AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham to Support Donald Trump for Republican Nominee

Arizona Republican Party

From First Vote to Last at Republican National Convention, AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham Voting for Trump

PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party announced that based on the results of the March 22 Presidential Preference Election and the successful completion of the April 30 Republican State Convention, he is fully supporting Donald Trump as the party’s nominee for President of the United States. As a delegate to the Convention, he will cast any and all of his votes for Donald Trump.

“As Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party I support the will of the majority of our party’s voters who voted to support Trump by a two-to-one margin. So the choice is clear: Arizona Republicans support Trump, and I enthusiastically join them. As a delegate I will support their will with every one of my votes for Donald Trump to be our party’s nominee,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham.

Saturday’s Arizona Republican State Convention was packed with Republicans supporting of multiple candidates, and more than 800 competed to become one of Arizona’s delegates to the National Convention. Each of Arizona’s 58 delegates is bound to Trump in the first round of voting but unbound after the first vote if no candidate receives a majority.

“Donald Trump’s Arizona Chairman Jeff DeWit and the Trump campaign worked hard to capture the majority of delegates. Given the slate vote counts, if the national delegate at-large elections were a one-to-one match between Trump and Cruz or Trump and Kasich, Trump would have been the clear winner retaining the majority of delegates,” added Graham.

Carlyle Begay Stands Against Religious Freedom

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on marriage in 2015, religious freedom has been quite the topic across the country. A bitter fight has become exasperated between traditionalists and modernists throughout the country, and the divide has even spread within the Republican Party.

The past couple weeks have been ground zero for this battle being waged in cities and states across the country. Several states have been debating religious freedom laws; Target allowed transgender individuals to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity; and Curt Schilling got fired from ESPN for getting in the middle of the controversy sweeping the nation. It has become abundantly clear yet again that religious freedom is under attack in more ways than one in this country.

Because it is not the “cool” thing to do these days, it is exceedingly admirable when elected officials do stand up for religious freedom in the face of hostile pressure. Votes and actions to protect and to defend religious freedom take courage in this day and age, and will continue to fall few and far between.

Though Carlyle Begay has been hailed as “courageous” for bucking his former party and switching to the Republican Party in 2015, his record on religious freedom is less than courageous and principled. Even before SB 1062 became a firestorm in 2014, he voted against it in the Arizona Senate, joining most of his Democratic colleagues, and opposing most of his future Republican “cohorts.”

Fellow CD-1 candidates Paul Babeu and Ken Bennett also came out against religious freedom around the time of Governor Jan Brewer’s veto.

Carlyle Begay may act like a Republican and vote like a Republican more often than he once did, but his past votes – highlighted by his SB 1062 vote – show Arizona primary voters exactly where he stands on an issue that still filters out the contenders from the pretenders in Republican primary elections. Unlike fellow candidates Babeu and Bennett, Begay actually had a chance to vote on a bill that sought to strengthen religious freedom in Arizona – he could have done something about it.

He did not.

CD-1 Republicans, take note!

Gowan leads Q1 Fundraising in CD 1; Carlyle Begay falters

For all of the narrative that members of the media and his opponents seek to destroy his candidacy with, Arizona House Speaker David Gowan led all Republican challengers in fundraising for the first quarter of 2016. Gowan’s fundraising number for Q1 was extremely impressive because of the fact that he has not been able to fundraise from Capitol lobbyists during the (still-ongoing) Arizona legislative session.

Here were the amounts raised in the first quarter from the major Republican candidates in CD 1:

  1. David Gowan                 $169,390.27
  2. Paul Babeu                     $157,734.35
  3. Wendy Rogers               $144,209.00
  4. Ken Bennett                   $ 80,027.00
  5. Gary Kiehne                   $48,980.47
  6. Carlyle Begay                 $39,906.00

Here are some notes about the first quarter of fundraising in CD 1:

  • A significant amount of Wendy Rogers’ Q1 funds came from out-of-state donors.
  • Paul Babeu’s burn rate is mind blowing, and his out-of-state funds are disproportionate to a candidate who claims to want to represent Arizona and CD 1. Though his scandals have not greatly hurt his fundraising so far, many donors are still waiting to see how long he can survive in the race before another significant story from his checkered past breaks against him.
  • For all the talk about how Carlyle Begay was going to raise upwards of $100,000 for the quarter, his haul was severely underwhelming and raised serious questions about his viability in a Republican primary. Most people have already noted that without the Arizona Republican Party’s exaggerated and drawn-out celebration of his party switch (masterminded by the then-Executive Director of the AZGOP, Chad Heywood-now Begay’s consultant), Begay would have no foothold in this primary. Simply put, Carlyle Begay is merely a product of a conflict of interest by the immediate-past ED of the AZGOP (as previously reported by the Yellow Sheet), and his fundraising numbers are reflecting this dark reality.
  • Ken Bennett raised a respectable amount of money, but not enough to break through into the presumed top-tier of contenders.
  • Gary Kiehne has the potential of challenging for the frontrunner’s position because of the shier amount of dollars that he has already lent himself. If he can run a disciplined campaign to the end of the primary, he has a shot a the Republican nomination.

CD5 Republican Legislative District Chairs Call for Local Representation

For Immediate Release

April 8, 2016

Contact: Mickie Niland, (480)-726-0543, Chairman@azld12.com

Arizona

CD5 Republican Legislative District Chairs Call for Local Representation

To interested parties,

As Republican leaders of Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District, we were saddened by the news of Congressman Matt Salmon’s retirement from Congress. We wish him nothing but the best in his next endeavor, and thank him for all the service he has provided to his constituents and our nation.

As the candidates to replace Congressman Salmon begin to form their campaigns, we wish to make our intentions known that we will not support, or encourage other grassroots leaders to support, any candidate running for the Republican nomination who does not reside within the current boundaries of Arizona’s Fifth Congressional District.

The East Valley has a long tradition of electing public officials who have known and understood our distinct culture and the values of our treasured communities. Many of our public officials and candidates have lived in the East Valley for a number of years; some for generations. East Valley constituents wish to elect candidates who are “one of us”, who truly understand us and can best represent the unique ideals that have helped to make the East Valley region what it is today.

While we respect the right of any individual to run for public office, we strongly discourage candidates who live outside of our district from running in the primary election to replace Congressman Matt Salmon.

We plan to support “one of us” in this election cycle.

Sincerely,

Legislative District Chairmen

12, 16, 25 and 26

Mickie Niland, Chairwoman LD12

Denis T. Brimhall, Chairman LD16

Ian Murray, Chairman LD25

Raymond Jones, Chairman LD26

Ballot Harvesting Tactics Illegal: New Law Will Eliminate Opportunity for Election Tampering

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Practice of Ballot Harvesting — Where Campaign Workers Personally Collect Ballots from Voters During Elections — to Be Banned by New Legislation
 
PHOENIX – This afternoon Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party thanked the members of the Arizona State House of Representatives and the Arizona Senate for passing a bill to ban ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting is a tactic used by some campaigns to send people door-to-door and neighborhood-by-neighborhood to collect ballots from unwitting voters.
 
Once in the hands of campaign staff, the ballots are vulnerable to tampering, or even being discarded if they are opened and found to be supporting an opposing candidate.
“We’ve stopped ballot harvesting and that’s great news for all voters and the public,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “I’ve worked hard as Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party to come up with a solution to a problem that has the potential to destroy our election system and ruin the faith that we have in a democracy where every vote counts. We worked diligently and respectfully with legislators on both sides of the aisle, and both sides of the issue, and I especially thank Rep. Michelle Ugenti-Rita for putting the bill together, and greatly appreciate her colleagues in the House and Senate for supporting the integrity of our election process.”
 
All Arizona voters are entitled by law to vote in person or by a mailed-in ballot that comes with a postage-paid envelope. Ballots are mailed to voters about a month before each election, which previously gave campaigns ample opportunity to canvass neighborhoods and attempt to collected vote or unvoted ballots from individuals. The bill, HB2023, makes this practice a criminal act, but exempts caregivers or those delivering ballots for family members or roommates.
“This legislation reforms our election laws in a way that restores the public’s respect for a process that had potentially dangerous implications and provided too much opportunity for fraud and tampering with an election. It’s fitting to ensure that those who commit a crime by tampering with any ballot, or defrauding a voter to get them to give up their ballot, will be punished,” Graham added. “Voting in an election is considered a sacred process and one that must have integrity, security and legitimacy.”

AZGOP Chairman Defends Rights of Precinct Committeemen to Vote in Election of Convention Delegates

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Robert Graham Countering Efforts of Former Local Party Official Seeking to Disenfranchise Precinct Committeemen
 
PHOENIX – This afternoon Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party expressed outrage today at the ongoing efforts by a former local Republican party leader, A. J. La Faro, who is trying to prevent thousands of Republican Precinct Committeemen from voting in upcoming party elections.
 
“Our local Republican activists are the most precious resource our party has, and it’s just sad to see someone try to keep them from voting in the election of our delegates to the Republican State Convention,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Every one of our Republican Precinct Committeeman has the right to cast a vote for the delegates of their choice, and no one should disenfranchise our PC’s. As the twice-elected leader of the Arizona Republican Party, I am outraged and taking action to work with every local party chairman to ensure that every Precinct Committeeman is able to participate and cast a vote in these elections, and I absolutely will not let anyone take that right away from them.”
 
Republican Precinct Committeemen (PCs) are elected by Republican voters in each of Arizona’s nearly 1,500 voting precincts statewide. PCs gather each month to conduct party business, and state law permits them to vote by proxy if  unable to attend a particular meeting. PCs can provide a signed, witnessed (or notarized) proxy form to a trusted Republican from their precinct who is attending the meeting, and who may cast their vote for them. The practice assures each and every PC can vote on party business, even if unable to physically attend the meeting.
 
In typical party meetings about half the votes are cast by proxy. At the recent meeting of Maricopa County Republican PC’s chaired by Tyler Bowyer, for example, there were 1,006 present at the meeting and an additional 989 who voted by a proxy given to another member.
 
With significant meetings in the coming months being called throughout Arizona to elect delegates to the Republican State Convention, the right to vote by proxy is especially important.
 
“Our party is all about expanding activists participation, and we trust the chairmen of our local district and county parties to conduct these meetings as they always do and follow our standard party procedures, and I’ll help them do that,” Graham added. “There is no excuse for La Faro’s misinformation campaign and attempt to stop proxy voting, and no one should tolerate his outrageous attempts to stifle the voting rights of our PCs and interfere with our party’s elections process.”
 
The Republican Party State Convention, to be held on April 30, 2016 at the Mesa Convention Center, is where the state delegates elected by the PCs assemble to elect 55 delegates to be sent to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July, where the Republican Nominee for President is selected.

Tyler Bowyer and AJ LaFaro: The Democrats Secret Weapon

A shout out to our friends at PoliticsArizona.com for this post!

Tyler Bowyer ran for MCRC Chairman promising unity and a stop to the disease of divisiveness that plagued the party under AJ LaFaro. Bowyer promised to turn the page.

Bowyer lied. And in doing so, stabbed his former friend Robert Graham squarely between the shoulder blades. Here’s hoping Chairman Graham won’t forget.

On Saturday, Bowyer flat out went after Graham, the popular Arizona GOP Chairman, conspiring with LaFaro to bring a doomed “censure” of the Chairman to the floor.

While publicly he pretends to support unifying the party…

Bowyer Tweet

…Bowyer is clearly working as a pawn in LaFaro’s plot to divide the party. In a video exclusively obtained by Politics Arizona, Bowyer is seen huddling with LaFaro as their efforts to “censure” Chairman Graham go down in flames.

The next time Tyler Bowyer pats you on the back, be sure to get checked out for stab wounds.

Our take on what’s happening with the Arizona Republican Party in 2016?

Delegate stacking!

There is an effort to put delegates committed to Donald Trump into state delegate positions before the Republican State Convention on April 30th. Those elections of delegates will take place from March 26 – April 9th.

State law states that delegates of the parties shall “make their best effort” to support the winner of the presidential preference election. That Presidential Preference Election will take place on March 22, 2016. Arizona is called a “Winner Take All” state.

If Donald Trump wins the Presidential Preference Election on March 22nd AND, the delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention on April 30th are committed to Trump, there will not be a conflict.

But, if Ted Cruz wins the PPE, AND delegates elected to the Arizona State Convention have pledged to Donald Trump, there will be a massive party fight.

Thus, the theory is  that individuals like AJ LaFaro and Rob Haney ferociously recruited Trump-committed precinct committeemen in 2015 so that Tyler Bowyer would appoint these individuals to elect the delegates to the national convention.

SOS Michele Reagan Refers AZGOP Complaint to AG Mark Brnovich

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan has pushed forward a complaint to the Attorney General Mark Brnovich regarding a complaint filed by the Arizona Republican Party related to a political committee headed by former Phoenix Mayor Paul Johnson. The complaint alleges that Johnson’s political committee, “Open Nonpartisan Elections” or ONE, violated reporting requirements when it failed to report a $10,000 political contribution from Jeff Covill.

Secretary Reagan also did not find reasonable cause regarding other political contributions and expenditures received and made by a parallel 501(c)4 organization registered under the same name. That complaint alleged that the non-profit organization was involved in electioneering when it received a $100,000 donation from Open Primaries and hired the Phoenix-based political firm HighGround. Donations and expenditures $10,000 or greater are required to be reported within 24 hours of receipt.

The matter now proceeds to the Attorney General’s Office where it will be litigated.

To read Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s letter of reasonable cause, click here.

Democratic State Senator Carlyle Begay Joins Republican Party

Begay Leaves Democratic Party Citing Better Opportunities for District’s Education, Infrastructure, Employment Issues as Member of GOPPHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party enthusiastically welcomed Senator Carlyle Begay, who was elected as a Democrat to represent Arizona’s Legislative District 7 but today switched his party registration to Republican. He also joined the GOP caucus in the Arizona Senate, at an event held today at the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix. District 7 is the nation’s largest state legislative district by area and includes most of Northeastern Arizona including eight different tribal lands.

“My relationship with Senator Begay has grown over the years and I am so proud to see him join with our party so he can better serve the people of his district,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Republicans have proven to have a much more successful approach on the issues important to not just his district but all of Arizona, like education and economic prosperity, and I’m looking forward to working with him to improve opportunities for his community.”

Begay was appointed to the Arizona Senate in 2013 and was reelected in 2014. He released a brief video documenting his upbringing as a Navajo (or Diné) and his lifelong political journey and strong desire to better serve the constituents of his district.

Arizona Republican Party Video: Excitement in Diverse Presidential Candidate Field

The Arizona Republican Party just released a new video showing excitement for the diverse field of Republican presidential candidates. Moreover, the video shows new youth, energy and diversity among Republican voters.

If well-produced videos like this are any indication of the year ahead, Republicans have plenty of optimism and hope to look forward to as the presidential campaign kicks into full gear in 2016.

Congratulations to Chairman Robert Graham and crew and a special thanks to Seth Leibsohn and the staff at KKNT 960 for a well produced event!