RNC National Committeeman, Bruce Ash, tackles the pressing issues of the day.
RNC National Committeeman, Bruce Ash, tackles the pressing issues of the day.
After two and a half days of platform subcommittee meetings and full committee meetings, we finished the platform report late Wednesday night. Overall, I think most will be happy with the final product. It is significantly shorter yet maintains almost all of the conservative statements we all expect to have in our Republican Party platform. This year’s platform in its final printed form will be under 60 pages as compared to over 100 pages in 2004.
The two members of your Arizona platform committee, Shiree Verdone and myself, were assigned to the sections of the platform entitled: Protecting Our Families; and Defending Our Nation, Supporting Our Heroes, Securing the Peace, respectively. My section of the platform included the subsection entitled: Immigration, National Security and the Rule of Law. I and several other members of the committee worked hard to insure we had an immigration plank that reflected the conservative position of the Party. This also was the longest section in the platform.
The immigration debate in subcommittee took up the majority of the time and was heavily attended by the press. The final product included the following key points:
• Border security is essential to national security;
• Uphold the rule of law;
• Complete the border fence;
• Secure the border;
• Enforcement is effective in reducing and reversing illegal immigration;
• E-Verify must be renewed and made mandatory nationwide;
• Requiring cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement;
• Penalizing sanctuary cities by withholding federal funds;
• We oppose amnesty, and
• English is the official language of our nation.
This subsection of the platform was approved by the entire platform committee with little debate, and will be voted on at the convention this coming Monday. It is the toughest plank on immigration ever approved by the Platform Committee and I fully expect it will pass on Monday.
Senator McCain’s platform staff did a great job of working with the Committee to help produce a solid platform for the Party.
On other matters, the Ohio Presidential Primary Plan was rejected by the Rules Committee. The process used in 2008 was modified for 2012 by moving the first primary date back to the first Tuesday following the first Monday in March. New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries were exempted from penalties for going before that date. So essentially, the only change was to move the first primary date from February to March.
More on the happenings in Minneapolis later this week.
Click to listen Download az_sos_jan_brewer_response_to_dnc.mp3
It’s always good to see an Arizona Governor talking about our state on the national stage, but she conveniently left out the circumstances of our state’s billion dollar budget deficit. The fact is that Barack Obama’s celebrity status is not going to help Arizonans, or any Americans, at all. We don’t need his higher taxes, more government spending, and his desire to separate us from the rest of the global economy.
We keep hearing from some Democrat leaders at the convention about their support of Obama, but a great many Democrats believe he’s just not ready to lead. Even Joe Biden agrees with that.
Not only has Obama voted against tax cuts and for tax increases nearly 100 times in his short career, he thinks we need more of the same. He’s wrong. There is no better way to kill jobs and move our American businesses oversees than to raise taxes during an economic downturn. It’s a terrible idea, and we’re better than that. John McCain will prove it.
Our Senator McCain has experience, good judgement, and strong character. He has done wonders representing our state in the United States Senate, and will do the same for the American people as President of The United States.
While Senator Obama downplays his loss in the Pennsylvania primary yesterday and Senator Clinton spins her win as a huge step forward, John McCain keeps rolling along, increasing his lead over both of them. Here is what we know after the votes in Pennsylvania were counted: Clinton and Obama are in a knock-down, drag-out fight. This fight is going to last a few more rounds, at least!
Neither Senators Clinton nor Obama have reached the required number of delegates to secure their party’s nomination and Democrats throughout the nation are starting to get a little worried. Democrat National Committee chairman Howard Dean has come out and practically demanded uncommitted superdelegates make a decision. Obama supporters are telling Clinton to get out of the race because she hasn’t won enough states and she is too divisive a figure to be the nominee. On the other side, Clinton supporters are touting her wins in the “big states” (California, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas) as proof of her broad support. Furthermore, Clinton herself has said Obama cannot win the general election against John McCain.
All of this amounts to not much more than political posturing. Both candidates will do anything to get their Party’s nomination and to get elected. As we have seen, they routinely try to out-liberal one another as they play to the base of their party. Unfortunately their ideas and their rhetoric often don’t match up. For example: Barack Obama has outwardly touted raising taxes on the “very wealthy”. One such tax Obama plans to increase is the capital gains tax, which he believes will tax only the wealthy. What he fails to realized is 79% of the 8.5 million tax filers who reported capital gains in tax year 2005 had incomes under $100K. Yes, Barack Obama’s tax increase is aimed directly at you.
The fact Clinton and Obama will continue to do battle for their Party’s nomination, maybe even going all the way to the Democrat convention in late August, serves John McCain and Republicans very well. There is no doubt the politics of personal destruction, which Clinton and Obama have perfected over the past months will be focused on John McCain at some point in the future. Until then, we Republicans can use this time to further unite behind our presumptive nominee and begin putting our grassroots network in motion. Retaining the White House this year will take an exceptional effort on the part of all Republicans. The Democrats continue to beat each other up and tear each other down. We must seize the day, seize the moment for party and country.
1. In Arizona today, what do you regard as the main differences between Republicans and Democrats?
MCCAFFREY: Arizona Republicans are getting the job done. We're working to protect the border which the governor failed to do, protect Arizona veterans which the governor failed to do, and protect our children which the governor failed to do. Next, we'll try to keep the Democrats in the legislature from raising taxes to pay for the crisis the governor's budget proposal would lead the state into.
2. Democrats are doing a bit better than Republicans in registration lately in Arizona, but both parties continue to lose voter registration share to Independents. Why do you think your party is not getting as many registered voters?
MCCAFFREY: Through the first six months of this year, GOP registration fell 2% and Democrat registration fell 2.9% while Independents gained 9.8%. In September, Republicans out-registered Democrats in Maricopa County and we believe that trend will continue and expand. While Democrats with their 11-percent approval rating in Congress don’t appear to have learned their lesson from past mistakes, Republicans have returned to their core principles of smaller government, lower taxes, stronger families, safer communities, better education for our children, and a secure border. Independents and, I hope, conservative Democrats, will again find a welcome home back in Arizona’s Grand Old Party.
3. Why do you think Independents largely vote Democrat in 2006 and appear to be strongly leaning that way in 2008?
MCCAFFREY: First, independents moved to leftward in 2006 not as a shift toward the Democrats in Arizona, but as a protest vote and a wake-up call for Republicans to hold true to Republican values, predominantly on fiscal issues like taxes and spending. Independents and conservative Democrats rejecting their own party are now responsible for the Democrat Congress having recently earned its 11-percent approval rating (the lowest in history). The challenge now for Republicans is to earn back those swing voters once more – like we did between 1994 and 2004.
4. Why do you think Democrats did so well in Arizona in last year's election, particularly in picking up two Congressional seats with the election of Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords? What are GOP strategies to retake them?
MCCAFFREY: First, I wasn't in Arizona and started at the state party on March 1, but it appeared to be something of a perfect storm: Democrats masquerading as Republicans, unhappy Independents, and a Republican Party that needed to find its way again. But three important factors to remember: this wasn’t a vote *for* the Democrats, these remain heavily GOP districts, and the freshmen Democrats now have a long, difficult record to explain and defend.
Harry Mitchell and Gabrielle Giffords have voted with Nancy Pelosi 89% and 92% of the time, respectively. For record-breaking budgets, against securing the borders, for secret union ballots, for the largest tax increases in history – for the liberal Democrat agenda they neglected to campaign on.
5. Republican Rep. Rick Renzi's decision to not seek re-election in the sprawling 1st Congressional District has thrown that race wide open. How do you win this seat, which has been held by Republicans despite a voter registration that favors Democrats?
MCCAFFREY: The first district is a classic swing district with a Republican edge because of several factors. The voters have been served well by Republicans in the US House and US Senate and the same reasons to vote Republican yesterday apply to voting for a qualified Republican candidate tomorrow.
6. Are GOP scandals threatening the core of Republican supporters? And is the Iraq war weighing heavily on GOP candidates this year?
MCCAFFREY: Scandals certainly had an impact in 2006, but we've always been good about learning from our mistakes. Democrats may promote their own congressmen who are caught by the FBI with $90,000 in corrupt money hidden in their freezer (Harry Mitchell voted for him), but we don't. We take these matters far more seriously, and voters recognize that.
Today, Arizona Republicans take extra care in our candidate recruitment and we teach extensive campaign finance and ethics at our campaign schools. Going the extra distance to prevent others' past mistakes is an important step to cleaning up government.
As for Iraq, the tide is turning very clearly in our favor. The President has just announced that our force in Iraq will be reduced by an entire brigade before the January. Even the left-leaning Washington Post is writing articles about how Al Qaeda in Iraq and the insurgents have been dealt “perhaps irreversible blows in recent months”. All this is detrimental to the Democrats and MoveOn.Org’s “America Can’t Win” election strategy.
The fact is, America can win and we will. That might not be how Nancy Pelosi or CNN wants to brand the war on terror, but that doesn't stop it from being the truth.
7. Immigration sharply divides the Republican Party. Until that issue is settled, how do you create a unified party going into an election? And are you afraid of losing the Hispanic vote, given the perceived racially charged rhetoric coming from the ultra-conservative right?
MCCAFFREY: First, 80% of Arizonans support border security. It’s hardly a divisive issue. The American people want to be secure. It’s the primary responsibility of government, and government isn’t doing its job. It’s about competence.
The Democrat Party loves trying to make this a racial issue. The critical distinction to make is a vast majority of Hispanic Arizonans are concerned about the guns, drugs and gang violence permeating the schools their children attend, too. The problem for the Democrat Party being morally-bankrupt and scaring people toward liberalism is that at the end of the day, Democrats still haven’t helped anyone.
8. Some social conservatives are saying they cannot vote for a pro-choice candidate such as Rudy Giuliani. If pro-life Republicans won't vote for a pro-choice nominee, why should pro-choice Republicans vote for a pro-life nominee?
MCCAFFREY: When it’s all said and done, I think you'll look back at this election cycle and see there were very few single issue voters.
9. I keep hearing about Arizona being a key state. In fact, all of the Southwest could play a major role in deciding who's elected president. For instance, if a Democrat wins the Southwest, he or she wouldn't need Florida or Ohio. What's your take on the Southwest?
MCCAFFREY: I think Southwest voters are no-nonsense voters who tolerate less of the politics and look for candidates with real solutions. Silliness like Democrats suggesting their congressional staff need to be vaccinated before going to NASCAR events or the Superbowl here in Arizona next year doesn't sit to well with bright, free-thinking voters in the Southwest. Results matter here.
10. Is having George Bush a plus or minus for GOP candidates? Most seem to be disassociating themselves from the president.
MCCAFFREY: Would you prefer a Democrat in the White House right now? Can you imagine the budget Hillary Clinton would be signing into law as your readers read this (assuming they could still afford their newspapers – and assuming you could still afford to print)? Seriously, though, 2008 is an open seat and I think you've seen candidates from both parties eager to talk about the need for change. What's will be interesting is if voters who are expecting more this election cycle buy into Senator Clinton's "I'm a DC-insider, I get it, I've got the DC experience" campaign.
11. Is there even such a thing as a Goldwater Republican anymore? His name is often evoked, but his principles less so.
MCCAFFREY: There is indeed a Goldwater Republican, and I would ask all those who read this to do two things: head to a bookstore or the library and take a look at Senator Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative. The first time I read it, I was shocked at how the conservative message hadn't really changed. Goldwater gave rise to a conservative movement which elected President Reagan, who set the stage for the 1994 Republican Revolution. Together, they put forth the notion that we can bring fundamental change to government. Real change, however, usually takes time – and that's not easy to accept in this age of 24-hour news cycles.
12. Which politicians or public policy experts do you admire? Why?
MCCAFFREY: I grew up with Ronald Reagan who said "What I'd really like to do is go down in history as the man who made Americans believe in themselves again." I grew up in politics with the Republican Revolution of 1994, and admired former Speaker Gingrich and those with him who tried very hard to change the way Washington did business: John Kasich, Dick Armey, John Boehner.
As Gingrich put it: "I'm not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it." For me, it's not about amending the tax code; it's about scrapping the code and starting fresh with something fair for everyone. It's about proving that no matter how big our nation is, government can indeed be reined in to again work for the people.
And, of course, as Victor Hugo said: "There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." That idea is change, and I think many of the answers are being brought forth from our reinvigorated Republican Party.
REPUBLICANS ARE TOO GLOOMY
by William Kristol
Republicans are downcast, depressed, and demoralized. Bush is unpopular. Cheney is even more unpopular. Scandals continue to bedevil congressional Republicans, and it's hard to see the GOP taking back either the House or Senate in 2008. History suggests it's not easy to retain the White House after eight years in power (viz. the elections of 1960, 1968, 1976, and 2000). And the Republican presidential candidates seem problematic, each in his own way.
Meanwhile, the Clinton coronation proceeds apace. Normally sensible commentators discourse on her Hamiltonian qualities and on today's liberals' Burkean ways. (If Hamilton and Burke weren't so used to having their memories misappropriated, they'd be spinning in their graves.) The American people, it's presumed, are too befogged by the mainstream media to see through pathetic Democratic stunts like rolling out a not-poor 12-year-old to read a radio script making the case for government-provided health insurance for allegedly poor children. And then Al Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize. It's too much to bear.
Well, fellow conservatives--grin and bear it. And cheer up! After all, among other recent American winners of the "Peace" prize were Jimmy Carter in 2002 and the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War in 1985. These turned out to be pretty good contrarian indicators for how the American people would vote in the next presidential election--to say nothing of what actually produces peace in the real world.
In that real world, conservative policies are working fine, and liberals are providing little in the way of alternatives. The Bush tax cuts have been thoroughly vindicated: National wealth is up, unemployment is down, and the federal deficit is lower than the day the 2003 tax cuts were passed (though the Bush administration seems incapable of explaining any of this). The Republican-passed Medicare prescription drug benefit is working well and coming in under cost. And does anyone lament the fact that the last big Democratic idea--HillaryCare--failed to become law? Would American health care be better off if Republicans had rolled over and let it pass?
On the Hill, we're about to have a big debate over eavesdropping and wiretapping--areas where Bush's policies have kept the country safe, and helped foil terror plots abroad too. The Democrats haven't figured out that they are being led over a substantive and political cliff by the ACLU. Bush's two Supreme Court appointments are turning out to be exemplary--the Court should be a big issue in 2008--and Clarence Thomas's memoir is the No. 1 bestseller in America.
Have you noticed we're winning the war in Iraq--despite the assurances of Democrats, including their Senate leader, that the war was already lost? It's going to become increasingly clear in the next year that the problem with the Bush administration has not been too much force, too much strength, too much support for democrats abroad. The problem, especially in the second term, was too little of all these. Bush's first-term policies liberated Afghanistan and Iraq, convinced Libya to give up its nuclear program and Pakistan to stop proliferating, and inspired liberal, democratic forces in Lebanon and Ukraine. Passivity (outside of Iraq) in his second term emboldened dictators from Iran to Syria to North Korea to Burma. But the solution to the failures of the Bush administration is a reinvigorated conservatism, strategically grounded and competently executed, accompanied by a thoroughgoing conservative/neoconservative (Burkean/Hamiltonian!) reform of the institutions of the U.S. government so as to secure America's interests in a dangerous world.
The Democratic nominee looks likely to be either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Hillary is furiously triangulating (it's a family tradition), criticizing Obama for saying he'd meet with the Iranian mullahs and then saying she would, voting for a hawkish resolution on Iran then cosponsoring a dovish one. But even Bill's triangulation got him only 43 percent of the vote in 1992 and 49 percent in 1996--and in terms of political skills, Hillary's no Bill. Obama, for his part, seems no more experienced in dealing with serious affairs of state than Jimmy Carter did in 1975. Obama could conceivably follow in Carter's footsteps and get the nomination--but America learns from her mistakes.
That's partly because the GOP nominee will be stronger than Gerald Ford (with all due respect to the memory of that decent man, who would have been a better president than Carter). While a half-term senator and a one-term senator fight it out for the Democratic nomination, the GOP candidates include an experienced senator who's a war hero, the most successful political chief executive in recent times, an impressive businessman/governor, and a canny lawyer/senator/actor with Washington experience and a nice, middle-American background and manner.
Here's what's likely to happen: When the nominees are selected next year, the Republican will be behind--just as the GOP nominee trailed, at various times, in the 1980, 1988, 2000, and 2004 campaigns. Then the Republican will rally and probably win. Look to 1988 for a model: a tired, two-term presidency, a newly invigorated Democratic Congress causing all kinds of problems for the administration, an intelligent, allegedly centrist Democratic nominee, and a bruising Republican primary with lots of unhappiness about the field of candidates. This resulted in a 17-point early lead for Michael Dukakis over George H.W. Bush, but an eventual Republican victory. True, the current Republican incumbent, George W. Bush, isn't Ronald Reagan. And the 2008 Republican nominee is going to have to chart his own path to victory. It will be a challenge. But it's a healthy one. Let McCain, Giuliani, Thompson, and Romney have at it. The competition will be good for them and good for the party, ensuring that the winner will be up to the task both of winning the presidency and leading the country.
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Democrats finally realize taking money from fugitives from justice is bad
Phoenix, AZ - “I’m amazed that Democrat candidates for president need to release statements pledging not take money from fugitives from justice,” said Randy Pullen, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. “I’m pleased this is now official policy for another leading Democrat US Senator running for President, and I believe it should be the policy of all Democrat candidates running for office, but I think it’s also sad that Democrats today have put themselves in a position where this sort of policy position has to be made.”
Pullen’s comments came a day after Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) released a statement stating "It is the policy of my campaign to refuse to accept or possess campaign contributions raised, solicited, or delivered by fugitives from justice." Recently, Democrats from Hillary Rodham Clinton to Barack Obama to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to the Democrat National Committee have admitted receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent campaign contributions from 15-year fugitive Norman Hsu. Hsu bilked over one million dollars from unsuspecting individuals in fake investment schemes and later fled prosecution while still raising major sums for Democrat causes.
“Taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from fugitives from justice might not be common sense to Democrats, but it is to the rest of America,” said Pullen. “But I thought that there might be other areas where Democrats are just missing the boat – so I spoke with Republican leaders from around the state and we’re offering up this short ‘Top-Ten’ list of common sense things we’ve determined your average Democrat Party Leader, presidential candidate and or Member of Congress might not have figured out yet:
“10. If you don’t take money that isn’t yours, you won’t have to hide it in your freezer.
“9. Investment creates opportunity, not taxes – and certainly not the government.
“8. Surrender is never an option… not to terrorists, not to anyone.
“7. A secure America is a safe America.
“6. Money for schools should be spent in the classroom – on our kids.
“5. You can’t tax and spend your way to prosperity.
“4. Arizona ranks #1 in the nation in rape, car theft, armed robbery and violent assault… maybe it’s time Democrats stopped worrying about letting felons vote and started worry about why there are so many felons.
“3. What children learn in school is more important than where they go to school.
“2. Democrat leaders negotiating with state-sponsors of terrorism is not a path to peace.
“1. Working hard and dreaming big, there is much we can do to help make Arizona an even greater place to call home – but it doesn’t involve bigger government, higher taxes, felons voting, or the status quo. It involves common sense solutions that put Arizona first, each time, every time.”
“If the Democrats can realize that it’s bad to take money from criminals, perhaps they may eventually see the light and realize that the same is true with the taxpayers,” quipped Pullen.
For more information, please contact Brett Mecum at 602.957.7770 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOENIX, AZ – The results of the new KAET poll are in and Arizona voters prefer Republican candidates over Democrat frontrunner Hillary Rodham-Clinton. Arizona’s United States Senator, John McCain bests Mrs. Rodham-Clinton by a margin of 48% to 36%, while former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani wins 49% to 27%. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson both beat out Rodham-Clinton by 43% to 41% and 43% to 40% respectively.
“It’s clear that it’s the Republican message of lower taxes, less government, strong families, a secure border, better education and safer communities that resonates with the people of Arizona,” said Randy Pullen, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party. “Arizonans and Americans are not interested in higher taxes, they are not interested in socialized healthcare, they are not interested in surrendering in Iraq, they are appalled by Rodham –Clinton’s latest fundraising scandal, and they are certainly not interested in another Clinton in the White House.”
Pullen continued, “The results of this new poll show that Arizona will play a pivotal roll in the selection of the next President of the United States and that it is Republicans that have the best ideas and have the best candidates and are prepared to lead tomorrow’s America.”
The full results of the poll can be found here: http://www.azpbs.org/horizon/poll/2007/8-28-07.htm
For more information, please contact Brett Mecum at 602.957.7770 or at email@example.com.
PHOENIX, AZ – Randy Pullen, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party was very pleased with the results of a new Los Angeles Times - Bloomberg poll showing that Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, or John McCain would best Hillary Clinton in a head to head match up in the race for president.
“I think that Americans have come to see that it’s Republican ideas, leadership, and vision that provide the best opportunity to move America forward,” said Pullen. “While Hillary Clinton and her Democrat rivals continue to play the politics of personal destruction and cater to the extremist wing of the Democrat Party, it’s the Republican candidates that are actively putting forth constructive solutions to solve the problems of today and tomorrow.”
Pullen continued, “We live in a turbulent time, and we need strong vision, character, and unwavering leadership to guide our great nation through yet another crossroads of history. Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democrats just do not have the talent, ability, or fortitude to ensure America’s prominence endures.”
For more information, please contact Brett Mecum, at 602.957.7770.
With all the excitement in South Carolina tonight, we thought we'd conduct a poll and see who you thought was the big winner in the debate. So call your friends, family and neighbors and vote for who you thought did the best. Voting will be open until midnight Sunday, May, 20, 2007. The results of the poll will be posted right here on Pullen for the Party and sent out in our weekly newsletter, The Tusk Times.
Paid for by the Arizona Republican Party
Not authorized by any candidate or committee.
Arizona Republican Party
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Phoenix, Arizona 85016