Name the RINO, round 2

Our first contestant must have been a little too obvious. One of our readers got the correct answer on the first comment.

We hope this contestant will be a little more challenging. First let’s go over the rules once more. The contest is only open to Republicans on the national delegate ballot who have donated to and/or endorsed Democrats with the last 24 months. Endorsing a RINO does not qualify for this contest.

I gave $250 to Ed Pastor in November 2006 and $500 to David Obey in 2007. I live in Paradise Valley and am a registered lobbyist in Arizona. I am on the ballot as a delegate to the Republican National Convention. Who am I?


  1. FreeAdvice says

    Larry Pike. But you had me at “registered lobbyist.”

    People, I assume the problem here is not that someone gave to Pastor, nor that they are lobbyists who make a living spreading money around like rice at a wedding. The problem is that they try to get elected as party delegates. The fact that they can, and do, and are sometimes successful, is not a slander on lobbyists, but a slander on the party.

  2. nightcrawler says

    The simple truth is that everyone is a lobbyist. Some are paid and some are not. If you are passionate about a subject and attempt to convince others to follow your convictions, by definition, you lobby. Own it folks; we are all unwashed in that regard.

  3. FreeAdvice says

    Yeah, we all are. If you look at the actual rules anyone who lobbies on behalf of someone else, state and federal, has to register. My guess is that many “lobbyists” are the unregistered type. But here’s one for you: the state has a $10B budget and strict lobbying rules. Maricopa County has like a $2.5B budget and no lobbying rules. No “clean elections.” And no term limits. And very little opposition (county supervisors) at the ballot box in recent history. Arpaio is entrenched, and Romley served 4 terms.

    What does this tell us? I think this is what scientists call a “control group.”

  4. az gnat says


    We did not mean to impugn lobbyists. As a conservative site we support people making a good living. We don’t even object if they have to cut an occasional check to a Democrat. Business is business. What we dislike is the nerve they have in wanting the honor and distinction of being a national delegate to a party convention when no more than 24 months ago they were supporting members of the other party. Stay home and watch it on TV with you Dem friends.

    Congratulations to FreeAdvice. You are correct.

  5. Mr. Pike, who I have never met, has given $20,000 in total donations according to the FEC; $750 was to Dems, the rest to Republicans. This year alone he has given $2,050 to McCain. I’m not sure two small donations to Dems, when business related, matches up to RINO status in the full light of day.

    There are plenty of solid R’s, who because of business, give out $250 donations and then give the big bucks to the candidate they really back. I don’t like the name on web site stuff, in my book that really stinks, but I think this one is a bad call.

  6. nightcrawler says

    az gnat,

    We agree on the major point. Party loyalty is important. Ann puts this particular case into perspective. Do we focus on the 4% or the 96% ? I understand the business side of donations. I do feel strongly that Republican PCs and those in GOP leadership positions should never publicly endorse a Democrat over a Republican. That is unacceptable.

  7. FreeAdvice says

    Don’t give a free ride for business-related donations. If you need to do that, give $199 so your name doesn’t show up on the FEC reports. That’s the irony of a $250 donation. You lose both ways.

    Seriously though, for example, some here might happily give money to a reasonable, pro-life D running against a, ahem, pro-choice RINO. Were it me, I would not apologize for it, and not ask for forgiveness from my fellow R’s. And I’d proudly stand for election as a PC or whatever.

  8. Party Loyalist says

    I’ve got one. This Tucson RINO and fake friend of the party gave $500 to Al Gore’s running mate in 2003. Here is a hint, he shouldn’t be national committeeman with a donor history like this!!!

    No doubt the SA team agrees he IS a RINO FOR SURE.

  9. Ann and nightcrawler,

    Mr. Pike may be a great Republican. That is not the issue. Since he put himself out there as a possible delegate to the national convention we believe it is relevant to examine any possible conflicts. If his work or personal connections compel him to donate to Democrats within the last 2 years we think that another person may better serve as a delegate. There are a lot of name on the ballot. Why not choose someone who hasn’t recently donated to the opposition.

    The whole thing is up to the state delegates. All we are doing is providing information in a creative way.

  10. Party Loyalist,

    You may want to start your own contest. We agree you have gone outside the scope of this one. Better yet why don’t you run against said national committeeman? I understand they will be accepting nominations from the floor.

  11. My guess is that any donation to Lieberman was Pro-Israel sentiment and not a party specific effort. The number of Pro-Israel Jewish Congressman is limited, it may go beyond party.

    That is old news; a donation to non-conservative, pro-choice, and/or conflicting ideological organizations or candidates by prospective party leaders has been a topic more than once. The overall prevailing opinion previously…. that it is not so much to whom or what the donation was made as it is the person who made it. If he/she is popular for other actions, they get a pass. Others, such as Mr. Pike in this post, seem to be not as grace endowed.

    So, here’s the question…is a $250 donation to a Dem worse than a $1000 donation to WISH list? Is that a conservative versus liberal question but this is about who is the better Republican? Just looking for perspective.

  12. nightcrawler says

    This is a worthwhile discussion on a larger level. The more information we have the better to intelligently vote on May 10th. Perhaps SA can post a link to the ballot itself. These National delegates will represent us and we need to know who and what they are all about.

  13. Ann,

    The current issue relates to being a delegate to the national convention. If you donated or endorsed a Democrat in the most recent election cycle do you deserve the honor of being a delegate to the Republican National Convention? We think it a relevant question that will soon be settled by the delegates to the state convention.

    We would consider covering the national committeeman election if there was even the hint of an opponent. There is not much point since no one has stepped forward besides the incumbent. There are lots of people willing to be national delegates so it is fair to discuss who would or would not be a good delegate. You are free to have your own criterion.

    A WISH list donation would be appropriate to discuss, especially regarding elected office. The distinction of being a national delegate is a mostly ceremonial position within the party. National delegate will not be voting on a parental notification law. Our readers are free to choose their own measures of how to decide who should be a national delegate.

  14. nightcrawler,

    That is an interesting suggestion. Up to this point we have selected contestants who have chosen to put themselves in the public sphere. Phoenix City Council and registered lobbyist are usually not places of great anonymity. There are probably lots of very ordinary people who do not lead public lives on the ballot. If the party would like to publish the list they may but we try to discuss people who have already chosen to be in the limelight.

    Monday’s contestant is a VERY public figure.

  15. JuneBug says

    I thought that we were a group of voters who had a brain and free will. First of all if you guys really want to do this right you should find out the actual votes cast in the voting booth. That is where people really show their true colors….I bet alot of people will cast their votes the way they want to on 10 May despite your attempts to not call them bonafides.

  16. Gnat,

    Just so I understand the game, the statute of limitations on RINOacity is the last election cycle? Previous to that, any donation to Dems, either in a general or primary, do not count as RINO material?

    I’m not trying to be contentious; I don’t agree that Mr. Pike or Mr. Ash, for example, are RINOs by this action alone. They are businessmen that gave a pittance by comparison and do not deserve such a label. Our own party chairman gave to Harry Mitchell in a general against a Republican. It was a few years ago, he gave an explanation for that and his WISH list donation and all was forgiven.

    Fair is fair.

  17. Wow. How sad. We have people throwing rocks at others for a minor part of thier total support of candidates, while ignoring the fact that the district 11 chairman is openly opposing the only republican candidate we have for President.

    Larry Pike has opened his home and his wallet, along with working in the trenches gathering signatures and pounding signs for a large number of Arizona Republican candidates.

    It is insulting to me as a Republican that a bunch of people who have no doubt not even approached the numbers of hours he has worked electing Republicans at all levels have the audacity to call him a RINO.

    If this is where our party i going, it is sad commentary indeed.

    Our delegates should be the people who have worked the hardest and done the most to elect Republicans. Larry Pike certainly has proved that by his generosity and the amount of sweat and time he has spent on behalf of the party. Painting him with the term RINO does not only a disservice to him, but to the Party as well.

  18. Relax tb, he’s not publicly opposing anyone. He has been very quiet and behaved very well. While that may surprise some McCainiacs who assumed that Haney would be causing trouble, he has not been and should be commended for it.

  19. This has been a very thought provoking and informative thread. I am definitely voting for Larry Pike!

  20. Some could very well be, but the names or references in this thread would not be of that nature any more than our own state chair would be; unless of course we are going to be consistent with the branding. I did not make the rules, nor did I start this “game”.

    A singular or specific donation, in light of thousands of dollars and countless hours over years to “solid Republicans” should not be the defining act.

    Bringing information to the surface is a good thing, a witch hunt is not.

  21. az gnat says


    You understand correct. Last election cycle is the cutoff. We are not saying that is the penultimate meaning of the word, just our definition for this contest. There are many other definitions of RINO. Emil Franzi wrote a great essay on the RINO topic in August, 2006.

    You brought Mr. Ash into this not us. As to Mr. Pike vote for him if you want. Still does not change the fact that he has donated to two Democrats within the last 2 years and is running to be delegate to the Republican National Convention.

  22. Thank you for posting that link to Mr. Feanzi’s authoritative definition of a RINO. For a while, I was afraid that I may be one. I always thought it meant someone who didn’t agree with Rob Haney 100% of the time.

  23. Gnat,

    With all due respect, I didn’t bring in Mr. Ash. Post #8 from “party loyalist” made the reference in the form of a question as a part of “the game”. It just riled me up….imagine that!?


    Collective sigh of relief!

  24. FreeAdvice says

    I just read Franzi’s RINO definition in that link. Thanks. At what point was Maria Baier an elected Republican official? I don’t have a problem calling her a moderate or a conservative or a liberal R, but RINO is not the right adjective. I don’t think Larry Pike ever ran for anything either. So the RINO label doesn’t apply to him, based on the definitions in that link.

    I’m just trying to tighten up our definitions and promote clarity in the discussion.

    What about someone like Slade Mead? He’s switched parties. Eddie Basha? He switched several times. Was Mead, elected as a Republican, then a RINO until he registered as a D?

    I would hate to put Baier in the same category as Mead, that’s just bizarre.

  25. az gnat says

    Several readers have objected to our definition of RINO. What is your definition? Does party loyalty matter? When McCain wins the nomination do we have to support him or can we be like Maria Baier and put or names on some Democrat website as Republicans for …? Or, as Rush says, are we all mavericks now?

  26. If you claim to be a Republican and have to wonder if you will support McCain over Clinton or Obama, you just might be a RINO.

  27. Conservative to the Core says

    I thought that the definition to a RINO would be anyone who claims to be a Republican but does not have party loyalty and does not follow it’s platform and/or supports candidates that do not support our platform. The platform mentions Less Government, Lowering Taxes, Pro-Life and defending Our Borders.

  28. newcomer says

    SA, don’t feel the least bit inhibited. Anybody can turn the channel any time they want to. Your criteria is spelled out clearly in your article. Full speed ahead. You’re taking the criticism just fine. I’m sure you did not expect people to throw bouquets at your feet. Very interesting topic. I always take anonymous information with a grain of salt. If I care enough about the statement, I’ll verify it. Otherwise it is interesting chatter.

    I totally agree with your premise.
    You might be a great Republican but, I would rather give my delegate vote to a great Republican who has not donated to a DEM in the last two years. This is fair and not necessarily unfriendly. The donor has the free speech to donate to whomever they like. And we have the free speech to research it and vote accordingly. Nothing is unfair here. All in a humorous format. High Five! The only thing wrong with your game is you’re going to have to step up the pace. When can we go to two or three a day? And quit taking weekends off. How about a Special Bonus Sunday edition?

  29. newcomer says

    Also, remember the “every little bit helps” rule. When a Republican gives $25. to a Dem. he is promoting that Dem. That Dem. helps do things like elect Janet over Munsil. So yes, no thanks from me for people that support Rs AND Ds. Along with the entertainment, SA is providing a valuable service to voters like me. SA’s tips are easily verified. Again, no problem. Keep ’em coming!

  30. az gnat and Conservative to the Core,
    Emil Franze, in his 2006 article, only writes a one sentence definition for RINO. Here it is. “A Republican In Name Only is a present or former GOP elected official who takes a dive on his party’s nominee and supports the candidate of another party, usually a Democrat. RINOs and liberal Republicans, while not mutually exclusive, are not synonymous.”

    I go along with Conservative to the Core on his definition of a RINO in post 27. This is a much more thorough definition than what Emil Franze provides. In fact, I printed out post 27. for future reference! Also, I’m fine with SA’s custom definition of “RINO” for the purpose of these articles. But, even SA is going to have to switch back to real RINOdom, the kind described in 27, after the Name The RINO competition.

    To Joe in Post 22. Franze does not provide the “authoritative definition” of RINO. See post 27. for a better one. I’ve yet to hear Rob Haney say “The 2004 Arizona Republican Platform has it wrong on this issue.” I’ve yet to hear Rob Haney endorse or contribute to a Dem. Looking for the opposite of a RINO? Look to Mr. Haney. You know where he is going to be on the issues and that IS NOT cozying up to Kennedy/Lieberman/Juan Hernandez.

    Only John McCain could cause me to vote for Ron Paul.

  31. That should be “The 2004 Republican Platform….”

  32. Frank Soto says

    Joe says: :If you claim to be a Republican and have to wonder if you will support McCain over Clinton or Obama, you just might be a RINO.

    Frank (a different one from myself) says: Only John McCain could cause me to vote for Ron Paul.

    Oh no, another arbitrary definition just turned you into a RINO! And that is why the term is just useless.

  33. I wish Rob Haney would give us the real definition of a RINO so it could be settled once and for all. Haney is a true Republican. Just ask him, he will tell you.

  34. nightcrawler says

    The prevailing definition of a RINO is..

    “Anyone who doesn’t think just like me”

    For the purposes of this thread RINO refers to Republicans who have recently (defined as within 24 months) donated or publicly endorsed a Democrat. That is a definition I can live with.

    As far as the often mentioned platform is concerned, several self-righteous posters are simply behaving like hung over parishioners gossiping about their neighbors while sitting in church. The smell of hypocrisy is overwhelming.

  35. FreeAdvice says

    We should ask Speaker Weiers about R’s that defect and vote with the D’s. He may have a stronger term than RINO for them.

  36. For those hailing from Rio Linda and Oro Valley, let me first point out it’s spelled F-R-A-N-Z-I. But thank you for the attention.

    RINO has to be defined in the context of the role the perpetrator has. I have NO offical role in the GOP which allows me to support who and what I please because I have not accepted any obligation to do otherwise. I am not a precinct committeeman. If I were, I would’ve accepted the obligation to support the candidates nominated. What I did prior to the hypothetical acceptance of that rather obvious if implied obligation is irrelevant.

    That does leave several gray areas. One is non-partisan elections. Until such time as the GOP at all levels quits supporting the concept and fails to take part in them, I believe they fall outside the definition.

    Another is those who once held party office, have since left it, supported Democrats and are now trying to regain it.

    Some anonymous person has accused the current GOP Committeeman Mr. Ash of donating to Democrats in the last two years which is not accurate. Mr. Ash contributed to Senator Leiberman’s portion of the 2000 Presidential race. As the National GOP supported Leiberman’s bid for re-election as an independent in 2006 over the GOP nominee in CT, one can either note Mr. Ash’s presience or simply accuse him of being prematurely pro Leiberman.

    Mr. Ash HELD NO REPUBLICAN POSITION in 2000. As he has since contributed to numerous GOP candidates and causes well into six figures and not supported any Democrats, I would also refer those who have discovered my archives either at or the EXPLORER to refer to my piece about zealots who form circular firing squads.

    Defining other than blind obedience to the GOP platform as a characteristic of a RINO is absurd. Political parties are coalitions and not sects. Do you really expect everyone to accept everything? Have you READ the national, state and county platforms? Do you choose between acquiescing to a 51-49 vote you weren’t even part of or resigning?

    There are enough REAL RINO’s out there, starting with turkeys like Tucson’s Mayor Bob Walkup that the need to conduct Mickey Mouse witch-hunts is ludicrous.

    Emil Franzi (Real conservatives/libertarians use their real names)

  37. Party Loyalist says

    I believe I made no accusation about giving. It is a fact that Bruce Ash gave to Connecticut Joe $500. At the time Joe was a Democrat, and had just come off as the Vice Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.

    My post was not an attack on Bruce Ash. I could care less if he gave $500 to a Democrat.

    The point is the entire naming of who gave money to whom does not prove if one person is a good Republican or not, and that SA was using cheap tactics to discredit a good person: Larry Pike.

    If they knew Larry like I do, they would never have posted any of this ridiculousness.

    But by following their own rules, Ash and Pullen are both RINO’s. Let’s not forget that Randy Pullen was recruited by John McCain to run against Skip Rimsza. That was how Pullen got involved in electoral politics.

    So let’s stop pointing fingers and get behind our nominee for President.

  38. Party Loyalist,

    I accept your position and the purpose behind your reference to Mr. Ash. I did not perceive the original reference in that manner, but you have now have clarified the post, thank you. I agree!

    In this sort of exercise will the last one standing please turn out the lights?

  39. az gnat says


    Mr. Pike may be the finest sort of person and a great Republican. The question was simply with 266 people on the ballot for 50 delegate slots should the state delegates send someone who for personal or business reasons felt compelled to donate to Democrats in the most recent election cycle.

  40. The discussion of Mr. Pike presented many remarkable actions beyond the minimal donations such as his $10,000 to R’s). However, it is in the mind of the reader to accept and then determine relevancy; it is entirely possible the discussion itself has stimulated thought that may lead to increased unity and be a calming action to the divisiveness that will defeat us and is far more destructive than $750 to 2 D’s (one out of state), over two years.

    Or I can hope so.

  41. The great Dennis Prager stresses clarity. “Party Loyalist” requires some. Post 37 borders on incoherency.

    “By following their own rules, both Ash and Pullen are RINOs”. Huh?

    Please tell us what the rule was they made you refer to.


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