District 11 leadership and PC wars heat up

Big dogs recruited to join the fight

Today’s daily newspaper’s Political Insider column includes this bit of inside politics: Scroll down to the item titled, Honey, the governor‘s on the phone….detailing the territorial wars between the elected District 11 conservative precinct committeemen and the liberal element misrepresenting itself by use of the genuine sounding name Grassroots Arizona.

Last week brought an intensification to the conflict with a national figure entering the fray. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, recorded a 30-second auto-dialer message that went to 5,000 district homes.  An additional 5,000 households are expected to receive the call Monday, the day before the primary election.

In the eye of this storm, along with the longstanding PCs whom the McCain surrogates want to oust, are party stalwarts, Maricopa County Chairman, Tom Husband and the District 11 Chairman Rob Haney. Refreshingly, neither of these men shrink from calling out the elephant in the room when need be.

Grassroots Arizona PAC already has flooded the district with mailers advocating on behalf of its slate of recruited and often unsuspecting PC candidates. Not all of their recruits were pleased with the inclusion on their suspect list. Former Sen. Tom Smith strongly denounced their practices at the August district meeting.

There is no doubt that this effort came directly from the McCain campaign. Haley Barbour is too high in the upper echelon of the GOP to accommodate low level PC requests.

Tom Husband, the Maricopa County Chairman, who resides in the district and is in the crosshairs of the Grassroots PAC, wryly noted, “I’m flattered. I’ve never had anyone that politically important pay so much attention to me before.”

John McCain also lives in the district and has been embarrassed in the past when the elected precinct committeemen objected to his liberal policies on various issues, most significantly the Comprehensive Immigration Reform/ Amnesty bill. Big money interests in the state that benefit from taxpayer subsidized low cost illegal labor seized the opportunity to silence the voices of the opposition.

As a presidential candidate, John McCain wants to ensure that a repeat of such displeasure with his policies doesn’t re-erupt. The means being employed by his surrogates is to shut down the conservative leadership within the party.

13 Responses to District 11 leadership and PC wars heat up

  1. Maggie says:

    It would seem that Barbour has more than enough on his plate with the Republican National Convention and Hurricane Gustav poised to hammer his state.

  2. Jeff Richards says:

    Let’s hope those receiving these calls pause and ask the question, “what in the world would the Mississippi Governor know about Arizona LD-11 ?” McCain trying again to take out conservative precinct committeemen is just despicable. LD-11 voters, please stand tall for conservative stalwarts Rob Haney and Tom Husband and the rest of their slate for LD-11 precinct committeemen.

    Read about the REAL Arizona grassroots conservatives at

  3. Thomas says:

    Let’s face it, those liberal positions raised objections within the party ranks,. And those surrounding the nominee, and hoping for a golden ring to grab in his administration, are going to pull out all stops to silence any dissenting voices.

  4. Orion says:

    It’s simple. The money and power trying to squelch opposing voices — and there are many — are coming from open borders supporters. THAT’S “the elephant in the room.”

  5. Hometown Guy says:

    Now that he’s the nominee, can we still say it? Oh, what the heck! Last I checked, we still had our First Amendment rights. McCain’s supporters want to ensure his own sycophants populate all party levels within the state. If they take out the dedicated activists, they will be left with a shell of a GOP. Perhaps that’s the idea?

  6. westsider says:

    The ‘straight talk express’ is becoming the ‘take out express’ –

    once a bully always a bully –

    wonder what he will do when he is on the world stage – scary thought, don’t you think?

  7. I haven’t heard the robo calls but I’ve seen the most recent mail piece by the G.R.PAC crowd. It begins “Do you view Senators McCain, Kyl and Congressman Shadegg, as your adversaries? The current Republican chair of our district 11 does, …”, and goes on to quote an email by Chairman Rob Haney in which he accurately details the current PC conflict including things like who is behind them and who is financing them. (Just why were two rich San Francisco Democrats so interested in Republicans in District 11 two years ago?). Lots more info at http://www.azconservativegrassroots.org

    The letter goes on in typical liberal-speak to accuse Chairman Haney of actively opposing McCain, Kyl and Shadegg and creating a dysfunctional party, and then asks voters to “restore rationality and effective leadership,…” etc. etc.

    Personal story: A few years back when the G. R. PAC folks were the ones in charge of the Party, John McCain did something that rubbed me particularly raw. I called the state Party HQ to voice my opinion and was told by that “rational”, “effective” leadership basically to “stuff it”.

    Experience says the G. R. PAC people are still out of touch with Valley republican voters. Based on the calls that came in last summer to AZGOP over the immigration bill, and the very recent calls about the possibility of a Lieberman Vice Presidential pick, I would say that a lot of voters in the Valley view our representatives as adversaries. Many of them viewed the Republican Party similarly. We had to do an awful lot to to convince voters that the party is now on their side on conservative issues. (That too comes from personal experience walking precincts for “Dubya” back in 2004 and volunteering at HQ since.)

    Forget immigration for a minute. If we Republicans supported our representatives like these G. R. PAC people say we should, we might now have a Supreme Court Justice Harriet Miers instead of the much more qualified Samuel Alito. I didn’t hear the G. R. PAC crowd complaining about that one, did you?

    Fortunately for the rest of us, fealty to the King went out of style here in 1776. If you have intelligence and a modicum of history you know that the founding fathers who designed our government regarded it as the potential adversary of a free people. That’s why they designed in so many checks and balances, obstacles that our elected representatives have been seeking to remove, despite resistance from us, since before the New Deal.

    The truth is, we conservatives here in the valley support John McCain, Jon Kyl and John Shadegg lock, stock and barrel, up to the point where their political direction veers away from ours. When it does we let them know about it. That bears repeating: When it does we let them know about it. Come election time we support them against the democrats in the street and at the polls. We don’t go out and endorse or vote for Democrats. Evidently, according to G. R. PAC, “letting them know about it” is more than we have a right to do. Well, we’re not sure exactly what motivates the G. R. PAC folks, but we are not about to trade in our principles for financial or political gain or to deflect criticism.

    Back to the issue of a dysfunctional Republican Party, just what was the story with the “Republicans for Janet” (http://www.azconservative.org/Exposed_Rs4Janet.htm) group a couple of years ago? You can find some of those people among the G. R. PAC crowd. Our Democrat Governor who is happy to spend the state into a fiscal black hole was mighty happy to get their support. Meanwhile, our Republican candidate for Governor lost. What do you think having a democrat for Governor does to the relative strengths of the two major parties in Arizona?

  8. Mark Zemel says:

    Thanks for setting the record straight George. Couldn’t agree with you more. Well said.

  9. Villanova says:

    George Teegarden:
    I do thank you for the excellent insight into what is actually taking place in the district .
    Your account substantiates what has been posted on this site. The information you provide here is greatly appreciated.

  10. westsider says:


    Well written. This is the best explanation I have read for a long time.

    You had me all the way until the last sentence: “What do you think having a democrat for Governor does to the relative strengths of the two major parties in Arizona?”

    I am not sure what you mean. If one party has the majority in the House and Senate, and the other party controls the governor’s office – that sounds like a ‘relative’ strength. Would you sooner have the GOP hold the governor’ office and give up the House and Senate?

    When Bruce Babbitt was governor, the house and Senate were controlled by the GOP as I remember. I do recall that there were Republicans for Babbitt around – and no one seemed to lose a lot of sleep over that as i remember. I don’t recall these discussions. But then again we didn’t have blogs in the 80s :) I think civic discourse was much more civil in those days – this may be the difference today.

  11. LiberalWatcher says:

    Once again the focus has shifted from getting candidates elected in important Legislative districts to internal fights in the party.
    Let’s say the Federal court ruling on Clean Elections matching funds goes further before the November election- BOTH of the REPUBLICAN candidates in LD11 are Clean Elections.
    The DEM write-in Meirs has already benefited from $20K from Arizona Wins (Dem PAC) – paying for FIVE MAILINGS, TWO live phones and his SIGNS (that we know of).
    Do you think the DEMS are going to sit around for the Nov general? No, they will dump even more PAC

  12. LiberalWatcher says:

    more – same post
    they (Dems) will dump even more PAC money and Driggs and Altmann will only have their $19,000 each to battle tens of thousands of Dem dollars to get their precious ex-DeSimone seat back.
    In the meantime, lots of money – money that could have been used to make sure Altmann & Driggs get in, along with re-electing Leff in the senate race, have gone to internal arguments.
    The Dems gotta be laughing their butts off right now watching Republicans kills each other and burn up money that could have been used to support candidates. We, as Republicans, are creating a perfect storm for the Dems to kick our butts out of the majority in the Legislature.

  13. George Teegarden says:

    Two additional points: If you run “clean” and your opponent doesn’t and raises more money than your CE fundng, clean elections will boost your funding to more or less match. That’s the problem with it. If you don’t run clean the system does what it can to eliminate any financial advantage you might have. If you are an excellent candidate with lots of support from lots of people and you have a bone-head opponent that no one (in the party) likes, Clean Elections makes sure you both have an equal chance financially. Second, the Dems have received a HUGE boost in financial power and status by having a Dem as Governor, and no, I didn’t mean trading a Rep legislature for a Rep Governor, we want ’em both, don’t we?