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

Arizona Solicitor General Issues Opinion on Arizona GOP Party Elections

Just issued today, a legal opinion by the Arizona Solicitor General office of the Arizona Attorney General, resolves a dispute regarding notification in Republican Party elections.

Solicitor General Dominic Draye

Solicitor General Dominic Draye

The opinion issued by Dominic Draye to incoming Speaker of the House JD Mesnard, settles the legal question of whether or not precinct committeemen were properly noticed regarding the upcoming Maricopa County Republican Party election and ultimately the election of State Committeemen in LD23 including an announced candidate for State Party Chairman.

In question was the definition of “by mail” as cited in ARS 16-824. The statute states:

16-824Meeting, organization and officers of county committee

  1. The county committee shall meet for the purpose of organizing no earlier than ten days after the last organizing meeting of the legislative districts which are part of the county, and in any event no later than the second Saturday in January of the year following a general election. The county committee shall elect from its membership a chairman, a first vice-chairman, a second vice-chairman, a secretary and a treasurer. The latter two offices may be filled by the same person. The chairman of the county committee shall be ex officio a member of the state committee.
  2. The chairman of the county committee shall give notice of the time and place of such meeting by mail to each precinct committeeman at least ten days prior to the date of such meeting.

Current Maricopa County Republican leadership has argued that “by mail” is vague enough to include email as a method of notification to precinct committeemen. Despite an outcry from district chairmen warning Bowyer of the statutory demands and his misunderstanding, he and Secretary Dan Schultz remained adamant they were correct in their interpretation of the law, referring to their bylaws and ignoring statute.

Chairman Tyler Bowyer cited recent changes to the Maricopa County GOP bylaws, where the inclusion of email was listed as a means to notice meetings, insisting the statutory definition was inclusive of email notification in that it didn’t exclude email.

In the opinion posted by Attorney General Mark Brnovich, Solicitor General Draye clarifies and establishes the correct definition of “by mail” in the following statement:

While judicial authority interpreting the phrase “by mail” under Arizona law is limited, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona recently interpreted the word “mail” as used in Arizona Rule of Civil Procedure 4.2(c).  Cachet Residential Builders, Inc. v. Gemini Ins. Co., 547 F. Supp. 2d 1028 (D. Ariz. 2007).  The court, relying on an established dictionary definition, held that mail is “defined as ‘letters, packets, etc. that are sent or delivered by means of the post office.’”  Id. at 1030 (citing Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language 864 (1989)).

This definition, which focuses on whether the item is “sent or delivered by means of the post office,” is consistent with how the term “mail” is used elsewhere under Arizona law.  For example, Rule 35(c)(1) of the Arizona Rules of Protective Order Procedure distinguishes between communications by mail and email.  Ariz. R. Protect. Ord. P. 35(c)(1) (“A limited jurisdiction court may allow contact by mail or e-mail to arrange parenting time . . . .”) (emphasis added).  Likewise, the Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure specify that “[a] party that serves documents on another party by mail in an expedited election appeal also must deliver the documents by electronic means, including email or facsimile, or as agreed to by the parties.”  Ariz. R. Civ. App. P. 10(h); see also Ariz. R. Civ. P. 5(c)(2)(C), (D) (distinguishing service by “mailing it” from service “by any other means, including electronic means”).  Further, in the Code of Judicial Administration, the term “notify” is defined to mean “written communication by mail, fax or email.”  Ariz. Code of Jud. Admin. § 6-211 (emphasis added).  The distinction between “mail” and “email” in the above rules would be superfluous if “mail” already encompassed email.  These authorities also show that, when delivery by email is permitted under Arizona law, Arizona authorities have expressly authorized it.

For purposes of the present question, our preliminary conclusion is that notice requirements elsewhere in Arizona law provide the best analogue to the requirement in A.R.S. § 16-824.  Those provisions illustrate that, where email notice is permitted, it is listed separately from “mail.”  This interpretation is also consistent with dictionary definitions and common usage as explained in Cachet Residential Builders.  For these reasons, notice by email appears insufficient to satisfy A.R.S. § 16-824. (emphasis added)

Tyler Bowyer

Tyler Bowyer

Given this official legal opinion, the Maricopa County Republican Party Bylaws are out of compliance with the law.  In that all GOP bylaws must be in compliance with both state law and the state party bylaws, any legislative district bylaws allowing email notification are also out of compliance with both Arizona Republican Party Bylaws and Arizona statute.

Today was the last day for elected precinct committeemen in Maricopa County to be properly noticed leaving the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) ill-prepared to make right the serious error as Chairman Bowyer called chairs over the past few days encouraging them to utilize email notices.

It has been reported that several LD chairmen received calls today from AZGOP Chair Robert Graham informing them that the state party was abiding by statute and mailing the call despite this statutory obligation falling on the county party. This to ensure all PC’s are eligible to vote in the upcoming MCRC elections with a proper notification.

Additionally, the opinion also affects upcoming party elections at the state party level.

Jim O'Connor

Jim O’Connor

In Legislative District 23, where notice of their election was provided by email, the election of state committeemen would be invalid because the meeting was conducted illegally. Chairman Robert Graham notified former Chairman Jim O’Connor, who was responsible for the illegal action, to the error and offered the ability for a “do over”. The newly (and also illegally) elected chair replied and vehemently declined the “do-over,” ignoring of the law and asserting the LD23 bylaws allowed for email. Chairman Graham met with representatives from LD23 and attorneys to no avail, with LD23 holding firm on their decision to use email and declining a legally called election.

Unfortunately, a better understanding of the law would have benefited the PC’s in LD23.  The warning from Graham outlined the problem that would result from the ill-advised and illegally held meeting; that those elected as state committeemen would potentially not be seated or run for a party position as the election was not valid. Specifically, candidate Jim O’Connor, who made the decision to use the illegal method of notification, could be disqualified as a candidate for State Party Chairman.

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

The Solicitor General’s opinion affirms AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham’s assertion was correct, that districts such as LD23 that improperly noticed their precinct committeemen by email, were in violation of party bylaws and state statute all along.

With the State Republican Party Meeting and Election rapidly approaching, there is not enough time now for a “do-over” election leaving LD23’s illegally elected state committeemen potentially ineligible to vote. The legal remedy is for Chairman Graham to disregard the illegally called meeting results, seat an appointed contingent of committeemen from LD23, and hold the State Meeting according to statute and bylaw.

Party activists and officials must be aware of these important bylaws and statutes especially when they conduct the process of elections and seek higher leadership. Pushing a personal agenda by skirting the rules or making them up as you go is the not the upholding manner in which GOP leaders should conduct themselves.

 

Gayla Coletto Responds to Jim O’Connor’s MCRC Post

Let’s get the facts straight. Jim O’Connor has listed some lies and one truth.

  1. I was on the credentials table – Truth
  2. I didn’t check Jim’s proxies because Kathy Schneider credential his precinct. – Lie
  3. The Chairman of LD23 approves any material that is distributed to the PC’s. Everyone in the room had the list out in plain site, so why didn’t he object? I have list from other elections that he distributed but, he told me to keep it private – He lied not knowing about the list.
  4. He told me he had 9 proxies. – He’s lying

In regards to MCRC briefs controlled by Frosty, who received but never posted my letter. Yet allowed Jim to respond to my letter when he claimed he didn’t approve of proxies. This is why I’m going to the Sonoran Alliance with my letters as they don’t silence critics.

Why would O’Connor control the election of state committeemen you ask, it was to help him get elected for the State Chairman’s position.

Gayla Coletto

My Turn: Jim O’Connor Practices Unfair, Unethical Elections

By Gayla Coletto

I’m a member of LD23, a state committeemen, treasurer, state delegate, national delegate, Precinct Committeeman and a trusted citizen who has volunteered for many jobs including being on the credentials teams at all LD23 elections as well as at the county and state elections.

I have seen and witnessed the collection (harvesting) of proxies by many including the chairman. The GOP pushed a bill through to stop the democrats from harvesting ballots yet at our elections they harvest proxies giving the person who collects them unethical voting power. With 119 people on a list approved and distributed by the Chairman Jim O’Connor who he himself brought in 9 proxies.

The unfair practice at LD23 by a chairman who distributes a list to new and old PC’s of who to vote for has resulted in an unfair election punishing anyone who Jim O’Connor can’t control.

Because of his unethical practices many hard working committeemen have left the LD. If this practice continues it will destroy the GOP from the bottom up.

Jim O’Connor must answer to these allegations for the sake of the party and our country. This corruptions must stop and a new election for state committeemen must take place before the state election next month.

Jim O’Connor’s Leadership Raises AZGOP Questions

Interesting information regarding the role of Republican LD-23 in the 2016 Primary Election. Under the direct leadership of Chairman Jim O’Connor, LD-23 endorsed Republican Primary candidates like Alex Meluskey – not illegal but certainly out of character and spirit with Republican primary election principles.

In this message, retrieved from an August memo to precinct committeemen, Chairman Jim O’Connor acknowledges the endorsement of Alex Meluskey in the Republican US Senate Primary. (The memo attempts to address how LD-23 PC’s should respond to Meluskey’s dropping out of the race.)

LD23 Memo to PC'sThis has particularly impact for the Arizona Republican Chairman’s race as it demonstrates Chairman O’Connor’s potential influence and leadership should he be elected to the post. Would a Chairman O’Connor lead an effort to endorse another Senate run by Alex Meluskey or perhaps Dr. Kelli Ward over sitting US Senator Jeff Flake? Would Chairman O’Connor push for the election of a primary challenger against Governor Doug Ducey? His prior record of intervention and leadership raises serious questions and concerns over how he would lead the Arizona GOP over the next two years.

The 2018 mid-term election will be critical for statewide and congressional races. The party must have the most objective even-handed Chairman at its helm.

LD23’s Very Own Obama-Pelosi Duo – Part II

We return to the saga of duplicitous actions on the part of the wanna-be party chairman, Jim O’Connor, and his mouthpiece, Lynne Breyer, who abused their positions by rigging the election of state committeeman, manipulating proxies and illegally insuring the majority of the electorate were their supporters. Enter the other beneficiary of the hijinks, Nancy Ordowski, the illegally elected chairman of LD23. Perhaps it is she, and not Lynne, who best plays the role of Pelosi with O’Connor pulling the strings.

What is this all about? Remember when the Dems held the closed-door session and wouldn’t let the GOP see what was in the Obamacare bill, keeping it only among the votes they knew were theirs? In an effort to channel the Obama-Pelosi duo, Jim O’Connor and Nancy Ordowski maneuvered their own “shut-out” of elected PC’s that began when a huge number of newly elected PC’s were not notified of the nomination process, then denied the ability to run. Then, according to many long-time PC’s, O’Connor and his minions failed to send a call letter, as defined in Arizona Revised Statute Title 16 and AZGOP Bylaws, to all eligible voters! This is beyond unethical. It is a direct violation of Arizona law.

The O’Connor-Ordowski plan reveals an effort that wouldn’t notify everyone of the right to run, limit the time frame and manner of nomination so they are shut out, fail to notice the full body of the meeting and deny proxies carried by those outside their tightly held control – between the anemic turnout and proxy count, it insures victory. That about sums it up. Obama and Pelosi would be proud.

The apathetic participation in LD23 left “a mere” 29% of elected PC’s to make the decision for the entire district, a suspect turnout in what has been historically a robust district giving credence to claims that the LD election was rigged to give O’Connor an advantage in the state party elections. The evidence of the illegally held meeting is enough that AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham has ordered a “do-over” of the meeting or he will utilize the legal option of seating a new group of state committeemen from LD23.

The illegally elected, therefore in name only, Chairman Ordowski fired back to Graham with pages of a “the lady doth protesteth too much” response. It is complete with a circular thought narrative always leading back to a denial of truth and full of arrogance and disdain for the rules.

O’Connor’s response, through his mouthpiece Breyer, never denied the accusations of failing to send out the call or hiding the call for nominations in an email sent prior to the canvas of the election. Breyer tries to push the fault onto the PC’s, deflecting attention away from O’Connor – the real culprit – saying it isn’t the district’s responsibility to see the all letters are received.

So – here we have a candidate for state party chair who presented a last-minute proposal to the MCRC Bylaw committee trying to completely eliminate proxies. Yet, this same person manipulated the election for state committeeman, making it heavily dependent on proxies, to maximize his potential votes for party chairman. Do as I say but not as I do?

The same candidate has failed to meet the statutory duty to notify all members of their right to participate in the election. Is this how he intends to run the Arizona GOP? This should concern all PCs, and particularly those who have seen their rights trampled upon by Jim O’Connor.

What needs to be said is this:

The law applies to everyone Mr. O’Connor. You don’t get to pick and choose which laws, or rules, matter. Your motives may have some special purpose to you, but they do not represent a higher calling that absolves you of the guilt you hold and betray any sense of morality you propose. Those PC’s you failed to notice were elected representatives of another 250 registered Republicans in your district. You attempted to silence their voices. You told them that they didn’t matter. Yet, you want to be the representative of the Arizona GOP? Sounds like it is time to Drain the Swamp and it starts with you.

Arizona LD23’s Very Own Obama-Pelosi Duo – Part I

Saying something is one thing, when knowing full well it isn’t, has become synonymous with the Obama-Pelosi style of governance. The classics, “You can keep your doctor” or “We’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it” come to mind. Who knew we had the very same type of “leadership” right here in the good ol’ GOP?

Obama Pelosi

The brouhaha over what has become widely known as an illegal organizational election in LD23, clearly rigged to set-up outgoing Jim O’Connor for guaranteed votes in his quest to be the next AZGOP Chairman, has exposed both O’Connor and his mouthpiece Lynne Breyer as the closest thing to the dastardly duo from DC as anything seen in a while.

O’Connor’s scheme to tip the scale in his favor, insuring the LD23 state committeemen votes would go to him and not one of the other candidates, has shined a bright light onto his level of integrity (or lack thereof) revealing an Obamaesque character – entitled, arrogant, and above the rules.

Lynne Breyer, playing the part of Nancy Pelosi so well, makes sure the scheme comes to fruition. The speculation that O’Connor has promised Breyer the Executive Director post may have merit in that she has been the spokesperson, defending O’Connor, in the claims of illegal and unethical actions around the election.

So, what is Breyer’s role in aiding and abetting O’Connor’s desperate attempt at rigging the election? Her best efforts as spokesperson with a “nothing to see here” story, when taken in totality tell of a blatant, duplicitous attempt to skirt the system, violate the statute and bylaws while using paper proxies to get the job done. (The side note is the glaring apathy within that district and the general demise under O’Connor of what was once a powerhouse district.)

In the MCRC Briefs Breyer said there were “202 PC’s present in person or by proxy” She said “of the 356 elected PC’s in LD23, only 81 sent proxies. That is a mere 22%.” Whoa – hold on for a minute. Here’s what that really means:

154 of the elected PC’s in LD23 did not show up to vote at all – 43%!

Only 122 PC’s attended in person to vote – 29%!

Do the math: The numbers don’t lie. Only 122 people attended in person, revealing the officers and state committeemen in LD23 were actually elected by “a mere” 29% of the PC’s. This begs the question of why was turnout so low? Is it apathy or lack of notice? Either way – be it Obama and Pelosi peddling the ACA or O’Connor and Breyer covering the tracks of their dirty tricks – the truth comes out eventually.

Update: The spelling of Lynne Breyer’s name has been corrected.