Kelli Ward’s First Quarter to Forget

By Calamity June

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

It has been nearly 3 months since Kelli Ward took the helm of the Arizona Republican Party. While she’s changed the letterhead and, apparently, spent tens of thousands of dollars on a costly and unneeded renovation, her list of accomplishments sadly end there.

Instead, the robust fundraising that the party has enjoyed since 2013 has ground to a halt. According to the Arizona Republic, the party has seen the lowest 1stquarter fundraising total in 18 years, while spending has gone on unabated.

When Kelli Ward assumed the chairmanship in late January, she inherited a cash balance of approximately $500,000, and was poised to use that money to build bridges across  the various factions of the GOP.

Instead, she did what many feared she would. She chased out the staff that had led the AZGOP’s historic fundraising and organizational successes, replacing them with at least one staffer who had a history virulently racist statements; she squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars on vanity projects like a refurbished office; and has used her platform to take stances completely at odds with what thee party should be doing.

Her first public statement at chairman was a gratuitous attack on Governor Ducey. And tomorrow, she plans to hold a press conference to favor placing a tax hike on the ballot. In doing so, she is putting herself at odds with hundreds of loyal, grassroots Republicans, as well as many legislators and Republican elected officials. This is simply not the role of the Arizona Republican Party chairman.

Instead of attacking the governor or supporting an increase in taxes, perhaps Kelli Ward should spend more time improving the party’s dismal fundraising. She’ll have an opportunity to do just that at tomorrow evening’s legislative salute. Last year the Salute raised over $500,000. I’m sure Republican candidates across the state are anxiously watching whether Kelli Ward can match or exceed this number. (Spoiler Alert: She’ll do neither)

Grover Norquist, the stalwart President of Americans for Tax Reform, perhaps put it best when discussing Republicans who favor tax hikes of any kind.

“Republicans who vote for tax increases are rat heads in a Coke bottle. They damage the brand. They don’t just hurt themselves,” Norquist said.

Norquist then laid out a scenario in which “you get two thirds of the way through your bottle of Coke and there’s a rat head in what’s left of your Coke bottle.” If this happens, Norquist explained, you’re definitely not going to finish the bottle, you may never buy Coca-Cola again, and the company brand is “damaged.”

This sounds a lot like what Kelli Ward is doing to the Arizona Republican Party. On second thought, that might now be fair. To the rat. 

Two-Time Loser Seeks to Make it 3 for 3

By Calamity June

On Monday, as Arizonans returned to work from the Thanksgiving holiday, many must have thought that they were experiencing a tryptophan-induced flashback, as for the 3rd time in 3 election cycles, Kelli Ward announced that she was once again running for office.

Yes, the same Kelli Ward who was badly embarrassed by octogenarian John McCain in 2016. And the same Kelli Ward who failed to attract 30% of the vote in her bumbling and incompetent 2018 campaign against Sheriff Joe and Martha McSally. And yes, the same Kelli Ward who has shown herself to be nothing more than a pathetic, self-promoting politician who couldn’t campaign herself out of a wet paper bag.

And now Kelli Ward wants to lead the Arizona Republican Party?

Let’s review the role of the AZGOP chairman. First and foremost, the chairman must be a leader who brings together all factions of the Arizona GOP. Kelli Ward has never even garnered 40% of the Republican vote in Arizona, let alone anywhere near a majority. And her failed campaigns have been studies in division, personal insults and attacks on any Republican who doesn’t support her. In 2018, she refused to sign an AZGOP unity pledge, and famously would not even endorse our Republican nominee until over a month after the primary. In a race decided by less than 2%, how many votes did her immature pouting and dithering cost Martha McSally?

Next, the party chairman must be able to raise money, and lots of it. In the most recent campaign cycle, the party raised and spent over $10 million in support of Republican candidates. This is accomplished by reaching out to local, state and national leaders, garnering confidence from the donor community, and putting together a plan of action that donors can invest in. In contrast, Ward barely raised enough money in both of her failed campaigns to cover her overhead, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on out of state consultants and seeing her entire campaign team quit in protest. Her disastrous stewardship left her campaign in tatters, with over $100,000 in debt. It’s hard to see many donors investing in that sort of chaos.

Finally, the party chairman should be a winner. That certainly doesn’t describe Kelli Ward. She was such a a weak statewide candidate that a George Soros-funded SuperPAC actually tried to help her become the GOP nominee last summer. She squandered her opportunity to unify the GOP after Senator Flake announced that he wouldn’t be running for re-election, and despite being the only announcned candidate for montnh, failed to bring the party together. There’s a reason that the Arizona House Democrats reacted with glee to today’s announcement. After two failed statewide races, it’s hard to imagine anyone thinking of Kelli Ward as a winner.

Sadly, the one talent Kelli Ward seems to possess is not really in the AZGOP job description.

To those who have a hard time turning away from a train wreck, the next two months should be riveting.

Kelli Ward or someone from her campaign is welcome to provide a guest opinion of their own for posting on Sonoran Alliance.

Remembering Carole Joyce

Good Morning,

Earlier this week, we lost a true believer in the Republican cause. Carole Joyce was a strong conservative, a committed Republican, but beyond that, she was a kind, welcoming soul. Carole knew that the best way to grow our party was to be inclusive, welcoming and accepting of everyone who wants to see more Republicans elected. She was a model activist, a natural leader, and a friend to anyone who knew her.

My predecessor, Robert Graham, knew Carole very well, and he wrote a few words as a tribute to this strong, vibrant, kind spirit.

I hope you will take the time to read it, and as we head into the weekend, please keep Carole and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you,

Chairman Lines

 

Remembering Carole Joyce

Standing 5 feet, 1 inch tall and weighing close to 100 lbs. soaking wet, Carole Joyce is proof that size does not matter.  Carole and her infamous email handle paddywagon@cox.net were a combined force not to be taken lightly.

Naturally, Carole was a wife, mother, nurturer and a loyal friend.  She cared deeply about those around her and had an unwavering love for the greatest country in the world – The United States of America.

Her love of people and love of nation motivated Carole to lifelong service as Republican Activist.  By word and deed, Carole would tell anyone interested that the Republican party has the best governing principles and values anywhere.

If someone proved to be a “hard sell” with respect to the Republican Party, Carole would invite them over for a homemade lunch, dinner or surprise them with her tasty baked goods.  On more than one occasion Carole fed the State’s electeds at her home.  Her guests ranged from Governors, Secretaries of State, State Treasures, Congressmen, and Senators – among others.

Over her well-baked meals, she would compliment their service, share her concerns and encourage new paths.  Carole understood the simple principle that serving with love would convert people to the GOP and open meaningful discussions with our representatives at all levels of government.  An approach that has helped shape policy in Arizona by protecting the lives of the unborn, gun rights, traditional marriage, free markets, education and public safety.

Most have little idea about the remarkable history behind Carole Joyce and the influence she has had on this country.  Carole Joyce was a former Board Member of the NRA and always a Life Member, an Olympic Small-bore Rifle Shooting Coach, Nurse working with First Responders, volunteer, Precinct Committeeman, State Committeeman, Corresponding Secretary for Legislative District 24, Member of the 2016 Electoral College and recipient of The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Republican Party.

Carole was the “action” in Activist. She made phone calls, walked neighborhoods, donated to candidates and the GOP.  Not having the ability to drive did not keep her from finding speakers, organizing events and attending state and county meetings. No name-calling, no idleness…she worked.  Her ambition was to win and do whatever it would take to protect the people of Arizona.

She had a mind of her own and would fight for what she believed was right. Some will remember her as a faithful wife, loving mom, best friend, great cook, fearless activist or someone who cared. Carole did not remove humanity from politics she brought them together.  She will be missed.

Robert Graham served as the Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party from January 2013 though January, 2017.

AZRA Faction Power Grab Fails Spectacularly

By Calamity June

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer

Saturday morning at the Arizona GOP, the usual divisive suspects made a last-gasp effort to remove from office a popular and successful AZ GOP Chairman. This is but one of a long line of failures that a diminishing faction has attempted.

This is the same group that spearheaded the failed recall effort of chairman Lines last summer, which was the same group that unsuccessfully supported Jim O’Connor a year ago when he ran against Lines for GOP Chairman. The same group that pushes its false narratives on the pages of Frosty’s Fake News and the fever swamp blogs that she promotes.

Haters gonna hate. Losers gonna lose.

Prior to this failed attempt, State Committee members were treated to yet another temper tantrum from GOP Secretary and two-time losing candidate Gabby Mercer (starting to see a pattern here?) Mercer repeated her oft-told lie about access to records, threw invective at the Chairman and Executive Director. As has been demonstrated time and again, the responsibility to obtain the AZGOP permanent records lies with the Secretary. Mercer has failed to do her job, and every time she opens her mouth, she affirms that fact.

Jonathan Lines

Jonathan Lines

Following Mercer’s rant, Chairman Lines once again set the record straight, and then delivered his Chairman’s Report. He spoke about the work that the party is doing to get boots on the ground, register new Republicans at a staggering 55-1 advantage over the Democrats, and build a training program that has provided tools and resources to hundreds of Republican PCs.

And yet, for some reason, following that report of a successful year at the helm, obstructionist Joe Neglia, who had previously attempted to change the rules of the meeting (we’ll let you guess how that went) called for the removal of the chair.

The action was swift and decisive. There was an objection to consideration, prompting an immediate vote by division. A small, pathetic contingent centered in LD 23 rose in defense of the motion, leaving approximately 80% of the Committee standing, quite literally, in opposition.

And once again, the obstructionists, from Gabby Mercer to Joe Neglia to Tim Horn, had exposed themselves for what they really are.

Frosty’s Fake News Amplifies More Lies

By Calamity June

This morning, Frosty Taylor, the author of the FakeNews “Republican Briefs,” defended the campaign of lies that she has been amplifying on behalf of La Paz County Chairman Russell Sias. For weeks, Sias has been denigrating the hard work being done at the Arizona GOP, attacking the year-long Bylaws process, and hurling personal insults at anyone who does not subscribe to his hateful tactics.

Russell Sias

To dispense with the latest Sias-fueled fever dream: the bylaws revision process has been transparent and fair, with every corner of the state represented. Any suggestion to the contrary is without merit; all bylaw changes will be given an up or down vote at next month’s Mandatory Meeting.

But beyond that, Frosty resurrected the absurd narrative, also being pushed by Sias and others, that there has been a “cleansing” of “conservative worker-bee” PCs over the last 5 or 6 years.

Last we checked, there were plenty of hard working conservative PCs who continue to form the backbone of the Arizona GOP.

Workers like Kim Owens and Lisa James, who run the Dodie Londen Excellence in Public Service program…hundreds of women from across Arizona have learned the nuts and bolts of campaigning and governing, and several have gone on to elective office, including Senator Kelli Ward, AZ GOP Secretary Gabby Mercer, and Lisa Askey, the Chairwoman of the Chandler GOP Women. And the list goes on and on.

Another victim of Frosty’s smears is Lisa Gray, a dedicated conservative and hard working PC who VOLUNTEERS her time as the Executive Director of the Maricopa County Republicans. And yet, Frosty has focused her bile at Gray, resorting to name calling and personal bile at every opportunity.

And let’s not forget Jonathan Lines, a true product of the grassroots movement and a champion of conservative causes dating back to Ronald Reagan’s election. Frosty, Sias, and their ilk have waged a near-constant effort to destroy Lines, all in the name of power and control. And yet Lines, while running multiple businesses and raising a family of 11 kids, has sacrificed countless hours to promote the Republican Party and President Trump.

The Arizona GOP is governed by strong, conservative and active precinct committeemen. And just this week, saw the fruits of their labor when Congress, finally, voted for real tax reform! This came about in no small part because Chairman Lines and the AZ GOP rallied their PCs to insist that Congress keep its promise to Arizona taxpayers. Every single Republican in the Arizona delegation supported the President’s tax reform bill. Sounds like real conservative results to us!

Frosty Taylor, Russell Sias and the rest of the “dead end caucus” do not stand for conservative results. They don’t believe in party unity. They thrive on chaos, disunity, and lies. The truth is, there is no conspiracy to “cleanse” the party of conservatives…there is no “secret” process to reform the bylaws. There are only conservative, hard-working PCs, doing their best, every day, to grow the party, elect Republicans, and Make America Great Again.

Frosty Taylor represents none of this. She’s the mouthpiece of dysfunction and lies. And more and more true Republicans are finally taking notice.

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As always, the aforementioned parties are welcome to submit a counterpoint response to Sonoran Alliance.

Statement from Chairman Herring on the Resignation of Congressman Franks

Maricopa County Republicans

Phoenix, AZ – Maricopa County GOP Chairman Chris Herring released the following statement regarding the resignation of Congressman Trent Franks.

“We thank Congressman Trent Franks for his service to Arizona and Congressional District 8,” said County Chairman Chris Herring. “Congressman Franks was my representative since I moved to Arizona and I respect his decision.”

“We expect a healthy field of Republicans to contend for the seat. We look forward to the voters of District 8 deciding on their new representation.”

Navajo County Republican PC’s to Slaton: You’re Fired!

By Calamity June

On Saturday morning in Navajo County, 15 of the 17 duly elected Precinct Committeemen convened at a Special Meeting and voted, unanimously, to remove Steven Slaton as Navajo County Chairman. Longtime activist Jim Vance was elected as the new chairman, effective immediately.

Steven Slaton

Steven Slaton

It is never a good thing when a party officer faces a recall, but in the case of the Navajo County Republican Committee, it was a long time coming. Slaton’s tenure has been marked by divisiveness, petty internal fights, and personal attacks on Republican elected officials. It was time for Mr. Slaton to go, as evidenced by the fact that 15 of the 16 PCs not named “Steve Slaton” voted to remove him from office.

With Slaton and one other PC choosing the boycott the meeting in protest, there was not one vote in favor of keeping him in office. Sadly, Steven Slaton had lost the confidence of his PCs, and as we head into the crucial election year of 2018, it is clear that new leadership was required in Navajo County.

More broadly, however, this is an important moment for Republicans throughout Arizona. For decades, bullying and harassment chased hundreds of good, conservative activists out of the party. Name calling and divisiveness ruled the day, with a select few elites deciding who was worthy of participation in their club.

No more.

Now, as Chairman Jonathan Lines follows through on his promise to build an inclusive and growing party, PCs from across the state are rejecting negativity and bullying, and rallying around the GOP as we look towards victory in 2018.

One would hope that Slaton’s unanimous removal from office will serve as a wakeup call to others in the party who choose division instead of addition. And if not, they’ll surely soon be joining Mr. Slaton among the ranks of former Chairmen.

Calamity June is a Republican activist who resides in the Phoenix area and writes primarily on Arizona Republican Party politics.

Frosty’s Snowflakes

By Calamity June

We’ve noticed that over the last few days, Frosty’s Fake News has led with a “warning” to the rejects and sore losers who are pushing a recall against AZ GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines. A typical post reads as follows:

“Any State Committeemen Being Harassed for signing a Remove AZGOP Jonathan Lines “call” petition should notified (SIC) petition spokesman Marianne Ferrari…Harassment is a Class I misdemeanor…”

Even for the typical spittle-flecked drivel of Frosty’s Fake News, this is incredibly rich. Having engaged in a near non-stop campaign of lies, smears and bullying against Chairman Lines and his team, Frosty’s Snowflakes apparently can’t handle even a modicum of scrutiny that comes with their ill-fated effort to remove AZ GOP leadership in the middle of a crucial election cycle.

SnowflakeThese snowflakes have sent the better part of the year crying about bylaws violations that don’t exist, licking their wounds over a free and fair election that they lost, and fabricating wrongdoing for the sole purpose of grabbing power. Like the liberal snowflakes who still haven’t come to grips with President Trump’s victory, Frosty’s Snowflakes similarly are unable to grasp the fact that they were rejected by the state committee in January.

So instead of working to Make America Great Again and fight for President Trump’s agenda, they throw tantrum after tantrum while attacking grassroots Republicans and attempting to shut down discussion from anyone who disagrees with them, in the best traditions of left-wing college students in need of a “safe space.”

These are snowflakes like Bruce Piepho, who compares the AZ GOP to the rise of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany; like sore loser Jim O’Connor, who claims on one side of his mouth that he is uninvolved with a recall effort, then travels up to Show Low to advocate for it; like Lori Hack, who as a Never Trump Republican was removed from the RNC convention floor after refusing to support our Republican nominee. (You can find a full list of the Recall Roster here, snowflakes all.)

While real Republicans in Arizona continue to work to register voters, turn out Republicans for municipal races and lay the groundwork for a successful 2018, Frosty and her snowflakes continue in their effort to tear down the party…and then cry crocodile tears when anyone dares to criticize their destructive behavior and calls out their lies.

They represent the height of hypocrisy and the definition of Alinksy-style tactics. And once again, they will be rejected by Republicans who want to win in 2018.

Guest opinions are not necessarily the opinion or position of Sonoran Alliance or its editors. 

Unhinged: Recall Rejects Invoke Adolf Hitler, Bizarre Conspiracy Theories

By Rangel Solamente

This week, yet another leader of the misguided and meritless “recall movement” circulated an e-mail which made the ludicrous connection between the AZ GOP and…Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Here’s the relevant text:

There is non-threatening enabling acts for Arizona – One for creating a state and another for the Land Department, see attached.  Fortunately none such as in Germany of 1933.

The German word for an enabling act is Ermächtigungsgesetz. It usually refers to the Enabling Act of 23 March 1933, which became a cornerstone of Adolf Hitler’s seizure of power.

This is embarassing and disgusting on it’s face. Adolf Hitler oversaw the extermination of 6 million Jews, millions of others deemed “impure,” and represents a unique and disgusting sort of evil that we all must vigilently protect against.

And yet, Bruce Piepho, a regular contributor to Frosty’s Fake News, whose unhinged and incomprehensible rants have lately become a staple of her daily screed, has somehow found a connection between Adolf Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, and the work being done at the AZ GOP by Chairman Lines and his team.

Piepho concludes his rant with a question: What do you want your AZGOP to be? Well, Bruce, if the choice is between Chairman Lines and a man making Hitler references…you probably won’t like the answer.

Piepho’s e-mail also includes the bizarre conspiracy theories of Steven Slaton, the chairman of Navajo County and another keyboard commando quoted often in Frosty’s Fake News. Slaton claims that the AZ GOP staff was hired not by Chairman Lines…but by a mysterious group of donors known as “The Council.”

Slaton’s blatherings bring to mind another conspiracy-minded character. We couldn’t think of anyone in real life, but let’s take a look at the “Father” character portrayed in “So I Married an Axe Murderer,” and his deep concern with the mysterious “Pentaverate.”

The truth is, the Council is no more real than the Pentaverate. Sadly, Mr. Slaton, and his friend Mr. Piepho, live in a world of black helicopters, chem trails, and secret societies that spend their time, apparently, making staffing decisions at the AZGOP.

It truly is stranger than fiction.

 

Guest opinions are not necessarily the opinion or position of Sonoran Alliance or its editors. Bruce Piepho or Frosty Taylor are welcome to submit their own piece.

Recall Ringleader Admits: “We Need No Cause”

By Rangel Solamente

In a stunning admission, Marianne Ferrari, the self-described leader of the Recall Lines movement has publicly admitted that she does not need a cause for recall; this entire effort is nothing more than an attack on the Republican Party and a massive distraction from the organizing and voter registration activities which should be the sole focus of Republican activists.

In Friday’s Yellow Sheet Report, Ferrari’s admission earned her the coveted “quote of the day.” And why not. The instigator and leader of this strange and meritless recall effort admits what we’ve known all along: they have no cause.

In a weak attempt to cite SOME reason for her time-wasting effort, Ms. Ferrari also reportedly said that she was motivated to recall Chairman Lines because of the $235,000 in debt that he inherited upon assuming the chairmanship in January of 2017.

Keep in mind, this $235,000 legal fee was the result of the AZ GOP’s successful litigation in defense of Arizona’s ban on ballot harvesting. No true Republican would object to the AZ GOP working with national Republican organizations to fight back against Soros-funded ballot fraud.

Making her charge all the more ludicrous is the fact that, as was announced today, the Arizona GOP has retired all legal bills that the chairman inherited upon taking office.

Of course, Ms. Ferrari knows full well that Chairman Lines knew nothing of the debt before he took office. And she also knows that the Chairman has worked tirelessly to make sure that the AZ GOP pay its bills, and continue to stand up for ballot integrity and the rule of law.

So there we have it. A recall without merit, a leader without a cause, citing a debt that the chairman was not aware of, that has since been paid off …all wrapped up in her apparent opposition to the AZ GOP’s successful fight to ban ballot harvesting, defending a law that was passed by a Republican legislature and signed by our Republican governor.

We’re starting to think that Marianne Ferrari may not have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart. And we have a pretty good idea why that is, but we’ll save that for another day…