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?

What transparency looks like

By concerned Republican state committeeman

Many PC’s who, after watching Jim O’Connor twist the truth, bend the rules and use his faith as a shield to his duplicity, are saying… Finally, someone is standing up for what is right.  The below letter was sent from AZGOP State Chairman, Robert Graham.

January 18, 2017

Dear _______ ,

The purpose of this letter is to assure that every Republican precinct committeeman within the State of Arizona has a clear understanding surrounding the ongoing discussions with respect to LD 23 and the nomination of their state committeemen.

Robert Graham

Robert Graham

The discussions do NOT regard the call letter, how it was sent, or the Attorney General’s opinion defining “mail” and “electric communication.” Further, the discussions do NOT and need not address LD 23’s election of new leadership.

State committeemen, once elected, have the awesome responsibility to represent their district and/or county in a material way each year. Every precinct committeeman has the right to a fair and well-defined nomination process to assure that everyone has the option to pursue their interest of becoming a state committeeman.

Like any club, organization, or business, it is normal to find new members who have little working experience or knowledge to apply to their newfound responsibilities. This reality adds additional responsibilities to leadership to assure everyone — in this case newly elected precinct committeemen — are included and are completely aware of the nomination process of becoming a state committeeman.

The Complaint:

The AZGOP was made aware by many new precinct committeemen and later confirmed by Nancy Ordowski, the new Chairman of LD 23, that there were over 28 precinct committeemen that were never made aware of the nomination process to become a state committeemen.

The LD 23 leadership worked to acquire email addresses and any electronic means of communicating with the new precinct committeemen. Not all precinct committeemen responded to the requests. By not responding, leadership within all counties and district leadership must recognize the obligation to communicate with all elected precinct committeemen and the nomination process to run for state committeeman. If leadership does not have everyone’s email addresses or social media handle, USPS (mail) is the last resort to assure everyone is included. LD 23 did this with their call letters but not the nomination process for state committeeman. Herein lies the problem: to assure that everyone that would have wanted to be a state committeeman has a fair and equal opportunity to become a state committeemen.

Many have complained this was a bad process, one that alienated conservative stalwarts who are important to the party and its success. Congressman David Schweikert and his wife’s proxies were not permitted. There was arbitrary enforcement of proxy rules.

C.T. Wright, a black leader in our party whom many of you know from his stirring invocations at our state party functions, was left alienated.

Conservative attorney Mike Liburdi, an active volunteer in the Republican Lawyers Association in the past, gave notice to Chairman O’Connor that he could not attend the meeting and was not allowed to run for state committeeman. He was not given notice of the deadline for making the ballot, gave advance notice of his desire to run in writing, and had a proxy at the meeting but was denied the ability to run.

Based on these examples and other similar complaints, AZGOP simply asked LD 23 to improve its process and hold a new election. They instead decided to hire lawyers and spent at least $5,000 fighting this. One is left wondering: what do you have to fear? Details are below, but the AZGOP simply offered to directly appoint Jim O’Connor as a state committeemen, allaying any fears that he would be prevented from campaigning for higher office in the party.

In any case, after reviewing the complaints and having multiple meetings with leadership from LD 23 and their legal counsel, it is clear that there was neither bad behavior nor the intent to disenfranchise the new precinct committeemen of LD 23. The challenge lies with the outcome of the 119 nominated state committeemen and the question “would the results be different if the 28 plus precinct committeemen were notified properly and included in the election for the state committee both as voters or candidates for state committeeman.”

What has the AZGOP Offered as a Resolution?

1) New Election: The AZGOP has offered to pay for a new election that would include ALL elected precinct committeemen from LD 23. This offer included paying for facilities, printing and postage. This offer was made weeks prior to the Maricopa County January 14th meeting and would assure compliance to all bylaws and Arizona Revised Statutes. A new election would have put forth best efforts to help assure that no one would have been left out of the process. Leadership in LD 23 said NO to this offer.

2) Lottery: Next was a lottery system to randomly draw precinct committeemen names from a “hat.” All names of the precinct committeemen would be included in the drawing. Once a name was picked they would be contacted to confirm or deny their interest to becoming a state committeeman. If confirmed the AZGOP, under advice and consent of the LD 23 Chairman and Maricopa County Chairman, we would appoint that person. If the person denied interest in becoming a state committeemen, then a new name would be drawn. This process would be followed until all 119 names were confirmed and appointed.

Further, there was an additional offer. There has been some suggestion that the AZGOP was attempting to block Jim O’Connor from being eligible for running for state chairman by not allowing his district to be credentialed at the State Meeting. This is false. LD 23 was offered, if they chose the lottery process, that the AZGOP would hold out Jim O’Connor as an automatic appointment to be a state committeeman. He had the top number of votes in his district and the AZGOP thought this was only fair to assure that we did not interrupt or interfere with his statewide campaign. Leadership in LD 23 said NO to this offer.

3) Letter to the District: Lastly, in an another effort to make sure that LD 23 had full state committeemen representation to the State Statutory Meeting on January 28, 2017, the AZGOP suggested that a letter come from the immediate past Chairman, Jim O’Connor, who presided over the LD 23 Reorganization and State Committeemen Nomination process, stating “there was NO intent of LD 23 leadership to disenfranchise or not include the block of precinct committeemen that were not included in the state committeeman nomination process. The mistake was a clear oversight and because of the complaints we have received from the LD 23 committee members we have worked with the AZGOP to define and develop uniform guidelines to help assure there will never be confusion in the future. This process would also help assure that everyone would be included or have the option to be included in the state committee nomination process in the future. Uniform guidelines that would be helpful for committees statewide.”

The AZ GOP has offered/proposed this simple statement as another way to assure that all currently nominated 119 State Committeemen would be credentialed at the upcoming State Statutory meeting with NO changes. Chairman Nancy Ordowski of LD 23 declined this offer too, stating their attorney said a statement of this nature would be an admission of guilt.

At this point, the AZGOP has offered at least three solutions that would assure LD 23 full representation at the State Statutory Meeting on January 28, 2017.

Given the reasonable solutions that have been offered, and the continued “no deal” response, it feels as if the intent to “credential LD 23” at the state meeting is not the top priority of previous and current leadership of LD 23. It also feels as if the accusatory “disenfranchisement” narrative being leveled by some is politically motivated.

As Chairman of the AZGOP I have the responsibility to give surety that all precinct committeemen statewide, within every county and district, have a fair and equitable opportunity to represent the Republican Party as a state committeeman. I am making every attempt to address the concerns brought forward by new and active precinct committeemen of LD 23 and I am continuing to work toward a solution.

All precinct committeemen deserve and have the right to confidence in the process. Legitimacy should only be claimed once a fair and equitable resolution has been made.

 

Sincerely,

Robert Graham

 

 

 

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.

 

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 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

 

Yuma GOP Chair Jonathan Lines Announces for Arizona Republican Chairman

Jonathan Lines

PHOENIX — Today, Jonathan Lines, the Republican Party Chairman of Yuma County and business leader, announced his candidacy for chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.

“After time, careful consideration, and consulting with my wife and children, I have decided to run for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party,” said Lines. “The Arizona Republican Party has experienced an unprecedented amount of growth and success the past several years. With President-Elect Donald Trump and a Republican Congress, it is imperative that we keep up the Republican Party’s momentum in our state. Not only must we sustain our progress, but we must also expand our successes. Therefore, it is critical that we elect a committed and tested conservative leader who unites the Arizona Republican Party with a vision for the future.”

YUMA GOP CHAIR NABS ENDORSEMENTS FROM CONGRESSMAN PAUL GOSAR AND CONSERVATIVE GRASSROOTS ACTIVIST MARCUS HUEY

Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, the first elected official to endorse Lines, said the following:

“Jonathan will pick up the torch where Chairman Graham left off and continue to ensure Arizona votes and registers Republicans. Elections are not won on Election Day but require years of work before that. Jonathan knows this and will work hard for victory.”

“As a member of the AZGOP Executive Committee, it has been my pleasure to work directly with Jonathan. I have personally witnessed his professionalism, work ethic and boundless energy. As Republicans we would be very fortunate to have his leadership talent working for us as Chairman. He has my full support to be the next Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party,” said Marcus Huey, a lifelong Republican Activist.

The election of a new AZGOP Chairman will take place on January 28th at the Statutory Meeting and will be voted on by newly elected State Committeemen from every district or county committee.

Jonathan Lines is a conservative businessman whose family settled in Arizona in the 1800s. As a local community leader and a family man from Yuma, Jonathan has had the privilege of serving as the Yuma County Republican Party Chairman for the past six years. Lines was also a national delegate to the 2012 and 2016 Republican National Conventions. In January 2015, he was elected as the Arizona Republican Party State Treasurer, where he has been part of the leadership team that has enjoyed historic fundraising and election success. Lines serves in multiple community and statewide organizations in addition to being involved in numerous business enterprises. He owns a construction company, serves on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America Grand Canyon Council, is the State Representative for the Arizona Game and Fish Heritage Board, is a faith group leader, and a Second Amendment enthusiast. Jonathan and his wife, Rosie Lines, are the proud parents of 11 children.

Yuma Republican Leader May Announce for Arizona Republican Party Chair

Jonathan Lines

With the 2016 Election almost in the history books and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus heading to the White House as Chief of Staff to President Donald Trump, current Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham will likely be running for National Chairman of the RNC.

As Graham steps into a national role, the Arizona GOP will need to make a transition and continue with bold new leadership. Like it or not, Arizona demographics are changing and the party will need to affirm conservative values with new and non-traditional voters.

One of the faces and voices I’d like to see head up the party is my friend Jonathan Lines. Jonathan is a conservative businessman and loyal principled Republican from Yuma. His family roots grow deep in Arizona as his family settled in Yuma in the 1800’s. He is also a man of faith, family and enduring freedom.

I first met Jonathan when I served as the Communications Director for the State Party. I know him to be a man of integrity committed to Republican principles and broadening the party.

Rumblings of who will succeed Chairman Graham have already started. I’m hoping that Jonathan will join the race and my fellow Republican will witness why he would be the next best leader of the Arizona Republican Party.

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham to Support Donald Trump for Republican Nominee

Arizona Republican Party

From First Vote to Last at Republican National Convention, AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham Voting for Trump

PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party announced that based on the results of the March 22 Presidential Preference Election and the successful completion of the April 30 Republican State Convention, he is fully supporting Donald Trump as the party’s nominee for President of the United States. As a delegate to the Convention, he will cast any and all of his votes for Donald Trump.

“As Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party I support the will of the majority of our party’s voters who voted to support Trump by a two-to-one margin. So the choice is clear: Arizona Republicans support Trump, and I enthusiastically join them. As a delegate I will support their will with every one of my votes for Donald Trump to be our party’s nominee,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham.

Saturday’s Arizona Republican State Convention was packed with Republicans supporting of multiple candidates, and more than 800 competed to become one of Arizona’s delegates to the National Convention. Each of Arizona’s 58 delegates is bound to Trump in the first round of voting but unbound after the first vote if no candidate receives a majority.

“Donald Trump’s Arizona Chairman Jeff DeWit and the Trump campaign worked hard to capture the majority of delegates. Given the slate vote counts, if the national delegate at-large elections were a one-to-one match between Trump and Cruz or Trump and Kasich, Trump would have been the clear winner retaining the majority of delegates,” added Graham.

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

AZGOPBanner
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.

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham’s Sacrifice Means Victory

By Daniel Stefanski

A hearty thanks to AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham for working through another executive board meeting! Today, it sounds like the board voted against funding a lawsuit for closing Republican primaries. As it should have been, Robert allowed the motion to be voted on, and the representatives of the precinct and state committeemen did what they felt was in the best interest of the Arizona Republican Party and election victories in 2015 and 2016.

And for all the heartache by a select few over the closed meeting today, it was not closed to those who were duly elected in previous elections. Want to sit in and participate in future state party executive meetings that may be closed to observers? Run for election for one of those positions next time around. The process isn’t being obstructed. It’s being followed to the letter of the law.

Robert Graham voluntarily signed up for a non-paid job with round-the-clock hours, but he did not sign up for a job that featured lies, distortion and people from his own party working against future Republican victories to serve their own self interests. Before this meeting, Robert did not fight against the resolution to close our primary. Rather, he expressed his opinions and waited for the process to carry itself out. While false allegations that Robert was carrying out other interested party’s wishes swirled around prior to today’s meeting, it is now a fact that the AZGOP executive committee voted within their rights and responsibilities to table the closed primary funding proposal.

Though one will never come, I think Robert Graham is owed an apology for the way he has been treated and maligned by people who claim to be in the same party as him.

And to make up for an apology that will never come, I think Robert deserves thanks and encouragement by all those who appreciate the 2014 victories he was very instrumental in helping to achieve. We who were involved in the 2014 campaigns know how hard the State Party worked throughout the entire cycle.

Robert and the Arizona Republican Party have pledged to stay neutral in primaries, and they have remained faithful to that promise. The AZGOP has also always upheld the party platform during Robert’s tenure as chair. Those who claim that Robert is attempting to pave a path for any individual primary contender are doing so without any factual basis. Robert is not going to pull any favors for any candidate in a contested primary election, and he’s not going to lead the AZGOP towards an ideological potion that does not adhere to the entirety of our platform. Activists may “want” him to do their work for them in a contested primary election, but he’s just not going to do play favorites. So to save everyone’s time, let’s support our primary candidates and await the time when the AZGOP will be waiting for the Democrats with guns a-blazin’ after the winning Republicans make it past their primaries.

Thanks as well to everyone who sacrifices their time to serve at the AZGOP and on the executive committee!

Let’s work for some more GOP victories in 2015 and 2016! Who’s with me?!