We have been systematically talking to State Committeemen about how they plan to vote for AZGOP Chairman. What we hear most of the time is some version of, “I don't really like any of them.” Understood. All come with considerable baggage.

Let's take Frank Thorwald. First, he teamed up with Tim Horn to get a plan of action to run on.  Then he ignored an important meeting and just didn't show up with no expanation.  Character counts!  He seems not to be campaigning for the job, preferring, we think, to believe he will waltz into the job on the reputation of Robert Graham.  He is “good friends” with Graham and we are told Graham recruited him to run, promising him the donor list.  That is a cherished list!   He sits on a Board of which Graham is Chairman. The company is a bit of a nothing company but that isn't the point. Or maybe it is. Small, nothing companies seek out their friends to sit on their boards because there are no others to do it. If you believe that birds of a feather actually do stick together, then a good measure of Frank is the friends he hangs with. Like Robert Graham. A peek at Graham should give you pause.

Here are a few facts about Robert Graham:

  • He was charged with money laundering in California when he took a charitable 501c3 PAC (tax deductible) and moved the money to a political 501c4 (non-deductible) allowing donors to donate to the c3, deduct the donation, effectively skirting the law on what are and are not deductible donations. Illegal. He used the money to lobby for an issue in California. He was charged. He was fined $1,000,000 to get rid of the case so as not to have it on his record.  You can search Robert Graham on this site and find plenty of articles we ran at the time, 2012 forward.

  • He along with an associate purchased a closed paper mill in Groveton, New Hampshire. The city fathers were told he would demo the buildings for salvage and then build or sell to someone who would build on the land. The mill was a major eyesore and the city fathers wanted it gone. Now. Several years later, the mill still stood and they sued Graham.  Eventually, someone else came along recently and built on the land.  That was close to a decade it stood as a monument to failure in the middle of a very small town.

  • He is banned for life from working in the securities business in Massachusetts, the land of broken laws. He convinced an elderly artist in MA to invest her entire life savings that were in two trusts – one for her disabled brother and another for her even more elderly mother. It was $400,000. He used the money to buy the paper mill in Groveton that sat for years and she lost every penny. She had signed a form required by law that she had a low risk tolerance. Meaning, CDs were her investment of choice, most likely.

  • He money laundered-funds while Chairman of AZGOP. AZRA members combed through his financial reports and found several very obvious problems in the managing of money. The AZRA Treasurer filed a complaint with the FEC. The complaint was pulled, reputed by John McCain. But after McCain was out of the picture, the AZGOP was fined for their misdeeds and will be fined again in the coming months, according to published reports.  Not one FEC report he filed was accurate.  The FEC doesn't have a sense of humor!

  • It was also suspected that Graham was using AZGOP money for his personal use. That has not yet been proven but still might be.

  • Graham was notorious for changing the locks on the AZGOP doors after he shooed all the conservative volunteers, who had been there for quite some time, right out the door.  He hired people to take jobs that had paid $0 to $60K a year and paid them $120,000 a year, squandering funds intended for candidates. And no one answered a phone for four years!

  • He took RNC money in 2016 that was earmarked for electing Trump and used it primarily to get McCain elected.

  • There are other serious problems with the FEC reports from the four years Graham was there that still plague the AZGOP.

So what does that have to do with Frank Thorwald? Birds of a feather... Frank may not be as dishonest as Graham but he's buddies with Graham and the last, or nearly last, thing AZGOP needs is Graham back influencing decisions.

That brings us to Jonathan Lines. Graham tagged him at the last minute in 2015 to run for AZGOP treasurer and only after others filed intent-to-run forms. Graham claimed he barely knew Lines but we posted photos with them together at Lines parties.  Graham couldn't afford to allow a non-advocate to take a look at the books so he brought in Lines at the last minute, who did not even know, so he said, that AZGOP was in hock up to their ears in outstanding loans. Neither did he report that until it came out from others. Birds of a feather... We wonder, were misappropriated funds involved? Just curious.

But let's not stop there with Lines. He kept the doors locked and no one ever answered the phone or returned phone calls.  He was the ghost of Christmas past, never seen except at social events. Someone else was running the store with little to no oversight by the “chairman.” What happened in the 2018 elections? That's right. They helped no one who needed it. Money for Secretary of State candidate? Superintendent candidate? Legislators who were in close elections? Nope, nope and nope. They even worked against Maria Syms in LD28 and got a democrat in that seat. They are thrilled.

This past fall, he orchestrated the re-organizational meeting in Yuma in secret.  The bulk of the PCs didn't know it was coming, were not given a chance to be nominated for State Committeemen or officers and received their call letters the day of the meeing, some never got one.  These are supposed to be sent 10 days prior to the meeting but most chairmen alert their members a few MONTHS in advance.  He refused to allow nominations from the floor seeing as how he had already stacked the deck in his favor and then, he had his two sons count the ballots.  Nothing to see here, folks.  Business as usual.  We also covered Jonathan Lines extensively two years ago and you can find out more by searching "Jonathan Lines"  on this site.

Really, Gov Ducey. Do you really think Lines deserves re-election? His endorsement may mean the fix is in and if so, whoever trails Lines better call for a roll call vote! By district.

That brings us to Kelli Ward. She has been campaigning hard. But is she the right person for the job? Some think so. They supported her bid for Senator, twice. Between the two above, she stands out in the minds of many. We don't believe she is as conservative as she claims and that is due to the fact that we checked her voting record at the State Senate. She didn't have any outstanding bills and didn't always vote conservative. HB2184 still stands out in our minds. More HERE That was her bill that was given up as a striker to try to strip the Superintendent of her authority. Fortunately, that failed. Search "Kelli Ward 2184" for more info. Her biggest problem is her husband, Michael. Reportedly, he uses several personas on Facebook and has conversations about Kelli between these personas and uses highly inappropriate commentary about people he/they/he doesn't like. Odd and duplicitous, at least. Recently, he was arrested for spitting in the eye of a Ward volunteer. He has done that before and been cited. He has quite a temper that goes off on a whim, a loose cannon, as does she, and anyone could end up a target. Yes, spouses in this position do matter. The AZGOP chairman will be traveling and meeting important political figures at fancy events. Word spreads fast in politics. Many have told us it is her husband that will keep them from voting for her. Others have their reasons.  Annoying the RNC results in no money to the AZGOP for the 2020 election.  Let that percolate into your thinking.

Our take is that she is the best of the three, but...

Part II to come.

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Replies to This Discussion

I am most aware of who AFA is and happily blog on your website ! I  plan to do more and  do thank you .  I misread the 1.19.19 brief article Timothy Schwartz responds to Barb Heller   I do know that charges were not filed per the AZ Central  https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2019/01/15/ke...    Don't you think Johnston was stupid to wear a pro McSally shirt at a Dr. Ward campaign?  This is not the first time I read a story about an ex employee of Dr. Wards.  . As far as your saying Ward  stripped  Diane Douglas former SIP  of her power. Douglas would not agree with you. I spoke face to face with her during her unsuccessful campaign for re-election. . She spoke very favorably about her.  There were vicious lies all year about Dr. Ward  and some of it stemmed from those who supported Joe Arpaio. The  one of the worst was  about the sex life of the Wards.  Pretty desperate and so is this story from a disgruntled ex employee     Dr. Ward is an outsider and Establishment hates outsiders.  Ward is a  smart and a fighter. Lines never supported her but supported McSally.  If anyone will fight for AZ's safety and  security  it is Dr. Kelli Ward.  Anyone who has spoken with her and campaigned for her , knows this.

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Go Myrna! 

I remain a solid Kelly Ward vote. But I do appreciate more info provided for this write in I am sure he has a bright future and hope he keeps up the good fight.

I combed through the Briefs today and found nothing that debunked the story about the spouse, Michael Ward.  The closest it got was an opinion piece saying he was not charged, not that he didn't do it.  He has a terrible temper. Period.  I have several PC friends who have witnessed the bad tempers of both of the Wards.  One accidentally bumped into Kelli's mother and was thoroughly reamed out.  Eye witnesses.  It's not that they were against Ward just giving me their account of instances that happened.  They won't be voting for Ward.

Pat, Over time of becoming an avid reader of AFA and I try to not miss a thing on Frosty's Briefs, what a jewel that Frosty is . .

One thing for sure is that when folks make accusations against folks I want proof and always due process. I swear it is as if conservatives and RINO's both have drank the tainted koolaide  of the left. Make accusations, must believe. I'm old enough to know there is always two sides to a story.

Patricia: my sources are impeccable PCs who supported Ward early on. They don't all know each other but they do all report the same type of information.  Eyewitness.  Rarely are people ready with a camera when such things happen. Their word is documentation and the preponderance of the claims is staggering.

Pat, I have had the pleasure of interacting With Kelli, her husband, Mom and a daughter. I have never experienced what you assert.

Her husband has many times helped this old lady in a wheelchair and I will add offers to do so without me asking.

I admit that I am a person when backed into the wall I come out fighting.

I have my personal experiences that form my opinion. Given the propensity as I said for some to spread much negativity I simply will hold on to my positive.

Again for each story two sides always to consider.

Patricia, I don't imagine that M. Ward is abrasive to everyone.  Apparently, he was not to you.  Maybe he's abrasive and abusive to those he feels he is threatened by.  Dunno. But I can assure you, the spouse of a Republican Chairman in any state should be reliably courteous to all, not to "old ladies in a wheelchair" although you surely seem pretty fiesty and capable of taking care of yourself.  I can tell you many many PCs and others have seen the dark side of both of the Wards and it is not pretty.  Glad you haven't.  I haven't either but my parents told me where there is so much smoke, you would be foolish not to find the fire.

Pat, I have just plain outright not seen enough smoke. Many of us at times willy spread gossip. By the time gossip makes its round the stories told are only an alert to me, in one ear out the other.

I have good friends whom I trust, they have taken me under their wings and taught me a lot. I am a better constitutional conservative for their sharings.

Today Myrna posted -- she made a good post and I thank her for that.

This is a serious election for the next Chair of azgop. J Lines needs to go. The question each of us face is are we up to the challenge to make it happen. If common sense coupled with pragmatic thought for 2020 then we can win.

Speak for yourself on spreading gossip, Patricia.  I assure you what I know are facts.  It's apparent that you and Myrna are buddies and you speak in the same language but please don't transfer your behavior to me.  I know what I know.  I've been around a very long time and I know how to assess information.  It's insulting to say what I know is gossip but what you say you know is fact.  For shame.  When the insults start, it's time to end the conversation.

Pat J. Were you there when Kelli's mother was bumped? No.  I have known Kelli's Mom for years. She is an educated, enthusiastic, well-mannered lady who brought up Kelli to be the same.  

Prove it!

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