How Much Longer Before AZGOP Stonewalling Takes on the Odor of Deliberate Malfeasance? Or has it, already?



2016: In Breach as Treasurer – Jonathan Lines never ordered the audit the bylaws required to be complete BEFORE the Statutory Meeting in late January 2017. Purpose of that rule: To have books ready for the new treasurer.


Period from January 28, 2017-June 2017--

Kept the first Breach & Added Two New Ones:

1) Refused to give any permanent records to the new secretary, limiting the tasks she could perform.

2) Refused to give any records from the period prior to 2/1/2017 to the new treasurer, creating all-new Quickbooks and bank accounts for the treasurer.

3) Failed to call for audit of 2016 from January till June of 2017.


Period from June 17, 2017-the present –

Lines continues in breach, today: 

1) Lines still refuses to give the permanent records to Secretary Gabby Mercer.

2) Lines associates at ExComm erupted noisily, when Steve Slaton moved that the body order Lines to give the secretary her permanent records. Several of their comments were called out of order by acting presider, Al Gage (a professional parliamentarian), only on the initiative of Steve Slaton, who certified, by citing Robert’s Rules, that they WERE out of order.



So Many Questions for PCs & State Committeemen to Think About:


As treasurer, why would Jonathan Lines fail to call for the 2016 audit prior to the Statutory Meeting, as bylaws require?
This one question breeds 30 others: 

Was it simply incompetence? If not, then was Lines inattentive to, or often absent from, his job? Or was he really just Treasurer-in-Name-Only? If Lines took his oath of office, but never actually served as treasurer, would that not be another breach of the bylaws?

Or, worse, would there be something fraudulent about—in essence--posing as the treasurer, while someone unknown handled the books in a totally unofficial capacity? Is it even imaginable that such a thing could be the case? And, if so, then who, indeed, was it who held and kept the books for those two years? And who named that person to do the treasurer’s job?

Does imagining even the possibility of a “ghost-treasurer” on the payroll of the AZGOP make any PCs or state committeemen roll their eyes and feel squeamish? To get a sense of how such a scenario might somehow unfold, one would have to envision quite a strange succession of events, in which a party would hold an official election to fill an office, but then ignore the results, and, instead, placing an unidentified person into the elective seat that was just filled. How would it feel, though, to be one of the state committeemen who voted in such an election, and find out it was secretly voided the instant it was finalized?

Personally, how would a state committeeman feel on discovering that he or she had voted for a person who was elected, but elected-in-name-only? That is, voted for a winner who never served! What kind of picture comes to your mind of what a hypothetical party administration responsible for that would look like? Is it a picture of an administration that’s being run like a private “family business,” accountable to no one—not fiscally nor any other way? Is such a thing possible in the modern world?

Could anything like this ever happen under the nose of a sitting chairman? Is it outlandish or out of the question to conceive a scenario in which Lines was groomed to run for chairman to succeed Graham? Would it fit such a scenario for Lines to have been instructed to run for treasurer, to increase his likelihood of success in the 2017 election for chairman?


If any of these hypothetical questions hit anywhere near actual deeds, would the implications be considered par for the course or as a devastating indictment of the current state of the Arizona GOP?


Take, for instance, Lines’ announcement, about two weeks after his election, that he had been surprised by Robert Graham’s revelation that the party had incurred $250,000 in debt. How is it possible that, as the serving treasurer, he did not know?


How certain is anyone in the party that all $250k of debt consists of ballot harvesting legal fees? Why would our party volunteer to take responsibility for the crushing ballot harvesting legal fees, when the state is actually responsible for them, according to many? Are there, in truth, other expenses mixed in there with the ballot harvesting, such as legal fees for the legal action against LD 23, just prior to the statutory meeting in January 2017? Are there any costs in there that have nothing to do with party business? If so, incurred by whom? And for what? And how can the state committee pin down that information, for sure? Do you believe the state committee has a responsibility to pin down that information? 


How many of us have heard people tell the story about Robert Graham having used AZGOP funds to travel and campaign for RNC chair across the country, with wife and kids, in the summer of 2016? How many have heard the related story about $80,000 some say Robert Graham spent throwing a free concert at the Cleveland convention, for the purpose, according to the story, of ingratiating himself with potential RNC voters? Are those stories true? How many would like to know? How can the state committee verify that no AZGOP funds were used for those purposes? Does the state committee have a right to get to the bottom of all expenditures by the party administration? 


Do any of these questions place in a different light the refusal by Lines to deliver the books to the treasurer, until many months went by?

How many reading this see the sudden surrender of the 2016 financial books to the Treasurer, after 4 ½ months, equally as mystifying as the previous refusal to surrender them? Is it conspiracy theory to entertain the notion that 4 ½ months would be enough time to change the books so they could pass muster in the eyes of the new treasurer?

Hypothetically--and even fantasmagorically—what alternate reason might you imagine for someone to hold, hold, hold, and then give up the books? We could probably ask this question till we’re blue in the face: Who was in actual possession of those financial records, during those 4 ½ months?



Why Does Chairman Lines Keep Refusing to Give Secretary Gabby Mercer the AZGOP Permanent Records, as Required by the Bylaws?

This One Question Breeds 15 more: 

What is it about the permanent records that causes Chairman Lines not to want to give them to the secretary? Is there something in them that he does not want her to see? What might fall under the category of things in the permanent records that Chairman Lines might not want Gabby Mercer to see?

How is it that, at the Statutory Meeting, January 28, 2017, everyone on Chairman Lines’ slate did not win—only Chairman Lines? How is it that everyone on Jim O’Connor’s slate did not win—only Gabby and Bob? What is the usual outcome, when people run together as a slate?

On the multiple occasions that Gabby Mercer has gone to the AZGOP headquarters--with witnesses in tow--to demand the permanent records, who has been there to refuse her demands? Has only Chairman Lines met with Gabby? Which AZGOP employees, and which elective or appointed officials have performed the task of rebuffing her lawful demands? Has the general counsel met with Gabby?


If so, has he given her a reason that conforms to the Bylaws and also justifies refusing her lawful demand for the permanent records the Bylaws require her to keep, as secretary?


If the general counsel, who the bylaws stipulate “shall advise the chairman and the committees on all legal matters,” has explained to the secretary why she cannot have the permanent records that the Bylaws require her to have, does that explanation constitute “advising” her, as the Bylaws require? Or would such an explanation by an AZGOP general counsel constitute placing himself in a state of conflict of interest? Would it constitute taking the side of the chairman--who is in breach of the bylaws for refusing to provide the permanent records—AGAINST the secretary who continues to lawfully demand those records? 


Is it proper for one elected or appointed official to, in any way, prevent any other elected or appointed official from doing his or her job? Do any of Chairman Lines’ actions--or refusals to act--contradict the oath of office he took when elected, either as treasurer or as chairman, or both? If so, what would that say about the current state of the party that elected him?

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Replies to This Discussion

Yes, I read that. My point, clearly not made, is that auditors who will dig are not that unusual.  Wasn't suggesting they would take this case. Someone asked why the AG doesn't look into this.  Answer's the same, this is not their area of concern.  Sorry for the confusion.

Great to put together a list of county and district chairs. Maybe then we should ask AFA to publish that and encourage republicans, not just pcs to put some heat on them to put some heat on AZGOP.

If someone is making a list of County Chairmen, the new Chair for Yuma County is Russ Jones, former legislator who lost to Darin Mitchell three election cycles ago. The poor sport sued Mitchell, claiming the victor didn't really reside in LD13. Fortunately, for us conservatives, the court sided with Mitchell. Don't look to Jones for any support against Lines. Jones was the one Lines went to all the trouble to harvest 44 new PCs for, just to get him elected Chair.





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