An Open Letter to “Growing Our Party”

There’s a new blog in town and apparently “they” felt it was necessary to post an open letter to Sonoran Alliance. Because I am the founder and “senior editor” of Sonoran Alliance, I feel it is only necessary to respond via an open letter to Growing Our Party. So here goes.

Since its beginning, Sonoran Alliance has been a blog where conservatives have had a home and place to express their thoughts, opinions and yes, even feelings, on an array of issues. I have invited many individuals to write who I thought could articulate some conservative viewpoint. In total, we have had about 15 writers. Some writers have remained very active with SA while others have become inactive or ventured out on their own to start their own blog. In every invitation I have made, I have asked each writer to abide by several conditions:

  1. No profanity or vulgarity
  2. Back up any assertions with proof
  3. No patently false, libelous or slanderous posts and,
  4. Be civil

I have also kept my word with each writer NOT to disclose their identity if they choose to write under a pseudonym. Many of our writers work in government or other sensitive areas and could face reprecussions if their identity were discovered. (I personally found this out the hard way.) As far as I know, all of SA’s writers have maintained that “code” or “come out of the closet.”

Many of our writers were brought on before the current election cycle and so they were not commited to any one candidate. Now that the election is full swing and some writers have taken a fancy to particular candidates, no one should be surprised when any writer posts something favorable to one candidate over another. I believe allowing these writers to express their case for or against a candidate has been somewhat healthy but also helpful for readers to read another perspective they would never get from the mainstream media. Case in point: There was a recent post in which one writer took David Schweikert to task on the issue of taxes. What ensued was a lively discussion on whether he did or did not take the conservative position on taxes. Translation: we were all on the same page that taxes were bad.

I have also encouraged and allowed candidates and their campaigns to send SA press releases which we post whenever we can. I believe that if they are willing to put something out in the public arena, they are willing to defend it against any scrutiny or criticism from SA readers. Once the press release gets posted, you’re on your own.

Perhaps the most interesting and lively part of SA’s function is the ability for readers to comment on what’s been posted. Because I can’t sit in front of the computer all day monitoring comments but more importantly, because we try not to censor comments, I think it is unfair to say that SA has been taken over by “the forces of illegal immigration.” I’m actually a little irritated and upset by this assertion especially given the recent posts in which SA vehemently rejected the despicable tactics used by groups like Mesa Deserves Better and Protecting Arizona’s Future. By posting the articles related to the “war” taking place in Legislative District 18, I would argue that we have actually exposed a very ugly and deceptive side of those opponents to employer sanctions.

Those of you who know me personally know that I have been very patient and forgiving of people like Nathan Sproul. In the past, I even extended an invitation to Nathan to write for Sonoran Alliance (gasp!) so he would have the opportunity to defend his positions. (Obviously, he turned the offer down which is a good thing considering what has transpired in recent weeks and the fact that I have lost my patience and probably forgiveness.) Besides, Nathan can start his own blog and push his own ideas if he wants.

Getting back to the assertion that Sonoran Alliance has been taken over by non-conservatives, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, we have allowed comments to be posted that reveal an ugly side of some readers but we do not censor the vast majority of these comments. (Incidentally, if you think some of the comments are tough on SA, try reading those posted on AZCentral and the East Valley Tribune.) In reality, there have only been a few times where comments have been pulled because of profanity, threats of violence or libel. But we refuse to censor comments posted by those who oppose our views out of respect for free speech and the right of them to make a fool of themself.

I hope my response assuages the concerns of those conservatives who perceive that Sonoran Alliance has “sold out” to those in the GOP seeking to “moderate” the conservative viewpoint on a number of important issues. Sonoran Alliance remains dedicated to reporting and promoting conservative news, ideas, opinion and principles throughout Arizona and the Sonoran Southwest. Thanks for your prayers and may GOD bless your efforts as well.

– DSW


Comments

  1. Perpetual Slow Motion says

    DSW, please ignore that criticism. For that writer to list Harper, Arpaio, Pearce and then in the same breath tack on “Carl Seel” tells us a lot. But SA has far more important topics to discuss.

    Keep up the good work, and know that the best part of this blog is YOUR judgement about what stays and what goes.

  2. Look, if XXXX wants a blog he can start a blog. Not sure why he’s taking shots at SA though. You guys have been really supportive of Harper, Arpaio, Pearce, Seel and the rest of the right-wingers.

  3. That thing has a shelf life of maybe…. a month? The writing is bad, the intent is flawed, and the target audience is slim. (Ha, that was a joke….)

  4. GOP party member says

    Unless the blog is part of the official Republican Party, they shouldn’t be using the GOP moniker. Considering they’re attacking other conservatives in the party, they don’t represent the GOP. gopaz is deceptively similar to azgop.org, the AZ Republican Party’s website. I suspect the state GOP will tell them to cease and desist eventually. Nothing worse than someone claiming to be the GOP doing nothing but dividing the party!

  5. I read the so-called open letter. That letter and the blog is a joke. Effectively he is asking you to censor and taking you to task for allowing any comment he does not agree with. This is actually quite the left-wing and dare I say communist position, not conservative.

  6. It does make a very clear case for all that is wrong in the party at the moment. How “growing the party” is hoped for with the “might makes right” attitude is a real question; it has been proven to be a sorry substitute for real thought and open expression.

  7. nightcrawler says

    DSW,

    You run the best political blog in the state. You are a conservative in every sense of the word. These open discussions are vital to the health of our party and the community at large. Keep up the good work.

  8. Leroy in CG says

    Thanks for the referral to the other blog. I agree with the other commenters as well as Growing Our Party that you are to be congratulated for this site. They might not have stated their disagreement with your posting policies in the best possible way, but I agree with the general thought.

    In my opinion, there is a huge difference between open discussion/real thought and what appears to be vicious personal attacks in the comments against our elected leaders funded by people who are in bed with the Governor on the illegal immigration illegal worker issue.

    From what I can see, that complaint has legs. You must handle that fine line between overbearing censorship and uncontrolled license.

  9. SonoranSam says

    DWS: I thing you do good work, and I appreciate the open but respectful tone you set for comments. I’ve said so in the past and I’ll say so in the future – should you need testimonials from an independent non-Republican lefty.

    Having said that, I continue to be amused by the GOP(r) (I’m sorry, am I allowed to use the term?)circular firing squad.

    Keep narrowing your base by excluding people who don’t agree with you 100 percent, if you think that’s the way to win elections.

  10. SonoranSam says

    DSW: I’m not really that poor a typist. I think my computer software keeps filling in the word it THINKS I want to type.

    So, to redo the first paragraph:

    DSW: I think you do good work, and I appreciate the open but respectful tone you set for comments. I’ve said so in the past and I’ll say so in the future – should you need testimonials from an independent non-Republican lefty.

  11. Perpetual Slow Motion says

    Speaking of circular firing squads, at what point, if any, WOULD one be justified in burning bridges with a fellow conservative? Take someone who agrees with you 100%, and then have it turn out he was running that prostitution ring that just got busted. Take someone who agrees with you 100% in word and action, but you find out they’ve got a prison record. Take someone who agrees with you 100%, and you really like, but they’re just absolutely unelectable, as in poor speaker, no skills, bad temper, not media savvy, lazy, walks around in the nude (!). Now take them all and put them up against a candidate who agrees with you 90% but is super suave and can not only trounce the other party’s nominee, but can work effectively once in office to avoid trouble and maintain some dignity. You can do what you want personally, but when it comes to the best candidate for the PARTY, do I need to ask forgiveness for supporting the suave guy over the other three?

  12. Why is Slow Motion making fun of Horst Kraus? There’s no way Horst agrees with conservative 100%, he’s like a 60% at best.

  13. Truth in advertising would require them to rename their blog “Shrinking Our Party.”

  14. I love Sonoran Alliance and I love the sniping back and forth almost as much. SonoranSam, I think I know who you are and I would guess that you would know better than to assume that any blog is, in any way, a reflection of the larger Republican or for that matter in the case of Democrats, the larger Democrat views. I would venture a guess that you read Sonoran Alliance because most of the lefty bloggers are batsh*t crazy and spend a lot of time harping on things that really arent relevant to any serious political discourse. That said, I would never assume that the ranting of the lefty bloggers and their commenters is any real indication of anything other than the opinion of those who read and post on those sites. Same thing with Sonoran Alliance. SA has a very impressive readership for a state blog, probably one of the best in AZ. But it is still a very limited slice of viewers. It’s why the smart consultant will tell the candidate to ignore blogs, because 99.999% of their voters will never bother to look at it.

  15. I am out of ideas for pseudonyms says

    Monk, I was not making fun of anyone, just listing common attributes that, if displayed in public, can turn out to be net negatives.

  16. DSW, don’t let some ‘new’ wanna be Blog bother you. I saw the post they made about SA. Though we may not always agree, I think what they posted was garbage. Wear it as a Badge of Honor. I think they are just jealous of what you have built. Continued Success!

  17. 1st Amendment says

    Free Speech must always be a key part of your mission statement.

  18. Kralmajales says

    I must agree fully with this post. I have always been welcome to comment here, and have rightly been challenged, and taken to task as a liberal. But it has been respectful and the posts are good, even when I just want to scream out loud at them (smile). I find the site to be interesting reading and frankly it is fun to have the arguments we have.

    This site is as conservative as it gets. It also calls BS when it thinks it is warranted, which is often why there is so much disagreement and often many comments. The only reason you got the open letter is that you are touching nerves, spurring thought, and frankly you are making a difference just on that front alone.

    That is called making people think, its called democracy, and you all just keep doing what you are doing.

  19. Leroy in CG says

    When people are accused of attacking conservatives because they disagree with Krause, Vath, Bouie, LaVecke, Sproul, etc. the world has truly turned into the world envisioned by the George Orwell book, 1984. I am amazed at how these fringe players who oppose major conservative planks of the Platform are now seen as conservatives simply by pandering to the McCain forces.

  20. Bob in DV says

    DSW & the SA folks,

    We value the 1st Amendment rights that you allow all of us to exercise here. I think I speak for our spouses as well.

    You don’t use the equivalent of ‘teacher’s red pen’ to moderate and censor the heck out of your audience. We know and appreciate that. That’s why we keep coming back, whether to post or just read. Without being too snarky, you’ve used a firm but fair hand to keep the comments civil yet still interesting.

    The new Growing Our Party blog is nothing more than desperate propaganda. The frequent fliers over there will quickly be bored screaming at no one but themselves. It will take them a while to figure out that only 4 people write 100% of the comments they bring in. Boring.

    It’s a great thing to be able to discuss, here on SA, why we think the way we do. Our individual beliefs are affected by the experiences we have in life. These beliefs may or may not change over time. There may be some wiggle room on some issues and none on others. So what.

    Reminds me of 20 years ago when every kid in every sport was a “Winner!”. What a pathetic lesson to teach them. Only now, in this 2008 local GOP game, the self-appointed GOP referee squad is calling everybody who plays, “Losers!”.

    If they only looked in the mirror, they would see……..stay tuned to SA.

  21. Leroy you don’t even know me. Because I am friends with certain people, you think I agree with them 100%. They are my friends and I stand with them because they are my friends. Attack me all you want, doesn’t bother me a bit! I think your worried because your kind are becoming extinct.

  22. Leroy in CG says

    TonyG

    I was always taught that one way to judge a person was by the friends they keep. I was also taught that you support your friends when they are right and pray for them when they are wrong. You may be evaluated differently if you take heed to this sage advice I received as a young man.

  23. Leroy in CG says

    Tony G

    Has your buddy contacted the State Party yet to get a cease and desist order for your pseudonym? It looks eerily like the GOP that the state party uses. Could be confusing to those who might be mislead and actually follow your advice. What a shame that would be.

  24. Leroy, my screen name has NOTHING to do with the State Party, nice try. If you only knew the truth Leroy, you would be shocked! Why don’t you call them & complain?

  25. LeRoy in CG says

    I’ll leave the whining and conniving to you, you do it so well. However, if using GOP as an identifier is wrong in one place, it is wrong in another. Maybe David Chase should sue you, instead, for getting a benefit by your take-off of his creation. I’m being facetious, which is what your complaint is. Get over it.

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