Its surprising how much you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit
Maybe all rural politics runs into issues of control. I don't know because I live in Maricopa County and it seems there are a lot of control issues in some districts in this county. I also live part time in Navajo County and have for years, so I know a thing or two about the Republican Committee there.
I met Karen MacKean at a campaign event in 2010 in Lakeside, AZ. It happened that she was the elected Chairman of NCRC and ran a tea party at the height of that movement. I went to the meetings of NCRC and the tea party. Soon I discovered that MacKean was not just very dedicated to those two organizations and winning elections, I learned that she is a creative thinker and a fearless leader. I immediately got involved with the work she was doing to elect conservative candidates at the CD and the county level. She took on her city council, too. Her instincts for what is the right thing to do are impeccable. It's a fact that these qualities bring some discontent among some in politics.
While NCRC chairman, Karen was constantly organizing activities to meet their goals. She included Allen in all invitations, showcased her at both the tea party and NCRC meetings, helped her with events. From my observation as an onlooker, Allen basked in being 'important" and she had MacKean to thank for that. It was at these events and meetings that I first met Allen. She was in the Senate. My most vivid memory is that she was trying to help someone in her community. I forget the details but it was something I had the tools to help with and I offered my help. Several times. Allen ignored my offer. Nonetheless, I did watch her from a distance to see what she was about, including how she represented her district at the Legislature and how she voted. Don't get me started on that.
Somewhere along the way I heard about the ABC agreement: Allen, Barton, Crandall. This was an agreement to switch seats with Barton when her looming term limit came and Barton would run for Senate and Allen would run for House. ALL THREE AGREED TO THIS PLAN. Since the party in that district, spanning Navajo, Gila and Coconino Counties, was happy with this trio, it seemed to be a good idea to keep all in office. It's not easy to find good candidates like Barton or even mediocre ones like Allen in these small communities.
At some point, Sylvia left the Senate and got elected to the Navajo Board of Supervisors and Chester Crandall moved up to the Senate. When he passed on after an accident, Sylvia decided to run for Chester's seat in the Senate. She barely squeaked to a win. One can make the case that the ABC plan was nullified at that point but in fact, Allen thought it was a great idea for first her, then Crandall, to move from Senate to House to keep Barton in the mix, but she doesn't think that idea is so great this year when Barton is termed out. Barton is the one with impeachable principles. For Sylvia to say she never made such an agreement is just plain false.
Back to NCRC. MacKean's 1st Vice Chair was Dara Vanesian, a close friend and a closet libertarian. She rounded up new recruits to grow the committee. Unbeknownst to MacKean, they were all libertarians, not republicans. When it came time to hold district elections, Vanesian ran against MacKean and won by four using the libertarian votes. Some friend! Vanesian went on to do nothing with the district. By the time of the next election, many of the republican stalwarts had left and Vanesian was the only candidate for Chairman. The district continued to dwindle until there were no meetings, no activities, no anything - except money in the treasury. She stands accused now of misusing the treasury for her own pursuits and that is yet to be settled. Where was Allen's outrage then over the diminution of the Republican party in Navajo County?
In 2016, Steve Slaton came along and, with MacKean, decided to reconstitute the district that had been dormant for essentially four years. Slaton is a Vietnam veteran and is Commander of the VFW Post in Snowflake. Being military, he is used to discipline and doing things the right way. I started attending the meetings again. Slaton ran the district like a business, straight and honestly and by the book. Disciplined. The meetings I attended were well run and orderly. Allen was not in attendance.
Then the Lines recall effort came along and Allen and Slaton disagreed about that. Apparently, it became a breaking point for Sylvia that Lines might be recalled and Navajo County might be the deciding votes! That's when things got very tense in NCRC and it seems Allen started to attend meetings more regularly. She attended the meeting in Show Low where she called the speaker, me, a Nazi. I was asked to explain the process for vetting membership applicants for Arizona Republican Assembly. The goal of that organization is to recruit and accept those who are Republicans and who believe in the Constitution and the party platform, not as pieces of paper, but as the right guidelines laid out by the Founding Fathers. Allen jumped in and said that was just the way Hitler started - he vetted. I continued on and she continued to jump in and disrupt. Finally, I asked her if she was calling me and the organization Nazis. She sputtered in denial but then I said we vetted to be sure we were not accepting democrats. She responded, "Maybe you should!" Maybe she thought that would qualify her for membership!
When I finished, Allen jumped up without bothering to get the floor properly and proceeded to give a speech on civility and unity. It was a good speech with a good message. It became clear to me that she had brought a lot of her family members and a heated discussion ensued thereafter, all against the sitting board and in particular, against the Chairman, Slaton. That idea of civility lasted about 45 minutes. It was apparent that she had an organized plan to disrupt and discredit Slaton! The meeting concluded with a lot of tightly drawn lines created by Allen.
In the parking lot, I was standing at MacKean's car discussing the meeting and the next steps in getting signatures for the recall of Lines when Allen charged up to me and started yelling in my face. 'Let's be civil' flew out the window: do as I say, not as I do is Allen's motto! I don't recall the exact words she was using but she was quite crude and insulting. As I began to walk away, her husband called me an ugly name. The war for the NCRC was on! Odd, I thought, Allen was a disinterested member of the NCRC until the recall of Lines began.
It was after that Allen formed a new Republican Party apparatus. She denied doing it but that has been proven false. She was so committed to keeping Lines in office, I had to wonder just what her pay off was.
The bottom line is this: if Slaton and MacKean had not re-formed NCRC, there would be no organized party in Navajo County. Allen sure did not pick up the pieces and get it going again but now she suddenly wants to have it for her own. She's willing to steal it which, in my opinion, is just what she did with the help of Jonathan Lines. I don't believe anything like this has happened in recent years in the AZGOP. Illegal? That would be for a court to decide but it will not get that far. Unethical? Yes. Unscrupulous, disreputable, dirty-dealing? Absolutely. This is the Senator making decisions on our behalf in the state legislature. Think about that for a moment.
Do I think district chairs will step forward to correct this situation? Few, if any.
Some ask why people are leaving the Republican party. This is the reason!
Other means must be used to keep Arizona red because these tactics are a recipe for electing democrats who focus on the goal, the enemy - the republicans. The Republicans focus on advancing their personal agendas. Not all, for certain. However, we know the story of the one bad apple in the barrel. Arizona has enough bad apples to ruin not just a few barrels but the entire party.
To me, the question is, will the Legislators also turn a blind eye to this? Will they continue to support Lines and Allen just in hopes of getting a cut of the election funding? Will Allen keep her coveted committee chairmanship?
It's looking like the Legislature will have its hands full with a myriad of problems this session! This I know: nothing good will come of this brouhaha that Sylvia Allen created.
Angela and Jaspergoat - I plan on writing letters to the editor - White Mountain Independent editor M. Johnson. It would be excellent if others would also stand up and to expose the nefarious Allen activities. I will release a version of my posting on 12/12/2017 above to the MCRC BRIEFS. If you are not subscribing to Frosty Taylor's blog you need to as all sorts of meaningful information is reported without bias.
How do I subscribe to Frosty Taylor's blog?
Send email request to Repcomm@mcrcbriefs.org
Yep - Frosty is my type of gal. Every PC in Arizona should tune into the MCRC BRIEFS. Just saying.
Or you could go to http://archives.mcrcbriefs.org/p/about-us.html a page describing "About US" for the REPUBLICAN BRIEFS with an intro to the editor and tech support plus an enrollment at the bottom.
Gosh, we think every PC in AZ should be on AFA, too! ;D
Well I disagree. Every voter - Republican and Independent - should be on AFA!!
For those who would like to write letters to the White Mountain Independent in support of Slaton and MacKean, you can get 10 (more or less) access times for free. The form to write the letters is on that site, I think in the bottom footer. Look for Contact Us. If it's not there, check the Opinions section. Please do not copy someone else's letter but use it to get talking points. Our articles provide plenty of talking points for you to use. Suggest you keep it to no more than three points. We have had great success using this method to get our letters printed. Remember, the editions come out on Tuesday and Friday and are widely distributed across Navajo County, Apache County.
Being a retired Information Systems Auditor (certified once upon a time) and Local Network administrator (retired from here) at the University of Minnesota among other endeavors - I have never been a good journalist.
So thank you AFA team for the tips.
You are very welcome. Team work!