Three years is an Eternity in the Republican Party, at Least in Arizona

Turn the clock back to January 2013, when AJ LaFaro was campaigning for chairmanship of the Maricopa County Party, an organization representing about 750,000 Republican voters and eligible to have a voting population of about 6,500 precinct committeemen.

Though most of committeemen slots were vacant, and most of the rest failed to even attend the meeting (what else is new), LaFaro gave an impassioned speech to the group assembled. Read his entire speech, but here’s an important highlight from his campaign speech that day:

There’s probably four groups we align ourselves with – the establishment, the conservatives, the Tea Partiers and the Ron Paul supporters. Each with unique ideologies and beliefs. Many are the same – some are not. 

If elected your next Chairman, I would immediately call for a détente of these four groups to come together, clearly identify our common and unique ideologies. 

He won that election.

Fast forward to today, and anyone who heard him speak at the last months Maricopa County and state GOP meetings might be wondering what rabbit hole LaFaro shoved the detente in to.

LaFaro brought up his resolution to endorse “anyone but McCain” and cajoled a number of others attending to sign on, then moved to try and censure Chairman Robert Graham, making wild accusations of Graham breaking the law.

It’s not just McCain’s and his electoral success which have been targeted by LaFaro: A few months after giving the detente speech, LaFaro called fellow Republican Gov. Jan Brewer “Judas” and said Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin and Republican Senate President Steve Pierce should be thankful there’s no “gallows in Prescott’s town square.”

And what’s the deal about LaFaro wanting to be the “voice of the people?” In this country, we express our voice with our vote, right?

In his first run for Congress John McCain won the Republican primary in 1982 and won the general as well. He won again in 1984, and in 1986 successfully ran for the U.S. Senate. He’s won his Republican Senate primary each and every time, and even beating significant primary challengers like JD Hayworth 56 to 32 percent before beating the Democrat nominee. When Arizona Republican voters have spoken, every time they’ve chosen McCain.

LaFaro? He once tried to overturn another “voice of the people” in 2001 when he failed in a recall election to remove Tempe Mayor Neil Guiliano. So much for respecting the will of the people.

As of today, the highest elected office LaFaro’s achieved is the one he lied to get.

Hey, it’s politics. People say stuff, people go back on their promises, people lie, people do what they do and change from one year to the next. But McCain’s been re-elected many, many times. LaFaro, not even once.

So the next time you hear LaFaro say, “I’m not leaving the party, the party’s leaving me”… let’s hope he’s right. Recently he compared Robert Graham to Hitler, Satan, and Joseph Goebbels. Even LaFaro’s ideological brethren are starting to realize that for LaFaro this pursuit is less about ideology than it is his desire for relevancy. Recently he took shots at Tyler Bowyer, tried to claim credit for the legislature’s recent ballot harvesting bill proposal (even though he wasn’t at any of the important hearings) and he also gave himself an important title of National Director of Arizona Republican Assembly. Leaving many to wonder how anyone can be a national director of a state organization?

(See the following article for more)

LaFaro is if nothing else, entertaining to watch. His one loyal follower seems to be urban cowboy Andrew Constanzo. The tough talking Cowboy recently lost his run for Vice Chairman in Maricopa County. He lost last year to Alberto Gutier for Sergeant at Arms. While LaFaro is good at making noise, it seems his teams only core competency is losing. LaFaro lists Bill Clinton as one of the people he admires. With all these losses, perhaps like Slick Willy, LaFaro will triangulate back to being a unifier.

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