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Re: “Incompetent or Ingenious?

Postscript: Gail Shoultes who posted above was the Committee's Maricopa County Co-Chair. Adrienne who posted above was Tucson's.

Posted by mimi_pryor on 07/07/2011 at 9:12 AM

Re: “Incompetent or Ingenious?


Not that it matters to the big picture although it supports the lack of care taken by the reporter in writing the above article, I am not a "Mesa Republican". I reside in Chandler as apears on the publicly available recall papers filed with the secretary of state's office and as widely reported. Moreover, the recall was 120 days as required by state law not "five months" as stated in the article.

Mimi Pryor, Chairman
Committee to Recall Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

Posted by mimi_pryor on 07/07/2011 at 2:25 AM

Re: “Incompetent or Ingenious?

I am nothing short of aghast that reporter Tim Vanderpool went ahead and used certain material presented in this article despite being provided with absolute, unequivocal and objective prove the contrary. It seems clear that he was more interested in promoting the idea of a controversy within the recall committee than debunking false allegations with the truth. Fact checking is a basic rule of journalism as I know from my days as a major morning radio news anchor. Mr. Vanderpool sourced information that he either did not fact check or, if he did, he obviously decided that the facts did not make for the sort of story he wanted to write.

For instance, he speaks of an anonymous liberal Blogger whose post about our effort is filled with nothing but purposeful, outright manufactured "facts" that any reporter worth his salt could have easily fact checked. Mr. Vanderpool referred me to the Blog at www.conservativecorporatism.com which we have evidence to suggest is owned and written by a man who identified himself as an ex-convict “persecuted by the U.S. Government” who harassed several of our volunteers and made them feel physically threatened during the course of the recall effort. Our Online Outreach Coordinator was reduced to tears by his barrage of unsettling, threatening emails to her and actually caused her to consider quitting the effort. Our Maricopa County Coordinators and I had similar unsettling experiences with this individual and, ultimately, all concerned felt it best to block him from the Committee's Facebook pages and to cease all communications with him. Obviously, his unfounded allegations against the Recall Committee and its leadership are nothing but retaliatory.

While the results of our digital forensics investigation of who is behind the anonymous post that Mr. Vanderpool referenced only became known to us this morning, he could easily have debunked several of the Blogger's allegations by simply looking at the Recall Committee's website. I was taught that news sources should be thoroughly vetted and that everything should be fact checked in order to determine the credibility of the source and reliability of the information before ever releasing a story. The Blogger supports his allegation that our effort was a "false recall" by stating that our website had no photo of Gov. Brewer (it did and still does on the Home Page that can still be accessed from the link under the open letter posted at www.recallgovernorbrewer.com), by stating that the website failed to even list the required signature count which appears on several pages of the website, and that the website promotes a Republican candidate to replace Gov. Brewer (in fact, the website mentions no candidates and I am on record numerous times stating that our job was to recall Gov. Brewer and not to draft any candidates). Had Mr. Vanderpool done his homework, he would have quickly realized that the anonymous Blogger was passing off unreliable and untrue information.

In addition, the Blogger claimed that the Recall Committee received $10,000 at launch questioning why expensive media such as billboards and newspapers ads were not purchased. In fact, it was the Pearce Recall that received $10,000 at the outset. The largest single contribution received by our Committee was $500 several weeks into the effort as our Campaign Finance reports will show.

Given that the Blog post lacks all credibility, I question why any reporter would even cite it as a source.

Regarding the allegations by Frances Alexander and Terry Higuera, evidence to the contrary was provided to Mr. Vanderpool, evidence that he chose to ignore. While he references the 21 emails I forwarded to him which clearly and objectively serve as proof that the facts were being misrepresented, he apparently either felt that they were not important enough to read or that it would take the story in a direction that he didn't want to take it. Given that he sent me an email stating "I cannot possibly read all these", I suspect that he didn't.

Since when does a journalist working on a story, particularly one that might impact the reputation of an individual or organization, not make the time to gather ALL the facts, particularly those he has been expressly informed would fully refute allegations he is planning to report? A good reporter either makes the time, or holds on the story until he can make time to do his job properly. Moreover, both myself and Gail Shoultes, our Maricopa County Co-hair, sent Mr. Vanderpool additional information refuting the allegations this past Monday morning at which time he responded that he had "already turned his story in." A true professional would have notified his Editor to hold on the story until all the information had been gone through and fact checked even if it meant that the story would not have published until a later date--or at all (given that there was really no story here other than easily proven false allegations).

Regarding the radio interview purportedly "scheduled for me" by volunteer Terry Higuera that I purportedly "backed out of", Mr. Vanderpool was provided the complete email chain between Ms. Higuera, Tucson Area Coordinator Adrienne Sainz, the radio show scheduler and myself last Friday shortly after he interviewed me (these were among the 21 emails he referred to in his article) to which he responded "You have sufficiently made your point." The facts are that I knew nothing about any interview being arranged until I received a copy of an email from the radio station scheduler to Ms. Higuera regarding a request for an interview the next morning. As I was on my way out of town the next morning, I promptly reached out by email to the scheduler to ask if the interview could be re-scheduled for early the next week which she indicated was a possibility. In the meantime, Ms. Sainz emailed Ms. Higuera and copied me that she wanted to go ahead with the interview that morning and asked Ms. Higuera to do it. Ms. Higuera responded, also copying me, that she agreed that the interview should be done right away and that she would do it. (Emails to be posted on our Blog at www.recallgovernorbrewer.com/blog).

I not only never "backed out" of this or any other interview, but I offered to do it immediately upon my return to town. The most distressing part of this allegation is that it was Ms. Sainz and Ms. Higuera who made the decision to go forward with it in my absence, though I had indicated that this would be fine with me if it could NOT BE RESCHEDULED and supported Ms. Higuera by sending her possible talking points and a poignant supporter story. Aside from the fact that Ms. Higuera sprung the interview request on me last minute, and apparently expected me to drop my other commitments, I am surprised and disappointed at her effort to so totally misrepresent the facts.

As for Ms. Sainz, who I have nothing but high praise for as a volunteer, I received an email from her today stating "Hi Mimi, As you can see by the email (to Tim Vanderpool) below I was hesitant to talk to this reporter and my instincts were correct. I have learned my lesson about media because there are words in there I have never used before. It is sad that this is what people do and the paranoia that other volunteers had. Needless to say I want to thank you for the opportunity and trust you gave me. For what it is worth, I appreciate it. Adrienne"

Regarding the supposed confusion about an "online petition", not only did I set the record on this straight with Mr. Vanderpool when we spoke on Friday, but among the 21 emails that he either did not read or chose not to report on, were multiple emails to Frances Alexander and Terry Higuera responding that I had our programmers modify the PETITION REQUEST form (always clearly labeled as such), the very same day that the issue was raised with me by the two. It was not ignored as alleged and was immediately responded to and ACTED UPON.

Although Ms. Sainz' email to me of today makes it clear that statements were attributed to her in the article that she never said, just one of my email accounts shows that I sent Ms. Sainz 134 emails in the span of just the last 77 days of the recall with hundreds of other supporter emails that I responded to daily along with all of my other duties. This averages one to two email communications per day from me to Ms. Sainz alone. I can entirely disprove any assertion that I was not in regular communication with the Area Coordinators. Regarding Ms. Higuera, her email to Ms. Alexander referred to above specifically states that "Mimi is very good about responding." Most puzzling of all regarding Ms. Higuera is that several days after the recall signature deadline, and after the signature tally had been widely reported, she sent me an email offering to raise funds for the Committee's ongoing activities. It defies logic that anyone so dissatisfied with someone's leadership and management would offer to raise funds for future activities managed by the very same individual.

Finally, regarding the most objective standard for the financial management of a political committee sponsoring a signature drive, this is measured by cost-per-signature. This typically ranges from $1.25 to over $2.00 per signature. For the CA Gov. Davis recall, the only successful recall of a U.S. Governor in modern times, we estimate from public records and media reports that their cost-per-signature was around $1.90 and that the Pearce Recall effort's was around $1.84, while ours was a less than $0.50 per signature. In addition, one need only look at the wealth of "how to" information, forms, resources and tools that I created to support the effort by the volunteers, and posted to our website's Downloads section, to see how much more we provided in contrast to other recall efforts going on in the state. This was in addition to gathering thousands more signatures and with less than one-third of the money to work with than the Pearce Recall reported as having received (I have nothing but praise to say about the management of that effort, also founded by a Republican, and offer the comparison just to show the extra mile we went to support our volunteers).

Mr. Vanderpool did rightly state that I said and still feel that "In the end . . . the campaign was fundamental in getting Gov. Brewer to reverse her decision on transplant funding; that money was restored in the state budget Brewer signed in April." In my view, despite many other very important policies that we strongly disagreed with the Governor on, human life trumps them all. By mounting a recall effort against the Governor around this pivotal issue, we brought national attention to it resulting in public outrage from coast to coast. If that impacted the Governor's decision to restore the transplant funding, as we believe it did, then we helped save 96 lives in the immediate along with countless lives in the future. Our fight against the AHCCCS cuts which will eliminate as many as 150,000 needy Arizonans from health care coverage, and against other troubling policies, will continue when our reorganization as Action Arizona (www.actionarizona.org), an independent expenditure political committee, is complete. No matter what criticisms may be levied against myself or the recall effort, myself and many of the volunteers who worked with me in that effort will continue to fight against policies that unfairly impact the health, education and welfare of the elderly, the poor, the sick and disabled, students, under pressure small businesses, the unemployed and struggling homeowners in our state.

Mimi Pryor
Committee to Recall Arizona Governor Jan Brewer

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by mimi_pryor on 07/07/2011 at 2:21 AM

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