Outgoing Maricopa County Republican Party Chair Rob Haney, slavish BFF to recalled, disgraced ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce, has had his wrinkled, leprechaun fanny handed to him by the non-Pearce-worshipping faction of the Legislative District 25 Republicans.
I informed you yesterday about the federal lawsuit against Haney and his cretinous far-right crew of crazies, who, essentially, didn't like the way two November 29 votes went down in that district.
So Haney scrapped both of them and ordered new elections to take place on January 9.
See also: -Russell Pearce's Mad Elf Rob Haney: Sued on Christmas Eve -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
In response, LD 25's new, duly-elected officers filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Haney and the MCRC on Christmas Eve, alleging that Haney and his underlings ran roughshod over the GOP's own bylaws, illegally invalidated the elections of new officers and state committee members, violated Arizona's open meetings law, and trashed the rights of the new officers under the U.S. Constitution.
Reportedly, Haney was personally served yesterday, and it didn't take him long to cave like a little wuss to all of the demands of the non-crazy "RiNOS" he so despises.
In an e-mail today from attorney Kory Langhofer, who is representing LD 25's new leadership, Langhofer proffered a list of settlement terms to Haney: accept the new slate of officers as legit, forget about that bogus January 9 meeting, and accept the outcome of the January 2 redo election of state committee persons.
Point four of Langhofer's demands is particularly important, considering the fact that Russell Pearce apparently did not submit a "Candidacy Declaration Form" as required by the LD 25 bylaws, and therefore may not be allowed on LD 25's state committee ballot come January 2.
If Pearce does not become a state committeeman, he cannot be nominated from the floor for the chairmanship of the Arizona Republican Party at its state committee meeting on January 26, a move many have considered a distinct possibility.
"You will certify the State Committeemen who are elected from LD25 at the January 2nd meeting," reads point four of the Langhofer demands.
"Personally, you are of the view that anyone who submits a Candidacy Declaration Form...should be listed on the State Committeeman ballot on January 2nd--but if the LD25 PCs raise a point of order on January 2nd and vote that, under LD25 bylaws, the deadline for the submission of such forms was November 29th for write-in candidates (and earlier for candidates whose names were to be printed on the ballot), you will accept that decision and the results of a State Committeeman election conducted under the LD25 PCs' interpretation."
In a terse admission of defeat tantamount to the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in 1945, Haney replied to Langhofer:
"I agree to your four points of stipulation."
And what if the power-mad midget pitches a fit and reneges on the agreement?
Then the lawsuit is back on. Indeed, in a notice to the U.S. District Court, Langhofer asked to withdraw his request for a temporary restraining order, for now.
But if the two sides "cannot resolve their disagreements...between today's date and the election of a Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party," then "the plaintiffs may return to this Court to seek a judicial declaration of their rights."
And that, ladies and gents, is how you deal with a bully: With an overwhelming show of force.
See, it's expensive to go into federal court, especially when the other side has you dead to rights. That's money the county GOP simply does not have to piss away.
In a letter e-mailed to LD 25 precinct committee persons today, Haney sounded the retreat, blaming others as he hightailed it to safety, noting that, "[I]t would be unwise to use precious donor resources on this type of a law suit."
Heh. That may be the smartest thing you've said in recent memory, Rob.
And what about Pearce, Rob Haney's lord and master? Like Haney, he'd rather point the finger at others.
In a comment to the Arizona Capitol Times, Pearce blamed the imbroglio on "a couple of attorneys that have been very moderate, left leaning for a longtime," who are "using this as a soapbox to try and bully their way into this district."
Um, not really, Russ. Langhofer ain't doing this one for free, according to my sources. He's being paid to crush you and Haney, and I'd say those who are paying him are getting their money's worth.
Moreover, Langhofer represents the LD 25 officers whom Haney disenfranchised following their November 29 wins.
People have simply gotten tired of your shenanigans, RP. This sort of move to invalidate an LD election on your behalf worked when Haney did it in LD 18 two years ago.
But that was 2010. The pettiness and mean-spiritedness you represent is no longer quite as popular in GOP ranks as it once was.
In fact, in deeply red LD 25, the balance of power has shifted.
And that's a good thing for Arizona and a happy augur for the coming year. Now if the sane folks in LD 25 can prevail over the nutjobs on January 2, then I would say the rout, locally at least, is near-complete.
The state committee meeting on January 26 is not totally without peril. If Pearce can get himself appointed to the state committee somehow, he may be able to get his name tossed into the ring.
But the winds are against ol' Russ. He's yesterday's man. The bigotry he and Haney represent is finally being tramped down by people in their own party, and oh what fun it is to watch.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.