Brett Mecum Article Removed by Popular Right-Wing Blog; Sonoran Alliance Denies Republican Party Influenced Decision

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One of our fleet-fingered readers managed to cut and paste the text of a right-wing blog post and its comments about Brett Mecum (above), executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, just before the blog site deleted the content.

Like many blog sites, including our own Valley Fever, the popular, conservative blog Sonoran Alliance had published an article on June 3 about the dismissal of Mecum's speed-camera case. Mecum, if you'll recall, was photographed by a speed camera on April 10 while traveling at an alleged 109 miles per hour in his bitchin' Ford Shelby GT Mustang. The article soon picked up a healthy 25 comments, including many that were harshly critical of Mecum.

The SA article, written by the androgynous, anonymous "Pat," explains how Judge John Keegan, an active opponent of photo enforcement, dismissed Mecum's case. Then Pat adds his two cents' worth:

It's pretty clear what the dismissal of charges against Mecum signal:
1. Anyone can drive whatever speed they want in Judge Keegan's jurisdiction and a photo radar ticket will be thrown out. This doesn't mean a traffic cop ticket will be dismissed.
2. Photo radar will remain controversial in Arizona and will likely work its way through revisions in the legislature and courts.
3. If you're a party official, it helps to know someone in elected office to get you off the hook.
4. Republicans with fast cars can ignore the conventional wisdom that driving at excessive speeds is dangerous.

Democrats are going to have a field day with this.

Whether Pat was being cheeky or serious with those last few quips, his post provoked a strong anti-Mecum sentiment from SA readers. Many of the comments referred to the Mecum-as-Captain-America pictures from the Dirty that we mentioned this week.

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Amy Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 10:21 am
I want to know why someone like that is still holding the position of Executive Director for the State Republican Party. In addition to criminally violating the law, he has no respect for women as indicated in these sleazy pictures of him posted on -
As a woman, I am offended and do not feel that someone like this should be representing my interests in the Republican Party. As long as he is still Executive Director of the party, I will not give the GOP one dime, and I will be telling the members of my Republican Women's club not to either.


Pricinct Committeeman Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 10:22 am
This post is very unfair?
What is unfair is that an official of my political party was driving more tha 40 mph over the posted speed limit and blamed the cops for his problems.
More unfair is the appearance of a drunk at a Halloween party doing stupid things in a parking garage. Does that mean he was drinking and driving?
What's really unfair is that there is nothing we can do about it. Randy Pullen is the only person who can fix this mess by getting rid of the immature brat who doesn't care how he acts in public or how he endangers other people Mecum must go.
That would be fair.


Amy Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 11:52 am
As long as this guy is still E.D. of the party he is going to be a distraction. Politico Mafioso has a brutal post on it.'s going to just be fodder for the blogs as long as he continues to represent the party. This is a disgrace.
I noticed there is a significant amount of public sentiment against him (see the comments on espressopundit - When is he going to do the right thing for the party and resign? Every time I see those pictures it enrages me that someone that disrespectful of women is allowed to get away with it.


Erica Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 11:54 am
Mecum is an embarassment to the party and needs to resign. This isn't a left wing conspiracy, he simply broke the law. The next time Mecum debates a Democrat or writes an article in the paper he is rendered useless. His political career is over but just does not realize it yet.


Conservative does not mean Republican Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 12:13 pm
The debate on whether or not photo radar cameras are constitutional is irrelevant to the real issue here. The real issue is why Randy Pullen continues to employ Mecum as the executive director of the party after this incident? Randy continues Pull-en the party down with his out of touch decisions.


RepublicansRNODifferent Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 12:43 pm
I have to agree with the first sentence in #9.
[The sentence about Mecum being an embarrassment]. Regardless of what we think about photo radar, this whole situation is feeding into the perception that Republicans are inept in following the law and cleaning their own house. The outside observer like me, already know that Democrats look for every opportunity to skirt the law. Indicents like this make me see Republicans as being no different. Is it any wonder why conservatives (not trusting the GOP) are disgusted with the GOP and see it no different from the Dems?


marissa Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 1:10 pm
This guy is a real piece of work, I just read the post at about him. How can anyone working with him take him seriously after seeing pictures like those? I am a grassroots activist and I've decided as long as he is at state headquarters, I'm no longer going to be volunteering. He obviously has no respect for women. I would feel uncomfortable around someone like that and I suspect other women do too.

Megan Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 1:53 pm
This guy is a massive tool. Where is the oversight on people like this? How can Mecum feel confident to walk into work every day. He has damaged the Republican Party. How can the party raise money when we have public relations nightmares like Brett walking around.


AZRep Says:
June 3rd, 2009 at 4:33 pm
Keegan's opinion is just embarassing. We are going to throw out a traffic ticket involving speeding 44 mph over the limit because photo radar violates the United States Constitution on EQUAL PROTECTION GROUNDS?! What a moron. This is why placing non lawyer political activists in quasi judicial roles is a bad idea people (the JP in my district is a politically connected former prison guard, who would not hesitate to wax eloquent on the Constitution when someone he knows gets in trouble). As for Mecum, he is a creepier George Costanza and Pullen needs to show some leadership on this soon.

... and so on.

This being the Internet, we can't know whether or not all of these comments were written by the same person, or written by Pat him/herself. But it does add up to a weighty condemnation of Mecum on a blog site well-read by local pachyderms.

The reader who sent this to us claim the Republican Party "forced" Shane Wikfors, the only named person behind SA, to take the post down. Could be. Wikfors has wrestled previously with the issue of anonymous comments and posts on his site, but usually allows people to have their say.

We e-mailed Wikfors this morning to find out what was different this time. Wikfors replies:

I placed the post in "review" status. I want to look over the details. No one asked me to take it down.

That seems to answer the question of direct Republican Party influence, and we think Sonoran Alliance is probably an independent (though mono-visioned) outfit. However, we still wanted to know why the Mecum post was receiving special treatment. We'll let you know if Wikfors responds to our follow-up question.

UPDATE: Here is Wikfors reply to the follow-up:

I wanted to review the content for accuracies particularly regarding Judge Keegan.

Hmm. Wikfors doesn't elaborate further, and we don't have time to go back and forth on this all day. Suffice to say we're still curious what was so egregious about that article, compared to everything else SA publishes, that it had to be retroactively de-published and reviewed for accuracy.

Perhaps if Wikfors re-publishes the entry, we can see what was changed, if anything. But if there was anything troublesome about what Pat wrote about Judge Keegan, we didn't see it. If Wikfors keeps Pat's item offline, maybe he'll enlighten his readers (which include us) about what's going on.

UPDATE: The post was back up by day's end. Didn't seem to be anything changed. Weird.

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