Maricopa County GOP chairman Rob Haney responds to Rep. McComish on opposing sanctuary city ban

Dear Representative McComish,

I was elected as MCRC Chairman by conservative precinct committeemen who wanted someone to speak out clearly within the party to represent their opinions. These PCs believed they were being ignored by most of Arizona’s congressional delegation who were advocating for amnesty and other liberal agenda items, such as closing gun shows and Campaign Finance Reform. They also believed that too many Republican state legislators sided with former Governor Napolitano to pass Democrat budgets and legislation and were not representing the conservative beliefs of the PCs.

Your comments in defense of those Republicans who opposed Sen. Pearce’s bill to end sanctuary cities have been addressed previously by Sen. Pearce here.

Your position on my job responsibilities echos the comment of Senator Kyl after the defeat of the amnesty bill he championed. The bill was defeated through the leadership of party officials and Republican activists who publicly opposed the bill. I was proud to be one of those officials. Senator Kyl stated that the party had exceeded its role. He further stated that the party exists to get Republicans elected, not declare positions on issues. Sen. Kyl’s position is a common misconception by many party incumbents.

I disagree with both of you. The party does exist to elect Republicans, raise money, provide volunteers & resources, etc. But the party must first be guided by our Constitution and the party platform, otherwise our existence is unjustified. Too many Republican officials have supported incumbents who have shown themselves to be unworthy of the Republican name. This has led to disastrous election results in 2006 and 2008. I cite Senator Specter and “Jumpin” Jim Jeffords as only two examples of many.

Republican activists and party leaders must oppose legislation which is unconstitutional, and support legislation which is critical to the very survival of our party and country. Certainly, the Democrats will not. They are advocating for the same legislation as these wayward Republicans. Only party activists prevented passage of the amnesty bill. Only party activists gave us Prop 200 over the objections of our entire congressional delegation. Only party activists gave us employer sanctions over the objections from members of our state and federal delegation. Only party activists stopped the attempt to close the gun shows, and fought against the loss of Constitutionally guaranteed free speech which occurred because of the Campaign Finance Reform bill. This egregious bill was introduced by a Republican Senator, passed by a Republican congress and signed by a Republican president. There are many more examples of party officials and activists finding it necessary to speak out against Republicans who stray from Constitutional and platform principles. Here is a famous party official you will recognize. Tom DeLay: “John McCain has done the most to hurt the GOP”

I would not meet my responsibility as a party leader if I were to ignore the Constitution and platform for the benefit of someone with an “R” after their name who fails to advance a Republican agenda. I will continue to give voice to Republican activists who feel their elected officials have let them down and no longer represent them.

I will not offer an apology where none is warranted, and certainly I will not resign as you request. Instead, I would urge you and others who did not support Sen. Pearce’s bill to realize that the illegal alien invasion has a massive detrimental effect on a myriad of issues. To grant wholesale citizenship to those who would swell the ranks of the Democrat party is political suicide. I urge you to make anti-sanctuary legislation a top priority next session.

Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio, County Attorney Thomas and all the law enforcement agencies which are on record as supporting Sen. Pearce’s bill deserve nothing less than our commitment to achieve these objectives.

You state that you believe the “County Party has some rules regarding endorsements that require 60% approval of the EGC.” You also believe that as a result of these rules, I should obtain 60% approval before I publicly take sides in a policy dispute.

The bylaw to which you refer requires a 60% approval by the EGC members in order for the EGC to endorse a candidate in a primary election. There is no bylaw which restricts the Chairman’s freedom of political speech. In any case, I was representing my own beliefs and not those of the EGC.

A third point you make is that as county party leader I have voluntarily placed restrictions on my free speech. Again, I must disagree. It is wholly inconsistent to believe that I have less freedom to speak after my election than I had before my election. I am confident that our Founders drafted their First Amendment, contemplating that this freedom of speech protection would apply to all citizens, including Republican Party Officials.

My hope is that in the coming session, Republican State legislators will back strong anti-illegal immigration legislation so that party officials will not feel compelled to speak out in opposition. I believe that you can play a positive role in advancing that legislation as we move forward– focused on passing laws in support of the Constitution and the Republican Platform.


Rob Haney


  1. I didn’t read the letter from McComish but can surmise what was said. Haney, he’s right. As Chair, you have an added responsibility to watch what you say- especially when it is speaking negatively toward fellow Republicans.

    It has been beaten to death on these boards why Pearce’s bill was a bad one (unfunded mandate, does nothing to stop the “invasion”, opens doors to frivolous lawsuits) and why the House Members either walked or voted No (Pearce lying and trying to sneak in at the last second provisions he promised he wouldn’t include).

    If you think having the County Party Chair railing on fellow Republican legislators is going to HELP keep a majority, you have no business keeping your position. Your job is to help, not hinder Republicans getting elected. If you don’t want to perform your duties, you need to excuse yourself and be free to express any opinion you want.

  2. IP Address: 96.14.38.XXX says

    Editor’s Note: If you falsify use someone else’s name, and we find out about it, we will post part of your IP Address.

    People like Russell Pearce are what is wrong with our party. We need to GET RID OF THAT GUY. I CAN’T STAND HIM! Nor can my political consulting company, High Ground. It’s immigration hardliners like Pearce that stand between our clients and their goals. We NEED illegal immigrant labor for our clients like Associated General Contractors. Far right legislators like Pearce are scaring undocumented migrants out of the state and ruining the construction industry. Costs for our clients go up and make my life miserable. Anytime these kinds of far right attacks are posted on this blog, especially the attacks on the tax increase referral, which High Ground strongly supports, I’m going to come out and attack whoever posts it and those who defend them in the comments. BE FOREWARNED!

  3. Paul:

    Thanks for the candor!

    Your statements are much more to the point than Roger’s ridiculous rantings!

    Let’s face it, illegal immigration benefits two major interests!

    1. The Democratic party itself, as no first generation immigrant group, legal or otherwise will support a party of “small government” While this can be overcome by assimilation, it usually takes a generation or two!

    And the “Diversification” effort which the Left and the public education system are fostering is an effort to de-rail that assimilation.

    2. Our low tech tourist industry which demands a steady supply of cheap, unskilled labor who can be dumped on the taxpayers for benefits. All too many Republican officeholders are dependent upon this element for funds and it has become the gorilla in the GOP living room.
    Unfortunately, as in California, it will serve as the undertaker for the Republican party as a demorilized rank-and-file become more cognizant of their betrayal.

    A tip of the hat from this quarter to Rob Haney, Russell Pearce, Jack Harper, Andy Thomas and Joe Arpaio for calling the spade for what it is, a grave digging shovel!

    And they should be proud that they’ve got the “quality” of enemies that they have!

  4. Carlist that was not Paul Bentz or anyone else from Highground since Highground ran Russell Pearces’ campaign and onslaught against him from the open borders crowd. I don’t know why someone wants to pretend to be him.

  5. Sean,

    Paul Bentz from High Ground has made it no secret that he can’t stand Russell Pearce, even though others at High Ground have consulted for Pearce. I frankly appreciate his candor for being honest about what High Ground wants as well as where he stands. You may not agree with Bentz, who is labeled a RINO by those on the right, or his odd humor in his blog The Arizona Report, but you can’t attack the guy for not being honest. Where is Chuck Coughlin? Ducking and pretending not to support Brewer’s tax increase. It’s refreshing to see someone like Bentz step forward and speak honestly, unlike “Roger” who is really Chuck Coughlin.


  6. Is the letter from McComish that Rob Haney is responding to available for us to look at?

  7. Jane I know Coughlin personally and there are things he would do, and things he would never do. Blogging under an alias is something he would never do. Coughlin doesn’t hide behind anyone.
    They have a very good relationship with Pearce and whoever is feeding you this information is wrong or lying.

  8. New Handle says

    Haney’s problem is that he’s only half-right. If you give too many reasons for opposing something, there’s less and less weight to each one. Like, as he says above, if you gave citizenship to them they’d join the Democrat Party. C’mon, is that why he opposes illegal immigration? What a joke. Let’s keep women and blacks and poor people out of the country because they’re somewhat more likely to be D’s. Even Rob Haney must have a few friends who are D’s. Where’s the love?

  9. Editor’s note: Please leave family members out of your comments.

    While the post did accurately reflect High Ground, Roger would never post his real name. Oh and Paul/Roger, it wasn’t me if that’s what you are thinking. I’m still waiting to meet you at Coach and Willie’s. Say happy birthday to XXXXX for me although the date is wrong. keep tryin, we ain’t buyin.

    As far as this post goes. Rob is right on. Anyone can call themselves a republican. That doesn’t give them free support for the Party. Rob was overwhelming elected partly because he understand that very idea. We have a platform. We have many resolutions on illegal immigration. Just because you lied your way into Washington doesn’t mean to get free support when you stab your own people in the back. The Chairman represents the grassroots. He has a duty to tell the Congressional Delegation when they are out of line with the grassroots. That’s why we elected him in the first place. THANK YOU CHAIRMAN HANEY FOR ACTUALLY DOING WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT. We need more people like him in the Party. The very fact that he has been targeted the turncoats like McCain and Shadegg should be a badge of honor. Arizona spoke and strongly supports all the illegal immigration ballot issues. The delegations needs to get a clue and stop working against the will of the voters.

    James has her lips firmly against these traitorous delegates. That’s why she lost her election for the second time in a row. We the people run this country, not the political elitist.

  10. nightcrawler says

    Post #2 was obviously tough in cheek, a satire. While I don’t agree with the content or the method, it was a lame spoof. The editors did the right thing. A different handle and no one would say a word. Much drama about nothing.

    On the GOP political spectrum I am not close to Haney on many issues. Having said that, he did win the MCRC election. Everyone who follows AZ GOP politics knew exactly what they were getting. He is just stating his beliefs out loud and in public. He feels obliged if not compelled to do so. A mandate if you will. So be it, next time, get more votes, until then deal with it.

    The bigger issue that no one is addressing is how out of touch the MCRC and the AZGOP is with the general electorate, you know those folks who actually elect the delegation. That concept is not lost on those in office. Clearly they speak to a larger audience than LD11, LD6 and LD18.

    I hate to break it to you all, but the “grassroots” is not the majority in terms of how all the registered GOP voters act as a whole. Those voters who are inactive and not engaged in “inside baseball” politics wield the power come November. In the end, that is all the matters.

  11. I.P. Freely says

    Haney is not helping to elect Republicans. He and Pearce are both buffoons.

  12. New Handle says

    I dunno. You can’t take away someone’s right to criticize party leaders. You can’t tell me that because Obama was elected I should shut up and behave. You can’t tell me that because Haney was elected to something I owe him something. Heck, Kyl and McCain and McComish were both elected to a real office and Haney doesn’t think he owes them anything, eh? Geez.

  13. I reserve the right to shut down the comments on this post because it has dragged family members of certain individuals into the discussion.