.”

Noble explained that Independents become slightly more likely to support Republicans if Trump is the Republican nominee: “When we asked whether they become more or less likely to support other Republican candidates for other races, 39 percent of Independent/PND voters said more likely and 29 percent said less likely. So there’s an opportunity there, but Republican campaigns will have to have a very different approach to the 2016 election with Trump carrying the Republican banner.  And with 30.5 percent of Republicans becoming less motivated, and 20.5 percent voting against their own party’s candidates in other races, well… The outlook isn’t good.”

Walker added: “While the Trump effect on Independent voters is complicated, the effect on high efficacy Republicans is not; it’s hard to win when nearly a third of your base is less motivated, and it’s nearly impossible to win when 20.5 percent of your base says they are less likely to support other Republicans for other offices.”

For more information about this survey, or a summary of topline data and wording, please contact MBQF Consulting. The margin of error for this survey is +/-3.43%.

Senator Carlyle Begay Joins Republican Party

Monday, Senator Carlyle announced his evolution to the Republican Party.

The former Democrat senator from Ganado, Arizona made the switch “with a clear mind and heart” because families in rural Arizona are in a crisis with unemployment as high as 80% and infrastructure is “wasting away.” Many native Americans are without electricity and clean running water. Native American teens have the highest high school drop out rate and sadly, one of the highest suicide rates.

Democrats have done nothing to alleviate or fix these problems.

In his video statement, Begay asserts, “change must happen now.”

Senator Begay joined the Republican Party because he sees it as the party of progress and opportunity. Republicans have done more to offer solutions and build a positive future for those Begay represents.

This short video describes Begay’s evolution to the GOP and reinforces the idea that Republicans are about addition and multiplication and not subtraction and division.

Congratulations Senator Carlyle Begay! Welcome to the Republican Party!

Democratic State Senator Carlyle Begay Joins Republican Party

Begay Leaves Democratic Party Citing Better Opportunities for District’s Education, Infrastructure, Employment Issues as Member of GOPPHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party enthusiastically welcomed Senator Carlyle Begay, who was elected as a Democrat to represent Arizona’s Legislative District 7 but today switched his party registration to Republican. He also joined the GOP caucus in the Arizona Senate, at an event held today at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. District 7 is the nation’s largest state legislative district by area and includes most of Northeastern Arizona including eight different tribal lands.

“My relationship with Senator Begay has grown over the years and I am so proud to see him join with our party so he can better serve the people of his district,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Republicans have proven to have a much more successful approach on the issues important to not just his district but all of Arizona, like education and economic prosperity, and I’m looking forward to working with him to improve opportunities for his community.”

Begay was appointed to the Arizona Senate in 2013 and was reelected in 2014. He released a brief video documenting his upbringing as a Navajo (or Diné) and his lifelong political journey and strong desire to better serve the constituents of his district.