Since I've been bloging, this is the hardest post I have had to write about because it involves a long time friend and also a Member of Congress that I have to utmost respect for.
My source for this news comes from my good friend Sean Noble's blog, Noble Thinking, http://noblethinking.com/ , which reports that Lisa James has joined Shadegg's Phoenix office as Deputy Chief of Staff.
Lisa James ran for Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party in 2007 and lost to Randy Pullen by only four votes. She ran again in 2009 for state chairman in a very contentious campaign which came down to Pullen representing the grassroots of the party and power coming from the bottom up and, James representing the establishment and country club Republicans and power coming from the top down with the party telling the grassroots what position to take on the such issues as immigration and employer sanctions. James again lost to Pullen in 2009 but by a much wider margin.
What concerned many GOP activist, including myself, was James connection with the Wake Up Arizona Coalition led by Mac Magruder, the owner of McDonald fast food franchises.
The Wake Up Arizona Coalition was formed in response to the passage in 2007 of Arizona's employer sanctions law against knowingly hiring undocumented workers, the Fair and Legal Employment Act. The coalition vowed to defeat any candidate or legislator who supports employer sanctions. Gordon James, the husband of Lisa James and owner of a public relations firm is a member of the Wake Up Arizona Coalition. Wake Up Arizona has been at the forefront of obstructing enforcement of the employer sanctions law in Arizona through legal challenges, all of which they lost. Since the law was suppose to go into effect in January 2008, no employers have yet been prosecuted for violating it.
In November 2008, Arizona voters soundly defeated a well financed initiative backed by the Wake Up Arizona Coalition, Prop. 202, which was designed to make the Fair and Legal Employment Act impossible to enforce.
Arizona Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen is a strong supporter of enforcement of our immigration laws, including the Fair and Legal Employment Act.
Both the Maricopa County Republican Committee and the Arizona Republican Party at their most recent meetings have overwhelmingly passed resolutions written and introduced by me that "firmly support sanctions against employers who knowingly hire unauthorized aliens and supports aggressive enforcement of the Arizona Fair and Legal Employment Act."
It would seem that Shadegg has become out of touch with Arizona grassroots Republicans and doesn't understand the depth of feeling in the party over illegal immigration and the need to aggressively enforce sanctions against those employers who illegally hire illegal aliens. A unsecured border and the availability of jobs in America for illegal aliens is the greatest cause of the massive illegal immigration problem we face and Arizona taxpayers have been forced to pay for.
Hiring someone so closely connected as Lisa James is with the Wake Up Arizona Coalition, which has been very much at war with Arizona Republicans, is a slap in the face to grassroots Republicans.
Sean Noble and myself have been friends since we both helped John Shadegg win his GOP primary for Congress in 1994. Sean was Shadegg's campaign manager and I was considered Shadegg's top volunteer, I counted 76 4 x 8 signs I put up for Shadegg in that Campaign. Both Sean and me were very proud of the work we did and proud of Shadegg's performance in Congress. Every time there was a close vote in the U.S. House that went the right way, we felt we had something to do with it by getting Shadegg elected. With the exception of my service as a U.S. Marine, I have always considered having something to do with getting John Shadegg elected to Congress as one of my greatest contributions to my country.
Sean went to Washington with Shadegg and became his Chief of Staff. I was elected Chairman of my district, the old District 17, which is about the same area that is now District 9 and in 2000 I was the GOP nominee for the Arizona House in the old District 20, which was south Glendale and the Alhambra and Maryvale sections of Phoenix.
John Shadegg has been a good conservative Member of Congress and I'm still proud of having had a hand in getting him elected to his first term, however, the hiring of Lisa James is a big political mistake that will only hurt him with Arizona Republicans.
Sean Noble is a good man, good husband and father and a good friend. We have supported opposing candidates in the past but have always remained friends and I know we will not let politics get in the way of our friendship, however, on this issue we seem to be on opposite sides.
American Conservative Republican
The members of the Wake Up Arizona Coalition are:
* Mac Magruder, owner of McDonald fast food franchises.
* Ray Arvizu, owner of Arvizu Advertising & Promotions.
* Tom Barnett, owns Good Egg and Eggery restaurants and Burger King franchises.
* Steve Chucri, of the Arizona Restaurant Association.
* Jim Click, a Tucson auto dealer.
*Jerry Colangelo, former owner of the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks.
* Brian Day O'Connor, owner of a commercial real estate firm and a carwash, is the son of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.
* Nicole Dreier, representing Burger King franchises.
* Barry Goldwater Jr. son of the former senator.
* Danny Hendon, owner of Danny's Family Car Washes.
* Steve Hilton, Chief executive, Meritage Homes.
* Gordon James, husband of Lisa James and owner of public relations firm.
* James LeVecke, owns Carl's Jr. franchises.
* Jeff Moorad, general manager, Arizona Diamondbacks.
* Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County supervisor and owner of El Portal restaurant.
Thankfully, people are wide awake to the Wake Up Arizona Coalition.