Random thoughts from the AZGOP Mandatory Meeting on Saturday, January 25, 2020:

Here's how we did predicting winners for the Board positions and other events:

Pam Kirby walked away with 1st Vice Chair, as predicted.  Not a true conservative, the woman is pragmatic, fair-minded and willing to work toward solutions.  If Ward has the good sense to pay attention, Kirby could breathe new life into the AZGOP.  The two are friends so this should work out to be a synergistic pairing.

Ray Ihly took the baton away from the really frightful Cindy Coleman, a dreadful supporter of LGBT sex ed for young kids in school.  This was likely to have been the easiest replacement of the day.

The only announced candidate for 3rd VC was Ren Ramsey, a loose cannon if there ever was one, in our considered opinion.  He was unseated by Leanna DeKing who withdrew as a candidate for Sargent-at-Arms and ran for that seat from the floor.  Judging from the vote totals, we are not alone in our assessment of this guy.  We are told, but have not bothered to check it out, he's been kicked out of all the best places!

Sargent-at-Arms has been held for over 20 years by a straggler McCain holdover from the Robert Graham/J Lines/R Pullen era.  Time to go?  Guess not!  This guy, Alberto Gutier, was retained by the biggest margin of anyone.

There was a bit of an ugly fracas for Assistant Treasurer.  Candidate Sheila Muehling had put her name in the pot for that job.  She holds the job of Treasurer in Maricopa County Republic Committee but it seems she and the Chairman, Rae Chornenky, don't hit it off.  Actually, that is a gross understatement.  Onlookers described the relationship as "Rae HATES Sheila."  We don't question that, knowing that Sheila was appointed to fill a vacancy as State Committeeman from her district, LD23.  The County Chairman approves or disapproves these appointments.  In our experience, it's rare that a choice of a district is overridden by the county Chairman.... and it shouldn't be without serious reasons.  That is the role of the district chairman and in this case, the county chairman was correct in how she handled the appointment!  Well, Chornenky refused to approve the appointment of Muehling, rendering her ineligible to be on the state Board.  It appeared to be a floor fight in the making.  However, Muehling decided the uproar would be injurious to the process and pulled out.  Good for her.  That job then went to  Josh Askey, McCain holdover.

Assistant Secretary went to Shirley Dye.

Two - no, three- interesting items from the day:

1.   In a quest to be sure the Resolutions were brought forward for a vote to avoid what Chornenky did two weeks earlier, parliamentary expert, Joe Neglia, sought to juggle the agenda to vote on those first.  That went down in flames but Chairman Ward, not wanting the bad press from the previous county meeting staining her day, promised that ALL resolutions would be addressed.  Even the ones that volunteers brought to the floor, the very ones the Chairman had thrown out along with Russell Pearce, the Chairman of the Resolutions Committee for a brief time.  There was some tension about that knowing Gov Ducey was adamant about not having his babies resurrected.  Good as her word, the Chairman did allow all of the Pearce Resolutions and all passed, defusing what could have been an ugly blot on the AZGOP.

2.   Gov Ducey was introduced early in the meeting (usually, speakers come first, to set the tone for the rest of the meeting).  He took the stage among cheers and some boos.  When he launched into a rhapsodic cheering section for Martha McSally, the boos came out.  Not once, but twice.  State Committeemen made it known: they don't like McSally and want someone else.  That someone is Daniel McCarthy.  Ducey gutted through the boos.  What else could he do?

And speaking of Dan McCarthy, the funniest part of the day surrounded him.  Funny may not be the right word, but we like it!

3.   McCarthy got to the meeting very early and got a choice parking spot right at the front door.  He was driving a YUGH red RV/bus emblazoned with his name and campaign slogan.  It is impressive.  He was parked right adjoining the handicapped spots that were roped off. (Note: it's not legal to rope off handicap parking spots without good cause.  This cause was so the food trucks could park there later in the day.  Uh, no.)  The gatekeeper was constantly shooing parkers out of that area until along came a huge black SUV and parked right next to the big red McCarthy bus.  The SUV belonged to Mike Crawford, running for Maricopa County Sheriff.  When he was asked/directed to move his truck (plenty of parking spaces nearby), he flat out refused.  He was not in a handicap space and he stood his ground.  He had every right to do that but it was not in keeping with the intent and a tad mean-spirited.  The McCarthy team was steamed... their choice location was now partially hidden from view.  Proving it's better to get even than to get mad, McCarthy made a phone call.  Within in 30 minutes, along came another truck emblazoned with the McCarthy campaign message.  He parked right alongside of the big black suv.  Viola`!! Without whining, McCarthy simply applied a solution to his dilemma.  Now ask yourself, is that not what we need in politics?  A solution oriented lawmaker!

Bottom line for the day:  Ward was smart enough to take heed of the mood of the State Committeemen regarding her ill-timed decision to remove Pearce from the Resolutions Committee.  Whether she had a "come-to-#%-meeting" with the governor or not, we don't know.  But they got their resolutions and Ward kept her promise that she would allow them from the floor.  

Next, when Neglia moved to strike some of the language in the rules, he was shot down.  Some appropriate items were proposed and the chairman ruled them out of order when they were not and it caused an ill feeling among the body.  She used a mix of a velvet hammer and a sledge hammer to control the body.

It worked.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank you Patricia. You may think that my opinions are a crock, but they are based on my personal experiences with Daniel under many different circumstances. As I said before, some were good, and some were downright awful, but it left me with a low confidence level in his abilities. Daniel and his close supporters are fine as long as you agree with him, and you are part of the establishment if you don't. I have seen this in my own LD, and other meetings I've attended and they think that rules don't apply to them.  And then they are disruptive during the entire meeting, because they claim that they are being treated unfairly.  Hogwash! These tactics do not set well with me and never have. 

If you feel that he's your man, then by all means support him, but I encourage you to see him as often as you can to see if he still warrants your support. 

I respectfully disagree with your assessment of him, and that's OK. It's going to be a long year & there is so much to fight for on every level. 

Linda, I have spent many hours with the McCarthy campaign. . I have witnessed many R folks who will never give up a rub they have with another. Human nature I guess. It's about context and consideration of the big picture to me -- You are right Dan is my choice.

I actually missed hearing the boo's I had a finger in each ear so I wouldn't have to listen to her predictable words again. I'm so done with the McStained McSally -- I want better than a left of center candidate.

Dan's the man!

To be fair, even if one gets both (or more) sides to a story, there's usually an overall context going back even before the here and now. Also, usually, one party started it (the first one to cross the line between right and wrong, aka better safe than sorry), and the other party is reacting to it. It's also important to just observe the raw essence of each person's personality and observe their attitude. Are they more positive, or more negative? Are they more about getting their way, making up all manner of interpretations of this, that, and the other, to run their own agenda, out of their own personal playbook, or are they more about paying attention to going by the one playbook we're all supposed to be going by? Yes, there's multiple playbooks we're supposed to go by (A.R.S., Bylaws, Robert's Rules, Parliamentary Procedure, etc.), so this is just saying how, in all, they make for one playbook, overall.

As for the line about "onlookers saying this one hates that one" (all-caps turned off this go around), other onlookers, especially those more closely familiar with their history together, whose observations are seen as more objective than subjective, they share with us how it's commonplace for one to bring negativity, drama, and controversy into the MCRC, while the other may be seen as so passive (up to a point, however) there's those who see her passivity as some form of submission to the will of others, for others to exploit opportunities through hype, drama, or teaming (ganging?) up with others trying power plays where they think and act like they get to somehow authorize something that's unauthorized in the first place.

One is an accomplished attorney-at-law who maintains a current practice, who was recently appointed to serve on a panel to provide recommendations to the county board of supervisors on candidates for county attorney, and also, some time ago, who just so happened to serve as a judge. According to eyewitnesses, the other once said she hates lawyers to this same attorney's face.

Who's who? Who, might one imagine, is more likely to understand and appreciate going by the book, and actually understanding what going by the book symbolizes, represents, and actually means in the first place?

Lastly, and this could go on and on, but it's too important to stand down when someone is being unfairly criticized (although understandable to see it coming from those more on the outside than the inside), the idea that someone gets a "good for you" for withdrawing because of the fact she was never qualified to run in the first place perpetuates the (what may by now be reflexive) bias against the one who calls her out on it.

Although she said she withdraws for the sake of Party unity, should she have even been running in the first place? What about the nominations committee checking her status, and was it checked with her LD Chair only, and somehow it took until the last moment, at the meeting itself, just before the election, all this was brought out in the open?

Time and time again, the appointment of State Committeemen may, on a case-by-case basis, be more objective, by the book (as per the Bylaws), with the advice and consent of the LD Chair and the County Chair, or more subjective, by the Chair, in their own world, giving their advice and consent to themselves.

Back to the meeting, remember how the AZGOP Chair and all the others at the AZGOP rose to uphold that candidate's status as being qualified to be a State Committeeman? Right. Neither do we.

For this candidate, or the AZGOP to rise up like that, would that be more "injurious to the process," or to the unqualified candidate, herself, and to the AZGOP, itself, who, somehow (knowingly or otherwise, nevermind exercising due diligence), maybe authorized the appointment of an unqualified PC to the position of State Committeeman, one who just so happens to be at the meeting for more than voting, but one who just so happens to be a candidate? One who, by the way, just so happens to be running for a position similar to the one she holds and held before (Treasurer), where she brought a controversy upon herself and the MCRC of her own making? (One might add "embarrassing" to "injurious.")

To end on a positive note: Go Republicans in 2020!

Ya know, I have no idea what this post says and is unusual for an AFA post.  Looks like to me we have two intractable points of view about some of the events of the day. Let's let them sort it out.  These long rants are not productive and to the point made by team4, looks to me like linda was the instigator of these rants but does it even matter. i don't think it adds anything to the report of the day.  When it gets to be a rational time I'm going to call my buddy who had a table right at the parking lot where the bus was parked.  Either the bus was parked there really early or linda followed it in some time later, can't be both. That bus seems to be the catalyst to the accusations against McCarthy.  I don't understand the vitriol against him.  I've heard him speak several times and he seems like any other candidate who just wants to be treated fairly.

Please excuse us for trying to help out (and, for the record, we never criticized a single one of your multiple comments/replies, because we believe in free speech, and please forgive us for our free speech falling short of your standards).

Unlike others who appreciate the informed and insightful commentary for what it represents, written in plain English, you really missed it.  And, by the way, we thank you for admitting as much.

How you represent as being "intractable" the fact that a PC unqualified to be represented as a State Committeeman and candidate somehow got credentials (did she even?) and got her name on the ballot as a candidate for a position for which only State Committeemen may run, be elected to, and hold shows for something.

The names of the parties involved are withheld to show some respect for their privacy.

For the people who were at the meeting, it helps those attendees get all the more about the who's who and the what's what (and some of what transpired leading up to the meeting as a matter of background).

For the people who missed out, go next time, as a qualified State Committeeman, or go as a guest, and if you missed out on this one, here's to hoping this piece and the following commentary/replies helps out.

Respectfully, T4, I have no concern whatsoever about the person or even the incident of the person taken off the ballot, however it happened.  I didn't indicate I am concerned so you misrepresented or misunderstood my post.  I was at the meeting as a SC, thank you, but had to leave early.  I've been a SC for several years.  the intractable views are between Busam and AFA's original post supported by others.  Has nothing to do with the problem of the election of officers.  I don't know how that all went down but I agree that if a district chair appoints a SC to fill out their quota, the county chair should not invoke personal feelings about that appointment.  That is politics at its worst.  To my knowledge, chairs get to appoint to fill vacancies on the SC list.  I did not miss anything except the rambling point you made which is uncharacteristic of AFA.  My buddy setting up his table supports what T2 explains.  Let's leave it at that.

Here's to hoping you and others may be open to the possibility (some closely involved may say more like probability) that, based upon the County Chair's direct experience in working with (or trying to work with) the PC appointed by the LD Chair, the County Chair may actually be using sound judgment in withholding the advice and consent to a PC who, the County Chair believes, is undeserving and unworthy of being appointed to State Committeeman. 

To anyone who may think so, since when is advice and consent between LD Chairs and County Chairs automatic, one way or the other? Self-evident within the wording of the Bylaws is that it's up to both parties. To some observers, it promotes the importance of everyone trying their best to get along with each other, to the greatest extent possible, under the circumstances. It's important to appreciate the separation of powers between LD Chairs (who are elected by PCs throughout the LD) and County Chairs (who are elected by PCs throughout the County), and what it represents.

Just a hypothetical, but just imagine if the same LD Chair who appointed a particular PC to State Committeeman actually ran a slate for the original LD organizational meeting (where State Committeemen are elected) and the LD Chair's slate actually excluded this particular PC.

AFA, I for one have to think about a little about what you are saying. I'll chew on it.

I think you have an agenda on this team4.  I have checked with my friends in the LD where the appointed PC was appointed. That LD has usually appointed SCs when there is a vacancy which happens.  That appointment was a legit appointment and it seems to me from what I am told that you are biased against the SC appointee.  And if a LD chair ran a slate so what?  Slates are personal lists with no authority.  SCs can vote for the slate or not and i am confused as to why a slate changes anything.  These Team 4 posts seem oddly out of sync with AFA.  What's up?

In response to Linda Busam's comments:

As to Cindy Coleman's relationship with sex ed for young kids, we think our readers should do their own research on topics with which they disagree.  However, I will provide this from someone whose focus and passion is education: https://arizonafreedomalliance.ning.com/group/watching-schools/foru...

There are other items to be found in published archives.  We urge you to look for that on your own.

As to the "Big red bus" controversy, I was at the meeting by 6:15.  I parked a few spots away from the big red bus because the lot was virtually empty, to my delight.  The handicap parking was roped off with yellow tape tied to, as I recall, chairs.  I personally witnessed cars with handicap plates and placards try to park there and a person from  the AZGOP team told them to leave.  That person had no authority to rope off handicap parking spots.  No one from the McCarthy team was involved in that.  I witnessed the black SUV park right beside the red bus.  The driver got out and walked away unimpeded. It appeared to me that spot was not part of handicap parking.  From my vantage point, it appeared the suv deliberately chose a spot to block the message on the bus as there were 6-7 spots open much closer to the building.  I also witnessed another (white) truck for McCarthy come into the area and parked approximately 30-40 minutes later, well after the incident with the suv but there were several handicap spots available for those who needed them.  By then, that rest of the parking lot was pretty full but 200' to the south was a parking lot with plenty of open spots right next to the building, near a main entrance.  To be clear, parking at this church is always a challenge but it's a first come situation for all.

AFA stands by our report as accurate.

Linda Busam: please read the post by AFA team2 to correct your misunderstanding about McCarthy's role regarding the handicap parking at the meeting.  If you actually know the facts on this, maybe you would mitigate your false commentary on McCarthy.  It would make you look better but also give you the truth.

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