Meet A J LaFaro, Candidate for Chairman of the MCRC

A J LaFaro, candidate for Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Committee, embodied conservative principles even before he graduated from Tulsa Will Rogers High School.  His senior year, he earned the Will Rogers Award, which is given to the senior who most exhibited the personality, characteristics, and values for which Will Rogers was famous.

He excelled in football and earned an athletic college scholarship.  While attending college, many of A J’s friends were fighting for their country during the Viet Nam conflict – some giving their lives, others losing their limbs and becoming severely handicapped.  He decided he needed to put his college studies on hold and enlisted in the Air Force serving his country for four years.  When he got out, he finished college.  After graduating, he began working as a computer programmer for Phillips Petroleum Company at their International headquarters in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and worked his way up to an Information Technology executive management position.  While working full time, he went to school nights and on the weekends and earned an MBA in Finance. 

Campaigned for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984

A J’s first serious involvement in conservative activism at the presidential level began while living and working in Oklahoma, when he campaigned on behalf of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 election, and again in his 1984 re-election. He served as a part-time volunteer in Reagan’s campaign offices and occasionally travelled to Northeast Oklahoma towns helping people register Republican so they could vote for Reagan.

Oklahoma is one of the reddest, most conservative states in the union.  In fact, Governor Mary Fallin recently rejected  state participation in a health care exchange and expansion of the state’s Medicaid program under Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Arizona Conservative Leadership.

Now retired, A J LaFaro resides in one of the bluest cities in Arizona:  Tempe.  Known for its hostility toward conservative principles of low taxes, limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility, Tempe would not be the ideal choice of most conservatives.  One might assume that a conservative would go underground in such a toxic environment.  Not A J LaFaro.  Undeterred by the political hazards of living in liberal Tempe, he became more active than ever before, moving to the forefront of conservative leadership.

A J LaFaro has distinguished himself as a longtime Tempe community activist, campaigning for conservatives for elected office, and fighting against bonds and raising taxes.  He became a South Tempe precinct committeeman and a member of the Tempe TEA Party. He currently chairs the AZ GOP Statewide Voter and PEVL Registration Committee, serves on both the MCRC and AZGOP Bylaws Committees, and is a Pachyderm Coalition member.  He is also the current chairman of Arizona Citizens Tired of Public Employee Unions.

AJ is a founding member of AZGOP Military and Veterans Services(MAVS) and appeared regularly on the Voice of Veteran’s radio show (NBC 1260 AM and 96.1 AM) during the "Make America Great Again" segment on Saturday’s for about three months before, during, and after the elections.   .

Arizona Conservative Educators

AJ LaFaro is a board member of ACE (Arizona Conservative Educators) which has made tremendous strides since it was founded only 6 months ago.  Over 75% of the school board candidates ACE either recruited or reached out to won their elections.  That’s twenty-two out of 28.  Not all teachers are progressives!  These conservative educators have found a supporting voice through ACE. 

Fighting the AIRC – Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.

AJ LaFaro authored the statewide resolutions that condemned the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commissioners and their egregious acts against the citizens of Arizona.  These resolutions helped in part to keep the grassroots conservative voices heard during these difficult and trying times in Arizona’s history.  He also testified everyday at Arizona’s Joint Legislative Committee investigating the AIRC.  His leadership role, in addition to the continuous statements made by conservatives throughout the AIRC’s several public meetings, raised awareness among all Republicans about the lack of balance and the negative effects that Redistricting was having not only in Arizona but also in other parts of the country.

The AIRC was created when Arizona voters approved Prop 106. The purpose of Prop 106 was to provide citizens with a fair and transparent redistricting of legislative and congressional districts. They got anything but, as stated by Arizona Senator Andy Biggs. Those of us who spoke out at the many redistricting meetings asking repeatedly that the AIRC members consider all criteria set forth in the Arizona Constitution (Article 4. Part 2. Section 1, were exremely disappointed.

A J LaFaro and other conservative leaders had the foresight to see what would happen, and it did.   Arizona suffered a net loss of Republicans in the state legislature, and in the U.S. Congress.  For example, the notorious socialist/communist Kyrsten Sinema will represent Congressional District 9 from Arizona, having defeated Republican Vernon Parker.  We lost strong conservative Senator Frank Antenori to a Democrat from Tucson, and others.  See New Arizona Maps Help Produce Tight Races.  (It should be noted that Frank Antenori received zero support from our own Republican leadership.  See below regarding AJ’s role in "Fighting Against Inappropriate Manipulation of so-called Republican Victory Funds by AZ Republican Leadership.")

Chair of the AZGOP Statewide Voter and PEVL (Permanent Early Voter List) Registration Committee

If the presidential election had been determined by Arizona, Mitt Romney would have been elected president.  A J LaFaro focused on helping lead registration efforts throughout Arizona and saw areas of increases in Republican voter registrations.  Good progress was made in the number of registered Republicans who signed up for PEVL (Permanent Early Voter List).  In Maricopa County, 68% of the active registered Republicans are on PEVL.  His next leadership challenge is to help get them all to vote! 

Fighting Against Inappropriate Manipulation of so-called Republican Victory Funds by AZ Republican Leadership. 

Upon learning about the misuse of the Republican Victory Fund and House Victory Funds, and their lack of support of key Republican legislation, plus the subsequent stand that Stephen Kohut, Chairman of the Pinal County Republican Committee took to withdraw support for Senate President Steve Pierce and House Speaker Andy Tobin, endorsing Andy Biggs and Steve Smith, both AJ LaFaro and Jose Borrajero informed their grassroots members about the situation leading up to Chairman Kohut’s unprecedented action.  They encouraged Maricopa County Legislative District Chairmen to do likewise.  In the meantime, Gila, Navajo, and Santa Cruz counties joined Pinal County in endorsing Andy Biggs and Steve Smith.

Ultimately, following the presentation of evidence, the Executive Guidance Council (EGC) passed (23-5) the following Resolution on November 1, 2012. 

 "Be it resolved that due to their lack of support of key Republican principles by withholding key legislation and the misuse of the Republican Victory Fund, the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) does not support the reelection of Andy Tobin as Speaker of the House or Steve Pierce as Senate President."

Two of the 5 dissenting votes were from Lisa Gray (candidate running opposed to A J LaFaro for Chairman of the MCRC) and Rene Lopez (candidate running opposed to Jose Borrajero for 2nd Vice Chairman of the MCRC).    

When the members of the State Legislature met on November 7, and voted for their leadership, the senators elected Andy Biggs as Senate President.  Unfortunately, the representatives re-elected Andy Tobin.  However, without the efforts of many grassroots conservatives, including the push to inform the electorate by A J LaFaro and Jose Borrajero, the mischief perpetrated by our own Republican "leaders" might still be hidden from public view.

A J LaFaro has spent his adult life encouraging and fighting for conservative principles, and he hasn’t hesitated to shine a light on the misdeeds of those within his own Party.  Mr. LaFaro sets an example for all of us.  He is not afraid to call out the misdeeds of our elected officials and hold them accountable.  On the other hand, there are some in our Party who prefer the status quo and want you to overlook their betrayal of Republican Party principles.

I hope that you will vote for the man who holds our elected officials accountable.