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

Maricopa GOP

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maricopa GOP

January Intra-Party Elections Brings New Leadership to Both Offices

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

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

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

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

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Maricopa County Republican Party Election Results

Maricopa County Republican Party

In case you missed it, Maricopa County Republicans held an election on Saturday, January 14, 2017 and elected new leadership.

Chris HerringThank you to the outgoing leadership for their service and congratulations to the new Maricopa GOP leadership team!
Chairman – Chris Herring
1st Vice Chairman – Aaron Flannery (elected by acclamation)
2nd Vice Chairman – Yvonne Cahill
Secretary – Cynthia Casaus (elected by acclamation)
Treasurer – Sheila Muehling

View official results on Simply Voting.

All changes to amend the bylaws failed while all resolutions passed.

Again, congratulations to the new Republican team!

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.

 

Representative-elect David Stringer endorses Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, ARIZ (December 29) – Today, Representative-elect David Stringer (LD 1) endorsed Chris Herring for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman. LD 1 covers parts of northern Maricopa County.

“Chris Herring fights to expand liberty and to reduce government – not just in Maricopa County, but across the state,” Stringer said. “He believes in local control, less government, and the importance of adherence to the Constitution as it was written. Bold, young conservatives are the future of our party, and Chris has my support to be the next chairman of Maricopa County.”

“Representative-elect Stringer has already proven to be a strong friend to grassroots Republicans in his district,” Herring said. “I look forward to supporting his work in the Arizona House of Representatives and to working with him to elect and empower conservative Republicans in Maricopa County.”

Representative-elect David Stringer joins U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator Judy Burges, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, Representative David Livingston, Representative Phil Lovas, Representative Justin Olson, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.

Representative Justin Olson endorses Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman

Chris Herring

SURPRISE, AZ – (December 20) – Today, Representative Justin Olson (LD 25) endorsed Chris Herring for Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman.

“Chris is a strong conservative, and a capable leader for Maricopa County,”Olson said. “As a champion of smaller government and reducing taxes, I know I have an ally in Chris. He understands the Republican principles of small government and states’ rights, and he will fight for the Republican Party platform.”Justin Olson
“I am thankful for Representative Olson’s endorsement,” Herring said. “My candidacy for MCRC Chairman is attracting the support of elected officials and conservative leaders from all around the county, and I look forward to serving them and our hard-working grassroots members should I be elected chairman.”

Representative Justin Olson joins U.S. Congressman Trent Franks, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Senator Debbie Lesko, Senator Judy Burges, Senator-elect Steve Montenegro, Representative Jill Norgaard, Representative Anthony Kern, Representative David Livingston, Representative Phil Lovas, and Phoenix City Councilman Jim Waring in endorsing Chris Herring for MCRC Chairman.

LD23 Shenanigans Continue

Submitted by a trustworthy Precinct Committeeman in LD23.

Dr. C.T. Wright

Dr. C.T. Wright

Unfortunately in LD23, for the 2nd time in 4 years DR. C.T. Wright (who last year won the Barry Goldwater award and was the President of the Best Republican Club – the Fountain Hills Republican Club) was not considered a good enough Republican by LD23 leadership and other PCs to be elected as an LD23 State Committeeman.  What a disgrace, what a shame.  Good enough to be an Elector in 2012.  Good enough to win the Barry Goldwater Award Good enough to be asked by President-elect Trump to lead the invocations at all his Arizona rallies, but not good enough to lead the invocation at the LD23 organizational meeting (even though he gave the invocation at all other LD23 meetings) and not good enough to represent LD23 as a State Committeeman.  But that is LD23.  What a disgrace, what a shame.

It is also noted that Mark Lewis, a LD23 PC who won a county-wide election in November, was not chosen as a LD23 State committeeman. Good enough to win county-wide, but not good enough to represent LD23 as a State Committeeman.  Hum.

So these fine individuals who are good Republicans and many other longtime loyal PCs (such as Paula and Bruce Linker and Larry and Joanna Hagan, for example) will NOT be able to vote for or against their own (immediate past) District Chair, as he runs for State Chair.  Nor will they be able to vote on other matters such as resolutions and By-Law changes that are proposed at the state Mandatory Meeting.  Wow.  What a shame.  What a disgrace within LD23.

 

KJZZ: Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors discuss the schism in the Maricopa GOP

Steve Goldstein with the Phoenix NPR affiliate, KJZZ, interviewed Republican consultants Constantin Querard and Shane Wikfors today on his show Here and Now.

ConstantinQuerardQuerard and Wikfors who are both conservative Republicans, discussed the ongoing intra-party battle taking place at the Maricopa County GOP level for several years.

Shane WikforsAt the center of the battle is Arizona senior Senator John McCain and a handful of Republican precinct committeemen.

Listen as Querard details how this fight began, how it has affected the rank-and-file Republican activists and how it continues to play out in GOP in-fighting.
Wikfors, who is resigning his position as a Republican precinct committeeman, describes how the in-fighting is affecting the GOP brand and party’s ability to grow and raise money.

The Resolution That No Other Maricopa County Republican Website Will Post

Here is the resolution offered at the last Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee meeting that was offered by 2nd Vice Chairman Aaron Borders.

This is the resolution has been at the center of controversy. Read it and you’ll see why.

When asked if any other Republican or conservative blogs have published the resolution, Mr Borders responded that the resolution was offered to several Republican blogs and email lists but the information was declined for publication.

During the vote for this resolution, Sonoran Alliance has learned that it would have likely passed if one of the legislative district chairman had remained at the meeting. That chairman’s ballot was collected prior to his departure but his vote was scrapped during a disagreement over the procedure. During the official vote, it was not counted.

Three other LD chairmen did not vote for the resolution because of a rule in their districts requiring a vote by all precinct committeemen in their district before the chairman can vote for the LD’s proxy at the EGC meeting.

The final vote led to a tie 14-14 which was broke by the Chairmen himself.

Here is the resolution that was offered at that meeting:

Resolution for Vote of No Confidence with Call for Independent Audit

The Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) is permitted by Statutory  provision, ARS 16-821, and exists due to the political authority of the Arizona Republican Party. As organizational documents,  the MCRC has established bylaws, voted and passed by the statutorily defined membership. The ARS, State, and County bylaws govern the actions and purpose of the MCRC. As Republicans, we uphold the written law and believe the concept of a representative Republic to be necessary, we reject governance by Executive Order, individual interpretation, or deliberate rejection for individual gain.

Whereas, the MCRC bylaws hold the purpose of, and guidelines for, the MCRC and elected officials therein and;

Whereas the existence of the MCRC bylaws with specific duties thereby defines that no elected official  may, of their own accord, knowingly and purposely violate said bylaws for personal gain, interest, or for the determined detriment of the Republican Part and;

Whereas the trust and confidence of the MCRC membership is necessary for the full objectives to be complete and the Party to further advance the Republican Party platform and elect Republicans to office and;

Whereas the best interest of the Republican Party and the objectives of the MCRC should be reflected in all actions and;

Whereas the MCRC bylaws identify the duties of the MCRC Chairman, among others, to be:

  • Represent the MCRC in an official capacity,
  • Be the recognized leader of the Republican Party in Maricopa County and coordinate the countywide activities of the Republican Party,
  • Prepare a budget for the calendar year and submit such budget to the EGC for adoption,
  • Furnish a monthly Itemized statement to the EGC for reimbursement of reasonable out of pocket expenses in the performance of duties as Chairman (set forth in the annual budget). Any Expense in excess of the amount budgeted shall be subject to the approval of the EGC, and;

Whereas in regard to the bylaws and the delineated duties, the objectives of the MCRC should be reflected in all actions of  the Chairman in his representation of such in the “official capacity” and within the countywide activities, a budget is a necessary tool for both transparency and ethical actions, and any funds expended must be within the budgeted amount and for the sole purpose of approve budgetary items and;

Whereas the MCRC funds are not a personal account to be used without discretion or discipline and only within the strict guidelines of the approved budget and;

Whereas Chairman Bowyer has:

  • Shown remarkable disregard to the bylaws through repeated press releases, public statements, and personal actions detrimental to the Republican Party for self-aggrandizement and promotion without knowledge or consent of the EGC,
  • Displayed ongoing unethical financial behavior, violating the bylaws with misuse of funds through repeated use of the MCRC debit card without receipts provided and in excess of budgeted amounts, without permission of the EGC as evidenced by an amended budget or vote of the EGC,
  • Caused MCRC checks to be returned by the bank, leaving the vendor unpaid, as consequence of his failure to act in a timely manner on required bank paperwork that had been initiated at his personal direction,
  • Abused MCRC funds and violated Federal Election Law by using the Tempe office as a coordination point, collateral storage site, and day to day office for his paid position with a non-GOP 501(c) 3 political entity, putting the MCRC in serious exposure and using the work of GOP volunteers for that entity;
  • Failed to meet his self-imposed fundraising goals and budgeted, approved, and expected outcomes;
  • Failed to act in the best interest of the MCRC in relation to the lawsuit pending, leaving the entity without insurance and at high risk,
  • Deliberately misrepresented the MCRC involvement and exposure in said lawsuit,
  • Exhibited blatant dishonesty in both internal and external communications as to amount of funds in budget, fundraising activity, votes casts, and status of lawsuit,
  • Violated FEC rules on multiple occasions by promoting specific candidates on the MCRC Facebook page and his Chairman’s Facebook page, through paid boosted post, and modified official campaign material to present the false appearance Chairman Bowyer holds positions of influence with those campaigns.
  • Committed the MCRC to events, with financial and political consequences, without EGC approval or basic knowledge of such events,
  • Engaged in fundraising ventures, without prior approval of the EGC, requiring individual payments by elected membership to gain information.
  • Demonstrated chronic and worsening disrespect to the elected membership, as evidenced by his failure to respond to requests for information in a timely manner, his abrupt changes to meeting times and location with less than 48 hours’ notice, and his failure to observe such basic courtesies as providing an agenda prior to regularly scheduled meetings of the EGC,
  • Failed to coordinate and cooperate with AZGOP leadership as recently evidenced by his lack of response regarding severe technical issue, with national repercussions, created by his incorrect application of AZGOP-supplied voter data tools;
  • Misrepresented the recent elections on School Board Overrides and bonds, and the nature of the EGC’s decision regarding those elections, both in writing and on multiple television appearances, without consent or prior knowledge of the elected membership,
  • Demonstrated chronic duplicity and deceptiveness in word and deed as evidenced by the recent actions surrounding the school district elections in his published statement of providing “factoids” only to say a week later, when questioned about the lack thereof, that each LD was able to speak to their own PCs – fully aware that there were no meetings to be held in any district that would allow for such communication,
  • Established committees of appointed individuals, not elected, to circumvent the LD Chairmen and elected officers of the EGC;
  • Has on multiple occasions been untruthful and duplicitous in his communications,
  • Violated FEC filings and Arizona election laws on multiple occasions, placing the MCRC at serious risk of FEC and AZ legal action. Continued to be unresponsive to requests for transparency in finances and function, failed to meet the standards of behavior and duties of the Chair, and;

Whereas the MCRC is currently in total disarray with no permanent meeting location, finances left unaudited per the bylaws, and with a Chairman who has spoken in opposition to the will of the EGC and bylaws, acting as a rogue chairman insistent on his own personal agenda, and:

Whereas based on these specific charges, and others, Chairman Tyler Bowyer has failed in the capacity of Chairman to meet the objectives and duties of the elected position he holds,

We hereby submit this resolution, to be voted by ballot at this current meeting of the EGC, and passed as a vote of ” No Confidence” in Chairman Tyler Bowyer with an immediate independent audit of the EGC, of both financial records and physical offices; and

We hereby direct that the independent audit committee be established per MCRC bylaws; however, due to “No Confidence” in Chairman Bowyer, That the committee consist of EGC members appointed by AZGOP Compliance Director Timothy Lee or his designee; and

We hereby direct, due to “No Confidence” in his fiscal responsibility, that Chairman Tyler Bowyer immediately cease and desist using the MCRC debit card and relinquish any and all MCRC credit/debit cards or physical checks in his possession as well as all outstanding receipts for expenditures made during his term of office; and,

We hereby direct Chairman Tyler Bowyer and his appointees to cease and desist from all further public communications on behalf of the MCRC, the EGC, the Executive Board, the Republican Part, unless such communications, word for word, have been duly raised and voted on by this body in a properly noticed meeting of the EGC or MCRC.

I hereby move, with privilege, for immediate approval of this resolution by ballot with votes to be tallied by the Secretary and observed by three LD chairs.

Sunday Square Off Appearance Brought Maricopa County GOP Fight To Head

What brought last week’s Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee intra-party fight to a head was the negative public relations generated when Chairman Tyler Bowyer made an appearance on Sunday Square Off three weeks ago. During that interview with Brahm Resnik, things got heated – more heated than normal between Resnik and his typical guests.

This led to the largest response by viewers of any Sunday Square Off show this year. During the following week’s show, a response by Aaron Borders, 2nd Vice Chairman for the Maricopa County GOP, took direct aim at Chairman Bowyer.

That public joust most likely led to last week’s fight during the monthly EGC meeting when Borders offered a resolution for a “no confidence vote” by the committee. (Sonoran Alliance will publish that resolution in another post.)

Here are the video clips from each Sunday Square Off show:

http://www.12news.com/videos/news/politics/sunday-square-off/2015/10/25/74595374/

http://www.12news.com/videos/news/politics/sunday-square-off/2015/11/06/reaction-heated-to-bowyer-interview/75306384/