Arizona Citizens Supporting Honest Representative Government At All Levels
This is LONG, very long, because Graham's letter was 4 pages! But if you care about free, fair and equal elections at every level, this is for you. If you know that we get bad candidates when local Republican parties cheat in favor of the bad guys, this is for you. So please, stay with this to the end. And this is only part one. More to follow on Sunday. We are all weary of the shenanigans of Robert Graham to keep LD23 from voting at the state meeting. But it never ends for Graham. Now he just looks like the petty man he is, hooked by diaper pins to John McCain, determined that Jonathan Lines, a long time McCain/Kyl/Flake supporter, will be elected to direct ALL the coming RNC money to the Flake campaign in 2018. THAT is the goal for McCain/Graham, to be sure we can't replace Flake. They need a cooperative and shady Chairman to do that.
The latest salvo was sent yesterday after an attempt on Saturday by LD23 failed to peacefully and legally resolve this with Graham. That letter is posted at the end for you to see. Part two with revealing testimony and documents will be released Sunday. You won't want to miss that!
Here is the response from Robert Graham to the attempt to peacefully resolve this with no fingers pointed, complete with corrections in red of the misstatements he included because pointing fingers, like Obama, is his MO of choice. He's made a fool of himself, and he knows it. He picked the WRONG LD to mess with. This is nothing more nor less that his latest attempt to illegally control and prevent the seating of LD23 duly elected state committeemen. He's trying to get your sympathy with this letter that is wholly inaccurate. Lying by omission sets up the entire letter to be suspect. No one can figure out what is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God. That and that alone determines the truth. So say the courts.
Lies come in many forms. In this letter, Graham consistently lies BY OMISSION - by telling part of the story but not the complete story, with intent to change the facts in the minds of the readers. Be assured that most of the info presented in RED is due to one or more of our team being PCs in LD23 so we are aware of all activities of the district, research and interviews with the targets. Also understand that our AFA Team extends across several LDs.
Arizona Republican Party, 3501 N. 24th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85016 (602) 957-7770 FAX: (602) 224-0932
Robert S. Graham
January 18, 2017
«First» «Middle» «Last_» [the letters we got did not have any names or addresses meaning he
«Address» made the mistake of failing to merge the names into the letter.]
The purpose of this letter is to assure that every Republican precinct committeeman within the State of Arizona has a clear understanding surrounding the ongoing discussions with respect to LD 23 and the nomination of their state committeemen.
The discussions do NOT regard the call letter, how it was sent, or the Attorney General’s opinion defining “mail” and “electric communication.” Further, the discussions do NOT and need not address LD 23’s election of new leadership. [The discussions for 5 weeks DID surround the issues above. Until LD23 contacted most other districts and found all but 2 of those who responded - 26 (there are only 29 active districts at this time. The 30th is struggling to re-form) - sent email Calls. Oops! Busted!]
State committeemen, once elected, have the awesome responsibility to represent their district and/or county in a material way each year. Every precinct committeeman has the right to a fair and well-defined nomination process to assure that everyone has the option to pursue their interest of becoming a state committeeman.
Like any club, organization, or business, it is normal to find new members who have little working experience or knowledge to apply to their newfound responsibilities. This reality adds additional responsibilities to leadership to assure everyone -- in this case newly elected precinct committeemen -- are included and are completely aware of the nomination process of becoming a state committeeman. [LD23 held several PC training days for ALL new PCs who were personally invited. SOME actually cared enough to come. That represents a fulfillment of the responsibility to inform PCs. "You can lead a PC to information but you can't make them learn!"]
The AZGOP was made aware by many new precinct committeemen and later confirmed by Nancy Ordowski, the new Chairman of LD 23, that there were over 28 precinct committeemen [out of 356] that were never made aware of the nomination process to become a state committeemen. [The rest of the story: LD23 made every new PC aware that LD23 communicates by email and then posts important information for PCs to know on the LD23 website ld23gop.org. They requested of each new and existing PC to provide an email used ONLY for LD23 business. PCs have their own duty to read what is made available to them. Babysitting is for the democrats and no other district does more than what LD23 does to keep everyone informed and many do less.]
The LD 23 leadership worked to acquire email addresses and any electronic means of communicating with the new precinct committeemen. Not all precinct committeemen responded to the requests. By not responding, leadership within all counties and district leadership must recognize the obligation to communicate with all elected precinct committeemen and the nomination process to run for state committeeman. If leadership does not have everyone’s email addresses or social media handle, USPS (mail) is the last resort to assure everyone is included. LD 23 did this with their call letters but not the nomination process for state committeeman. Herein lies the problem: to assure that everyone that would have wanted to be a state committeeman has a fair and equal opportunity to become a state committeemen. [There is NO requirement for districts to send ancillary documents to each person, ONLY that they are made aware of them, available on the website. The Nominations process was covered in full In the training. There is a link to the website to retrieve all documents related to the meeting. Even in the electronic call, the documents were not physically sent but only links to them on the website. And Graham clearly says above that this assault on LD23 does not have anything to do with emailed Calls. There is NO REQUIREMENT IN LAW OR BYLAWS ANYWHERE THAT SPECIFY WHAT DOCUMENTS MUST BE SENT. PCs do have some responsibility to be knowledgeable. We are NOT Democrats!]
Many have complained this was a bad process, [This is a consistent refrain by Graham but he has refused to send any proof or evidence of any unsolicited complaints even though several times he has agreed to do so by a date certain. He has solicited complaints from PCs but has not shared with LD23 even those complaints he claims to have! BE AWARE; this info was made available no different than many districts, no different from elections of the past, more information than many districts provide.] one that alienated conservative stalwarts who are important to the party and its success. Congressman David Schweikert and his wife's proxies were not permitted. There was arbitrary enforcement of proxy rules. [Lynne Breyer, Credentials Chair: The Schweikerts sent Proxies carried by Chris Brant. The Proxy was not completely filled out. This is the second time the Schweikerts sent incorrect Proxy(s) to a voting meeting. Both were denied. The Proxy is a legal document. The rule is that all legal documents must be completely filled out to be valid. No Notary can notarize a document that has blank lines in it. That's the law. That has been the policy for Proxies for as long as I have been a PC. It is the sole responsibility of the person giving a Proxy to fill it out completely. It is incumbent on the person carrying a legal document to be sure that document is in legal order. Had the Credential team taken an incorrectly executed Proxy for one person, they would have to do so for all others presented. Exceptions are not required, nor reasonable to make, for legal documents. The Credentials team could be held legally liable for validating an incomplete or incorrect Proxy. The rules do not discriminate and apply to everyone. Congressman Schweikert has been a PC for years and surely knows and would not expect the rules to be set aside for him but for no others. This is a false flag argument.]
C. T. Wright, a black leader in our party whom many of you know from his stirring invocations at our state party functions, was left alienated. [When asked about this, the current Chairman has said that C. T. Wright, who was on the ballot, (whether black, white or puce) has not asked to be elevated above those legally elected, has no hard feelings and is in full support of the past and current chairmen.]
Conservative attorney Mike Liburdi, an active volunteer in the Republican Lawyers Association in the past, gave notice to Chairman O'Connor that he could not attend the meeting and was not allowed to run for state committeeman. He was not given notice of the deadline for making the ballot, gave advance notice of his desire to run in writing, and had a proxy at the meeting but was denied the ability to run. [Again, an interview with Chairman Nancy Ordowski revealed that Mr. Liburdi refused to provide an email address for notifications and also did not attend any of the PC training where he would have learned the importance of either providing an email address or to regularly check the website for necessary information. No one checked to see that he went to the website or read these things on time or at all. That is NOT the job of the LD boards and it's safe to say that NO district board contacts in person those who refuse to provide email addresses. That is the entire responsibility of the individual PCs.
Mr. Liburdi contacted past Chairman O'Connor two days prior to the meeting, long after the ballots had been printed. He wanted special treatment not offered to others. The rules are not arbitrary and have not changed in at least 10 years. Whether Liburdi is conservative or moderate or liberal has no bearing on any decision made. However, as an "active volunteer with the Republican Lawyers Association" one would expect that he also would be to be "an active volunteer" in the district in his position as an elected PC who knows the rules and how to read a website, a Call letter and the Proxy included which clearly states it is for VOTING only and not for any other purpose - like nominations from the floor. He IS a lawyer, after all! The point about proxy language has not been legally challenged BECAUSE IT IS CLEARLY STATED - it's pretty simple. HE WAS TREATED LIKE EVERYONE ELSE]
Based on these examples and other similar complaints [again, Graham has, to date, refused to provide any evidence of such complaints. Words are cheap and these words appear to be rock bottom bargain basement cheap], AZGOP simply asked LD 23 to improve its process and hold a new election. [We have a copy of other Calls for you to see in a subsequent post. Stay tuned for THAT! You will see that LD23 EXCEEDED what other districts do, including Graham's own district!] They instead decided to hire lawyers and spent at least $5,000 fighting this. One is left wondering: what do you have to fear? Details are below, but the AZGOP simply offered to directly appoint Jim O'Connor as a state committeemen, allaying any fears that he would be prevented from campaigning for higher office in the party. [The law is clear, the AZGOP Bylaws are clear. What Graham was asking LD23 to do was violate the law. The law of Arizona and the AZGOP Bylaws gives NO AUTHORITY to the AZGOP Chairman to interfere with district elections or to make any demands for a second election or anything else. Our opinion is that if LD23 agreed to hold another election outside the law, allowed "a lottery" or settled for Graham "appointing Jim O'Connor" they would have been challenged on that and at that time, they may well have been successfully challenged, making those NEW state committeemen invalid, again assuring that LD23 had no vote at the State Statutory Meeting. Graham has a history of ignoring the law. We posted two years ago a copy of charges against him for breaking California Election Law for which he and his partners paid...]
In any case, after reviewing the complaints [where are they? Why didn't you turn them over to LD23?] and having multiple meetings with leadership from LD 23 and their legal counsel, it is clear that there was neither bad behavior nor the intent to disenfranchise the new precinct committeemen of LD 23. The challenge lies with the outcome of the 119 nominated state committeemen and the question “would the results be different if the 28 plus precinct committeemen were notified properly and included in the election for the state committee both as voters or candidates for state committeeman.” [On this re agree: the results may or most likely would be different if additional candidates who did not follow the instructions to submit Intent to Run forms, or even seek them out on the website, in the time specified were to be recruited to now send them in. Again, Graham always wants to break the rules for his personal desires. Then he can nail the person or district that broke the rules. He loves to try to box PCs into a corner. LD23 rightly refused to play that game. They have a duty to the district PCs to be fair to everyone equally, not excuse rules for some. Again, NEW PCs were offered several options for training. But most of the people Graham is urging on are NOT new PCs, they have been PCs for years and know the rules - or should.]
What has the AZGOP Offered as a Resolution? [Only illegal or ridiculous demands to comply with "my way or the highway" that would not stand up to a legal challenge from 119 legally elected state committeemen. Graham thinks YOU are a fool and that LD23 are fools to buy in to any of these so-call "resolutions" but were actually demands from Graham. Period. Below, we will post a draft letter for you to see from LD23 who presented a legal option to save face for Graham for starting this fools errand. Graham rejected it because it did not denigrate O'Connor, who, by the way, did not participate in the Call process. He had handed the district to the leadership team of Ordowski and Rutkowski, recused himself from the entire process, so as not to have any appearance of conflict by being the Chairman AND a candidate for AZGOP Chairman.]
New Election: The AZGOP has offered to pay for a new election that would include ALL elected precinct committeemen from LD 23. This offer included paying for facilities, printing and postage. This offer was made weeks prior to the Maricopa County January 14th meeting and would assure compliance to all bylaws and Arizona Revised Statutes. [Incorrect. The law says that this meeting must be done by Dec 3, 2017 (based on number of days since the General Election). Graham did not send his first complaint until Dec 9, 2016. It was then too late to comply with the law as Graham demanded. A new election would not have stood up to scrutiny or law. Graham knows that perfectly well. It was a ruse to get LD23 to break the law.] A new election would have put forth best efforts to help assure that no one would have been left out of the process. Leadership in LD 23 said NO to this offer.
Lottery: Next was a lottery system to randomly draw precinct committeemen names from a “hat.” All names of the precinct committeemen would be included in the drawing. Once a name was picked they would be contacted to confirm or deny their interest to becoming a state committeeman. If confirmed the AZGOP, under advice and consent of the LD 23 Chairman and Maricopa County Chairman, we would appoint that person. [The law gives ONLY Counties jurisdiction over appointing PCs and certifying state Committeemen.] If the person denied interest in becoming a state committeemen, then a new name would be drawn. This process would be followed until all 119 names were confirmed and appointed. [Not consistent with the law of the State of Arizona]
Further, there was an additional offer. There has been some suggestion that the AZGOP was attempting to block Jim O’Connor from being eligible for running for state chairman by not allowing his district to be credentialed at the State Meeting. This is false. LD 23 was offered, if they chose the lottery process, that the AZGOP would hold out Jim O’Connor as an automatic appointment to be a state committeeman. He had the top number of votes in his district and the AZGOP thought this was only fair to assure that we did not interrupt or interfere with his statewide campaign. Leadership in LD 23 said NO to this offer. [Not consistent with the law of Arizona OR common sense OR fair to those who DID follow the rules, DID submit Intent to Run forms in the time allowed, DID present fully legal Proxies or show up to vote.]
Letter to the District: Lastly, in an another effort to make sure that LD 23 had full state committeemen representation to the State Statutory Meeting on January 28, 2017, the AZGOP suggested that a letter come from the immediate past Chairman, Jim O’Connor, who presided over the LD 23 Reorganization and State Committeemen Nomination process [Lynne Breyer, Credentials Chair: O'Connor DID NOT preside over the meeting. Ordowski (1st Vice Chair and Rutkowski (2nd Vice Chair) did that. O'Connor stayed in the back office through all except the Pledge, Prayer, to render a ruling supporting the bylaws of LD23 and to introduce me for the Credentials Quorum information. As stated earlier, he had long before recused himself from this process. Graham wanted LD23 to sign off on a lie.], stating “there was NO intent of LD 23 leadership to disenfranchise or not include the block of precinct committeemen that were not included in the state committeeman nomination process. The mistake was a clear oversight and because of the complaints we have received from the LD 23 committee members we have worked with the AZGOP to define and develop uniform guidelines to help assure there will never be confusion in the future. This process would also help assure that everyone would be included or have the option to be included in the state committee nomination process in the future. Uniform guidelines that would be helpful for committees statewide.” [See the actual draft of the letter written by LD23 and presented in the form shown below (US Presidents have made agreements in exactly this way, Lincoln, the father of the Republican Party, chief among them. This letter of agreement was carefully scratched out on the hood of a car at the MCRC meeting along with one of the LD23 attorneys and another by phone. It was done by the current 1st Vice Chair of LD23 and presented to Graham. He refused to sign it stating that he needed to hold O'Connor accountable for a botched meeting. A lie that no one would agree to.]
The AZ GOP has offered/proposed [actually, he has demanded one of these be accepted despite being illegal but has refused a counter offer that was truthful] this simple statement as another way to assure that all currently nominated 119 State Committeemen would be credentialed at the upcoming State Statutory meeting with NO changes. Chairman Nancy Ordowski of LD 23 declined this offer too, stating their attorney said a statement of this nature would be an admission of guilt. [Not exactly. An admission of guilt by O'Connor. We already covered that lie. An interview with both Ordowski and the current 1st VC reveals that Graham agreed to the draft (below) only if language was added holding O'Connor responsible for intentionally violating law and bylaws. Since this was not true, Ordowski refused to agree to a lie. By the way, there were witnesses who were at the meeting and present for some of this activity, including an AFA team member for part of the time.]
At this point, the AZGOP has offered at least three [unworkable and illegal] solutions that would assure LD 23 full representation at the State Statutory Meeting on January 28, 2017. [Note to Graham: the LAW and the County Certification of all 119 state committeemen ALREADY assures they are qualified and must be seated at the Statutory Meeting on January 28, 2017.]
Given the irreasonable solutions that have been offered, and the continued “no deal” response, it feels as if the intent to “credential LD 23” at the state meeting is not the top priority of previous and current leadership of LD 23. It also feels as if the accusatory “disenfranchisement” narrative being leveled by some is politically motivated. [Again, we agree: Graham's entire fools errand is designed to keep O'Connor from running and/or possibly receiving 119 votes from his home district. Politically motivated by Graham indeed. We checked the law again. There is no language about "feelings" of the AZGOP being of any consequence at all.]
"HE NEVER PROPOSED A LEGAL RESOLUTION BUT RATHER MADE DEMANDS THAT WERE NOT LEGAL TO DO." From a party to this argument.
As Chairman of the AZGOP I have the responsibility [As we have pointed out and can easily be verified by reading ARS 16-821 through 16-828 at azleg.gov gives ONLY the Counties responsibility for district elections. This is simply not the business of the AZGOP Chairman by law and Graham has ignored the law in order to deprive O'Connor possibly 119 votes.] to give surety that all precinct committeemen statewide, within every county and district, have a fair and equitable opportunity to represent the Republican Party as a state committeeman. I am making every attempt to address the concerns brought forward by new and active precinct committeemen of LD 23 [Proof? What about the rest of the 356 PCs in that district. Do they count for nothing? THEY made sure to know and follow the rules but you intend to punish them for some unproven "complaints?"] and I am continuing to work toward a solution. [Be aware, if an AZGOP Chairman is allowed to overstep the law and meddle in district elections that he/she doesn't like, this is a precedent that can and will reach into YOUR district at some point. This is a slippery slope against district business.]
All precinct committeemen deserve and have the right to confidence in the process. Legitimacy should only be claimed once a fair and equitable resolution has been made. [INDEED THEY DO. Graham is working hard to violate that precious confidence.]
Here is the draft letter that actually was presented to Graham on January 14, 2017, to resolve the issue Graham has caused, to hold all parties harmless and to put an end to this charade. You can see that it is not as Graham described above:
I read the entire article. This man is unhinged, perhaps legally mentally deranged. I've had run-ins with this guy. There is something very narcissistic about him. Narcissism is a recognized mental disorder that can be dangerous and is damaging to those around him, Many murderers (not saying Graham is that) are narcissistic. We are about to replace a president who is also. Think about that for a minute. We must demand that these SCs be properly seated. If not us, who? I stand with LD23.
Sounds like Democrat thinking to me.
Ignore the law and existing procedures, create some system out of thin air which is easily manipulated and that has no legal validation. Document a lie or six out of twisted thinking and pressure others to swear to them in writing.
It sounds to me like Mr. Graham is a graduate of the Bill and Hillary Clinton school of Government. I recommend you keep a close eye on this guy and if you hear about him buying rugs you had better watch your back.
Oh, dear. This is a new low for the recent Republican Party. I have seen these same tactics from Sen. McCain for so many years it's almost like reading a dossier on him. Where are all of you who are state committeemen? District Chairs? I do so expect each of you to refute this activity from Mr. Graham before it is you next. The time to change the Arizona Republican party back to the Republican party before McCain is now. Surely, I do hope each of you will do your duty for liberty and the rule of law that we have spent eight years avoiding. If you don't do it we will be lost. I was a PC for so many years before I could no longer participate. In my time, this could not have happened. It is heart rending when we finally have a president for our side that the man, Graham, is stuck in Democratland.
Is this guy serious? He can't do that. He's a bully backed by McCain. Everyone knows that. His guy, Lines will be just as bad. You PCs are crazy if you give it to this. If he gets away with this it will be the final nail in AZ GOP no one with having will be a PC. Funny bc when I was in that district before redistricting, they were all sold out for McCain but then it changed and these are some of the hardest working PCs I've even seen. Guess that's why Graham/McCain wants to get rid of them. Disgusting. Just disgusting.
EVERYONE WHO READS THIS PLEASE SEND IT TO EVERY PC YOU KNOW. ASK THEM TO SEND IT TO EVERYONE THEY KNOW. GET THE WORD OUT WHAT A CREEPY GUY GRAHAM IS. THANK YOU.
Graham harps on a "well-defined nomination process" for a PC to become a state committeeman, yet his chosen one ignored such a thing down here in Yuma when it came to picking his state committeemen. I would have liked to have had a chance to get my name on a ballot, but it never happened. There were no nominations. Shouldn't Graham be concerned how his chosen one is running things down here in Tatooine?
Thanks, Connie, for letting us know how Jonathan Lines is handling the election of state committeemen in Yuma. It sounded like you said there WERE no nominations in your LD? If that is so, it's a problem.
I am convinced that, If we elect Jim O'Connor, he is going to cleanse the party of the corruption that has been dragging our party down and usher in an era in which it is energizing and edifying to participate in the party. Right now, if asked, I'd say it's demoralizing. But it CAN be, again, if we elect Jim O'Connor. Please tell every state committeeman you know to vote for Jim. If you haven't read it, yet, please see my endorsement of Jim O'Connor below:
In the 8 years I’ve known Jim O’Connor, I’ve never seen him be anything but honest and fair. In his working life, he was trusted with the management of more than $1.4 Billion in investments, by institutional investors in California. As a volunteer, he also raised millions for a variety of organizations and new ventures. In running for state chairman, Jim has no career agenda. He wants to use his considerable skills and knowledge to make the AZ GOP an effective force for good.
Jim ‘s fairmindedness is real. He will honor our bylaws and will set an inclusive tone. This change, long awaited, will be felt by all, and will unify our party. Most importantly, Jim will be faithful to the Republican platform, and will recruit and fully support candidates who do the same. With great respect to this true gentleman, and without reservations of any kind, I endorse Jim O’Connor for state chairman of the Arizona GOP. -- Marianne Ferrari, PC and State Committeeman LD 20
Ditto for me Marianne
sometimes I'm a little slow. But in re-reading this entire article, I note the letter from Graham is dated Jan 17, 2017 but he goes on to say that he will appoint and confirm a new set of 119 state committeemen. But the current group of 119 are already certified as of Jan 14. How does he think he will un-certify those already certified and then certify a new group. Scratching my head and wondering at the logic of the author of this letter. This is crazy time.