Conservative leadership: Tom Morrissey for GOP State Chair

Republican elected state committeemen gearing up for the Statutory Meeting this Saturday have been on a roller coaster of sorts.

The anticipated election of party officers took an odd turn earlier this week when Bruce Ash, the presumptive successor to state Chairman Randy Pullen suddenly withdrew, citing health issues. The remaining candidates are regarded as establishment devotees, not acceptable to conservatives and tea party committeemen casting ballots.

As the search for a reliable replacement began in earnest, former Distinct 20 Chairman and longtime precinct committeeman Tom Morrissey offered his services. Morrissey is a known quantity, possessing strong conservative credentials, exemplified by his support of, and fundraising for, the campaigns of respected candidates including U.S. Rep. David Schweikert, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and former Congressman J.D. Hayworth.

Tom Morrissey’s impressive resume and Constitution-based vision statement for the future of the Arizona Republican Party can be read here.

His notable career credentials include serving as Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal, District of Arizona and Chief of the Office of Special Investigations, Arizona Department of Economic Security.

Among those endorsing Tom Morrissey’s candidacy are recently reelected Maricopa County Republican Chairman Rob Haney, Sen. Russell Pearce, the executive board of the Pachyderm Coalition, including former Sen. Thayer Verschoor, Don Goldwater and Diane Douglas, Peoria School Board, Sal DiCiccio, Phoenix City Councilman, Marne Haney of the State Executive Committee and attorney Dan Schultz.  Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio also stands with Morrissey.

With the crucial 2012 election cycle fast approaching, it is imperative we have strong conservative leadership. A vote for Tom Morrissey will ensure we meet the challenges without compromising our values

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36 Responses to Conservative leadership: Tom Morrissey for GOP State Chair

  1. Fed Up says:

    Morrissey is a good and upstanding man. But the hatchet job from the McKyl establishment has already begun to gear up against him. One of the other blogs actually allowed a libelous post to go up before finally removing it. This is typical of the RINO faction of the party. Many will recall how they attempted to destroy Sen. Russell Pearce. Thank God truth came to the fore in that situation, and Pearce won overwhelmingly.

    • LD 18 Committeeman says:

      I’m not surprised by these tactics. They sound like the same cabal of leftist goons who have worked tirelessly to undermine conservatives. We handed them their heads in their hands during the recent meeting where Rob Haney was once again elected Maricopa County Republican Chairman. Haney represents the conservative majority and HE supports Tom Morrissey. Don’t let the McCainiacs win this important race and don’t allow them to split our votes so they can waltz through to victory. We need to unite behind the conservative as we did 2 weeks ago. Tom Morrissey is that man.

    • LD 7 PC says:

      It was the Sonoran Alliance blog that allowed the unsubstantiated and hateful comment to go up, potentially leaving them vulnerable, so they then removed ALL of the comments. Apparently they don’t moderate their comments, so anything goes. In their defense, it can’t be easy to stay ontop of everything that comes in. Regardless of that site’s policies, and before removal, the comment was copied and widely circulated, with the intention of destroying a good man‘s reputation. I support Tom Morrissey, but then again I also supported JD hayworth. Draw your own conclusions,

  2. Overtaxed1 says:

    I will be voting for Tom Morrissey and please watch out for the RINO’s who have a hard time telling the truth, they want a win even if they have to lie. Tom is the conservative and would represent the people and not the status quo of the McCain ilk. If you were elected to vote it is my understanding that he is a write in candidate. Spell his name correctly so the count will not be challenged. The RINO’s will try anything to gain control.

  3. Ricky Lujan says:

    A vote for Carmichael or Hermanson is a vote for more top-down party rule.

    “Meeting the challenges of 2012 without compromising our values” was the perfect way to phrase it SRA. All our conservative candiates who missed in 2010 like Steve Smtih against Jeff Flake and Janet Contreras against Ed Pastor will stand a much better chance with Tom Morrissey at the helm.

    Morrisey for State Chairman on Saturday!

  4. Republican Voter says:

    Ron Carmichael who is McCain’s pick for state chair claims to be a fiscal watchdog, but needlessly sent two mailers to each household with voting state committeemen. Duplicating these expenses might sound like a small thing, but printing and postage costs add up quickly. Merging household names on mailing lists is very easily done and cost effective. Money doesn’t matter to Team McCain.

  5. watching says:

    First it was Ash who was deprived of the opportunity to serve Arizona Republicans as our State Chairman – Speculation follows: After last week’s meeting in Washington w/McCain, he was told that his business would suffer if he ran…….I would be sick, too.

    Now it has started with Morrissey — McCain’s muscle strikes again…….where is the proof from this person? Martial issues always have two sides, and we all know of marriages that have failed. For ‘outsiders’ to choose sides is a bad idea. This is not about marriages; it’s about who can best lead AZ Republicans.

  6. Steve Calabrese says:

    It is a mistake to say that “libelous” comments were posted on the other blog. They were certainly inflamatory, and devastating if accurate, but they are not “libelous” unless they are actually false. I understand why the other blog would want to pull them down until they could be properly investigated.

    There’s no way McCain is behind that post; it would have been better written and better sourced if he was.

    The problem is that there is insufficent time to investigate the claims. I have a distaste for last minute slam jobs that cannot be responded to; however, in this case, the ex-wife posted her comments a couple days after Morrissey declared. I think she would have posted it earlier had he been a candidate earlier. The whole situation – Ash dropping out and a last-minute write-in candidate trying to take his place – short-circuits the normal vetting process that such a position would usually entail.

    I am personally alarmed because I know people who were supporting Ash stongly who are NOT supporting Morrissey due to their having prior knowledge of the allegations. That troubles me – Ash is highly respected; indeed, some of the highest praise about his character I’ve heard came from none other than Ron Carmichael – and it concerns me that other people who normally would be expected to line up with Morrissey are shaking their heads now that Ash is out.

    • Seen It All says:

      What are you smoking, Steve? Have you seen the list of lefties who are supporting Ron Carmichael? I received his mailer yesterday. The only two who aren’t specifically named are McCain himself and his former campaign chair, Shirree Verdone. What is being done to Morrissey is a travesty. They hauled out oldtimers Burt Kruglick, Jane Hull and Fife Symington (who haven’t been seen in the political arena in years) and propped up Jerry Brooks! Brooks you might recall was Mccain’s answer for county chairman two years ago. Conservatives elected Rob Haney and mopped the floor with Brooks.

      If you buy 11th hour allegations by a former spouse, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  7. Teller of Truth says:

    The RINOs must be very concerned about Tom Morrissey’s election as State Chairman, or they wouldn’t be expending so much energy, time and money in making sure he doesn’t win. All the more reason to ensure he does!!

  8. Dan Schultz says:

    I also wholeheartedly endorse conservative Tom Morrissey for State Chairman.
    Thank you.
    Dan Schultz

  9. MaskedTruthman says:

    The Political Class is very nervous about the clout of the Tea Party as demonstrated by last year’s sweep of the Conservative Members at Large election and this year’s swamp of the County elections. This is a desperate effort to smear the Tea Party candidate in an attempt to deflate their enthusiasm and avoid another rout at their hands.

  10. Steve Calabrese says:

    Seen It All, I don’t necessarily buy 11th hour allegations from a former spouse. However, in this case, there was no time for these allegations to come out sooner. He declared Tuesday. The allegations came Wednesday.

    It bothers me that there’s no time to verify the allegations. It really freaks me out that there’s going to be ample time to verify them AFTER the election – if true, the public records will back them up – and if they ARE true, and we elect this guy, it’s going to be a nightmare as soon as a reporter gets their hands on it.

    I still don’t see the connection of how “if X endorses Y then Y must be evil.” Politics – and people – are more complex than that. I have friends, and some political allies, and there are times I must disagree with them on things.

    For example, I strongly supported Bill Montgomery over Rick Romley. Yet I oppose Sheriff Arpaio’s re-election – I support Arpaio’s anti-illegal immigration policy 100%, yet have qualms about his abuses of police powers against some opponents and his endorsement (yeah, he says it wasn’t an endorsement, but it tipped the election regardless) of Janet Napolitano over Matt Salmon. And yet I also think Don Stapley is quite possibly a crook, and is absolutely unfit for office. So, how would someone pigeonhole my beliefs?

    I judge the person, the office, and the qualifications.

    It does not surprise me that a diverse group of people is supporting Ron Carmichael. Let’s face it, even those whom you may consider “RINOS” agree with you on at least 75-80% of the issues – is it any surprise that both moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans can agree that a candidate may just be the best man for the job?

    I trust that Ron Carmichael will fight like a tiger during the redistricting process. I also trust that Marty Hermansen would also fight to the best of his ability, but may not have the resources at his disposal that Ron has. And, I would trust that Bruce Ash would raise a ton of money for the State Party and would have served it well, even if he wouldn’t have been my first choice because I think he would have been a bit more tempted to meddle in primaries than Ron would.

    But Tom’s coming in practically at the last possible moment, and people who I would expect to be on his side are looking at these allegations and saying, “Yeah, we knew about this and it’s bad.” Had Tom been a candidate from the beginning, this would have been dealt with and proven or disproved. Well, it’s still going to be proven or disproven; but that’s going to happen AFTER the election.

    I am really, really tired of the GOP shooting itself in the foot. I hope we’re not setting ourselves up for that again. I am opposed to Randy Pullen – I feel he is too biased in primary elections, and resent him for not supporting Ruth McClung more – but he is a gentleman, a master of procedure, and has no skeletons in his closet. Should it come down to a battle between write-in candidates, I would choose Randy Pullen over Tom Morrisey for those reasons.

    • Another LD11 PC says:

      I agree. I hope Randy will run from the floor and whatever support Tom had, he’ll throw it to Randy onstage.

    • Radical American Patriot says:

      So Steve, Would you consider Grant Woods on of those “RINOs” who agree on 70-80% of the time? This is a guy who says he doesn’t know why he’s a Republican!

      I do appreciate your honesty about the different candidates. I respect the variety of support and opposition, you show.

      Now regarding the despicable allegations. I’ve already discerned that the name “Mary Wells Prioleau and the accompanying e-mail originated here in Phoenix. Also, the Tryon House Restuarants (2) are in Charlotte, NC NOT Greenville, SC!!

      I suspect that when it’s all said and done, we will find a former LD20 Chair’s handprints all over this pack of pure bulls**t!

      • Steve Calabrese says:

        I despise Grant Woods.

        Is that clear enough for you?

        I believe that the Republican party can encompass a wide range of people who share a common basic philosophy but have different ideas – but Grant Woods seems to delight in constantly attacking fellow Republicans for the sake of his own ambition, and I cannot support him in anything. I have many differences with many Republicans, but I try to avoid ever getting nasty. I admit I make an exception for Grant Woods – he seems to think the world revolves around him and seems to be incapable of civility to anyone who challenges him.

  11. AZ Conservative Guy says:

    Is Bruce Ash too ill to make an endorsement in this race? He positioned himself as the sole conservative and he’s still keeping his finger in the political pie by staying on as AZ’s National Committeeman. How about a kind word from him for fellow conservative Tom Morrissey? And what about Randy Pullen? It would be helpful to have him open his mouth on behalf of Morrissey. I getting more disgusted by the minute! No wonder the state party is floundering.

    • theprecinctproject says:

      AZ Conservative Guy,
      Why don’t you call Bruce and Randy and ask?
      Thank you.

    • Seen It All says:

      Best advice is don’t hold your breath waiting for anything from either outgoing chairman Pullen or his almost successor Ash. My guess is they are both being yanked by the shorthairs by the establishment elites. Do the names Kyl, McCain and Flake ring any bells here? Hmm-m?

  12. Ellsworth says:

    If you’d like an opportunity to meet Tom Morrissey and hear him speak for himself, this is your chance.

    Three Districts (18,19,22) are meeting tonight at 6:30 PM. A Meet and Greet is at 7:00 PM at MCCC, 7110 E. McKellips, Mesa, AZ 85207.

    Do yourself a favor and meet this fine man.

  13. […] post about Tom Morrissey earlier today has generated a host of […]

  14. Barbara Espinosa says:

    Were these the comments posted to Sonoran Alliance?
    If so what happened to Mary’s?

  15. Ricky Lujan says:

    Forget a nomination from the floor getting announced for the first time Saturday and winning. Morrissey will be nominated from the floor but we have several days of announcement time ahead of it.

    An unexpected nomination from the floor at the County or State meeting cannot win. Too many people mark their ballot way in advance of any speeches.

  16. Sam Gerard says:

    The former LD20 Chairman, has to answer a variety of questions about the LD20 Elections. Beginning with a fake Process (a McCain intern) server going to the conservative candidates threatening them with legal action (criminal charges?) IF they do anything that can be contstrued as ‘criminal’.

    Second, WHY did the former LD20 secretary file an ‘anti-harrassment’ charge against another PC in the district for simply telling her that she’d remind Ms Johnson that she had a chance to make a difference and then quit. WOW! That’s threatening! FURTHER, Why did the LA times writer contact this PC subject to the ‘complaint’ claiming that this charge was somehow related to this same former Chairman’s claim of ‘death threats’? How did Kim Murphy find out about this complaint from her perche in Orange County?

    Lastly, This Chairman of LD20, OK, It is Anthony Miller; who defeated Mr Morrissey by the margin of the three illegal votes, in the December LD 20 elections (see the first point). DID Anthony Miller freak out over the prospect of the man he allegedly defeat, be elected to the position he once craved for himself? Did he then originate or help someone originate the despicable allegations?

    Steve Calabrese, you mention the haste that Tom Morrissey’s recent candidacy as a reason for essentially accepting as valid the allegations. YOU FAIL however, to mention the very recent withdrawal of Bruce Ash. Whose business was possibly threatened! Yet that doesn’t bother you. Hmmmm?

  17. Steve Calabrese says:

    Sam Gerard:

    I don’t know if the allegations have merit.

    I have spoken to people who are better acquainted with the situation who feel that they may.

    We have fine candidates who have been active long enough that they have been carefully vetted – Marty Hermanson, Ron Carmichael, and Robert Graham are all good men who would do well and would serve the party well. Even Randy Pullen, who I disagree with on several things, has a distingished record of service and would not embarrass the party.

    At this late hour, however, I feel it would be an imprudent risk to put a man with these allegations over his head in charge of the State GOP. I have a nightmare of waking up next week, picking up the paper, and reading a story about these allegations only with solid reporting backing them up.

    I hope these allegations are false. I really do. But I feel it would be irresponsible to risk the future of the party at a critical time on such a powerful variable, especially when we have other fully qualified men with solid bases of support.

    And I’m getting sick about hearing “he has a restraining order against her!”. That’s his response? That he managed to get a restraining order against someone 2500 miles away and the order stands because she didn’t feel like flying back to Arizona to contest it?

    Not good enough. Maybe these charges can be put to rest and proven false. But maybe not. That’s just too much of a gamble in my book, especially with a solid guy like Robert Graham coming into the race. I support Carmichael, but objectively Graham has a shot to capture many Morrissey votes and is certainly a viable candidate.

    • State Committeeman says:

      You’re an interesting man, Steve, ready to accept allegations by an vengeful former spouse as fact and take a pig in a poke so so speak like Robert Graham over a man which an established conservative record, such as Tom Morrissey.

      I sincerely hope you are never in such a situation, where there are those ready to chuck your excellent record in favor of a McCain plant or a guy like Graham who has no record of service to or within the AZ Republican Party. Graham was in the governor’s race for less than a nanosecond, and then disappeared again, going back to the thin air from which he came.

      Carmichael is the establishment plant, owned hook line and sinker by McCain and Kyl. Hermanson is not going anywhere. It’s no secret that McCain and Kyl have run people in the party leadership races for years. Don’t fall prey to their trickery. Too much is riding on this.

      If you want to vent, vent on Bruce Ash, who either duped us from the beginning or was gotten to by the powers that be. He intends to remain Arizona’s National Committeeman, but dropped out of this race.

      • Deb D says:

        Are you reading what I am reading? What Steve said was that he did not know the charges to be true but did not want to gamble on them. That is a far cry from accepting allegations. The stakes are too high.
        Steve, congratulations on being the voice of reason.
        Goog luck with this mess.

      • Steve Calabrese says:

        I don’t accept the allegations as fact. I do feel that it’s a giant gamble to toss the State GOP to Morrissey until the charges are found to be without merit. The allegations are a “one time” bomb – either they’re bogus, in which case he will come out of this smelling like a rose, or they have merit, in which case we will have dodged a bullet. It’s a giant risk. The timing sucks, and it’s a tough situation.

        Carmichael is hardly an establishment plan. He’s made his stance of primary neutrality very clear, and I expect him to honor that.

        As for Bruce Ash, I will say no ill word about a man who is no longer running for an office and who has served the GOP faithfully for years and has been forced to withdraw due to illness. I have heard the details of his illness confirmed by someone I trust and it is not my place to discuss it but I feel he has a very legitimate, very unexpected reason for withdrawing. I would not have supported him, but I respect him.

  18. Mary Preble says:

    Is he a fiscal conservative or a morality conservative? You don’t mention if he is one or both. Pls advise so that we can make a better informed decision. Just because he is Tea Party (fiscal and constitutional) conservative does not mean he is acceptable to those who do not condone morality constraint candidates due to its unconstitutional nature.

    • AZ Conservative Guy says:

      Your morality might not be that of others voting. In fact, I hope it’s not. You are certainly judgmental, Mary, but how moral is that? Isn’t there a well known biblical proscription against that? Something like “Judge not lest ye be judged?”

      I’m sticking with Tom Morrissey, thank you very much

      • Overtaxed1 says:

        The Bible also says in Proverbs 8 vs 5… O naive ones, discern prudence; And, O fools, discern wisdom. You quoted “Judge not lest ye be judged”
        Are you AZ Conservative Guy taking this to mean no jury or no jail. People often use this scripture to excuse crime and horrible sin. Doesn’t hold when someone is trying to make a wise choice. I am voting for Morrissey because he can’t be worse than McCain and his boys. Lesser of two evils? Maybe, but McCain’s brood is a
        known evil and I am sick of the lies and amnesty advocates.

  19. Patriot says:

    Steve, I’m curious with why you are putting so much weight on having time to “vet” a candidate in this instance yet you were on a slate for LD22 executive board elections where half of those running on your slate were surprise nominations from the floor (or we had less than a days notice )and all of the slate for state committeemen were “write in” nominations from the floor.

    How can a candidate be “vetted” again if there isn’t time to do so? Or does that only count for “other” elections. Not ones that involve yourself?

    • Steve Calabrese says:

      Excellent question, Patriot.

      A. There’s a big, big difference between an LD position and the leader of the State Republican Party – especially in a redistricting year. A bad state chairman at this crucial moment will cause damage that will last for a decade. And, quite frankly, I don’t think we have a decade left to save this country if we don’t change course immediately.

      B. I’m not quite sure why you say that “half the slate” were floor nominations – I believe that all board members were on the ballot, although I could be mistaken. If I am mistaken, it is only about Tyler Hudgins, Treasurer. Eddie Cook would have a definitive answer on this. I do know for an absolute fact that all members of the current LD22 board were actively campaigning at least two weeks before the election. Perhaps you are thinking of the vast number of floor nominations for State Committeemen. That is the result of a paperwork goof where a list was not processed in time by the nomination committee.

      There are many issues at play in LD22, but the truth of the matter is that we had too many really good candidates for too few positions. Still…it’s a Legislative District. Should a bad candidate slip through, we’d have to deal with it. At the State level, however, when we are looking to the State Chair to lead the fight for fair redistricting – and there is ABSOLUTELY going to be a fight – a bad candidate could be devastating. Therefore, I don’t feel it’s quite right to try to compare concerns about vetting a State Chair candidate who has serious allegations against him to a Legislative District race.

      As for LD 22, I am always willing to discuss any issues relating to that district with anyone who is interested. Assuming you have a Facebook account, look for the “Steve Calabrese” who is in front of a Christmas tree to send me a message.

  20. Another LD11 PC says:

    Why are you citing “Conservative Leadership”?

    That “leadership” really flubbed it with Bruce Ash, didn’t they, supporting him before getting verifyable documented commitment that he was in the race till the end.