James to run for AZGOP Chair – AZGOP turns guns on itself once again

Espresso Pundit is reporting that Lisa James will again be running for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.  James, who lost to current chairman Randy Pullen in 2007, was the Arizona Chairman for Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign.

The most interesting comparison is between the current state of the Arizona Democrat Party and the Arizona Republican Party.  The AZDEMs have actually created Facebook groups to try and figure out what went wrong in Arizona in 2008, plus they’re losing their Governor whose arm-twisting was their only source of fundrasing not named Pederson.

Yet at present, the AZDEM Chairman faces no challengers.  Now compare that to the AZGOP, which actually gained seats in the face of Obamamania and massive outspending, and which is sending Jan Brewer to the 9th Floor.  Instead of building on these successes and moving forward, why are some Republicans ripping the scabs off of the 2007 wounds and fighting that old fight again?  Is it just the AZGOP being the AZGOP again?

Or, is it just certain players within the AZGOP who are up to their own tricks?

Given the high degree of cooperation between Pullen’s State Party and John McCain’s Presidential Campaign (after he secured the nomination), and the thawing of relationships between Pullen and Kyl, the former seems less likely.  The later theory gets a serious boost when yesterday’s interestingly-timed Capitol Times story is read.  The article quotes extensively from Kevin DeMenna, the lobbyist who was the driving force between Kirk Adams’ ouster of House Speaker Jim Weiers, and Nathan Sproul, each of whom spoke at length about what DeMenna called ““…a grassroots fight for the soul of the party”.  He spoke of the recent defeat of LD11 Chairman Rob Haney approvingly and said “The Republican Party has bottomed and we are recovering… (District) 11 is the canary in the mine.”  Each indicated that the battle would move next to the Maricopa County Republican Committee elections on January 10th, then to the State Convention on January 24th.

With hired guns like DeMenna and Sproul driving a rematch of the 2007 State Chairman’s race, we can be sure that the race will be nasty and vitriolic.  It will be interesting to see how certain Arizona conservatives line up this time, especially in light of gains made by pro-life conservatives under Pullen’s watch and James’ advocacy for Giuliani, the only pro-abortion GOP candidate in 2008.  All eyes are on Len Munsil, who reportedly still fosters gubernatorial ambitions, and Congressman Trent Franks, whose convention speech on behalf of James in 2007 is largely credited for making the race as close as it turned out to be.  Will politics trump policy?  We’ll all know in six weeks time.


  1. STS obviously knows little about Kirk Adams or why he won the Speakers election. To claim Demenna was the “driving force” behind his win is ignorance of the facts. Elections are simple really. People make the determination of who they think is best to lead and vote accordingly. Thats exactly what the Republican members in the House did. Get over it. As Republicans we believe that competition makes everyone better. Its no different in party elections. May the best man (or woman) win!

  2. Not sure there is anything to “get over” as far as Adams getting elected. But DeMenna was certainly involved. That’s not a knock on anybody as far as I can tell, but its interesting to see how the pieces move on the board and who is related to who.

  3. STS:

    I’m not sure what planet, state or city you’re from, but here in Phoenix, AZ….there wasn’t a “high degree of cooperation” by any measure. Regarding McCains nomination, there was a high degree of disdainful, rebellious, toddler tantrum-like behavior from many in Pullen’s State Party. Do a fact check on that.

    Just because you roll over and take it doesn’t mean that you like it. And the “grassroots” that took it – doth protest too much.

    Plenty of people in Pullen’s Party “didn’t like it” and made spectacles out of themselves and their accomplices by their “nose-holding” demonstrations, remarks, name-calling and embarrassing antics. Local meetings, newsletters, emails, videos, newspapers, blogs, etc. were FILLED with examples of grassroots activists smart a** remarks and pouting.

    My teenagers got to watch the reality TV pilot of “When Good Grandmas and Grandpas Go Bad”….take place right in their own backyards.

    A nameless valley Jr. High School was even treated to a wonderful essay that documented some of the pathetic behavior from vocal members of Pullen’s Party who were disgusted because McCain was the nominee. The students were very active in the AZ Kids Vote program but were shocked when they found out about the vocal AZ GOP and MCRC members lack of support for McCain.

    The young author is a conservative, God-fearing “Registered R” – just like Mom & Dad – so don’t start the name-calling crap.

    The essay earned the student an A+.

    The behavior earned the AZ GOP an F.

  4. Not Pullen's record says

    The presidential year turnout for favorite son John McCain coupled with the “running scared” efforts of individual candidates prevented total disaster on election day.

    Randy and his amateur hour staff had nothing to do with it. Nothing.

    Lisa James, to my knowledge, is a pro-life conservative, so be careful before you perpetuate the false “conservative v. moderate” BS.

  5. GOP Boomer Gal says

    Not “conservative” vs “moderate” just sore loser. Why would I vote for someone who had nothing to do with our party after she lost an election; just sniping from the bushes.

  6. I don’t recall anything in the original post to get Playmakers panties in such a bunch, but starting the night McCain won Arizona (and he hadn’t even gotten the nomination yet) I saw a State Party that slapped on the bumper stickers, put up the yard signs, and got to work. I’m not saying he was their first choice, he probably wasn’t. But they did the good soldier thing and went to work for the guy. They deserve credit for that at least.

    If you want to hold Randy Pullen responsible for the behavior of each and every one of his individual supporters, then that’s just nuts and it won’t be fair. You can really only hold him responsible for his conduct and the conduct of his staff, and they worked hard for McCain, to the point where uber-conservatives (fringe types) were complaining that Pullen rigged the state convention for McCain, etc.

    Lastly, I’m not sure where Lisa James is on the life issue, but trying to elect Rudy Giuliani President is not the mark of a dedicated pro-life conservative. If she wants to run as a “Security Mom” then fine, but if she wants to run as a conservative, then she’s gonna have to do some serious spinning to explain why her choice was the pro-abortion, pro-gay, self-described “moderate”.

  7. Wow, just a couple of posts from Lisa’s supporters so far, on the first thread of the contest, and one throws out “crap” while the other throws out “BS”. Nice language folks. And thanks for the preview of what we can expect from you over the next month or two.

  8. I’d like to see what each candidate for chairman plans to do over the next two years before I decide who to vote for.

    One big issue will be raising and spending donor money. Outside DCCC money was used against our congressional candidates like you would not believe. Yet, the money the state party had access to seemed to pay off by strengthening majorities in the House and Senate.

    Show me the plan. Show me the money.

  9. Meanwhile, the Democrats are forming their own circular firing squads trying to figure out what the hell happened in the 2008 State races: http://www.rumromanismrebellion.net/2008/11/22/recriminations/

  10. nightcrawler says

    More so than most other blogs, this site is Pro-Life. DSW has made that very clear over the years and I respect him for it. I thought of myself as pro-choice, but having the pleasure of reading many of the posts on this blog, my position has drifted right. You won’t see me march anytime soon or run for the ACC as a “convert”. However, I will support a Pro-Life candidate without hesitation, which wasn’t always the case.

    The reason I mention all this is that while I am not at all ashamed to admit I am a moderate, I want to state for the record that Lisa James is not a moderate by any social defintion. She is a staunch supporter of the sanctity of life. I have talked to her face to face on this subject and she very far to the right. I don’t agree with her position, it seems extreme. Virtually no exceptions, a life is a life, period. So if life is a litmus test, please ask her yourself. I am sure she would be happy to let you know exactly where she stands.

  11. Disgusted Republican says

    Note to # 5 post by “GOP Boomer Gal”

    Give me a break there is no way in heck Lisa James “had nothing to do with the party after the election and sniped from the bushes” You are obvioulsy clueless or a liar and in either case it pisses me off.
    James went to work right away and helped with candidates at local, state and national levels. She has always been a kind and classy human being. Boomer Gal- accusing her of “sniping from the bushes” demonstrates you have a clear case of “projection”. If you are clueless about that too, go see a professional and perhaps you can work through your issues.

    I am not a PC and will sit this one out. I am sad to learn today that Lisa James is running. Not because she would not do a good job, but because I think she deserves better. Elected to a thankless job in charge of leading an angry mob of jackals is not what I would hope for someone like her.

  12. Duke the Dog says

    Dear Disgusted Republican,

    Please do us all a favor and list those candidates Ms. James assisted at the local, state and national level.

    It will be interesting to see who those candidates where.

    Also, please seperate the primary candidates from the general election candidates when you make the list because I’m really curious to see just how many candidates she helped AFTER the primary was over and our slate of GOP nominated candidates needed help.

    Just what did she do to help our nominees and will those nominees support her by validating her support with an endorsement of her campaign for state chair?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  13. chino calley chica says

    The state party needs to understand the counties outside the great state of Maricopa actually exist and care what we do and think, rather than tell us what/how to do and think. Rule 11 letters and handpicked candidates, even when we don’t like the other ones, is a slap in the face to our ability to think reasonably. What’s next…super delegates?

    All the while we are working our tails off to keep our R’s in the House and Senate, with NO help from the state party. I’m sure the Pullen fanatics who will get all riled up and try to lay claim to the great things he has done…it is a bunch of phooey twisted and turned to make the work of others sound like it was all him, all the time. Sounds like Barack Obama media bias to me. He is a horrible chair and needs to go!

    When Andy Tobin took to the stage on Saturday, with Steve Pierce and Lucy Mason, he made it very clear to everyone in the room where credit goes. He said those three owed their election success to the hard work of those of us in the room and others who pushed them to victory IN SPITE of the lack of attention and support of the state party and the overwhelming funding advantage of the Dems. He didn’t talk about the delegation, other “bad” people or ideas, or a washed-up consultant. He talked about a need to build this party, strengthen candidates, and raise enough money to get it done! Then he introduced Lisa James and the Yavapai County Republicans quickly gave her a standing ovation!

    One thing Republicans who live outside of Maricopa are thankful for; we didn’t have to watch that filthy commercial paid for with illegal funds. But, we are ticked that the money spent to repay the funds could have gone to candidates outside Maricopa.

  14. Chico Chica:

    I guess it depends on where you live. Pullen swept the votes down here in Cochise because we love what the State Party did for us. We had great support for candidates and campaigns and kicked butt in our races in spite of getting outspent. We’re outside Maricopa, same as you, but our experience seemed to be the complete opposite.


    Gee, this is an easy decision, Randy Pullen represents the grass roots of the Republican Party, Lisa James represents the greedy business group called, “Wake Up Arizona,” who have vowed to obstruct the enforcement of employer sanctions for illegally hiring undocumented aliens. Lisa James represents those who put the price of a head of lettuce above American sovereignty, profit before patriotism, politics before principle, greed and self interest before all else. Randy Pullen has successfully lead the Arizona GOP through some of it’s most difficult times.

    Now let me think about this a split second. I think I will keep our Chairman Randy Pullen as Chairman.


  16. Wooden Teeth says

    Bob, you wrote “lead” when you meant “led” and “it’s” when you meant “its.”

    Pullen does not “represent” the grass roots. That’s what PC’s are for, with the exception noted below. Pullen was a two-time (losing) candidate for PHX mayor, which makes him closer to being one of the elites.

    As we all know know, anyone can run a campaign and pack their district with like-minded PC’s. Some of them succeed, but that doesn’t mean anything more than that. There’s no “representation” going on, just a grab for power.

  17. Southern AZ says

    Woody, its interesting that you don’t think the Chairman of the Party “represents” the grassroots and that that’s a job for PCs. In fact, a good Chairman DOES represent the grassroots and that’s why we like Pullen.

    Its also weird that you think being a candidate for office makes you an “elite”. I’m not sure what occurs during a campaign for office that would cause such a change. I know plenty of regular folks who have run for office and whether or not they won didn’t change their status as regular folk.

    Also, the office of Mayor is capitalized, not “mayor” as you wrote it. It doesn’t really matter or contribute in any meaningful way to the debate, but if you want to correct folks’ grammar and spelling as a way of making yourself look or seem smarter than them, then so be it. Frankly, the “makes him closer to being” phrase needs a rewrite as well.

  18. Southern AZ:

    There is only ONE reason that the good folks of Cochise County received such love from the State Party…..your county is on the US-Mexico BORDER. Douglas is a main port of entry & Agua Prieta and Naco are drop cities. Cochise County is Ground Zero for Pullen’s Minuteman Militia. Their war games are dependent on your county. Nothin’ but love.

    I’m surprised that there are any US citizens left in Cochise County to be elected to anything! I thought the only thing still open in Cochise County was the the Immigration & Border Patrol offices.

    After listening to Bob Haran, Rob Haney, Carl Seel & others for the last couple of years….I thought you’d all been forced out of your homes by now. Does anyone still speak English down there? Are the schools and churches still open? Haven’t you all been overcome with perilous diseases? How about commerce? Is business OK?

    Glad to know that you are all still alive.

  19. Casual Observer says

    Has Cochise County had their meeting yet?

    It continues to amaze me that the echo chamber of “mcamnesty”, “open borders crowd”, mclame”, “pro-abortion” or whatever tone deaf tune the pro-Pullen, pro-Haney glee club is singing doesn’t get to be embarrassing after awhile. No way is Lisa James a part of any of that but your MO is obviously if you keep saying bad stuff about her you won’t have to try come up with something good about Pullen.

    Face it, there is no way Pullen takes credit for anything in this year’s legislative races. The candidates are running from him as fast as they can. Despite repeated attempts to blame everyone but Pullen, the fact remains he did not and could not raise money and had no idea how to mobilize the base. Give up the mantra about “the delegation”. Nobody from the delegation had to tell me not to send money to some moron who proved us all right with his obscene and illegal Saban ad.

    The blame it on the other guy thing might work for awhile but when he pulled that stunt…it was the end of that trick.

  20. Mr. Grammar Wooden

    Also, PCs are not PC’s.


    The Americans alive along the border are in that category with no thanks to Magruder, McCain, LaVecke, Napolitano, the Chamber, Farm Bureau, and the rest of the McCainiacs.


    You are too defensive about Lisa and offensive about Pullen to be categorized as “casual”. Pullen is far from the perfect state chairman, but he is not a puppet pulled by the WakeUp, McCain, Sproul crowd. That is enough to give him a lot of credibility with the grass roots.

    As to the Lisa James background, just look at the host committees for candidates and see where she lines up. It is not with the conservative, anti-illegal immigration candidates.

  21. Three states gained Republican seats in both houses of the state legislature this year.

    1 – Oklahoma
    2 – Tennessee
    3 – Arizona

    Like anything else, victory has 1,000 fathers, but defeat is an orphan. Like anything else in politics, Pullen and co. can’t claim sole credit for the victory, but it is simply absurd to make the argument that they get no credit. It shows just how desperate Lisa’s surrogate’s have become. If you take any piece of the puzzle out, we would have lost seats. The state party provided phone, mail, and door to door support in targeted districts, the efforts along with the efforts of certain pro-Republican interests groups paid off. The notion that Pullen couldn’t raise money is equally absurd. Did the Democrats out spend us? Yes they did. However, they out spent us in other years with disastrous results. The difference is that Pullen didn’t squander money like his predecessors. The accountant in him ensured that every state party dollar was spent in an effective way to get Republicans elected.

    I seem to remember that when Pullen campaigned two years ago, he made a promise that he would concentrate on state legislative races. As far as I can tell, that was the priority of the state party and it paid off.

    Pullen had a hand in winning races, he kept his promises, and state party didn’t fall apart as his detractors claimed. If the GOP had lost legislative seats, then Pullen would have a hard time running for re-election, but given the circumstances and given the outcome, I can say that this state committeeman will be voting for Pullen. And if you want to take it to the bank, this state committeeman voted for Lisa two years ago. Pullen earned my confidence and anyone who actually takes a good hard look at the internal workings of the current AZGOP, they’ll find a better operation than we’ve had in a long time.

    Pullen has been a good state chairman for the AZGOP and while I am quite fond of Lisa, I believe that Pullen and his team should be given the opportunity to continue their work for Arizona Republicans.

  22. Good policy starts with our grassroots Republicans. Electing Republicans that will help instill trust in our Party and Nation is critical to building this Party and restoring faith in this Party. When we do that we will see a surge in activity and voting. This Party Stands for Something and it is about time we let folks know that. I love this Party and believe in our Platform and I believe this Party has the best chance of protecting our Constitutional liberties, promoting limited government, defending traditional values, securing our border, enforcing our laws. What an opportunity we have to elect someone that actually will stand with the grassroots of this Party, who will fight for Republican values, he will put the taxpayers first and the courage to withstand the open border, profits over patriotism crowd and do what is right. If we really stood by our Platform, there would be no need of the Libertarian, Reform or Constitutional Parties or other freedom loving parties.

    In 1994 we excited America and our Party to a level I have never seen since. We started with a Contract With America. We took D.C. by storm. However, we did not live up to that Contract and broke the hearts of our grassroots Republicans. Since then we have continued to support “pork” spending, entitlement programs, reckless spending, Amnesty programs that our Party and America strongly oppose. And we have been run out of D.C. and have turned the reigns over to the other party, it was “moderate“ Republicans that were unelected almost entirely, not Conservatives.

    When do we stand up and elect those folks that will support Conservative values, demand we put America First, put our citizen’s Constitutional rights above illegal aliens and demand we enforce our laws, secure our border, balance our budget, protect the most innocent of all the “unborn”, defend our God given Rights, stop Judicial Activism, some responsible TORT reform to stop frivolous law suits, eliminate or reform entitlement programs and get back to responsible, accountable and smaller government?

    Lisa James who is married to Gordon James who worked with “wake up Arizona” to overturn Arizona’s “Fair and Legal Employment Act” by suing Arizona and LOST in four separate court challenges and when that did not work, they then worked to put Prop. 202 on the ballot to gut Arizona’s Fair and Legal Employment Act. They could not win with our grassroots folks, the courts, the legislature, so they resorted to a deceptive, fraudulent campaign to gut Arizona‘s Worksite Enforcement Law and they lost there also by 60% to 40% after spending over $1.5 million in lying to the public.

    This is after Maricopa County Republican Party and the Arizona State Republican Party both passed Resolutions “unanimously” in support of this legislation.

    She headed up Giuliani’s Campaign for President here in Arizona. He was the only Pro Abortion candidate running.

    Lisa is clearly Pro Amnesty and fights against the Grassroots Republicans on many issues, even after unanimous votes are recorded. She is cohorts with Nathan Sproul who we all know only too well and worked to overturn our Worksite Enforcement law and resorted to deception and lies in direct opposition to 80% to 90% of this Party’s precinct committeemen’s position.

  23. Well said Russell Pearce. Does anyone need any more reasons not to vote for “Wake Up Arizona’s” Lisa James?

    Liberals want to bring about change just for the sake of bringing about change.

    Conservatives want to preserve that which works.

    Randy Pullen has worked out very well as state chairman, in fact better then most I have seen since Dotty London.

    “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”



  24. If Lisa is pro-life she has a funny way of showing it.


  25. Ya lets all listen to Russell Pearce.


    Folks, stop voting for Russell Pearce. He is damaging the party I love.

  26. Look at the Facts says

    Too much irony in this thread.

    Some say Randy Pullen represents the Grassroot Republicans. What a joke!

    Most Grassroots Republicans would not support the corrupt and illegal $100,000 donation Randy Pullen accepted for the party. It is obviously tainted, or he wouldn’t have given it back. Do we want a State Chairman who is corrupt? We don’t need AZ to be another Illinois! When it comes to integrity and my Republican Party, I don’t give second chances!

    Most Grassroot Republicans are offended by Pullen’s obscene TV and Radio commercials, which slammed Dan Saban because he “masterbated” 20 years ago. Disgusting. The only thing that was worse was hearing, “This ad paid for by the AZ GOP” at the end of the commercial.

    Then to see Russell Pearce chime in after he was the “victim” of a negative ad which mentioned a different 20 year old allegation against him. But he did not speak out about the Pullen Ad.

    Either total hypocrisy or total ignorance.

    Stop the smoke and mirrors. A state chairman has nothing to do with amnesty. That is what this largely Democratic Congress will decide.

    What the Party Chairman needs to do is help organize and raise money so that good GOP candidates can compete against well funded liberal special interests. We are not always going to have Prop 102 on the Ballot to aid the GOP candidates.

    Some have concerns about Lisa James. But the facts in the case against Pullen can never be justified in my book. My GOP doesn’t have ethical lapses like that. I will never condone Pullens recent actions.

  27. guess that TV commercial must have worked, Saban lost, wouldn’t you agree?

    It was a shocking commercial, as shocking as the daisy commercial used against Goldwater in 64, and Goldwater lost too, didn’t he.

    #26 post’s sounds like it was written by a PR firm, doesn’t it?

    If Saban would have won they would claimed it was Randy Pullen’s fault.

    Maybe the James gang wanted Saban to win.



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