In a clear case of intra-party punishment aimed at Maricopa County Republican Chairman Tyler Bowyer for having the audacity to buck AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham and his McCain-led establishment allies, comes this inexcusable retaliation. Bowyer hosted and appeared onstage at the July 11, 2015 Phoenix event featuring presidential candidate Donald Trump. That kind of independence doesn’t play well with those who want to dominate the party and, like John McCain, consider the conservative base “crazies.”
Kudos to Frosty Taylor, editor of Maricopa County Republican Briefs for the following report:
Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham has stopped payment on the rental check for the Republicans of Maricopa County office that opened July 13 in Tempe.
MCRC Chairman Tyler Bowyer confirms reports that the MCRC received notification of the ‘stop payment’ from the bank last week. AZGOP never notified Bowyer, nor the MCRC Treasurer of the ‘stop payment.’ MCRC Treasurer David Ludwig messaged the AZGOP upon receiving notification from the bank, however, the AZGOP has not responded.
“We are still in shock that Robert (Graham) would commit to funding the office through 2016 and suddenly pull the funding,” said Bowyer.
When Briefs contacted Graham Monday afternoon (July 20), regarding reports of the ‘stopped payment’, Graham responded, “It appears that Maricopa County is doing well. I thought it was appropriate and wise to hold back funds and allocate the resources based on need. With 14 other counties we have some large battles potentially in CD 1 and CD 2 not to mention our goal to bring the state house and senate to a greater majority. We are working to help all the counties in the state with the Redroots program. It has been my pleasure to help Maricopa get off the ground and into an office and look forward to working with them on Redroots.”
Graham denies reports circulating among GOP leaders that the AZGOP is punishing Bowyer and the MCRC for hosting the Presidential Candidate Donald Trump event a week ago that drew thousands of Republicans in attendance.
Graham also denied reports that the AZGOP is short on funds. Graham said, “Tyler has not publicly thanked the AZ GOP or its donors for paying the rent.” However, long time party members, who were around several decades ago when Jack London gave the current AZGOP headquarters to the Republican Party, recall that the Maricopa County Republican Party Committee was to have access to quarters within that facility.
“Since the AZGOP removed the MCGOP out a number of years ago out of the 24th street shared space, it has been up to the AZGOP to compensate for that. Robert seemed to agree, but the sudden move is very strange and unexpected on our end. We have made a serious effort to adopt a teamwork philosophy and this is very disappointing to see. We will continue to work hard on behalf of Precinct Committeemen and find resources to fund the Tempe office,” Bowyer said this evening.
Monday evening Briefs sent these additional questions to Graham:
- Why did you issue the Tempe rental check and then stop payment on it? Did you notify the county you were stopping payment? If so, when? And to whom?
- Why would the county proceed with the ribbon cutting on the new facility last week if they knew AZGOP wasn’t going to pay the rent?
- Did you also stop payment on the county office in Sun City?
- How many county offices (throughout the state) is the AZGOP paying the rent on? Have they also been cut off?
- Were you directed to stop that Tempe facility check because Maricopa County hosted Trump? trump-shunned-arizona-gop-establishment-phoenix-visit
- Why didn’t the AZGOP host Trump?
- Will the AZGOP be hosting any of the Republican presidential candidates when/if they come to AZ?
- Or is this something the county needs to be prepared to handle in the future?
Graham flippantly responded that he was on his way back East for a series of meeting and didn’t have time to answer the questions.