Reflections on the Arizona GOP state convention.

     Yes the “Unity Slate” was endorsed from the podium. It should not be a surprise that the state convention of the hometown senator and presumptive nominee would receive such support. If that shocks you then maybe politics is not the game for you. The slate that won simply received more votes. You can use whatever label you want but the solution is simple. Show up with more votes next time if you want your slate to win.

     The real story to me is when did Kyl and Pullen become such good friends. A few months ago Kyl was publicly criticizing the chairman and purportedly working against him behind the scenes but was quite happy to take top billing at the convention put on by the chairman, his staff, and volunteers. Will Senator Kyl now have something nice to say about Pullen or at least start helping the state party?

     The first sign I had that there was nothing funny going on was when I received my credentials. The next sign was when I was allowed to walk around with a briefcase full of alternate slates and hand them out whenever I wanted. While the official slate was endorsed from the podium there was no attempt to squash the distribution of other slates.

     There were multiple non-McCain slates. Some of them were meant to confuse and some were printed because not everyone could agree a single alternate slate. This did not turn out to be an effective strategy and ended up confusing some delegates who would have happily voted for the non “Unity” slate.

     There were some comments indicating that there was some yelling in certain CD meetings. I was in the CD 8 meeting and it was very politely and correctly run. Floor nominations were taken in an orderly manner.

     One possible suggestion for future meetings is to allow people from different factions to observe the printing and handling of the final ballot count results. I do not believe that anything was going on but that would remove any chance of doubt.

     I was struck but the mood of some McCain forces. They were having a great day and their faction clearly won but some of them almost seemed to be in a sour mood. Lighten up guys, your side won!


  1. Josey, If you think it is appropriate to deny information as simple as the home Congressional District of the candidate from the voters considering that candidate then, perhaps American politics is not for you. It’s a little hard to show up with more votes when administratively gathered information is kept secret from the body of voters. Operate transparently and these deficiencies would not have occurred. We didn’t elect our leaders to keep voting information away from us. No matter the candidate that those dirty tricks were performed on behalf of, they still demonstrate a complete lack of respect for the voters.

    The January ’07 election of State leadership does not resemble the machine that was in place May 10th. We got mavericked.

  2. A very nice post Josey. Its nice to see the site getting a little more “fair and balanced” after the last couple of weeks. I’m not sure what Robert’s beef is… I got the information I asked for from the party, I got lots of slates when I got there, and I voted for who I wanted. Most of my guys won, some didn’t. Sounds a lot like an election to me. My CD caucus was also very polite and organized. Crowded, but that’s probably a good thing.

  3. Robert I am not saying I liked the process, just putting down what I saw on Saturday for the record.

  4. FreeAdvice says

    I know some smart people that like to keep a copy of the voter file on their laptops and run names through it to get handy information. Power is power.

  5. When DSW reported one of his contributors was distributing an alternate slate….how did I know it was you? 🙂

    Good report, Josey.

    I’ve heard that the Congressional Delegation has been helpful and supportive of the state party and that the reports of the schism are over stated. I’m not saying it is a marriage made in heaven but Saturday went a long way in healing the divide.

    United we win, divided we fall.

  6. Ann I hope that you are correct that the congressional delegation is now ready to assist the state party. Pullen was cut off by the establishment early on. Now some within the grassroots are mad at him. Not a fun position to be in some days.

  7. There are those that will never be happy without an enemy on whom they can focus their anger. Trusting such types as the backbone of the party is a very dangerous place and presents no hope for a stable future. Their purpose may be stable but the object du joir is ephemeral. It happens to be Pullen this week. Past recipients have been Sen. Kyl, Rep. Shadegg, Rep. Flake, Lisa James, Judi White, and just about anyone who stirs their jealousy of power and purpose.

    Things happen, disagreements among passionate, driven people are unavoidable, and common sense is not so common. Anger driven by ego has no place in any “party”.

  8. FreeAdvice says

    They may bury the sword, but keep a razor handy.

  9. Can someone post at least a list of the delegates? The AZ GOP website is so poorly managed, it lacks current information and substance.

  10. Ann,

    Great description in comment #7. I think they are called Mavericks.

  11. OK, you get the last word and it will be Obama.

  12. You can dress it up all you like. We really could have used your righteousness back when the Party was denying candidate information to the voters. The coercion/unity slate is an episode Arizona Republicans should always remember and never allow to happen again. Restricting the free speech of Arizona Republicans is something all Arizona Republicans should speak against, at every opportunity.

    We can move on and “unite” for the sake of our state races if nothing else. Every time I hear someone defend the election administrators for misusing State information to further their own intentions to the exclusion of other Arizona Republicans, I’ll be here to point it out, I hope.

  13. Ann,

    There is another option. Republicans could campaign and govern as conservatives. Do you remember November 1984? What a blow-out!

  14. Josey,

    I’m with ya’!

    But it has to start with a unified focus of effort. Even if we disagree, spending our time and energy fighting our individual issues does nothing to cement the areas where we are in agreement, allowing us to spend time working out the areas where we aren’t. When you are in a room full of people that are after your jugular, who wants to be the first one to stick your neck out?

    Look at the continued (see entry just above yours) concern about the state convention. Good grief! I have yet to see any actual suggestions for how it should have been done.

    You were supporting a different slate and as someone on the ballot but not the “unity” slate, hey I would love to go but am not ticked because I wasn’t given my due. We both participated and had every opportunity to do our thing. I could have had flyers for my CD, I could have solicited support and probably done OK. But, why? The purpose of my delegacy and the people on the slate would have been the same.

    The way I see it, anyone opposed to the unity slate was opposed to McCain and would rather fight among ourselves than build a strong, conservative brand to build solid support in the fall. We have serious congressional battles to deal with and the future of the Supreme Court. This goes way beyond John McCain.

  15. Ann,

    I am all for working together. I think Senator Kyl should lead the way by supporting the state party 100%. I am fine that the “Unity” slate won. No big deal. Even the few Mavericks are OK if they would just stop donating to and endorsing Democrats.

    We have the same goal in mind for November – Republican Victory. I just think that is more likely to happen if the candidates from our party run on a solid conservative platform. I am not trying to nit-pick a detail here and there. I think the current overall message of the Republican Party needs some toning and shaping, as they say. The clear conservative message needs to come from the candidates and congress. I as one member of the grassroots cannot focus the message on my own.

  16. I couldn’t agree more. I cannot wrap my little head around the concept of openly working as a party leader/worker/operative and then doing the same thing for Dems only to expect to be welcomed back with open arms. I’m sure some can, I can’t. Sit it out, don’t help anyone or do what you need to do under the radar. I happen to lump those that work in opposition within the party in the same category. The difference, at least those that worked for Dems didn’t hide what their real motive was; they are more honest in my view.

    “I as one member of the grassroots cannot focus the message on my own.”

    That is the very reason we MUST stop the mixed message. Looking at the recent congressional losses, they were to D’s that had a clear, understandable conservative message. No party labels needed, it is all about the message.

    Voters feel betrayed by ALL politicians. They don’t approve of Congress or Bush. The angst is not ours alone. We must prove ourselves worthy of trust and if we do not even trust each other, why should they?

  17. I still don’t get all the fuss about the unity slate. I was there as a delegate and had the opportunity to vote for anyone I wanted. There were quite a few “slates” going around. So the unity slate won the majority, it was still up to each delegate to vote.

    As Ann said we better start worrying about the recent congressional loses, losing more seats in the senate and congress will do us in. Will any Republican do us any good as President if we keep losing seats?

  18. Hi Lynn,
    For me, the fuss about the unity slate includes all the covert activity that accompanied it. Add “a McCain staffer was on the committee.” Okay, well this tells us why it was wrapped in paranoia.

    Plus, this policy or by-law: “CD Chairs can only give a copy of the CD ballot to members of their own CD.” A CD Chair actually told an inquirer for a CD ballot that they could have one, unless they would be electioneering with it! If there was going to be electioneering with it, then that was grounds to deny a copy of the CD ballot! A CD Chair restricting electioneering??!! Um..I don’t remember THAT in your campaign speech.

    Throw in State Senators patrolling the voters with verbal instructions while voting, a reference from the podium that supporters of alternatives for John McCain were rabble-rousers and…well, you probably have enough.

    Must any of this, by either side, affect friendships? Not in the slightest, in my opinion. Information filed. Back to the job at hand. Will the 2008 Platform make me as glad to be a Republican as the 2004 Platform does? Hope so.

  19. Give it a rest Robert. I got all the data I asked for and nothing was concealed. And no McCain staffer was on the committee, although a representative from his campaign would attend. Why is that scandalous? The Party’s Presidential nominee involved in the lead-up to the national convention? You are the only person surprised by that. It wasn’t a surprise four years ago when Bush’s folks were involved, or four years before that. It wasn’t a surprise in 1996 when Dole’s folks were involved, or Papa Bush’s folks in 1992. And it won’t be a surprise four years from now when our 2012 nominee has a representative there.

    Except for you. You, I’m quite sure, will be completely surprised.

  20. Tim S,
    The subject of the two notes, the unity slate, was concealed from inquiring Republicans. CD ballots were concealed from Statewide Republicans–you could have your own CD ballot only. More restricted information.

    McCain staffer: I was just going by what Randy Pullen said on S A on May 1. That a McCain staffer was on the nominating committee. Are you saying Pullen is wrong about that? I didn’t say this is scandalous. I said it explains the accompanying paranoia exhibited by unity slate backers.

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