What two things do Maricopa County GOP Chairman Rob Haney and erstwhile Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong have in common?
Each despises democracy, and each boasts a brain dipped in formaldehyde.
See also: -Joe Arpaio's Birther Bud Tom Morrissey Punks Out of GOP Chair Race; Russell Pearce Could Still Play Spoiler to Bob Graham -Russell Pearce's Leprechaun Rob Haney Flips Out, Invalidates LD 25 Election, Calls the Coppers
Okay, in Mao's case that should be past tense, because he's past tense. And Haney, well, he just resembles a corpse.
Indeed, the wee-man, who loves carrying H2O for recalled, disgraced two-time loser and former state Senate President Russell Pearce, has been a veritable Tasmanian devil of late.
First, Haney's head practically exploded during a November 29 meeting of the Legislative District 25 Republicans, where two votes took place: one for new officers, and the other for state committee persons to represent LD 25 at a state committee meeting scheduled for January 26.
Pissed at the outcome, and the fact that his favored pro-Pearce slate lost in Pearce's own Mesa district, Haney reportedly told all and sundry that fraud was afoot. And he threatened to get his pal Sheriff Joe Arpaio involved.
Before you know it, Haney (allegedly) was violatin' bylaws left and right (mostly right, natch), empowering an ad hoc investigative committee to look into the supposed "fraud," and ultimately overturning the results of both November 29 votes, even though it was only the state committee election that apparently had any problems associated with it.
One of these problems was that some of those running for the state committee, including Haney's pal Pearce, apparently had not submitted the proper paperwork to be considered as candidates.
So, like a mini-me version of an Egyptian Emperor of old, Haney solved this problem with a clap of his hands: ordering new rules for the election, allowing anyone who wanted to run to submit the required form.
Emperor Haney then ordered new elections to take place January 9, to be overseen by the previous LD 25 leadership, which is decidedly pro-Pearce.
This will be seven days after a legitimate January 2 meeting called by LD 25 PCs, for a do-over of the state committee election, to be overseen by the new LD 25 officers.
And now, as of Christmas Eve, there's a civil rights lawsuit against Haney in federal court filed on behalf of the LD 25 officers Haney recently un-elected.
The complaint charges that Haney has far exceeded his authority as county chair, trampling over state law, GOP bylaws, and the U.S. Constitution.
Plaintiffs in the suit ask the court to issue an order, forcing Haney to back off and cancel the revote he's scheduled, while allowing the revote on the state committee persons from LD 25 to be overseen by the officers elected on November 29
Most deliciously, the complaint asks the court to award the plaintiffs the legal fees incurred to bring the action.
Check out this e-mail notice sent out by attorney Kory Langhofer to Haney and other concerned parties, just hours before Christmas day began:
From: Langhofer, Korey A. Sent: Monday, December 24, 2012 3:08 PM Subject: Initiation of Federal Lawsuit
Mr. Meyers, Mr. Haney, and Mr. Husband:
I have attached to this e-mail copies of (1) a Verified Complaint and related exhibits, (2) a Civil Cover Sheet, (3) three Summonses, (4) a Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction, (5) a Motion to Exceed Page Limits, and (6) two proposed orders, each of which was filed this afternoon in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.
One of the first matters we must address is service of process. (We are planning to serve Mr. Meyers and Mr. Husband as agents of the MCRC and its investigative committee. We are planning to serve Mr. Haney personally and as an agent of the MCRC and its investigative committee.) Our preference, to minimize any disruptions in your holidays, is to handle service of process electronically. If you are willing to accept service of process by e-mail, please let me know as soon as possible. Otherwise, we will seek to effect personal service on each of you as contemplated by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the absence of an agreement of the parties, as quickly as possible. I look forward to hearing back from you.
Respectfully, Kory Langhofer
So far, Langhofer tells me there's been nary a peep out of Haney and team Pearce.
Langhofer's e-mail is like an electronic version of the classic flaming dog poop prank, plopped on Haney's front porch, wrapped in Christmas ribbon, doused with kerosene and set aflame.
The suit contends Haney abrogated Arizona's open meetings law, violated the civil rights of those who took part in the LD 25 elections, and engaged in all kinds of chicanery in order to void the outcome of the November 29 vote.
Haney is also resorting to outright intimidation, under the color of law, to get his way, telling the Arizona Capitol Times' Yellow Sheet that he "will probably have sheriff's deputies" on hand to, ahem, "monitor" the vote.
Furthermore, Haney has indicated that he will turn over the findings of his ad hoc group of flunkies to "law enforcement," which I gather this desiccated leprechaun defines as "Sheriff Joe."
Haney has pulled this power play at least once before, back in 2010, when Pearce failed to get himself elected to the state committee. Haney simply declared the vote null and void and ordered a revote.
Back then, the anti-Pearce PCs dutifully went along with Haney's Joe Stalin-like action, and Pearce made it on the state committee.
What a difference two years makes. With Pearce's double-digit losses both in the 2011 recall and in his failed comeback run for state Senate in the GOP primary this year, the non-Pearce-ites are emboldened.
Why is all this backstabbing and cutthroat competition among local GOPers of importance, you may ask?
Well, because the Rs are still the majority party here in Sand Land. And what happens in their ranks affects reality.
Here's a nice summation from the lawsuit, which describes the division in LD 25. It's a split that exists throughout the state among the tuskers, which I generally refer to as the split between the crazies and the non-crazies.
As a general matter," the suit reads, at one point, "for several years the board of officers and State Committeemen elections in LD25 have been dominated by two political factions.
One faction is comprised of PCs aligned with Russell Pearce, a PC in LD25. Pearce, formerly the President of the Arizona State Senate and an outspoken supporter of anti-immigration laws, was recalled from office in 2011 and decisively lost a reelection bid in the 2012 Republican primary election.
The other faction is not aligned with Pearce, and generally supports candidates who, although conservative, place greater emphasis on economic policy and "big tent" Republican principles and less emphasis on social "wedge" issues. As a general matter, the Plaintiffs fall in the latter category.
Which of those factions prevails is important to all Arizonans who care about the kind of political discourse we have in this state.
More than that, the outcome of the LD 25 donnybrook will help determine the outcome of the January 26 GOP state committee meeting, where the state party's new leadership will be chosen.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
If Pearce is not elected or otherwise appointed to be on the state committee, he cannot be nominated from the floor to be chair of the Arizona Republican Party and possibly trump GOP businessman Robert Graham, whom many expect to become chairman, otherwise.
Some Dems I talk with tell me that they'd like for Pearce to be the head of the Rs in this state, believing his extremism will make his party less relevant in coming years.
I disagree. Allowing Pearce any smidgen of legitimacy threatens Arizona's body politic with a dangerous parasite, a right-wing tapeworm we've expended a lot of effort to yank out of Sand Land's stomach.
Plus, seeing Pearce and Haney crushed would be a lovely beginning to the new year. I can't think of two nudniks more deserving.