The AFN article ("AF Republicans in turmoil after leadership resigns over safety fears") of Jan. 14 about the resignation of Republican Legislative District 20 Chairman Anthony Miller, and others, over safety fears left many questions unasked and others not adequately answered.
Miller was re-elected barely two months ago by a majority of Legislative District 20 GOP voters. His resignation, if from intimidation, is a serious blow to the wishes of LD 20 voters and our democratic system. However, charges of intimidation, violence and racial bigotry not substantiated are no less harmful to the Republican Party and the elective process. Given the seriousness of the charges the article did not adequately investigate this matter and both parties in the dispute have failed to support their positions.
First and foremost among inquiring minds: is there a record of police reports made by Miller, or any of the resigned officials, that they had been threatened with violence or been the target of racial bigotry? Were complaints made to the state Republican Party? If so, what was their response to the charges?
I found the quoted remarks of Jeni White, an identified member of the group accused of forcing Miller out via intimidation, an inadequate defense of very serious charges. Where is the categorical denial of intimidation and anti-democratic tactics by the Tukee Tea Party and New Vision? Where is their vow to respect the wishes of LD 20 GOP voters and allow their elected party representatives do their jobs? Or maybe they do wish to reserve the right to deal in underhanded internal tactics that result in committee composition outside the democratic process. Has either group, New Vision or Tukee Tea Party, conducted an investigation into the allegations leveled by Miller, to ferret out possible rogue members who would damage the reputations of their organizations?
Since it appears my local GOP representatives cannot play together like adults, real leadership needs to be applied. J.D. Hayworth should reacquaint himself with is LD 20 supporters. He should appear at a New Vision or Tukee Tea Party event and repudiate contra-democratic tactics by all within the GOP. The state GOP should launch a thorough investigation into the allegations by Miller and the reasons for the mass resignations and make their report public. The AFN should investigate further. Politics is not for the thinned skinned. You place your ideas and personal beliefs out for all to see and publicly challenge. Having done so, you will be criticized and required to support your views and positions. Vigorous challenge and even character attacks are not reason to retreat from a good debate that ultimately benefits us and strengthens our institutions. Losing the debate is not an excuse to scream louder or use undemocratic tactics to win by other means. Those that lose the debate need to wait for the next opportunity to prevail ethically through better arguments or retooled positions.
As a conservative Republican I find these allegations disturbing and the resignation of my duly elected LD 20 representatives very disappointing. I find the apparent inaction by the state party negligent and the reporting of the AFN in such a serious matter inadequate. So, we are left with unsupported allegations and no defense by the accused. Ahwatukee Foothills and LD 20 deserve better.