Contribute to Len Munsil’s new PAC or the state GOP?

It’s good to see that Len Munsil is back actively involved in conservative politics. However, will his new PAC siphon away contributions that would normally go to the state Republican party? Does this have anything to do with the fact that Randy Pullen won as state chair over Munsil’s preferred candidate Lisa James? Randy Pullen is a conservative, and conservatives should be working together. Pullen will ensure that contributions aren’t all funneled to RINO’s. While it’s not always been the best idea to contribute to the state party over the candidate, is this the next best solution? Maybe, maybe not.


Comments

  1. Good for him and good for us! No doubt, clean elections makes it impossible to defeat an incumbent with fairly decent numbers. Len understands how difficult it can be and sees the future of this state is the real issue. Any talk of this being a reaction to the party chairmanship need not be given more energy than it deserves.

    The power of the dollar is influencing votes in the legislature everyday. Not direct payoffs but certainly direct paybacks, or at least payment on an insurance policy to provide funding or support and endorsements in the next campaign. The other state offices are not much better.

    Just yesterday Tom O’Halleran played to the teacher’s union and did not support a bill that would be a huge step toward public education reform in this state. He was the only R that did not vote for the bill reducing the timeline needed to remove a teacher for poor performance. It currently takes over one year and about $120,000! Yet, he lambasted the supporters of this bill and played to the crowd of teacher union reps in the room. I guess kids can’t make contributions, phone calls, endorsements, or walk doors in his district and the teacher’s union can…. and I’m sure Mr. O’Halleran hopes will again.

    Private interests are represented by lobbyist, directors, union presidents, and such all the time. It’s about time that a group with no direct party affiliation, but representing people of like mind, came to play.

  2. While Ann makes a good point about the impact of so-called “Clean” Elections funding, she misses the mark on the negative impact of Munsil’s PAC on the state GOP. Let’s face facts. There are only so many donors and dollars. Every dollar contributed to Munsil’s PRO-PAC will, indeed, be money diverted from the AZ Republican Party. Although he seems intent on making the point that his PAC formation was in the works prior to the election of the state chairman, the net effect will be negative to Randy Pullen’s fundraising efforts–a fact not lost on Munsil.

    Where is all of this coming together as a party and working in tandem to raise money for the Republican coffers?

    Munsil’s PAC been rumored for a few weeks. The only missing link in his announcement is the other component of the circulating stories: Nathan Sproul.
    http://baltimorechronicle.com/070505Miller-Irmus.shtml
    Sproul was a consultant to Munsil’s gubernatorial bid.

  3. For anyone who supports vouchers for schools this is a good development. It increases competition. The money will flow to the entity that appears to be getting results, either the state party or the PAC or both.

  4. Peter Principle says

    There is a huge fight brewing in Pinal County.
    The smell of fear is a rancid odor. This time
    the waft of crap is coming from the Maricopa
    area, rather than from Gold Canyon where it
    originated for years.

    David West, Pinal County Republican Chairman,
    a country lawyer from the Maricopa area,
    has taken it upon himself to extract silence
    from elected PC’s in Pinal by threatening
    removal from elected office, and dare we say,
    by filing actionable litigation against any PC
    who expresses an opinion deemed unfavorable
    to him.

    West is a boozy man who, at best, has the patience of an imbecile, and limited neophyte political experience in Arizona. He invokes the Regan 11th Commandment while speaking fork-tongued himself about every other Republican.

    This man will not stand the test of time in Pinal County. He was elected to the position in a Sharron Gill-engineered (former County Chairman) election, using heretofore non-existent folks, with a fist full of proxies, to maintain control of the County Party.

    In fact, West and Gill tried to dupe Pinal PC’s by wresting Proxy control for the State Committee Meeting in January in order to get their candidate elected as head of the State Party. It did not work. Now they are re-doubling their efforts to get even with conservative Pinal PC’s by threatening law suits
    against them and demanding that they quit office.

    While the waft permeating previous years of Gill’s reign was thought to be dispersing, now enters West with a whole new stench, that bodes to be the undoing of the Pinal Republicans.

  5. This is really quite unbelievable. I cannot for the life of me understand comments like the one Ron makes: “Where is all of this coming together as a party and working in tandem to raise money for the Republican coffers?”

    People like Ron are the very ones who are preventing the party from uniting. They are making a mountain out of mole hill. It is very unfortunate that, as Ron seems to insinuate, no Republican or conservative should be involved in advocating and advancing their issues without the sanction of Randy Pullen. It is a sad day if that is the case. The more conservatives that are involved, the more conservative PACs that are out there, the better. The Republican party cannot hope to be competitive in the future unless we continue to spread our message on all fronts. Munsil’s PAC is a step in the right direction towards continuing to advance conservative issues.

    I applaud Len for staying involved and taking this next step to improve the future of the great State of Arizona.

  6. Nightcrawler says

    I view this new PAC as a good thing. Money should go to specific candidates or issues rather than into a big overhead pool. Donors should be entitled to know their money is being spent as they had intended.

    On the flip side, Randy has done a great job raising money so far and I salute him for it. The more money he raises the better it is for the party as a whole.

    The more lines in the water the more chance of catching fish.

  7. Len has frequently written of the need to remember Reagan’s principles. That he’d create an organization dedicated to implementing those principles makes sense.

  8. The only bad thing about Munsil’s PAC is that it is a PAC and not a 527

  9. Anonymous says people like me “are the very ones who are preventing the party from uniting.”

    Is that a fact? Is it my nearly twenty years of monetary contributions or time, toil and sweat equity on behalf of the AZ Republican Party and candidates that Anonymous takes me to the woodshed for expending?

    What an outrageous insult from someone named Anonymous, simply because I had the nerve to question the sucking sound of PRO-PAC.

  10. No, Ron, my comment was not directed at your questioning “the sucking sound of PRO-PAC.” Rather, as was quite clear in my first post, it was directed at your comment that the formation of PRO-PAC was somehow an affront to party unity. I hope that clarifies things for you.

  11. Diverting funding from state GOP donors to a high dollar PAC will result in fewer contributions to the party. The pool of resources is finite.

    The effect will be to weaken the Republican party while enriching the PAC parties.

  12. Grassroots girl says

    Ron,

    As Nightcrawler said, the more lines in the water the better. Len Munsil will have appeal to people who don’t traditionally give to the party. If you don’t believe me, check the finance reports of the State GOP party and see if Dave Cavan had given ANY money to the GOP before Len Munsil was running for Governor. As a result of Len being a candidate, the guy dumped more than $100K into the party. He is what would be called a “specific giver.” He doesn’t give to the party because of the party, he gives to the party because of the candidates. Pullen most likely will not get near that level of support from someone like Cavan. But Cavan is likely to give to Munsil’s PAC, so, to prove Nightcrawlers point, it is a net gain for both the party and Munsil’s PAC. There is no question that Munsil’s PAC will support good candidates… that helps all of us who are conservatives and support conservative candidates.

  13. For some reason I thought that one of the principles of the Republican party was the free market: anti-regulation, pro-competition. Why should such a philosophy restrict to just market economics and school vouchers? Hayek would be proud.

  14. As Grassroots Girl suggested, I checked Mr. and Mrs. Cavan’s donations, and found contributions to the Republican Party as far back as 1996. To the best of my knowledge, Len Munsil wasn’t a candidate at the time. Cavan has also donated to various in-and-out-of-state national candidates prior to Munsil’s candidacy.
    http://www.newsmeat.com/fec/bystate_detail.php?st=AZ&last=Cavan

    And as stated, he has been very generous this past cycle.
    Campaign Finance Search

    So is the inference to be drawn that this donor will only make contributions to or through Munsil’s PAC? Is he known to dislike or distrust the party apparatus? PACs also have overhead including salaries to those running them. What makes a PAC preferable to the party? We donate to our churches and also to independent charities. And although one doesn’t preclude the other, we can’t give at the same level to all. Thus, it is not “a net gain for both the party and Munsil’s PAC.”
    The party loses.

    Using the reasoning of “the more lines in the water the better,” we will soon find ourselves in the same predicament as the overfished Atlantic Red Fish on which there was a moratorium during the Cajun Blackened Red Fish craze.
    http://seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov/OCEAN_PLANET/HTML/peril_overfishing.html

  15. In my mind, the downfall of the AZGOP will not be the formation of new PAC’s or who gives money to whom. It will be the constant name calling and finger pointing.

    The far right of the party feels that its ok to refer to anyone who doesn’t see eye to eye with them on a given issue as a RINO. I wonder what would happen if “Right Wing Wacko” was consistently used as a term to refer to one wing of the party on these blogs?

    The constant litmus tests and interrigation from district chairs and the holier than thou attitude of a certain segment of the party is what will ultimately turn people off of participating in the party, either with their check books or their time.

  16. Voice of Reason says

    1. I do not get the whole “being called RINO is the worst thing that ever happened to me!” whining. Cowboy up!

    And as for the “I wonder what would happen if “Right Wing Wacko” was consistently used as a term to refer to one wing of the party on these blogs?” comment, did you sleep through the entire Nathan Sproul-Steve Huffman daily attack spree on Randy Graf and his supporters? Oh except that was on the TV and not on a blog read by dozens of people each day. Do you think the term “RINO” used in a blog comments section, or Jim Kolbe’s relentless sniping at Graf AFTER he won the primary did more damage to the party?

    Elections have consequences. Forming your own PAC to bypass the state party because you didn’t like the result of the state chair election only marginalizes your cause even further. How does this attract voters, state coordination, or get out the vote campaigns? It doesn’t. If you are going to give to Munsil’s PAC you may as well give to the RNCC, because that is where the money is headed anyway. Do you think Munsil will do anything for the state legislative races? Matt Salmon sure didn’t.

    On the other hand, if I look across the field and see that Len Munsil and Nathan Sproul are running the opposing squad, I’m liking my chances by a large margin.

  17. Peter,

    Thanks for the “heads up” on Pinal County. We checked with our Southern Pinal County Bureau and did not come up with any specifics. We will keep looking into this and if there is a story we will cover it.

  18. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    Did someone with RINO in his name just decry the use of the label, RINO? Wow… He just blew my mind…

  19. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    So is Munsil taking a salary from this? Man has gotta earn a living with 9 kids, eh? Would be interesting to see…

  20. The only detriment the formation of this PAC will cause is to the liberal Democrats who have stolen a few legislative seats.

    As someone with experience in running several PAC’s there is so much money in this state, this griping about siphoning money is a non-issue. The key to raising money is who is doing the asking. Len knows how to raise money. I watched him build a grassroots organization from scratch up to an over $1 Million budget in less than a decade.

    What Len is doing will ultimately help conservatives strengthen their numbers in Arizona, especially in the Legislature. We all learned a tough lesson last year when all the money went to the Kyl campaign and we lost seats in LD’s 1, 10, 11, 17, 23, 24, and 26. That’s a lot of seats to retake and someone has to get out there and target specific races while the party is pushing for all races.

    Anyone can say lets form a PAC and start pushing conservative values. Implementing it is another story.

    By the way, did I mention that I serve as the Treasurer of a Poltical Action Committee that protects the rights of Taxpayers? The next time you decide to go out to eat and drop $20, write a check to the Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee or PRO-PAC and put your money where your mouths are. Lord knows, Arizona has tons of money. Its just a matter of asking for it.

    DSW
    Treasurer,
    Arizona Taxpayers Action Committee
    http://www.aztaxpayers.org

  21. Ron,

    I just checked out the website you provided for Cavan’s contributions and saw that Cavan contributed more to candidates than he did to the party. He only contributed $250 to the party in ’96. What kind of spin are you trying to pull?

    It’s obvious that Cavan is the type to donate more to the candidate than to the party. Len Munsil’s PAC is the perfect opportunity for him to donate to something/someone he truly believes in and trusts. What’s wrong with that?

  22. Grassroots girl says

    Well said, DSW.

    Ron, if you think a single $250 contribution by Dave Cavan in 1996 (and none since then until Munsil ran) is proof that he will give large sums to the party now, you are truly delusional. Cavan has faith in Munsil, and trusts that the money will be spent wisely. It is a win-win because without PRO-PAC Cavan would likely give to a small handful of candidates – not the party. With PRO-PAC he will likely givce to a small handful of candidates AND the PAC, which will help the party, because PACs are formed to help candidates, just like parties are supposed to do. The party WILL support the candidates because that’s the role of the party, and now, those candidates will have an ADDITIONAL source of resources. How in the world can that hurt the party? Get over the whining and watch us take some legislative seats back and CD 5 and CD 8… jump on in, the water is warm!

  23. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if the “tons of money” DSW mentions arrive to provide for all of those waiting to get a piece of the action. Seems like the line of outstretched hands is never ending.

  24. To AZGOPRINO:

    You and your RINO buddies will never get it! Republican in Name Only is used to describe those who work AGAINST the Party Platform of the Republican Party. Registered Democrats who support pro-life, anti-amnesty, traditional family value, tax-cutting small government issues are called DINOs. People who rob banks are called bank robbers. People who teach others are called teachers. If you don’t like being a RINO, stop being one.

    If you want to be pro-choice – Choose to become a part of the Mainstream of the Republican Party and support the Platform or choose to change parties, or be called a RINO.

    As far as Munsil is concerned, he is still owned lock, stock and barrel by Nathan Sproul, etal. He went silent for three months after the election where he lost by more votes than all Republican Statewide candidates combined over the last thirty years, supported the losing Sproul candidate for Chairman, and then opens this PAC two weeks later. Of course, no one should be surprised – the only place where Sproul has a winning record is in his bank balance on the backs of losing candidates – utilizing questionable or unethical methods.

    To get back to Munsil, lets look at his recent track record. A guy who bailed out on his signature issue causing it to lose for the first time anywhere in America; ran the worst campaign for Governor in the history of the Party; sold out the grass-roots as a McCainiak; refused to oppose the Pro-Amnesty illegal worker crowd compounded by the facts that he does not have a job; has been paid in six figures for years by income from donations; needs to support a family of nine; has sole discretion to pay himself out of the contributions to the PAC; and decisions on where the money will be allocated will be under the oversight of NS – yeah, that’s where I would donate my hard earned cash — NOT.

  25. In the real world of Arizona politics – PACs are needed to offset the “clean election” set up that ham strings candidates from getting their message out.

    The Repubican Party usually spends its money on the federal and state races with little to spare on legislative races. Any legislative, city or county candidate will be quite anxious to have a conservative voice weighing in on elections.

    And, who better to lead that charge then Len Mensil – a man of integrity and leadership.

  26. WOW, GOP PK… angry much? Len Munsil is a fine man of impeccable character; you might try venting your rage elsewhere. If you disagree with his PAC, so be it…but this is one guy that you will not “make” look bad, there just isn’t anything to work with. The GOP candidate lost the election for Governor, so did the AG, so did several state races. There was a whole lot more going on that one guy who just didn’t measure up.

    It has been said very clearly and with good back-up info, there are certain donors who give to PACs much more frequently than to the party. There are people who will rally behind a cause or belief system much more often than to a party. This is an untapped resource not an attempt to siphon off what is already in play.

    There are Right to Life groups that certainly have PACs, there are gun owner groups with PACs, taxpayer rights groups with PACs, and the list goes on and on. To date, the GOP has not issued an appeal to stop supporting these groups and give them all of our money and effort. Nor will they. It is clearly understood that the greater the amount of involvement based on the individuals belief in the cause, the greater the response and results.

    The state chairman’s race is over and done. However people respond to that in terms of trust and confidence is a personal thing. We cannot make people trust Randy Pullen, he has to earn it. If he does his job well it shouldn’t be too hard to do. If he doesn’t, there are alternatives and people will take them. But, those alternatives are already there in great supply. This is just one more way for people to be invovled in the issues that they believe in.

  27. Smart Voter says

    Randy Pullen represents Arizona as our Republican National Committeeman. He is the new GOP State Chairman and has the trust of many within the party. As far as earning that trust, let me remind Ann that Matt Salmon, Bob Fannin and a number of their predecessors were not universally beloved. And if they were at the beginning of their term, they were often not well regarded by the time they walked out the door at the Phoenix headquarters, This is an unpaid and thankless job, not made any easier by those who continue to carp and enthuse about diverting funds from the party.

  28. The problem with the written word is it does not carry any tone, so the reader may infuse the attitude of the writer and then accept that attitude as the intent in my reference to respect. There was no ill intent but something, I would think, Mr. Pullen is ready to accept and very much aware of. Given the circumstances of the past chairman as you stated and the close vote (despite however it is spun, it was close) he must show himself to be what he stated he was. While there are many, at least 408, who already believe… to many he is still on probation. That is not to say they are not hoping for the best, they are just cautious about calling it great until there is more evidence.

    The diversion of funds has been discussed at length. There is no demand, nor should there be, that all our money must go to one entity and one entity only and to do otherwise is heresy. Sorry, but that sounds a lot like imposed loyalty rather than earned trust and respect.

  29. Name calling has always been around. Question is, are you offended or do you ignore the insult and forge ahead and work for what you believe? I am an evangelical Christian, so I’m called a Jesus Freak. I am Pro-life, believe in securing the borders, am fiscally conservative (as well as socially), so I’m called right-wing. SO WHAT!! I am who I am and proud of it. If others don’t like it, so what. I follow the Republican Platform.
    In the last election, people were willing to put a liberal Democrat in office in CD8 because they thought the Republican was TOO conservative. If people don’t vote for me because of they are more concerned with perception as opposed to reality, that is a smear on their character, not mine.

  30. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    Len Munsil is a fine man, better than average even. Impeccable character? No… Based on personal experience what he says doesn’t always match up to what he does… But he’s still an overall good and decent man and we’ll wish him luck on his PAC.

    Small correction to Ann when she says: “The GOP candidate lost the election for Governor, so did the AG, so did several state races.” We can’t minimize the scope and scale of Munsil’s defeat by pointing out that other people lost. We also lost the AG race (a complete unknown who still did better than Munsil with far less money) but we did NOT lose ANY other state races. There is a direct relationship (often called coattails) between how your Guv candidate does and how the legislative candidates down the ticket do. Munsil’s performance wasn’t just historically significant because of its incredibly large margin, but because of its effect on close legislative races that we lost, in large part because of it. A 30-point loss at the top of the ticket will result in a 2-4 point swing at the bottom of the ticket. Wanna guess how many races we lost by less than 2-4 points?

    Finally, and it would be a useful reminder to PACs everywhere in this Clean Elections world, expenditures from PACs that trigger matching funds do not always help the person they are intended to help. A poorly done IE (wonder who Len will hire to do those?) fails to get the message delivered properly while funding your opponent. If your opponent does better with their matching funds, you’ve just helped the enemy. They need to spend wisely and avoid races where their efforts will trigger matching funds. Otherwise this effort will be the political equivilent of The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again!

  31. STS:
    You get an A+ for the best post out of thirty. Great point on independent expenditures from PACs triggering matching funds, with the ultimate effect of harming our candidates.

  32. STS, same holds true for party expenditures for “clean elections” candidates, correct? I recall the case of the stolen mailer in the Munsil/Jano race.

    DSW, not “all of the money” went to Kyl.

  33. Timing is key for IEs. Too many times candidates have been left trying to spend matching funds when it is way too late matter.

  34. To my understanding the State Party is still looking for a Finance Director. If Len wants to raise money to promote Republicans maybe he should just talk to Randy about that job.

  35. Jamie draws a brilliant conclusion—IF the success of the state party’s financial structure is where Munsil’s interests really lie. His actions show otherwise. Unfortunately, Munsil appears to have been “Sprouled.”

  36. Ann

    It is not rage to list the facts. I notice while you attempt to paint me as venting rage, you do not have a scintilla of argument against any fact that I stated. I did not make the decisions for Len Munsil, he did that. If he or his supporters do not like the truth out in the open, maybe he should change his decision making process.

    If I was really venting rage, I would tell the rest of the scurrilous activities of the Sproul/Noble/Munsil tres amigos.

    Check out the timelines of the activities of September 1 if you want to really get sick. By the way, Ann, with less than $500,000 total cash, how come Republicans AND Independents got 4-5 mail pieces and 3-4 phone calls during the Primary from Munsil and with nearly $800,000 in cash 0-1 mail pieces and NO phone calls during the General.

    Just think about it!

  37. Just Curious says

    PK, can you please elaborate on the “timelines of the activities of September 1”?

  38. I don’t get it. Many have said that to support candidates give to Munsil PAC. Why should he decide which candidates to support? I’ll decide who I support not Len and Nathan who have their own agenda.

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