Mr. Quayle is Unavailable


According the Arizona Republic Political Insider, the October 17th Trunk and Tusk Dinner has been cancelled due to a scheduling conflict with former Vice-President, Dan Quayle.

The dinner was to feature the former Vice-President as the keynote speaker and chief draw to raise money for the party. Unfortunately, Mr. Quayle has been called away on business to Japan as part of his venture with Cerberus.

But the Political Insider seems to think there is more intra-party mechanics at work behind the scene:

But The Insider continued to hear talk that more than scheduling was involved in Quayle’s cancellation. It wasn’t hard to believe, frankly, considering some of the local GOP’s intra-party rancor of late, especially relating to immigration. Could it have been that a few prominent Republicans or members of the congressional delegation unhappy with Arizona GOP Chairman Randy Pullen pressured Quayle not to participate?

Could it be that the “anti-Pullen” wing of the GOP is making another attempt to financially starve the GOP leadership into submission? Political Insider seems to think so based on another GOP “insider:”

I’m sure there’s a legitimate scheduling conflict. But there’s no doubt that prominent Republicans gave the vice president an earful about his willingness to raise money for the state Republican Party.


  1. Makes one wonder if Pullen and McCaffrey have figured out that the only people who are willing to work with them are the ones who elected them – and that is on a short string.

    The power brokers are going to do everything to be true to their name and try to break Pullen at every opportunity – promises to the contrary. This should not be seen as personal as this is how it has always been with the moderate $$ driven amoral Central Avenue/lawyer/lobbyist cartel.

    The blush is off the rose for the 24th Street dynamic duo with the grass roots due to their attempts to pander to the dark side. While the honeymoon is over, the marriage can be saved if they will remember who stood at the altar with them in January.

  2. GOP PK and I rarely agree, but on this point we are in unison. Pullen is all about Pullen and seems to care less and less about the party and has a scary focus on all things himself.

    He attacks the grassroots leaders who elected him [Don Goldwater] and continues to pull out the long guns for the Congressional Delegation that never supported him from day one.

    Pullen has pulled together a staff of misfits who seemingly don’t have a clue on how to win (need I point to the reg numbers or fundraising let alone their unbelievable and childish releases)? And what was that stunt pitching lobbyists that they would “rent out” the grass roots to the highest bidder for grass roots lobbying/fundraising, are they really that stupid?

    Although many on this blog and I don’t agree on much we all agree that electing Republicans over Dems is by far the most important thing we have in common.

    My only question is does anybody still trust Randy (not you GOP PK/ GOP Phil) we know you are drunk on the kool aid. But for the people who really care, (GOP Phil/PK I know you care) the people who worry that Randy is fiddling while Phoenix burns, what are we to do?

    The only answer I have is work for the candidates who we believe in, whether it is a Pierce or Sproul person, as the alternative seems worse and worse.

    I don’t know how we reconcile our differences but this latest attack by the delegation makes it clear they are playing for keeps and Randy and the state party will be broke, ineffective and a joke next year.

    This, from my so called “RINO” perspective is not acceptable. Randy needs to do something, either fire the staff or get rid of Constanin or do something, otherwise the state party is destined to be irrelevant and broke.

    I know I have just opened myself to attack and have at it, but that won’t change a thing. As long as we have status quo we are screwed as a party and anybody who doesn’t believe or see it is blind.

    Let’s find a solution to this and then as RINO’s and Non work together to bring the delegation around to supporting OUR party, we deserve no less.

    Now let the cheap shots begin…Or rather some solutions?

  3. The GOP in Arizona is a patchwork of fiefdoms which include but certainly are not limited to the State, County, District, various Republican Clubs and the Congressional delegation itself. Each fiefdom has its own agenda and protocol. Far too many chiefs and simply not enough Indians. Leadership is confined to a narrow set of ideals and bedfellows. The only thread of commonality with these fiefdoms is the need for self promotion and preservation. The congressional delegation has now distanced itself from the mother that gave it birth. Looking to garner favor from the faceless and nameless voter during the general elections rather the hardworking and financially loyal party workers who run the phone banks, pass out fliers and gather signatures. Shameful.
    Somewhere along the way things became personal not political.

    There is no one villain here. We, and I mean all of us, are equally to blame. Look in the mirror and ask yourself “What have I done today to put the GOP ahead of my own personal ambition”. Don’t be surprised if you sit and stare for awhile.

  4. TK

    Well, it seems like it should start with loyalty and integrity. Pullen and staff should learn that lesson as the first step to possible self preservation.

  5. TK,

    What did you mean in your post when you said Pullen and the AZGOP were willing to “rent out” the grassroots to the highest bidder? Are you saying that Pullen was telling lobbyists that he would “rally” the GOP faithful behind whatever their cause may be if they gave a contribution? Please tell me I am wrong, b/c that sounds a lot like Jack Abramoff stuff to me.

  6. I would like to believe the emergence of a very serious and hard working Democratic machine in our state would have been enough to bring the sides together. But, the truth is it won’t and never will. The reason for the divide is far more entrenched than can be overcome with the fear of a common enemy. At this point the enemy is within, depending on which side of the debate you find yourself on identifies your compatriots. And if you are a bystander, the collateral damage is still yours to endure.

    Simply, those who did not “stand at the altar” with Mr. Pullen anticipated a divisive and ineffective form of leadership with a caustic style that would certainly not bode well for party unity or success. The past few months have proven them right.

    Having not been a Pullen fan, I can only speculate on the decision to support him. I will not pretend to fully understand but do have the impression those who supported Pullen felt marginalized and less important, both in terms of issues and personalities. They felt the past leadership had been ineffective and less than successful. This too, is not untrue.

    But now we have leadership that has proven to be divisive and has marginalized so many while attempting to appease so few that any hope of success will not come from the party itself but from the members who sort themselves out and work in groups to find a way around the sad position the state party is now in.

  7. Oh please. The amnesty bill drives voters away from our party and its Randy Pullen’s fault? Don Goldwater attacks the party leadership and its Randy Pullen’s fault?

    There are only two kinds of folks posting here so far, folks who never liked Pullen, and folks who whine because Pullen doesn’t give them everything they want, so they’re thumb-sucking and taking cheap shots.

    The party is doing an admirable job of raising money, a great job of not spending it and saving it for 2008, and a very solid job of organizing for 2008. Since the rest of you aren’t interested in actually doing anything to substantively help, would you at least do your party a favor and leave it alone? Go home, watch TV, whatever. Just refrain from taking cheap shots and trying to chip away at whatever momentum the GOP has. The GOP takes more hits from GOP PK and Ann than it does from the Democrats.

    A pox on both your houses.

  8. Pamela– I heard the same thing about ‘renting’ out the GOP grassroots. This idea raised a few eyebrows with some non-named lobbyists, because they even thought this to be pretty shady. Evidently, they were gathered in for a meal, and were presented with the idea if they were to donate and raise funds for the AZ GOP, then the AZ GOP rally their grassroots to support whatever cause and lean heavily on whatever legislators that they needed to in order to get the lobbyist’s bill through. Its a very non-transparant Jack Abromoff style of ‘you scratch our back- we’ll scratch yours’.

  9. John, how right you are! The GOP takes hits from some bloggers here, and Senator Kyl has taken more hits from the AZ GOP than Democrats. Wow. Maybe that says something. We are spending more time beating up ourselves than beating up on Democrats. Now there is a point to ponder.

    I would like to point out where you are wrong on Don Goldwater attacking the party leadership. Randy Pullen turned his back on Don Goldwater, after Don Goldwater helped get him elected, saying at the EGC meeting that they did not want to support ANY initiatives (including Goldwater’s) that would interfere with the current Pearce legislation. He rightly drew the ire of Don Goldwater and crowd, by turning his back on his very supporters. So yes, that is his fault. You can’t try and snuggle up to the establishment folks and then when that doesn’t work, try and cozy up back to your base at the same time. You can’t play both sides on this. I think alot of us are all too wise to this.

  10. John,

    You cast the net too wide. I have no beef with Randy. For the record, I like him personally. He is doing the best he can under the twisted circumstances. As I said, there is no one villain. Your “Don’t let the door hit you in the..” rhetoric certainly does not help matters. We are all (including you) to blame here.

  11. No one speaks for the grassroots. Not Pullen, not Goldwater, not John, Ann, or PK. Nobody. Why? Because there is no monolithic single-minded thing called “the grassroots”.

    You can all speak for your part of it, but when you hear that Randy Pullen is selling out the grassroots, that’s just someone trying to get you to emotionally respond to his argument. There are plenty of us out here in the grassroots who still love the job that Pullen is doing. So if you want to say that the grassroots loves Pullen or hates Pullen, you can be right at the same time.

    Of course, you could always say that about every chairman in party history, so what you’re really saying is nothing at all. The fact that some folks repeat “nothing at all” over and over again tells me that they have too much time on their hands. So how about you all getting down to HQ and making some phone calls for the party?

  12. Tim- you are absolutely right. We all make up the grassroots. I don’t think that we should be single-minded, but it appears that some people on here think that if we don’t walk in lock step with what the AZ GOP chairman says we should be doing at this very minute, then we aren’t true Republicans. That is very unfortunate. We all need to work together to help elect our candidates.

    On a side note- what is this about ‘renting’ out the grassroots? If thats the case, then the GOP deserves an investigation. That smells extremely fishy.

  13. Julie, I appreciate you agreeing with me, but I’m not sure if you understood my point, since you go on to make a much different point. Given our agreement that no one can speak for the grassroots, then how would one “rent it out”? Whoever is throwing around those accusations is trying to play us for fools. Don’t give him reason to believe you are one by falling for that garbage.

  14. A large portion of the people who voted for Pullen were actually voting against continued control of the Party by an elite few. Many did not trust Pullen, but trusted the opponent under the influence of Sproul even less.

  15. My favor for the opponent is well known, but to characterize her as “under the influence of Sproul” is not a genuine assessment. Would it be correct to say that Pullen was under the influence of Goldwater, Haney, Tuttle, or someone of the same camp or would it be better stated to say that they were allies in a specific situation, or many situations, but not of like mind or behavior in all things and incapable of self- direction?

    That statement is a marginalization of her capacity for independent thought and action and is blatantly untrue.

    I have a plane to catch so I’m done on this one.

  16. Ben: do you even know who Sproul is? Seriously? or are you falling for all of this blog fodder?

    To say that Lisa James is under the ‘influence’ of anyone is an insult to her. She is her own person, as is Shadegg, and Kyl. Maybe Sproul just happens to agree with them, or maybe they agree with him- he is a smart guy after all. I’m sure that they agree and disagree on numerous topics, as do most of us. But because someone is supported by someone else, does not mean that they are under ‘the influence’ of another. I seriously think that you people throw around the word ‘Sproul’ to incite hostile reactions.

  17. I have known Sproul for twenty years – since he was with the Christian Coalition so I guess I know him better than 99% of the people. His first action directly in the Party was his campaign manager position for Mike Minnaugh for State Party Chair. He amazingly became the Executive Director – leaving the CC – upon the election of Minnaugh – placed in office by McCain when he had next to no time even as a Precinct Committeeman. Does that answer your question? Don’t forget, I was around with Tom J., John H., at what has become Independence Hall, so this is recent history.

    He choreographed the establishment game plan a year ago beginning with the rental of the suite in Scottsdale called the ‘war room’ to try to unseat Haney by sending Fife down in flames, had his ally Voeller make an attack (very uncharacteristic of Steve) and was dispatching his minions from group to group outside Sunnyslope High while standing next to Lisa.

    I guess it is a reach to say she and her campaign were influenced by him. Sorry.

  18. Well Ben F., there is a difference between someone helping another person get elected and them being unduly influenced by them.

    Did he help Lisa James? yes. Lisa James lost by 4 votes, so it appears that many others helped and supported her as well. 4 votes. Thats a matter of proxies….for another day.

    Is Voeller an ally of Sproul? probably. As are many in the professional political world. Sproul’s job is to elect others into office. Maybe Voeller acted on his own laurels. I don’t know, you would have to ask him. Ultimately, there are many people who have worked with Sproul, and who respect his work.

    But, rememebering back to the Minnaugh days. It wasn’t McCain who backed him as ED- it was Kyl. I’m not sure how clearly I remember this, but I believe that McCain actually had a different choice.

  19. Wrong, JK. The other candidate, who dropped out under intense pressure from Kyl and McCain, was the National Committeewoman Lori Marsh.
    Definitely NOT supported by McCain.

    If you were observant in the front courtyard and lobby at SS High, Sproul was doing a lot more than supporting. He was the one running the on-site operations.

  20. I remember those days of yore and Ben is right. The selection of Sproul was the tool of the congressmen to make sure they had control of the party since Minnaugh was basically a stooge put in as Chairman who had only that year been elected as a State Committeeman for the first time.

    Sounds like last year, except James did not win.

  21. It is a sad day when someone who has been a constant and consistent supporter of the party for many years, such as Lisa James, is referenced as a stooge. Lisa has served the party in many different capacities and always with dedication to the objective and not self-service.

    But then such words and actions only prove to continue what was feared by many, many PC’s and State Committeeman before the election and has been illustrated (pun intended) time and again since; that Pullen was the pied piper of a disgruntled group with limited vision, singular message, and grudges and axes to grind who did not feel they had ever been given their due and would be divisive and destructive if elected.

    The continuous double standard for what is acceptable and what is not astounds me; examples of folks with little experience being promoted to higher positions. Do we want to talk about the past and who has been a loyal R for years and who has been a relative newcomer to the scene and with some questionable past practice?

    I will once again say, I have never met Nathan. I have seen him and would know who he is if in a group. But, I have spent much time with Lisa James and know her core values , her work ethic, and her dedication to the principles of the party. Do not call her a stooge or imply she is anything but extremely capable of getting the job done.

    The fears of those who opposed Pullen have been proven time and again to be founded in truth, however your accustions of Lisa being less than capable and nothing more than a straw man is way off and again, untrue.

    Back to the original post; could it be that the current leadership just hasn’t gotten the job done? That they are seen as incapable of victory for so many reasons, and their hubris prevents them from acknowledging their weakness, so that the only option is to starve them out? Possibly so.

    This is the last time I will post on the state chairman subject. I’ve said my share and presented my perspective. There is no way to move forward if looking back continues to haunt us, I have no desire to become a pillar of salt. If there is discussion that is honest and authentic in regards to positive party/conservative politics, I’m in. But I will not play the game of proving someone is good by making the other gal seem lousy.

  22. Ann,
    THe stooge comment was made re: Minnaugh, not James. You have extrapolated what was not said not meant.

  23. Ann,

    Why is it acceptable for you to thoroughly rant at every aspect of Pullen and use what you believe are the actions or track record of his supporters to validate your point, but when someone brings up the actions and track record of James’ supporters you get offended to the point of nuclear?

    Pullen does have a track record at this point. In some areas he has made glaring mistakes. He was opposed by the establishment and nothing he was going to do would have been acceptable, but took that battle public which made it worse, then tried to fix that problem by blowing off his own base. Really dumb and self destructive.

    However, in some ways he is the best we have had in that office in decades – the candidate training schools are outstanding and his income/expense botom line is the best in this decade – despite the efforts of the congressmen and lobbyists to turn off the income stream.

    He is the Chairman and both sides are unhappy with him at this time. I don’t know how he gets out of the box, but, somehow, we need to not kill 2008 because of 2007 errors.

  24. I heard that Pullen wants to throw his support around in Republican primaries. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the State Party Should not be inolved in a Primary. Everyone was angry when they were involved with Graf, it would be a double standard if we let Pullen slide on this one.

  25. For the Capitol Observer: I’m not sure where you get the part that Randy’s expense/bottom line’s are the best in decades. The Democrats are outraisng us 4-1, and its the lowest amount of cash raised by ANY Arizona Republican Chairman in the last decade. I agree with you that Randy has made glaring mistakes, but on this point, I most politely must disagree.

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