Sen. Jon Kyl shows his contempt for rank-and-file Republican activists

Register voters, raise money, go door-to-door in 115 degrees, get my petitions signed, man phone banks, and pound those signs in the parched earth


The following appallingly arrogant response is excerpted from the recent Arizona Capitol Times interview with Sen. Jon Kyl. Apparently the senator thinks the job of the state party is confined to registering voters, raising money for candidates and getting-out-the-vote. In other words, he expects the good worker-bees to do all the grunt work to put the elected elites in office, but keep our mouths shut?

Read the entire interview here.

Capitol Times:   During the immigration debate, there were some disagreements between the state party and the way some Arizona citizens felt. How are you and (state GOP Chairman) Randy Pullen getting along now?

Sen. Kyl:   Understand what the role of the state party is. I was active in the state party starting in the late 1960s. So, I’ve had a lot of experience. I was the state party legal counsel for about five years in the early ’70s and have been part of the state party in one way or another pretty much my entire political life.

I always have the view that the role of the state party is to elect Republicans to office. Period. The role of elected officials is to take positions on issues and to represent the people of the whole state. The political parties are more to represent the people within the party in a political context. What that means is, they need to register voters. They need to raise money for the candidates. They need to get-out-the-vote on Election Day. Those are the main things a political party does.

A political party begins to get into deep water when it begins to take a position on behalf of all Republicans. Now, I stood for election and I forget the exact number, but of hundreds of thousands of people who supported me, over a million people, I was willing to put it on the line to represent the people of Arizona. But I don’t for a minute think that my views can be imposed on all Arizonans, let alone all Republicans, as the only valid Republican position.

So I think the party gets into trouble when it presumes to represent all Republicans. When the party itself got involved in the illegal immigration issue, it seemed to me that it exceeded its role because clearly Republicans were divided. It’s just not a proper role for the political party to get into.


29 Responses to Sen. Jon Kyl shows his contempt for rank-and-file Republican activists

  1. Tom says:

    His border betrayal was enough for me. I’ve been a precinct committeeman and always though Kyl was an OK guy. He showed me a side that stunned me immediately after he was reelected because of his strong talk about securing the border during his campaign.

    This interview question is very telling about his views of GOP PCs. The link to the rest of the interview is no longer accessible. Thanks for providing this, because I don’t subscibe to the Capitol Times. Stopped reading it when they started charging.

  2. Leslie says:

    My brother-in-law. who is the go-to guy on political issues, says Kyl won’t run again. If he’s right, Kyl’s got five years left and will be 70 at the end of this term. After his sneak amnesty attack on us within short order after his last election, I would never support him again. I hope Bob the brother-in-law has an inside track on calling this one.

  3. ThinkRight AZ says:

    Kyl is right on.

    Say that the political party takes a position that to be a Republican, you have to wear suspenders, those that wear belts will be left out…especially if they’re called traitors & liars for wearing belts instead of suspenders.

    Now if the party asks those that wear either suspenders or belts to the table & asks them to raise money & register voters then both those with suspenders & belts work together instead of apart. Simple as that…

    It is OK to be a special interest group and support either, but if a party is serious about being successful, it needs to become inclusive & not devisive.

  4. Rob Haney says:

    Senator Kyl’s opinion about the Republican party taking a position counter to his about illegal immigration is reminiscent of king George’s response to the complaints of the colonists….I know what is best for you peons. Your position is to support me with money and loyalty no matter what actions I take.

    The Senator apparently believes that the state party is there simply to provide a platform for us lemmings to leap from in a political suicide dive in support of his wrong- headed position. The problem today is that our elected officials place themselves and party above the Constitution. I would agree with the Senator if all Republican office holders supported the Constitution. But some of them don’t.

    When they forsake their oath of office by refusing to defend the country from invasion, when they attempt a back door method of taking away our 2nd amendment firearm rights (McCain’s attempt to close gun shows), when they take away our 1st amendment rights of free speech (McCain’s campaign finance reform), when they tell us one thing to get elected and reverse course after election (Kyl…”border enforcement first”), who else was going to force a course correction to return to Constitutional principles but political activists within the party? Especially when these activists believed the very survival of the country was at stake.

    Senator Kyl, you have the chutzpah to tell those of us who volunteered at state and county hq and took the spears chucked through the party phones intended for you… to be quiet? You obviously have no idea of the damaging effect your actions have had on the state party. Shame on you Senator, for pointing your finger at the state party officials who were representing us while you pandered to the illegal aliens.

    Senator Kyl and Senator McCain, as well as Representative Flake, still don’t get it. They are the individuals responsible for the polarization within the party. The party faithful who worked to get them elected are not there to be used and later cast aside with disdain by the elected elites and big money donors.

    These donors now withhold funds from the party until they get their way with low wages and amnesty for illegals. They care not that their greed destroys our schools, health care, criminal justice system, and culture while importing a culture of corruption….not to mention national security and sovereignty. Thank God money was not the end-all for our founding fathers.

    Senator Kyl, the Republicans were not divided on the immigration issue as you claim. They were 90% united in opposition to you. You failed to represent them. Instead, you danced the double-talk jig to the tune played on the twin Irish liberal fiddles of McCain and Kennedy. You were, above all, an enabler to McCain’s insatiable self-interest.

    Now Senator, show us what you can do to reverse the illegal invasion onslaught. The 14th amendment needs to be correctly interpreted as written. The defining clause being, “subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” Children born of illegal alien citizens of another country are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

    In fact, they have just robbed us for their health care as sure as if they had held a gun to our heads. You know very well that the 1868 14th amendment was meant to guarantee citizenship for former slaves.

    Here is the challenge for you Senator Kyl. Lead the battle to restore the original intent of the 14th amendment. Forget the illegal aliens, the Mexican government, and the chamber of commerce lobbyists. Represent us this time around.

  5. Sandy says:

    I’m proud to say that Kyl never had me fooled. I took a visiting team to his Phoenix office in May 2006, and the tap-dancing of his aide on the amnesty issue left no doubt whatever that Kyl would support amnesty (although of course he claims it’s not).

    Nor were any of the other team members surprised when he not only supported amnesty but did his party whip job in advance, strong-arming other conservatives to voting for amnesty.

    When we called his offices (both local and DC), we heard a recording that “the mailbox is full,” but we caught Judas Kyl red-handed in pandering to the illegal aliens. LaRaza and allies sponsored a Spanish-speaking direct line to senators’ offices, and when the usual calls were met with a recording, calls on the LaRaza line not only got through but were answered by a staffer personally!

    Another Phoenix activist even phoned Kyl’s office while on the air as a guest on KFYI, and their listeners heard for themselves how Judas Kyl slapped us in the face.

    Judas Kyl is pond scum, and I’m proud to say I never voted for him.

  6. Frankly Speaking says:

    Think Right:
    If only the issue was a simple as wearing suspenders or belts. Surely, no one would care.

    This is about losing our national sovereignty and imperiling our security in treacherous times. It is about the costs involved in education, health care costs and expansion of our criminal justice system due to an invasion of illegal aliens who care nothing for our rule of law.

    Mexico has stringent laws protecting their own borders and defining the meager rights accorded to non-citizens in their country. Yet we are supposed to play host and Daddy Warbuck’s to those who march by the thousands through American streets, making demands of our taxpaying citizens.

    Additionally, this is the first group of immigrants to this country of immigrants who overwhelmingly resist assimilation and declare that the American southwest is theirs to reclaim.

    If only it were suspenders and belts.

  7. Alex says:

    Let’s assume that the party’s job is to work for and get Republican candidates elected, no matter their views on the issues. What is to
    keep some people from leaving the
    party and then running
    on the former platform, like down in CD-8? Is that what is has come to?

  8. Fooled Twice says:

    The real issue here is the dissing of the precinct committeemen—all volunteers—who work our butts off to elect these people, who then act as if we are dirt under their Cole Haans. I’ve been a PC long enough to have done all of the tasks described in this article. For Sen. Kyl to say we should raise money, get out the vote, register voters and put a sock in it when we are being betrayed, is nothing short of arrogant and exceedingly rude. Maybe he’d like to ask his wife and kids to collect the thousands of signatures on his petitions, stuff and stamp his envelopes, put up door hangers in the precincts, make calls on his behalf and stand when he enters the room?

    I sincerely hope they’re up for that, because I no longer am.

  9. Ben F. says:

    Jon Kyl and Benedict Arnold – birds of a feather.

    A lifetime supporting America until a time of crisis – then treason. Treason is defined as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. There is no other word to describe their acts.

    Jon Kyl no longer has any right to speak for the citizens of this state and nation.

  10. ThinkRight AZ says:

    It clearly is as simple as my analogy. Good Republicans have differing views on what to do about Immigration. 100% agreement on a solution is nearly impossible.

    I’d expect most want border security & enforcement of the laws. Some want a guest worker program (Bush did say that’s what he was for in 2004). Kyl did in 2006. Some want deportation of every illegal. Some want to take advantage of trade along our international borders, others don’t want any contact at all.

    The nasty rhetoric does no one any good. You can call Kyl a traitor all you want, he has been an outstanding Conservative throughout his entire career. By labeling him as you do, you actually marginalize your own cause. Eections are won by convincing 51% to vote for your guy (or gal) & if those that don’t have as strong of views on an issue see you throwing your standard bearer under the bus, they honestly have a hard time taking you seriously.

    The Republican party (just like the Dems) is made up of many special interest groups that come together due to the Democrats opposite views. i.e. Right-to-life, pro-business, small govt, anti spending, to name a few. One issue does not trump the entire party. Some will disagree on issues, & we have to be able to comprehend that if we don’t stick together, the Dems will win out. All are not going to agree 100% even on the party platform. That’s America.

    Arizona is a border state, just like Washington State, Michigan & others. A huge chuck of change is made by industry that sells tourism & goods to Canada & Mexico. For instance, Nogales triples in size every day & makes a living by sales tax that Sonoran tourists spend in that city. Tucson Mall’s revenue is 35% from Sonoran/Mexicans traveling to Tucson and spending money. Now, the rhetoric has been strongly anti-Mexican & now tourism from Mexico is way down. We should welcome them (of course legally) to come and visit our beautiful state and spend money, but the nasty tone has told them…”we don’t want you here.”
    Pro-business Republicans (like myself) agree that we need immigration reform, we also want a more pelasant tone.

  11. Dolly Parton says:

    This all reminds me of a Beatles song: ” Love, love me, do”

    Kyl wants the love and most of us are ready for a Tammy Wynette

  12. In the Kyl world-view, a political party exists to serve the elite who are office holders. This is technically a “soviet” system of politics, a system by committee – or the elite.

    Look at the ex-Soviet Union to see how the communist party worked. This is the type of party system that Jon Kyl is promoting in his remarks.

    You (the small people) exist and are ‘lucky’ to be in ‘my’ party so go forth and put up signs, get petitions signed, and register new members … but woe are they who challenge me or my position! That’s Jon Kyl.

    He should have retired this last term, but as we all know, he made a deal with the Devil and had to serve his evil master once more cycle in the Senate.

    Jon Kyl certainly does not serve the citizens of Arizona (any more than John McCain does)… unless you consider pork politics to be valid (pork: the art of fleecing the public of their money through taxes only to return a portion back to them in the form of special public projects that they may or may not have wanted in the first place).

    There are 2 types of voters in the Az Republican Party today; the soviet committee that serves the elite and eats the crumbs they allow to fall, and the independent minded members who believe that a party exists to represent a standard – a platform of values and beliefs – and that office holders are employees of the voter.

  13. In sum: Kyl wants a top-down rulership organization that serves him (and his cronies); the alternative is a bottom-up leadership model that serves the interests and values of the membership.

    Your call Republicans; Leadership or Rulership – do you know the difference?

  14. Marianne says:

    Think Right:

    You appear to be thinking wrong.

    What you fail to realize is that there is an enormous difference between those immigrants who come to this country LEGALLY and those who have contempt for our laws. They are called criminals. What we are experiencing is an invasion of criminals. And although we keep hearing about the “good people” the proliferation of violent gangs and escalating crime cannot be denied. Read the paper, listen to the radio, watch the evening news.

    American citizens are weary of footing the bill for this massive throng of humanity that cares nothing for our laws and has the nerve to demand concessions from us. Look at the outrageous display of arrogance at M.D. Pruitt’s furniture store in Phoenix. This is a family owned store that has been in the Valley for over fifty years, and the Hispanic activists are shamelessly doing their best to shut it down.

    I am a native-born Phoenician, as were my parents. Things have certainly changed over the years, and not for the better. Why don’t you try going to Mexico and making demands in their streets? The policía will not be so kind.

    Again, this is not suspenders and belts as you previously stated. Neither is it a matter of perspective, or sound business concepts.

    It is about a sovereign nation (the USA) having enforceable borders and expecting respect for its laws.

    Sen. Jon Kyl has made his position clear. The only problem for many of us is that he did it AFTER his duplicitous campaign to secure the border and his obvious contempt for those same Republicans who elected him, after foolishly drinking his Kool Ade.

    Next time, I’ll stick with water!

  15. Villanova says:

    It’s not that Jon Kyl is dismissive of longtime party workers and precinct committeemen. His own comments in this Capitol Times interview show he holds us in contempt.

    The feeling is mutual, Senator.

    You’d do well to remember that you are where you are because of us. Think of us each time you cash your paycheck. It’s especially nice now, with the nearly $20,000 raise you get as minority whip. Factoring that into the mix, it will make your 80% retirement annuity more than the vast majority of Americans earn while gainfully employed. Benefits are extra, of course. And then there is that necessary annual cost of living increase.

    Not bad compensation from those peons you hold in disdain.

    Good observation by Fooled Twice that all of this comes with the ego-balm perk of the minions standing when he enters the room. your

  16. Steve Schallenberger says:

    I look at people like Haney and say, why aren’t you Senator Haney? You seem to have your finger on the pulse of every Arizona Republican. Or is it that every clear thinking Arizona Republican can see you for the reactionary whack job that you are. Let’s talk about freedom, that is until that talk gets in the way of your view of the world.
    I’m completely sick of the current Pullen regime. The leader of all Republicans? I think not! He won by 4 votes, now there’s a mandate! And I’d like to get an answer about why the John Birch Society is now in charge of the state party. THINKRIGHTAZ definately has all their stuff in one sock. The only clear thinking, non-reactionary, non-holier-than-thou in this whole blog. Remember this, America was built on compromise… you understand the word? COMPROMISE!! not stubborn stupidity to your way or the hiway. The sooner you people learn that the better off we’ll all be.

  17. antiwacko says:

    Inclusive not devisive is the key Kyl is correct. I was disapointed at the “grass roots” workers of the AZ rep party. You are embracing fringe, wacko, strange and out outright conspriatorial goofy theories. Pardon me but I’m grass roots as they come, I wanted to purge the libs from the state party also, but now if you’re not a minuteman your not a conservative. I got news for you it’s a big tent that wins…you don’t win you don’t govern.

    Maybe we should start a third party? Yeah that’s it we can win for sure that way.

    Stop getting you news from George Norrie and Art Bell. Alex Jones is a fool. And only fools would be buy into his theories. Tom Tancracko is wrong. There has to be a solution to the immigration problem… Kyl did not betray me.

  18. Bill says:

    The last two posts are definitely minority views. I notice they have trouble with spelling and punctuation. Maybe that defines the Kool Ade drinkers from the thinkers?

    Randy Pullen is doing a fine job as state GOP chair. I’ve known previous chairmen, and he is accessible and involved, unlike some of his predecessors. That’s likely what the establishment doesn’t want, preferring to have a mainly absentee chair to whom they can give marching orders. Pullen is not that guy. He’s assembled a good team and the party is functioning well.

    What we all need to focus on is the coming election cycle. Internal strife fomented by the delegation is distructive. We have congressional races along with other offices we need to hold onto or fill with good Republicans. There is plenty of work to be done. Let’s get to it!

  19. GenghisJhan says:

    First McCain, then Kyl have betrayed conservtatives nationwide. It is a symptom of beltway fever which eventually infects ALL politicians, which is why we need term limits. McCain and Kyl’s actions on immigration highlight their suck-up to business money at the expense of us voters. I am switching to independent and will be very judicious about voting for any politician again. The slightest suspicion of possibe betrayal by a candidate cancels my vote.

  20. David says:

    I don’t see why some of the AZ Grassroots PCs have such an inferiority complex about their rolls as PCs. Did they become PCs to help the Republican party, or to further their own agendas??? It seems to me that Kyl has been active in the state party for a lot longer than most of his detractors and he knows the roll of a PC–which is, like he said, to help register Republicans, help get petitions signed, help get out the vote so that Republicans win elections. If people want to see this in writing, they can go to the official District 11 website for a copy of the PC Handbook.

    Everyone who cares about the Republican cause will realize that a House divided will not stand. Why are people so easily offended that a United States Senator, the 2nd highest Ranked Republican in the Senate, states and understands the roll of the State Party and PCs. PCs aren’t U.S. Senators. The Democrats love the interparty bickering and what has happened in State Party. Disgruntled Republicans don’t realize their alternative to the Republican elected officials they think they detest. In the meantime, if this keeps up, the writing is on the wall–That lady who was elected Governor in an overwhelming blowout will be the next U.S. Senator from AZ. Jim Pederson will take the next Senate Seat. Terry Goddard will be Governor, and Phil Lopes will be Speaker of the House!!! In the meantime, Don and Barry Jr. can continue to beat the crap out of each other on who is the “real Goldwater’, the problem is, it will be too late and nobody will care!!!!!


  21. Mike Clancy says:

    Thank God for our rank and file leadership! Isn’t this representitive of the hierarchy
    of leadership, they get corrupted and jaded by those around them and lose sight of who
    got them there in the first place. The shock and awe was their true colors on the Illegal Immigration, yes we supported you, because we thought you would carry the message in the Senate and protect our borders! Once you were there you sold us out!
    Amazingly turning and spinning all the data selling us out again and again. Thanks John! No thanks. I’ll stick with the rank and file loyal core!

  22. Steve Schallenberger says:

    I’m with ya Antiwacko. Next time too, put your first and last name on your responses. They should know who we are and know we’re coming on to take the party back from the JBS looney toons types. That means you too Bill, or are you and all the other kooks too busy kissing Pullen’s behind to remember your own name?

    We’re going to keep Senator Kyl, keep Congressman Flake, win the seat up north and down south, GO BEE! And we’re going to do it with right thinking folks who are more concerned with Arizona than their own petty party bickerings and especially leaving out the bovine scatology from the outer reaches.

  23. Marcus says:

    Anti-wacko: Correct yourself. The Republicans lost BECAUSE they went “big tent.” See “2006 elections.”

  24. Tom says:

    Marcus is absolutely right! We have a pro-life platform and should support it. The “big tent” approach with the pro-abortion mentality, is the signal of a society that is degraded.

  25. David says:

    Marcus–The Republicans lost because they went “Big Tent”? Oh, you mean Big Tent candidates like Randy Graf, J.D. Hayworth, Len Munsil, Al Melvin, Doug Quelland and Dan Hasselbrok … you mean those big tent republicans???? I am as conservative as anybody, but our good causes are not going to get very far if we don’t get the votes. We have to stop alienating ourselves and put our effort into getting more people to vote with us in 2008! As of right now, Dems and Independents are out registering Republicans. Dems are out fundraising Republicans, and all these blogging Republicans can worry about is attacking fellow Republicans. That is not what we should triffle with, rather we should worry about Governor Napolitano, Harry Mitchell and Gabby!!!! After all, it’s not Jon Kyl who wants to add “partners” to state employee benefits.

  26. OLd Territorial Atty. says:

    I don’t like the border invasion one damned bit, but but burning Sen Kyl at the stake for not complying with your perception of reality is WHAKED. I want border security, I don’t want anymore invaders and if the proposed “path to citizenship” is to lax lobby to make it more rigorous. But if you think its realistic and workable to round em all up and send them back south then get real. Remember the priority is securing the border what becomes of the foreigners that got here while we failed at securing the border is in comparison a minor issue.

  27. To Tell the Truth says:

    Jon Kyl has had years of outstanding service to the citizens of Arizona. One only needs to remember that it was Kyl or Peterson in the last election. No matter what you think of Senator Kyl, he is miles ahead of anything Peterson would be doing now if Peterson was our Senator. Do you like the current proposal of 130% tax increase, no budget, $9 Trillion in debt, etc.? Without Kyl, there would no one to fight for us!

    I am a huge Kyl supporter and the party was (and for that matter) is way out of line on what they did to “One of America’s Top Ten Senators” Jon Kyl.

    Jon thanks for ALL you have done for Arizona and the Nation. You’re my hero!

  28. Ajo Joe says:

    Old Territorial Atty. and To Tell the Truth:

    So I get it. You don’t like the invasion, but Kyl is better than Jim Pederson would have been?

    What a sound and rousing endorsement of an AZ Senator who lied prior to his reelection (remember the sheriffs on the border campaign ads?) and stuck his finger in our eye with his “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” scheme immediately after he was secure in his seat, that pretty much would have given away the farm?

    Kyl is as shifty and unreliable as they come. His acquiescence to the demonstrator’s demands still sickens me. I keep hearing he won’t run again when this term is up. If he does, he will never again get my vote.

    It’s simply not good enough to say a lying sneak of a Republican is better than the Democrat challenger. Would you rather wake up with a boa or rattler in your bed?

  29. […] daring to have an opinion on an issue, especially if they are active members of his own party.  Here’s the full interview from 2007 when Kyl was throwing his weight behind Lisa James in an e… “When the party itself got involved in the illegal immigration issue, it seemed to me that […]