Why I Support Jim O’Connor for AZGOP Chair, and Not Jonathan Lines
#1: My personal experience of Jim O’Connor has been extremely positive. First, he educated me on the serious problems associated with Rep. J. D. Mesnard’s National Popular Vote bill (HB2456), which he brought up during last year's legislative session. This was a complex issue, and Mr. O’Connor and I exchanged several emails and telephone calls in the process. I also did independent research. This resulted in an article that I published titled “Stop the National Popular Vote Compact in Arizona." Mr. O’Connor made a very impressive appeal before the House of Representatives against the National Popular Vote leading them to defeat that bill last session. He's prepared to do it again.
Second, as a member of the Mommy Lobby, I deeply appreciated Mr. O’Connor's leadership in LD23 in helping to pass HB2088, which protects students against surveys that gather private, personally identifiable information. He advised his representative in LD23, Heather Carter, "Our 444 Precinct Committeemen are reflecting the opinions of the 70,000 registered republican votes in our district overwhelmingly protecting the rights of parents and children. Please represent these and other republicans who desire to restrain government overreach." She voted in favor on reconsideration, and this bill passed. Mr. O'Connor has stood firmly in support of legislation that honors parental authority and rejects federal control of education in Arizona.
Third, in keeping with Mr. O’Connor’s support of speaking out for what he believes in, he spoke out at the December 14, 2016 meeting of the Arizona Standards Development Committee, to stop a rebranding of the common Core standards.
In my experience Mr. O’Connor has repeatedly shown me, in his words followed up by actions, that he tells the truth and stands by it.
#2: Mr. O’Connor advised me back in Sept. 2016, when he declared his candidacy, that he would not seek endorsements from politicians. At first, I thought, “Oh no.” But in retrospect, he’s right. State Committeemen have just one job, and it’s an important job, and that is to elect the State Chairman. We aren’t “the average voter.” We of all people shouldn't be dependent on politicians to tell us how to vote. As PC’s, we represent our Districts. As elected State Committeemen, we are stating that we understand the seriousness of our responsibility. We should do our own research and vetting regarding this one and only responsibility that we have. I agree with Tyler Bowyer’s statement: “I am fearful that folks do not do their own homework on Candidates because an individual elected into office endorsed them. Please do not simply rely on others -- as a PC and/or State Committeeman, take the time to individually vet candidates for Party office and ask those who have seen them in action prior to voting. Ask them the tough questions and hold them accountable. Our nation depends on it”!
#3: All Republicans running for office call themselves “conservatives.” Some are; some aren’t. What’s true about Mr. Jonathan Lines is that he has made financial contributions to Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. If I have to "explain" why I believe that McCain and Flake are NOT conservatives, you aren't a conservative, nor do you stand up for the Republican Platform. See also AZGOP Candidate Jonathan Lines from Those Who Know Him Best.
#4: It was unseemly that House Speaker J. D. Mesnard has joined with Robert Graham in attempting to invalidate the 119 votes of Jim O’Connor’s LD23 State Committeemen. Rep. Mesnard requested an “opinion from the AG” asking how PC’s are supposed to be “noticed” regarding upcoming meetings, email or mail? (LD23 was noticed primarily via email.) The opinion indicated it was to be done by mail, which proves that neither J.D. Mesnard nor the AG’s office has a lick of common sense. This opinion was later destroyed by Attorney Ted Naeckel. Now for the lack of common sense part: Not only would our districts be bankrupted by stationery and postage costs, but virtually every other State Committeeman expecting to cast a vote at the State Meeting should also be disqualified. Because virtually none of us are notified via USPS! As an aside, Jim O’Connor has "possibly" been a thorn in J. D. Mesnard’s side, because of Jim's role in defeating his National Popular Vote legislation.
#5: Bob Lettieri, who has an impressive resume as a career financial executive and CFO for the last 23 years, is running as State Treasurer. He has uncovered some serious issues concerning fund-raising efforts by Chairman Graham, who is a super, duper strong supporter of Jonathan Lines. Mr. Lines sent an email that included this quote: “I was so honored to receive Bruce Ash’s support, as he said, "Jonathan Lines is a perfect successor to the success of Robert Graham."
Mr. Lettieri, in a recent Arizona Daily Independent article relating to the financial instability of the AZGOP, noted “In the 2012 cycle, 14.8% of Itemized Individual contributions came from major contributors. In 2016 the AZGOP received 76.4% of Itemized Individual contributions from major contributors. This represents an increase of 62% in Itemized Individual contributions from major contributors…. Are we becoming the party of the chosen few? I know from experience that the SEC considers revenue concentration a red Flag and so should we fellow Republicans.“ See also Yes, there are Other Candidates.
#6. There have been accusations coming from various people about how Jim O’Connor has lied to them. Hurt feelings? Misunderstandings? I don’t know. What I do know is that the website that published their assertions claims to be conservative, but isn't. How do I know? Because they apologize for McCain/Flake and sneer at conservative websites and blogs. I also know that only four of the signatories to the letter are PCs in LD23. Some have vigorously trashed Donald Trump, one was on the McCain slate mailer. Also, according to Chris Morrill, LD 27 State Committeeman, who published a statement in the 1/27/2017 MCRC Briefs, "...Most of the LD 27 State Committeemen have received three pieces of mail in recent days in the following order: the AZ GOP Call to Meeting, a campaign letter from Jonathan Lines and a letter supposedly from LD 23 that excoriates the good name of Jim O'Connor. The address labels for EACH mailing had the SAME identical errors demonstrating that they were all sent from the same AZ GOP corrupted mailing list." I must weigh this against what I know about John McCain and other Republicans in Name Only. They hate true conservatives more than they hate Democrats.