Feathered Bastard

County GOP Chair A.J. LaFaro Wants His Own Cult, and Puente's Carlos Garcia Gets a Reason to Vote

Page 4 of 4

Moving right along, I would like to state for the record that Maricopa County Republican Committee chair A.J. LaFaro has never let me down.

Back in 2013, on the eve of the vote that elevated him to that office, I likened LaFaro to a walking PayDay bar while offering him my sincere endorsement for the chairmanship.

Admittedly, I suffer from a self-­diagnosed case of cognitive dissonance. For while I acknowledge the benefit of having sane individuals at the helm of the state GOP, right-­wing wack­jobs such as LaFaro make for far better copy and help guarantee both job satisfaction and job security for yours truly.

As party chair, LaFaro has justified my faith in his nuttiness, whether it's been his calling Governor Brewer a Republican "Judas" because of her Medicaid expansion plan, his successful drive to have U.S. Senator John McCain censured at this year's mandatory state party meeting, or his desire to close the Arizona Republican primary to Independents, supposedly because doing so will preserve the purity of the party's message.

See, LaFaro is opposed to anything that might mean the dilution of his own power and the power of the ideologically driven faction he leads, known simply as the "crazies."

Along these lines, LaFaro recently submitted a complaint to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office about the efforts of a pro-­McCain group to influence the election of precinct committeemen during the primary.

PCs choose a party's leadership. And the crazy faction LaFaro represents has recruited beaucoup Teabagger PCs over the past few years, allowing it to solidify its control over both the county and state Republican parties.

The Secretary of State's Office rejected LaFaro's complaint. In a quote to the on the subject, LaFaro claimed the pro-McCain group's work at moderating the PC pool was an attempt to "ethnically cleanse" the party.

LaFaro's remark earned him a rebuke from state party chair Robert Graham. But LaFaro, an ally of Mexican-­hating loser Russell Pearce, knows a thing or two about "cleansing" his party of people he considers undesirable.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons