Sunday, January 22, 2017

AZGOP Chairman Candidate Jonathan Lines What to Know Before You Vote

AZGOP Candidate Jonathan Lines from Those Who Know Him Best
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We've spent a lot of time on the LD23 situation and the attempt by AZGOP Chairman to keep them out of the meeting on January 28.  We have given you information on Jim O'Connor.  Now, let's take a look at Jonathan Lines, candidate for AZGOP Chairman.  We don't know Jonathan so we contacted current and past precinct committeemen In and around Yuma to see what they have to say.  What we do know is that despite several people asking him to publicly disavow what Graham is doing, he has refused to do so giving a myriad of excuses.  Again, this report is long and we promise it is the last one we will do, and we edited it as much as possible to show all points of view from those who spoke with us.
With AZGOP Graham working so hard to refuse to seat 119 State Committeemen from LD23  and is widely known to have personally selected, first, Frank Thorwald and then Jonathan Lines from Yuma to run for the seat, it would have been hard not to connect the dots.  Thorwald seems a nice man but he has dropped out of sight.  So we wondered about Lines in Yuma: who is this man, what has he actually done in Arizona politics, how qualified is he.  Again, we don't know Lines so we went straight to the source: past and current precinct committeemen in his Yuma district!  Who would know better than they?
This is what he has said publicly: because he lives in Yuma, he will be a part time Chairman spending
two days a week in the Phoenix office.  The remainder of the time, 
the party will be run by an unelected staff member.  Mathew Kenney, who has worked for both Graham and McCain (you can see his pay stubbs on the FEC) is rumored to be Lines choice.  There has been no formal announcement that he will be the person.  We hope not because while on the AZGOP payroll, he helped McCain purge all conservatives from LD30, installing a group of Vietnamese, many of whom did not speak English.
Lines has also said he will keep his position as Yuma County Central Committee Chairman.  That seems like a conflict of interest but you be the judge.                                                                                            (Source: Facebook   Lines Facebook pages are filled with photos of Ducey who we know was elected by McCain & his money)
Let’s look at the Yuma Call to the Organizational meeting he sent out, since that has been the centerpiece of Robert Graham’s complaint against LD23.  Here it is, exactly as he sent it by email:
Call letter from Jonathan Lines, Yuma Republican Central Committee:
Date: 12/2/2016
Subject: Yuma County Republican Central Committee
The organizational meeting will take place December Thursday December 22 at 6:30 Pm. The meeting will take place at the Goodwill Career Center located at 3097 S 8th Ave, Yuma, AZ 85364. I have attached a proxy for those that can not attend. You will also receive a copy and notice in the via USPS. 
Please RSVP to this email.
Our Christmas party will immediately Follow. 
thank you,
Jonathan Lines
~~~
We note that the Yuma Call was never received by any PC via USPS according to our sources in Yuma!  We do wonder why that line is in the Call but was never done.  It would not be a standard line to put in a Call.  It's almost like he knew there was going to be a dispute on how Calls are sent.  Or something.
~~~~~~~~
By contrast, here is the  Call for nominations from LD23 [LINK] dated 9/24/2016
and the  official Call from LD23 [LINK] Dated 11/19/2016, 12 days prior to the meeting.
~~~~~~~~
Here is what past and current precinct committeemen said about the Yuma Call and other matters of the district:
Question:  How did you receive your Call?
Answer: By email.  He said he would send by regular mail too but no one I know ever got that and I didn’t either. I don’t think a Call went out except by email.  Strange that he put that in but didn’t do it but that is normal for Jonathan. He doesn’t do much as a Chairman. (emphasis added)
Question: Did you previously or at any time receive an Intent to Run form or any type of request for nominations to be on the ballot for officers or state committeemen?
Answer: No, all we received is what he sent by email (above copy)
Question:  How did PCs know to put their names up for these positions?
Answer:1: I don’t know.  We never got even a roster of those running.
Answer 2:  Back in November when he send (sic) out Proxies I faintly recall that he mentioned to let him know if we're interested. Both [...] and I let him know "yes" we're interested, but looking at the Yuma slate in Grahams Newsletter other then Russ and the [...] I don't know anybody else from Yuma.
Once again Maricopa is overwhelmingly strong I doubt very much that Jonathan will win.
We did not attend the Dec meeting  [due to scheduling conflicts]  at that time.
Answer 3: No, he didn't ask for nominations. He sent a proxy form and just personally asked if [some PCs] were interested in being a state committeeman. [A] person said "yes" for both herself and her husband, but nothing came of it. Nothing was said about nominations. In the meeting last month, he read off 17 names saying those 17 people expressed an interest in being state committeemen and asked for a vote by acclamation. And it was over. I haven't found anyone else who recalls getting such an e-mail or letter. Another person said JL asked her if she would be interested in being a state committeeman. What he doesn't realize is she isn't voting for him! 
Question:  How were officers elected?
Answer: When we got to the meeting, there was a list of officers. No office was contested.  One lady was nominated from the floor but withdrew her name.  No others were nominated from the floor.
Question:  Did you ever know in advance of the meeting what names would be on the ballot for officer positions?
Answer: No.
Question:  How were state committeemen nominated and elected?
AnswerJonathan said there were 17 slots for the district and he had 17 names and he said we should elect them by acclamation and he called for a vote and it was done.
Question:  Were any or all of these 17 people nominated in advance by some means of a nominating committee or from the floor or both?
Answer: No one I know ever got any notice of a nominations committee or any request to self-nominate or submit our names.  We just were told that Jonathan had these 17 names and he never gave us a chance to nominate from the floor.  I wanted to be a state committeeman but there was never any way to put my name up.
Question:  You are saying that neither you nor anyone with whom your are acquainted or asked got any notice in any form that PCs had some way to get nominated for either a board position or a state committeeman?
Answer: That’s right. Jonathan has a lot of family who are PCs and some very close friends that he works on campaigns for McCain and Flake and even Kyl before he dropped out.  Those are mostly the people who were the 17 who were elected by acclamation without any way for anyone else to even put their name up for state committeeman.  I don’t even know most of these people personally as they spend their time with Jonathan and his family.  Some of them are also Jonathan’s family.  He has a large family with several different names.  Many of them are PCs now.
Side note from one source:  I got a quick reply from LD4 [a small part of the district that is in Maricopa County]. They had elections for state committeemen in Nov. They sent out numerous e-mails for nominations and they voted by e-mail. They sent out several e-mails to remind them to vote. There were a total of 6 candidates and 5 positions. - [Anonymous by agreement]
Question: So to be sure I understand the way this was done, did all PCs have an equal chance to be on the ballot as a board member or state committeemen?  Without exception?
AnswerNo.  One PC, Russ Clark, was told by Jonathan it would to be bad for the party for him to be on the district board due to a small incident on the Board of Supervisors. However, PCs believe it is because Mr. Clark is too conservative for Chairman Lines.  Russ is a very committed conservative.  Russ was not on the ballot and was not nominated from the floor.
Question:  You mention Jonathan worked on campaigns for McCain, Flake and Kyl?
Answer 1: Yes, he’s very close to those campaigns and has worked along side McCain for a long time.  And Kyl, too when he was in the Senate.  I don’t know if he donates his money or just his time but he’s been very actively involved with McCain for a long time.
Question: But is Lines being truthful when he says he is not  involved with McCain or Flake? 
Answer: Precinct committeemen both the ones now and those who were PCs before say he is an avid supporter of both Senators.  They say he consistently works in their primary campaigns as well as their General election campaigns.  That is what I have seen, too.

NOTE:  This is Lines FEC Report showing his support for McCain and Flake  Lines-FEC-donations.pdf
Question:  Let’s get back to your first statement, that Jonathan doesn’t do much as a Chairman.  What do you mean by that?
AnswerHe just got re-elected for the third time so we have plenty of experience with him as chairman.  He gets elected because most of the current PCs are his family members or close friends.  He has a really big family. 
Jonathan's family: (source: Facebook)
Answer: When he came on as the Yuma chairman, we had a large group of PCs, about 150, maybe more.  Now we never have but a few at meetings and I think there are fewer than 100 PCs now but we never see them. 
From the Yuma County Elections on their website, link below
Yuma PC slots:  218 seats in 44 precincts
Yuma PCs:  84 or 38%
Yuma Precincts with no PCs: 21   Percentage of empty Precincts: 48%
Yuma Precincts with 2 PCs or less:  11, only one of which has only two seats.  %= 25%
Yuma PCs named “Lines:”  11 or about 15%
Answer continued: One other thing that is very bad for our district.  Jonathan has a very bad temper and when he gets mad, he yells at our PCs in front of everyone.  It's very embarrassing.  He says he never criticizes other Republicans in public.  Well, he seems OK with embarrassing them in public.  But when he criticizes in private, he crows about it in public.
If it wasn't for how he has loaded up our district with his friends and family, he could never get elected to anything down here.
Question: One other thing. Most of the precinct committeemen we have spoken with, including every member of the AFA team believe there is an unusually close tie between Lines and current AZGOP Chairman Graham.  Most believe Lines was hand picked to take up the reigns of power and continue some of the charade AFA revealed about the AZGOP in 2014, [Graham Money Laundering Charges ] primarily the handling of money.  Do you believe and have you had any inclination to suspect that Lines and Graham are more closely tied than the usual relationship between an AZGOP chair and a district chair?  If so, why do you think that?
Answer 1:  Certainly there is something between these two. This committee suddenly got a lot of cash from AZGOP, sometime in the fall.  Jonathan is not good at raising money to keep this district going and members don't provide much in the way of income.  But suddenly, the district had money. We didn't hold a fundraiser so I don't know where that came from unless he got it from Graham.  Do you know that Graham regularly pays some districts a lot of money to keep them bound to him? There's a lot of, shall we say, unusual activity between these two. Oh, he doesn't tell some of us but Yuma is a small town.  Word gets around. Oh, yes, he's running as the third term of Graham.  Like Hillary did.
Screen Shot from Arizona Secretary of State Campaign Finance records:
Answer 2:  You would have to be downright blind in this district not to know there is some bond between these two. Lines brags all the time about that.
NOTE:  There is a $5000 donation to the Yuma County Republican Committee on 10/6/2016 from Robert Barkley. These two infusions of cash into the Committee brings a balance of $19,810.00.  That is a very high balance for such a small district.  
On 3/22/2013, a donation was made to this committee of $6460.34 from the Committee to Retain Andrew W Gould Superior Court Judge in Yuma.  Again, we found no other committee that got these kinds of private donations in such large amounts.  Overall, very little was raised by fundraisers or small donations from members through 2016.  Unusual expenses: Lines paid himself $1125.88 in 2013 and paid Auto Insurance to Pancrazi Insurance 467.32.  Auto insurance?   Source: Arizona Secretary of State Campaign Finance Reports
Question:  Do you have any idea if there is a connection to Lyn Pancrazi, Democrat, by Jonathan Lines?
Answer:  Funny you should ask that question.  Do you know that Jonathan supported Lyn Pancrazi for election against one of our own Republican candidates?  As I recall, that was in a state Senate primary.  Maybe it was in the General, I don't remember the timing but I thought that was just plain wrong for a Republican chairman to do.  Isn't there something illegal about that or maybe even unethical?
Question:  Are you saying that Lines actually gave support to a Democrat against a Republican PC in your district while both were running in the same race?  Are you sure about that?
Answer:  I am totally sure. We were all bowled over.  I don't think he knew we found out about that.  It's hard to keep secrets like that here.
                                                                       ###
Few precinct committeemen in Arizona know that AZGOP Chairman Graham is doing everything in 
his power to find some reason to deny seating the largest contingent of district state committeemen in the state.  In fact, in reading the information that has been published in MCRC Briefs and other websites and blogs, we find the reasoning changes as each charge is successfully challenged.  It gave us pause to wonder, how did the other districts notify their PCs about the Organizational meetings since notification by email was said by the Chairman to have been against State Statute and the AZGOP Bylaws.  Neither of these statements is true.  But it is on that premise that Graham claimed deleterious activity.
One of our team members decided to investigate how these districts were notified.  Engaging the help of another AFA member, they endeavored to speak to at least two people in as many districts as possible.  Here's what was found:  Of the 29 active districts in Arizona, we got 26 responses, 3 did not return phone calls: LD19, LD22, LD30.  Of the 26, only two sent Calls by snail mail, one because the previous chairman did not turn over any records and they had no emails.  Of the others, most did exactly what LD23 did: they emailed the Call to those with emails on record and snail mailed to the rest.  Two districts said they both emailed and snail mailed to their PCs.   None remembered getting any Intent to Run or similar nomination form in the mail, although we did not press that question.  Few even use Intent to Run forms for nominations but most have some method for opening nominations to the PCs.
BUT... AZGOP Chairman candidate Jonathan Lines did far less than LD23 did and strangely, Graham is NOT threatening to keep them from voting at the January 28 meeting.  Graham now is saying that "there has been no action taken by current or past leadership."  That is untrue. There have been several meetings but Graham has refused all offers of settlement unless O'Connor pleads guilty to causing failures at the meeting. If he did that, he would not be telling the truth because he did not participate in managing the meeting in any way.  As a candidate for AZGOP Chairman, he recused himself.  BUT, if there were any failures, it does not rise to the failures of Jonathan Lines' failures.  This is just an attempt to help Lines win an election. 
One other thing we find curious: at a forum recently, Lines said he posted on his Facebook page that he was against the efforts of the current chairman to go after LD23.  We were told that was in answer to a question regarding the candidates publicly asking the current AZGOP chairman to stop his efforts against LD23.  We went to his candidate Facebook page.  There was a statement pinned to the top of his page and we scrolled down and read what Lines calls being against Graham on this issue.   The language is nearly identical to a series of letters Graham has sent out that has been thoroughly debunked: Jonathan-Lines-Facebook-Jan-21-17.pdf  Why does Lines side with Graham's lies on this and use identical incriminating language?  We also have the screenshot of that letter.  He talks about "voting to seat LD23" at the meeting.  Given that Graham is known to have interfered in at least 8 district meetings this year, does Graham think he can unseat duly certified State Committeemen with his new Ghost boards?  We checked with Ordowski if she had been informed of that vote.  She hadn't. So we sent her Jonathan's letter.
More on this for context if you want to know more: 
NOTE:  Photo of the envelope Lines sent out with campaign material and the return address seems to indicate that HE is already the state chairman!  Does he know something the rest of us don't know?  Also note it was mailed in Phoenix, not in Yuma!  Did AZGOP send that letter out for him?  Just wondering!  It's a certainty he has been in conversation with Graham about all of this against LD23.  The same electronic voting will be used at the Statutory Meeting as Graham used to cheat Trump supporters out of Delegate seats in April, 2016.  Comforting!
We would like to thank the many people who contributed to this report through their own research and personal experience in the Yuma district.

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