The vice president of ASU College Republicans acted on his own to send a scathing letter to state Democratic lawmakers and is expected to resign Friday, the club's president said.
Democratic legislators received a note Tuesday on College Republicans letterhead inviting them to donate to the group's trip to the Conservative Political Action Convention in Washington, D.C., later this month. The letter, written by College Republicans Vice President James Malone, also intended to highlight what Malone cited as differences between conservatives and liberals. In the final paragraph, Malone wrote,
Just to be clear, although we would be happy to accept money from Arizona’s House and Senate Democrats, the purpose of this letter is just to let your caucus know that conservatives do not utilize the public treasury for our political causes (unlike many of you, see: Medicaid-Funded Abortion; Public Union Release Time; and Andres Serrano’sPiss Christ). We ask citizens of this country to choose of their own prerogative to support us—we believe in choice. We hope that you learn that if College Kids can solicit citizens to donate to their causes, that maybe you can give freedom a try.
Malone sent the letter without any input from other club members, said College Republicans President Nathan Brown. While the club knew he was reaching out to Republican lawmakers, they didn't realize he was also sending a letter to Democratic lawmakers, Brown said.
"I would have discouraged him," he said. "I would never want my name or my brand on that letter."
The letter faced near-immediate backlash from legislators who had received it, including Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Avondale.
Quezada told The State Press the letter "showed a disappointing level of immaturity and professionalism."
Republican lawmakers including Rep. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, also expressed disappointment.
@RobbieSherwood Good Lord...I'm a fmr Prez of the ASU CRs and would have never dreamed of sending such a distasteful letter.— T.J. Shope (@TJShopeforAZ) February 11, 2015
Brown sent a second letter to each representative who had received Malone's note apologizing "for the inexcusable content within the letter that appeared to be written on our behalf."
"With the exception of (Malone), no one else in the organization was aware of its creation," Brown's note reads. "Furthermore, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the letter do not reflect upon the values of the ASU College Republicans."
Brown said the College Republicans have diverse perspectives from conservative and libertarian members, and that he's been encouraging liberals and Democrats to get involved with the group and share viewpoints.
He said he expects Malone's resignation by 5 p.m. on Friday.
Malone could not be reached for comment on Wednesday or Thursday.
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