MCRC Acts To Prevent Coup in LD4 – Faces Threats of Retaliation

Party insiders have been watching, some with amusement and others with great concern, as a handful of individuals led by Phil Corbell have sought to claim control over the LD4 Republican Committee.  LD4’s Organizational Meeting, where new officers would normally be elected, was short-circuited when Corbell and his supporters voted down the Tally and Credentials report, preventing the meeting from continuing.  When the meeting was adjourned, the theatrics ensued.  Corbell convened his own meeting in the parking lot and had himself elected Chairman, with other supporters claiming the remaining offices (ostensibly 1st Vice Chairman David Fitzgerald III, 2nd Vice Chairman Renee Houlihan, Secretary Jane Schutte, and Treasurer Mary Platt).  The fact that the actual meeting was over meant nothing, as did the requirements that organizational meetings be called by the LD’s acting chairman, that proper notice be given, that a quorum be present, that tally and credentials take place, etc.  While the stunt could have been considered all in good fun, it took a serious turn when Corbell convinced a Justice of the Peace that the actions were real and actually had his group “sworn in” to their offices.  Corbell then began calling meetings and attempting to conduct legitimate business with his self-proclaimed title of chairman.

The Maricopa County Republican Committee was quick to remind the PCs in LD4 that the election was not valid and, since December 6th passed without elections and the office positions are technically vacant, have even called for an election to fill the position of Chairman for December 17th.

Which is where the rhetoric and activity has gotten both nasty and dangerous.  MCRC Chairman Tom Husband has been the recipient of vitriolic emails accusing him of every malfeasance imaginable and Corbell has cranked his attacks on the Republican Party “to 11”, declaring Arizona Republicans to be the equal of Illinois Democrats “when it comes to corruption”.  Corbell’s assault on the local LD4 GOP appears to be widening to an attack on the County GOP as well as he claims that he has asked for the help of Democrat Attorney General Terry Goddard to “represent LD4 PCs against the Maricopa County Republican Party”.  He also hints that the FBI will be getting involved, that civil rights complaints will be filed with federal authorities, and writes that he has raised with state attorneys “questions as to the way finances of LD4 have been used, and now how MCRC finances are being used.”

Corbell’s accusations and threats have extended to the December 17th meeting that has been called for the election of an LD4 chairman.  Corbell considers the meeting to be illegal and argues that his election is validated because at a special meeting that he called “as chairman”, the attendees “recertified” their own “election”.  But Corbell saves special threats for those who are considering attending the December 17th meeting, as he warns that “for those who do participate in the illegal meeting, a judge can view it as their admission that they, as an elected precinct committeeman have admitted they have broken State Law and not fulfilled their duties to organize and elect all officers by the first Saturday in December.”  He also adds that “The meeting called by the Maricopa County Republican Committee Chairman for Dec 17, 2008 that he will chair, to elect one LD-4 officer is illegal.  Participation is such a meeting will join those participants to his illegal actions.”  In other words, stick with me or else I’m coming after you too, and I’m bringing my new BFF Terry Goddard.

The escalating rants from Corbell have been extremely unsettling to many PCs in LD4, some of whom only recently became PCs.  The destruction promised by Phil Corbell should he not get his way makes volunteering to help a political party a very unattractive proposition, so concern among GOP hierarchy is evident for what kind of damage Corbell might do to the GOP’s grassroots in LD4.  Corbell has already been censured by the MCRC EGC and penalized by a loss of his PC voting rights and rights to carry proxies at MCRC events as a result of prior acts against the party, but he continues to agitate within his own legislative district.

Another negative side effect is that most of Corbell’s base of support has been coming from those PCs aligned with Ron Paul.  Corbell, and to a lesser extent former LD4 Chairman Lyle Tuttle, has convinced many in this group to follow him, and as the road gets rockier and nastier, many in the this group may finally be realizing that their reputations are getting sullied by being associated with Corbell.  This is unfortunate as most within this group would otherwise feel right at home with the extremely conservative groups that populate LD4.

Several questions remain concerning Corbell’s antics.  It appears to be a federal crime to give false information to a federal employee (like a judge) in order to convince them to do something they should not otherwise be doing (like swearing in people who are not entitled to be sworn in).  Whether there are state or county statutes that apply to Justices of the Peace is unknown.

According to GOP sources, it also appears that Phil Corbell has twice attempted to carry and vote the proxy of a dead man.  Once, he even succeeded.  There may be legal penalties for knowingly presenting and voting legal instruments that are so obviously invalid.

For now, attention will be on the reorganizational meeting being held on December 17th.


  1. Do the people on both sides of this circus realize how ridiculous this makes the Republican Party look to the average voter?

  2. Casual Observer says

    Where is the surprise?

    The past few years in the AZ GOP and MCRC have been nothing but a practice in divisiveness and petty name-calling to gain and hold power; with some of the key players in this pathetic story front and center. Tuttle was Haney’s cohort and Corbell is just going along with the game plan; problem is the play-book had a change or two and he didn’t get the memo.

    The harvest has begun.

  3. Let the festivities begin…………

    The Constitutionalist Party Republicans
    The Minuteman/Border Watcher Party Republicans
    The Christian Coalition Party Republicans
    The Right to Life (even if someone dies) Republicans
    The AARP US Veteran Party Republicans
    The No New Taxes Party Republicans
    The God Bless American Party Republicans
    The Ron Paul is my Daddy Party Republicans
    The 9-11 Conspiracy Neo-Con Party Republicans
    The Anti-Biased Liberal Media Party Republicans
    The Purity for Christ’s Sake Party Republicans
    The GOP Platform Party Republicans
    The Tighty Whitey Rightie Party Republicans


    all of the rest of us registered Republicans

  4. Inside out:
    And what do you believe in?

  5. As an LD4, I can attest that everything said by this poster is correct. I have recived multiple emails from Phil threating all of the LD4 PCs in the Disrict with lawsuits and criminal charges if we don’t support him. I am sure he has sacred away at least a few PCs with his antics.

    It’s also my understanding that the State Party, the County Party, and supporter of the former Chair Bob Burges have been working hard to try to settle this situation amicable but Phil Corbell and his supporter only want to throw insults and threats.

  6. Wooden Teeth says

    Is the oath performed in the photo going along with a document that gets recorded at the county? If so, it’s a felony to file a false instrument, so Phil and his associates better make sure they’re right.

  7. nightcrawler says

    Looking from a distance I do have mixed feelings on this. Could it be the LD4 board that conducted the first election have concluded that they didn’t have the votes to win and therefore used the T&C report controversy as a convenient excuse to shut down the vote and run out the back door ? That is the real story here.

    December 17th will tell the tale. If Phil and his folks still have the votes, this will all be but a footnote. If not, I suspect the story will continue.

    At the end of the day, democracy is democracy. If you don’t like the outcome you should have worked harder to get you folks elected as PCs.

  8. DeAnn:

    Since you asked, I’ll answer. I believe in the Republican Platform without ignoring the the spirit, intent and human experiences from which the issue positions are defined.

    I “walk the walk” of the Chairmen’s Preamble to the 2008 GOP Platform and have a framed copy of the Summary and Call to Action of the 2004 Platform that I look at everyday. I refuse to be the out-of-control drum major for one issue and a two-faced liar on another. I’m grown-up enough to realize and admit that without compromise, my wife & I would no longer be married. Politics is no different. How about you DeAnn?

    Here’s an excerpt from the 2008 Preamble that sadly doesn’t manifest itself in the AZ GOP:

    Our platform is presented with enthusiasm and confidence in a vision for the future, but also with genuine humility – humility before God and before a nation of free and independent thinkers. As the party of ideas, rather than a mere coalition of interests, we consider vigorous debate a strength, not a weakness. Indeed, we are a party – as we are a nation – of mavericks.

    Yet we stand united today because we are the one party that speaks to all Americans – conservatives, moderates, libertarians, independents, and even liberals. We welcome all to our deliberations in the firm belief that the principles embodied in this platform will prove to be as compelling and persuasive as they are vital and enduring. We do not fear disagreement, and we do not demand conformity, but we do fight for our principles with confidence that the best ideas will prevail in the end.

    Our party embodies a uniquely American spirit. It is the spirit of independent minds, the conviction that open and honest debate is essential to the freedom we enjoy as Americans.

  9. Wooden Teeth says

    Regarding the statement “we do not demand conformity” can this be the part of the platform that I refuse to conform to?

  10. Right on, Inside out. You told it like it should be. Some turn a deaf ear! Wave the Flag!!!

  11. Who’s Coup Was It?

    No mention in this article or comments on the selection of delegates to the State Organizational meeting. On December 2 Bob Burges forwarded a list of 57 delegates to the MCRC for nomination as delegates. This was allowed per MCRC by-laws considering inaction by the LD-4 Chairman (as recognized by MCRC), MCRC, and the State Chairman on the Delegates nominated by the LD-4 Nominating Committee and elected by the “Parking Lot” meeting following the questionable adjourned Statutory Organizational meeting of November 17th.
    At that meeting the nominating committee had nominated 57 delegates who had confirmed willingness to serve if elected and 33 others also confirmed as willing to serve on the ballot. The Burges camp presented a slate of 36 delegates – 6 of whom were on the nominating committee’s nominated list, 24 were on the nominating committee’s other list, and 6 of which were not on the nominating committee’s list as confirmed as willing to serve if elected.
    The December 2 list provided by Bob Burges to the MCRC without input from LD-4 PC’s had 18 people listed on the Nominating Committee’s Nominated delegates, 31 on the Nominating Committee’s other list (Primarily from Judy Burges) and 7 not on the Nominating Committee’s Ballot.

    Appears the coup to capture delegates was not done by the Phil Corbell group even if officers elected are invalidaded by MCRC.

  12. Wooden Teeth:

    You show me a real man that you can demand conformity out of and I’ll show you a man that isn’t worth the ground he walks on.

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