Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Republicans in the Crosshairs

Appearing at The Jaundiced Eye, the Independent Bloggers' Alliance, and My Left Wing.

It's not just Democrats who are scared after the assassination attempt on Rep. Giffords that left six others dead. A number of Arizona Republicans have resigned for fear of Tea Party violence directed at them for being RINOs. I think Jesse Kelly (see photo), who was narrowly defeated by Giffords, makes it clear what Arizona Tea Partiers think of RINOs. The primary target? Anthony Miller, a former McCain campaign staffer and the first and only African-American to hold the chairmanship for his Arizona district. This has netted him the moniker "McCain's boy."

A nasty battle between factions of Legislative District 20 Republicans and fears that it could turn violent in the wake of what happened in Tucson on Saturday prompted District Chairman Anthony Miller and several others to resign.

Miller, a 43-year-old Ahwatukee Foothills resident and former campaign worker for U.S. Sen. John McCain, was re-elected to a second one-year term last month. He said constant verbal attacks after that election and Internet blog posts by some local members with Tea Party ties made him worry about his family's safety.

. . .

The newly-elected Dist. 20 Republican secretary, Sophia Johnson of Ahwatukee, first vice chairman Roger Dickinson of Tempe and Jeff Kolb, the former district spokesman from Ahwatukee, also quit. "This singular focus on 'getting' Anthony (Miller) was one of the main reasons I chose to resign," Kolb said in an e-mail to another party activist. Kolb confirmed the contents of the e-mail to the Republic.

. . .

"I wasn't going to resign but decided to quit after what happened Saturday," Miller said. "I love the Republican Party but I don't want to take a bullet for anyone."