ATR – Randy Pullen: state Republican Party Chairman not worthy of the title


by Patrick Gleason, Americans for Tax Reform

Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen is at it again, engaging in activities that are not in his job description and in fact are counterintuitive to what he should be doing, maintaining Republican majorities in the state legislature and getting more Republicans elected to office.

It is reported that at Arizona’s LD 6 meeting last night Chairman Randy Pullen had the audacity to berate Sen. Pamela Gorman and Rep. Sam Crump for not voting for the latest budget agreement that would’ve put Gov. Brewer’s beloved sales tax increase on the ballot. Yes, that agreement was coupled with permanent tax cuts in the out years, which many believe might be repealed before they even would go into effect.

Let’s get one thing straight though. That last agreement that failed was not the budget that Pullen wanted. Since the beginning of the year Pullen has been a cheerleader for Governor Brewer’s efforts to raise the sales tax, without any offsetting tax cuts. Yes, that is correct. A state Republican Party chairman has been in favor of a $3 billion net tax increase since the beginning of the year and now he has the gall to attack lawmakers of his own party who were instrumental in preventing that from happening. In fact, the only reason that permanent tax cuts made their way into a recent agreement is because of legislators such as Gorman and Crump who made it clear that an agreement comprised of the sales tax referral alone had zero chance of getting their votes.

For those that might not even remember, Pullen even went so far as to commission a ridiculous push poll in favor of the $3 billion net tax increase. Yes, he put the Arizona Republican Party on the record in favor of a massive, mid-recession tax increase.

Want an example of how Pullen and the Arizona Republican Party should have responded when Brewer came out of the gate this year with calls for a $3 billion tax increase. Just look at what happened in Alabama in 2003. In a similar case AL Governor Bob Riley, a Republican, pushed for a referendum to raise taxes by $1.2 million.The Alabama Republican Party, recognizing that their job was not to support the governor come hell or high water, especially when it runs counter to the party’s core principles, actively opposed Riley and denounced his efforts. Then state party chairman and current chair of the Alabama center-right coalition meeting Marty Connors explained that to support Riley’s largest tax increase in state history would be to “throw away 20 years of Republican ideology.”
Bottom line, Pullen does not have a leg to stand on when it comes claims of fiscal conservatism. The party’s job is not to blindly support whatever a governor of their own party wants, let alone an unelected governor. The party’s job is to keep Republicans in office, get more elected, and stand for Republican principles. Pullen has failed on all counts.

Arizona Republicans can find the process for replacing their party chair here.


  1. More Wing Nut Ranting on SA says

    Wow go fight the Dems.
    Me thinks the writer has issues and not something that can be dealt with outside of in-patient therapy.

    Let’s try to color the State Chairman irrelvant and refer to the Republican Governor as un-elected. What a Dolt! Get a Life…

  2. The Governor is unelected.

    And the party chairman is a clown to boot.

  3. Rosco P Coltrane says

    Can we replace the governor first?

  4. Pullen had to kow-tow to the Guv when she took office. In pledge for his devotion to her agenda, he got to stay as chairman. He made his bed, now he can lie in it.

  5. Concerned Citizen says

    What BS! The last time Princess Gorman was at a district meeting (about 8 month ago), she bad mouthed both the governor and the party chairman. Gorman is a spoiled child who thinks she knows more about how to finance state government then people with many more years then her. What is going to happen if we have to shut down state government? It will be goodbye Republicans, hello tax and spend Democrats. Stop being sheep and think.

  6. Concerned Citizen says

    Futhermore, Pullen gave a very good presentation on the budget situation and stayed after the meeting, Gorman showed up late, gave a quick speech explaining how she is right and everyone else is wrong, and then left the building without taking any questions.

    The GOP needs Republican legislators, not stupid Libertarians like Gorman.

  7. Stupid Libertarian says

    Concerned Citizen,

    What don’t you get? Gorman voted for the budget that is sitting on Brewer’s desk and was the reason that the equalization rate repeal was included.

    What she didn’t vote for was the sales tax referral, potential future cuts swap.

  8. Stupid Libertarian says

    Even the guy Brewer appointed to replace her says she’s dead wrong on her sales tax quest:

  9. Restore Integrity says

    In the last 8 months, Randy Pullen has done more to help the Democrats in Arizona than the Democrats themselves have done in the last 8 years. We should give Pullen a hat and a whistle because he is undoubtedly the Grand Marshall of the Tax Hike Parade.

    First, Randy Pullen put the “Republican brand” on the largest tax increase on working families in Arizona history before legislators, the public or any Republican Party officials were even aware of the effort. He smiled and endorsed the effort. He put out endorsements on AZ GOP letterhead and he’s lobbied and threatened Republican legislators who wouldn’t vote for the tax increase.

    Second, Randy Pullen and his minions undertook a deceiptful effort to secure the LD-6 Republican Party district email list and gave that list to PRIVATE 3rd parties who used it to target a Republican legislator with as solid a Republican/conservative voting record as exists among anyone in the Legislature. The sin of that Republican? Opposing a $ billion tax increase (as several other key Republicans did as well).

    Third, Randy Pullen showed up at a District meeting (with the public invited) which is SUPPOSED to serve as an opportunity to talk about volunteer efforts being undertaken to support the Party, to “sell” the Party to potential new members and hear updates on legislative business from state officeholders from that District. Pullen used the opportunity to trash two of the three elected Republican (and conservative) representatives of that District.

    Let’s face it. Randy Pullen is an egomaniacal ass-clown. His job is to SERVE and support Republican legislators and ensure a Republican majority. It is NOT to make policy or lobby legislators. His job is to help recruit party volunteers, raise funds for the party and support Republican candidates for office — and support them while they are there. He acts as if elected officials are supposed to follow him or like he’s somehow elected to be a legislator himself. He is not.

    And, unfortunately, Randy has his little army of minions … many probably illegally writing on a political blog from state computers right now … I hope for their sake the Attorney General isn’t watching …

    Right now the Republican party is making EXTRAORDINARY gains across the country. They are being identified as the party that FIGHTS tax increases, FIGHTS excessive spending, FIGHTS insider-sweetheart deals that leave the people holding the bag … Republicans are fighting growing deficits in DC and fighting the effort to nationalize health care delivery. And the message is getting out and resonating with the people.

    Meanwhile, back in Arizona Randy has been fighting for a $3 billion tax increase on hardworking, already struggling families in the midst of the worst recession the state has ever seen. And Democrats, brilliantly, are staying unified and staying out of it. They are letting the Pullen Republicans own this tax increase. Why should the Democrats vote for and fight for a tax increase that they DESPERATELY want and have DEMOCRATS pay the political price for it when Pullen Republicans are willing to do it all for them.

    Democrats wouldn’t be doing better than they are right now if Al Gore was Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. It almost makes you wonder if Pullen is actually a Democratic plant in the Republican Party. Is there not one strategist with the Party or in the Governor’s office or with the Senate Republicans who understands politics at all?

    Does Randy “Tax it if its moving” Pullen understand that the tea parties taking place across the Arizona and the nation are not a joke? Does he not get that the town hall meeting anger is being expressed EXACTLY at the kinds of things he’s doing?

    The silver lining is that this most recent effort could not have backfired in a worse way for Randy and the good old boys network. It’s blowing up in their faces. People are fed up — with Randy Pullen, his tax-hiking policies and gutless tactics.

  10. LIBERTARIANS are extremist, they believe in UNRESTRICTED liberty and the undesirability of government. They want and have said that they want government so small they can push it down the sink. Conservatives want less governemnt but not no governemnt, they believe in gradual change in society, but not the radical change the Libertarians want, which would cause sociatal convulsions and lead to anarchy.

  11. Geez have no idea how many ways I could respond to this…but, what made you think the man that would go after the delegation would spare state legislators? That the man who told a blatant lie to sway votes in his speech would be honest in other ways?

    As they say…elections have consequences and to paraphrase Dennis Greene…he is who we knew he was. You got what you voted for folks, I got what you voted for.

    With that said…we are in for a fight to hold the 9th floor and our majority in the state house and looking to reclaim at least one CD. This is not the time for an all out blood bath within the party. Let it be within Crump, Gorman , and Pullen. The rest…stay out of it!

    BTW….Since when do Libertarians speak for Republicans? They couldn’t win in their party, so they try to hijack ours?

  12. Rosco P Coltrane says

    “the Republican party is…being identified as the party that FIGHTS excessive spending, FIGHTS insider-sweetheart deals that leave the people holding the bag…”

    BS. The republicans in power during the Bush administration increased spending way more than Clinton. And Bush/Republicans passed the first banker bailout program along with the prescription drug program.

    I have zero confidence anything will get any better by electing republicans instead of democrats.

  13. I took a little break from the reading the posts and the incessant Party Infighting. My blood pressure is down and I’m overall happier in life. In the end, we’ll continue to self destruct.

    Then we can all be the minority power and at least have something legitimate to complain about.

    In the end we lose the power to pass good Republican laws but hey, we always have our principle right!!

  14. Re: to Ann,

    Ann, please spare us. For as much as one can be upset with Randy, Lisa James would have been worse.

    It’s a shame that there’s so little leadership (read: selfless SERVICE) in this state. And you’re not contributing anything to the mix.

    You want to ensure the contracts that will fall out of the tax increase revenue stream just as bad as Jan, Randy, McCain et al.

    You’re not fooling anyone.

  15. Russell Kirk says

    One thing is true and I’m surprised it has taken the GOP this long to see it, the libertarian movement has infiltrated and embedded themselves within the Republican party and they really don’t care if the GOP goes the way of the Whigs, they are not Republicans and they are not conservatives, they are followers of: Hayek, Machiavelli and, Nietzsche, and not; Hamilton, Jefferson, Lincoln and, Locke. Republicans believe that the government that governs least governs best, libertarians don’t believe in government et el. Both conservatives and libertarians believe in individual liberty. Conservatives would use government to protect the individual’s God given rights to life, liberty and, property; libertarians don’t believe the government should get involved, you have rights but you’re on your own. Their’s is a sink or swim philosophy of government. Look at their own platform, they are for the legalization of drugs, sort of the hell with the people philosophy or survival of the fittest. They oppose obscenity laws including laws restricting pornography. They believe a woman has a right to sell her body for money, it’s her body. They may say they are pro-life but they don’t believe the government has the right to prohibit abortion. As for illegal immigration, they don’t believe in borders therefore there really is no illegal immigration problem. Libertarians want to make it easier to legally enter the U.S. and support a guest worker program to hire cheap labor to do the jobs Americans won’t do. Forget about welfare or health care, if you can’t pay – then die. However, libertarians will keep your taxes low, with no government who needs taxes? Can’t you see that what Gorman is trying to do is starve the beast of government so that we can live in the utopia of libertarianism. The ends do justify the means.

  16. Gorman’s voting record.

    Russell Kirk – laze + factual research =

    Above post from Kirk laughable

  17. Proud Libertarian says

    what cap t Kirk didn’t say was that libertarians support the right to keep and bear arms and thats all the government we need, me, Smith and Wesson

  18. To Russell Kirk says

    you bring up some very interesting points.


  19. Chief Running Bull says

    Americans for Tax Reform and Mr. Gleason point out some trends of leadership in this state.
    I am concerned about the money flow of the state GOP and back and forth from the Nat’l HQ too.

    I am not sure if Mr. Pullen is running his own show, and I do not understand why weaseling tactics are allowed. Mr. Pullen is the finance arm of the Nat’l GOP too; his AZ books seem off though.

    AFTR, I know your organization is on this. Don’t Stop. Check the books of this GOP in state and do it before the Democrats hang the dirty laundry out before the full 2010 cycle.

    The Dems know the books are shaky, they are better managed in town, and they will eat Pullen’s boys for lunch. There is no free lunch either.

    Get this team righted before we have local media, and our own party shooting form within any more. We can lose the wave of reform in the country letting arrogance and false bravado lose the elections of 2010.

  20. Chief Running Bull = Lisa James Supporter

    Full disclosure. Let’s be honest and go from there.

  21. This is an interesting and fairly intelligent discussion.

  22. nightcrawler says

    I support Pullen on this 100%. LD6 is a circus tent with more characters than Bravo TV. Those folks needed to be called out and Randy walked on to their turf and had the stones to call it like it is. That took courage and the rest of the AZ GOP should be thankful. Next year a lot of elected officials will suffer for the reckless actions of a few stubborn and selfish people. We all know who we are talking about.

  23. Chief Running Bull says

    Last I heard, Lisa James has moved on and has a life. These talks outta school, with grumbling about the past– Ober– you sound like Obama. He won, but so did Randy- move on.

    This concern by this private citizen is valid. This concern is not about an old election, nor who feels wronged in some LD. I do think it’s how many licks it takes to get to the center of this tootsie pop! The wise ol’ owl, he knows to bite through.

    Politics is and will always be mud wrestling. But, this next cycle is tough enough without infighting and mismanagement. Transparency is the new buzz– time to either zip it and walk, or open the barn doors and measure up. Oh, and the liberal playbook of ignore the problem and blame the opponent of the last election? That’s a burned play–whattya got this season?

  24. Chief Running Bull, Lisa James Supporter,

    Lisa has not moved on. She is staff director for John Shadegg, replacing the guy who is now the campaign manager for Jim Ward.

    This is the pro-amnesty, pro-McCain, anti-grassroots Republicans crowd. No way to paint around that!

    That said, what Randy did was inexcusable and he’ll have to deal with the consequences.

    That said, I’m not about to sit hear and listen to a smarmy Lisa James supporter lambaste Randy, when they have plenty of housecleaning and soul searching, or attendance at the sacrament of Reconciliation themselves to deal with.

  25. Horst Kraus says

    I’m one of the characters from the LD-6 tent. I feel myself addressed. Thank you very much, you’re welcome. What was it you support with 100%? Chairman Pullen coming to speak at an LD-6 meeting or his advocating an 18% Sales Tax increase?
    For your edification, it doesn’t take much of anything to “walk on our turf” we’s aint no gangsters, yo hear?
    Heck, we even had Chris Simcox speak at our meeting.
    Take note, LD-6 is a district that works. We are most transparent, you know what I mean? If there are diverse opinions, we make both sides available to be heard by all our members, and we admonish them to form their own conclusions.
    Now, to the crux of the matter young friend. For 8 years we Republicans complained and bitched and blamed Napolitano for being a tax and spender. The Pachyderm Coalition, an obscure Republican Club of sorts even introduces and crafted a pledge they make every Republican Hopeful sign that spelled it out “NO TAX INCREASE”.
    Now we finally get a Republican Governor, and to mine and other’s disappointment ask for an 18% tax increase on Sales Tax fresh out of the chute.
    Whom do you suggest we blame for that one?
    Nancy Pelosi? Eleanor Roosevelt? Hillary?
    Tell us, young friend, who do you think is reckless? With the tax payers money? Or not bowing to the special interests? Or for not continuing to feather the nest of the bureaucrats? Or for holding the line? Or for standing for Republican principals for smaller more efficient Government and lower taxes. I comment the 3 Senators who do not believe in Santa Claus and future gifts.
    Thank you for your attention

  26. Horst,
    Well said.

  27. nightcrawler says

    Kraus, Has your naked body been taken over by an alien ? ET ? (I digress)


    Tell me Horst who sent out an email along with the LD6 chairman to urge members of the district to urge Gorman to change her vote ? And now you carry her water ? What gives ?

  28. Horst Kraus says

    Here is the message verbatim as it went out:

    “Dear LD-6 Precinct Committee Men,
    As you know, the budget proposal that has to be signed by the Governor is currently stalled in the AZ Senate because they have not enough Republican votes to move it on.
    Your Senator, Pamela Gorman is among those that are the “Hold Outs” We are sure she has her own reasons and we are certain she will respond to this message.
    Chairman Braswell and I have been approached to ask you the P.C.s of LD-6 to convince your Senator to help to move this budget proposal forward.
    Please use your own judgment, and be prepared to also hear from our Senator her side of the story.
    Thank you for your attention.On Behalf of Chairman Braswell and your Executive Committee, Horst Kraus,Secretary”

    As I told you before, and I will repeat it so that it remains indelible in your memory bank, LD-6 is extremely transparent and we have always and will always disseminate even controversal and diverse viepoints to our members for their own information and perusal.
    Please pay utmost attention to the third sentence of the above transmittal letter namely:”***HAVE BEEN APPROACHED TO ASK YOU***”
    And also the following sentence: “Please USE your own JUDGEMENT** – **also hear from our Senator her side***”
    If you have difficulties with the English Language, please take some tutoring before you change and miss-interpred the meaning of a message from that what was conveyed.
    And for what it is worth, not that it should be your business, I am NOT NOW carrying her water, I have ALWAYS carried her water and I fully intend to continue to do so.
    On a different note, your digressing into, an even benign, ad hominem stab does hardly elevate your talent.
    Thank you for your attention.

  29. nightcrawler says

    Duly noted Horst. I can now read between the lines. Seems you were put in a shall we say, delicate situation. Sometimes friends of friends don’t always get along.

  30. Horst Kraus says

    I am glad you understand that once one is elected into a, shall we say, leadership position one is required to check his own ego at the door and one must lead, equally accepting and dealing with the needs of, all of the flock.
    Do yourself a favor and next time you read something on another BLOG whose name starts with a verb that describes ‘looking’ but rhymes with “PEEING”, carefully check out the truthfulness of what you read.

  31. GOP Stalwart says

    Wow, the name of this blog should be, “The GOP Circular Firing Squad.”

    I’m I reading this right, the extreme right wing of the GOP is throwing the state chairman under the bus for a state senator that wont vote with her governor and party in the senate and is giving the ninth floor to the Dems?

  32. Stalwart,

    It’s what happens when party chairmen exceed the authority of their position. To be expected. It tears the party up.

    Furthermore, it’s to be expected when a Republican governor tries to raise taxes but continue to call herself conservative and uses the party chairman like a tool for political cover.

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  1. […] Republicans aren’t getting along any better.  Gorman is front and center again, this time being criticized by the Chairman of the Party.  […]

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