Commentary: One State Committeeman’s Thoughts on What Transpired at Saturday’s Arizona State Republican Meeting

By Cheryl D. Pelletier, Arizona LD23 Precinct Committeeman, State Committeeman, Member of Palo Verde Republican Women

Disclosure: The opinions expressed in this email are from one of our Palo Verde RW club members, Cheryl Pelletier. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of the club or its members as a whole.

civility

I attended the Arizona Republican state meeting on Saturday, January 24th where, as state committeemen, we re-elected Robert Graham as our Arizona GOP Chairman. I wanted to share with you some quick highlights along with my personal observations about the meeting as well as what seems to be happening with the Arizona Republican Party at the grassroots level. I have divided my commentary into the following topics:

  • Election Results
  • Proxies
  • Incivility
  • On The Privilege Of Becoming A State Committeeman Plus A Little Bit More About Proxy PC’s
  • A Precinct Committeeman from LD23 Expresses Many Of Our Sentiments

Election Results

From the MCRC Briefs dated January 24th:

“Robert Graham Was Elected to a second term as the AZGOP Chairman in a landslide win during the AZGOP Statutory Meeting in Tempe today. Graham beat challenger Lori Urban 903-271. Incumbents Parralee Schneider and Linda White were also re-elected to their posts. Officer election tallies are:

Chairman Robert Graham 903 Lori Urban 271
1st Vice Chair Parralee Schneider 658 AJ LaFaro 550
2nd Vice Chair Gabby Saucedo-Mercer 673 Jeni White 522
Treasurer Jonathon Lines 864 Ardith Hildbrant 339”

Congratulations to Robert, Parralee, Gabby, Linda and Jonathon. I hope that with the state and county elections over, we’ll dust ourselves off and get back to the business of growing our party and electing conservatives to offices at all levels of government. One can hope anyway. But based on how a certain segment of our party insists that you can only be a conservative Republican if you agree with them 100 percent of the time, it’s unlikely we’ll be coming together any time soon. “Haters gonna hate” as Taylor Swift sings in her recent hit single Shake It Off.

I’d be remiss if I did not point out that Saturday’s MCRC Briefs conveniently left out a certain bit of editorializing when reporting on the state election results. Editorializing that WAS included in their wrap up of the Maricopa County election results. Remember this? I know that many of you do because there was a bunch of blow back from those of you who were not happy with the disrespect directed at a fellow grassroots Republican. From the MCRC Briefs, January 10, 2015 (emphasis mine):

“Tyler Bowyer was elected to the Chairmanship of the Maricopa County Republican Committee in a run-off with two-time loser Lisa Gray. Bowyer beat Gray 983-904 in a run off during yesterday’s MCRC Statutory meeting in Phoenix.”

I can report that the editors of the Briefs showed great restraint when reporting on Saturday’s results. And I am happy that they did. I only wish they had shown the same respect in their January 10th report.

Finally, before I move on to my next topic, in the MCRC Briefs on Saturday, Frosty Taylor wrote:

“Congratulations To The Newly Elected Officers. And Thank You to all the candidates who had the courage to put their name on the line and go through a campaign that was probably one of the dirtiest I’ve witnessed in recent history.Why anyone would subject themselves to this kind of abuse and why Republicans treat fellow Republican this way is beyond me. It’s time to use all that energy for the betterment of the party.”

With all due respect, I ask that Frosty please go back and read what she herself has been publishing over the last several months via her daily Briefs. Because there has been an unimaginable amount of abuse and bitterness coming from the MCRC Briefs as respects anonymous sources making unsubstantiated and negative comments directed at Chairman Robert Graham and candidate for Maricopa Chair Lisa Gray.

I agree with Frosty. It is time that WE ALL redirect our energy for the betterment of the party. I certainly hope that moving forward, this will include the MCRC Briefs as well.

Proxies

Also reported in the Saturday, January 24 MCRC Briefs is this:

“Credentialed Were 786 State Committeemen carrying 435 proxies for a total of 1,221 votes that could be cast during the Statutory meeting.”

This is where I get to put my two cents in about proxies. There is so much to say. Word has it that some are complaining about the number of proxies that were observed being carried by McCain “sycophants.” For those who are complaining, isn’t that kind of like the pot calling the kettle black? It’s not like this is the first time this has ever taken place. It happens all the time, all across the state. I even seem to recall the same thing taking place in my legislative district, LD23, just last November when at least 86 of a total of 127 proxies were carried for our newly elected district leadership.

To use another cliché: “What’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander” apparently. Before folks complain about “‘Proxy PC’s’ who are just votes for McCain” shouldn’t these individuals look in the mirror and ask themselves why they can collect proxies in mass quantities while not allowing others to do the same? I have a theory. I heard it while listening to Dennis Prager’s radio show a month or so ago…  Ironically, he was talking about Democrats. And he had this to say: “Narrative, after all, trumps facts.” I will leave it at that. Because I am pretty sure that readers of this commentary will get my point.

For the record, I am completely against the concept of “Proxy PC’s.” I believe that the process of carrying proxies is being severely abused across the board. But if one group of individuals is taking part in such an activity, then they have no right to complain when others do it as well.

Incivility

Click on over and read this before you continue reading the rest of this: McCain greeted with some boos at GOP meeting.

In my humble opinion, the article linked above doesn’t come close to depicting how vicious and hateful the audience was toward Senator McCain. Now I am certainly not a RINO nor am I am “in the tank” for Senator McCain (as many seem to be saying about me). But to counter the vile outburst that was taking place IN A CHURCH, I along with several of my friends stood up in an attempt to counter what was turning out to be a nasty hate fest. This happened even after our much-admired and beloved state committeeman Reverend C.T. Wright spent several minutes imploring us to remain respectful, reminding us that we were in a house of worship!

I can completely understand the anger that many feel towards Senator McCain. He has betrayed us in so many ways. But aren’t we better than this? Do you really want to come across as such haters? Don’t you understand how such antics are turning so many off to our party? Instead of wasting precious energy spewing such hostility, shouldn’t we be doing as Chairman Graham suggested at the meeting: Finding and getting behind a conservative candidate who has the ability plus the will to beat Senator McCain in 2016?

Based on the lack of respect shown by some attendees at the meeting, if it were up to me and this was my church, I’d ask the Arizona Republican Party to never come back. A church is simply not the appropriate place for blood-curdling hatred, cursing, screaming and yelling.

On The Privilege Of Becoming A State Committeeman Plus A Little Bit More About Proxy PC’s

I want to express to you how privileged I feel to be a state committeeman. I am honored to participate in our state and county meetings. I am fully aware that holding such an esteemed position within the grass roots of the GOP should NOT be treated with careless regard. I take my position seriously and therefore I attend both the state and county meetings IN PERSON. And it is such a shame that some elected precinct committeemen are elevated to the state level when they do absolutely nothing at the grassroots level.

Yes you read this right. There are indeed “Proxy PCs” at the state level. Including politically-inactive spouses of active precinct committeemen. Where is the integrity in that? I thought that as conservatives, and as Republicans, we held integrity in higher regard.

It is my position that there should be NO Proxy PC’s at the state level. Only those who work hard for the party should be nominated and elected to such a position. We should all just say no to Proxy State Committeemen.

A Precinct Committeeman from LD23 Expresses Many of Our Sentiments

In closing, I want to highlight one additional item from the January 24th MCRC Briefs. This is slightly off the topic of the state meeting, but it does help to explain what is happening within the Republican Party here in Arizona. Please read it because it summarizes what many of us are thinking but are afraid to state publicly.

“LD23 PC Christopher Brant: “I am sure that the great success of the Republican Party last November was due in part to the energy and the outreach efforts of Chairman Robert Graham. I am also convinced that the reason that Republicans from Arizona are turning away from the party and becoming Independent is because they are sick of the unhealthy, rude, vindictive and unprofessional behavior of a segment of the party. I have just stepped down from the program chair of a local Republican Club. Some people have vocally stayed away because we had “become too liberal”. I declare that is bunk and a ridiculous fallacy. All that a reasonable individual needs to do is to check back over the last two years and examine the diversity of our presenters. This segment of the Republican Party, that I refer to, has much in common with the Democratic Party. The Democratic definition of compromise is to do it theirway. This segment of the Republican Party is that if you don’t agree 100% with their views you are a RINO. The Party that I joined when I proudly became a naturalized citizen was the Party of less Government. Many of those (I say many and not all) who wear their, supposed, Christian values on their sleeve are some of the most unchristian people I have ever met. My relationship with God is none of your business. If they wish to call me a RINO behind my back that is their mistake but I will term them HYPO (Hypocrite) to their face. I am still the optimist and I will continue to focus on working to elect Republicans, even though I may not agree with every decision they make. I hope that the silent majority of Republican Party and those Republican Independents will do likewise.” Christopher Brant

Well said Christopher! Please, all of us. Let’s come together and do what we’ve been tasked to do. Get conservative candidates elected.

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