Winners and Losers OR Chapter 11 and Rule 11

Many words in the English language carry connotations that define their meaning based on context.  “What a loser!”  The word “loser” has nothing to do with prevailing in a contest at all but is offered as an editorial comment in a pejorative sense.  Conversely, to call someone a “winner” is considered a boost, a definite promotional statement.  These are subjective uses of the terms based on feelings of the person offering the statement versus objective, where they would be based on the actual results of the person being referenced.   Kind of perception versus reality.  Not to say the person being called a winner might not be one, but it is a perception as opposed to a defined winner in a contest has actually proved the term to be appropriate.

Chapter 11 is a form of bankruptcy.  The person who has committed to certain obligations is now in a situation where they believe they cannot perform according to the promise they made.  An entity has bestowed trust in this person by providing them with a benefit, however they are no longer capable of performing their part of the agreement; the expectation of certain behaviors agreed upon at the time the deal was made are now being called null and void.

Rule 11 is a GOP rule enabling a state party to declare a presumptive winner in a contested primary in order to allow funding to go to this candidate and exclude other GOP candidates from party benefits, such as access to Voter Vault.  

CD-1 has a handful of R’s running for the House seat of Rick Renzi.  Arizona GOP Chairman Randy Pullen has issued a Rule 11 letter, naming the “winner” prior to the primary.  The RNC and NRCC are not involved in this decision and did not ask for the Rule 11 letter. Without getting into the good, the bad, and ugly of the candidates, this has caused some consternation among Yavapai County Republicans who feel the voters should decide the outcome of an election.  Sides have been drawn, not over candidates but over principles.

This is where the “politics ain’t bean bags” analogies usually start flying.  And it would be correct.  Pick the winner now, extend the general, give a jump start to the R candidate in funds and manpower in what is a Dem leaning district and election cycle to increase the odds of victory.  Good idea or is it?

In this situation the difference between Rule 11 and Chapter 11 gets really blurry and the terms “winner” and “loser” have taken on a whole new meaning.


  1. Just Win Baby says

    You hate to see the Party get involved in primaries, real ones anyway. Like CD-8 two years ago. That said, CD-1 hardly has a real primary. There is only one serious candidate and even the other candidates would admit that if they were being honest. Only one has any name id, any money, or any grassroots organization. Yeah, Sydney Hay will win the primary, and everyone knows it. So in a case like that, let’s get ready for the general election because its going to be a long tough campaign as it is!

  2. Wow, I didn’t know about Rule 11. As one of the two candidates running in the Republican primary in CD4 for the honor of beating Ed Pastor, how can I have the party designate me instead of Don Karg? Is there anyone I can give some money to, like, under the table?

    By the way, Chapter 11 is for businesses, not persons. As someone who’s declared bankruptcy a few times, I know that is Chapter 7 (or Chapter 13, if you restructure debts and agree to pay them off).

  3. So what. Voter Vault is out dated. The county voter registration lists are much more up to date. Sydney will win anyway. A much more interesting story would be who are Barry Hall, Tom Hansen, and Dr. Sandra Livingston. Where did they come from and who, if anyone, recruited them? I could not even find a web site for Barry Hall and he is running for congress. Good for Pullen for saving time and money to try and keep this seat. He was elected to make decisions like this unless you want to go over that whole argument again about him being chairman let’s move forward.

    I remember several national committeemen endorsed McCain over other presidential candidates right after the state mandatory meeting in January 2008. The senator had not sown up the nomination by that time so they were clearly playing favorites. Happens all the time. We got over that one so lets get over this one, especially since Hay was always going to win this one.

  4. Party Loyalist says

    The bigger question is why Hay had to do this. Is she worried that she can’t win? CD1 is probably tired of carpetbaggers trying to represent them, and Hay knows it.

  5. To invoke Rule 11 in the CD 1 race is tantamount to giving the seat to Kirkpatrick on a silver platter. Dr. Livingstone is from Prescott (a pioneer family to be exact) and has a remarkable resume. Even if she weren’t an outstanding candidate…to do what the party did sets a very dangerous precedent. In order to win this race…you HAVE to have Yavapai County…Sydney just cannot win there despite what the party things.

  6. nightcrawler says

    The Yavapai voters still can decide the election. All this means is that the other contestants will need to work harder on grassroots campaigning.

    State funds are meant to be spent wisely. Tough choices need to be made. Just hope we haven’t bet on the wrong horse.

  7. T.J. Shope says

    It is a very dangerous precedent indeed. As a CD1 resident, I am disgusted by how this has been handled by the party. We should be trusted to be smart enough to choose the candidate that best represents our ideals without the Phoenix office telling us how to vote.

  8. Just Win Baby says

    T.J., you should know better than to speak so carelessly. Trying to pit folks against one another by making this a “Phoenix” thing is stupid and destructive. HQ didn’t do this without talking to the local brass and you know it. I’m also not sure that our National Committeeman considers himself all that “Phoenix”. Finally, you are still free to vote for whoever you want. No one is making you do anything. If you want to vote for, work for, raise money for, or do whatever for any of the other candidates, then do so, but quit crying. Nobody has told you how to vote. A bunch of political folks made a political decision that they think gives the GOP a chance to win a challenging race. You may finally be out of college, but you’ve still got a few more years before you should be passing judgment on the actions of a far more experienced group.

  9. I’m a bit confused. Is there somebody in this race that anyone thinks can mount a serious campaign and race the $250-300,000 needed for a barebones primary campaign? Oh yes, did I mention the ballots go out in a month? Korn raised what, like twelve grand in a year? So I’m assuming its not him. Any of those other folks who have been in the race for less time? Of course, then they’re going to need to raise another million dollars minimum for the general. And they’ll have five weeks for that after the primary.

    So who are people thinking are going to win this race instead of Sydney Hay? Because if the answer is no one (Hint: The answer IS no one), then what is the big deal here?

  10. Just Win Baby says

    Seems like I’m usually taking exception with Ron’s posts. But as I reread it, I’m not sure why he keeps trying to pick the fight? The Party didn’t name a “winner”. Ron is honest enough to put it in quotes so that the aware readers might take note that he put that word in there all by himself. But he does it on purpose to frame the action in a negative light. So what’s his agenda here? Not sure that I see the conservative slant usually associated with Sonoran Alliance.

    I also note that he says that folks in Yavapai are upset. So I presume that the party folks in the other counties aren’t? I guess that supports my arguments to TJ that the brass was consulted.

    And no Ron, the differences between Rule 11 and Chapter 11 are not blurred and “winner” and “loser” have not been redefined. I guess its all written a bit too dramatic for what it actually is.

  11. Check again with the facts…the “brass” in the other counties were NOT consulted as they should have been. This decision was made between the Hay camp and the Pullen camp. And, no matter how you look at it…it was wrong. Check the facts again…just how popular is Hay? How many races has she run and how many races has she won? Don’t let the guys in the Phoenix office fool you….there is very little money coming into Arizona for congressional races…the GOP money that will come in will not be for CD 1.

  12. Okay Sherry, if electability is determined by what races you’ve won or lost before, then which GOP candidate has a record of winning races? Go ahead, if you’re not going to answer my question, you might as well answer your own.

    Yes, you should still answer mine, but let’s deal with your distraction first.

    How popular is Hay? More popular than all of the other GOP candidates. How much support does she have? More than all of the other GOP candidates. How many endorsements does she have? More than all of the other candidates. How many signatures did she collect? More than all of the other candidates. How much money has she raised? More than all of the other candidates.

    You see, there are lots of ways of determining “just how popular is Hay” without just polling the members of your own house. And by every meaningful and real measurement, it isn’t even close. Hay is by far the most popular GOP candidate in this race.

    Now, your turn to answer my question.

  13. I always love the “you’re just out of college” line. It cracks me up every time I hear/read it because somebody out there has to feel better about themselves or the people running the operations out of HQs. I’d like to know what local brass was consulted because as a sitting member of the exec committee, I know I wasn’t even though I’m from District 1. I’d venture to go out on a limb and say I’m far from the only one but then again, a person of my youth and inexperience may not be able to make an accurate judgment about such things in such a complicated and difficult world. I suppose I should just follow the lead of my elders in the party who are in charge. Perhaps we shold exchange phone numbers so you can come into the voting booth and help me out on election day my friend since I’m too young to make decisions. Thanks for making everything make so much sense now for me pops.

  14. The “brass” in Yavapai county was asked to endorse Hay and strenuously objected to having her pre-ordained as being gross interference in the election process. Curiously people in Yavapai believe that we should be able to elect whom we want to represent us on a fair playing field and not have it shoved down our throats by Pullen and crowd.

    The party machinery gave us the utter disaster of Bush and cohorts who have probably done more to destroy the principles of freedom in this country than any president since FDR. Bush probably even trumps FDR. There is absolutely no reason to trust the intelligence of the current party heads.

    Dr. Sandra Livingston is far better qualified and experienced than Hay. Give her a fair chance to present herself to the voters!

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