Members of Arizona Legislative District 11 met on Saturday and approved a resolution to admonish Dr. Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona Republican Party. The resolution specifically admonishes Ward for “speaking without bylaws authority on matters diametrically opposed” to the Party’s platform.
Conservatives had hoped Ward’s election last year signaled the defeat of the late Sen. John McCain’s liberal-leaning political machine. However, when Ward agreed without consultation or authority to endorse a tax increase during the 2019 Legislative Session, she prompted doubt among the rank-and-file.
Whereas the Current Continuing Bylaws of the Arizona Republican Party state the “object of the Arizona Republican Party shall be to conduct the activities of the Republican Party of Arizona, to promote Republican principles and policies, and to support the election of Republican candidates in national, state, and local elections” and that it “acts in affiliation with the Republican National Committee (RNC), the Rules of the RNC, and the RNC platform”; and
Whereas the Bylaws state the Chairman duties include the “state chairman shall be the recognized leader of the state party and, in cooperation with the county chairmen, shall coordinate statewide party activities”; and
Whereas the Bylaws give no power to the Chairman to speak on behalf of the members of the Party — the precinct committeemen and the elected state committeemen — on matters of Party principles, and certainly not without even, at least, coordinating any such speaking on behalf of the members of the Party with the county chairmen; and
Whereas the Arizona Republican Party adopted a Party Platform at its January, 2010 Mandatory Meeting that set forth planks stating timeless, common sense Party values and principles relating to taxation, including that the Party “Believes hardworking businesses and entrepreneurs create jobs and drive the economy” and “Government should reduce regulations, fees, and taxes to foster an ideal economic and business climate . . . “; and
Whereas the 2016 RNC Platform states “Wherever tax rates penalize thrift or discourage investment, they must be lowered” and “We oppose tax policies that deliberately divide Americans or promote class warfare”; and
Whereas no government in history has ever taxed its way to prosperity,
Now, therefore, the LD11 Committee, knowing that the current Arizona Republican Party Chairman publicly stated at a press conference and in print that the Arizona Republican Party supports raising the state sales tax, hereby resolves to admonish the Chairman in that such public statements were made without any authority under the Bylaws, are diametrically opposed to the stated common sense principles and values of the Arizona Republican Party and RNC, and do not consist of proper “activities of the Republican Party of Arizona,” nor “promote Republican principles and policies,” nor “support the election of Republican candidates in national, state, and local elections.”
“There is no question that when Chairman Ward endorsed a sales tax increase back in April, she exercised extremely poor judgement. In fact, back then she was severely criticized for her action on the pages of the AZ Daily Independent, on Facebook, and elsewhere. Two months later, we are faced with some political realities that should not be ignored,” a Maricopa County conservative activist told the ADI. “But we are about to enter the 2020 election cycle. The Arizona Republican Party is one seat away from losing control of the Arizona House and two seats away from losing control of the Arizona Senate. If the trend of the last few years continues, Republicans will lose control of the Arizona legislature. Therefore, it is imperative that any action by Republicans generate positive answers to some questions. What is the expected result of this action? What positive action will result from it? Will it improve the image of Republicans among the general public? How will it help recruit more PC’s? Perhaps most important, how will it help elect more Republican senators and representatives? Hopefully the LD11 Republican PC’s have thoroughly explored these questions and have come up with positive answers.”
Despite their reservations, conservatives believe there is widespread support for the resolution and the need for Ward to apologize and rebuild the precinct committeepersons’ confidence in her and her team.