Shope Holds Up Proxy Bill, Activists Outraged

State Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, rules committee chair

Republican activists are growing impatient with Arizona House of Representatives’ Rules Committee Chair T.J. Shope for apparent refusal to allow a  hearing of HB2012. HB2012, known as the Proxy Bill, would prohibit precinct committeemen from voting more than two proxies at the political parties’ state, county and legislative district level meetings.

Currently, according to activists, both the Republican and Democratic parties’ establishment use proxies to block the efforts and candidates of grassroots’ membership. Activists argue that the candidates, who want to be elected by the people for the benefit of and service to the people, are getting the short end of the stick, and this applies also to grassroots friendly legislators who are seeking reelection.

Activists note that because precinct committeemen (PC), who were recruited for the purpose of providing proxies, have fulfilled their duty once the proxy is executed, the parties cannot count on them to participate in important activities such as attending LD meetings, recruiting, gathering signatures, making phone calls, paying attention to legislation, etc.

Activist warn that legislators, who want to see a return to the days when PCs did the heavy lifting on camapigns, should initiate or get behind an effort to convince Rep. Shope and Speaker Mesnard that HB2012 should be advanced.

Activists believe it is unconscionable that Mr. Shope would get away with single handedly depriving legislators of the opportunity to have a proper discussion and a vote based on the merits of the bill.

A posting on the popular conservative website, MCRC Briefs, is urging the grassroots to contact Shope and other members of the Rules Committee:

Let legislators know how you feel about HB2012 send them an email

CALL TO ACTION: The Word Is Out That HB2012, The PC Proxy Bill that would allow precinct/state committeemen to carry no more than two proxies to state, county and legislative district (LD) political meetings, is reportedly being held up by the House Rules Committee ever since the House Government Committee passed it with a 5-3 vote on Feb 28. If it isn’t heard … it is DEAD. Anyone who has been around for the past few years knows that allowing the current AZGOP leadership and its puppets to continue to carry 40 and 50 (or more) proxies to state/county and LD meetings will only bring more of the same thing… poor leadership, manipulation of bylaws, failure to follow Roberts Rules, secrecy, disregard for grassroots PCs, cleansing of conservatives members from leadership positions, missing secretarial records, finance questions, controlled elections, etc. This misuse and abuse of proxies for the past five years must stop. It’s time to put some heavy duty pressure on the legislative leadership/committee members to get HB2012 moving. Legislators put a stop to ballot harvesting several years ago. Now it’s time to do the same to the proxy harvesting. Voters need to immediately contact their legislators and tell them put a stop to the misuse and abuse of proxies by the party control freaks. Politely remind them that they were elected to represent the people of Arizona and that you expect them to stay on top of bills that will help clean up “Arizona’s swamp.” – ft

Shope has earned a reputation of serving the Republican Party’s establishment. As a result, supporters of the bill are being encouraged to contact other members on the Rules Committee and Speaker of the House JD Mesnard.

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  1. True this is a “travesty” we need to have a Protest rally, show them we know
    what they are up to. The swamp here in Az. is mighty deep.

  2. True this is a “travesty” we need to have a Protest rally, show them we know
    what they are up too. The swamp here in Az. is mighty deep.

  3. I guess it is time for another censure of T J Shope in Pinal County. He doesn’t represent us in Pinal County. He doesn’t even SHOW UP when invited to Republican Clubs let alone attend the PCRC Meetings. Our chairman has invited him to participate in a candidate forum March 17th. WILL HE SHOW UP?

  4. I have served on many Republican Party Bylaws committees throughout Arizona and the AZGOP. Most PC’s agree that there have been Proxy carrying abuses in the system for many years. LD24 in central Phoenix, has historically been a cauldron for Proxy abuse to keep old guard, liberal Republicans active on paper as elected, phantom, no show PC’s, who then always vote via Proxy – gathered by one or two active, old guard liberals. It is a travesty. Therefore, I wholeheartedly support HB2012 by the Legislature, so that this issue is openly debated and codified.

  5. Over the past several years, many people in the Republican Party, and I suspect in the Democrat Party have abused the proxy procedure to control party elections and the direction of the party within the State of Arizona. Despite the request of many of the members at large of the Republican Party over the years to change the procedure, party leadership has been able to beat back those requests. As with most such organizations it is about certain individuals remaining in power. The concept being that “my opinion and leadership is much more important than that of the general membership and therefore I am going to block you efforts to effect change”. Over the past several months, many people in the Republican Party have worked long hard hours to bring about change within the party framework and at the legislative level. They were defeated at the party level by leadership invoking artificial rules to prevent the items from coming before the group for a vote. At the legislative level many meetings with individual legislators were made to ensure that a Bill was introduced and considered for passage in an effort to correct this problem. The proposed legislation was passed at the Government Committee level and should have then been placed automatically before the Rules Committee before passing on to the Committee Of The Whole for a vote. Somehow or another that process got sidelined. The question then becomes who has the authority to sideline the Bill? Well, T. J. Shope as Chairman of the Rules Committee can certainly do that, The Speaker of the House, J.D. Mesnard can also request that it not be brought up for consideration as can the Governor. As in all cases such as this, rumors abound about the who and the reasons for the Bill not coming before the Committee. When I realized the matter was not going to be brought before the committee, I personally sent and e-mail to the Office of The Governor. The response that I received was basically it was not me and I do not get involved with the legislators. The first part may be correct, but the last part about not getting involved with the legislators? Well you decide for yourself. The real question is why would either the Governor, The Speaker or the Chairman of the committee take it upon themselves individually and personally to block the Bill? If you expect an honest answer to that question, you can hold your breath until you are blue in the face and still not receive an honest answer. Several people sent emails and phone calls to the offices of Mesnard and Shope requesting the matter be passed. So, did they take it upon themselves to personally block the will and requests of hundreds of Arizonans or was there someone else that requested they block the Bill? We will never know, but for those of you who reside in their legislative district, we can remember this when they come up for a vote for reelection. If they will not support us, why should we support them. It is time for party leadership and legislators, be they democrats or republicans, to understand that the party base are the ones that work to support them and get them elected to office. It is long past time for them to stand up and support the party base.

  6. There is so much money to be made in the Public sector, look at what lengths they go to, to stay in power.

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