In response to dirty tricks and illegal backroom deals by the Coconino County Republican Party, Coconino County GOP PC and Credentials Committee member David Lipinski speaks out and demands CCRC Chair Joy Staveley do the right thing.
“To the general body of the CCRC:
I am going to make this brief. I hereby resign my position as precinct committeeman for CCRC. As of today, I have moved to Bullhead City to be closer to my children. I have waited for 5 long years for an opportunity for us to live in the same town and it was much easier for me to move than for them to uproot their loves. I spent 14 years here before moving to Flagstaff in 2007, so this is home.
Now to the more pressing issue of the day, the election of December 15. To the greater public, I have remained quiet in regards to the outcome mainly because I was too busy to get deeply involved with what had gone on. I gave my opinion at the executive meeting, and was quickly interrupted when it was clear my opinion differed. I do take into consideration that it was a Saturday and we all had things to do, however, I feel my point spoke directly to the issue at hand. My opinion is this. I was and still am convinced 100% that the entire committee agreed the names I read off that day were what we truly believed to be correct. We had found our own mistake and believed we fixed it. We even had an outside set of eyes watch as we tabulated. At NO TIME did anyone state they were uncomfortable with the names being read. Was the list disorganized? Yes. Was it clear who I was supposed to read off? Yes. It was written in blue ink. Did I ask Diana if we could read the 1-27 off so everyone could go home? Yes. Did we also say we would complete the rest of the list so those that did not win a position would at least know where they came? Yes. AT NO TIME DID ANYONE ON THE COMMITTEE SPEAK OF DOING A RECOUNT BASED ON ANY INFORMATION WE RECEIVED. Why? Because we didn’t believe there to be a need.
So how did the recount happen? Well it was based on the perceived “feeling” the current Chair had regarding the outcome. She said to me several times, “Something didn’t feel right.” And said it during the executive meeting. She had an assumption on who was going to win based on the people running. She knew the numbers were in the favor of certain people. When some names were not read off, her senses sparked up. What had happened? How did “they” win? She was going to certainly find out. As the final list of names was emailed to her from Clark, Jeff’s name was not on the list—ok—clerical error, big deal. She knew Jeff’s name had been read, but it was not on the list. Here comes the fun part. She asks Clark about Jeff, he agrees Jeff won the most votes. Then a few days pass apparently and Clark gets worried about if we all made a larger mistake and goes back to conduct a full recount. Let me be clear about this. I trust Clark and his reasons. I trust his ability to tabulate votes. He’s an upstanding man of character and I don’t believe he did this with any intent to cause issue. What I will state clearly, is if Joy wanted to do what was right, take the harder road, she would have made it clear there was to be no recount whatsoever. She would have reviewed the rules made clear by the Rules committee. She would have revisited Roberts Rules of Order and found that our committee was void after the meeting on the 15th was over. Specifically, she would have seen rule 14 which specifically did not allow for a recount. A rule put in place so a certain group of people could not ask for one. Interesting how that worked out. You see, she had already had this “feeling” and there was no going back for her. She knew certain people weren’t going to win based on numbers. So there was a recount based on a “feeling”. I DID sign my name to the corrected list and will state publicly that I feel they are correct to the votes. But how did we get there? A “feeling”. Not an objection during the meeting, not someone calling foul play in the process…a “feeling”. Half the country didn’t like the outcome of this last Presidential election, but we didn’t recount based on our “feelings”. People, the process is more important than the outcome. Joy will say she wants the people who got the votes to win. That’s understandable, no objection from me there. But there are so many questions; even I am questioning my own abilities and what I did. When this all began, I looked to Joy as a leader and someone who had the knowledge as to what was the RIGHT thing to do. I saw someone take charge of a messy situation and try and figure it out because I didn’t have the answers.
Then I began to see the truth of the matter as it played out. As I described before, it became clear to me her “feelings” were getting in the way of what was right. She began to make decisions that could not be undone. I asked her to confer with legal advice on the issue. She said, “I spoke with Lee Miller and he gave me a way out of this rule 14.” A way out? As if she was…stuck? Using logic, a person tries to find a way out of something when they are in a position they don’t want to be in, let’s say, losing key positions in an election. The way out could have been stating the results read on the 15th were preliminary….Interesting. I think we all received an email stating that….
Joy is not neutral and we all know it. She should have never called Lee Miller to explain the issue as she had both everything to gain and everything to lose from this election. Even if our committee was technically done after the meeting, one of us should have been asked, by Joy, to call Lee Miller. But instead, I am certain she asked him leading questions. Or else why would he “give her a way out.”?
Joy, you and I talked on the phone several times and agree on a great many things regarding the direction this country needs to go. We stood in your office and you asked me to keep being involved and if others from “the group” would still be interested in participating. I said I would do my best to keep them involved. You gained my trust and through this have lost it. I stood up for you in the beginning because you genuinely came off as if you cared for the process and not the outcome. But after the executive meeting when you shut me down, and would not allow me to bring up rule 14 as even a subject to be discussed, I knew then you didn’t care about the process, you cared only about the self-serving outcome. You told me one time, “Good leaders sometimes have to make hard decisions and can’t please everyone all the time, they have to do what is right.” You did what was wrong because it didn’t serve your interest to have outsiders win. End of story.
I am forwarding and making public every email I have regarding this issue. It may help, it may not. I am willing to speak to the press, our elected officials, write letters or whatever is necessary for one of three things to happen. First, Joy, allow the State Committeemen list that I read (the one the committee agreed to) stand, apologize for reducing the process to the level of a high school popularity contest. Two, resign as Chair with the dignity you might have left, or three, sit back and watch as a great number of people attempt to find a way for you to be removed. If none of these happens, and you remain, you will be looked at in the same light as the guy who just had 50% of the country NOT vote for him. They guy who did everything in his power to STAY in power. You spoke to me about people with integrity and values. Know lets see if you have any.
This was not one last parting shot. This is the truth as I saw it unfold. Perception is reality, and the reality has spoken clearly and not just from my angle. When the elected representatives we helped into office are concerned, and when our State leadership is also concerned, WE should all take that as a serious issue to be resolved.