Sunday, November 21, 2010

The two wings of the AZGOP waging a civil war for control...

...not of their party, but for the carcass of Arizona...

This is the time of year when the political parties "reorganize" - elect new/reelect old leadership and prepare for the next political cycle.  The Democrats do it; the Republicans do it, even the Libertarians and the Greens do it.

Right now, the local chapters of the major parties are holding their reorg meetings, electing their own leadership as well as delegates to their respective parties' state committee.

Those state committee members will elect new state party leadership slates in January.

The Democrats have experienced some changes in local leadership roles, but most (all?) of those transitions have been peaceful progressions as the state's minority party tries to learn from and adapt to the results of November 2nd's results.

The Republicans?  Not so much, not with the learning, and most certainly not with the peaceful.

 - The LD11 Republicans effectively deposed Randy Pullen, chair of the AZGOP for the last two cycles (four years) by not reelecting him to their state committee.  As he won't be a state committee member, he cannot run for a state party office.  The rift has been widely credited to "establishment" Republicans (in the persons of John McCain supporters) taking back control of the district from "tea party" Republicans (in the persons of supporters of Pullen).

- The LD22 Republicans have their own "establishment v. tea party" dynamic going on, with some serious nastiness going on in the weeks leading up to their reorg meeting. 

- The LD19 Republicans had some ballot box stuffing and interesting use of proxies going on in their reorganization meeting, and the root cause of the strife seemed to stem from a "tea party v. establishment" conflict.

All of this may lead to a messy state party reorganization meeting in January, or the establishment wing of the AZGOP may have effectively silenced the tea partiers by then.

Since it looks like that the "establishment" types are ascendant, the January meeting may be a public rubber stamping of whatever they've put together by then.

Until that time, however, let me provide a pictorial summary of the Rs' LD reorganization meetings -

Pic courtesy the Flickr page of user savagetom2008

Let's call the carcass on the ground "Arizona."  I'll leave it to readers to figure out for themselves which GOPer wing is represented by the jackal, and which is represented by the vultures.

And time for a blast from the (recent) past - one of the folks mentioned in the LD22 article linked above was Trish Groe, a former state rep from LD3.  In early 2007, she was arrested for DUI.  After a lot of legal contortions (it was a felony-level DUI, then it wasn't, it was going to be prosecuted by La Paz County, then Yuma County, then Maricopa County, then there was a plea deal, then there wasn't), she finally lost her seat in the 2008 primary.  And disappeared from public view.

Until now.


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