Skip to comments.AZ-Sen. 2010: McCain Camp Plans End Run Around AZ GOP (McCain fighting conservatives)
Posted on 02/26/2010 12:40:32 PM PST by rabscuttle385
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has lost the endorsement of a key leader of his own party, and a behind-the-scenes feud is emerging that could put McCain at odds with GOP activists in his home state.
McCain and the AZ House delegation have agreed to divert money for the party's get-out-the-vote efforts away from the AZ GOP, sources tell Hotline OnCall. The decision comes after a contentious meeting between the McCain camp and top state party officials, according to sources on both sides of the debate.
The decision highlights a contentious relationship between the state's DC delegation and local party leaders back home, a relationship that often works at cross purposes. For years, those close to McCain have sought to oust party chair Randy Pullen, who has a following among the conservative grassroots.
The latest controversy, which has been quietly simmering for months, comes as party leaders prepare for the Nov. midterms. In AZ, the stakes are particularly high; Gov. Jan Brewer (R) faces re-election and a competitive primary, and the GOP hopes to contest 3 Dem-held House seats.
But with so much money expected to flow through AZ, McCain's team, led by deputy manager Mike Hellon, himself a former AZ GOP chair, has lost confidence in party leadership, and they don't trust Pullen to spend party funds wisely. Those who oppose Pullen accuse him of misspending state party money.
Pullen, on the other hand, believed Hellon and the McCain team wanted too much power and were trying to take control away from the elected party leadership, and that McCain's advisors were continuing a long-running effort to try and force him from office.
After months of preparations, McCain's campaign sat down with Pullen and other top party leaders in AZ for a final session to go over budget plans. McCain's camp wanted total control, according to those who side with Pullen, going so far as to ask for the state party's federal tax ID number in order to gain access to its bank account. Hellon told Pullen he could hand over control or "leave," according to a source in the room.
"It wasn't a request, it was a demand," said Rob Haney, chair of the Maricopa Co. GOP and a Pullen backer who was briefed on the meeting. "They've been trying to get Randy Paullen out of office ever since he was elected."
Pullen refused Hellon's demand and said he wanted control over some staffing and consultant decisions. When McCain's team told him he could not have such control, Pullen, AZ GOP executive director Brett Mecum and RNC member Bruce Ash walked out.
Hellon disputes that version of events. He says Pullen approached the delegation to ask for help raising money for the financially ailing AZ GOP, and for $35K a month from the Victory committee -- the account that handles GOTV efforts -- to cover operating expenses. Both sides agree Pullen wanted more control over some hiring decisions than Hellon intended to surrender.
"There is no Republican in the state of Arizona who needs the Victory program less than John McCain. He's got a well-funded campaign, and we've got a campaign plan," Hellon said.
After discussions broke down, the McCain team held private discussions with RNC executive director Ken McKay and chief counsel Reince Priebus about diverting the money away from the AZ GOP, though McKay and Priebus denied they were on a conference call through an RNC spokesperson.
McCain's campaign now plans to funnel money through the Yuma Co. GOP, according to sources. Yuma's party is run by Phil Townsend, a long-time McCain ally.
"This was a group decision to make sure that the folks that were actually raising the money -- the delegation -- had the ability to make sure that it was spent in a proper manner and not used to pay off debt that Randy had mismanaged," said one source close to AZ's members of Congress.
Though McCain, if he wins the GOP primary, would be a shoo-in for re-election, the national party will spend money in AZ. GOPers will target Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick, Harry Mitchell and Gabby Giffords, 3 Dems all elected over the last 4 years. Gov. Jan Brewer (R) also faces voters, and though she has a strong challenger in the GOP primary, the seat will be competitive no matter who faces the likely Dem nominee, AG Terry Goddard, in Nov.
An RNC spokesperson said all funding decisions would be made in conjunction with party leaders. Townsend did not return calls seeking comment.
The tension highlights McCain's nervousness about his own re-election bid. Though Dems will not field a strong candidate if McCain is the GOP nominee, he has to get past ex-Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R) first. Hayworth is a favorite of the most conservative set, and he won standing ovations for his speech at the state GOP convention last month.
During that speech, Pullen was on stage. He and McCain had a "polite" conversation beforehand, Pullen told Hotline OnCall, but McCain's team is concerned Pullen will endorse Hayworth. That tension grew when Pullen yanked his endorsement of McCain after the financing scuffle.
"It looked very early on that there weren't going to be any challengers. Once it began to look like J.D. was going to get in the race, things began to change," Pullen said in an interview. "Now, it's a major primary."
Observers within the GOP but independent of the 2 feuding camps said the fight is little more than a rehash of long-running battles inside the state GOP, which has been beset by arguments between business GOPers and those of a more activist set, interested in focusing on illegal immigration. Hayworth sides with activists, who are angry with McCain (and most of the rest of the state delegation) for pushing a more comprehensive approach to immigration reform.
But others worry that McCain is making missteps in his bid against Hayworth. Some question his choice of campaign staff, while others pointed to early radio ads against Hayworth that were poorly made. "I can't figure out if he's no just taking J.D. Hayworth seriously," said one GOP strategist not affiliated with either campaign. "The mistakes that he's making are really kind of amateur hour."
The decision to circumvent Pullen and the state party is not unprecedented. The RNC has done so in the past, including in NM in recent years. But Pullen is also the treasurer of the RNC, a post to which he was elected by a majority of that body's 168 members.
Pullen is a professional accountant and well-regarded in RNC circles, making McCain's team's decision to work around him all the more notable.
Bump and PING
No news here.
May Juan have the same fortunes he had in the Presidential campaign.
McCain needs to chill. If he loses the Primary, he can follow the lead of his girlfriend, Joe Lieberman, and run as an independent.
BYE BYE McCAIN
Pullen is a professional accountant and well-regarded in RNC circles, making McCain's team's decision to work around him all the more notable.
Wow. I'd say that McCain had gone berserk, if he hadn't already done so many years ago.
So McCain is more than willing to take money away from the Arizona GOP and its field of candidates JUST to help himself!! Now ain’t THAT a surprise...Juan betraying the republican party, the State of Arizona and the American people ALL for his own good!!!!
"[Conservatives are] going to destroy the f*cking [Republican] party...
Why would I want to be the leader of a party of such a**holes?"
U.S. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, UNKNOWN
"I think the Democratic Party is a fine party, and I have
no problems with it, in their views and their philosophy."
U.S. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, 02 APR. 2004
"I have to tell you, [Obama] is a decent person, a person that you
do not have to be scared [of] as president of the United States."
U.S. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, 10 OCT. 2008
So you want him to win the primary and lose the general. I would venture that this is a minority opinion.
Let me clarify: I want McCaine to fail. That is all.
McSham demanding his own way, acting dictatorial, and running roughshod over state and local party leaders?
Who’d have believed it?
Give McSham his walking papers.
Support J. D. Hayworth.
McCain is a
(Remainder of post deleted by savedbygrace.)
I cannot stand Juan MCCain. He is Obama’s lapdog poodle.
McCain doing his usual low life no account underhanded dealings.
“but McCain’s team is concerned Pullen will endorse Hayworth”
And that is what all this is about.
Hey, Arizona! Have you figured out yet what an egotistical, power hungry man John McCain is yet?? I hope the good people of Arizona tell this old fool that NO, he can’t take over the funds of Arizona’s republicans!
McCain cares nothing about Arizona or what the people of this country want or need.
************McCain blasted in online poll**********
Just a handful of WND readers favor him over GOP challenger
Posted: February 26, 2010
If WND readers were to have their way, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s 28-year career in Congress would come to an end this year.
An unscientific WND online poll showed GOP primary challenger J.D. Hayworth with nearly 3,000 votes compared to just 22 for McCain.
As a talk-radio host, Hayworth criticized McCain for voting for the 2006 bill to give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
“It is about time you represent we the people of the United States of America and your Arizona constituents, instead of illegal invaders and criminal trespassers,” Hayworth said, according to National Public Radio.
Hayworth has characterized his campaign as “McCain and the Washington establishment on one side, and ‘we the people’ on the other.”A recent Tax Day Tea Party poll indicated an overwhelming majority in the tea-party movement support Hayworth over McCain.
Hayworth received support from 79 percent of respondents, or 2,738 votes. An additional 8 percent said they would rather support someone else against McCain, and 3 percent said they would rather stick with a third-party candidate. A mere 9 percent said McCain “should be left alone.”
“Much to our surprise, there appears to be an overwhelming amount of support for Hayworth within the movement,” writes Eric Odom. “A lot of activists are looking to oppose John McCain in some way, shape or form.” [snip]
A recent Tax Day Tea Party poll indicated an overwhelming majority in the tea-party movement support Hayworth over McCain.
Hayworth received support from 79 percent of respondents, ...
“Much to our surprise, there appears to be an overwhelming amount of support for Hayworth within the movement,” writes Eric Odom. “A lot of activists are looking to oppose John McCain in some way, shape or form.”
What a frikkin’ sleazy backstabbing scumbag McCain is.
DO NOT GIVE A DAMN DIME TO THE GOP/RNC AT ANY LEVEL. SEND IT STRAIGHT TO J.D.
” After discussions broke down, the McCain team held private discussions with RNC executive director Ken McKay and chief counsel Reince Priebus about diverting the money away from the AZ GOP, though McKay and Priebus denied they were on a conference call through an RNC spokesperson.
DO NOT GIVE A DAMN DIME TO THE GOP/RNC AT ANY LEVEL. SEND IT STRAIGHT TO J.D. “
J. D. got no help from the RNC in his house run last time.
The fix was in.
Arizona, PLEASE be smarter this time!
JD was on Bill O’Reilly tonight and he was great!!!!! but like BOR pointed out, McCain has a LOT of money.... JD doesn’t.
Copied Rab’s post and this thread to the ongoing Hayworth vs. McCain research thread:
Hayworth vs. McCain — Primary Headline Roundup [humble vanity — please help]
“DO NOT GIVE A DAMN DIME TO THE GOP/RNC AT ANY LEVEL. SEND IT STRAIGHT TO J.D. “
B U M P
Hayworth has the endorsement of AZ state Senator Russell Pearce
State Sen. Russell Pearce, a Mesa Republican and outspoken critic of McCains stance on illegal immigration, called Hayworth a good-spirited patriot and applauded his decision to enter the race.
McCain, Pearce said, has strayed from the basic principles (Republicans) believe in.
|John McCain||vs.||J.D. Hayworth|
|Opposed the Bush tax cuts. Voted against repealing the Death Tax. The Club for Growth says McCain’s overall record on taxes “is profoundly disturbing and anti-growth.”||Taxes||
Helped to author the Bush tax cuts and supports repealing the Death Tax. JD has a higher lifetime rating from Citizens Against Government Waste than John McCain does.
Voted FOR the big bank bailouts and proposed an additional $300 Billion bailout of all bad debts, making the taxpayers responsible for the bad decisions of others.
|Bailouts||Opposed the big bank bailouts, opposed the Obama plan, and opposed the McCain plan to leave taxpayers holding the bag for the nation’s bad loans.|
|Wrote the bill granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. McCain’s bill was estimated to cost the taxpayers more than $2.6 Trillion .||Amnesty||Helped lead the fight against the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill. JD is a national leader in the fight to secure our borders and protect our nation.|
|Opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment that would have protected and preserved marriage as between one man and one woman.||Marriage
||Supported the Federal Amendment and believes it is critical that marriage be protected from those who would redefine it.|
|Co-authored the McCain-Lieberman Cap & Trade bill.||Cap & Trade||Opposes all Cap & Trade legislation and rejects phony climate change data.|
Authored the McCain-Feingold legislation that violated the First Amendment rights of every American and silenced conservative groups like Right to Life and the NRA.
|| Opposed McCain-Feingold
and believes that a free and vigorous
debate is always in the best interests
of our state and our nation.
|Opposes enhanced interrogation techniques, supports closing Guantanamo Bay, and supports treating terrorists like criminal defendants instead of enemy combatants.||Terrorism||
Supports our military and its use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Believes that Guantanamo Bay should remain open and that terrorists should be treated as such.
|Voted to confirm this far-left activist as Attorney General of the United States.||Eric Holder||Opposed the confirmation of Eric Holder as Attorney General of the United States.|
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.