Graham fabricates reasons for not closing AZ primary

July 3, 2015

Establishment fears McCain can’t win without crossover votes drive Robert Graham’s actions

An excessively lengthy dispatch carrying the subject line, “Robert Graham – Closing the Primaries,” arrived in the email boxes of select, though apparently not all, Republican precinct committeemen Thursday evening. Raw evidence of a intra-party feud is hard to miss as AZ GOP Chairman Robert Graham refers, in the harshest of terms, to a previous message send out on the issue by conservative former Maricopa County Chairman A.J. LaFaro.  Graham begins with an inane off-topic apology, veers into summertime good wishes to the recipients and their families and then spins out of control, describing his sadness at having to castigate LaFaro. Graham then hypocritically closes his onslaught asking God’s blessings on the reader. Take a gander if you have nothing but time on you hands and don’t mind having your intelligence insulted. Following this diatribe, background information is linked under “Editor’s note.”

From AZ GOP Chairman Robert Graham:

Mobilize_to_win_2016

 

I apologize if you have received this message. We had a challenge with our email addresses

Dear (first name),

I hope you are doing well and that the summer is off to a good start for you and your family. It saddens me to have to write this message following an email that was sent out by former Maricopa County Chairman A.J. LaFaro.

While many of our PCs are working hard to protect and grow our Republican foothold within Arizona, there are some that misrepresent and spin facts to create division and discontent within our party. Many of these same people have personal ambition way outside the best interest of the party, and their consistent misrepresentations of the facts are exhausting.

To be perfectly clear, I support the idea of a closed primary! If you read the transcription of the Executive Committee meeting that has been circulated, you will see my initial comment, “The state committeemen have passed the resolution to close the primary…in this room we have lots of smart people…let’s find a way to make it happen” (paraphrased). However, there is a process to accomplish a closed primary, and the process is more than a quick sound bite trying to stir emotion. There are real costs, real research and real time that must be invested in the effort. All of which has started.

Below I have listed many of the points discussed in Mr. LaFaro’s most recent coloring of events. Please read each of the points to assure you have an accurate and verifiable account of the truth.

Click on the link below to view the resolution:

2015 Resolution to Close the Primaries 1.pdf

Below are two points that illustrate the inconsistencies with the Constitution of Arizona:

  1. The Second “Whereas” in the resolution states“…Republicans believe in and support the U.S. Constitution, Arizona Constitution and the Republican Party Platform and should nominate Republican candidates that do the same…”

I agree with this statement; however, it should have been obvious to Mr. LaFaro that this resolution was not constitutional given this statement. How can you say in a resolution that “Republicans believe in and support the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution…”when this resolution is positioned to directly attack the Arizona Constitution where the definition of “semi-closed primaries exists”?

  1. 7th paragraph and first “Resolved” in the resolution states “That Arizona’s Republican Precinct Committeemen call upon Arizona Legislators to sponsor and pass legislation replacing Arizona’s semi-closed primaries with closed primaries…”

Once again, it is important to point out that this statement is not constitutional. In order to change the primary system, the Arizona Constitution must be amended. Can the legislature do that?? The answer is NO. An Arizona constitutional amendment must be done or changed by a vote of the people. A ballot measure for a constitutional change is required. This is not new…this is the AZ Constitution. All of us should be careful when submitting resolutions to assure they are constitutional first.

Even given the facts that Mr. LaFaro’s resolution to close the primary was unconstitutional, I recognized the overwhelming support by the State Committeemen and started the ball rolling with respect to closing the primary.

Attorney Opinion Letters

We have all witnessed countless times within politics that when the facts do not line up for your argument…emotion, name calling and old data sometimes find their way into the discussion. With that being said, more then [sic] a few weeks ago Mr. LaFaro sent an email and posted a letter on various sites. His letter centers on an expedited lawsuit and the fact that he personally spoke with three attorneys he endorsed as top election experts. Their names were Kory Langhofer, Joseph Kanefield and David Hardy.

LaFaro sited [sic] in this letter that the attorneys supported his position of little to no cost for a lawsuit to close the primaries, and his claim that it would be a fast process. At the end of the letter, he encouraged anyone who read his comments to contact each attorney directly. I did just that. I contacted each attorney with the goal to identify the best way to proceed. I spoke with each attorney Mr. Lafaro [sic] personally recommended and requested that each attorney draft an opinion letter. We added a fourth letter from Attorney Tim LaSota who is also considered an election expert as well and is General Counsel to the AZ GOP. Each of their opinion letters are attached below.

Click on the links below to view each opinion letter:

David Hardy Closed Primary Opinion.pdf

Joseph Kanefield Closing Primary Opion.PDF

Kory Langhofer Closing Primary Opinion.pdf

Tim LaSota Opinion Closed Primaries.pdf

Mr. LaFaro made assertions that the fact that the AZ GOP paid for their opinions discredits the content. To the contrary, when an attorney drafts an opinion letter, their name and credibility is associated with the content expressed in their letters. Their livelihood is at stake and opinion letters are not taken lightly.

Since the opinions were not consistent with Mr. LaFaro’s claims, he is trying to discredit the opinions by using outdated letters from 2010. Please remember that he personally endorsed the attorneys we received opinions from as expert election attorneys.

When you review the letters, you will see that there are a few hurdles or obstacles that must be overcome in order to assure the best outcome when approaching the courts to overrule the state constitution.

  1. Cost Of Litigation –Three of four letters specifically address the cost of litigation. The cost of litigation opinions range from hundreds of thousands of dollars up to millions if taken to the U.S. Supreme Court.
  2. Time It Will Take to Win, If We Win – Dave Hardy sued on behalf of the Libertarian party to close their primaries. This suit (which has clear evidence of risk for the Libertarian Party of Arizona) took 66 months to the ruling. That is five and one half years. If we start something, we need to make sure we can finish it.
  3. Severe Burden, Evidence Of Risk – These are phrases you will see throughout all four of the attorney opinion letters. In short, what it means is we have to clearly show a severe burden or evidence of risk that independents are materially harming an election. It is important to note that calling someone a RINO and saying they are more moderate than another candidate and illustrating they received more independent votes is not evidence of risk.

The courts do not use labels and are only interested in real proof. For example, Libertarian candidates within the state have had much lower signature requirements to become a candidate. In some districts, to run for a state representative they would only need 6 – 9 signatures. Because the threshold was low and their party has below 30,000 registrations, there was evidence to show a risk of sabotage. The other argument was to make sure independent voters would not be able to vote for precinct committeemen of the Libertarian Party. Once again, being a minority party, libertarians have an easy time illustrating and documenting severe burden and evidence of risk. Each opinion letter details the need to prove severe burden and evidence of risk and some even saying it will be very difficult given the fact that Republican is still the majority party.

Once again, in an attempt to identify the severe burden or evidence of risk, I asked the Executive Committee Members three separate times for volunteers to form a committee to pull the research together to help shape our argument. A request of this nature is not trying to skirt the issue…I was asking to get the evidence so we can move forward. Only three people volunteered. They know who they are and they have done nothing to help.

Since April 18, the volunteers have NOT reported to the State Executive Committee or to me directly regarding this progress. This is a key element to be successful. To date, we have no report.

  1. Fundraising – Once you review the attorney opinion letters, you will have a better understanding of the process to close the primaries and the potential cost associated with the effort. The cost to sue to close the primary is potentially from hundreds of thousands of dollars to millions given the length of time it may take to complete the legal process.

 The Cost To Administer the Primary

The last thing to consider when addressing the closed primary is the cost of running the election. Our party is the largest party, independents are not considered a party, and there is a high likelihood that if we close the primary we will have to pay for the administration of the statewide primary election. For perspective, the closed presidential primary in Arizona is one ballot with a handful of candidates. The cost to administer one election with one type of ballot is close to $10 million.

Now, consider a full primary. If a full primary is closed, there are hundreds of different offices, over 12,000 variations or different ballots statewide. From PC to congress, from congress to fire districts, etc., etc…. Secretary Reagan said, “You will need to “extrapolate the cost up from the presidential primary.”

Secretary Reagan also said to me in a text message, “Be prepared to pay for it, because the STATE pays for primaries because they are open. If they were to be closed, the LEGISLATURE could eliminate the funding. In most states where there are closed elections, it is up to the individual parties to fund those elections and those states do not pay.”

To put this into context, over the 2013-2014 cycle, the AZ GOP had record fundraising of $4.6 million. We spent almost every dollar to assure that we would win. Martha McSally only won by 167 votes. Every dollar was deployed to win elections. It is hard to raise money, and if we have to pay for the primary, we many not have the funds to support our candidates. It is important to raise lots of money especially difficult during the presidential election.

Once again, I asked four separate times for volunteers from the Executive Committee to assist in fundraising to help close the primary. The money raised would be used specifically for closing the primary, and a separate committee would form to assure the funds were used appropriately. We had two volunteers after the fourth call for help. They know who they are, and they have done nothing to help. This fundraising committee has not reported to the State Executive Committee or to me regarding their progress.

Conclusion

These are not excuses but considerations when trying to operate a party. Someone has to do more than send emails and call people hurtful names. In all honesty, I am 100% behind closing the primary, but again we have to be prepared to administer the election and have the resources needed to make it happen. If we close the primary but do not have the resources to administer a successful election, we will fail on more than one front. One PC pushing for another resolution to close the primary is on the record saying, “Let’s just try and see what happens…let’s just get the process started and figure it out as we go.” This statement is frighteningly similar to Nancy Pelosi’s infamous quote to pass Obamacare and then we will see what’s in it. We have to have a mature and fact-based approach, if our efforts are to be successful.

Last thing I would like to address which I take personal offense. Mr. LaFaro asserts that I was calling for the arrest of the Precinct Committee members that were protesting in front of the AZ GOP. I want you to consider your experiences with me as State Chairman. I have met most of you in person or attended your district, county or Republican Club meetings. I hope you feel I have always treated each of you with respect and the dignity you deserve. I listen and I am responsive to your calls and emails.

Quite to the contrary to Mr. LaFaro’s report, the AZ GOP staff was handing out water and making sure everyone outside of the meeting was treated with respect. I personally called the protest organizer and further stressed that we would treat everyone with respect.

Further to this point, the Deputy Sheriff Posse Members volunteering that day were under instructions by Sheriff Joe Arpaio not to arrest anyone. Of the 20 or so protesters, a couple entered AZ GOP office during the meeting, and they were allowed to stay. No threats, only kind and productive discussions.

For the record, AJ LaFaro did not attend the Executive Meeting nor did he participate in the protest outside of the State Party. His secondhand account is flawed. Please ask members who were in attendance for the truth. It is sad that his comments are not consistent with the truth.

As we move forward into the 2016 election cycle, please consider what messages, what actions and what people are moving the party forward in a positive way. The negativity, name calling and bashing only Republicans does not win elections. Always consider the messages when they are sent to your inbox and ask the question “Is this the type of behavior that will help put a Republican in the White House?” If the answer is NO, find people that [sic] are action-oriented and work with them.

I want to assure you that I work for you. Collectively, we have lifted our party out of the ashes to win countless victories across the state, municipal and local elections. The ball is rolling and we are moving as quickly as resources allow. May God bless you and the Republican Party of Arizona!

Sincerely,

Robert S. Graham

Chairman

Arizona Republican Party

3501 N. 24th Street

Phoenix, AZ 85016

Editor’s note: The Executive Meeting Graham refers to following “Conclusion” was detailed in this post, “Need more proof of McCain chokehold on AZGOP?

Additional background can be read in these links:

Arizona Freedom Alliance’s on-point rebuttal to Graham’s diatribe can be read here.

Arizona Daily Independent reported: Specter of McCain haunts, closed Primary resolutions pass.

McCain’s censure by elected Maricopa County GOP precinct committeemen was followed by another censure resolution against him by elected statewide Republican delegates in 2014. At the state meeting in 2015, McCain and Jeff Flake were booed and met by turned backs and walkouts.  The Daily Caller reports the two Arizona Senators are the least popular senators in the entire country.

McCain, through his operatives, retaliated by attempting to purge conservatives from the precinct committeemen ranks.

 


Governmental jumble as SCOTUS Justices legislate

June 28, 2015

Speculation on opinions pointless since liberal justices vote as a bloc

Americans, as young students have been taught that the U.S. Constitution provides a separation of powers via three distinct branches of government. The Legislative branch makes laws, the Executive branch carries them out, and the Judicial branch evaluates them.

Our Founders created a Constitution with an ingenious and intricate system of checks and balances to guard the people’s liberty against combinations of government power. It structured the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary separate and wholly independent, yet coordinated for proper operation, with safeguards to prevent usurpations of power.

The Tenth Amendment clearly delineates the separation of powers —- creating a federal government with enumerated and limited powers, designed to keep government as close to the people as possible. 

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

James Madison stressed the necessity to reserve all possible authority in the states and people saying, “The powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”

With these thoughts as background, take time today to enlighten yourself by reading Andrew C. McCarthy’s heard-hitting assessment of the past week’s U.S. Supreme Court actions. Then brace yourself for those still to come on Monday.

McCarthy’s insightful article, printed in National Review, is titled: “Let’s Drop the Charade: The Supreme Court Is a Political Branch, Not a Judicial One.”

Background: Arizona Senator John McCain voted to confirm liberals Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer to the Supreme Court. McCain and Kyl joined the group of 36 GOP senators and one Democrat in opposing Elena Kagan’s nomination to the high court. The Huffington Post has the statements each of the senators gave as their reason.


AZ U.S. Senate race 2016: What’s wrong with this McPicture?

June 23, 2015

McCain_2016_military_ad

After over three decades in congress, John McCain is reportedly not in a hurry to get his 2016 reelection campaign underway. He claims not to be worried about a credible conservative challenge, yet his ad campaign is already up and running. And where else but on conservative sites where he vainly tries to refurbish his very tarnished image.

Conservative precinct committeemen of his own party were the ones who repeatedly censured him in county meetings across Arizona. In 2014 elected statewide delegates overwhelmingly voted this censure resolution against McCain. The final vote was 1,150 in support with only 351 opposed. The following year the delegates’ ire had not abated. He was met with boos and turned backs. Many walked out as he took to the podium.  In retaliation, his surrogates worked with an out-of-state Obama donor to purge the GOP of conservative activists.

This past week, visits to the Drudge Report and Breitbart News brought up an ad announcing, “John McCain continues the fight for our veterans and military members.  Join us.” A click on the link asks for help with his campaign.

Though the nearly 80-year-old McCain has long shown signs of memory loss, most of the rest of us have our cognitive faculties intact. As examples, we recall the following:

This Oct. 16, 2011 article in Military.com titled, “ McCain Okay With Cutting Military Benefits,” tells a different story. The Army Times and the Navy Times substantiate the report.

Then watch his Feb. 2, 2008 performance, as he disgracefully insults and shuts down Delores Alfond, Chair of the National Alliance of Families, seeking information about American POW/MIAs unaccounted for since their service in Vietnam.

If John McCain actually cares about veterans and military members, he has a strange way of showing it. Conservatives are hoping Dr. Kelli Ward, a two-term state senator with an impressive bio will challenge the devious dodger.

Her concern for the military takes root in her own home. Ward, a family physician, is married to Michael Ward an Emergency Medicine physician. He is a Colonel in the AZ Air National Guard and currently serves as Arizona’s State Air Surgeon. Kelli and Mike have three children.

Dr. Kelli Ward offers a conservative choice. The thought of six more years of the egocentric John McCain, who will celebrate his 80th birthday before Election Day in 2016, is more than most thinking Arizonans can tolerate.

Yet in words that sound like more of a threat than a promise, McCain chillingly tells us, “The reason why I want to seek re-election is that there’s a lot more to do, both for Arizona and the country.” 

God help us.


Fed. Judge’s illegal lunacy: Admits biases affect judgment

June 21, 2015

Fox News reports on the order issued by Chief Judge Theodore A. McKee of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.  McKee instructed U.S. officials to intercept a 34-year-old mother and her 12-year-old daughter on a plane Friday and immediately return them to the United States. The pair, in the United States illegally, were being deported to their native Guatemala.

“If the government is unable to intercept Petitioners at the airport, they must locate Petitioners in Guatemala and return them to the United States as quickly as possible,” Judge McKee wrote in his June 19 order.

The fact that the “Petitioners” are in the United States illegally is of no consequence to Judge McKee, nominated to the federal bench by Bill Clinton in March 1994.  McKee was confirmed June 8, 1994 by a voice vote, rather than the usual roll call, so there is no record of which senators voted “yea” or “nay.”

The Third Circuit, based in Philadelphia, has appellate jurisdiction over the Districts of Delaware and New Jersey, and the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Pennsylvania. It also has appellate jurisdiction over the District Court of the Virgin Islands.

In this 1:30 minute video clip, McKee discusses biases and concludes with this thought: “How in the world can we say that those [our] biases don’t affect our judgments?”

And all along Americans foolishly believed it was adherence to the law.


Pope Francis: “Global Political Authority” needed to tackle climate change

June 17, 2015

Pope pushes One World governmental authority in advance of Sept. 25, 2015, U.N. appearance

The UK’s Guardian News carries the report “Pope Francis warns of destruction of Earth’s ecosystem in leaked encyclical.”

The 192-page encyclical comes packed with dire predictions of an apocalyptic future from the religious leader, now masquerading as a far-left scientist. Francis lambastes rich countries for “looting” the world and takes aim at bankers and climate skeptics for accelerating its decline. Further, he warns that the world is facing widespread crop failure, economic ruin, mass migration and the destruction of entire eco-systems as he repeatedly linked climate change with the plight of the poor.

From the Guardian report:

“Pope Francis will this week call for changes in lifestyles and energy consumption to avert the “unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem” before the end of this century, according to a leaked draft of a papal encyclical. In a document released by an Italian magazine on Monday, the pontiff will warn that failure to act would have “grave consequences for all of us. (The Vatican was enraged by the leak accusing the magazine responsible of a “heinous act” that amounted to “sabotage against the pope.”)

Francis also called for a new global political authority tasked with “tackling … the reduction of pollution and the development of poor countries and regions.” While accepting that there may be some natural causes of global warming, the pope will also state that climate change is mostly a man-made problem.

“Humanity is called to take note of the need for changes in lifestyle and changes in methods of production and consumption to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce and accentuate it,” he wrote in the leaked draft. “Numerous scientific studies indicate that the greater part of the global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases … given off above all because of human activity.”

Read that to mean that those in industrialized nations, especially Americans, must drastically scale back their standard of living. His provocative mastery of Marxist, anti-capitalist  buzzwords is disturbing, with redistribution of wealth one of his frequent themes. Yet he does not deny himself the latest technology as he travels the globe like a jetsetter, frequently tweets and even takes selfies. Last year his tweet, “inequality is the root of social evil,” set off a heated debate in which he was  criticized for increasingly driving a wedge between conservatives and the Catholic Church. Francis previously slammed “trickle-down” economics, a basic tenet of President Reagan’s economic policy as a “crude and naive” theory.

Seeing Red AZ posted, “Pope Francis embraces leftist doctrines,” May 14, just one month ago.

We concluded that post with these words: Income redistribution is the main theme of Karl Marx’ Communist Manifesto: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”


Community organizer in the WH still trying to organize communities

June 13, 2015

Barack Obama’s focus as a community organizer has grown along with the powerful office he holds as President of the United States. Now as a lame duck with his second term closing in on him, he still has leftist agenda items he appears determined to implement.

Currently his sights are set on communities across America that don’t meet his standards of what a diversified community should look like.

Stanley Kurtz writing for National Review explains the far-reaching regulations contained in Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH):

“In the early stages, the AFFH rule will mandate the collection of information on the precise racial, ethnic, and income distribution of housing in nearly every census tract in the nation. Once that information has been gathered, escalating pressure will be placed on municipalities across the country to abandon local zoning policies and re-engineer housing stock at local expense. Municipalities will be pressured to join regional consortia that will have the effect of taking housing decisions out of the hands of elected officials and the citizens they represent. And the federal government will pressure localities to build dense housing developments near transportation hubs and business areas.”

Kudos to AZ U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD 4), who sponsored the amendment blocking the passage of AFFH —- a social engineering regulation of the worst kind. It would rig federal grant monies intended to address community improvements to compliance with the regime’s standards.

“American citizens and communities should be free to choose where they would like to live and not be subject to federal neighborhood engineering at the behest of an overreaching federal government,” said Gosar, who is leading an effort in the House to block the regulations. Watch Gosar’s appearance on FOX News.

If enacted, this measure could depress property values as cheaper homes crop up in wealthier neighborhoods and raise taxes, Gosar warned. It could also tilt the balance of political power as more Democrat-leaning minorities are funneled into Republican-leaning neighborhoods.


Flying the friendly skies….with terrorists?

June 9, 2015

America’s airports vulnerable

Last week ABC News confirmed that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screeners failed 67 out of 70 tests —- or 96 percent —- carried out by special Department of Homeland Security investigators known as “red teams.”  The vulnerabilities tests were conducted as part of a DHS Inspector General review.  The acting head of the agency was reassigned after the deplorable findings were made public.

As an example of the failures, an undercover agent with a fake bomb strapped to his back set off a magnetometer —- but the screener still neglected to find it. The watchdog report revealed undercover agents were able to sneak fake explosives and banned weapons through checkpoints as part of an investigation that revealed a massive, system-wide security failure at America’s airports.

Following that alarming disclosure, Fox News reports that the TSA failed to flag 73 airport workers “linked to terrorism.”  According to TSA data, the people in question were “working for major airlines, airport venders and other employers.”

The agency acknowledged that individuals in these categories “represented a potential transportation security threat,” according to the report. 

At a White House briefing following the disclosures, press secretary Josh Earnest said President Obama continues to believe that Americans should feel confident traveling in airports across the country.

Which raised the question, when was the last time anyone in the Obama family traveled in a commercial airliner?

A search of the Inspector General’s reports turned up nothing relating to these mammoth security breaches. However we did find one relating to an investigation of a U.S. Marshal based on an anonymous letter alleging the Marshal had engaged in intimate personal relationships with subordinate employees in violation of U.S. Marshals Service policy.

Which set of circumstances most imperil the security of American travelers —- deserving of information regarding their safety rather than gossipy innuendo?


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