McCainiacs take aim at Randy: Pullen Pullen responds

A m e r i c a n P o s t – G a z e t t e

Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona

Friday, January 22, 2010

McCainiacs take aim at Randy Pullen
Pullen responds

Dear Executive Committee Members:

It has come to my attention that the Chairman of the Yuma Republican Party, Phil Townsend, has sent a letter to members of the Arizona Republican Party Executive Committee alleging several serious improprieties on the part of myself and Lee Miller, our Legal Counsel.  I felt it was incumbent upon me to respond in kind.

There have been a number of recent inaccurate emails, blogs and reports regarding the financial operations of the AZGOP.  In every instance where I have been contacted by members of the Executive Committee either by phone or email regarding any of these communications, I have responded to their questions as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, Mr. Townsend, decided he would rather write a letter than get the facts.

The AZGOP files both federal and state reports for various contributions and expenditures at different times depending on the reporting requirements of the FEC and Arizona law.  We have never failed to file nor been fined by the state or FEC for violations under my chairmanship; although, we did pay a fine to the FEC in 2007 for violations that occurred prior to my becoming chairman.  During this time, we have filed numerous amended reports and responded to regular inquires from the FEC on different matters.  Campaign regulations are complex and Byzantine to say the least.

With respect to the RNC transfer of $50,000 that was done late in November of last year, it was not reported in the FEC report filed on December 19th.  By the time I reviewed the report, it was too late to correct it.  Missing a filing date is a serious matter and will result in a fine.  It is better to file and amend later, which is what we are doing.  I have spoken with the RNC about it and they understand we will amend the report.  None of the RNC funds have been “used to pay overhead,” as Mr. Townsend alleges.

With respect to the question regarding debts of the party asked by Donna Reagan during our conference call on December 30th, what I said was we had accounts payables that needed to get paid and I was working on doing that, but we had no debt and I had no intentions to borrow money.  We do have some payables that need to be listed on the FEC report and they will be on the December 31, 2009 report that will be filed at the end of this month.

With respect to Mr. Abate and his letter, he was not provided all of the facts by Mike Hellon or Shiree Verdone, campaign staff for Senator McCain.  Certainly, the bylaws of the party allow the Chairman and Treasurer to assign their check signing authority when necessary.  This does not relieve them from their fiduciary responsibilities to be fully aware and knowledgeable about all expenditures.  This was not what Mr. Hellon and Ms. Verdone were asking for me and Timothy Lee to do.  They demanded control over all Victory Program funds.

At the time they made their demands, there were several people in the room who can confirm what occurred.  I suggest that this be fully aired in our Executive Committee meeting on this coming Saturday afternoon. It is sufficient to say that I had real concerns with their demands; however, I felt it was prudent to check with counsel before deciding what to do with the Victory Program.  In addition to talking to Lee Miller, I took the time to call legal counsel for the RNC, a former commissioner for the FEC, and explain the circumstances.

In both instances, the conclusion was the same.  The AZGOP could not give check signing privileges to campaign staff members of Senator McCain’s campaign.  This would likely be a violation of McCain-Feingold campaign laws.  While it is legal for state parties to coordinate with federal candidates on certain expenditures made by the party on behalf of their campaigns, it is not proper to give control over those efforts and funds to the respective campaigns.

What, I along with the assistances of Legal Counsel, the Treasurer and members of the ad hoc victory committee have done is to establish a framework for review of the Victory Program and to put in place appropriate controls and procedures to assure we will not have legal problems with the implementation of the Victory Program in 2010.  If anyone would like more detailed information on our financial reports, they are available on the FEC website as well as the Secretary of State’s website.  If you have trouble navigating either site, please call Brett Mecum at our office and he will help you get the information you need.

Sincerely,

Randy Pullen


Comments

  1. honest abe says

    GOP Chairman Pullen: Financial audit would be “total waste of money”

    GOP Chairman Pullen: Financial audit would be “total waste of money”
    Friday, 22 January 2010 14:54 .By Dennis Welch
    The Arizona Guardian

    The chairman of the Arizona Republican Party is refusing to open up the books for a full financial audit, saying it would be too costly and time consuming.

    Randy Pullen told members of the Republican Executive Committee during a conference call Thursday that the party doesn’t have the cash to pay for an audit and even if it had the resources it would be “a total waste of money.”

    Several members of the executive committee pressed Pullen for a comprehensive financial review to clear up recent questions regarding the party’s finances. Pullen said the audit was unnecessary and estimated it would cost six figures to complete.

    “That will take three or four months of continuous work to get it done and cost at least $100,000,” Pullen said during the conference call. “It’s $100,000 to do something like that and I don’t have a $100,000 to do that. If you want to go get me $100,000 I’m happy to do it, but it would be a total waste of money.”
    The conference call took place days after a Republican Party official mailed a letter to party members throughout the state questioning Pullen’s accounting practices and called for a “fraud audit.”

    Phil Townsend, the chairman of the Yuma County Republican Party, cited stories published by the Guardian detailing transfers of money and debt that were never reported. But there wasn’t enough support from those on the phone Thursday to force a financial review.

    “It’s a shame that more members of the executive committee didn’t push harder for an audit,” Townsend told the Guardian on Friday. “It never evolved, but we’ll wait and see what happens over the weekend.”

    Townsend was referring to Saturday’s mandatory meeting of the Republican Party in Phoenix. The Yuma Republican said he thinks there will be enough support there to force Pullen to submit to an audit.

    After the letter was sent out, many rank-and-file members questioned who paid for the postage. Some, including Rob Haney, the chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, accused U.S. Sen. John McCain and his political network of funding an attack on Pullen. McCain and Pullen have had a strained relationship over the years.

    “Someone else paid for the (mailing) cost, but I’m not at liberty to say who,” Townsend said Friday. “It was my letter and my thoughts.”

    Townsend said he didn’t know how many letters were mailed out, but estimated there were more than a 1,000. He said they were sent to every member of the executive committee as well as precinct committeemen and women throughout the state.

    Townsend said in the letter that Pullen intentionally kept a $50,000 transfer from the Republican National Committee off the books so he could pay off a large amount of unreported debt instead of building a stronger base of grassroots support, for which the money was intended. Party officials said they would file as amended report with the Federal Election Commission, but have yet to do so.

    Pullen told executive committee members Thursday that the party’s accountants in Utah, CBIZ MHM, had missed the transfer and he had a letter from the accounting firm explaining what happened. The letter was not immediately available for public inspection. Calls to CBIZ were not returned Friday.

    The Guardian also reported that during the past year the party carried roughly $120,000 in unreported debt to a pair of companies for political work.

    The party owed Nathan Sproul, a local Republican tactician, $70,000 for work on the partisan Tucson City Council races, according to records obtained by the Guardian. The GOP also owed a Minnesota-based firm, Strategic Fundraising, about $50,000 for help raising money.

    Sproul and representatives with Strategic Fundraising confirmed the party owed them money. Both said much of the debt has been paid down, but would not reveal how much was left on the account.

    Pullen acknowledged on the phone call that there were debts and obligations that would be reported on the parties upcoming FEC report. which is due at the end of the month. He said there was about $65,000 owed on its federal filings and another $7,800 still outstanding on its state reports.

    Federal financial statements are completed every month, while state reports are more infrequent. By law, political parties and candidates must disclose all contributions, expenditures and debts. Penalties can range from $5,000 to $10,000 per violation.

    Pullen told members of the GOP that he was more concerned about how the party’s financial documents were leaked to the media

    “The real significance of all of that stuff that’s out there is that financial data was stolen out of the Arizona Republican Party office. That should be significant to all of you that that occurred,” Pullen said Thursday. “I’ve talked to legal authorities about it and they are aware of it and right now are investigating it and looking into it trying to figure out exactly what transpired.”

    It wasn’t clear which legal authorities Pullen was referring to, and he did not return phone calls Friday seeking an explanation.

  2. honest abe says

    Fact—The letter above was authored by Mr. Lee Miller, not Randy.

  3. Two John’s at the State Meeting on Saturday?

    Cry havoc! and let slip the dogs of war, that this foul deed shall smell above the earth with carrion men, groaning for burial.

    Flush hard “my friends.” wish I could be there.

  4. El Mexicano says

    Did JD just quit his radio show?

  5. honest abe says

    Yes, The windmill is off the air!!!

  6. honest abe says

    January 22nd, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    In Case You Missed It: McCain Opens Primary Lead in Rasmussen Arizona Poll

    January 22, 2010

    AZ Sen Poll: McCain Opens Primary Lead
    Sen. John McCain (R) has known from an early stage that he could face a tough primary in his bid for re-election this year, and acted on it. He already launched radio ads touting his effort to block President Obama’s “extreme left wing crusade.” And just this week, Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R) recorded robocalls that went out to voters in Arizona.

    Now, a Rasmussen poll (502 LVs, 1/20, MoE +/- 4.5%) shows the Maverick just over 50 percent in a potential matchup against former Rep. JD Hayworth — not the best position for an incumbent to be, but an improvement over the dead heat Rasmussen found in November.

    Primary Election Matchup
    McCain 53 (+8 vs. last poll, 11/18)
    Hayworth 31 (-12)
    Simcox 4 (unch)
    Und 8 (+1)

    Hayworth has not entered the race yet, but been publicly flirting with it for some time. Meanwhile, McCain’s camp announced this week that his former running mate, Sarah Palin, will campaign for him in late March.

    Favorable Ratings
    McCain 74 / 23
    Hayworth 58 / 25
    Simcox 28 / 23

  7. Go J.D. We need you.

  8. Tony El Tigre says

    Don’t they have surveillance tapes at the party HQ?

  9. Your poll is about to change drastically. JD was only slightly behind and wasn’t even running. His poll numbers went down because people started to think he wasn’t going to run. Now that he has left KFYI, let’s see what happens in the polls. Once he officially declares, you will see the base reenergized!

  10. Blue Meanie says

    Looks like you guys got a horse race. JD wins this thing you will probably get a lot of us to come back.

    I bet Geritol sale are going way up. Drink up Johnny, you’re gonna need it.

  11. honest abe says

    Unless your both brain dead, the poll was just conducted with the question asking, ” IF JD ENTERED THE RACE, WHO WOULD YOU VOTE FOR”.

  12. Dirty Laundry:

    RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen launders nearly $300,000

    through AZ GOP to influence 2009 City of Tucson elections – gets most cash from Jim Click

    You don’t really need to find out what’s going on

    You don’t really want to know just how far it’s gone

    Just leave well enough alone

    Eat your dirty laundry

    Written by Don Henley

    RNC Treasurer and AZ GOP Chairman Randy Pullen has done it again. Pullen’s official Arizona Republican Laundromat is open for business.

    Pullen’s newest scheme to break campaign finance laws took place in the last few months of the 2009 City of Tucson elections. And it’s a nasty one.

    Sonoran Weekly Review has discovered a new Exhibit A in the long list of formal and informal indictments against so-called “clean elections”.

    “Clean elections” provide state or municipal funds (up to a pre-set maximum) to a participating candidate, who (allegedly) couldn’t raise money and get elected on his or her own. In contested races, participating candidates are given “matching funds” when a non-participating candidate spends money – the dreaded “trigger” funds. This type of campaign reform is supposed to equalize the playing field – keeping big money from having an undue influence over an election.

  13. It is quite disturbing that someone stole files out of the AZ GOP office. It’s also disturbing that you have a county chair sending over 1,000 letters to folks without personally talking to the state chair FIRST. And then this same chair who is accusing the state chair of not being transparent won’t be transparent himself and tell us who paid for the mailing.

  14. Arizonan have until July 26 to register as a Republican, in order to vote in the Arizona Primary election.

    If you want to vote John-RINO-McCain out of office, and vote true Conservative J.D. Hayworth into office, make sure to tell as many family and friends to register as a Republican before July 26, and vote out the RINO McCain on August 24.

    If you don’t want to stay a registered Republican, you can always “un-register” by checking the “no party affiliation” when you re-register.

  15. Best part about this letter is what they left out. Rumor i keep hearing is that there is a criminal probe now focused on Hellon and Verdone and that Pullen is the one who turned them in.

    Go Randy, Go JD GO!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Blue Meanie says

    RinoHunter – great suggestion! I’ll do it and so will my wife. We will also tell others. No guarantee we will stay if McCain wins the primary.

    Speaking of brain dead. You would have to be brain dead to think asking IF someone get in the race is the same as if they ARE in the race.

  17. honest abe says

    Blue jerkoff, JD has not announced, Independents can vote in a primary and I doubt your smart enough to fill out a ballot,Jerkoff.

  18. Blue Meanie says

    honest jerkoff, got that foot out of your mouth yet? JD did announce just as he implied on his show yesterday. If you took a minute to get your lips off McCain you might know that. You would also know he got a very poor reception at your little get together today while JD was welcomed as a hero.

    My wife and I re registered last night on line. See you in the primary.

  19. Stephen Kohut says

    I went looking at the state meeting today for the name tags that said “honest abe”, “just a pc”,.. Guess what. All our blogging cowards were incognio using their real names. What a surprise. Gotta love the McWimps!

    The tempest in a teapot regarding the FEC filings and the books was shoved back in the face of the McCainiacs by Tim Lee. No one had the guts to call Lee and ask him anything about this RINO pipe dream fostered on the internet. Books are open. Updated FEC filings are avaiable on line. I loved the part them the vote was taken to approve Lee’s report. Nothing but aye’s. Not a single McCainiac even had the guts to vote nay. What a spineless group. Aren’t you “honest abe”, “just a PC”…

    What I am looking forward to is the sea change this year as all us new Tea Party, constitutional conservative PC’s that enterred the party clean house in county leadership and state committeemen. There won’t be a RINO left in a position of effective power in the party structure.

    All your RINOs ready for us Teapublicans?

  20. Turns out that Randy and the AZGOP were right and dishonest abe and Travis were wrong! LOL

  21. The Arizona Guardian is a subscription-based, newsy web blog site from Phoenix, that covers gossipy state politics, sorta like the Republic’s Political insider, which is free.

    The Guardian’s reporters are all castaways from the once glorious East Valley Tribune –currently in bankruptcy. The real money behind the Guardian venture comes from Bob Grossfield of the Media Guys, Inc., an uber-liberal bunch located in tony Scottsdale.

    One wonders is there an axe to grind? Slow gossip week? Foes on the hunt for a scoop? Could it be that there are many RHINO’s in our midsts?

    RHINOS love to spend other people’s money on trying to trip up true conservatives. Just ask a certain double-dealing Yuma County Republican Chairman where he got the $5,000 for his latest mailing? The postage meter stamp leads to a PR agency in Phoenix, with former McCain staffers on the payroll.

    Surprised at all of this “NEWS?” Just follow the money, folks!

  22. Diogidog, RINO – Republican In Name Only. Otherwise, good points.

  23. … Roger, Thanks! That dang spell check!

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