Setting the record straight on AZGOP election records

By Timothy Schwartz

Yesterday, a spin doctor from AZGOP released a deceptive account concerning Gabby Mercer’s attempt to obtain records.

The facts: On January 28th at the annual State meeting, the race for Chairman was extremely close. Out of over 1,200 votes cast, there were 34 votes separating the candidates. O’Connor’s campaign chairman Tim Horn asked to see the records and was told he would be able to. The meeting did not happen.

Gabby Mercer, the newly elected Secretary began asking for the records. She was stalled with the excuse that the office was in transition. After the “transition”, no changes were made as the personnel running AZGOP were the same. Gabby was denied access to the records. Mercer persisted against continued obstruction. Each attempt was faced with a new excuse, none of them valid.

The Rules state that after an election of officers, there is a period of 10 days for all the records to be turned over to the newly elected official, the date of that deadline was February 7th. Obviously that deadline has passed, and Mercer’s attempts were still in deadlock. Her calls weren’t returned, and neither were her emails and text messages.

Several days ago, Mercer sent a letter to Chairman Lines asking for a meeting at HQ to obtain the records. On Monday, February 20th, Lines confirmed her appointment for that purpose.

With the confirmed appointment of Tuesday Feb.21 at 10 am, Gabby arrived with the support of Tim Horn, Timothy Schwartz and Lynn Breyer. Though Tim LaSota is lawyer for the party, Kory Langhofer and associate Thomas were there. We suspect that the lawyers were only there to learn of our desire, as it was never their purpose to give us the records. They reviewed our list of files requested, but after a meeting that lasted for more than 2 hours, never allowed us to see or obtain any of the files we came for. Avinash said all records were available on the website, but none of our requested items exist on the website except a preliminary list of State Committeemen that was dated January 9th and was never updated to the actual list.

Chairman Lines has advocated transparency, yet all the signs from the last 3-1/2 weeks show anything but transparency.

It is truly time for there to be a protest from every elected State Committeeman. We don’t give another 2 weeks for you to produce what should have been given weeks ago. The Credentials committee’s work ended on January 28th. What do you have to hide? Does 2 weeks give time to ‘make corrections’? This was an election! Those results should speak for themselves.

We demand immediate action!

Republican Faction Just Can’t Let It Go

By Millennial Maven

What the liberal mainstream media and Democrat elites are doing to President Trump is despicable. They tried to de-legitimize his election and cast doubt on it. Now they are putting off approving his nominees. Obama hold overs in the agencies are leaking information to try and damage the Trump administration. People are trying to make it impossible for President Trump to build the team he needs to accomplish the promises he campaigned and won on.

The same thing is happening in our own state GOP. Last month, Jonathan Lines, Gabby Mercer and Bob Lettieri were all fairly elected…from the credentialing process to the vote tabulation, the process was clear, open and transparent. No challenges were lodged to the credentials report, and no issues were raised during or immediately after the credentials committee submitted and the state body unanimously approved the credentials report. Now, Mercer and Tim Horne (not an elected State Officer) wants to undermine the election process, the credentials committee, and the duly elected State Committeeman by going on a self-proclaimed “fishing expedition.”

In further evidence of Mercer’s disruptive agenda are the events that took place on the morning of February 21, 2017. Chairman Lines invited Mercer to the State Party to review all of the documents that she is responsible for and begin planning the upcoming Excomm meeting. Instead, Mercer arrived with Horn, along with Timothy Schwartz, and the three of them proceeded to badger and threaten AZ GOP staff. While Secretary Mercer had requested a number of documents to review, it was clear that her only intention, and the only intention of her group, was to attempt to obtain control of the proxy forms and credentialing documents, ostensibly to remove them from the office. For obvious reasons, these demands were rejected, causing another round of belligerence and threats.

Like the Democrats and mainstream media in Washington, DC, it’s time for O’Connor and his minions to accept the results of the election and move on. While it’s true that the race was close, Lines actually won by three times as many votes as Bob Lettieri, our new treasurer. Yet neither Eric Morgan nor Wes Harris has attempted to challenge the results.

To review:  The credentials report was given multiple times and less people voted in each of the three elections than were credentialed and yet they continue to try and cast doubt on Chairman Lines term as chairman. They continuously spread rumors, attack his staff, and now Mercer, Horne and Schwartz want to review all the proxies and look for non-existent “fraud. This is a direct attack not only on Chairman Lines, but on the dozens of activists, credentials committee volunteers and State Committeemen who openly and transparently conducted the election.

Never before has a new chairman been attacked so much in his first month in office. Chairman Lines hasn’t attended his first RNC meeting yet,  hasn’t been given the time to get his team in place, nor has he even had his first fundraiser and executive committee meeting. Yet the constant campaign, procedural maneuvers, rumors, and fake news have been designed to keep him from governing.

Let’s hope the AZGOP has had enough of the nonsense and is ready to move forward as a board and as a body to accomplish conservative victories and elections success here in Arizona. Don’t let LD 23 and the AZRA club disrupt our ability to have success in Arizona as we work to Make America Great Again.

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Opposing views are more than welcome to respond.

Maricopa County GOP Chairman Chris Herring Appoints Lisa Gray As Executive Director

Maricopa GOP

Cites Gray’s personal integrity and extensive record of service as instrumental in decision

PHOENIX, AZ – Today, Maricopa County GOP Chairman Chris Herring named Lisa Gray as the new Executive Director of the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) under his direction. The position is crucial to the activation of the chairman’s objectives and the day to day operations of the largest Republican county committee in the nation. Gray, a former District Chairman and campaign manager for Jeff DeWit’s bid to be state Treasurer, has also developed a website dedicated to PC recruitment and been instrumental in PC training.

Herring, who was elected by a 2-1 margin at the Maricopa County Statutory Meeting on January 14, 2017 was confident in his pick, “Lisa has been tirelessly working to advance the principles of our party and doing so with integrity and outstanding results. The election of Treasurer Jeff DeWit is a perfect example of her vision and tenacity.” Chairman Herring continued, “From the grassroots to the grasstops, there is not one step of activism that Lisa is not personally experienced in, making her uniquely qualified for this position. She supports my expectation of a highly functioning committee, focused on building and growth with inclusivity and transparency.”

As the Chairman of the nation’s largest Republican county, Herring has already met with several legislative districts, other shareholder groups, and is actively organizing the MCRC to move forward in preparations for the 2018 elections.  Filling additional appointed positions, Herring has tapped Kathy Petsas, District Chairman of LD28 to serve as the county Parliamentarian; Wes Harris, Member-at-Large from LD20 as Assistant Parliamentarian; and John Eaton, First-Vice Chairman of LD27 as Sergeant-At-Arms.

About the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC): The MCRC is comprised of all elected precinct committeemen (PC’s) from the 20 legislative districts within Maricopa County. By statute, PC’s are elected during the party primary and represent 1 PC for every 125 registered voters in the precinct. The Chairman is elected every two years by the elected PC’s at the Statutory Meeting as defined ARS Title 16.

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Maricopa County GOP Chair Chris Herring Applauds Jonathan Lines As New AZGOP Head

Maricopa GOP

January Intra-Party Elections Brings New Leadership to Both Offices

PHOENIX, AZ – Following the Statutory Meeting of the Arizona Republican Party held this past Saturday, Maricopa County GOP Chairman Chris Herring offered his congratulations to the new AZGOP Chair, Jonathan Lines. The meeting in which Lines was elected is required by statute with elected State Committeemen from every Congressional District voting for party leadership and district representation at the state level. There were over 1,100 credentialed voters in person or by proxy.

Herring, who was elected by a 2-1 margin at the Maricopa County Statutory Meeting on January 14, 2017 had endorsed Lines in the campaign for Chair. He attributed Lines victory to the major contrast between Lines and the other candidate for chair and said, “A bright new vision was presented to the membership by Jonathan Lines, a vibrant and forward thinking vision. This resonated with the majority who desire a proactive chairman with successful leadership experience”. He continued, “Chairman Lines will be focused on uniting Republicans statewide to work toward common beliefs and goals – registering voters and winning elections.”

As the Chairman of the nation’s largest Republican county, with 779,421 registered Republicans, Herring, who is 32 years old, has made development of millennials and college students in the party a factor in his effort to grow the party base and register new voters. “I’m excited to be in a position to make a difference during this new Republican majority nationwide. Using the momentum to insure our future success is critical and I intend to assist Chairman Lines in any way possible to guarantee Arizona is a bright, bold red state for years to come.” Already working in a cooperative effort to support young Republicans, Lines and Herring worked together on a successful fundraiser that produced the funds to launch a newly formed Republican youth coalition, comprised of Young Republican Professionals, College Republicans and Teen-Age Republicans.

About the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC): The MCRC is comprised of all elected precinct committeemen (PC’s) from the 20 legislative districts within Maricopa County. By statute, PC’s are elected during the party primary and represent 1 PC for every 125 registered voters in the precinct. The Chairman is elected every two years by the elected PC’s at the Statutory Meeting as defined ARS Title 16.

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Jonathan Lines Elected AZGOP Chairman

Longtime Republican Activist Chosen to Lead Party to Victory in 2018
PHOENIX – At this Saturday’s meeting of the 1,235 State Committeemen of the Arizona Republican Party, Jonathan Lines was elected Chairman. Gabriela Mercer was elected Secretary and Robert Lettieri as Treasurer. Each serves a two-year term.
The Committeemen also elected three members at-large from each of Arizona’s nine congressional districts to serve on the state party’s executive committee, who also serve a two-year term.
 
CD1
Bill Brandau
Sylvia Allen
Nancy Hawkins
CD2
Gail Griffin
Sergio Arellano
Cindy Coleman
CD3
Sina Kerr
Kim Owens
Shuron Harvey
CD4
Rose Sperry
Michael Ward
Paul Brierley
CD5
Nancy Cottle
Mickie Niland
Jeffrey Smith
CD6
Liz Alcorn
Jose Borrajero
Ren Ramsey
CD7
Gayla Franks
Timothy Schwartz
John Wilson
CD8
Lisa Gray
Rae Chornenky
Marcus Huey
CD9
Lorraine Pellegrino
Jeff Fleetham
Raphael Ahmed

Big Decision for Arizona Republican Activists

Saturday, Republican State Committeemen have a big decision to make in choosing the next chairman.

I won’t be voting because I’m not a state committeeman. But I can speak from close and personal experience working for a state chairman.

The 2018 midterms are right around the corner and Democrats are amassing an army of volunteers and candidates to push back against President Trump on down to local dog catcher.

President Trump and the Republican Congress have less than two years to make major changes before Democrats try to seize power back. They won’t make the same mistakes they made in 2016.

This is why Republicans need to choose a chairman who can prepare for battle.

It can’t be someone who sits around the office all week talking about how wonderful it is to be in power again.

This person must know how to raise money and work with others who have money. The AZGOP will need to amass a huge war chest of cash.

I know from personal experience that there are those in the party who have money and those who don’t. If those who have the money believe that those who don’t, cannot play well, then those who don’t have the money, won’t get the money. You simply don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

I’ve seen this happen several times at both the county and state level.

Like it or not, that’s how it works.

If county or state leadership criticizes those who have the money, the county or state party gets starved.

I’ve even seen those who have the money set up para-GOP organizations and then run their money through it just to keep it out of the hands of those in county or state leadership. They will literally starve the party to get the job done.

The next chairman needs to understand this. The next chairman needs to work very hard. The next chairman must make an effort to work well with everyone in the party.

If Republican state committeemen do not pick a competent, hard-working, principled, conservative Republican tomorrow, the AZGOP will run out of resources, become a paper tiger and lose the midterm battle in 2018.

Republicans, don’t screw this up.

 

The Mea Culpa…Sorta

It’s over.

After months of needless foot-dragging, dishonesty, personal attacks and fake martyrdom, LD 23 has finally admitted what we’ve all known all along: Jim O’Connor’s organizational meeting was run improperly, rules were broken, and duly elected PCs were denied their right to seek elected office.

And a massive floor fight at Saturday’s GOP State Meeting has been averted.

On Thursday afternoon, LD 23 leadership released a “Letter of Understanding,” acknowledging for the first time that major mistakes had been made, and that the complaints from dozens of elected PCs were legitimate. In response, Chairman Graham did what he promised he’d do all along: he has agreed to seat the 119 State Committeemen who were “elected” at O’Connor’s flawed Organizational Meeting.

And so, here we are. Months after the statutory violations were pointed out, and weeks after multiple remedies were offered, LD 23’s leadership has admitted to its mistakes, albeit clinging to the lie that the complaints were “anonymous” (they weren’t) and denying they were notified prior to the meeting with requests for a remedy (they were).

But more importantly, this proves that this was never about the rules, or fairness to elected PCs. No, this was nothing more than a cheap political stunt by Jim O’Connor, giving him a platform on which to campaign. After all, why bother presenting a vision for the future or a plan of action at the party, when you can shamelessly demagogue and complain about big, bad Robert Graham.

Unfortunately for O’Connor, he has overplayed his hand. Now, just one day before the election, his LD leadership has admitted to a flawed and unfair process, and he is left with no plan, no platform, and no agenda for the AZ GOP. He’s proven that he is unable to run a proper meeting, and has not bothered to come up with a plan to move the party forward.

Team O’Connor and Religious Bigotry Didn’t Begin on Facebook

Following Gabby Mercer’s attack on LDS members of the GOP, more religiously biased behavior was revealed from several who have witnessed it first hand – from Jim O’Connor directly. Multiple reports from those in attendance at the MCRC Bylaws meeting this fall recall O’Connor attempting his own “purge” of voices within the party. Voices that don’t fit his idea of worthy.

After months of work by committee members, O’Connor showed up on the last day for the committee to meet and refer their approved changes to the EGC for the vote of the body at the January meeting. Jim came prepared with his “No Proxies, No Way, No How” proposal.

As a part of discussion on the merits of the proposed bylaw change that would have completely eliminated the use of proxies in any way possible, there were several points made about possible unintended consequences, according to those in attendance. Among them, he was reminded that there are many who have religious reasons for not attending on a Saturday, specifically hard-working PC’s who are observant Jews who cannot attend on the Sabbath, that this is a sacred religious obligation that cannot be broken. His direct reply to this specific situation, “Maybe they should rethink being a PC.” When asked directly if he was saying Jews had no place in the GOP as PC’s, he shrugged and failed to walk back the statement. Apparently, in the rules according to Jim O’Connor, observant Jews need not apply to the GOP grassroots. His statement was met with open mouths, audible gasps and obvious looks of astonishment. His proposal was handily defeated and his efforts rejected.

Gabby Mercer attacking the LDS, claiming cronyism with extremely flawed, and untrue, examples; her thread reading like a 1950’s profile in reasons to keep segregation alive. Replace LDS and insert black, would we think it appropriate? Would it be called racist and bigoted?

Jim O’Connor insensitive to the religious obligations of another specific group, stating that observant Jews who cannot attend meetings on their Sabbath should “reconsider” being a PC. What other group should reconsider? Seventh Day Adventist? What about the EGC meetings, if they are on Wednesday as they have been for the past year or so, should Baptists, Church of God and other evangelical churches with Wednesday services resign immediately? Or – is it just Jews, Jim?

The concept that this man would be so discriminatory in his perception of the right of all to participate in the GOP should send chills down the spine of everyone. Such deeply flawed beliefs have no place in 2017 America. Nothing ever said or claimed about Jim O’Connor should be as frightening as this.

These two have no place in GOP leadership

When a Dog Whistle is All You’ve Got Left – Religious Bigotry Erupts in the O’Connor Campaign

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Gabby Saucedo Mercer, current 2nd Vice Chair of the AZGOP but running to be the AZGOP Secretary candidate on the O’Connor slate, is holding up her end of the deal she made with O’Connor to gain control of the AZGOP. O’Connor would do his part by rigging the LD23 election, hoping for smooth sailing on Saturday. But, alas the good folks in LD23 didn’t play along, but instead demanded he play by the rules – which as you may have heard is a problem for Jim.

So, after weeks of scandal filled accounts from numerous current and former PC’s within LD23, Jim finds himself days from the election of his dreams and surrounded by trouble. This weekend in Pinal and Pima Counties he slipped and let it out that he had been conspiring with Frosty Taylor – the infamous writer of the MCRC Briefs. That explains the love-fest the Briefs has shown to O’Connor and completely removes the last shred of relevancy the online tabloid might still have. Now his gal pal Gabby has taken the reigns and holding nothing back!

Gabby dived into the deep end with dog whistle politics. On Monday evening, Gabby suggested that Chris Herring had endorsed Jonathan Lines because they were both LDS – Lines is, Herring not at all. There was some push back to the first assertion. So, today she doubled down on her supposition with this jaw dropping post:

More than a few have replied to her post that there isn’t any truth to her dog whistle that is tantamount to saying the Mormons have corrupted the state party with cronyism so don’t elect another one – Heywood is not related to Flake in any way, there are currently no GOP staffers that are LDS and again, Herring is not LDS. But to no avail. Nope – she’s going all in. After all, it isn’t the truth they seek, it’s the power!

Rigging elections, blatantly displaying religious bigotry and lying to prove your case. Denying the truth even when confronted with facts and promising more to come. Does this sound like the kind of folks you want to give a platform to?

I’m not sure what kind of big tent Gabby envisions, but apparently, it doesn’t include Mormons. If bigotry and corruption aren’t big enough reasons to reject O’Connor and Mercer, how’s this… there are 400,000 members of the LDS church in Arizona, ranking fourth nationally in LDS population, and statistics rate their voter registration as 70% Republican. She just said they are corrupt and not a part of their plan. That will shrink the ranks!

I wonder how many LDS State Committeemen will think twice before electing the team that thinks they are the problem with the GOP?

But most of all, I wonder who will be next?

My Concerns with Jim O’Connor

By Chris Herring

As the newly elected MCRC Chairman I feel it is vitally important that the relationship between the county party and the AZGOP be healed. Discord between the two has festered for too long, makes the party weaker, and is a public black eye to the conservative cause.

Chris Herring

Chris Herring

Key to a healthy working relationship is a foundation of trust. Trust that no matter our disagreements we all work towards the same goals, Republican victories, not personal ambitions.

Unfortunately I now have serious concerns regarding my ability to trust one of the candidates who may direct the AZGOP if elected.

Below you will see outlined multiple occasions over the last several months where I was purposefully lied to and misled by Jim O’Connor. The below have nothing to do with his personal politics or his goals for the party, on which O’Connor stated to me personally that we largely are in agreement. These examples show that with repeated actions by Jim, I cannot trust what he tells me face to face, looking me in the eye.

On September 7th Jim pulled me aside in the office of the AZGOP to discuss his intent to run for AZGOP chairman. I told Jim during this conversation of my intent to run for county chairman. Jim was aware that I was thinking about running and that was one reason he wanted to talk to me. He wanted to assure me that he would stay neutral no matter who may run against me. He said it was important he stayed neutral because if we both won we would need to work together. I agreed with him. Unfortunately he was lying.

After the meeting I was pulled aside by another person in attendance and informed that Jim was attempting to recruit a candidate to run against me and was trying to organizing meetings for people to meet the possible candidate. The exact opposite of staying neutral as he went out of his way to assure me just hours before. I never asked him to do that. He intentionally pulled me aside to try and deceive me.

Over the next two months I was contacted on multiple occasions by PCs across the county stating that Jim had personally talked to them and shared his negative feelings about me. Fortunately for me some of the people he was speaking with knew me personally and knew that the misinformation he was spreading was false.

Finally I had enough. I reached out to Jim through mutual friends and asked him to speak. I shared the information I had been told about him talking to others about me. Jim responded that he “had concerns” but had never reached out to me about them. He also shared that he had indeed been trying to personally recruit someone to run against me but despite significant effort hadn’t found anyone. This conversation took place on December 1st.

I invited him to ask anything he wanted and he spent over 2 hours doing just that. When we were done Jim said he felt we were far more aligned than he thought, I had addressed all his concerns, and he had no plans to back anyone else for county chair. Wonderful.

Unfortunately that was also untrue. Jim left the call stating he would set up meetings for me to meet other PCs so they could get to know me. Of course this never happened.

Twice more I met with Jim in December both on the phone and face to face, meetings he initiated. I asked about meetings he said he would arrange, he said he still would and praised me on the good job I was doing on my campaign.

Unfortunately he was secretly helping my opponent. I didn’t share with Jim but I was already aware that his continued outreach to me was disingenuous. But I wanted to see if he would come clean or continue going out of his way to lie to me.

As the election approached I stopped talking to Jim. Unfortunately he didn’t stop his deception. The day of the election he expressed well wishes and praise to me. After the election PCs came up to me and shared that Jim was personally going around to PCs during voting asking them not to vote for me.

It’s fine that he opposed me. It’s an election, people pick sides. But how can I trust someone who consistently went out of their way to privately pull me aside and then repeatedly lie and try to convince me I should trust him, when he was actively working against me.

If deception, deceit, and back room shenanigans are what you want for the AZGOP then vote for O’Connor. But don’t expect this county chair to trust a thing he says or does. I’m done believing his lies.

Chris Herring
Chairman, Maricopa County GOP