Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
Many of us grew up watching or listening to Dragnet in it's heyday. What many learned from that is simple: just the facts, ma'am. How many times did we hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth was the true definition of the truth. The right things happen when we follow that simple rule.
We did not intend to wade into this controversy. We see those with opinions about what happened to the recall. Everyone has one. We do, too. Ours is a bit different. We want to tell all the facts from all the sides as we have gathered them.
So here we are. You all know that AFA has provided complete access to Marianne Ferrari to help get her message out. What she didn't have time to post, we posted on her behalf. This was and still is a very important issue for the ongoing AZGOP PCs and state committeemen. No one we have spoken with have thrown in the towel, be assured! With that, we are also realists.
We have and still support Marianne 100%. We applaud her to the highest. She did what no one else would do. She acted on what she and all conservatives see as a very bad situation at AZGOP.
She worked hard and long hours to complete her mission. She spent weeks studying the AZGOP Bylaws, Robert's Rules and how to write an airtight Call letter. She made countless phone calls to set up times to get the petitions signed. She drove too many miles to count! She had all of that down pat.
Let us say here, AFA had no part in setting up an effort to thwart the recall, but all of our state committeemen team members supported the recall and signed the petitions. The effort to postpone came about by many people for various reasons outlined below. Two people have been publicly blamed when in fact, there were people from several counties who felt doing all the things necessary, not just some of them, was the only way to succeed. All of them are experienced in the ways of AZGOP meetings, what is required and what Lines and friends were likely to do! Just as we support the recall, we supported postponing it. Here's why:
Marianne often contacted one or more of our team members and other AFA members - not because of their association with AFA but as people she knew and trusted. She asked for advice on getting this done. We have interviewed several of those people and we already know what our team members said to her.
1. Marianne is a newbie to the state committeeman job. She was not aware of many of the issues surrounding holding a meeting - any meeting. Yes, she could recite the bylaws backward and forward but the bylaws are scant on meeting procedures. Those things were mostly steeped in precedence over decades.
2. Not one person we interviewed, or just talked to, said she took their advice. Mind you, these were people who know procedures backwards and forwards but might not be able to recite bylaws and are solidly on Marianne's side then and still.
Here is what we found very troubling:
Everyone without exception who contacted us about this had one similar question: who would take Lines place? Why, they asked, would we have a meeting if not to replace Lines with an honest and capable person. Was there anyone ready to do that who meets those two criteria?
Marianne had her own ideas about that and is likely not to want nominations from the floor to dilute a vote for an honest person. But even though we heard several names floated about, most did not meet even the slimmest criteria for the next chairman.
Do you have a candidate, Marianne, many asked. No response that indicated one way or the other.
If not and if you don't allow floor nominations in the Rules for the meeting and no one knows whether there is a candidate or not, how will we be able to replace Lines? No information on that.
Do you have a nominating committee (several people had told her she needed that). Her answer according to at least two sources was NO.
Do you have a Rules Committee? (the Rules must be sent in the Call that would have gone out a few days after the signatures were verified). Answer: no
Do you have a Credentials Committee? Not yet (She did have a chairman and co-chairman but it would have taken approx 75 people more or less to be assembled, trained and organized.)
Do you have a complete list of State Committeemen with addresses or emails? Not yet. To be clear, a couple of people had a list of all the SC names, as well as AFA, but someone would have to go to the elections department of each county to get the mailing addresses. Fifteen counties. Had that been done? No
Do you have a location nailed down? Maybe, I'm working on it and think I can get it.
Do you have security people lined up? Not yet. Again, she had considered that question and we believe she was working on it.
Do you have a great certified parliamentarian to prevent the shenanigans of the recent past being pulled again? Not yet
Do you have a 1st class attorney who would work on the legal aspect of the meeting to counter the sure-to-come threats from Korey Langhofer, McCain's attorney as well as AZGOP's? I had one but lost him and I'm hoping to get someone else (she named the person but we will hold on to that info for now)
And the second biggie that had people worried: the difficulty in getting signatures. Yes, she started quite late but many people stepped up to help. One person told us he could deliver every conservative signature in his district but he could not spend 90 minutes at each attempt in order to get those. That is what Marianne wanted him to do and at the time, she was unrelenting. She insisted every person had to know why Lines should be recalled, the process being used, etc. She said that to our team member, too. Most of us already had plenty of evidence to recall him and didn't have 90 minutes to sit in a meeting and hear it again. Many people were coming and going on vacations and other business.
We got a call from a person who said no one she contacted was willing to sign the petition! She was frustrated. Out of 1235 state committeemen, only 269 stepped up to sign the petition. Enough to call a Special meeting. But when one person asked if she had the votes, she said she didn't know. Are you going to count your votes? You need to know where the votes are! It's reported by a few folks that her answer was she wasn't concerned about counting the votes! She wasn't concerned whether the votes were there or not because she was doing this on principle, not on winning, although winning was her preference.
We asked several people if they knew what Marianne said in a letter she sent out after the recall collapsed and said to a few people earlier: win or lose. A few did but most thought they were in it to win it. For them, losing was not an option.
Many people stepped forward and offered to fill the gaps. But Marianne was worried about their conservative principles because she didn't know who these people were. They were turned down.
Now comes the effort by those who knew that there were too many loose strings and not enough time in September to tie them up so as to have an effective meeting. Many were, yes, worried that Lines and company would get the petitions and use it to purge everyone on there. That was a risk they were willing to take when they thought the goal was to REPLACE LINES. But more and more, people who know what was needed realized this meeting was not going to come off the way it would have to in order to be effective.
We are told that Marianne met with several people to discuss a postponement until all the ducks were lined up to pull off a recall. We are told that she agreed to consider that. In the end, she refused to postpone. We don't know how seriously she took the gaps in the preparation, the cost, the problem in getting all SCs' addresses, etc.
While Marianne rightly feels betrayed, so do others who thought everything was lined up and their singular goal was to remove and replace Lines. EVERY conservative State Committeeman wants this to happen, wants to be rid of Lines/Graham/McCain/Flake once and for all. We think it can still happen. We hurt for Marianne and how she must feel. She put everything into this effort for months.
We have heard that there are smears against her. We have not heard a single person say anything but the truth about Marianne: she is a hero for taking this on; we want this to happen; she's gotten a great start and if at first you don't succeed, try try again! Not one smear has come our way. But the two people named in Marianne's letter have reported vicious and nasty emails and phone calls for a few days, some bordering on harassment, after the letter went out.
One thing we can say for sure. It's been shown again that the republicans excel in eating their own!
In our view, there are no real villains here. There are people with valid differences of opinion. There are people who desperately want to get rid of Lines. All the people that have been involved are committed to this project. This project is not a failure, it's a postponement. Lines should worry! Let's not eat each other up while Lines, Graham, Matt Kenney and the rest stand on the sidelines laughing.
By the way, some have falsely accused AZRA for failing to endorse this effort and others have accused the President of AZRA of taking it down. Both allegations are false. In order for AZRA to endorse or formally support any initiative, candidate or propositions, it must first call a convention of its membership, the question put to them and a 2/3 vote to pass. That never happened, not by design, but that it was not possible logistically at the time to do that. Therefore, the President could not speak on behalf of the organization.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Well said AFA, and yes the main concern was we were in it to win it not to 'show them (the maggots)' I never signed the petition because without a winning candidate, to me, it was pointless, you just can't throw it against the wall and hope it sticks. To Marianne, your heart was in the right place but the main thing is the outcome it has to be a garanteed victory or we lose twice. In the meantime we gain strength by recruiting real patriots and educate those that have no clue. God Bless us and America.
Excellent article on what happened. I learned a lot and I thank you for not pointing any fingers. The people who have posted in Briefs are all pointing fingers and that solves nothing.
All this said, the FACT remains that no one else stepped up to do what Marianne attempted to do. Newbie or not, she had the guts to go into the belly of the beast and shake the living hell out of them. She didn't just talk - she in fact walked- and when she got to the palace gates she saw that there were very few coming behind her.
As far as her not asking anyone for advice - whatever happened to someone, anyone, coming forth and offering it without having to be asked?
When all is said and done - it's the same old same old - and life goes on the same old way.
Tom, AFA already made that point. So what's yours? In fact, there were people lined up behind her so you are wrong on that. I know that for a FACT. "Many people stepped forward and offered to fill the gaps. But Marianne was worried about their conservative principles because she didn't know who these people were. They were turned down." She did not want any of them to help her. No one has questioned her guts to do this. You need to go back and re-read this article. Many people offered her advice, seeing she was short on a lot of needed information. Her answer was always no. Didn't you read how many things were not taken care of because she refused advice given? I wasn't deep in this but my precinct buddy was and plenty of advice was offered on all those subjects outlined that were revealed not to have been lined up. I wish to hell she had brought people in to help with those areas but no matter how you spin it, the meeting date was 4 weeks away and NO was the answer to important questions. I hope she comes around and gives it another shot and let others take care of those things she was not able to. You talk a lot about "being the former azgop chairman" so you should know what it takes to do a meeting like this. I've been an SC and know how many moving parts there are to state meetings.
Jasper, my point is simply that when push came to shove she had no where near what was supposedly there when she started out. And also, I know for a fact that she sought advice but was careful that it was not inadvertently from the Establishment. Bottom line - she had the rug pulled out from under her as victory was still more than just a possibility and in my opinion it was worth the attempt no matter the outcome. Marianne had the courage to try to get this done and I admire her for it.
Heavens. I'm sure confused, Tom. First you seem critical that she had to "ask" for advice as though none was forthcoming and now you are saying she "sought" advice when Jasper said plainly she was given a lot of advice. So my friend in LD23 told me she offered advice every time she was asked and offered advice when she saw a problem come up. She told me her advice was politely rejected. Now I believe my friend because this was an ongoing conversation since I was a state committeeman in the past. I was happy when AFA didn't point fingers but here you are pointing fingers but refuse to name the people you are certainly blaming. Maybe push should have met shove earlier than the last minute and maybe she should have confided in enough people to get the job done. I too applaud her guts and fortitude but I saw the light as this went along and was glad I didn't have to sign or not sign. I think it was a tough decision for the non-signers given the problems that loomed. I don't get why you would think a disaster of a meeting was better than a postponement? even if she had a parliamentarian and attorney who wouldn't buckle she might have pulled it off. A firm location would have been good, too. Anyway, it's over for that part and I applaud AFA for having the guts to tackle this issue and think they were very fair to all sides. Hint, hint.
Pat, Again, the result is the same old same old. Am I missing something here by hoping that one day we will finally stick together and get done what must be done without splintering before succeeding? . But sadly, today, obviously, is not that day.
Unfortunately many offered and their shared experiences were similar in that if they did not agree with her perceptions, she ignored their wisdom and experience.
Amen, Jim. We all have an Achilles heel.
Could the Achilles heel actually be a lack of spine?
Please everyone. Do not insult each other over what we know to be facts - not emotions