Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
Today was another stellar day at the annual meeting of the AZGOP elected State Committeemen. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 9:00 and end at three.
It started out on what seems to be a high note for AZGOP/Lines. The sign in sheets were a total mess, the lists were not correct but were outdated lists from the districts that did not take into account the updates that had been made to the lists in the past year. They are so inept they can't even put a proper list together so that signatures could be added as SCs checked in. The Credentials report went by so fast no one could keep up. Now, we know why. They didn't even know what the heck they had!
NEW: Given that they have allowed non-qualified people vote in these elections to assure a win for their candidates and positions, they probably didn't want anyone to know exactly how many proxies were to be voted! Remember, last year we posted that they had Quislings and staff voting to defeat Jim O'Connor by only 34 votes! They also had three "State Committeemen-at-large votes... there is no such thing as at-large SCs. That makes this behavior business as usual.
Then, after that, ballots were tossed about willy nilly by some accounts, co-mingling the voted ballots with spoiled ballots with extra ballots. That, at least, is the report. We aren't sure if there were any paper ballots but if their were, you can rely on the above info of disorganization extraordinaire! Well, it's nice to be good at something, we suppose, even if it's making an unholy mess out of simple sign in sheets!
These meetings never end on time and neither did this one. This one, though, had to end by 4:00 at the latest and even as they were continuing to vote on the Bylaws Amendments, people were breaking down the room. We were told overtime charges kicked in at 4:00! Well, that is a motivator, for sure.
We only have a scattered report so far and are awaiting a credentials report. Given the chaos of the sign in, we will probably never get a correct credentials report to know who was there in person or by proxy. We know that Barry Wong, Chairman of LD24, was very proud that, of his group of 30 SCs, 28 turned out! WOW! Uh, oh, not so fast. The ratio was nearly 50% people and 50% proxies with 15 present in person, 13 by proxy. Folks, when nearly have the votes are cast by people who did not show up - which is standard for these meetings - the meeting should be illegitimate.
There were a couple of floor fights but before we get to that, it will come as no surprise that the Lines slate miraculously won all seats.
Then there was a floor fight over the Consent Calendar. It took up time and we are not sure how that came out but we would expect that Lines prevailed. The Conservatives tried to recall Lines but the motion failed on a questionable vote.
Then there was a floor fight over the Bylaws. Al Gage, the "Presider" for the meeting was asked to remove the Bylaws indefinitely. Gage pulled the same stunt as was pulled a couple of years ago over a Resolution to Censure Robert Graham. What happened then is that the "Presider," who was not Al Gage, read from Robert's Rules a passage that called the Censure Resolution out of order and it was never heard. Later, it was found that the "Presider" read only part of the Rule, but not the exception to the rule that would have allowed the Resolution to be voted on.
This time, Joe Neglia was ready for them. They tried the same stunt, read only the first part of the Rule. That is when Neglia jumped in and read the rest of the rule. Boom! Al Gage on the mat!
The Bylaws vote went forward but only after several amendments were pulled. In the end, the Bylaws failed completely, giving a YUGE win to the Conservatives. Itasca Small made an outstanding and reasonable argument regarding the validity of the voting, or rather, perhaps the lack thereof. Of course, this is an AZGOP meeting and they can always be accurately questioned about the validity of the voting. People were very impressed with the arguments she made which people agree caught the Presider off balance. Not a good day for Al Gage!
This just in from Arizona Daily Independent who wrote a truly delicious article on the Democrat AND the AZGOP state meetings last weekend:
"@Kimberhatt is referring to an incident when Jonathan Lines AZGOP Chairman was speaking at the podium. He was connected electronically to, and told what to say, by a top McCain political hand, Jon Seaton, of East Meridian Strategies, who worked for McCain in his 2008 campaign and has remained with him since. Seaton was one of the operatives behind McCain’s purge of conservatives in the AZGOP after McCain was censured by the party faithful.
"Seaton’s actions were witnessed by more than one State Committeeman. When Seaton was confronted about his actions he refused to identify himself and ran off to hide. Seaton then called security to have one of the State Committeeman involved removed. This plan failed as security, upon hearing both sides, seemed to support the State Committeeman involved and went looking for Seaton."
Thanks to Arizona Daily Independent for the following tweets:
Remember this from 2015 when McCain was censured. This meeting is just a continuation of the Revenge of McCain.
When I returned home from the State meeting to elect delegates to go to Cleveland, I could not believe what I had just witnessed. I feel the same today. We sit in the audience knowing we are being had. We are railroaded at each AZGOP State meeting. This is why good PCs are leaving. That is what Lines and McCain want, so it's imperative we don't give up, stay involved, and keep exposing them.
Chairman Lines was exposed by our Treasurer when we learned there are FEC errors the AZGOP is paying for from 2015-6. Also, we get the rah rah from Lines at every appearance he makes, yet we have over a million $$ in debt? Really, though, who would turn over hard-earned money to dishonest and disrespectful individuals?
Thanks to Secretary Mercer for her blunt honesty. She must have to sleep with one eye open.
What is most amazing is the set of spineless LD Chairs who don't come to bat at all for their own PCs. No wonder the Republicans in DC are spineless, it starts at the bottom.
Thanks to well-prepared Joe Neglia, Itasca Small, and several others who DID come to bat for their fellow State Committeemen and honesty and decency. Well done.
Finally, the lying, cheating, and deception is made worse in my mind because it is occurring in a church. Are Chairman Lines and his circle able to sleep at night?
They probably truly believe their cause is just and that end justifies their means.
The AZ GOP Mandatory Meeting on January 27 in Phoenix started in an upbeat manner, with rousing patriotism and several informative and motivational speeches from our state’s Republican officers (incl. our Governor) and members of the House of Representatives in D.C.. One or two were mostly campaign speeches, which was unfair to their non-incumbent challengers. But, overall, I was enjoying the experience, at least up to the point when we started getting into the party business details.
There were many of us at the Mandatory Meeting who never received the Call Letter in the mail. And, 20% of our county delegation had no credentials waiting for us. We had to wait over an hour to use credentials from some no-shows from other counties (but they did let us in).
The Call Letter contained an attachment of all the proposed resolutions that were arbitrarily dismissed by the Resolutions Committee. When I asked Barry Wong (Chair of the committee), who received the best district Chairman award from State Chairman Jonathan Lines at the Friday night banquet, what the rationale was for such a massive dismissal of solid Republican-plank resolutions, he just smugly said "We are not required by the Bylaws to explain our decisions." Really.
It's a shame that the entrenched establishment won all the elections, with their outnumbering us (referred to as "Activists") almost 2 to 1, but it was obvious that there is a major divide in our state party, with so many of us not respecting or trusting their "consensus" recommendations. No Grassroots Conservatives were elected. So much for the AZ GOP being an inclusive party.
One very telling moment occurred when conservative Gabby Mercer made her report as the party Secretary. To this day, she still has not received the party records! She was visibly angry as she discussed the complete lack of support from the rest of board even after numerous requests, making her unable to perform her duties. Jonathan jumped up, even more visibly angry and probably being out of order, and stated it is not the Board’s fault since the Bylaws state that the previous Secretary is the one who is to hand over the records and that the other Board members have no responsibility to do so. Really.
Fortunately, there were several well-informed Grassroots Conservatives, e.g., Itasca Small and Joe Neglia, et al, who caught the GOPe Board and their professional presider (a Roberts Rules of Order practitioner) violating their own agenda and the rules. The professional presider, hired by the Board, was clearly not a neutral party in any sense of the phrase.
One of my bigger disappointments was seeing the abusive use of proxies in action. There were counties and precincts that had more proxies than people attending. There is no way one person can accurately represent the voting preferences of 5, 10, or 20 or more people, none of whom are present to hear the reasoned debate. Not to mention it is an explicit violation of Roberts Rules of Order.
All we can do to prevent this egregious abuse of proxies by the GOPe is to encourage our state legislators to vote for HR 2029 which, if passed, will amend ARS Section 16-828 to limit proxies to two per attending elector at both state and county committee meetings. For some unexplained reason, the state party Resolutions Committee rejected, before the meeting even started, 4 lawfully submitted petition-based proposed resolutions to limit proxies. They also arbitrarily rejected lawful resolution requests for the party to support enforcing immigration reform, stopping the harboring of illegal aliens, repealing ObamaCare, securing the borders, and even providing a condemnation of NFL players’ (and their supporters in League management) conduct disrespecting the flag, police, and veterans. What kind of Republican Party would not support those positions? Not one comprised of Conservatives.
What probably disenchanted me the most was, with our losing every election, including all the Vice Chairs, I don’t see a path to install grassroots conservatives to replace the entrenched establishment, at least any time in the near future.
Thanks for this report. We have had only one normal AZGOP Chairman in many years. Before Tom Morrissey, there was Randy Pullen, another McCain Chair, who was removed from office when he was charged with money laundering the AZGOP accounts. They should have charged Robert Graham for doing the same. Lyle Tuttle moved up to Chair to finish Pullen's term, if I remember correctly. Having RINOs as chairs is a long held tradition and probably won't die with McCain. Conservatives just won't get out and recruit conservative PCs. RINOs won't either but AZGOP does that for them
I am hoping the AZ House bill (HR 2029) to limit proxies passes and will reduce the stranglehold the establishment RINOs have over the state party, blocking out almost all grassroots conservatives.
Both HB2029 (Jay Lawrence) and HB2012 (Michelle Ugenti-Rita) are exactly the same bill. HB2012 in being heard in the house government committee this week--HB2029 is not. Now is the time to post your RTS positions and contact the committee members--image below--to support the bill. Personal editorial comment: I posted on RTS that the number should be zero, not two.
I think it is HR2029 and HB2012. The former is just a resolution; the latter is an actual bill that will be discussed Tuesday night.
Your comment piqued my interest, but my search came up empty. If you have a link to HR2029, please post it. Here's what I found: both 2012 and 2029 are HBs (links posted below), and I found nothing showing the Arizona legislature uses the abbreviation HR. They do use HCR, but the highest number used so far in this session is 2025. Regardless, HB2012, as you noted, is going to be discussed, so now would be a good time for people to register their positions and comments.
I just now saw 2029 as a bill and not a resolution, too. Not really sure if that is a change and why there are two seemingly identical bills. Sounds like my source was wrong or is just now outdated. Glad you found it.
It is indeed hopeless to email the democrats Clark, Martinez, Salman. Their party already does not abuse proxy carrying. I'm sure they will smile and be happy that proxies elect those who elect the McCains of the world.
Great point! If I weren't so lazy, I'd have listed the names instead of grabbing a screen shot.
Response to our email to the republicans:
Bob Thorp: I agree. Thanks.
Now this is important because Thorpe is not a conservative's conservative, although he's very tall and thin and looks great in his Abe Lincoln outfit.