Q & A with Lisa James

On Tuesday, I asked each candidate for State Chairman if they wouldn’t mind answering a few questions regarding their race. Many of the questions have been making the rounds among GOP activists so I thought it only appropriate to facilitate a little Q&A here at Sonoran Alliance.

Here are the questions asked of Lisa James and her unedited responses:

SA: Why are you running for State Chairman? Did anyone prompt you to run?
LJ: Having worked for Republicans in both a paid and volunteer capacity for more than 20 years, I feel that Party Chairman is the next step in my service to the Republican Party.  Politics is my passion and I want to build on my past experience to unite our Party and achieve Victory in ’08.

I was humbled when approached by many from all levels of our party to run for Chairman.  Volunteers asked.  Precinct Committeemen asked.  Donors asked.  Congressman Shadegg also called me.  
SA: Which candidate/campaign do you consider your greatest success?
LJ: Serving as Executive Director of the Bush/Cheney ’04 campaign in Arizona was an incredible experience.  We brought together thousands of volunteers to man booths, register voters, dial phones, email voters, attend the two most successful political rallies in Arizona history (Bank One Ballpark Debate Watch Party–45,000 + attendees and Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum–16,000 +  attendees), and almost double the margin of victory from the 2000 campaign.  This is what we need to duplicate for the Party and preparing for another Presidential election is a great opportunity to get voters excited about being a Republican and participating in the political system.
SA: Which has been your greatest political disappointment?
LJ: The election of Bill Clinton in 1992.

SA: How comfortable are you in raising money among major donors? grassroots donors?
LJ: I am extremely comfortable raising money from both major and grassroots donors.  Every dollar is important and the dollar from a senior citizen on a fixed income is just as important as the 5 figure checks from major donors.  We should provide opportunity to give at all levels.  I look forward to making everyone feel comfortable with their decision to give money to the Party.  They should know it will be spent effectively.
I am also comfortable with asking people to give of their time and talents–just ask any of my friends and neighbors or anyone who might have a minute to spare.  Someone took a week off of work to volunteer for the Bush campaign in ’04 and the before the week was over she took a leave to stay the final 6 weeks of the campaign–full time volunteer.  Others may have only an hour to give, or a morning to walk, or a knack for decorating offices or preparing for events.  There is plenty of work to be done–and I won’t ask anyone to do anything I have not done or will not do myself.
SA: What is your vision for the Arizona GOP for the next four years?
LJ: The Arizona Party should focus on doing four things to build and unite:
1)  Recruit and train grassroots volunteers and precinct committeemen
2)  Recruit and train candidates at all levels
3)  Raise dollars in off years to prepare for election years and to avoid taking dollars from our candidates in election years
4)  FOCUS on winning elections and encouraging Republicans by reminding people that we are the party of small government, lower taxes, personal responsibility.
SA: How do you see your role between social factions in the party?
LJ: The Republican Party has a platform in which I believe.   I am who most would consider extremely conservative.  However, it takes ALL Republicans to win on election day.  We need every vote.  The Republican Party has the responsibility to turn out all Republicans to make sure the winners of our primary and our Presidential nominee remain winners in November.
SA: Do you support the Republican Party Platform as it is currently is written?
LJ: Yes—though for the party of less government, it sure is lengthy.
SA: The 2006 Election cycle was tough on Republicans. What will you do differently in 2008?
LJ: It was a tough year for Republicans across the Nation and Arizona was no exception.  In general terms, I would like to see greater communication at all levels of our party–from counties to the state, state to counties, candidates to the Party and Party to the candidates.  While we point out what is wrong with our Democrat opponents (and not each other) we must also give a reason to come home to our Grand Old Party–smaller government, lower taxes, personal freedom and responsibility.
SA: If elected State Chairman, how will you be able to avoid conflicts of interest with your public relations business?
LJ: My work for our Public Relations business is part time and is as an officer of our company.  I have taken leaves of absence in the past and if necessary this can be done again.  They have survived when I have given birth, survived when I chose to stay home as a full-time mom and survived when I have worked full-time on the BC’04 campaign and as Victory ’06 Director.  We have a great team at GCJPR and I have full confidence that they will continue to provide quality work while I am serving as Chairman.  They are a second family for me and have been extremely supportive of this endeavor.
SA: Will you be able to remain objective and fair as Presidential candidates come to Arizona? Will Senator McCain get special treatment?
LJ: The job of the Chairman, and of the Party, is to showcase ALL of our Republican Presidential candidates.  Our voters need as much information as possible to make an informed decision in our Presidential primary.  All of our Republican candidates will get special treatment.
SA: Given Gordon James’ position on the executive board of China Mist and China Mist’s public support of Planned Parenthood why shouldn’t social conservatives be concerned?
LJ: Gordon James is not running for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party–his wife is and is doing so with his full support as well as the full support of Emily, Charlie, Maddie and Olivia James–my four children.  I am 100% pro-life and have been since a child.   This election is about my record and I am pleased to have the support of many leaders in the pro-life community including (but not limited to) Len Munsil, Joe Cavanaugh, and Congressman Trent Franks.



  1. On Friday I am thrilled to have the opportunity to attend the announcement of the Dodie Londen Series. Sponsored by Christine Olson, it is sure to be of the highest quality. This is an organized opportunity for conservative women in Arizona to develop into stronger contributing members of the Republican Party. We have many such women now and in this day and age certainly gender is not to be a denying factor of involvement. But the grow your own and grow them well concept has proven to be very effective in other states. Lisa James is a strong supporter of this program. She understands the need to bring our party to a level of excellence that sets us above and apart from the others.

    I was among those who asked Lisa to run and did so before and again after it was clear who would and would not be running. My motivation for asking her to take on this challenge? Having worked at all levels of party politics for 30 years and with many different folks, I have seen something different in Lisa. I have seen a fresh approach to the idea that all people have value. Her willingness to do whatever it takes while maintain dignity and respect for all and to all. Do not imagine her to be a softy, but strength does not have to be raw aggression. Determined to get the job done, she will allow for those around her to develop and grow, too. She is not threatened by the abilities of others but is great at knowing how to use them to their fullest.

    I have made this statement many times over the course of this campaign; this is not about a good guy vs. bad guy. This is about who can and will meet the challenge before us in the best way possible. To choose Lisa over Randy is not a complaint of Randy’s ability or character but a testament to his strength where he is now. His position as a National Committeeman certainly allows his voice to be heard and is a position of high esteem. Lisa’s strength in organization, fundraising, and understanding politics at all levels points to her perfect fit for the chairs’ position.

  2. Smart Voter says

    We’re “thrilled” that you’re “thrilled.”
    We’re also “thrilled” that you were among the hordes who, at the break of day, asked Lisa James to run for party chairman. Now, give your self-adulation a rest.

    There are many of us who are concerned about the party rather than the “thrill” of having a gender specific group to get women involved in GOP politics. There has long been such a group. It’s called the REPUBLICAN PARTY.

    You use any weak disguise to repeat your echo-chamber support for Lisa James. You’ve now impressed us that you’re a “mover and shaker,” as well.
    We get it.

  3. Lisa James is being now positioned as a party “healer.”
    Then why do I have this gnawing feeling that she is actually the party “heeler?”

    Probably has something to do with her list of “insider” supporters.

  4. Thank heaven you’re a smart voter, cause you’re not a smart party builder.

    The Republican Party has the following groups that it links to, I would go so far as to say they endorse these groups. Probably some ridiculous idea about outreach….

    Other Republican Groups

    College Republican National Committee
    Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy
    National Assembly of Irish American Republicans
    National Conference of Republican County Officials
    National Federation of Republican Women
    National Republican Congressional Committee
    National Republican Senatorial Committee
    National Teen Age Republicans
    New Century Project
    Republican Governor’s Association
    Republican Jewish Coaltion
    Republican Liberty Caucus
    Republican National Hispanic Assembly
    Republican National Lawyers Association
    Republicans Abroad International
    Young Republican National Federation, Inc.

    We could kick them all out, then you and five guys could hang out in your garage to determine the best way to run the party.

  5. Smart Voter-
    Instead of using that as a screen name I think you should have used Samrt A**. Ther was nothing wrong with anything Ann had to say. How about stopping the attacks?

  6. If Lisa is such a unifier and party builder how come her supporters keep attacking Randy and alienating grassroots conservatives?

  7. Gnat your definition of “attack” is curious.

    Non attack? Some of Lisa’s supporters have donated to WISH.
    Attack? Randy Pullen’s wife (a Pullen supporter) has donated to WISH.
    Non Attack? Lisa was VICTORY director for the horrid 2006 election.
    Attack? Randy has lost two elections.
    Attack? Randy gave money to Democrats in General elections nine years ago.

    They all seem like facts, and each may or may not have a basis in how people come to their decision on whom to support for Chairman. Some might consider their personal dealings and conversations, others their assessment of the ability of each to perform the duties of Chairman.

    I see flaws with both candidates, I’m pretty sure they’re both human. I’m pretty sure Randy is going to win, but if Lisa manages to pull it off, I’m hopeful that the “allienated grassroots conservatives” will stay in the Republican Party.

  8. Smart Voter says

    With the exception of the National Federation of Republican Women (do they yet support the pro-life portion of the platform?), none of those on your list is gender specific. That is the issue I was discussing, since many of those who try to impress me with Lisa’s superb talents place the fact that she’s a woman at the top of the list. That’s like giving someone credit for being born with brown eyes.

    In a perusal of her list of supporters, I see many who were not elected as state committeemen and are unable to vote for her. What kind of support is that?

  9. Walter,

    So Lisa is a party builder because her minions (Knaperek and Sproul) have slung as much mud as the other side? Great! I can’t wait for 2008.

  10. Grassroots Girl says

    Smart Voter:

    I find it curious that you take umbrage at the gender issue, yet Randy says he wants to create a “Co-Chair” position filled by a woman. Here it is in his own words posted on espressopundit.com :

    “I will also ask the executive committee to approve the appointment of a woman to serve as Co-Chairman and work with me to build the party. This is a similar position that exists in many other states and at the RNC. The Co-Chair is of the opposite gender of the Chair.”

    So, Randy can be gender specific and it’s ok. By the way, didn’t Randy just tout how he voted against the creation of “General Chairman” at the RNC because it isn’t a position in the by-laws? What’s the difference with him asking the Executive Committee to create a “Co-Chair” position that isn’t in the by-laws? He is either for established by-laws, not to be changed except at the proper meeting, or he isn’t, he can’t get away with being John Kerry and support both. “I was against creating a special position before I was for it.”

  11. I don’t wish to wade into the entirety of this discussion at this time, however there is a big difference between what Randy is proposing and the “General Chairman.” The “General Chairman” of the RNC supercedes all positions laid out in the bylaws, and could possibly obviate them (this isn’t a given, but it is worrisome). It also seems made up for the accommidation of a single person in a single instance, which often leads to bad law and rules.

    A co-chair does not override the power of the State Chair, nor does it appear to be for the benefit of a single individual and has appropriate use in many similar situations. It may or may not be a good idea, but it is not remotely comparable to what occured at the RNC.

    If Randy or Lisa propose a Moderator of Affirmative Action however, they will have a fight from me, no matter what position Nathan Sproul takes 🙂

  12. Nathan Sproul says


    That is very funny. I fully appreciate the smiley face. For the record, I am opposed to an affirmative action coordinator, gave money to Randy Graf for Congress and pulled for the Cats when they won the national championship. Look at everything we agree on…

    I’m guessing that my opposition to affirmative action coordinator means that just about everyone who writes for this blog supports it. Didn’t they say in a different story that they always take the opposite position of me? Thanks for pointing that out with humor…

  13. Signature Boy,

    I think what the previous poster meant when they talked about taking the opposite position as you was they tend to take the principled position which by definition is the opposite of what you take. Support for Mike Hellon. Carolyn Allen. Need I go on?

  14. Republican Conservative AZ says


    Good afternoon, I’m just trying to understand your logic. Randy Pullen supported two Democrats: Harry Mitchell and Paul Johnson, and you are upset that Sproul supported two Republicans amongst the many that he has previously named in this and other posts (Trent Franks, Len Munsil, Randy Graf)?

    Can we turn this thread around, back to the merits of Lisa James and Randy Pullen?

  15. I started a couple of responses to you, Smart Voter and despite how many different sarcastic possibilities exist… really, what does that prove? The mover and shaker part still has me amazed….Lisa really talks to and listens to folks from many different positions and backgrounds. Even though your sarcasm was not lost, in reality this speaks more to her style than it does to anything about me.

    The qualifications of any chair should not be gender motivated or dependant, to suggest so is marginalizing both male and female. My reference was to the need of developing strong, active party members and Lisa’s recognition of such. If one way to do that is by associating groups of similarity and working to grow our own, that is definitely effective. The specifics of those groups should not be considered limited to gender identity as has been aptly pointed out by others.

    If repeating a solid belief is to be an echo-chamber, you probably live in a glass house in that regard. The future of our party is the issue that brings all of us to this venue and topic. To be excited about positive gains to that end should not require a qualification.

    To the “we” you represent, please accept my heartfelt hope that despite the outcome of Saturday OUR future will be as the party of unity and positive progress.

  16. Republican Conservative_AZ

    I think you played too much into my comments about Signature Boy. The point I was trying to make is that notwithstanding his claims otherwise, he pretty much has compromised what conservative credentials he once had by supporting liberals like Hellon and Carolyn Allen.

  17. El Smarto, I just assumed that if you were going to pull the “we’re one Republican Party” based on your opposition to a gender specific group, that you would be equally opposed to the ethnic, age, educational, profession and religious offshoots as well.

    I call people who support either of the candidates, but who are not state committee reps: grassroots supporters.

    There are many aspects of building the party. I’m hopeful that there will be people — perhaps like you and me who will provide credible differentiation between the Republican candidates who run against Mitchell, Giffords and whomever our presidential nominee are. I hope we use facts. And, if we are going to be nitpicked by our opponents I hope we call them on it and use the same logic as them to turn the argument on them.

  18. Sonoran Truth Squad says

    I don’t think the “united party” thing is anything we have to worry about. Most of these sites have like 15-20 people debating with each other, which is cool and good in its own way. But I don’t know how many here are even State Committeemen and I do know that there are around 840 of those. So its a safe bet that somewhere around 800+ of those haven’t read any of this stuff.

    Yes, they may have read the Knaperek hit pieces and stuff like that, but the attacks have been from the James camp against Pullen (if we don’t count these blogs which we shouldn’t since nobody read ’em except us!) So if Pullen wins, it is alot easier to be gracious in victory, and folks can put those attacks behind them faster. If these attacks succeed in demonizing Randy to the point that Lisa wins, then the wounds will take longer to heal. But from the look of the vote count, that ain’t gonna happen, so the healing should be swift…

  19. Smart Voter says

    Add Tucson car dealer, Jim Click, to the list of Lisa James supporters. I received his letter when I arrived home this evening. He threatens the money will dry up if Randy Pullen is elected on Saturday.
    Gott’a tell you all, this is the final straw for me. I’m sick to death of the Lisa James proponents issuing these ultimatums.

    I wouldn’t support his “insider” if she was the only candidate standing!

  20. Oh STS, if Lisa wins it will not be because Randy was “demonized”. Have a little faith in our fellow R’s! This is, more than likely, not their first rodeo and like it or not… there has been plenty of the “ugliness” to go around from both sides, it just was served up differently. Without going into how many people received how many mean spirited phone calls from how many different supporters of a certain candidate or who got what letter from somebody else….the score card is fairly even.

    The passion many feel, particularly after November, has developed into a personal goal of many to see our party transformed back into the powerhouse it once was. That starts with new leadership. If we had a very complacent and uneventful race for chair, that would not bode well for the future of our party in respect to the stamina of the body itself.

  21. Well, having never posted on a blog, what a time to start! I’ve been reading all this stuff for a couple of weeks and trying to keep an open mind. I thought it was hard to tell why certain people felt like they did and their was so much tension over this when it was a for the same party.

    Some people make sense others just attack anyone who disagrees. I’m not a state committeeman, or even a PC, but I vote and I give my money. I hope Lisa James wins and if I knew how to let the people who can vote for her know why, I sure would.

    There are a couple of people who try to make a point but the hateful attitude of the Randy Pullen

  22. I have never done this before, what a time to start! After reading this stuff for a few weeks if I could I would vote for Lisa James. The way I see it, you have to be a certain kind of person to be OK according to the Pullen crowd. They take the words of others and do things that reminds me of the way Pedersen did Sen. Kyl. Twist it around because they don’t have anything of value to say but want the other guy to look bad.

    When someone who seems to be in tight with Pullen calls Jim Click on the carpet and uses the word ultimatum because the guy sent a letter stating his personal opinion, this is America! That told me all I would need to know.

    I’ve never tried to tell people how to think, I always thought God gave us all a brain, they could do OK without my help but if I knew how to get the word out to the people who can vote, I’d tell every one of them to stear clear of this type of wacko.

  23. Well it is clear I don’t know how to do this that was not finished, here is the rest.

    The attitude of the Pullen crowd reminds me of the stuff Pedersen tried to pull on Sen. Kyl. Take something and turn it around to make the other guy look bad because you don’t have anything good to say about your man.

    But when someone who seems to be pretty tight with Pullen calls Jim Click out an uses the word ultimatum because the guy expressed his opinion, this is America! That did it for me.

  24. I have no idea how those all got on there…sorry! I think I’ll stick to letters to the editor.

  25. Oro Valley Dad says


    We welcome your input. Keep commenting!

    (Just a thought, I write everything in Word and then cut-and-paste into the comment section.)

  26. Oro Valley Dad says

    Smart Voter,

    Click is on record as saying that if Randy is elected then he will be a loyal Republican and support him. Click was also one of the people who was loyal to the party after the CD 8 Republican primary was over. There are plenty of people for you to be mad at but Jim should not be at the top of your list.

  27. Smart Voter says

    From what I understand, Jim Click had some degree of responsibility in the RCC pulling money from Graf’s campaign.

  28. Oro Valley Dad says

    Smart Voter,

    Sorry, I commented before I read today’s mail. Here is our response to Click’s letter.

  29. Republican Conservative AZ says

    It seems that after Jim Click was quoted in the paper, he wanted to clarify his position. I don’t think that he would send a letter otherwise. But Jim Click is one of the top Republican fundraisers in the United States. I think its fair to say that many elected officials, including our President, have Mr. Click to thank for his donations and fundraising efforts.

    Unlike Randy Pullen, Jim Click as far as I can tell only gives money to Republicans.



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