It couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of social misfits. The Arizona GOP, which promotes the myth of widespread voter fraud at the polls despite the lack of any evidence — it could happen! — finally found an actual case of voter fraud this past weekend at their own Arizona GOP state meeting! Bwahahaha!
Donald Trump was the overwhelmingly winner of the Arizona GOP Presidential Preference Election on March 22, but he was “the biggest loser” at the Arizona GOP state meeting on Saturday to select delegates to the RNC National Convention in Cleveland. The Arizona Republic reported, Trump campaign irate over defeat in Arizona delegate vote:
Donald Trump’s Arizona supporters threatened Saturday to challenge the results of delegate voting at the state Republican convention, after Ted Cruz’s team locked up most of the delegates to the party’s national convention in Cleveland.
State Treasurer Jeff DeWit immediately announced the campaign of the Republican presidential front-runner was unhappy with the Arizona Republican Party’s “new electronic system” used to select 28 at-large delegates and alternates, a process that was marred by technical glitches.
DeWit, Trump’s Arizona chairman, and Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, another Trump supporter, said only two of the victorious delegates and alternates are Trump supporters. They characterized that as unheard of given the celebrity billionaire’s convincing victory in Arizona’s March 22 presidential preference election.
Others said Trump may have only one firm at-large delegate: Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has endorsed Trump and campaigned with the candidate.
“We will be filing a lawsuit,” DeWit shouted to reporters as the day-long convention drew to a close. “There is some sort of collusion between the Cruz and (John) Kasich campaigns. Our slate button was checked more than any other and yet our people are not getting in. … We are asking for a re-vote and we are hoping that the party will allow us to have a re-vote.”
DiCiccio blamed “back-room-dealing politics” for the Trump setback.
“This is what America hates. This is why the voters have turned to Trump,” DiCiccio said. “They’re turning to Donald Trump because they are tired of the backroom politics, and that’s what occurred here today.”
Former Gov. Jan Brewer, another high-profile Trump supporter, lost her bid to become a Trump delegate at both the statewide and the congressional-district level.
“I got cheated,” Brewer fumed afterward. “And the people of Arizona got cheated.”
Passions were high all day as more than 1,200 Republican state delegates packed the Mesa Convention Center to elect 55 delegates to the July 18-21 Republican National Convention.
Because Trump won the GOP presidential preference election, or primary, state law requires Arizona’s delegation to support his nomination on the first ballot. If a contested convention ensues, however, the state’s delegates could switch to second-running Cruz on subsequent ballots. Most of the slots are now filled with Cruz supporters.
Delegate selection has played out similarly elsewhere, [see Bloomberg News, As Cruz Dominates Delegate Contests, Trump Says Race Is ‘Over’] putting more pressure on Trump to clinch the nomination outright and not leave the outcome undecided heading into the convention. To do that, he needs 1,237 convention delegates nationwide, which would give him a first-ballot victory at the convention.
State delegates elected three delegates and three alternates from each of Arizona’s nine congressional districts. They then elected 28 at-large delegates and alternates, but problems with the online voting system caused delays and resulted in a period of late-afternoon restlessness among the assembled GOP activists. Some left.
The process was also confusing. State delegates could choose slates that were pro-Trump, pro-Cruz or pro-Kasich, the Ohio governor who also is still in the race.
The at-large slates for Cruz and Kasich were almost identical, with only two people on each slate who were not on the other.
There was also a compromise “Unity” slate offered by state party leaders, adding to the overlap among the slates.
Anti-Trump delegates dismissed the Unity slate as a ruse to mask some senior party members’ support for Trump. Others said the Unity slate was an effort to hurt Trump.
Adding to the confusion, the online voting glitches left Brewer and DiCiccio’s names off the Trump slate. Both were listed on the Unity slate.
* * *
Angered by the outcome, Trump supporters held an impromptu news conference following the convention, with DeWit, DiCiccio and Arpaio speaking.
At points, Trump and Cruz supporters shouted at each other, and at DeWit. One woman screamed Trump “was screwed,” while another yelled that the results were “outrageous.” In the background, supporters chanted, “Trump, Trump, Trump!”
DeWit said Trump would file a lawsuit — or some other legal action — over the results. He said the campaign would demand the vote be taken again because of the problems with the voting system.
Arpaio said, “It’s sad when he wins this state and we can’t even get delegates to go” to the convention.
DeWit and DiCiccio even got into a shouting match during the news conference after DeWit suggested Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s staffers had pushed the Cruz slate. DiCiccio angrily said DeWit’s remarks were “not true.”
DeWit shot back: “Just ‘cause you love the governor.”
Brewer stood between them, appearing uncomfortable.
* * *
As for Brewer, she not only had her name left off Trump’s at-large delegate slate, she also received another unexpected defeat in the election of delegates from the 8th Congressional District. Brewer missed winning one of the district’s three slots.
“It’s the first election I’ve lost since 1970,” Brewer said.
She also lost a coin flip that would have made her the first-alternate delegate. She picked tails.
Are these really the kind of people you want in charge of your state in Arizona? Kick ’em out and elect Democrats in November.