Jeff Flake's reply to Tom Husband, and the Republic playing catch-up on J.T. Ready.

Jeff Flake fires back on the county GOP's neo-Nazi problem.

In Thursday's blog post on the local Republican Party's J.T. Ready-problem, I included an excerpt from Maricopa County Republican Party Chairman Tom Husband's letter to Congressman Jeff Flake, wherein Husband claims ignorance of Ready's neo-Nazi affiliations. The conservative Sonoran Alliance blog has the full letter up, here.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had spoken to Husband back in February about an incident in which Ready distributed anti-Semitic and anti-black lit at a MCRC mandatory meeting in January of this year. Now, Jeff Flake has responded to Husband's letter, and provides extensive evidence of Ready's affinity for National Socialism, largely drawn from work I've done on the subject, and mentioning specific articles, such as the February 2008 one where I quote Husband on the January Ready incident. "You acknowledge that Mr. Ready distributed anti-Semitic literature at the January 19th meeting of the Maricopa County Republican Party. According to the Phoenix New Times, you said, `we acted immediately to correct it” because “we’re not going to have hate literature permeating our meetings.'

"What action was taken? If distributing racist literature at an official meeting of the Maricopa County Republican Party does not merit the removal of a precinct committeeman, what does? What message does it send that the Maricopa County Republican Party has found time to censure our Party’s nominee for President of the United States, but does not have the time or inclination to immediately remove a precinct committeeman with ties to racist organizations?"

I would add that Husband and the County party rushed to endorse neo-Nazi-hugger Russell Pearce after it was disclosed that his opponent Kevin Gibbons -- also Flake's brother-in-law -- had taken campaign contributions from Democratic rainmaker Jim Pederson et famille. So I reckon that means some local GOPers see Dems as worse than neo-Nazis.

In any case, check out the entire Flake letter, in this attachment. It's a humdinger. (Couple of nitpicks: "Exhibit Four" should be dated September 9, 2007, not February 9, 2007; "Exhibit Three" should be February 16, 2008 not February 18, 2008. Still, these don't invalidate the larger point being made.)

After belittling the Ready-Pearce tie for so long, the Republic continues to play catch-up, publishing a longer-than-normal item by the leaden Gary Nelson. I'll give Nelson points for finally polishing off his Nexis account and going through the Rep's archives. (If he'd bothered to point his browser in New Times' direction, he might have gotten the story earlier.) But he still doesn't seem to grok why this story is important. Earth to Nelson: There's a neo-Nazi in the local GOP! Hello! That ain't kosher, boychik. Neither were Ready's ties to Pearce.

At least the Rep's editorial board now seems to understand, citing the Ready-Pearce connection (if not J.T.'s name specifically) as the reason why it's "Time to Dump Pearce." Better late than never.

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