The Editorial Board at the Arizona Republic newspaper last weekend demonstrated how precious little they understand about the duties, responsibilities and capacities of the Arizona Republican Party.
They asked, “Who provided the money to distract attention from Bob Stump, an elected official under siege?” Perhaps they’re so distracted themselves with all their whining about so-called “dark money” campaign spending that they miss the fact that Republicans contribute to the AZGOP and the AZGOP defends Republicans against liberal attack dogs.
When Republicans elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission fell under attack by a dark money group funded by out-of-state energy alternative interests, the AZGOP put together a social media campaign to help inform the public what was really going on, and who was behind it.
The message was simple: An alternative-energy group, unhappy with the five Republicans on the commission who refuse to extend subsidies for their industry, hired a fancy lawyer to seize a commissioner’s iPhone to see if they could sidestep the subsidy debate by creating drama around text messages.
Our social media campaign offered the public a video and website telling the story. We started an online petition to gather support for Commission Bob Stump. We told an important, persuasive story and used modern technology to tell it. And, yep, the effort was all “Paid for by the Arizona Republican Party.”
That’s what the Republican Party does for Republican office holders.
Yet the Arizona Republic Editorial Board, in an apparently rabid misunderstanding of what is actually happening, wrote, “Discovering Commissioner Stump’s lost text messages is what matters here. Motives do not.”
Really? That’s certainly not the standard they apply to the “dark money” campaign spending they are so adamantly fixated on.
The Editorial Board should take a long look in the mirror.
-Robert Graham is chairman of the Arizona Republican Party