Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sen. Kyl Misquoted About Ron Paul's Influence In Arizona GOP: Not "Total" Takeover, Only "Half"

Retiring Arizona Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) was misquoted by earlier this week.  He did NOT say that "I wish I could tell you we were doing well right now — we're not. Ron Paul has totally taken our [state] party over."  However,he did say something about the Arizona state party and how he (and others) worked around it!

The Hill ran a report on August 27 headlined "GOP leaders fret about state party structures."  It got some attention, including here in Arizona, because Kyl and former Republican Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN) appeared to be quite concerned about the intra-party divisions.

The next day, Kyl went on Fox News to deny stating that there had been a total takeover in Arizona:

After Kyl's flat-out denial, TheHill posted the reporter's audio.  If you are familiar with Kyl's voice (as many of us are), you can distinguish his comments from Weber's.  The reporter did indeed mix them up.

Today, TheHill has apologized for mixing up the quotes from Weber and Kyl.  However, instead of correcting the report, they pulled it.  

Fortunately, a Washington Post blogger who had earlier cited The Hill's report (and stood by it) also re-posted the now-pulled audio.  Here is a link to it:

Kyl, at 0:43, disagrees with Weber's characterization of a "total" takeover: "His folks have taken half of our party, as a result of which we are split down the middle, totally ineffective, and screwed up."

Weber then pointedly again uses the term "totally took over" and says it prompted independent expenditure campaigns by non-Paulies to perform basic party functions (candidate recruitment, GOTV, etc.).

Kyl then chimes in again, noting (at 1:30)  "that's what we've done the last six years.  You recording here? (I was.) That's what the Arizona Republican party is.  That's what's happened to us because we've been divided.  There's been different efforts by different groups.  And, it's never as efficient and effective as if you're united." (transcription by Arizona's Politics)

Kyl's comment reminds Arizona's Politics that two years ago, Republicans not happy with the state party leadership funneled money into the Yuma County Republicans and an independent group called Arizona Business Development Coalition.  A quick check shows no similar influx into the Yuma Republicans this year... yet.  (Then again, their latest bottom line is about the same - $9K vs. $13K - as the AZ GOP.)

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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