Behind the scenes: Robert Graham’s exclusive Exec. Meeting

May 2, 2015

This is what actually took place at the April 18, 2015 CLOSED AZ GOP Executive Meeting.  The transcript is taken directly from a recording:

AZGOP Executive Committee transcript

The issue of closed primary elections has been front and center on this site for some time, along with the duplicitous actions of AZ GOP Chairman Robert Graham who failed to substantively respond to the resolutions that were overwhelmingly passed by elected state delegates at the January 2014 and 2015 AZ GOP Statutory Meetings.

Instead of being voted on at the April 18, 2015 executive committee meeting, state chairman Robert Graham, carrying McCain’s water, shut out Precinct Committeemen and scrapped the issue opposed by…..John McCain.

* Transcript: H/T Arizona Freedom Alliance


Another AZGOP Exec. Comm. Member voices frustration with Graham

April 28, 2015

To: AZ GOP Chairman Robert Graham

cc: Members of the AZ GOP Executive Committee

It has been just over one week since the Executive Committee (EC) of the Arizona GOP met to conduct its business. I have had a chance to read some of the commentary on what became a marathon Executive Committee meeting of almost 6 hours. But upon reflection and based upon my desire for the Republican Party to succeed in the future after being very active in the Party for over 50 years, I feel it is my responsibility to report what I observed. The EC did a great disservice to the over 1300 State Committeemen who voted overwhelmingly for a Resolution to restore our closed primary system in partisan elections by filing a lawsuit with the Arizona Courts and working with the Legislature to pass new legislation.

In this marathon meeting, almost 2 hours was spent discussing this one agenda line item, Close Primary. Mr. Chairman, when we got to this agenda item you spent over 35 minutes discussing all the reasons why we “could not” file a lawsuit to restore our previously closed primary system. Then you opened up the floor for discussion. I realized later that we were mis-directed and forced to re-debate the issue. This discussion/debate in reality was “Out of Order”. We were not there April 18th to discuss the merits of filing a lawsuit, it had already been debated and discussed back on January 24th at the AZ GOP Statutory Meeting. At this Jan. 24th meeting the Resolution, after spending over half an hour of debate, was passed by an overwhelming majority of the State Committeemen (SC) present (1321 present in person or by proxy). Again, we the Executive Committee were given an order to execute an approved Party Resolution. We were to proceed with closing our Primaries in a two-fold approach, legislatively and by lawsuit. It was not our purview to re-debate, only to execute. I tried to do that. I am the member who made the motion to set aside $75K in our budget (3% of a $2.5M budget) to fund the lawsuit effort. I had mentioned to the body that there were two ways to do this: 1) either go over budget on the legal expense line item or 2) fund it as its own project. It was suggested to me to fund it separately so I made the motion. It failed to pass.

However, there was no plan on how to go back to the State Committeemen, the party members that elected all of us, on why we were not going to do what they directed us to do back in January. The Resolution passed was to close our primaries. This must be dealt with, not kicked down the road or ignored. I believe that each of us has a responsibility to the SC’s who elected us, in my case the SC’s from CD4. They overwhelmingly supported the Resolution. We still have a problem with non-Republicans voting in our Primaries that was not even addressed at the EC mtg. All we heard were reasons why we could not file a lawsuit.

Before I make a couple of recommendations, I must share a few more comments. We were told that the Libertarian Party lawsuit is different than the one we would file. The Libertarian Party was able to explain severe burden or risk, that their election results could be skewed by Independents voting in their primaries. I agree. But that has also started to happen in our Republican Primary. Just look at the 2014 Republican Primary results for State Senate in LD25. The winning Republican candidate won by 1646 votes. The number of Independents who voted in that election was 4316, more than enough to influence and determine the winner. Add to this the fact that over $500K was spent on electioneering in that State Senate Republican primary and its not hard to conclude that big money could also influence Independent voter participation in our Primaries. Remember, there are 24 other LD’s that have Independent voter registration within 10% of the total Republican registration in those districts. So I believe we will see more elections where Independent voters determine who wins in our primaries.

Another point about Independent Voters involved in the Republican Party’s Political business. Less we forget, it was just the ONE INDEPENDENT member of the Independent Redistricting Committee who decided the election boundaries for all 30 legislative districts and 9 congressional districts in Arizona. How did that work out for fairness to Republicans!

I can also imagine that the members of the Libertarian Party are sure glad that their leaders didn’t come to the same conclusions about fighting open primaries that the leadership of the Arizona Republican Party has displayed. Can you picture what some of the discussions were like back in 2002 when the Libertarian Party debated whether to go to court:

We Libertarians can’t go to court to fight the Arizona Constitution, it will cost us millions!

It will take years to deliberate with no guarantee of success.

And who will pay for our primaries if we shut out the Independents; we will have to pay for our own primaries!

We need to form a Fundraising Committee to pay for this expensive court action, but there are only 27,000 registered Libertarians across the whole state of Arizona!

We may have a case of severe burden on our Primary results, but again, we would be going against the Arizona Constitution and who can win a court case against a Constitutional law?

Why file a court action anyway to close the Libertarian Party Primary, we will never win!

It is time Mr. Chairman, for all of us as the AZGOP Executive Committee to provide the leadership we were elected to provide by properly responding to the Resolution of the State Committeemen and proceed with a legislative action plan as well as a legal action plan to protect our Republican Primary selection process with closed primaries. I offer my help in that endeavor. Remember, Democrats file lawsuits all the time against Arizona laws and have a great batting average.

I have fought for the Republican Party and what it stands for and will continue to do so. And in case you chose not to proceed with an appropriate response to the party members, then I would like to be appointed to the next Bylaws committee that reviews the Continuing Bylaws of the Arizona Republican Party. Either we need to remove the ability of passing Resolutions as a Party because they are not followed through by the Chairman and the Executive Committee or the Resolutions section needs to be revised so that it is clear that Resolutions are binding on the Party and require regular updates to the Party until they are enacted upon and completed.

Sincerely,

Don M. Ascoli

Member At Large CD4

AZ GOP Executive Committee

Background reading:

April 18, 2015: Republican PCs threatened with arrest at AZ GOP HQs & UPDATE  First person accounts of April 18, 2015 AZ GOP newly closed executive meeting by LD 28 PCs. It garnered  63 comments from readers.

April 13, 2015: A.J. LaFaro dispels Robert Graham’s myth on closing Primary

April 5, 2015: Need more proof of McCain chokehold on AZGOP?  Robert Graham closing meeting to elected Precinct Committeemen, shutting down information flow


Congressman J.D. Hayworth is on the move!

April 26, 2015

For more than a year now, J.D. Hayworth has been an Anchor/Commentator for Newsmax TV. Beginning Tuesday, April 28, he’ll be moving to Prime Time.

“Newsmax Prime with J.D. Hayworth” premieres this coming Tuesday at 8pm, Eastern/5pm, Pacific.  The program will repeat for J.D.’s friends and former constituents in Arizona (not to mention the rest of the West) each night at 8pm, Pacific/11pm, Eastern.

Newsmax TV is now available in over 40 million homes.  It is seen on Ch. 349 (DirecTV); Ch. 223 (Dish); Ch. 115 (Verizon FiOS) or here on your computer with streaming video at www.newsmaxtv.com

Hayworth once described himself as the 2010 “One Man Economic Stimulus Package” for Arizona, as he prompted “Campaign Finance Reform Champion” John McCain to take advantage of a loophole, and raid the taxpayer-subsidized 2008 Presidential Campaign Fund for $20 million of the $30 million spent overall to defeat Hayworth in a bitterly fought Republican Senatorial Primary.

He remains the only Arizonan in history to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.  His appointment to that powerful panel came at the outset of his second term in the House of Representatives, where he served for 12 years.


So very Sowell: Conservative genius takes on AZ Leftist Grijalva

April 19, 2015

Take time to read Dr. Thomas Sowell’s most recent column, ‘The New Inquisition.’

Marching in lockstep on the very debatable topic of “global warming” is the issue as Marxist U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, who runs as a Democrat, attempts to silence scientists whose free speech and divergent views interfere with his extremist political agenda. The Arizona Congressman has been writing to universities, demanding financial records showing who is financing the research of dissenting scientists, and demanding their internal communications as well. This is political correctness run amok and the right to dissent being shut down.

This letter posted on WUWT is an example of Grijalva’s witch hunting techniques in which he uses the signature Alinskyite tactics of the community organizer he once was.

The Daily Caller’s video points to 2014 as another year without global warming.—-  joining  219 months with no significant upward temperature trend.


Republican PCs threatened with arrest at AZ GOP HQs & UPDATE

April 18, 2015

First person account of April 18, 2015 AZ GOP newly closed executive meeting by LD 28 PC

Republican Party elected Precinct Committeemen attempted to gain entrance to the Republican Party executive meeting this morning  They were told that they were not authorized to attend the meeting.

The Republican Party PCs very calmly stood in the parking lot of the Republican Party Headquarters. They were met by Maricopa County Sheriff Deputies who threatened to arrest them for trespassing if they did not leave the parking lot.

The committeemen were told they could stand on the public sidewalk and they moved to the sidewalk as requested. I  (James Alberts ) asked the deputies who told them to arrest us for trespassing . They said their supervisor who was not at the Republican Party office.

I suggest that they go ahead and arrest me. I’m a registered Republican, and a Republican Party PC. I asked if there was an member of the Republican Party executive staff in the building who would come out and order me off the property. Deputies were very polite and said no we have our orders to arrest anyone refusing to leave the 24th Street Republican Party property in Phoenix.

We were considered protesters and forced to leave the property. When the Republican Party Sergeant-at-Arms (Alberto Gutier) came out of the building I reentered the property and identified myself and asked to be arrested for trespassing. At that time the Sergeant-at-Arms told the deputies not to arrest me, saying that I would cause a field day for the Democrats.

I responded by saying, “No, Robert Hussein Graham and the executive staff are causing the Democrats to have a field day with this, not me!”

James Alberts

PC LD-28

 

For additional background on this deplorable state of affairs, read Need more proof of McCain chokehold on AZGOP?

Update-tag

James Albert’s wife Carynn, who is also an elected precinct committeeman has written her own account expressing the thoughts of many frustrated and disillusioned precinct committeemen:

I am a new PC and eager to stay involved in my Precinct and Party (although no one from my LD has ever reached out to welcome me, or even send me the meeting schedule). Unfortunately, my ability to attend meetings or volunteer has been significantly curtailed by a recurrence of Oropharyngeal cancer, for which I am currently in treatment.

In an attempt to maintain the integrity of the vote, I believe strongly that only members of a given party should be allowed to vote in that Party’s Primary Election. Consequently, I was pleased when a motion to close the Republican Primary passed during the State meeting this year. However, four months later, I have been disappointed that Chairman Graham has not moved forward with this motion. I understand implementation will take time and money; however, I have not seen any updates or proposed timelines from the Chairman. I’m certain that I wasn’t alone in thinking that this topic may be on the Agenda of the Executive Meeting on 4/18. So when on Easter night Chairman Graham tweeted to LD 18 PC Peggy McClain to “get a life,” I was more than disappointed. That type of response from the State Leader of our Party to a concerned PC is inappropriate and unacceptable. Disenchanted, I began to believe as others, that perhaps Chairman Graham has no intention of implementing this resolution.

For those reasons, I decided to attend the Rally at AZGOP HQ on April 18th with my husband. Once we parked our vehicle we attempted to check-in for the meeting as Observers with the two women stationed outside. They were polite, but confirmed that the meeting would not be open to PCs, as it was closed to all but Party Executives. Shortly thereafter, my husband and I were approached by uniformed MCSO Deputies who asked if we were there to protest that the meeting was closed. We answered yes, and the Deputies very politely told that we could not be on the property and that we must stand on sidewalk. The Deputies further advised us that if we remained on the property that we could be subject to arrest. I was dumfounded. As a registered Republican who has been welcomed to attend other meetings, or volunteer my time at Republican HQ,
suddenly at the discretion of the Chairman I was no longer welcome to even step foot on the property! It’s my understanding the Party doesn’t have a regular income; it is funded by donations. So in essence, the hard earned money donated by my fellow Republicans, was used to hire off-duty MCSO Deputies, to keep me away from my Party’s HQ.

Once we were positioned on the sidewalk, obviously there was no place to sit. I had planned to rest in or on my car as needed, but since it was parked in the Party’s parking lot, that was no longer an option. There were a few large rocks I could have used to rest upon, however, they were located on the Party’s property, and being in ill-health, and unable to risk arrest, they too were out of the question.

After today, you can add me to the ever-growing list of people who will no longer donate to the GOP. I cannot in good faith allow money I donate to potentially be used against me should I question or disagree with my Party. Heck, as long as the Primary remains open, I just may re-register as an Independent. At least the never-ending robo calls and emails asking for money would finally stop.
Carynn Alberts
Precinct Committeeman
LD 28


U.S. invasion exposed by British press

April 18, 2015

The Daily Mail reveals shocking images from cameras on the Texas-Mexico border capturing a steady stream of illegal aliens sneaking into the United States with packages of drugs and guns. Among the included videos is one showing a sophisticated undercover drug tunnel hidden in a closet.

Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety is quoted in the article saying, “Every day, sheriff’s deputies, police officers, Border Patrol agents and state law enforcement officers in the Texas border region risk their lives to protect Texas and the entire nation from Mexican cartels and transnational crime.”

Arizona, also a border state, endures the same criminal activity.

Take time to enlighten yourself. Our gratitude to the U.K’s Daily Mail for providing more in-depth coverage of the indefensible situation than our local press, which continually pushes for amnesty and an array of taxpayer-funded perks for illegals. 

The Daily Mail assess the situation correctly with these words: “The startling images have been revealed as President Obama continues to fight to push through an executive order to shield illegal immigrants from deportation.” 

Don’t look for such candor to be found in the pages of the Periódico de la República de Arizona (Arizona Republic) newspaper.


McCain gets kid glove treatment from left-leaning Politico

April 17, 2015

This recent article about John McCain in Politico brings to mind the decades old couch in grandpa’s attic. It’s too outdated to be rehabbed, reeks of the mustiness of years of stagnation and its rusty springs gouge your backside if you’re not careful where you sit. No one wants it, but the idea of throwing it out somehow seems a difficult task. Uncle Earl was diapered on it when they still were made out of cloth and needed to be washed rather than tossed. Aunt Mae was proposed to on that very divan. Frantic family thought cousin Sally had been kidnapped by itinerant roofers wandering the area, when, as a toddler, she was just napping behind a back corner of the floral flounce. But finally reality has overtaken sentimentality and to everyone’s relief the relic has been moved out to the curb for pickup.

First elected in 1982, before many of Arizona’s residents were born, McCain is staring 80 in the eye. But his colossal ego can’t bear being ripped from the seat of power in DC. As he tells it, he “still has more work to do.” If he hasn’t accomplished his goals in well over 30 years, it’s time to give someone else a crack at the job.

It took two reporters to construct Politico’s McCain article. Each likely has a granddad who’s a McCain contemporary. Neither of them live in Arizona nor have a handle on the revulsion with which conservatives view McCain. The duo turn to McCain allies for substantiating comments to bolster duplicitous McCain’s bravado-packed statements. Conservatives are marginalized by being declared “tea partiers who are afraid of McCain.” Two-term state Sen. Kelli Ward, who has opened an exploratory U.S. Senate campaign, is demeaned as “little known.”  In fact, the family physician, married to a military flight surgeon has been traveling the state and being met with widespread support.

Unlike McCain, who receives jeers, boos and turned backs, Sen. Kelli Ward gins up enthusiastic crowds who see her conservative perspective as manna from political heaven. McCain has previously relied on the votes of the state’s senior population and newcomers who recognize his ubiquitous name and have little other information. His key advantage is the disengaged, apathetic voter. He carried his home state of Arizona by the slimmest of margins when running against Obama in 2008.

Well connected to the lobbyist money machine, he also uses his operatives to engage in the most loathsome version of politics. GOP members of the congressional delegation are not demurring in mounting a challenge to him because they respect him. They are staying put because they’ve all seen “The Godfather” and remember the message sent by the horse’s head in the bed scene.

The 1,150 to 351 censure vote against him by elected state committeemen at the 2014 Republican statutory meeting resulted in an orchestrated effort played out by his surrogates to oust longtime conservatives from the party ranks. He now has a chokehold on the state GOP, with ambitious chairman Robert Graham obediently falling in line.

According to Politico, these are merely “hardball tactics that seem to spook would-be challengers.” Only low information voters could possibly take that sentiment at face value. John McCain is a liberal poser who cloaks himself as a “maverick.” His viciousness is legendary and makes his renown salty speech pale in comparison. He does not represent Arizona or the Republican Party platform. Like the musty old divan, crusty McCain needs a curbside reality check.


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