Joe Arpaio on Keeping Warm in Stir; Plus, A.J. LaFaro's "Crazytown" Ticket Wins County GOP Leadership
The county GOP's new chair, wild man A.J. LaFaro...
It's amazing, the amount of influence I have over the Maricopa County Republican Committee.
Hate to brag, but my endorsement this week of right-wing human PayDay bar A.J. LaFaro and the rest of his "crazytown" slate of candidates for MCRC leadership positions worked its evil magic at Saturday's county GOP's statutory meeting.
LaFaro and his wacky crew triumphed at Phoenix's Church of the Nations, where the vote was held, thereby ensuring me column and blog fodder for at least two more years.
Despite a slew of notable endorsements, GOP moderate Lisa Gray drew 46.6 percent to LaFaro's 53.4.
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The margins of loss varied for the other candidates of Gray's "Arizona Party Builders" ticket. You can read the finals for yourself at the far-right blog SeeingRedAZ.wordpress.com.
A longtime conservative activist, former district chair, and perpetual pain in the Tempe City Council's fanny, LaFaro takes over from mad Irishman and outgoing MCRC chair Rob Haney, who has ruled the county GOP with a miniature iron fist for lo these past four years.
Haney hand-picked LaFaro as his boy. A win by LaFaro's slate ensures that the county party will remain redder than a baboon's estrus, as wigged-out as Governor Jan Brewer's criminally insane son, and just flat out broke.
Significantly, in his campaign speech, Walter Dudley, candidate for treasurer on Gray's party-builder slate, asked the county's precinct committeemen and committeewomen to remember that the county GOP had raised less than $62,000 in 2012, hundreds of thousands less than the county Dems.
But ideology means more than common sense and fundraising chops to the crotchety teabaggers who over-populate the county party. Which is why they went with LaFaro, a "constitutional conservative," who apparently harbors a distaste for members of the LGBT community, as I explored in my column this week.
So when I approached LaFaro to congratulate him on his win, my first question dealt with the subject of LGBT GOPers. Specifically, I asked him if gay Republicans are welcome in the county party.
There was a long pause, during which LaFaro stared intently at me. Then, true to his reputation, he went off.
"I tell you what Mr. Lemons, I don't appreciate your type of, if you want to call it journalism, I don't call it journalism," a very tense LaFaro replied. "I didn't appreciate the article defaming my family's name, the `Caballero LaFaro' article that you published. And I don't subscribe to -- as the group in there, they don't subscribe to your trash either.
"I don't like what you write. You don't write articles. So in a way, I thank you for endorsing me, because those people in there, they will do whatever, uh --"
I interjected with a grin, "Whatever I want?"
"Not whatever you want," he shot back.
"I wanted you to win," I offered.
"Why did you want me to win?" he asked incredulously.
"Because," I told him, "things are more fun that way."
Heck, wingnuts like him are my bread and butter. Moreover, LaFaro likely will be a disaster for the county GOP, driving away moderates with his intolerance and extremism, forcing many into the Independent or Libertarian columns.
Or even, Yahweh help us, over to the D-side.