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.

Arizona Republicans – Picking Winners and Losers?

Robert Graham

There seems to have been widespread complaints from experienced precinct committeemen, in specific districts, of a total disregard of statute and bylaws in their election of State Committeemen. AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham apparently believes there’s more than rumor and sent the following letter to all chairmen:

Dear GOP District and County Chairmen,

We’ve received numerous accounts from precinct committeemen throughout the state regarding the organizational meetings taking place. Based on what we’ve heard, we need to remind all chairmen about the guidance provided by the state party over the years to ensure all organizational meetings are conducted with the full participation and authority vested in the PCs and state committeemen.

As you know, these party committee organizational meetings are referred to as “statutory” meetings because they are governed by state statute and therefore differ from normal monthly business meetings typically held by party committees. Normally, district and county parties operate with a great deal of autonomy, but in the case of the statutory organizational meetings, the state party has an important stake in the outcome of the elections. Not only are most of the state party’s executive committee members being elected at the organizational meetings, but all of the state committeemen are as well.

Our party is only as legitimate as the claim we make to represent Republican voters and only if we do so according to the law. From the primary election where PCs are elected, to the organizational meetings and ultimately the state party organizational meetings, all of our credibility and authority depends on having a process according to the rule of law. For example, the organizational meetings are not private. A chairman may certainly limit the meeting activity to the elections themselves, and has no obligation to allow the public any role other than to observe. But the committee has no legal authority to exclude the public from the meeting if they simply wish to observe.

We’ve also received complaints from PCs who did not receive a call letter at least ten days before the meeting. Some have complained that proxies they were carrying were not accepted by the chairmen, and others that their proxy documents were not considered to have the full legal effect of a proxy. Others were concerned that “alternates” were elected, when there is no such office, and anyone not elected outright as a state committeeman has no standing or claim to be “next in line.” Still others complained that the committee leaders and nominating committees operated a “closed shop” and deliberately excluded many eligible PCs from having their names printed on the ballot to run for a state committeeman position. Lastly, some committees prohibited nominations from the floor.

Some of these are serious concerns. Committees which do not reasonably follow the legal process of electing state committeemen risk having them fail to be recognized by the state party for the January 2017 meeting. In fact, any election with serious enough violations could be completely disregarded, leaving all the county or district’s positions considered vacant.

Of particular concern is the denial of a PC’s rights to participate by proxy. A lawful proxy carrier, with a completed form signed and dated and witnessed, is considered the legal representative of the proxy giver and the giver’s “attorney-in-fact.” That entitles the carrier to act on the proxy’s behalf, which includes voting, nominating and even being nominated for election to office. Any rule, bylaw or act that suppresses the proxy rights of a PC is not just violating the PC’s rights, but is offensive to an open and fair election process.

I will be working with our legal counsel to address the concerns presented to us to date. In the meantime, if your organizational meeting is yet to occur, please ensure your committee is following the rules and the law.

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham

 

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.

 

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

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