Winners and Losers

With the GOP Convention finally behind us, its time to take a look at the day’s winners and losers.  Before the comments sections asks why Lisa James isn’t listed on either list, we would suggest that it is far too early to judge that.  Like almost every campaign, things got a bit rough and Pullen fans might rate her poorly for that.  Then again, she handled the outcome with class and James fans (as well as nice Pullen fans) would rate her highly for that.  Put those two diverse groups together and you really haven’t settled anything.  We suggest that it is the next 12 months that will determine how she is to be rated.  If she disappears from the Arizona Republican Party in general, she would be doing poorly.  If she followed up on her campaign pledges to get involved, raise money and help the Party win in 2010, she would be doing very well.  She didn’t have to win her race to keep most of her promises, and we’re hoping that she does just that.  Now, on to the fun stuff.


Kyl, Shadegg, Flake – If showing up is half the battle, then it was over before it began.  On top of that, their candidate lost and staff members for one Congressman in particular were very active in the divisive nature of the race and the attacks on Pullen.  How they imagine that will benefit their boss if and when he decides to run for higher office is a mystery.  This is two conventions in a row that they have all ended up as a minority in their own party.  When do you think the message will sink in?

Dean Martin – In some dramatic plays, the hero of the play is engaged in a fight with an enemy when the cowardly villain sneaks up behind him and stabs him with a long knife.  Of course, the hero dies a lot in dramatic plays, so maybe that’s why Dean Martin thought it would work in real life.  His speech shocked numerous conservatives who used to think well of him.  We say used to, because this bridge was burned down by Martin’s flame-throwing attacks on Pullen.  For whatever reason or reward, Martin agreed to take on the roll of attack dog, but came across as childish and petty.  In terms Dean should understand, his investment was high-risk, low yield, and has cost him a very pretty penny.

Wake Up! Arizona – Okay, in fairness, it wasn’t just this weekend.  These guys have blown millions and gotten their collective butts kicked since last year.  The lobbyists, headliners, blogs, cheerleaders, and consultants associated with this effort find themselves wearing a Scarlet Letter within the Republican Party that may not go away for a long time, if ever.

Barry Goldwater Jr. – Want to hurt your reputation and damage your credibility?  Spend a couple of days calling the Ron Paul State Committeemen to urge them to vote for Rudy Giuliani’s State Chairman.  Sure, we’re quite sure they’ll fall for that, right Barry?  From what the RPers were saying, it didn’t get James any votes, but it cost Goldwater more than a few.

Arizona Democrat Party – Janet’s gone, their state party is in disarray, and they’ve just elected a Pima County liberal whose first proclamation is that our taxes are too low.

Kevin DeMenna – The lobbyist bet big, at least with his mouth, against Pullen.  After explaining the GOP wins in 2008 as a “blind squirrel tripping over an acorn now and again”, he has to deal with a Party Chairman who appears to be stocking up on acorns.  Bad news Kevin, the squirrel can see, he’s hungry, and he’s looking for nuts.  Got any?


Randy Pullen – Okay, that was an easy one.  He won his race, and with a U.S. Senate seat and a Governor’s race in 2010, the Congressional delegation cannot afford to pout or withhold support from the State Party anymore.  Pullen’s margin was larger than many expected, and he already has the support of most of the County and LD leaders, as well as members of the Legislature.  He is in a much stronger position than he was in 2008.  And rumor has it that he is the front-runner for the post of RNC Treasurer, which will be a real boon to the Arizona GOP as well.

Trent Franks – He did not take sides in the contest, making him the only House member in the delegation to properly gauge the pulse of the conservative grassroots of the party.  His speech was also given very high marks by those in attendance.  Plus, these meetings are rare and feature State Committeemen from all over Arizona, and Trent was the only member of the entire delegation who cared enough to show up.

Jan Brewer – Great speech, and she is finally holding Napolitano responsible for the mess that was made over the last six years.  The people of Arizona deserve the truth about that and the Arizona GOP will be stronger when people learn that it was our members who were fighting against Janet’s insane budgets.

Brett Mecum – He’s only thirty years old and he’s already the Executive Director of a red-state Republican Party.  No, its not the first time its ever happened, but folks in both the Pullen and James camp seemed to have good things to say about this guy and if you can manage to pull that off, during a heated campaign?  Well then, you must have some pretty good political skills.

Rob Haney – Up from the ashes, he lost in LD11 only to win higher office as County Chairman of the fourth largest county in the country.  Then, his backed candidate won re-election as State Chairman.  And the amnesty folks thought Haney was a problem to them before?

Rural GOP Counties – Pullen swept a number of rural counties, from Mohave in the North to Pinal and Cochise in the South.  It is likely a result of their seeing Pullen quite a bit more over the last two years than their own Congressional delegation, so its fair to say that Pullen earned it.  Still, they were the margin of victory for Pullen and he would be well served to remember that.

J.D. Hayworth – The worse Jeff Flake and his staff did, the better it was for whoever ends up in the primary for Arizona’s next U.S. Senate seat.  We’re sure Flake & Company had their reasons for antagonizing the party’s conservative base, but we can’t figure out what it is.  The end result is the same though.  A louder call for a reliable, conservative alternative, who will listen to the Party.  You hear us J.D.?  We know you do.

The Arizona Republican Party – Of course, we couldn’t finish without stating the obvious.  The theme over the weekend was “unity”, even if not all of the various players were acting that way.  Still, the sense among the Committeemen was that unity would prevail when the contest was over and, judging from the numbers of people wearing James stickers that stayed around to wish Randy well, their sense might just be right.  Add to that a new Republican governor and an Arizona Democrat Party in disarray, and things are very good indeed for the AZGOP.


  1. Az Insider,

    It might benefit you to practice what you preach. Unity is what you claim to want–yet using the term “losers” against anyone but our opponents with a D next to their name is not much of a way to start. Unity is a two way street, please try driving on it.

    As for me, I am speaking at a GOP Women’s event tomorrow night…contrary to what you all wanted to spin, I never left our Party nor do I intend to do so now.

  2. Goodyear GOP says

    Wow, the post says that you handled the loss with class Lisa, so I’m not sure you need to go bustin’ on the author right out of the gate. I hope you intend to do as the author wrote about and get involved with the STATE PARTY, raising money and doing the things you promised to do. Just bouncing around to local women’s groups is not the same thing as putting your shoulder to the wheel and doing some of the heavy lifting. I read your material and you make it clear that you have the ability to raise millions for our State Party, money you did not raise in 2007-8. That’s fine, you likely had your reasons.

    But with unity as your stated goal, I would be disappointed if you didn’t sign on and make a real contribution as we work towards 2010.

    Nice meeting you on Saturday in any case.

  3. So what happened on Saturday was that one group of folks won an election and their opponents “didn’t lose”? Maybe they “tied”? Maybe they got less votes but in some political races that actually called “winning”?

    I got it, Lisa James took 2nd Place! Silver medal baby!

    See, now we’re like the public schools. No more failing grades or losers. Everyone gets high marks just for showing up. It works so well in the public school system, right?

  4. And I love the squirrel bit. Too funny.

    I wish I had a vote, ’cause I’d have voted for the squirrel!

  5. Steve Calabrese says

    Sigh. On an earlier discussion, I recommended that Sonoran Alliance take a closer look at the slashdot system of online discussion, which supports registered user accounts.

    Looking at “Lisa James”‘ post above, I can’t help but wonder if it’s really her posting or a troll. There’s no user authentication at all.

  6. Unbelievable.

    We are still bitching and complaining about election results after each candidate shook hands and thanked each other for a well-fought battle.

    For crying out loud, let’s get on with the business of being and acting like Republicans and stop living up to the reputation of being the “Stupid Party!”

    Does anyone realize that WE CONTROL this state and while we’re still whining about election results we have the opportunity to fix the budget, strengthen the family and protect human life?

    I’m moving on from January 24th. You can either join me or stay stuck in the past. Let’s go after Democrats and turn this state Crimson Red.

  7. nightcrawler says

    Before you all get high and mighty about DeRose, there was a TruGOP supporter who did exactly the same thing. I’m not going to out this person since it really doesn’t matter. Let’s just say credentials and tally was loosey goosey all the way around. Let it go and lets move on…

  8. Add Sean Noble to your losers list. He spent months recruiting proxies for district elections. What did he accomplish by bullying his way through district elections? A lot of p***** off grassroots Republican activist PCs in Shadegg’s CD. Noble painted these neighbors as “divisive.”’s not divisive when you’re the majority.

  9. Intolerant Xenophobe says

    Is there a Republican “Medal of Honor” we can bestow on Rob Haney? He certainly deserves one. There’s gotta be a book deal in that story!

    Special thanks to John Shadegg and Wake Up Arizona for clearly defining the difference in the James and Pullen camps.

    Good point Steve. It’s not the conservative “wing” or “base.” It’s the “conservative majority” of the Party.

  10. Pullen supporters really know how to “unify” the party by ripping it apart. It’s no wonder so many people are registering as independents.

  11. Yes on 300 says

    “…who used to think well of him.”

    Ouch. Dean Martin is an AZ GOP MVP and will continue to be for years to come. Unlikely Martin lost a single supporter Saturday so, this is just a little harsh, if not just plain inaccurate, don’t you think?

  12. Yes on 300 says

    joe, Good. They can elect all those independent candidates and leave selecting the Republican nominees to conservatives.

  13. The comments about Dean Martin was not harsh. I lost a lot of respect for him and he sounded petty. Someone who wants a higher position should have known better than to tick off half of the people who would work to elect him. A nice endorsement would have been fine. His comments were not.

  14. Precinct Committeeman says

    I love the suggestion that the Lisa James post is false. I can’t stop laughing.

    As to “winners” and “losers”, I think the writer got it pretty close. Wake-up Arizona and their Republican friends are not winners in this state. It’s time we realize the impact of illegal immigration on education, health care, and crime.

    More importantly, it’s time to move the Party to WINNING every race we enter. With the commitment of everyone, we can do that.

  15. phxtaxpayer says

    Interesting that nobody has addressed the substance of Martin’s comments. As a parent of young children myself, I could see why the “masturbation” commercial would be a deal breaker for the Martins and why they couldn’t support Pullen after he sanctioned it. I have contributed to the party and I thought that commercial was a waste of my money.

    The reason I like Dean Martin is he’s not afraid to speak the truth (whether it’s to J-No or anyone else), you always know where he stands. And Dean does have a right to say something, he’s not like the other elected officials who just show up for a speech and then leave. I’ve known Dean as an elected PC and state committeemen for over 10 years, he has a vote and deserves a voice just like the rest of us. If the Martins have a lower tolerance for sexually explicit language, we should respect that, unless you are ready to defend that commercial? I don’t see anyone standing up to defend that commercial, so why are you attacking the Martins for pointing it out?

  16. I’m with DSW, why are we having this discussion? Pointing out “losers” is not an act of unity but making sure the power rankings are very clear and the proper people are put in their place. This post is nothing but incendiary and deserves to be called out for it.

    There were NO losers! And this isn’t a jab at making people feel good about being weak.

    As a party we had a robust campaign, and as they say…it ain’t bean bags. The voters had a clear choice and they made it. Isn’t that a good thing?

    According to the tone of this post if someone in an open and free election states their position, and their candidate loses, are we to assume they will be held accountable and labeled and according to some…rightfully so. I wonder if Mr. Pullen agrees with this diminished value theory. I doubt it or he is no different than the “take your ball and go home” actions of those you call losers.

    Now this is really the way to encourage involvement and grow our party! Those new leaders are just lining up to be called losers and subject to some guy hiding behind an anonymous handle calling them names for their very public support of the candidate they believed in. Or is it an underhanded way to scare folks off and make sure the chosen candidate isn’t challenged from “the outside”?

    Again, I would say the newly elected chairman would disagree with such behavior; growing and building the party is our true purpose.

    I respectfully request Chairman Pullen to call for an end to the sniping and labeling; to ask his supporters to be as gracious in their victory as they had expected Lisa to be in her defeat. Not because these people can’t take it, but because our party deserves and demands better!

  17. Iris Lynch says

    I would say that the individual is not considered a LOSER, but that his/her ideas are losers. If those folks continue to espouse those ‘loser’ ideas, it is not only to the detriment of the party and unity, it calls into question their intelligence. But too often an individual begins to believe that their ‘ideas’ are an integral part of themselves and just can’t see the error of their ‘losing’ thinking. Often, they acquire a somewhat hysterical tone to getting their ideas across.

    We should not accommodate losing ideas in order to assuage the FEELINGS of people whose ideas have failed in the marketplace. Instead let us encourage them to evaluate their failed ideas.

  18. AZ Insider,

    There isn’t much more to say other than I am disappointed in your post. You call for unity and call on our Republican leadership to rally behind “the winners” yet, you continuously take stabs at them and name call – tactics more often used by Democrats… however, it seems as though Republicans are becoming more and more polished at it.

    How do you expect everyone to unite when you deliberately try to drive out factions of our Party with your words?

    Not the right foot forward going into the next cycle. Very disappointing…

  19. Hey Idiots,
    Why don’t you grow up and start attacking the democrats, as opposed to each other?

    There’s a whole world out there beyond your stupid county/state chairman and state legislature races (think governor, AG, sec/state, senator, congressman).

    Your continued stupidity is going to cost us all those races (see, last 2 governor’s races, last 2 AG races, Kolbe’s seat, Renzi’s seat, Hayworth’s seat) notwithstanding all our built in advantages over the dems.

    I have been a Republican for 25 years and like 90% of Republicans, could not possibly care less who is county chairman or state chairman. Like 90% of Republicans, I would gladly choose either Jeff Flake or Russell Pearce over Pete Rios and Kirsten Synema.

    You need to get out of your tiny little worlds, maybe get a real job outside of politics and quit damaging a party that the rest of us have spent our lives supporting.

    PS: Anyone who thinks JD Hayworth has a shot at the senate is a moron.

  20. AzRep, According to the latest poll, the Nov. 4 elections-margin of error 0%-J. D. for Senate is exactly what the electorate is looking for. So, the facts dispute your raised voice in your PS.

    JD to unseat McCain in ’10!

  21. Iris Lynch says

    I think JD Hayworth most assuredly has a shot at the senate. And I think there are a whole lot of other morons who will join me in that assessment.

    What are you on that you believe your post is not an attack of Republicans? When giving advice, it is usually a good idea to demonstrate the same.

  22. Reagan Conservative says

    Now that he’s been reelected, Randy Pullen needs to work on getting along with the rest of the party, or the party is never going to raise money and increase voter registration. Am not sure what planet AZ Insider is on because my organization has had nothing but problems dealing with McCaffrey and Mecum. Randy did the right thing getting rid of the divisive McCaffrey, now Mecum needs to be shown the door. He is arrogant, rude, and did not return our phone calls. He doesn’t get along with the congressional delegation and he has also p*sed off the social cons. An ED should not be out drinking and partying late every night, it sets a poor example. At age 30 he is no spring chicken and should act his age. Randy would be wise to bring in someone like Laura Knaperek or Shiree Verdone who can raise money.

  23. Knaperek or Verdone? Too funny. Knaperek had the most dishonest and ugliest attack of the chairman’s race two years ago, and Verdone is a lousy fundraiser. Just ask any of the folks who USED to be her clients. Lots of folks USED to be her clients.

    AZRep2 attacks the author for calling Republicans names, then calls Republicans who would support Hayworth “morons”. Nice. He and GOPGal also rag on the author, telling him/her to take shots at the Democrats. Read the post people, the Dems are on the Loser list.

    As for attacking the author for writing the post, I don’t think its the job of this blog’s authors to simply be cheerleaders for the GOP or motivational speakers for the GOP. We’re conservatives first, Republicans second. The convention was a battle between the right and left of the GOP and the right won. So a list of winners and losers is perfectly fine. It is perfectly legit to recognize and discuss that some people’s stock went up on Saturday and some people’s stock went down. Time Magazine has a little box every week with Up and Down arrows for the week’s winners and losers. I don’t imagine too many of you have written them letters to their editors.

    20+ posts and counting with only a couple of folks complaining about the post suggests that plenty of folks are interested in this discussion. Isn’t that what blogs are for?

  24. Goodyear GOP says

    Gila Courier has a similar story, except told in pictures. A couple of classics over there.

  25. GOP Mom, Esq. says

    And on which list would Len and Tracy Munsil be included? Those who aspire to higher office seemed to side with the GOP ‘establishment’…and that includes Dean Martin and others.

    As a long-time member of the GOP in Arizona, I’m tired of our party eating our own and eating our young! We have an established set of principles (our GOP platform) and now have an elected group of leaders, elected by the grassroots, to support our platform and to support the election of other GOPers at all levels of government. As an act of unity and accountability, can someone create a matrix of all of those who participated in these elections and attach fundraising goals, voter registration goals, PC recruitment goals; etc.? And post it on the state and county GOP websites so that we can actually SEE who is doing the work to further our platform? There is an audit trail for everything from writing a check, encouraging someone to write a check to registering voters and recruiting PCs. Let’s use these trails to put our mouth where the money is!

  26. Actually Mom, I’m not sure that the Munsils belong on either side of the list. They were one of nearly 200 endorsements that Lisa got. But they didn’t play a prominent role in this campaign like they did the last one. And they didn’t go nuts in their role like Dean Martin did. Look, Steve Pierce endorsed Lisa James and gave a really long speech to nominate her. But it was an appropriate speech, even if a little too much about him and too little about her. You’re not a loser because you endorsed the person who lost In fact, you can be on the losing side of an effort and still come out as a winner if you handle things well. You can also be a jerk and get ranked as a loser even if you were on the winning side.

  27. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    What’s with the negative portrayal of Kyl, Shaddeg, and Flake? It seems ridiculous to talk about unity and then proceed to label them as “losers.” I found the remarks about the looming Hayworth/Flake battle especially distasteful. Openly deriding a member of our congressional delegation while trumping up a failed candidate in Hayworth? C’mon. The immigration obsessed wing (or majority, if you prefer) of the party will continue to alienate voters and lose elections at state and national levels if they don’t wake up. We need conservative leaders that think for themselves, not politicians that are beholden to the party. Why trash our strong, independent minded delegation? They are quickly gaining a reputation as principled politicians in D.C. and represent our state well.

  28. Yes we do absolutely. Unfortunately, those conservative leaders do not include you or them.

  29. Goodyear GOP says

    It reads like they got labeled, not just for backing the wrong horse (again!) but for ditching the event altogether. Like it says, if showing up is half the battle.

    Now at least we know where they rank us in terms of importance. And you can’t give us the “they were working” bit because Trent Franks was able to fit into his schedule just fine.

  30. Goodyear GOP says

    And when you write “Why trash our strong, independent minded delegation?”, let’s just remember that “maverick” means moderate and “independent minded” means they loved us when they ran for office, but now they don’t give a rat’s ass what we think.

  31. Conservative does not mean Republican says

    Independent minded doesn’t mean someone is a moderate, Goodyear. Look at a Ron Paul for example. I’m not his #1 supporter but he is definitely a “maverick” for being outside the mainstream of the Republican Party. At the same time, he is in no way a moderate- quite the opposite. With Jeff Flake, you also have someone considered an outsider or a “maverick.” However, I wouldn’t consider him a moderate either. In fact, Flake is considered one of the most conservative congressional leaders we have.

  32. Intolerant Xenophobe says

    Kyl was elected on a constant mantra of “no amnesty.” Once elected, he pushed hard for the McCain/Kennedy ’07 amnesty.

    Here’s Jeff Flake, keynote speaker to the Brookings Institute on the subject of “comprehensive” immigration reform.

    John Shadegg joined the Mac Magruder crowd to endorse Tony Bouie. He recalled his fondness for a guest worker program on the eve of the Arizona legislative vote for the guest worker program which was all about Mexico specifically to the exclusion of other immigrants from other countries.

    No big deal? 75% of AZ votes against illegal immigration, every time. The representation is working against the will of the voters. That is bound to have repercussions. And it does-boy howdy! I’m not trying to continue the divisiveness. You asked. Just enforce existing law and quit fighting the grassroots Party workers and statewide voters. Too much to ask?

    (Randy Pullen, on the other hand, goes back to the RNC and gets border security resolutions passed. That IS in keeping with the will of the AZ voters.)

  33. Goodyear-

    Congressmen Flake and Shadegg and US Senator Jon Kyl happen to be a little higher up in Republican leadership than Congressmen Franks was. It was great that Congressmen Franks showed up, but lets not call the others losers. Senator Jon Kyl is second in Republican leadership.

    I have an idea for those of you who say that you are conservative first and Republican second. Perhaps its time to start a different political party? If you aren’t going to claim being a Republican as your priority, then what are you doing here- preaching on Republican principles that you, yourselves don’t prioritize?

  34. Face the Facts says

    Let’s just face it. This whole argument is all about Mexicans. It’s sad but true.

  35. Question:
    I have a question for you. If being “Republican” doesn’t mean standing for the platform, then what is the point? The better question to ask is why our representatives won’t represent us. It is pretty sad when our delegation thinks they are too important to come to the state convention.
    If they are so out of touch with the electorate that it is beneath them to attend, maybe they are the ones who should leave the party.

  36. Face the Facts – this is about Mexicans is the misnomer of the illegal immigration debate – it has nothing to do with Mexicans or people of Latino descent. A very good friend of mine is Mexican, born and raised in Nogales, and is against illegal immigration. My mother is from Central America, immigrated here legally, became a citizen and is against illegal immigration. A South African friend just received his citizenship, went through all the hoops and is against illegal immigration.
    The key word is illegal. If it makes you feel better to believe that this is about Mexicans, then go ahead, but you are wrong.

  37. Question – So are Kyl, Shadegg and Flake so high up in Republican leadership that they cannot take time to attend the State Convention to see the people who help them get elected and they are suppose to represent?

  38. Goodyear GOP says

    What does being more senior in the party have to do with your availability on a Saturday? If you can show me where Kyl was as the #2 guy, I’d consider giving him a pass. But Shadegg and Flake are not even ranking members on committees. They have no excuse for blowing off the party faithful.

    And LD 8 PC, we on the West Side are very familiar with Shiree Verdone. I’m sure she gave “all” for McCain, but you exaggerate her record. Those of us who know her are not impressed. Its not that tough to give away your husband’s money.

  39. Intolerant Xenophobe says

    34. FTF, The whole argument is about Americans and orderly manageable immigration. It’s about not rewarding anyone from any land entering our country illegally. It’s about a level playing field for business owners who obey the law and refuse to hire illegally. Our good nature has been taken advantage of almost to the point of our own ruin. Standing up for the welfare of our own country does not make us racist, intolerant or xenophobic and we need make no apologies. Without vigilance we will become a country that millions will want to tunnel away from. No thank-you.

  40. Republican does not mean Conservative says

    The sense of entitlement by the “party” faithful is ridiculous. Try putting yourself in one of their shoes for a change. They have a million other things going on right now that high up on the priority list. After fulfilling their congressional obligations they come home and want to spend a Saturday with their FAMILY after being in D.C. for 3 or 4 days during the week. Man, I can’t BELIVEVE they wouldn’t show up. The State Convention is just not high up on their respective priority lists. With all they have going on, I don’t think I would come to the State Convention either.

    The funny thing is, you would still hate on them even if they came to the convention. They would probably talk about some policy position you don’t agree with and we’d be back in this same place. Most people need to justify their dislike for others by finding fault in them. It’s all about self-justifying blame.

  41. #41., The delegation coming to a state meeting would be welcomed but, only very few (or one) thinks it is some kind of obligation. I’m sure most who attended Saturday had no such “expectations.” The delegation members who did not attend lose no points for having other things to do. Completely understandable by most.

  42. I thought I saw Congressman Flake at the meeting.

    And that is all that I will contribute to this thread.

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