Kyl blames the state party – updated.

“I don’t think the state party is doing everything it can.” – U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, 9/16/07, Sierra Vista Herald.

We are trying to confirm this quote with the senator’s office but have not yet heard from them. A good follow on question would be what does the senator think the state party should do to improve the situation and would the senator and others in the congressional delegation like to be a part of improving things?

We are getting reports of a separate event last weekend also in Southern Arizona where the state party chairman appeared and one issue came up again and again. The border. The first question after the chairman spoke was about Senator Kyl and what he is doing, after decades in office, to secure the border. We continue to hear reports of Republicans threatening and actually re-registering as independents over the national party’s lagging efforts to address illegal immigration.

We would like to remind the senator that for two years, from 2005 to 2007, Republicans controlled the White House, Senate, and House and failed to address the border and illegal immigration in a meaningful way. We would also note that the state party was controlled by forces closely aligned with the senator during that very same period. During this era Republicans in Arizona lost several legislative seats and two congressional districts. Would the senator like to return to those halcyon days of Republican power?

Update: A member of the state executive committee sent the following comment to us “The state party has been reaching out to Kyl and his staff, Shadegg and his staff, and others in the delegation and they get rebuffed time and again. If Senator Kyl wants to criticize the party, he should stop turning down their requests for help.”

Update II: We received the following response from Sean McCaffrey, executive director of the state party. “Senator Kyl and the rest of the delegation have a great deal of work to do each day just to keep the Democrat majority from raising taxes, surrendering to terrorists and auctioning off the Bill of Rights.” He did not mention if a meeting had been set with the delegation.

McCaffrey was quick to tout the party’s recent accomplishments showcased over the weekend at the state executive committee meeting. “We are quickly approaching the number of precinct committeemen and women they had months ahead of this time in the last previous presidential cycle thanks to the hard work of our county and LD chairs. And voter registration programs are kicking into high gear with a level of excitement that is very encouraging – most especially because it isn’t just anti-Hillary sentiment, it’s pro-Republican sentiment. In Maricopa County, they have a very exciting voter registration and PC recruitment program getting underway that I believe will be a great success.”

McCaffrey also mentioned upcoming fundraising events, including events with former Vice President Dan Quayle and former Congressman/Club for Growth President Pat Toomey. “We’ve got aggressive fundraising and our overhead is now a quarter million dollars under where it was two years ago. We’re hopeful that Senator McCain’s presidential schedule will allow him to be the grand finale to our 2007 Trunk-n-Tusk series, and once we have that scheduled, we’ll make that announcement so we can turn up the heat even more on the Democrats here in Arizona.”

Sonoran Alliance has still not heard from anyone in Senator Kyl’s office.


  1. Kyl is still bitter at the State Party for opposing his amnesty bill. Him taking a shot at a Party whose support he will never need again isn’t a surprise. But it is a disappointment. A lifetime of service within the party should have made Kyl a better team player. You don’t always get to win in politics and thumb-sucking is never attractive.

    The fact is that Kyl, McCain, Shadegg, Flake and Renzi have done nothing to help since the new chairman took over. They don’t want him to succeed and if that means the party itself fails, then that is a price they seem willing to pay. That is really too bad.

  2. You have yet to confirm whether or not the quote is legitimate but you critize the Senator anyhow. I don’t believe it is Senator Kyl who is bitter about AZGOP’s reaction to the immigration bill, it seems as though it is you all who are bitter toward Kyl about the immigration bill.

    Please do not be so quick to forget all that he has done. Disagreements over the immigration bill do not change the fact that he has been a steward of Arizona’s constituents and a fine Republican term after term.

  3. I am disappointed at how quick those in are party are to critize eachother without any substantiation. That, is what is really too bad.

  4. GOP gal,

    The Herald story was from Sunday so if they misquoted the senator his office has certainly had time to put out a clarification. We were unable to find anything on the media page of his website and have yet to hear back from his media contact, whom we called out of courtesy.

  5. I am sorry but I for one do not expect my United States Senator or his staff to spend time chasing around possible mis-quotes.

    Besides, how is a statment such as “I do not think the party is doing everything it can” merit consternation ?

  6. The Arizona Republic is now reporting the same quote. It is clear that Kyl said it. He would have corrected it if it wasn’t properly reported.

    Here is the AZ Republic’s take:

    Kyl: “I don’t think the state party is doing everything it can”

    Republican Sen. Jon Kyl delivered the verbal broadside Saturday while visiting Sierra Vista as part of a breakfast meeting hosted by the Thunder Mountain Republican Women.

    Kyl didn’t elaborate much on the statement, reported by the Sierra Vista Herald, but it seems apparent that Arizona’s junior senator and the state GOP haven’t exactly mended fences.

  7. AZ Gnat- perhaps you aren’t very knowledgable on the knowledge of how long newspaper corrections can take. Today is MONDAY, if they misquoted him (YESTERDAY)- then chances are it could take up to a week to have it reprinted. Especially the smaller papers- which don’t run daily. Besides- I agree with the State party. The most publicity that the party has received, and the most press releases that they have put out are to directly attack him and our Arizona delegation. Now, maybe I’m going out on a limb- but the AZ GOP shouldn’t be attacking their own- they should be pointing out the flaws and criticizing the Democrats. You can’t publicly bash someone, and then EXPECT them to come back and help you out. Life doesn’t work that way.

  8. grow up,

    The senator has a media relations staff person whose job it is to chase after news stories. If Mr. Wilder does not want to respond to our inquiries he is certainly free to choose that option. That also frees us to go with the story as reported given that the senator’s office does not care to respond.

    The quote merits consternation because Kyl’s own actions are making it difficult for the state party to succeed in 2008. The fact that he then has the gall to criticize the party for not doing enough approaches arrogance.

    GOP gal,

    We were not exactly quick to cover this story, having waited a day and a half after it hit the Internet. The substantiation was its publication by a reputable news source.


    Yes newspapers are slow to retract. That is why we provided Kyl’s office an opportunity to respond. To paraphrase your own words “You can’t publicly undermine the state party and then EXPECT them to come back and be completely effective.”

  9. It sounds like Kyl is just playing by the rules established by the current party leadership early on, which is to express your true feelings The only difference is the Honorable Senator Kyl did not choose to use an ugly illustration to drive his point home. While Pullen may very much regret his choice of actions and the resulting repercussions; his leadership has proven to be less than successful and Sen. Kyl is correct in his estimation. When Sen. Kyl was the one on the receiving end of the harsh comments based on the performance of his job, it was expressed that it was the right and responsibility of the party to make those statements. Isn’t Senator Kyl, as a Republican leader, also responsible to answer questions truthfully? Or is the role of the state party a higher calling? I would think our elected officials, when seeing the party fail, should be the first to acknowledge it. Face it, the Dems are kicking us all over the place while on our side the press releases flow but the money doesn’t.

    Sean is obviously trying to say something without saying anything; he is trying to spin it that all is well when he knows perfectly well it isn’t….and it isn’t the fault of the Senator. A conciliatory sounding message from the state party is signs of a lesson learned. Unfortunately, the damage is done.

  10. The Pullen Administration is so far ahead of the pace of the Kyl appointed Salmon administration in net cash flow over the first eight months of operation that it is laughable for people to say otherwise.

    The Party has continued to make overtures to Kyl for months in an attempt to find common ground for the good of the Party, the state, and our elected officials. For the senator to continue his thumb-sucking self-pity is over the top for any elected official who has played in the political arena for over twenty years.

    Senator Kyl should never have told the voters he was opposed to amnesty while concurrently working in secret with Ted Kennedy and his scurrilous staff to impose just that on the American citizens. He was hoisted on his own pitard and has heartburn that he was exposed for the fraudulent statements he was making. It is he who should be conciliatory to the Republican voters of Arizona, 90% of whom disagreed with his actions.

    Senator, get over yourself and return to work for Arizona.

  11. pamela wright says

    I’m not sure i understand why Senator Kyl’s comment is a problem. The Pullen version of the State Party has been anti- Jon Kyl since its first day.

    What did you expect Jon Kyl to say?

    “Oh, I thik it is wonderful that the state party criticizes me and John McCain and Jeff Flake and Senator Mel Martinez and President Bush. What more could you ask from your state party? They are truly doing everything possible to beat the Democrats. Granted, they’ve criticized President Bush more than Janet Napolitano, Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords combined, but why should we quibble about details.”

  12. All those who say that the State Party is anti-Kyl, etc. are just lying, nothing more. The party has never been anti-Kyl, although there was a time several months ago when it opposed a bill that Kyl was pushing. One bill, several months ago. In the meantime there have been many many pro-Kyl press releases on all sorts of other bills he has introduced.

    Pamela Wright’s claim that the State GOP has criticized President Bush more than Napolitano, Mitchell and Giffords is also a blatent lie.

    The fact is that Ann, Pamela and others still haven’t gotten over Pullen winning and, like Kyl himself, they refuse to play like grown-ups. Thumb-sucking was one description of it and its pretty dead on.

    Sean’s attempts to play nice mimic what the state party has been doing for months. Politicians are blessed with short memories for exactly this reason. They can’t afford permanent enemies if they want to get things done. Kyl should remember that.

  13. So if I understand it correctly, after all that Sen. Ted Kennedy has said about Republicans over his long career, Sen. Jon Kyl is more than willing to forgive and forget all of it, hopping into bed with him to break his major campaign promise to all of us just a few short months before? But folks at the state party defending the party’s position and opposing one of his bills is an unforgivable sin and he will work to damage us for ever more?

    Nice. Kyl prefers Ted Kennedy to the Arizona Republican Party. Nice.

  14. Party Guy-

    Really? Just Lying? Are you serious? All you have to do is go back and check back to the press releases that you released- and watch the news clippings where you were involved in criticizing Kyl. I frankly give merit to Kyl’s quote: “I wish that the state party would stop attacking me”- found previously in these blogs.

  15. The criticisms were of the bill, not the man. But let’s pretend you’re right and they were of the man. Is Kyl’s skin really so thin that after decades in office, he can’t stand to be criticized at all? Or does he think he’s entitled to break his campaign promises just months after the state party and Arizona Republicans worked their butts off and spent millions of their dollars to get him re-elected? How many races did we lose in Arizona because all we focused on was Kyl? We deserved better from him and if anyone should be apologizing, it should by Kyl for breaking his campaign promises.

  16. Bottom line is that Sen. Kyl looked his own Arizona Republican party in the eye and lied to us regarding border security during his past campaign.

    Many of us heard him speak on the subject at various events and on radio and television. We certainly remember his campaign ads when he distinguished himself from this Democrat opponent, Jim Pederson, by repeating that Pederson was soft on border enforcement and he would provide tightened security. That memorable ad depicting him on the border with numerous Arizona sheriffs, both Democrat and Republican, drove home the issue.

    Then, immediately after being reelected, he capitulated, taking up George Bush’s amnesty mantle with Ted Kennedy and John McCain. Kyl can call it “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” until the cows come home. We know we were duped by him.

    Now he is safely in office to fill out the remaining five years of that six-year term we elected him to, and can do or say whatever suits him without concern about pandering for votes among what he obviously considers GOP Neanderthals.

    Jon Kyl, John McCain and Jeff Flake have an immigration agenda that is not in the best interests of American citizens, just six short years after 9/11. Our open border is a pathway to our own destruction. None of them are worthy of our votes.

  17. Kyl: “I don’t think the state party is doing everything it can”

    Good lord…that is all he said and all this hubbub???

    A. He is probably just plain right.

    B. It sounds like constructive criticism was about to follow.

    C. Yeah, I am sure he is a bit miffed that so many turned their back on the man after what he has done for the party and this state.

    D. I would love to see if the party is really doing better with fundraising under Pullen than they did under Salmon. That may be a low low bar to cross…true…but I will quite suprised.

  18. I am just amazed at how some Republicans like to eat your own. It’s embarrassing and you are feeding right into the left wing media’s plot, they put out the statement, sit back and let the Republicans attack each other. The Dems won’t have to worry about defeating us, we’ll just do it for them. CAN WE HAVE SOME POSITIVE things to say about each other?

  19. Yes, we can. And it should start with a United States Senator who has a quarter century of experience in the political arena finding common ground with the Party leadership that will be in charge during the 2008 election cycle.

    That would show leadership and would be refreshing and will reinvigorate the grass roots. The State Party Executive Committee was meeting Saturday in the same general area where Senator Kyl was and that would have been the perfect opportunity to smoke the peace pipe. That was then and that opportunity is gone, but Senator Kyl knows how to solve this problem if he wants to. Statesmanship is looking at the big picture long-term and the onus is on him.

  20. Sorry Lynn, but the left-wing media didn’t merely put out the statement. Jon Kyl put out the statement, the media just reported it. There are lots of positive things going on in the state party, but the story at the moment is that Jon Kyl wants to ignore those positive things to try and “settle a score” with his own party.

  21. Real Republican says

    I say bad things about Kyl. Therefore, I am not a RINO. If I liked Kyl, the powers of the party would consider me to be a RINO. I sure don’t want to be called a RINO. I think I will just be a mindless follower and watch the Arizona Republican Party fall deeper and deeper into irrelevance. It may help get liberal Democrats elected, but at least I won’t be called a RINO.

  22. Calling someone, or a group of someone’s, a liar is not the same as proving their points invalid. It is childish and simple minded to dismiss a disagreeable thought with chants of “liar, liar…”

    Let’s lay it all out…. the Congressional Delegation and many other long time hard-working R’s saw this train wreck as impossible to avoid with the current leadership. That is why it was a 4 vote margin of victory; a split between two factions, those who saw and opposed a divisive and arrogant group seeking control and those who didn’t care what happened to the party as long as they held the reigns of power they so desperately craved. Well, they got their way. Now they are in the positions of power and have quarrels between themselves, they have divided the party, and the recipe for defeat has all the ingredients.

    Do not try to lay this at the feet of Jon Kyl. The Pullen crowd started this long before the immigration bill was ever a topic. That Pullen was opposed by the delegation has never been forgotten or forgiven by him or his cronies; his inadequacy to lead with dignity and direction was the fear of many and now he is living with the reality that we were right. No one forced this, or even wanted it, but it was a sure thing that the hubris of men like Tuttle, Haney, and Pullen would get in the way of true leadership. They fueled the immigration bill fire and jumped on the band wagon as their vehicle to get back at the Senator for not supporting their machine. Now they have a scapegoat for their own misdeeds!

    How many more press releases will be issued with “Pullen…” followed by whatever latest quote or statement has been made. Why not State GOP or Arizona Republicans… Randy is feathering his nest in hopes of a gubernatorial bid. He is using the party for self edification and the result will be disastrous. He couldn’t win as Mayor, so this will have to be his stepping stone.

    Senator Kyl is right; the state party isn’t doing enough. To deny it by calling those who would agree “liars” proves just how desperate the times really are.

Leave a Reply