Arizona Citizens Supporting Honest Representative Government At All Levels
The Statutory Meeting of the Arizona Republican Party started off like these meetings always do. A little business, introductions, a five minute speech by Gov. Doug Ducey, the titular head of the AZ Republican Party. This gave no hint of what was to come. And come it did.
When it came time to vote for new Chairman and Secretary (Treasurer had no opposition), the credentials was finally announced. This is usually announced early in the morning but for some reason, that was delayed this time. We could speculate as to why that was, but we won't. Credentials showed 1236 State Commmitteemen there in person or by the dreaded proxy. There was a tension in the room, an air of suspicion. Everyone remembers the past two elections that were mismanaged, some even said were cheated by Robert Graham and Jonathan Lines. It was widely suspected it would happen again.
Campaign speeches were given, candidates were upbeat and enthusiastic. Chairman candidates Kelli Ward and Doyel Shamley gave very positive uplifting speeches. Lines spent all of 60 seconds at the mic, feeling pretty
perky. After all, he controlled the electronic voting system!
Photo courtesy of Arizona Daily Independent
Speeches done, time to vote. The electronic voting system was revved up and ready to go. But wait. State Committeeman, Joe Neglia, [had earlier] approached the floor mic and called a point of order. Reading from the bylaws and brandishing a copy of Robert's Rules of Order, he stated he was calling for a roll call vote. He was in no mood to wait until after the vote was taken electronically. Two years ago, the electronic voting was highly suspected to have been invalid and the losing candidate, Jim O'Connor, refused to call for a roll call vote with only a 34 vote margin for Lines. That was still hanging heavy in the hearts and minds of the faithful conservatives.
The fun begins! There was no way for Lines to wiggle out of a roll call vote. Neglia had the upper hand and everyone knew it. This is when the wrangling began. Like Republicans do, everyone had a different opinion. Some inaccurately said a roll call vote would destroy the concept of the secret ballot. It wouldn't. It was as simple as each voter writing the name of their candidate on a piece of paper and dropping it into an envelop or box to be tabulated with all Chairman candidates observing the count. As simple as that might seem, the wrangling went on for nearly an hour. Finally, the vote began as a roll call within each district/county with plenty of people for all sides watching like the earth depended on it. The Republican Party did depend on it! Voting took up another nearly an hour.
In the end, with no electronic voting system already stacked in favor of the incumbent, McCain candidate Jonathan Lines, the tally was announced. Ward won 633-526. The last 65 votes went to the late entrant, Doyel Shamley. There was no expectation that a candidate would win 50% + 1 on the first round. This is a testimony to how hard Kelli Ward worked to win this election.
For faithful Republicans in Arizona, this is a watershed moment. McCain had a firm grip on the AZGOP for too many years to count. He momentarily lost that grip from 2011-2013 when grassroots candidate, Tom Morrissey, won against all odds. Today, Kelli Ward replicated that feat. According to Arizona Daily Independent, it was reported that Ward said she was "deeply humbled and honored to have the support of so many" and graciously thanked Lines for his service. Others were joyously celebrating the end of the McCain Reign, dancing their happy dance.
Now, the real work can begin to salvage Arizona for 2020. Many thanks to Joe Neglia for his courage to stand up to the establishment regime and hold his ground. And, Go, Ward!
Good job Joe. Glad you were there to handle the situation.
AZGOP Bylaws-Article III — MEETINGS
F. Manner of Voting
In every ballot the votes shall be counted individually. A roll call vote shall be taken on the demand of 10% of the members present in person or by proxy. No voting by unit rule shall be permitted. On any vote utilizing a written ballot, the resulting vote count (Teller’s Report) shall be read to attendees and included in all copies of the minutes.
Exactly, Jay. Our team member advised Ward to get the keys and immediately go to the AZGOP office. Changing the locks would be advisable. There is a lot to hide in that building. We all hope she took that advice but don't think she did. It's hard to imagine files would be stolen, computers wiped chean but it happened to Tom Morrissey in 2011.
If I were Ward, that would be my very first act.
I bet she will try to take the advice. J Lines for sure was worried that he would be defeated. I received a call on Thurs. evening from a caller on his behalf. She started with "I see you are a supporter of Chairman Lines" I responded with "say what?" Next question from her "Can we count on your vote?" My answer was "Absolutely not, go Kelli Ward". I then hung up.
I got a call on Thursday night also--by someone whom it seemed was unsure about whether they should divulge whom they were representing. They opened by saying that I was a State Committeeman, and asked whether I would be voting for Lines. I said No.
Congratulations to Kelli Ward. She is too nice to be sent to the alligator swamp in Washington D.C. I bet we gain finish draining the Arizona swamp well before 2020. After all apparently Trump has stopped the flow West to Arizona.
Training - or self taught - on Roberts Rules of Order is a very (must) need for every PC. Also every PC upon appointment should be given an orientation and copy of the state bylaws, pertinent ARS and also a copy of the county bylaws. Why the county in Maricopa and Pima? Why not the at and by the Legislative District (LDs)? Two points:
1. All PCs are elevated or appointed by the or in the county.
2. The LDs have a separate purpose than the counties and separate bylaws. So an LD orientation of new PCs separate from the county orientation should be held.
I hope we can finally accomplish some amendments to the AZGOP bylaws for approval at the mandatory state meeting in January 2020.
Add one more, Bruce. PCs need to know they are ELECTED officials no different from our city councils or legislators. And they should read Title 16 of the Arizona Revise Statutes that pertains to elections. Even party elections.
And a fourth point for training. The LD structure in Maricopa and Pima counties is completely different then counties such Greenlee. Cochise, Graham and Eastern Pima.
Congratulations to Dr. Kelli Ward! This is the kind of change Arizona GOP has needed for many years. Joe Neglia showed great courage to get the vote done properly and in spite of the corruption. Now, we can start to reorganize a real Constitutional Republican Party.