If you’re considering becoming a Maricopa County Republican Precinct Committeeman. Stop! It’s not worth your time, energy or money. Even more important, it’s not worth sacrificing your integrity, civility and decency.
What I saw take place at the 2016 mandatory meeting of Maricopa County Republicans was utterly despicable, demeaning and disturbing. On the evening of Saturday, January 16, 2016, an angry mob decided to commit an act of political cannibalism on two of its own leaders.
Jeni White and Aaron Borders, 1st and 2nd vice-chairs for the Maricopa County Executive Committee were recalled by their fellow Republicans. The reason? Asking for more transparency and accountability from the Chairman, Tyler Bowyer.
[Note: I have known, advised and worked with all three members – Jeni, Aaron and Tyler as colleagues and friends for several years. They are all very hard working Republicans who have sacrificed time, talent and treasure.]
After 26 years, I have decided to resign my position as a Republican Precinct because the culture and mission of the organization has deteriorated to the point that it has become dysfunctional and no longer effective or relevant.
As an individual Republican, I can be far more effective influencing my neighbors, community, city and state than being part of a ego-driven, self-serving, bitter, angry, cancerous organization.
Saturday’s special recall meeting was entirely unnecessary. It was disastrously run and it revealed an ugly side of local Republicans I am ashamed to be associated with.
Prior to the meeting, Republicans passed a series of resolution (which have no real effect other than making a public statement). I voted for almost all of them.
One resolution that passed that I strongly believed was completely unnecessary (keyword unnecessary) was the “Anybody But McCain” resolution. This was the same resolution that was passed in 2015 (and probably 2014, 2013, etc.) and has had absolutely no effect other than violate the bylaws’ neutrality provision and earn the county (and state by association) negative media attention.
In doing this, the county should expect absolutely NO financial, logistic, or material support from Senators John McCain, Jeff Flake and probably the entire state and congressional delegation. After the Saturday vote, none of our elected officials will want to be associated with the county party and neither will their donors. Criticizing your own elected officials in the public square is a sure way to guarantee a collapse of your financial support. In my opinion, the 600+ PC’s would have been better off writing our senior senator a personal letter calling him out.
[And this is coming from someone who gave eight months of his life trying to defeat McCain in the 2010 primary election! I obviously won’t be voting for John McCain in the primary election this time because like Hugh Hewitt, while I believe that John McCain sacrificed as a great American, he is a lousy senator and a terrible Republican.]
Other than the 12+ hours that I will never get back from Saturday’s meeting, what really turned me off about the Maricopa County Republican meeting was how poorly run the meeting was. When the special recall meeting began, to Tyler’s credit, he stepped aside from running the meeting but in grave error, the meeting was run by Dan Grimm who earlier in the week, paid for a political hit piece against White and Borders. The meeting should actually have been run by a 3rd party – preferably someone from the state party or another county. Because of this move, no one can say that it was an objectively well-managed meeting.
Additionally, rules and procedures were botched in order to kangaroo court a decision. This to me, was the most disturbing part of the meeting as I watched fellow Republicans froth at the mouth shouting at each other – something you would see from rabid union members or Democrat activists. It was utterly shocking.
A vote was taken and when it was announced that White and Borders were recalled, the mob cheered. It was truly a sad day for Maricopa County Republicans.
(I voted AGAINST the recall of ALL three members.)
I made the decision then and there that I wanted no part of an organization that behaved in this manner. Shame on these Republicans for treating their fellow Republicans in such a disrespectful, uncivil, disturbing way.
Many of these Republicans I have been friends with for a long time – some for over a decade. We have worked on important projects trying to save unborn babies, preserving the family, protecting the Second Amendment and taxpayer rights. When I was first recruited as a PC into the party, I came in as a evangelical conservative. I am still that same person and even deeper in my faith.
National conservative leaders such as Daniel Garza and Arthur Brooks have demonstrated a positive and winning way forward for the conservative movement and Republican party. I believe they are absolutely on message when it comes to adding to and multiplying the size and strength of the GOP. What I saw Saturday from Maricopa County Republicans was nothing but subtraction and division. That’s not for me.
As my two youngest children come of age and engage in the American civic experience, I don’t ever want them to see what I saw last Saturday. I want to protect them from that ugliness and anger. That’s not the GOP I want to be a part of and it’s not the GOP I want them to inherit.