The air conditioning at Arizona's Republican Party headquarters is broken, it's been broken, and it may be a while until it's fixed. But it's not just the temperature that's heating up within the state's Grand Old Party.
Sources tell New Times several groups within the party aren't thrilled with recently elected Party Chairman Tom Morrissey, and are about to start making moves to have him ousted as the leader of the party.
"Morrissey has been approached by several groups already asking for his resignation, but that's about to intensify dramatically in the coming week," our source says. "If he doesn't leave by Sunday a lot of the dirty laundry in the GOP will be thrown out in the front yard come Monday morning."
Morrissey did not respond to New Times request for comment.
Part of the problem: Some GOPers aren't happy with Morrissey's ability to raise cash -- the broken air conditioner symbolizing the party's thin wallet. But that's only part of the problem.
Morrissey, sources say, is generally disliked by GOPers in nearly every sect of the Republican Party. Critics charge he's "not a great leader, and he has surrounded himself with a cast of ineffective, incompetent and corrupt clowns."
Detractors sent the chairman the following email:
To: Tom Morrissey, AZ GOP Chairman
CC: AZ GOP Executive Committee, District Chairs
Please let this email serve as your notice that a large and ever-growing number of Republicans in Arizona have decided that your further service as State Chairman would not be in the best interest of the Republican Party.
As the act of a recall election would certainly generate significant media attention and additional bad press for the Party, we have decided to give you a chance to do the honorable thing and resign your position before we take our recall efforts public.
The following website will go live on May 2.
If you choose to resign prior to May 2, we will cease our efforts to recall you, take down the website, and everyone can move on.
If, however, you choose not to resign, you will force us to execute our plan to recall you. This effort will be costly for the Party, and will be a major distraction. You can help us avoid this by doing the right thing.
Tom, your performance and actions over the past few months have proven that you do not have the skills required to successfully run the Arizona Republican Party. Please do the honorable thing for your Party, your State, and your Country and step aside. I think that we can all agree that 2012 is a critical election cycle. Please do not let your ego get in the way of what is right.
We are awaiting your reply.
State GOP Executive Director Brett Mecum tells New Times he's not worried about the upcoming recall effort.
"I went through this same sort of thing with [former party chairman] Randy Pullen," he says. "Nothing came of it.
Mecum says he's confident Morrissey will hold on to his chairmanship, despite the recall effort, and says he's confident in the party's ability to raise money.
As for the air conditioner...
The sweaty digs down at state GOP headquarters forced Maricopa County Chairman Rob Haney to move a May 5, meeting. He sent out the following email on Monday:
Dear EGC members,Because of the air conditioning problem at the State HQ, our EGC meeting on May 5th will be held at the Goldwater Institute at 500 East Coronado Rd.Representatives from the Maricopa County Elections Department will give a presentation on redistricting and their plan on saving the county large sums of money in future elections. This plan will include eliminating 300 to 400 precincts by combining adjoining precincts. They would like your thoughts on the plan since the plan will naturally involve reducing the PC quota by one for each precinct that is eliminated..Since the topic is of great significance, I plan to devote the entire time to their presentation, your questions and your input about the plan.Rob
The busted AC has certain members even more concerned about the party's bank account. The concern being: how can the GOP afford to run successful campaigns if it can't even afford to fix a broken air conditioner?
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Mecum says there's nothing to worry about -- a fix is in the works.
"I would just prefer to pay for [the air conditioner] with [GOP] corporate dollars than money I could use to get a Republican elected," he says.
He assures us that Morrissey has sought estimates about fixing the busted air conditioner -- but it sounds like fixing the AC at GOP headquarters could soon be someone else's problem.