Wednesday, July 29, 2015

AZGOP Chairman Robert Graham Plays the Weasel BLAME GAME for stopping Rent Check Payment for MCRC Office

I received the below long drawn out Weasel BLAME GAME explanation of why the AZGOP stopped payment on rent check for Republicans of Maricopa County office by e-mail.

Image result for robert graham az gop
  • Highlights of the blame game: Excuses Chairman was out of town
  • It was staff’s fault-If they acted without your prior consent then fire them
  • Dig at former party chairman, who had nothing to do with stopping payment on check.
  • Failure to answer the 8 questions MCRC Briefs on 7-21-15

Dear PCs, Chairmen and Executive Committee Members,
In light of some rumors surrounding the temporary cash assistance we provided to MCRC let me provide some insights. 

The AZGOP has provided cash payments over the past few months to the MCRC and other counties.  It is now clear that based on the MCRC’s confidence in their own fundraising ability, their other priorities, and their positive press releases surrounding recent fundraising that the help was sufficient for the time being as we respond to competing requests for cash assistance.

I apologize that my decision to be flexible with financial resources was not communicated better. While I was in DC speaking at a Senate briefing against President Obama’s Iranian deal and the MCRC chair was also out of town, my staff had erroneously sent an additional check to MCRC, but corrected the mistake and cancelled the check. Before we could all discuss the issue, news media called asking if we were out of money, turning a simple mistake into fodder for gossip and rumor that I must address.

The rumor emerged that the check was cancelled because of my personal like or dislike of a presidential candidate, which is absurd. I believe our party's voters must have a chance to hear, meet and learn about each candidate, and cast their vote.  This is no different from the gubernatorial elections of 2014 or any other contested primary, and you will not see the AZGOP violate a long tradition of avoiding supporting one single primary candidate over others.

We also received calls asking why I did not attend the Trump event, to which the simple answer is I was in Oregon to celebrate my grandmother’s 101st birthday.  I am confident I was in the right place and of course the trip had been planned for some time. As you may know the Trump event was well attended thanks to leadership from Lori Klein, Aaron Borders and help from the MCRC, as well as many dedicated volunteers.

As State Chairman, I have to work and consider all counties not just “the great state of Maricopa.”  Even though the MCRC has worked for years to be the center of every hot spot in the media or center point of debate…it is important to note we have 14 other counties that are equally important to the success of our party.  The rural counties carried the state and our election successes during the 2014 cycle and must not be ignored.

When counties project their success, it is very helpful because it allows the AZGOP to shift resources where they are truly needed. Candidates are announcing every day and their announcements are shaping our 2016 strategic victory plan.

Lastly, entitlement is a word that curls every Republican’s toes. Entitlement is at the epicenter of every problem from welfare abuse to illegal immigration. The sense of entitlement drives those who think they are somehow entitled to benefit from the work done by others.

When I see a former party chairman (who was woefully unsuccessful in raising funds and did not seek re-election) publicly complaining about current leadership, especially when the state party has subsidized much of his legal defense (that he would otherwise be paying personally) and the legal defense of the county party, I'm left scratching my head.  I think there are some in our party that feel entitled to money they haven't worked for or raised.  Does this sound like true a Republican?

I am grateful for the passionate work all of you do and for the advocacy you give your favorite candidates. Be civil, but do not relent.  Endure until we have victory.  The Republicans in Arizona and the rest of the county need well-informed activists to engage and fight to win back the White House.  Together we can win and have the outcome we are all hoping for.

Thanks again for all you do.
God Bless the United States of America,
Robert Graham
Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham has stopped payment on the rental check for the Republicans of Maricopa County office that opened July 13 in Tempe.
MCRC Chairman Tyler Bowyer confirms reports that the MCRC received notification of the ‘stop payment’ from the bank last week. AZGOP never notified Bowyer, nor the MCRC Treasurer of the ‘stop payment.’  MCRC Treasurer David Ludwig messaged the AZGOP upon receiving notification from the bank, however, the AZGOP has not responded.

“We are still in shock that Robert (Graham) would commit to funding the office through 2016 and suddenly pull the funding,” said Bowyer.
When Briefs contacted Graham Monday afternoon (July 20), regarding reports of the ‘stopped payment’, Graham responded, “It appears that Maricopa County is doing well.  I thought it was appropriate and wise to hold back funds and allocate the resources based on need.  With 14 other counties we have some large battles potentially in CD 1 and CD 2 not to mention our goal to bring the state house and senate to a greater majority.  We are working to help all the counties in the state with the Redroots program.  It has been my pleasure to help Maricopa get off the ground and into an office and look forward to working with them on Redroots.”
Graham denies reports circulating among GOP leaders that the AZGOP is punishing Bowyer and the MCRC for hosting the Presidential Candidate Donald Trump event a week ago that drew thousands of Republicans in attendance. 
Graham also denied reports that the AZGOP is short on funds.
            Graham said, “Tyler has not publicly thanked the AZ GOP or its donors for paying the rent.”  However, long time party members, who were around several decades ago whenJack London gave the current AZGOP headquarters to the Republican Party, recall that the Maricopa County Republican Party Committee was to have access to quarters within that facility.
            “Since the AZGOP removed the MCGOP out a number of years ago out of the 24th street shared space, it has been up to the AZGOP to compensate for that. Robert seemed to agree, but the sudden move is very strange and unexpected on our end. We have made a serious effort to adopt a teamwork philosophy and this is very disappointing to see. We will continue to work hard on behalf of Precinct Committeemen and find resources to fund the Tempe office,” Bowyer said this evening.
Monday evening Briefs sent these additional  questions to Graham:
1.     Why did you issue the Tempe rental check and then stop payment on it? Did you notify the county you were stopping payment?  If so, when? And to whom?
2.     Why would the county proceed with the ribbon cutting on the new facility last week if they knew AZGOP wasn’t going to pay the rent?
3.     Did you also stop payment on the county office in Sun City? 
4.     How many county offices (throughout the state) is the AZGOP paying the rent on?  Have they also been cut off?
5.     Were you directed to stop that Tempe facility check because Maricopa County hosted Trump?  trump-shunned-arizona-gop-establishment-phoenix-visit 
6.     Why didn’t the AZGOP host Trump?
7.     Will the AZGOP be hosting any of the Republican presidential candidates when/if they come to AZ?
8.     Or is this something the county needs to be prepared to handle in the future?

Graham responded that he was on his way back East for a series of meeting and didn’t have time to answer the questions.