AJ Lafaro has been calling for the GOP to close itself to independents, cast out all non-believers and prove it is a private organization. If he does that, the party will truly be private and taxpayers will no longer be on the hook. The party will have to finance its own caucus or spend millions in elections. So what does AJ Lafaro do when Robert Graham asks the party delegates to spend a modest fee on a private state convention? Sound the alarm! This is a poll tax! Voter suppression! File a lawsuit! Apparently AJ wants the party to be a private organization but only if Robert Graham raises the money for it.
AJ LaFaro just loves to make noise. While most Republican activists with the slightest whiff of experience and cluefulness have learned to tune him out as “AJ just being AJ again,” once in a while he comes up with a whopper so stunning, so wild, so magnificent in its hypocrisy, so abjectly impoverished of introspection and self-awareness, that even the most jaded among us must pause to stare and shake our heads.
Exhibit A is his long-running disinformation campaign accusing Arizona GOP Chairman Robert Graham of violating rules that don’t exist – rules that AJ seems to make up as he goes along. Such as a supposed requirement to hand over the Party’s email list to anyone who puts his name in for a state board position. No thanks, AJ – we don’t need your endless rants and spam.
But let’s talk about AJ and rules for a moment. The truth is, AJ LaFaro has never met a rule he doesn’t like. Except the ones that apply to him. In his own two-year Reign of Error as MCRC Chairman, here’s a recap of some of his bylaws violations:
- AJ never produced a budget for the committee, as required in Art. I, Sec. 3, B (6). Well, who needs a budget when your only fundraiser consists of “passing the hat” for cash and never bothering to disclose the thousands in donations from PC pockets?
- AJ reimbursed himself routinely for expenses taken unilaterally; e.g., monthly rental of a storage unit in his own name for items from the MCRC West Valley office after he lost the lease on the office. And our personal favorite, the retainer of $5,000 paid to his attorney for legal fees he incurred by slandering a young activist for his personal aggrandizement – negotiated down by a board member from his initial demand of a secret check to him personally for “anticipated legal expenses.” Yes, the same attorney who tried to put MCRC on the hook for AJ’s fraudulent folly. Even if these “reimbursed” expenses might ever have been deemed “reasonable” in performance of his duties, they were not budgeted and therefore were not to be compensated without EGC approval as required in Art. I, Sec. 3, B (7).
- AJ never appointed an audit committee, as required annually in Art. I, Sec. 3, F (4). Given his own improper spending, it’s no wonder he’s pressured his young protégé Tyler Bowyer to violate this requirement as well.
- In his witch hunt against PCs who endorsed non-Republicans – some of them in addition to Republicans running for multiple seats in non-partisan elections – AJ denied them the notice and due process required in Art. VI, Sec. B, and tried to impose other penalties that he made up just for the heck of it. When they fought back with a legal challenge, he backed down to a “censure,” a favorite tactic of his. Afterward, without any authority on the matter whatsoever, he told them they weren’t allowed to access voter data within their own precincts and pressured Bowyer to uphold his arbitrary “ruling.”
- On his way out the door as a disgraced lame-duck failure, AJ submitted over a hundred PCs for appointment in violation of Art. II, Sec. 2, C – bypassing those who were awaiting legal appointments in the same precincts – in his own personal executive amnesty order. And again he pressured Bowyer to let his dirty work stand.
Follow the bylaws? Bylaws seem to be for other chairmen. And so are Convention rules. As chairman of the former LD17 (Tempe/Scottsdale) in early 2012, he didn’t even bother notifying Scottsdale PCs of his LD caucus to elect state delegates. Some never knew until this year that they had been excluded.
So now he tries to smear Chairman Graham with crazy accusations of “unconstitutional poll tax” for a modest fee (lower than in several other states) to defray costs of the State Convention – although Graham has already been told repeatedly by lawyers all the way up through the RNC that his Convention plans are 100% legit and legal. Oh, wait, did somebody say “unconstitutional”? How funny. AJ didn’t seem too worried about the Constitution when he asked his LD chairman to “declare our meetings a gun-free zone” because he doesn’t like an elected PC showing up in uniform. Does LaFaro’s Constitution contain the Second Amendment? I guess not.
From city elections to the national stage, AJ LaFaro’s tenure in the Republican Party is one of endless failure and frustration. The frustration is increasingly our’s as he continues to waste countless hours of PCs’ precious time that could be spent on the primary campaigns of candidates they support. Could somebody please find this guy a hobby? Maybe there’s room for him in the Democrat party. After all, he’s already one of their best weapons against hard-working, ethical Republicans.