Submitted by: Veronica Coffin
Written by SeeinRedAZ
First person account of April 18, 2015 AZ GOP newly closed executive meeting by LD 28 PC
Republican Party elected Precinct Committeemen attempted to gain entrance to the Republican Party executive meeting this morning They were told that they were not authorized to attend the meeting.
The Republican Party PCs very calmly stood in the parking lot of the Republican Party Headquarters. They were met by Maricopa County Sheriff Deputies who threatened to arrest them for trespassing if they did not leave the parking lot.
The committeemen were told they could stand on the public sidewalk and they moved to the sidewalk as requested. I (James Alberts ) asked the deputies who told them to arrest us for trespassing . They said their supervisor who was not at the Republican Party office.
I suggest that they go ahead and arrest me. I’m a registered Republican, and a Republican Party PC. I asked if there was an member of the Republican Party executive staff in the building who would come out and order me off the property. Deputies were very polite and said no we have our orders to arrest anyone refusing to leave the 24th Street Republican Party property in Phoenix.
We were considered protesters and forced to leave the property. When the Republican Party Sergeant-at-Arms (Alberto Gutier) came out of the building I reentered the property and identified myself and asked to be arrested for trespassing. At that time the Sergeant-at-Arms told the deputies not to arrest me, saying that I would cause a field day for the Democrats.
I responded by saying, “No, Robert Hussein Graham and the executive staff are causing the Democrats to have a field day with this, not me!”
For additional background on this deplorable state of affairs, read “Need more proof of McCain chokehold on AZGOP?”
James Albert’s wife Carynn, who is also an elected precinct committeeman has written her own account expressing the thoughts of many frustrated and disillusioned precinct committeemen:
I am a new PC and eager to stay involved in my Precinct and Party (although no one from my LD has ever reached out to welcome me, or even send me the meeting schedule). Unfortunately, my ability to attend meetings or volunteer has been significantly curtailed by a recurrence of Oropharyngeal cancer, for which I am currently in treatment.
In an attempt to maintain the integrity of the vote, I believe strongly that only members of a given party should be allowed to vote in that Party’s Primary Election. Consequently, I was pleased when a motion to close the Republican Primary passed during the State meeting this year. However, four months later, I have been disappointed that Chairman Graham has not moved forward with this motion. I understand implementation will take time and money; however, I have not seen any updates or proposed timelines from the Chairman. I’m certain that I wasn’t alone in thinking that this topic may be on the Agenda of the Executive Meeting on 4/18. So when on Easter night Chairman Graham tweeted to LD 18 PC Peggy McClain to “get a life,” I was more than disappointed. That type of response from the State Leader of our Party to a concerned PC is inappropriate and unacceptable. Disenchanted, I began to believe as others, that perhaps Chairman Graham has no intention of implementing this resolution.
For those reasons, I decided to attend the Rally at AZGOP HQ on April 18th with my husband. Once we parked our vehicle we attempted to check-in for the meeting as Observers with the two women stationed outside. They were polite, but confirmed that the meeting would not be open to PCs, as it was closed to all but Party Executives. Shortly thereafter, my husband and I were approached by uniformed MCSO Deputies who asked if we were there to protest that the meeting was closed. We answered yes, and the Deputies very politely told that we could not be on the property and that we must stand on sidewalk. The Deputies further advised us that if we remained on the property that we could be subject to arrest. I was dumfounded. As a registered Republican who has been welcomed to attend other meetings, or volunteer my time at Republican HQ,
suddenly at the discretion of the Chairman I was no longer welcome to even step foot on the property! It’s my understanding the Party doesn’t have a regular income; it is funded by donations. So in essence, the hard earned money donated by my fellow Republicans, was used to hire off-duty MCSO Deputies, to keep me away from my Party’s HQ.
Once we were positioned on the sidewalk, obviously there was no place to sit. I had planned to rest in or on my car as needed, but since it was parked in the Party’s parking lot, that was no longer an option. There were a few large rocks I could have used to rest upon, however, they were located on the Party’s property, and being in ill-health, and unable to risk arrest, they too were out of the question.
After today, you can add me to the ever-growing list of people who will no longer donate to the GOP. I cannot in good faith allow money I donate to potentially be used against me should I question or disagree with my Party. Heck, as long as the Primary remains open, I just may re-register as an Independent. At least the never-ending robo calls and emails asking for money would finally stop.