Arizona’s ACORN

Occasionally, I slit my proverbial wrists and read the Phoenix New Times. Upon hearing a rumor yesterday that a campaign had begun to recall Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce, I went looking for the article and was shocked to find that the Somos Republicans were leading the way, along with Democrats and Libertarians (add a few Green Party candidates and they’d spontaneously combust). Aside from the fact that I believe the Somos Republicans to be flirting with RINO status, I was surprised to read a blip at the very end of that article that announced a rumor of a SECOND recall effort.

Today I looked on the New Times’ website and, sure enough, a second recall effort has been started. A group calling itself Citizens for a Better Arizona now has a FaceBook group page on which it has posted its leaders, its intent – and some potentially damning information on the level with another ACORN-like move.

The “info” tab contains the announcement of the new group and the campaign…it starts out a little something like this:

Over the past couple of months people have been meeting in Mesa and other parts of Arizona to develop a strategy to recall Senator Russell Pearce. Out of those discussions came the idea of creating Citizens for a Better Arizona to bring together people from all walks of life with the same committed goal of removing State Senate President Russell Pearce from office. Our numbers are growing rapidly as word spreads about this important movement.

Now, there was another group with the same name that went belly-up in 2006 after losing too much money. This is an entirely different group which, as the announcement points out, “officially” began this morning. That is despite this announcement on Google and this, from their newest announcement:

Strategies have been planned and implemented with our “Hold Russell Pearce Accountable” campaign , including our January 10th event at the capitol, our January 15th District 18 Door-to-door canvass and our January 22nd town hall meeting in District 18. These efforts also include fundraising, community outreach to other supporters throughout Maricopa, and as of this morning the official formation our newly formed political committee – Citizens for a Better Arizona.

If the group just formed this morning, then why were they raising political funds all month? In Arizona, any political committee that intends to accept contributions is required to register before ever taking one red cent or distributing a single flyer – if they will only take in less than $500 annually, they are required to file an exemption. Here’s the part of their announcement where they boast about the funds they’ve already raised:

We are a well-established group that has what it takes to raise the necessary funds both across the state and across the nation and we’re rapidly closing on $10,000 already raised to help us achieve our goals!

They even took a thinly-veiled stab at the Somos Republicans here:

It takes courage to undertake this important effort. And while anyone can draft a petition to start a recall, it is good organizational skills and dogged determination that will actually get the job done. While other groups are welcome to undergo their own efforts, the results cannot be combined (signatures from one group can’t be added to those of another). We urge everyone who has a true commitment to removing Russell Pearce from office to be part of our diverse and non-partisan coalition. Together we can succeed!

Here’s the kicker: they’re offering part-time jobs for people to go canvassing for their efforts:

Finally, as planned, we are moving forward on Monday, January 31, 2011 at 12:00 noon to file our recall petition at the Arizona State Capitol, and because of our successful efforts at fundraising, we are launching our paid canvassing operation to collect signatures in District 18 on Monday afternoon. Now is not the time to hold potlucks to plan strategy. Now is the time to implement the plan. We hope you will join us to show your support!

Sincerely,

Citizens for a Better Arizona

PS. If you are interested in working part-time (16 hours a week) on this campaign please contact us. Canvassers will earn $10/hour. Volunteers will also go door-to-door on weekends to collect signatures.

Where’s the money coming from? We don’t know, because the group isn’t registered as a political committee in Arizona. How are they going to pay the part-time canvassers who will go door-to-door to collect signatures on a petition to recall District 18 Senator Russell Pearce? Well…there’s something to be said about Michelle Malkin’s hard work in calling out union thugs.

The group was founded by Randy Parraz, who finished dead last in the Democratic primary last year to attempt to unseat John McCain. Parraz originally came to Arizona in 2002 as the state leader of the AFL-CIO. His Linkedin profile says that he is currently a political organizer for the Laborer’s International Union. Last year, when the Teamster’s Local 104 held a strike against Tucson public bus company Sun Tran, Parraz joined the picket line to shake hands and kiss babies and show just how much of a “working man” he is (never mind the fact that he went to UC-Berkeley for a law degree and Harvard for a master’s in public administration – yep, he’s a working schlub just like you and me!).

Think we’ll get any answers? I’d give that a resounding NO. The unions don’t answer for anything these days. Organizations that used to be about protecting the rights of workers are now about getting the biggest and the best, regardless of the cost. Union refusal to budge on pay rates and annual pay raises for police officers and firefighters in Camden, NJ cost the city 168 police officers and 67 firefighters.

Randy Parraz is playing a dirty political game that already downed one major organization. His law degree and years with the unions tell me that he knows he’s playing with fire and doesn’t care. With the unions getting a free pass that exempts them from Obamacare and any and all ethics laws (campaign finance among them), why should he be afraid?

I should mention that ARS 16-919 specifically prohibits labor unions from making large contributions to any political campaigns or committees. Corporations and LLC’s are barred, too. The only exceptions (listed in ARS 16-914) are “cumulative” expenditures (meaning multiple transactions, not block contributions) of $5000 for statewide elections, $2500 for legislative elections, and they must be reported in detail to the secretary of state’s office PRIOR to the transaction. ARS 16-902.1 states that ANY “political committee that intends to accept contributions or make expenditures of more than five hundred dollars shall file a statement of organization with the filing officer before accepting contributions, making expenditures, distributing any campaign literature or circulating petitions.”

Citizens for a Better Arizona has reportedly been operating for at least two months according to their own announcement posted today…and I can’t find a single listing for them with the AZ secretary of state. OOPS.

UPDATE: The FaceBook page maintained by Citizens for a Better Arizona has been changed. The announcement posted yesterday about the “official founding” of the group was, as expected, removed. Gone are the sections bragging about already having ten grand in funds and being in the works for two months despite not being registered with the secretary of state. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what screenshots are for (and believe me, I have plenty of them…click for larger images):

UPDATE: Randy Parraz has been removed as an admin on the Facebook page – and two known Democratic Party employees are now pictured as “volunteers” at Desert Free Press, a website that is stumping hard for this committee.

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32 thoughts on “Arizona’s ACORN

  1. Gay Conservatives? That’s an oxymoron. Go ahead and support the same bigots who oppose equal rights for gays and anyone else who isn’t a straight, Christian, white male.

  2. I was gonna hold back on this, because I’ve said it before, but apparently you need a lesson or two on reality.

    I have gotten more hate from liberals like you for being conservative than I have ever gotten from any conservative for being a lesbian. EVER. A majority of the conservatives I know are completely capable of sitting down and having a civil discussion about politics. They’re even willing to agree to disagree on my sexual orientation. When those folks who really are anti-gay find out what I believe politically and we talk about it, nine times out of ten they change their minds about gay people. Being willing to have a conversation rather than using insults and shock value to force my orientation on the world has won me a great deal of respect.

    Liberals, though? I’ve had liberals actually attempt to start fist fights with me when they find out what my politics are. I’ve been called every name imaginable – deviant, traitor, Uncle Tom, idiot, sellout, hatemonger, self-loathing closet case, and a slew of foul names that I won’t repeat here. Deviant is my personal favorite. Why? The gay community absolutely despises Christian groups who call them “sexual deviants” and they have labeled all Christians de facto hatemongers for calling them deviants. All of this is done while they scream “teach tolerance” and carry banners calling for peace and tolerance. Duplicity, thy name is Liberalism.

    I would rather be considered a living oxymoron by a pack of fools than sell out to an idealism that I do not believe in in order to find acceptance.

  3. Screen shots or not, all of the monies referenced are merely pledges. There is nothing illegal or unusual about that. No actual money has been collected and/or spent on canvassing at this point.

    If you want more information about the group of community leaders who are working together to get this started, you can watch the press conference here. It isn’t just Randy Parraz. http://desertfreepress.com/content/citizens-better-arizona-hold-their-first-press-conference-video

  4. I’ve read that blog.

    All monies referenced are merely “pledges”? Then why is the money being listed as having been “raised”? If that’s what it is, then your organization will have no problem whatsoever coughing up the documents to prove it.

  5. As a gay male, what I don’t tolerate is hate. I agree that hate is not limited to any single political organization,and I am tired of being bullied for what I am. Many of my gay friends are never fully accepted as conservatives by other conservatives. They are often referred to as “moderates” at best by fellow Republicans. It’s frustrating that AZ refuses to recognize gay marriage as a right to the gay community
    My partner and I shouldn’t have to leave the state just because ignorant people will not legally recognize us as domestic partners. It has often been the efforts of conservative law makers to keep the gay marriage ban alive and well. http://mesa18.com/candidates/russell_pearce.htm One person’s definition of marriage isn’t everybody’s definition.

  6. “Gay Conservative”?

    No, Mel. “Gay Conservative” is indeed an oxymoron. You are aligned with people who do not have your best interests in mind. You are working for politicos that will exploit you and abandon you.

    Call me what you will; I am certainly not a Liberal. I write to you not out of any sort of hatred. I am neither Conservative or Liberal, just sensible.

    I agree with the idea that “Gay Conservative” is a condition in conflict, an oxymoron.

  7. Sense and sensibility? Oh, my. You are deluded.

    If you’re speaking from common sense, then please tell me – what is in our best interests? Marriage? The right to serve? Yes, I would like the right to marry, but it is not currently my BEST interest. The way things are right now, jobs, national security, and our strongest allies are our best interests. If America is torn down through economic hardship or terrorism, then our rights as gay people will cease to exist entirely. What will we do with those rights if we’re no longer free to exercise them?

    Liberals are destroying this country. I’m sick of hearing that we need to do what’s best for everybody. That was how Nazi Germany was born – the government doing what was best for everyone. Shutting down certain industries because of unproven theories is killing jobs; simply opening up drilling here in the US could drastically improve our current circumstances and open up a whole new world of possibilities for clean energy because we might actually have the money to pursue those interests.

    Instead, we have liberals who would prefer to force their ideals on everybody rather than have a civil conversation. Telling me that I cannot be a gay conservative, no matter how you word it, is NOT civil. It is insulting, and it is far from tolerant.

  8. “No, Mel. “Gay Conservative” is indeed an oxymoron. You are aligned with people who do not have your best interests in mind. You are working for politicos that will exploit you and abandon you.”

    That IS so FUNNY!!!! You just described perfectly how the Democrats have been treating gays for over 40 years. Promise everything, deliver nothing and when called out, point how how the other guys and gals are far worse. In other words, all I do is slap you in face. The other guys will break every bone in your body. So turn the other cheek because I am ready to swing away.

  9. What you should have been looking for on the Arizona Secretary of State website is what is known as a “recall committee.” Here is the link of all of the current recall committees:

    http://www.azsos.gov/cfs/GeneralSummarySearch.aspx?t=97

    ARIZONANS FOR BETTER GOVERNMENT filed last Thursday and CITIZENS FOR A BETTER ARIZONA filed on Friday. There are a total of six recalls in effect right now. Your article needs to be amended to include this information.

    Also, if you were looking for Citizens for a Better Arizona under the trade names and corporation names section and assuming that just because you couldn’t find the current recall committee that something shady was going on, then you should have done a similar search for Arizonans for Better Government. They aren’t listed there either.

  10. A recall committee, especially one that’s raising funds, is still classified as a political committee – one that is attempting to affect the outcome of an election (in this case, trying to bring about a new one). Arizonans for Better Government doesn’t have my backing, but at least they’re telling the truth when they say they’re not accepting any monetary contributions. Yours is listed as having no money when clearly, by your own admission, you DO. You’re also about to start hiring people to go canvassing for you.

    The rules still apply.

  11. None of the recall committees are listed as having money. However, if you look at the John McCain recall committee, there are reports that have to be filed at certain times. Those reports contain the financial statements, not the application. The Arizonans for Better Government and the new Committee to Recall Arizona Governor Jan Brewer also do not have reports filed yet. Just give it time. There isn’t anything unusual happening here. Don’t read so much between the lines without researching it first. All you had to do was call them and ask before writing about it.

    PS…I’m not a member of the organization, just someone who found this link when looking them up on Google.

  12. Wait, I’m confused. Which is it, Eura? Did they pledge the money? Is that why it’s “technically” allowed? Or is it because they’re a special recall election group?

    If it is the first, then they lied to the public. Raising money means RAISING it.

    If you think it is the second, I hope for your sake that you really aren’t involved in this Union and Dem backed effort. Anyone involved could go down with the captain of that love boat. Raising money for any political effort related to a planned OR hoped for election still needs fiscal accountability. That’s why it is ILLEGAL to do it before you file your committee.

    If anything, the effort by the Union Democrat group is just going to make Russell stronger. Mesa voters hate unions and Russell is wearing this particular recall as an armband of pride. Look what you guys did. You just made it worse for yourselves.

  13. They’ve done for gays what they’ve done for everybody else – reduce the size and power of government, lower taxes and keep us safe. Why is that not registering on your radar? There have been Republicans that I didn’t like, that’s why I call myself conservative rather than simply a Republican. Bush, for instance, did things I didn’t appreciate.

    We are not the only people in this country. I am not willing to only cast my vote for those who promise to do something that will only benefit me. After the Democrats gave us DADT and DOMA, you don’t have any room to talk.

  14. Be specific. After all . . . your blog is for “gay” conservatives. Can you answer the question: “What has the Republican Party accomplished specifically for the benefit of gay people?”
    The answer is “Nothing” unless you can tell me otherwise. Be specific and do not dance me around with “They’ve done things to help everybody.” Be specific.

  15. I guess you can’t answer that question.

    I thought so.

    Why don’t you change the name of your blog from “Gay Conservative” to “The Conservative Who Also Happens to be Gay (Not That It Really Matters)”?

    I think it is YOU who is deluded.

    Good luck spinning yourself out of THIS hole, Gay Conservative Mel.

  16. I have two jobs and a girlfriend, so stuff it. I can’t get online whenever the hell I want. I have a life. If I take more than a few hours to respond to something, I will respond if and when I damn well please.

    I WAS SPECIFIC. Conservatives care about limited government – stopping the excessive regulation of everything in our lives. We care about national security – stopping the next 9/11 from happening and, if it should come to pass, responding in a way that does NOT include tucking tail and running away while screaming apologies. We care about the economy – not spending ourselves into a hole that three generations down the line will still be paying for. Yes, those are things that are positive for gay people. You have not answered the very factual point that I made that gay marriage will cease to matter if our freedoms are completely eroded by liberals who want to enact social justice.

    Repealing DADT is nothing more than fixing an error. A DEMOCRAT signed that into law. The same aforementioned Democrat also gave us DOMA. Our current President defends DOMA as a wise decision, as do the vast majority of Democrats, so don’t play this “Dems don’t want a federal marriage amendment” BS. We already have one thanks to them. When are you going to answer that without making a demand of me? Oh, that’s right…you can’t.

  17. Again . . . What have the Republicans done For Gays?

    Answer this question without adding that it was Democrats put DADT into place or that it was Democrats who gave us DOMA. WHAT HAVE THE REPUBLICANS DONE FOR GAYS?

    Do you think you can answer with using “Democrat” or “Democratic party” or any other reference, in any way shape or form, to Democrats?

    WHAT HAVE THE REPUBLICANS DONE FOR GAYS?

    Answer? NOTHING.

    NOTHING!

    And . . . This is why you are a Republican? Because the Republicans have done nothing.

    Indeed, you are the “deluded” one . . . only now I see you as doubly-deluded: Not only are you in favor of the Republicans (because they have done nothing for GAYS), but you are also in favor of the Republicans (because they have done nothing).

    FINALLY (and if you cannot answer this question, you are indeed a total and complete waste of everybody;s time) . . . . WHAT HAVE THE REPUBLICANS DONE FOR GAYS?

  18. CORRECTION: Do you think you can answer WITHOUT using “Democrat” or “Democratic party” or any other reference, in any way shape or form, to Democrats?

  19. “And so, Mel . . . Tell me what the Republicans have done for Gays? Anything?”

    Here in California the state Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. Of the 7 judges on that court, 5 were appointed by Republican governors. That’s a huge win for gays and Republican appointed judges delivered it.

    What have the Democrats done:

    Bill Clinton said he would repeal the ban on gays in the military. He did not do that. Then he signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Some liberal eh?

    During his campaign the Obama said he did not support redefining marriage. But he sure urged the defeat of Measure 8 here in CA. You can’t have it both ways. But he sure did try.

    How many times have the Democrats had a majority in both houses? Where is a Federal law banning workpalce and housing discrimination for gays?

    What have Republicans done? They have never ever lied to us!

  20. “And . . . This is why you are a Republican? Because the Republicans have done nothing.”

    O.K. Sense you tell me what my political view is based on the following:

    I am gay.

    I support small government with limited power.

    I favor low taxes.

    I believe in freedom.

    I believe in personal responsibility.

    I do not support the dealth penalty unless police are the murder vicitms.

    I am against abortion unless the baby results from rape, incest or endangers the life of the mother.

    I believe and know socialism in any form in evil and destructive.

    I believe in God and country without fail. My God never wrong and my country right or wrong.

    Do those views sound liberal? Do they sound like Democratic party views?

    I am a Republican because the party best matches up to my views.

    You probably think because I diddle with men I have to be liberal and support liberals. If I let my dingus run my life then I’d be in major trouble.

  21. Anonymous says:

    “Gay Conservative? That’s an oxymoron. Go ahead and support the same bigots who oppose equal rights for gays and anyone else who isn’t a straight, Christian, white male. “

    Who the hell are you? Probably just another America bashing, self-hating leftist white weirdo. Republicans are bigots? Really? This, probably coming from someone who embraces Muslim fag haters who hang gays from ropes. I’m a lifelong gay CONSERVATIVE Republican. This is not some new thing I thought I’d take up for shock value. I’m also a white male. If you don’t like that, you can go screw yourself. What’s wrong? Thought you could make a career out of being gay? The novelty has worn off. Perhaps you were born too late.

    Sense & Sensibility says:

    “WHAT HAVE REPUBLICANS DONE FOR GAYS?”
    “Answer?”
    “NOTHING!”
    “Be specific… After all, your blog is for ‘gay’ conservatives.”

    Conservatives are trying keep this country INTACT. When you’re gay, it helps to have a country to be gay IN. As Mel alluded to, your hard-fought rights won’t matter, if our freedoms are completely eroded. As a tangentially related matter… If a Muslim get’s anywhere near me with a rope (and his micropenis), he’s gonna look like a f***ing jigsaw puzzle.

    What’s wrong now? Would you like me to “tone down” my “political rhetoric”. A more “civil discourse”. Jared Loughner… All the left had to hear was Democrat, Arizona, and white shooter. You could almost hear the corks popping (and the sex toys come out of their packaging). Initial reports of an accomplice, too. A white man twice Loughner’s age. It all held so much promise for you sick bastards, didn’t it? That fell through. Just the cab driver. Your efforts to implicate certain people and/or groups of people in the Tucson shooting turned out to be an EPIC FAIL.

    Screw this. Why should I bother with your nasty asses. I also have this thing called A LIFE (and life’s too short for some internet back and forth with two anonymous leftist hacks).

  22. I DID ANSWER YOUR QUESTION. You just didn’t like my answer. I was very to-the-point, actually. Let me sum it up for you again, since you are obviously illiterate: a) I’m not going to support a party that promises to give all kinds of concessions to my community and cannot deliver; b) I believe politics is about everybody, not just me; c) there are other issues – such as the economy, terrorism, and education to worry about that DO affect me as a gay person; d) I support conservatism because THAT IDEAL BUILDS THOSE THINGS UP. Gay people aren’t the only people playing this game.

    Do you understand now, or are you going to throw another temper tantrum because you think I’m not answering your question? It’s not going to matter what I say, because unless I tell you that I’m changing my mind and going liberal because Republicans haven’t done anything for gays, you won’t be satisfied.

    As a matter of fact, judge Vaughn Walker was originally nominated by Ronald Reagan in 1987. A group of Democrats that included Nancy Pelosi halted Walker’s nomination. Walker was the first known openly gay man to be nominated for the federal bench. George H.W. Bush re-nominated him in 1989 and he was appointed. Last year, he struck down Proposition 8 in California.

  23. Mel Maguire says:

    “I believe politics is about everybody, not just me;”

    Absolutely. My sexual orientation is not my life. There are other things going on. Illegal immigration, China, Obama (arrogant prick) denigrating America every two seconds. That’s right, I said it. Read the damn thing again. He is arrogant. He is incompetent. He is a tyrant. OTHER THINGS! The Muslim “religion”, for example. Yes, Islam. The new pet religion of the left.

    As a gay conservative Republican, I’ve never had problems doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. I was a fixture in West Hollywood. Big into the club scene and parties. There were no (other) Republicans trying to stop me (from screwing half of California). I have no interest in pretending to be an oppressed minority.

    “Oh, but Tyler… I’m so oppressed by the ‘homophobe’ Republican ‘tea baggers’… blah blah…I can’t marry another guy and call him my ‘husband’. I can’t enlist in the military, because I can’t ‘be who I am’… blah blah, freakin’ blah…”

    Shut the hell up. I’m sick of this crap. The world does not revolve around your sexual orientation. The rabid leftist America hating gay activist types… “I’m gay. You better not disapprove of that. You need to approve of it. Not only do you need to approve of it, you need to LIKE it. You can’t just like it, you need to EMBRACE it. You can’t just embrace it, you need to ‘CELEBRATE’ it. If you don’t, you’re a ‘homophobe’!”.

  24. This is just a test. I’m going to copy my last post, without using HTML tags to quote someone. Hopefully, the text will not be indented.

    Mel Maguire says:

    “I believe politics is about everybody, not just me;”

    Absolutely. My sexual orientation is not my life. There are other things going on. Illegal immigration, China, Obama (arrogant prick) denigrating America every two seconds. That’s right, I said it. Read the damn thing again. He is arrogant. He is incompetent. He is a tyrant. OTHER THINGS! The Muslim “religion”, for example. Yes, Islam. The new pet religion of the left.

    As a gay conservative Republican, I’ve never had problems doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. I was a fixture in West Hollywood. Big into the club scene and parties. There were no (other) Republicans trying to stop me (from screwing half of California). I have no interest in pretending to be an oppressed minority.

    “Oh, but Tyler… I’m so oppressed by the ‘homophobe’ Republican ‘tea baggers’… blah blah…I can’t marry another guy and call him my ‘husband’. I can’t enlist in the military, because I can’t ‘be who I am’… blah blah, freakin’ blah…”

    Shut the hell up. I’m sick of this crap. The world does not revolve around your sexual orientation. The rabid leftist America hating gay activist types… “I’m gay. You better not disapprove of that. You need to approve of it. Not only do you need to approve of it, you need to LIKE it. You can’t just like it, you need to EMBRACE it. You can’t just embrace it, you need to ‘CELEBRATE’ it. If you don’t, you’re a ‘homophobe’!”.

  25. “There were no (other) Republicans trying to stop me (from screwing half of California). ”

    Just half? LOL. What the hell was wrong with the other half! Screw it all my good man.

  26. John In CA says:

    “Just half? LOL.”

    Some exaggeration for effect, of course. I’ve taken to using parenthesis as bookends for some of the more inflammatory and lewd comments. I had a pretty good run, but there was only so much time. Back in those days, I’d have considered my current age as something like “half past dead”. It was a “get it while you can” mentality. Thought I could get it all out of my system while I was young.

  27. “Thought I could get it all out of my system while I was young.”

    LOL. I so fondly remember my 20’s. What it lacked in sheer volume it more than made up for in quality.

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