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AZ GOP Party Officials Resign Over Tea Party Threats

Jim Burroway

January 12th, 2011

Former GOP legislative district chair Anthony Miller

More madness in the culture war. The Arizona Republic reports that Arizona Legislative District 20 Chairman Anthony Miller and several others in the Phoenix suburb of Ahwatukee have resigned their party posts hours after Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’s shooting over fears for their lives and their families’ safety:

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.

In an e-mail sent a few hours after Saturday’s massacre in Tucson that killed six and injured 13, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Miller told state Republican Party Chairman Randy Pullen he was quitting: “Today my wife of 20 yrs ask (sic) me do I think that my PCs (Precinct Committee members) will shoot at our home? So with this being said I am stepping down from LD20GOP Chairman…I will make a full statement on Monday.”

…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.

…a series of accusatory e-mails was exchanged among party members. Some blasted Miller’s support of McCain, called him a “McCainiac with a penchant for violating the rules” and a “McCain hack.” … 

Miller said he hadn’t intended to resign, but changed his mind after Saturday’s shooting. “I love the Republican Party,” he said, “but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone.



January 12th, 2011 | LINK

“but I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone”

Not even for his family, country? Sounds a bit cowardly to me.

Timothy (TRiG)
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t want to take a bullet for anyone either. I might be willing to, but I don’t want to.


Jim Burroway
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

He wouldn’t be taking a bullet for family or country. It’s not like he’s a governor or congressman or even a state representative. I don’t think taking a bullet over a party district chair position is worth it. He’s not even in public office. But hey, if you disagree, I know where there’s an opening.

January 12th, 2011 | LINK

This is EXACTLY how terrorism works and wins.

I understand these people’s fears and concerns but their actions send a dangerous message to terrorists that their actions get results.

January 12th, 2011 | LINK

I’m not going to second-guess him; he knows the territory better than I do, and he may be right.

But as Zeke says above, this is how terrorism wins.

Paul J. Stein
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

Damn, a GOP member resigning over getting targeted. I guess Gabby has more balls then he does. Yap, Yap,Yap! Then run like hell. Good Day Sir!

January 12th, 2011 | LINK

I’m really shocked by the callous comments of so many on here. If any of you thought you might get shot if you went into work tomorrow, you wouldn’t go.

Priya Lynn
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

I agree Ryan. Its one thing to assert you’d risk your life and quite another to actually do so.

Jim Burroway
January 12th, 2011 | LINK


I agree wholeheartedly. I’m sitting here in Tucson working through a lot of ugliness here, and I come online briefly and see the same thing among a couple of commenters.

Six people were killed, 13 injured. Another man has been threatened and people here are cheering this man’s circumstances.

Disgusting. Absulutely disgusting.

How about changing places with Mr. Miller if you feel so strongly that way?

L. Junius Brutus
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

Jim, I can only see two posts (sort of) cheering this man’s circumstances or criticizing. Are you talking about the posts bemoaning how terrorism wins? Because that is in fact true, and it’s a great shame.

Jim Burroway
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

To be specific, I’m responding to Paul J. Stein’s comment in particular. But more broadly, I really like how others can come in here and leave comments talking a brave game without even leaving their full real names, let alone actually walk in Mr. Miller’s shoes who actually needed to think about his wife’s fears and not just himself.

Mark F.
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

“That Giffords down there that’s running for Congress, instead of running for Congress, they ought to have her and shoot her. Put her against the wall and shoot her.” —

Did a tea part activist say this?

No, I just changed a quote from a Democratic Congressman. The actual quote:

“That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida, instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.” — Former US Representative Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) (2010)

Mark F.
January 12th, 2011 | LINK

For perspective:

Assuming Giffords pulls through, in all of U.S. history only one Congressman has been murdered (Leo Ryan in 1978). Four were shot and injured in 1954 and one was killed in a dual in the 1800’s.

It’s not an especially dangerous occupation.

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