The Election Grudge That Just Won’t Die

By Sonny Daze

Sources tell Sonoran Alliance that the author of a vicious, divisive and dishonest hit piece in Monday’s Arizona Daily Independent was authored by none other than failed AZ GOP Chairman candidate Jim O’Connor.

Mr. O’Connor, who left his LD 23 committee with over $26,000 in legal debt, is clearly attempting to create controversy and division amongst Republican PCs.

fighting elephantsMr. O’Connor and his supporters have clearly still not come to grips with that fact that Mr. O’Connor lost his race for chairman. It was a close contest, but it was decisive: Chairman Jonathan Lines actually won by 3 times as many votes as Treasurer Bob Lettieri, who required a 2nd ballot to garner the required 50%-plus-one of the votes. However, unlike Mr. O’Connor, 2nd place finisher Eric Morgan graciously conceded defeat, without demanding any recounts, proxy reviews or credentialing fights. Eric Morgan knows, of course, that these internal disputes only harm the party, and do not help us unify to register voters, recruit candidates, or win elections. Lettieri also seems to have moved on with his life and is doing a professional job.

Unfortunately, we’re once again reminded that Jim O’Connor and his allies care less about defeating Democrats, and more about settling scores, launching personal attacks against fellow Republicans and lies. In short, they are interested in raw power, NOT in winning elections.

Mr. O’Connor’s latest gambit may be his most pathetic yet. According to our sources, he has authored, and posted anonymously, a blog post chock full of lies, deceptions and personal attacks. Next, he’s posting his vitriol on his Facebook page, and even urging PCs to work towards recalling our new chairman.

This is what desperation looks like. Unable to win fairly, Jim O’Connor and his supporters are reduced to cowardly, anonymous blog posts and dreams of overturning the will of the State Committee through a wild goose chase of a recall.

It is increasingly clear that the Arizona GOP dodged a major bullet when the State Committee rejected Jim O’Connor last January.

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.

Guest Opinion: One Last Gasp

By Joe Romack

The State GOP Elections have concluded. But sadly Jim O’Connor has decided to follow Jill Stein and whine about the results of the Election. Immediately after the election results were announced, he and his entourage headed to the hallways in a last ditch feeble attempt to challenge the results. There were grumblings about some mysterious proxy votes, which is ironic, considering his abuse of proxy votes. For the record, his wife and son are Precinct Committeemen, but never appear at ANY events, therefore “paper PCs”.

Their complaints were proved false, the outcome of the election was concluded. Sadly, at no time after the election did I see Mr. O’Connor approach Chairman-elect Lines and congratulate him.  So much for decorum and working towards unity.

Now today in the Arizona Freedom Alliance, there was a post that first called Eric Morgan a liar, then accused Robert Graham of somehow doctoring the election results. Their claim was that the race for chairman had 45 fewer total votes than the down ballot races. This is simply not true.  The results were as follows:

Treasurer Race = 534 + 418 + 204 = 1156 votes cast
Secretary = 608 + 548 = 1156 votes cast
Chairman = 598 + 562 = 1158 votes cast
I sent them an e-mail asking for correction, but received no response.
the text of their post is below:

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Yesterday, the Statutory Meeting of AZGOP took place in Phoenix.  The primary purpose was to elect a new Chairman.  Along with that, the two other officers who are also statutory officers – required by state statute – were elected.

We can say, WHEW!  Glad that is over!  Or is it?

First we offer our congratulations to Treasurer candidate Robert Lettieri who survived a run off against Eric Morgan. Eric started his commentary saying he was not going anywhere, indicating that there was some reason for people to think he was.  We had two AFA team members present with him when he said the reason he was not going to run for MCRC chair was because he was moving out of state “in a couple of months.”  Others told us the same thing so is there any wonder people might think he was moving?  Some told us he said he could handle the treasurer’s job from his future re-location!  Does anyone tell the truth anymore?

But back to Lettieri.  His remarks during his time to speak were eye opening to most.  He just laid it out: the AZGOP is in trouble and he did an analysis based on campaign finance reports.  http://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/all-things-conservativ… Lettieri is a numbers guy, spent his work life working with finance and making the numbers work.  He will be a terrific asset to AZGOP.  Some of you remember when we did our own analysis and here is a link to the FEC.gov summary page: http://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/arizona-news/forum/top…

We are hoping that Lettieri will be able to sort through the web of receipts and expenses of ALL accounts to find out where this really stands.

We also offer our congratulations to Gabby Mercer for her win of the Secretary’s position.  As Secretary, Mercer should be given all of the records from the time of Robert Graham. That could make for some interesting reading.  What is not there might be of interest, also.  Gabby’s remarks were pointed and on target as she called out the misdeeds that have been going on in the AZGOP for the past four years.  Gabby has been the 2nd Vice Chair for the past two years and says she has not once been called to a Board meeting.

Now to the big one, the Chairman’s race.  Jonathan Lines walked away with the prize.  O’Connor came up 34 votes short.  It happens.  The odd thing – with Robert Graham, there is always an “odd thing”- is that the total votes in that race was 36 fewer than there was in the down ballot race of treasurer and secretary.  Folks, the point of the meeting and the focus for the past six months has been the Chairman’s race.  Those in attendance came there early in the morning until four in the afternoon to elect a Chairman.  Is it reasonable to think 45 people didn’t care enough to vote?

We smell a rat and it smells just like John McCain!

We may have more on this as team AFA analyzes the information we have collected or more info comes in.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL WINNERS!

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.

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

 

Jim O’Connor: Plays By His Own Set of Rules

By a concerned state committeeman

The AZGOP is in the middle of a turmoil brought on by the hot mess called the LD23 Organizational Meeting, led by immediate past chair Jim O’Connor. No matter how the scandal plagued elections in LD23 play out, it is only the latest debacle created by O’Connor. The man is unfit for office and draining the swamp starts with him.

Allegations of dirty tricks has plagued AZGOP candidate Jim O’Connor over many of his actions as chair with a growing number of members in his district crying “foul” at the explanations for his well documented antics. Among them, his penchant for handpicking winners and losers by playing in the primaries. When taken to task for his actions, he refers to the LD23 bylaws with an “only doing my job” type answer, through a mouthpiece of course.

In a post on the Briefs, Jim O’Connor was directly asked “Did you have a 2/3 vote approval by PCs for these three items that I received???” This was in reference to evidence of his involvement in party primaries that were sent to the Briefs amid multiple claims of O’Connor playing favorites in party primaries.

So, when asked directly for an answer…what does O’Connor do? He passes the buck to Rich Rutkowski by responding “I requested Rich Rutkowski, LD 23’s 2nd VC, to provide a reply as he has spent more time and attention to the process we had undertaken in both the “May, 2016 Endorsement Election” and the subsequent “Golden Ticket” the district had prepared…”

Let that sink in. Jim O’Connor, the former District Chairman, now running for State Chairman, can’t answer. How difficult is it to know if he had a 2/3 vote approval by LD 23 PCs to promote various candidates? A simple “yes” or “no” would do.

Rich Rutkowski’s response was not only confusing, but within it he blamed PCs for not understanding and promoting the problem, in an elitist “let them eat cake” sort of way.

Considering the circular nature of the explanation, most would side with those PCs because his explanation doesn’t make sense. He writes:

“On the Golden Ticket, this may represent continued misinterpretation of the whole ‘endorsement’ issue, unfortunately promoted by some our PCs. To clarify again, the 2/3 margin of approval was needed for AN OFFICER to endorse a candidate on behalf of the District. An endorsement by the District is in the form of a resolution, which only requires a majority vote of the PCs at a meeting.” He verified that “All of the candidates on the Golden Ticket received a majority vote of the PCs” noting that some of them exceeded the 2/3 margin.”

Now does this make sense?

1) The district can endorse with a majority,
2) But for an officer to endorse on behalf of the District, they need a 2/3 vote?

If the District endorses candidates with a majority, the Officers can’t tell anyone or speak publicly about it because they weren’t endorsed by 2/3?

Or does it mean that the 2/3’s test is really without meaning, since if the district endorses with a simple majority isn’t the chairman included?

But, if a 2/3 vote is what is actually needed for an Officer to publicly endorse a candidate why did Jim O’Connor endorse candidates who did not receive that threshold?

Clear as mud? Welcome to LD23 where nothing is ever what it seems. The one thing that is clear, at the minimum a majority would be needed for any district involvement if the bylaws are to be followed. Unless it’s not.

Thanks to LD23 PC Boe James and the Briefs for sharing some interesting information. Note the LD23 voting results, names highlighted in yellow received 2/3 vote; names highlighted in blue received a majority. Based on Rich’s explanation above, the Officers, including Jim O’Connor, were not permitted to speak on behalf of the district about anyone other than the names highlighted in blue.

So why then did:

O’Connor send two emails using district resources encouraging the District to support Aaron Flannery. According to district records, Aaron received 67 votes out of 151, only 44%. That is neither 2/3 or a majority. Why was O’Connor promoting a candidate and how did Flannery get on their Golden Ticket? Plainly, how is O’Connor playing by the bylaws when he openly uses LD23 resources to endorse a candidate, one that is under the vote threshold, in his role as chairman?

O’Connor also approved allowing Cecil Yates, candidate for Town Council, which was on the Fountain Hills version of the Golden Ticket. Cecil only received 26 votes – 17%. Not quite a majority and definitely not 2/3.

This begs the question, why did the district spend money for campaign literature for candidates that didn’t even break the 50% requirement? And if a District Officer isn’t permitted to speak on behalf of the District, how are they permitted to spend money on behalf of the district for Golden Tickets to promote these candidates? According to LD23 campaign finance reports they spent nearly $1,000 printing and mailing “Golden Tickets” to voters in LD23.

So, what is it? 2/3 or a majority? You can endorse or not? We don’t know and apparently neither does Jim O’Connor, nor does he care. The mystery of what goes on in LD23 remains but one thing is very clear, Jim O’Connor plays by his own set of rules.

Opposing views are welcome for review and publication. 

Former PC and State Committeewoman Calls Out AZGOP Candidate Jim O’Connor

The following guest opinion was submitted. Jim O’Connor is welcome to respond.

After reading a post in the MCRC Briefs by Jim O’Connor, I sent him this email. This is based on my personal dealings with him.
Dear Jim,

I saw the article that you wrote for the MCRC Briefs and have included it at the bottom of this email. As I’m sure you can imagine, my first reaction upon finishing the piece was to chuckle, then after a re-read my thought was that “Jim must be trying to get into the fiction writing business.​” I was shocked at what I read. You said, regarding the divide within our party that:

“It existed when I first began participating in my LD and continues to this very day.”  WHAT?

I was a PC and I never noticed a divide within our party or our LD. That all began after you got involved with the District.

“Both sides use the same tools to engage in this fruitless battle: Proxy abuse, attitudes and facial expressions at meetings (that would scare off new PC prospects), some party leadership who show favoritism to certain PCs, just to name a few.”

I think this statement reveals just how low you will stoop to try and win an election.

PROXY ABUSE…that is your middle name. FACIAL EXPRESSIONS…yep,  just the way you glare at those whom you deem unworthy, whom you believe are RINO’s, whom you believe are not Christian enough…I could go on and on especially since I have been on the receiving end of those LOOKs.

For a man who wears his Christianity on his sleeve, you are the most judgmental person I have ever met.

“The issues to be addressed by the EC are: By-Law Review, Proxy Abuse, Technology, Teleconferencing, PC Recruitment And Training. I invite you to join with me to create a formidable organization focused on registering Republican voters, recruiting new PCs, and working to get good Republicans elected.”

I love this…. Bylaw review: it took you and your crew well over 4 years to put out a set of Bylaws. You wanted your fellow PC’s to have to swear an oath to be loyal to the LD. You wanted to blackball anyone who might have been a Democrat in their past or who might have supported one. The operative word being MIGHT…and you began purging our District of those who fought you on these damaging ideas.

Proxy Abuse: for a man who has made it his purpose to recruit PC’s who do not attend meetings and who do not participate in anything, but who will hand over their proxy’s so that your chosen crew will be elected. For a man who puts out lists of blackballed PC’s so that those carrying the illegal proxy’s will only vote for those on your list…it is disgraceful. You are not a leader.

Training: The first training session I went to that had been arranged by you was about 5 years ago. You remember, it was on the topic of how to speak to someone with different views. I made sure to arrange my schedule so that I could attend what I was hoping would be an interesting and informative morning. What did we get? Well, it turned out that you fell for the nonsense of a women who told you she was an expert in dealing with controversial topics…but instead we heard about her family and how her bridge club did not like her because she had better clothes tha​n​ they did…yep, that was a good day.

The second time I attended one of your training sessions, just last year, it was supposed to be about how to be a good PC. Again, I rearranged my schedule and sat and listened to an older gentleman regale us with stories of his life. I’m not sure the word PC was ever uttered. Again, another flop for the O’Connor team.

I can only hope that you lose this election and don’t take our State down the tubes as you have done to our Legislative District. LD23 used to be winners. We used to have fun in LD23. We used to make a huge difference. Now, under your poor guidance, LD23 is a  loser – loser in recruiting PC’s and everything else. Honestly, I cannot think of one positive thing you have done.

In summary, this article you posted in the MCRC Briefs appears to be an autobiography of you.

Joan Lang
Former PC
Former State Committeeman

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Original message:

From the Briefs: By Jim O’Connor

There is no denying that there has been a fundamental divide within our party in Arizona. We all have to say that out loud because it is TRUE. Any attempt to cover that up with clever language by either side of the divide, will lessen our chances of curing the problem under the next administration. It existed when I first began participating in my LD and continues to this very day. So I invite all of us to get real as an alternative to getting even. Both sides use the same tools to engage in this fruitless battle: Proxy abuse, attitudes and facial expressions at meetings (that would scare off new PC prospects), some party leadership who show favoritism to certain PCs, just to name a few. If I go on with this laundry list, I shall fail to make my point.

These destructive behaviors must stop. A thorough audit of our State Party is long overdue. And by audit I mean much more than a financial audit. We need the soon to be elected Executive Committee (EC) to be empowered to act. These 84 members represent every County and Congressional District across Arizona. The issues to be addressed by the EC are: By-Law Review, Proxy Abuse, Technology, Teleconferencing, PC Recruitment And Training. I invite you to join with me to create a formidable organization focused on registering Republican voters, recruiting new PCs, and working to get good Republicans elected. After all, ours is a Republic, if we can keep it.

Republican Activists Call Out AZGOP Chairman Candidate

Words Are Cheap Mr. O’Connor

It was surreal to read what Jim O’Connor, candidate for AZGOP Chair, wrote and which was posted to MCRC Briefs on January 7, 2017:

“JIM O’CONNOR: There is no denying that there has been a fundamental divide within our party in Arizona. We all have to say that out loud because it is TRUE. Any attempt to cover that up with clever language by either side of the divide, will lessen our chances of curing the problem under the next administration. It existed when I first began participating in my LD and continues to this very day. So I invite all of us to get real as an alternative to getting even. Both sides use the same tools to engage in this fruitless battle: Proxy abuse, attitudes and facial expressions at meetings (that would scare off new PC prospects), some party leadership who show favoritism to certain PCs, just to name a few. If I go on with this laundry list, I shall fail to make my point.

These destructive behaviors must stop. A thorough audit of our State Party is long overdue. And by audit I mean much more than a financial audit. We need the soon to be elected Executive Committee (EC) to be empowered to act. These 84 members represent every County and Congressional District across Arizona. The issues to be addressed by the EC are: By-Law Review, Proxy Abuse, Technology, Teleconferencing, PC Recruitment And Training. I invite you to join with me to create a formidable organization focused on registering Republican voters, recruiting new PCs, and working to get good Republicans elected. After all, ours is a Republic, if we can keep it.

Actions speak louder than words. Where is the proof that Jim is a healer? Why should we believe Jim’s promise to mend the party at the state level when he can’t even do it within his own district? Jim and his inner circle are experts at party division. Repeatedly we, the undersigned of LD23, have been on the receiving end of back stabbing, lies and so much more (for a few examples see Guest Opinion: Why Jim O’Connor Should Not Be The Next AZGOP Chairman, Gayla Coletto Responds To Jim O’Connor’s MCRC Post and My Turn: Jim O’Connor Practices Unfair, Unethical Elections.)

For the flavor of what was/is continually dished out by LD23 leadership, please read the following, which appeared in our district’s January 2016 newsletter. It was written by Joe Meli, Chairman Emeritus (emphasis ours).

“You may often be hearing the refrain “I’m a conservative, not a Republican!” Balderdash! We are Republicans who stand for the conservation of our nation’s values framed by the United States Constitution. By definition, a Republican cannot be progressive if progressivism requires abandoning our history and the legacy of the Framers. To be a conservative is to conserve. To conserve is to preserve. To be a Republican in practical terms, one must stand for that concept. Make no mistake, folks who claim to be moderate Republicans are really unsure of what they believe, and therefore pick and choose what planks in our platform to support. They are certainly free to do so, but they offer only a compromised future for our party.”

Many of us have been labeled “moderate Republicans” and therefore have been ostracized from our district. Apparently, those within the LD23 inner circle believe they have some divine ability to magically know our hearts, and therefore can operate as judge and jury when deciding who of us is worthy enough to belong to “their” Republican party.

We get it. Politics is a rough and tumble business. But for the record, we expected Jim to be different—he wears his Christianity and love of our founding fathers and documents on his sleeve, and that was refreshing to many of us. Finally, an honest political leader! But we expected better than what we got. Our bad.

As it relates to LD23, not everything is as it seems. From our perspective, the LD23 inner circle operates as if narrative can trump facts and actual action… But in our world, the proof is in the actual evidence of our experiences. For as long as we can remember, there have been no real attempts made by Jim or his team to repair and rebuild. Just division, division, division. This should raise red flags for all of you who care so much about an honest and transparent Arizona GOP operation moving forward.

Elect Jim O’Connor and you could very well end up like so many of us—at the receiving end of back stabbing, rumors, lies, innuendos and more. And an AZGOP that is more divided than ever. Buyers beware. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

The undersigned,

Chris Brant
Gayla Coletto
Harold J. Denomme
Eileen Fiedler
Greg Heine
Roberta Heine
Joan Lang
Warren Lang
Bruce Linker
Paula Linker
Sheila Muehling
Cheryl Pelletier
Joan Parker
Nancy Pryor
Linda Rizzo
Joe Romack
Jan Stephenson
Mike Stephenson
Dick Stock
Edith Stock

(Opposing views are welcome.)

Guest Opinion: Why Jim O’Connor Should Not Be The Next AZGOP Chairman

If you are not telling the truth about insignificant things, what else are you not telling the truth about?

I really am a nobody in politics. I have no power now, nor did I want any when I was a precinct committeeman, precinct captain and state committeeman representing the Del Joya precinct within LD23. I just wanted and still want to do my small part to help stop the encroachment of leftist, socialist policies that the Democrat party has attempted and will continue to attempt to cram down our throats when given the chance.

As a result of my grassroots political involvement, I have an experience I want to share with you. I am writing this in the hope that enough people will read and consider this before voting for the very important position of AZ GOP chairman.

Background to the following: Del Joya is the same precinct where Jim O’Connor, candidate for AZ GOP chairman, resides. Early on in my grassroots career, we worked together, including on one or two occasions, joined together to complete our signature petitions.

It was September of 2014 and another primary election cycle had come and gone. It was my responsibility, as PC Captain, to contact the PC’s in my precinct so that we could come together to elect a new captain. Reviewing the list of newly elected PCs, I realized that there were quite a few I had no contact information for—so I called Jim, figuring he could help. But Jim told me he could not because he did not know who these new PCs were.

Ok, so he didn’t know. No problem! I would track down the information myself so I enlisted the assistance of a super-sleuth friend. As a result, I was able to contact all of our PCs and a meeting was scheduled at my home.

The evening of the meeting arrived. Two of the individuals Jim claimed not to know showed up first. We introduced ourselves and got to talking. In the course of our conversation I learned that Jim did indeed know these two individuals. How did I find out? Because these first arrivals informed me that they had been working with Jim on some political activities in the past. Hmmmm…

I was able to speak to Jim about this matter at a later date. At first he denied it. But after explaining to him the facts as they were, he was forced to admit his transgression. He even said to me “Cheryl, as one Christian to another can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”

I know, I know. You might be thinking that this is no big deal—after all, it’s just a little white lie, right? But why did Jim claim he did not know these people? Why did he not want to provide this information? Why was he making me work harder than I had to in order to perform my PC Captain duties? Which leads me to my closing comment… The truth is this: There absolutely was no reason to lie to me about such a small matter. If you are not telling the truth about the little things, what else are you not telling the truth about?

A few experiences already have been shared on this website and on Facebook. And I know that there are numerous other people who have similar stories to tell. We can only hope they will share them. Bottom line is this: Jim O’Connor is not the man he so very well presents himself to be and he should not become the next AZGOP chairman.

Thank you for your time.

Cheryl D. Pelletier
Lifelong Republican and Resident of LD 23, Del Joya Precinct